The Angel Of Islington.

London London London!

Morning peeps, guess where we are going for todays dose of W-day Pretty?

Lauren and Nick married in July 2011 at Frederick’s Bar & Restaurant on Camden Passage, Angel Islington in… London! (was that not clear?)

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.”

Bespoke Headpiece.

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.

Lash Extensions.

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.

Peonie Replacements.

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!

The Suburbians.

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!

Crazy Love.

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!

Venue Frederick’s Bar & Restaurant

Dress Jesus Piero

Accessories Mary Franck Millinery

Boutique Morgan Davies

Shoes Rachel Simpson Venetia

Blooms The Real Flower Company

Tailor Charlie Allen

Photography Touch Photography

Band The Suburbians

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

Adam.

24 thoughts on “The Angel Of Islington.

  1. Brilliant wedding and this is just down the street from us! Seriously, Frederick’s is AMAZING. For any Londoners out there that hasn’t been there for dinner, drop what you’re doing now and just go. You won’t regret it.

    I also tried on a bunch of dresses at Morgan Davies and they were incredibly friendly and helpful, I highlight recommend them!

    I’ve been looking for peony-like roses so I’m definitely going to look these up and ask my florist back home about them.

    Congrats Lauren and Nick, you looked fabulous and everyone is so happy!

    xxx

  2. A lovely relaxed and personal wedding. The cake is amazing I can’t believe she made it that is one very talented lady! xx

  3. That is a seriously impressive cake – can’t believe it was made by an ‘amateur’! The peonies look incredibly real – and just incredible.

    The whole day just looks so much fun though – and I love the idea of walking to a bar at 11pm in your wedding dress.

  4. I think Lauren is one of the prettiest brides ever on here – so gorgeous!! And clearly talented as well – that cake is seriously amazeballs!

    x

  5. I know everyone is taken with the cake (it is amazing!) but I do like the look of those sundaes! …. Love the clothing in this wedding, the bride, the BM’s and the Groom all look so stylish X

  6. Love this wedding, ben is our photographer too and has so far done a family photoshoot and our engagement pics. All the pics are fab and I can’t wait for our wedding pics! Big Ben love xx

    The details in this wedding are gorgeous, love the peony roses, might have to look those up myself tho I’m having a David Austin moment right now too! Fab cake – no reason why not to make your own cake, you should go into business!

  7. Hi,
    Your wedding looks simply beautiful. I love your little touches.

    I was just wondering where you got your birdcage veil from?

    Many thanks
    Rebecca x

  8. This is one of the loveliest weddings I have seen in ages! LOVE the city/glam vibe I think that dress is absolutely divine. Congrats!

  9. @Shirley – omg I LOVE David Austin. My parents have loads of them in their garden and I was trying to explain to Tom at Christmas why they’re the best for roses…. They do do a cut wedding bouquet collection I think but I think that’ll be over my budget unfortunately!

  10. Yay a city wedding! everything looks so simple yet so chic! wonder if they still have those grey dresses in Reiss… off to have a look 🙂

  11. Hey peeps, thanks ever so much for all your kind comments & Adam – wicked selection, you fancy doing my blog posts 😉

    I lovvved shooting this wedding! and Lauren & Nick were truly a fab couple to work with 🙂 …..If you want to see more of their goreous wedding – I’ve popped up their slide-show on the blog.

    Ben xx

    P.s …Look forward to meeting some of you on Sat 😉

  12. Hey,

    Just wondered if the bride could tell us where she got her lash extensions? Considering it for my own wedding but worried about going somewhere rubbish, a recommendation would be great!

    xx

  13. What a fantastic wedding….beautiful head piece, lovely vibe, fantastic photos and what a very talented bride! The cake looked amazing….well done! admire doing the flowers on the morning of the wedding! We are decorating our venue ourselves as it is a bit of a blank canvas…..my bridal party may well be doing that on the morning also!

  14. My sister got married here – stunning venue! Totally chilled and super cool vibe to the day in very chic surroundings. So beautiful 🙂

  15. Completely divine! Lauren – that cake and those sugar peonies are INCREDIBLE! I thought they were real flowers!!

    I bet you’re so pleased that you went for that JP dress?! You look absolutely stunning, and the birdcage really set off the look.

    From a fellow peony-lover 😉

    x

  16. Hi Girls,

    Thank you so much for all of the hugely touching comments, especially about the cake. I enjoyed making it so much I am actually thinking about a career change…!

    @Rebecca – the birdcage veil and clip were handmade by Mary Franck Millinery – link at the end of the blog. She’s a very talented new milliner whose creations have already been sought after by Vogue!

    @Lizzie – I got my eyelash extensions done at a small tanning salon around the corner from where I work in Piccadilly Circus. I tried to get them done again recently for a holiday but unfortunately the girl who did them has left and not been replaced yet. I’ve also heard good things about Malika in Westfields Shepherd’s Bush. I had mine done a couple of days before the wedding. That way if you don’t like the look or they’re uncomfortable you can remove them with some oil based eye makeup remover. I had lengths 10-13. You can go shorter or much longer depending on the look you want.

    Just a word on David Austin roses. I also loved these but found their customer service non existent – all of the enquiries that I made went unanswered. The florist said that they also find it hard to supply in quantity. The Real Flower Company had amazing customer service, and the great thing about their roses is that they smell absolutely divine – like old english roses. You should pop along to Selfridges in London to have a look!

    Lots of love, Lauren x

  17. I can’t express myself for the wedding!!!So gorgeous!! And stunning wedding dress, stunning bridesmaid dresses, and adorable headpiece, all of these are enchanting!! And I really love the style of these photos!!

  18. Ahhh, lovely lovely! Dress is gorgeous, original, elegant, pretty. Lovely feeling to the whole day. That restaurant is where my fiance and I went on our first date so means a lot to me. xx

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