This gorgeous pair combined their English and French heritage for this seriously stylish rooftop wedding at Ace Hotel, Shoreditch. Anne looks stunning in Catherine Deane (who are offering incredible Black Friday savings on some of their best sellers BTW), and Lionel looks SO dapper in a light grey bespoke suit by Jonas & Cie, who just happen to be tailors to the French president. This is a feel-good wedding through and through, just full of fun. Enjoy lovely ones!
Laid Back And Fun Weekend Wedding
Anne & Lionel: Lionel is French, I’m English: we met and fell in love when I moved to Paris for work, and six years later we still live here! We decided to have our wedding in London: it meant a lot to me to come back to my hometown to get married, but we made sure to include lots of French elements. Other than this we didn’t really have a theme, we just wanted a laidback, fun weekend with all of our closest family and friends in one place. We planned the wedding in a year, hopping on the Eurostar every couple of months for our church and supplier meetings.
Classic London Wedding
We had an emotional and very personal ceremony at my parents’ church, St-Martin-in-the- Fields in Trafalgar Square. Almost all the parts of our service were in both English and French: from the Bible readings to the songs sung by the soloist and the hymns.
A classic London Routemaster then took us all from the church to the reception. We got married on the day of a massive annual cycle event which closed off most central London roads, but luckily the organisers were so helpful and sorted a special access pass for our bus. What could have been a logistical nightmare for transporting guests instead turned into a beautiful festival atmosphere, with the sunny streets of London full of music and families on bikes.
Stylish Rooftop Wedding At Ace Hotel Shoreditch
We wanted somewhere modern with outdoor space, less than 30 minutes away from our church. As we were planning the wedding from abroad we didn’t want to faff around with hiring caterers or furniture, so dry hire reception venues were out. As soon as we stepped onto the Ace Hotel rooftop we were sold: the perfect laidback vibe and a sunny terrace with amazing views over London!
Choosing a hotel also meant our family and friends could stay together for the whole weekend. Our bridal suite came with a HUGE private terrace, so we turned the wedding into a three day affair and had everyone over for drinks the day before, an afterparty, a boozy Sunday brunch the next day, and then an “after-afterparty” right up until 4am on Monday morning!
We hit it off with Lorna straight away! We loved how light and relaxed her photography style is, she was so passionate about every part of our wedding, and everyone agreed how lovely she was on the day. After the family speeches, so many of our friends felt inspired, stood up one after the other and gave beautiful, totally improvised toasts to us – this was a total surprise (I think I was in tears throughout!) and she captured the emotion of this moment perfectly.
At French weddings you can expect Michelin star level food, so this was going to be tough to live up to. But the Ace chefs exceeded our expectations, and the long afternoon we spent tasting alllll the food and wine was the BEST part of wedding planning! We had BBQ skewers for canapes, then served a classic French starter of celeriac remoulade with cured ham, roast salmon for mains, and the pastry chef created a chocolate and English strawberry dessert for us. We also brought out mini fish & chips and bacon baps towards the end of the night. All this was accompanied by lots and lots of French wine, bubbles and unlimited purple vodka cocktails!
We chose an English vs French cheese ‘cake’ from La Fromagerie in Marylebone, served with Bonne Maman chutneys and jams we had brought over from Paris. We also served donuts and mini eclairs halfway through the evening for those with a sweet tooth.
Bobbi Brown Bridal
I didn’t want to wake up at the crack of dawn to fit in professional make-up sessions for myself and the whole bridal party! I swear by Bobbi Brown foundation, so I booked a bridal lesson at her studio in Paris a month before the wedding. I left with some great tips and a bag full of make-up I can use again and again! My bridesmaids and I did our own make-up and hair and it made for a nice chilled morning getting ready together.
Catherine Deane Bride
I visited a few boutiques with my sister but had my heart set on Catherine Deane’s laidback but elegant dresses. I loved everything I tried in her East London showroom, but knew that Sinead was the one as soon as I saw the 3D flowers twinkling under the lights. I also wanted a barely-there veil so I ordered a Skylar veil from Britten which did the job perfectly.
Lionel got his bespoke suit made at Jonas & Cie (the French president’s tailor!) and also picked out his tie and shoes in Paris. Lionel’s best men wore their own suits and matching boutonnieres to bring everyone’s look together.
Our bilingual invitations were created by our graphic designer friend Jerome, and our artist friend Lauren created the order of service artwork. We ordered personalised foil table signs on Etsy but when these got lost in the post, my talented sister learnt calligraphy and made them herself two days before the wedding!
Balloons For Wedding
The Ace rooftop is full of huge windows, and they provided candles and dozens of green plants dotted around the space so we didn’t need much else. We had some foil balloons and giant initials set up by Balloon Bouquets, which the Ace staff then moved around the venue throughout the day as a colourful backdrop for dinner and then dancing.
My sister collected loads of photos of Lionel and I as kids and teenagers into a slideshow and projected them on the giant screen in the 100 Room during our first dance. Some of our favourite photos of the night are of everyone’s reactions to the slideshow.
We had a Polaroid guest book, and the Ace also let us bring in colourful mirror pens which guests used to write us little messages and drawings all over the mirrors in the toilets. These just got better (and ruder) as the night went on! For place cards/favours we used miniature spirits: rhubarb or quince London gin for the French guests, and Cointreau or Chambord liqueur for the English guests.
We celebrate Christmas in London every year and Lionel’s family love the British tradition of crackers! So despite the fact that our wedding was in July, we ordered empty crackers online and filled them with our own bad French/English jokes, paper hats and sweets. Everyone was wearing their hats and cracking up with laughter during dinner, and it was a great way to get English and French guests chatting.
We’re both very laidback and approached our wedding in the same way. Seriously, don’t fuss about the colour of your napkins or the font on your place cards – no-one pays attention to any of that, just focus on making it a fun day! Also pick a venue with a great wedding planning team: Kristie the wedding co-ordinator and all the staff at the Ace were amazing and we can’t thank them enough!