There’s pretty, incredibly pretty, and then there’s Laura & Olivier’s at-home marquee wedding which has left me swooning with delight. You are going to absolutely love all the details. From the DIY signs, to the antique key escorts cards, and not forgetting the truly stunning cake and pastel flowers.
Then there’s Laura’s Jesús Peiró wedding dress. It is so delicate, with the most beautiful keyhole open back detail and cap sleeves. The bridesmaids Ghost dresses also have fabulous details. Coming in a gorgeous powder blue shade, and sporting a stunning twisted neckline.
I haven’t even mentioned the romantic proposal story yet. It’ll literally make your heart ache it’s so sweet. All the pretty has been captured beautifully by Rachel Rose Photography. Enjoy every minute lovelies. This is definitely a treat.
This entire wedding was shot on film by Katharine Peachey which just adds to the timeless elegance of this classic English wedding. All taking place at the incredibly beautiful and quaint historic town Arundel, with views and shop windows you can get lost in, and SO much curb appeal sister blog Rock My Style would be inspired.
The groomsmen wear traditional mornings suits and the bride wears a stunning Kobus Dippenaar gown from Morgan Davies, finished with a perfect bouquet of white roses. I never tire of this sartorial look. Simply stunning inspiration and love from this gorgeous couple.
There is no denying we’re huge fans of The Asylum in London, but what we love most is how each couple put their stamp on the iconic wedding venue.
Francesca & Tony opted for gorgeous jewelled plum & fuchsia pink flowers in gold urns to decorate the chapel and it added to the dramatic setting perfectly. They also chose to have a guitarist sing as Francesca made her grand entrance and once again when they exited as husband and wife. I bet the acoustics were amazing.
This couple and their city wedding are seriously cool and the pictures captured by On Love and Photography will make your spine tingle…..
Katie & Tommy love London city, so the search was on to have a day full of everything they love, including a boat ride of the Thames.
They stumbled across Trinity Buoy Wharf which is a great dry hire venue and meant they could have a wedding that truly reflected them. There’s hanging lanterns, trestle tables and paper origami boat name place tags as well as a sweet treat Kinder Surprise favour. Plus the most spectacular paper flower altar backdrop made by Katie’s super talented Mum which you are going to absolutely LOVE.
But onto our gorgeous Bride, she is the picture of elegance in her Jesús Peiró gown, and her laser cut Rupert Sanderson shoes….let’s just say you have to see them….oh my I’m green with envy!
Emma perhaps defines the ethos of this big day best in her description of her wedding theme – ‘an English country garden meets art deco glamour kind of affair‘ and it really is folks. There’s the unrivalled serenity of a midsummer English garden – all lush lawns, Honeysuckle and Lavender – combined with the glitzy sophistication of times gone by…check out the Choo’s and the Jenny Packham ‘Eden’ for starters.
And it works. Oh it SO works.
I actually really adore this wedding. It’s luxe, it’s glamorous and oh so beautiful and it’s clear that their nearest and dearest had a brilliant time. From the beautiful florals to the dusty shale maids’ dresses, everything has been carefully and lovingly selected.
I have a feeling that you’re going to love it too.
Emma The Bride: When we started to look at venues, Notley Abbey was only the second place we visited but as soon as I arrived I knew it was ‘the one’. Even though it was pouring with rain that day, it was magnificent. There is something truly magical about the Abbey and we both felt so relaxed and at home there.
As soon as I heard about the wild parties that used to go on there (Marilyn Monroe was among the guests), I definitely knew we had found our venue. Stewart and I love a party!! My wonderful dad massively helped us out financially so that we were able to book this beautiful venue. I must thank everyone at Notley Abbey for looking after us all and making the day so special, especially our wedding manager on the day, Lisa, who totally rocked!
Chanel No 5
One of the best decisions I made was to book my hair and make up artist Claire Hanson. She was amazing and her lovely assistant Kirsty helped with my bridesmaids’ hair. I absolutely loved Claire and we had so much fun getting ready. I never really wear make up or get a chance to do my hair with a young baby at home.
Claire really did work wonders! I wanted a natural look with my make up and it was perfect. She made me feel beautiful, I can not thank her enough! My perfume was Chanel No5 which was my mum’s favourite scent (and Marilyn’s too apparently).
First Shop, First Dress
It was a case of first shop, first dress for me. A few of my closest friends had all bought their dresses from Morgan Davies in London so off I went armed with a bridesmaid. The dress was Eden in Platinum by Jenny Packham. Simply stunning. I orginally tried on and ordered the ivory version but that night when I got home I just knew I wanted the platinum.
It’s a bit different and much more me with gorgeous sparkly beads and gold sequins. I thought it would fit perfectly with Notley Abbey. Sadly my mum passed away a few years ago and I had always imagined going dress shopping with her but Katie and all the other lovely girls at Morgan Davies made it such a special day. I took my dad along for my final fitting and he was in tears, just like mum would have been!
Shoes, shoes, shoes. I LOVE shoes. Selfridges Shoe Hall is my Mecca so the only choice for me had to be Jimmy Choos. And they had to be super high and super sparkly. My best friend Celia and I had the best time trying on all the shoes and trying not to buy them all!
As the dress was so ornate I wanted to keep the accessories to a minimum. I thought Jenny Packham would know best so I took myself off to the JP accesories shop. OMG that place is AMAZE! I could have bought everything but I was good and only left with my beautiful head dress and pair of simple drop earrings. So, so beautiful and made to go with my dress.
My three best friends, Celia, Emma and Suky were my bridesmaids. They are all stunning girls and I wanted their dresses to be as pretty as they were. A friend of mine suggested J.Crew and I cannot recommend them enough. I wanted a natural, vintage colour and decided on a pale, silvery green colour called ‘Dusty Shale’.
I chose three different styles all in the same colour and my girls looked amazing. I was so proud to walk down the aisle after them, although they looked so damn good they almost showed me up haha! I also had my two gorgeous little nieces as flower girls; I bought their dresses from Monsoon and they looked so adorable.
Stew’s best man was his brother who lives in Sweden and who Stew misses so much so it was lovely to see them together and having so much fun. He had his 2 best friends as ushers, one of who flew over from Texas for the ceremony and his cousin Mark was Master of Ceremonies. Mark being a school teacher was the best choice to order everyone around and he did a fabulous job. Someone said he was like a bouncer, just what you need!
An English Country Garden Meets Art Deco Glamour Affair
If I had to describe the theme of the wedding I guess it would be an English country garden meets art deco glamour kind of affair. Stew and I are a very laid back couple and with my beautiful baby boy Arthur arriving 9 months before the wedding I never found the time to unleash my inner ‘Bridezilla’ but I hope the lack of organisation made the day feel more like ‘us’ – relaxed and fun.
Pink, Apricot And White
A friend of mine recommended my florist, Robin to me. He was such a lovely guy when I met him that I knew I wanted to use him to do my flowers and I was so glad that I did. They were stunning and exactly what I had in mind. Beautiful summer flowers in pink, pale apricot and white, including my absolute favourite peonies as well as roses and sweet peas.
All my bridesmaids had a posy each and my little flower girls had a small posy of sweetpeas to carry. There was an arrangement on each table in the reception with nightlights and the large arrangements in the ceremony and reception rooms were divine.
Big Brother To The Rescue
Unfortunately my dad had a bad fall a couple of days before the wedding which meant that he could not give me away as he was in hospital. It was a devastating blow but he wanted everything to go ahead as planned so my lovely big brother Matt stepped in at the last minute. Walking down the aisle and seeing everyone you love all there in one room is the best feeling in the world and it completely lifted me. I was so sad that my dad wasn’t there but lots of my amazing family and friends were. I’m a very lucky girl.
Most importantly my amazing husband to be was waiting for me at the end of the aisle and he looked so handsome in his 3 piece Paul Smith suit. I couldn’t wait to get to the end and marry him. Stew is the loveliest, funniest most genuine person you could ever meet. We were friends for two years before we started to grow closer and I think I fell in love with him before we even got together as a couple. He is my soulmate and my best friend, I could not be happier. One of my best school friends, Rachel, read Sonnet 116 by Shakespeare which I love and our amazing friend Debs read a piece from Captain’s Corelli’s Mandolin which just makes me weep and exactly describes how I feel about Stew.
Stew’s speech was amazing and had everyone in tears and my brother did an amazing job considering he only had 24 hours to prepare his! As I’ve already said Stew and I love a party and I couldn’t wait to get on the dancefloor. We booked The Somebodys as our band and they were awesome! really cool, young guys, I loved them.
Our first dance was to The Stone Roses, She Bangs The Drums. A band and a song we both love. We even went to see them at V festival when I was 37 weeks pregnant, now that’s dedication! I was really looking forward to raving on with my nearest and dearest and we had a ball! I didn’t want the night to end.
Notley Abbey provided all the food for the day and everyone commented on how fantastic it was. My very beautiful and talented bridesmaid Suky made my wedding cake. It was made up of lots of cake pops which she had hand made all by herself. Truly amazing and totally yummy.
The Naughty Table
One of my bridesmaids has a very talented boyfriend who is a printer and he made the orders of the day. I wanted them to tie in with the art deco feel and I helped design them. I was very pleased with them and he also printed the table pictures. I chose pictures instead of names and they were all icons past and present including some of the famous guests who had attended the wild parties at Notley Abbey over the years. My favourite table was probably the Kate Moss table. I put all the naughty people on that one!
Enjoy having all your favourite people in one place and try and savour each minute of the day as it goes so fast. I wanted to re-live the day again and again. Don’t worry if you feel like you didn’t manage to speak to each and every person for very long; they will see you having the time of your life and go home happy. Your wedding day is all about you and your love. It’s one day, ROCK IT!
I personally think that the photgrapher should be one of the most important decisions that you make. I made the perfect choice with David Jenkins. The man is a genius! Not only that, he is an awesome guy who made us feel so relaxed on the day. He was like one of the guests! So important in a photographer but even more important are the photographs and wow, they were stunning. Stew and I were in tears when we saw them and have beautiful memories of the best day of our lives.
I love the contemporary colour pop setting for this city soiree, and make sure you have a look at the cake which the bride proudly made herself… the flowers on it are a masterpiece.
Photography today is by Ben Tomlin at Touch Photography. Lauren and Nick couldn’t have chosen a better person to capture those clean bold colours, the gorgeous subtle details and of course, the candid reaction of friends and family.
Home Or Away?
We got engaged at the end of November 2010. No sooner had we finished celebrating than it was Christmas. And in a flash we found ourselves in January facing the reality that if we wanted to get married in the summer we’d only have six month to organise it. We both liked the idea of getting married abroad in Greece or Italy, so initially we set about looking for large private villas that we could hire for the wedding. But we thought we should look into some local venues as a back up plan and on Islington’s registry office website saw Frederick’s listed as a licensed venue. Nick knew the local favourite well and we went to have a look – it was only at the end of the road after all! We both loved it and could see ourselves getting married there. The restaurant is closed to the public on Sundays, but available for exclusive hire for weddings and parties. When we found out that the only available summer Sunday left in their diary was one that we’d potentially earmarked as working for everyone we decided it was fate, and booked.
An Oscar Winning Dress.
I wanted to find a dress that would look right in such a modern and understated venue – something a bit different from the full-skirted, sweetheart-necklined bridal gowns that are everywhere. But alternatives were proving very difficult to find! So initially I thought I’d get one of these dresses shortened into a 1950s style tea-lenth dress, but something was holding me back. I visited Morgan Davies in Islington and explained my situation to Annalise. I let her pick out several dresses for me to try on, including one from my favourite designer Jesus Piero. When I put on ‘the’ dress, I instantly loved it. The halter neckline was different, the high waist band elongated my body and the whole effect was very flattering. But my parents, who were with me at the time, weren’t sure about the dress. My mum said, “It looks like something you’d wear to accept an Oscar in.” While I was secretly thinking how much I’d love to look like a movie star on my wedding day, it also meant a lot to me that my parents like the dress. So I left it. But I couldn’t stop thinking about it and ended up going back to try it on again twice more with my friend and bridesmaids before deciding to go for it! I’m glad I did – as one guest put it in a thank-you letter, “the dress was beautiful – glamourous, sexy and elegant.”
The dress was very plain, with simple lines. I knew that I wanted to add some of my personality to the dress by adding a fascinator with a retro, short, net veil. My sister and her boyfriend are friends with a newly qualified milliner, and they very generously offered to put me in touch with her and pay for the fascinator as a wedding gift. I worked closely with Mary of Mary Franck Millinery to create a bespoke freshwater pearl and crystal headpiece, with a detachable net veil. It really made the outfit.
I also borrowed a vintage crystal bracelet from my mother to add an extra bit of sparkle.
Pale Pink And Pearl.
I am quite short, so I wanted to wear heels for height but I also wanted to be able to dance all night! Nick actually chose my shoes! – Rachel Simpson Venetia shoes with a 8.5cm heel and concealed cushioned platform. They are extremely comfortable and the pink suede detail tied in with our pale pink and pearl theme.
My long-time home hair colourist (and now friend) Zoe does hair for weddings so I booked her to do mine! I had my hair curled and then put up off-centre to accommodate the head piece.
I went to several trial make-up sessions at make-up counters in Selfridges. In the end I decided I would prefer to do my own make-up. I invested in some new make-up and professional brushes from Bobbi Brown to ensure I got a great finish, and I’m still using it all today! I also had eyelash extensions put in to accentuate my eyes – much more comfortable than fake eyelash strips and eliminates the need for mascara.
I love peonies and they had already inspired the design of our invitations and our wedding cake. When it came to ordering the flowers for the wedding we discovered that the peony season had come early this year and the florists could not guarantee that they would still be available by 10 July! We then shopped around for similar-looking alternatives. One of the florists had recommended looking at The Real Flower Company. They have a concession in Selfridges in London so we went to have a look at their range of beautiful, unique, highly scented roses. We chose a mixture of the ‘Peony Pink’ variety, which as the name suggests look very like a pale pink peony, and ‘Groupie’, a white peony-like rose. These exclusive roses were going to be very expensive to order via the florist, so I rang The Real Flower Company direct. I ordered the bridal and bridesmaids bouquets, button holes and corsages to be delivered to Selfridges the day before the wedding. I also ordered 75 single stemmed roses and fragrant herbs, which were delivered to my parents house and kept cool in the basement. We made up the table arrangements ourselves on the morning of the wedding, using vases from Ikea and white pebbles from a garden centre!
Pink And Grey.
Wanting to keep things relatively informal, we asked our Fathers and Nick’s brother, the best-man, to wear light grey suits and we bought pale pink matching ties for each of them. My two bridesmaids chose their own pale grey dresses from Reiss. I bought matching grey freshwater pearl bracelets from Tiger Lily Trading as gifts for the bridesmaids, which I gave them on the morning of the wedding.
Hand Made Extravagance.
Nick wore a bespoke, hand-made, 3-piece suit by Charlie Allen in Islington. It was an extravagance, but he could not think of a better occasion to treat himself! He chose a natural linen fabric and tan leather Grenson shoes, which he bought at Nigel Hall on Upper Street.
Journalistic, Not Staged.
The photographer was the first thing we booked after the venue. We found Ben Tomlin at Touch Photography after looking at lots of portfolios online. We were very impressed with Ben’s journalistic, rather than staged, photographic style and knew we wanted something similar for our big day. When we met Ben he was such a nice guy, and exactly the type of person you wouldn’t mind poking a camera in your face, even when you’re at your most stressed. Ben put in a mammoth effort on the day – even racing me in my black taxi across London from my parent’s house to the venue – and I think he was one of the last to leave! We’ve had so many comments from our friends on how our wedding photos are some of the best they’ve ever seen.
A Bit Of Bad Luck?
I decided that I wanted to make something for the wedding and the cake seemed an obvious choice, despite caution from my Czech friend Lenka that it’s bad luck for the bride to bake the cake herself! We both love fruit cake and it can be made well in advance – in fact its better if it is. I followed Delia Smith’s rich fruit cake recipe and made three tiers, covered with white marzipan and ivory fondant icing. I made sugar paste peonies to decorate the cake and learnt by following an online tutorial. I also painted the piping around the edge of each tier with an edible pearlised lustre to make it look like pearls. The sugar paste flowers were so good that some people thought they were real flowers!
We both wanted a live band. We found an amazing band called The Suburbians. We were really lucky to have them play as they have subsequently gone on tour in Canada and launched their debut album – I think we were their last ever wedding! I made sure everyone joined me on the dance floor and the band repaid me by allowing me to join them in singing ‘Brown Eyed Girl’. At the end of the night, when everyone wanted an encore, they sang one of their own songs ‘Red Dress’, but changed the lyrics to ‘White Dress’ – loved it!
Our first dance was to ‘Crazy Love’ by Van Morrison. Nick chose it, he says the lyrics encapsulate how he feels about me.
Having the ceremony and reception in one venue we’d also had to select our own music for the service. I love film soundtracks, so we made it a bit of a theme. I came down the aisle to ‘Glasgow Theme’ from Love Actually; during the signing of the register we played ‘Maestro’ from The Holiday and ‘Love Theme’ from Romeo and Juliet; and after the service as we exited to the garden, we played ‘Business’ and ‘Ball’ from Plunkett and Macleane.
Quiz Cards, Canapés And Cocktails.
For Our favours we had Chinese fortune sticks and wedding quiz cards from Cox & Cox.
The beauty of holding your wedding at Frederick’s is that Renata and her team take care of as little or as much as you like – the restaurant’s flower displays were ordered to match our theme, she printed and displayed our table plan and table names, and printed the menus and name cards. There are two indoor trees – very Kate and Wills – and we asked for fairy lights to be put in them. The garden was a great space for champagne after the service and photos – it’s a central location but you can’t hear the business of Upper Street outside. The service staff were fantastic, as were the canapés and meal – the benefit of holding your wedding in a top restaurant!
The evening at Frederick’s wound up at 11pm. As it was a Sunday we thought that many of our friends would need to get home to bed. But for those who wanted to carry on chatting and celebrating, we booked an area at my favourite cocktail bar around the corner, 69 Colebrook Row. It was fun walking down the cobbled street in my wedding dress and one final night-cap in an intimate setting was a great way to end a fantastic day!
There is such a lovely vibe to this wedding… I had to resist simply filling every template with images of people just smiling and hugging! Looking back on it maybe I didn’t resist that much… but hey – we like to show the love on RMW…