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City Celebration With Vegan Wedding Food At The East Dulwich Tavern

Relaxed weddings where the couple do things their way are what we’re all about here at RMW. We love Mel & Ollie’s attitude to planning, they did everything together, both taking an equal role. They wore exactly what they wanted, including a customised Little Mermaid jacket…I’ll let you take a peak at the wedding to see if it was Mel or Ollie sporting that number 😉 and they served their guests vegan wedding food because they are both vegans. And that’s just as it should be. It’s your day, so do as you please. Guests have a fabulous time when the wedding reflects YOU. After all, they are there to celebrate YOUR love.

Mel and Ollie opted for a dream team of The Curries and This Modern Revelry to capture their day, so sit back, relax and enjoy because this wedding is going to knock your socks off.

The East Dulwich Tavern Wedding

Mel & Ollie:
Mel: We only ended up looking at 2 venues in total. The first of which was going to be much more centred around a “traditional” wedding – the thought of selecting napkins from a napkin menu (yes that exists!) just wasn’t for us and therefore we decided we wanted something much more casual. We came across the Asylum Chapel whilst looking on Pinterest for wedding inspiration and both instantly fell in love – we just knew it was the place we wanted to say “we do”! 

Ollie: On the day, we all took a London red bus from the chapel to our reception at the East Dulwich Tavern. We chose this venue because they allowed us to decorate however we wished and we could set up the day before. It’s amazing what some fairy lights and fresh flowers can do! I knew I wanted to be heavily involved in the whole wedding planning process; it’s definitely not just a brides day – it’s our day! We do everything together any way and figured planning our wedding wouldn’t be any different.

Ethical Wedding Dress From Minna Hepburn

Mel: I tried on a few dresses before finding “the one”. I had my heart set initially on a particular dress I’d seen online but when I tried it on I didn’t get “that” feeling so kept looking. I eventually came across Minna Hepburn, an ethical bridal shop set in an attic of a church in Brixton. I loved working with them to bring my dress to life and as soon as I tried it on I knew it was the dress I wanted to marry Ollie in. The veil was also by Minna and had this beautiful delicate crochet detail running through. I wore it all day and night – it was so comfortable I totally forgot it was there! I wanted my shoes to be my “something blue” and found a velvet pair on ASOS that I loved – although I slipped into some Converse for the dancing later on! It was so important for me to still feel (and look!) like me on the day and so I used vegan and cruelty free makeup artist Katie Adamson who was wonderful. Ollie surprised me on the morning of the wedding with a faux leather jacket painted by Doodle Diamonds with my favourite Disney movie The Little Mermaid!

Clashing Prints For The Groom

Ollie: I used Pinterest for a bit of inspiration and knew I wanted a patterned suit, however I wasn’t too fussed to have anything specially made. That’s when ASOS came to the rescue with a green check suit by Farah Vintage. I loved the idea of clashing prints and textures so opted for a Burton grey waistcoat and then a floral printed tie from Moss Bros to coincide with the ceremony flowers. Sadly I lost my father several years ago and so Mel had a custom lapel pin of my dads signature made for me by Sarah Meredith. It was such an emotional moment opening the gift on the morning of the wedding and just added that special finishing touch to my suit.

The Decor

Mel: We didn’t really have a colour scheme as such, I just knew I wanted soft pink peonies and lots of dark green foliage in my bouquet which was what most of our colours were then based around. I loved the moodiness of the chapel and the pale blue highlighted in some of the wall texture inspired our invitations and ceremony stationary. We made all the stationery by hand, again being influenced by  the decaying walls of the chapel but the softness of the romantic atmosphere too.

Ollie: I designed the save the dates and invitations which we sent out online via Wix.com which was a real money saver and enabled us to gather all the RSVPs in a much more organised and timely manner. 


The Flowers

Mel: I knew instantly that I wanted my friend Sally from Petal&Bow to create all of our flowers. She really captured my vibe of wanting my bouquet to “look like I’ve gone out into the field and gathered lots of foliage and flowers!” I didn’t want anything to look too put together. I’d spent the last few months gathering odd bits of lace and crochet to add as long bouquet ties. She also created a beautiful flower crown for my MOH and the ceremony arch full of dark leafy foliage was a dream. To decorate the reception venue, I took my mum and MOH to the Covent Garden flower market the day before the wedding to pick lots of blooms to fill odd bottles and vases that my sister and I had been collecting in the lead up to the big day. We then set these up on tables in scattered groupings the day before. I loved the dark greens, dusky pinks and vibrant pops of purple! 

Ollie: I really wanted a circle arch for the ceremony and set to making this myself, bending copper piping into the right shape – a ready made arch was quite expensive to buy and coming from an engineering background I knew I could make this myself! Sally then added in the gorgeous foliage on the day and scattered leaves down the aisle ready for Mel’s entrance. I was quite particular about the buttonholes – again wanting something foliage heavy and mixing herbs for added texture and detail.

The Ceremony

Ollie: This was the most important part of the day for us. We had one of Mel’s best friends singing acoustic versions of some of our favourite songs whilst our guests were taking their seats. She performed Biffy Clyro’s “Many of Horror” as the aisle song. Mel walked in just as the lyrics were “when we collide we come together” – an unforgettable moment for me. She then sang a remix of Beyoncé’s “End Of Time” when we walked back up the aisle and for our indoor confetti moment which was really fun!

Mel: We had a registrar perform our ceremony and asked my Grandad to do a reading which he chose himself called “A bridge across forever”. It was really lovely having him select something that reminded him of us! Ollie’s sister then did our second reading which was the lyrics to Bruce Springsteen’s “Wait For Me”. We both also decided to write our own vows to really personalise the ceremony – it was such a special moment making promises to each other in front of everyone we love. The ceremony flew by but a fond memory was the local ice cream truck which decided to turn up playing it’s tune just as we’d said “I do!” It definitely lightened the mood after the seriousness of the ceremony!

The Music

Ollie: We used DJ Jules as our entertainment for the evening. We had our first dance to Mumford and Sons “I Will Wait” followed by some Jewish dancing that Mel arranged with Jules beforehand as a surprise for me! We also had a Kisstory remix thrown in and ended the evening dancing to “Under The Sea” from The Little Mermaid! 

Vegan Wedding Food

Ollie: With us both being vegan we really wanted the food to reflect us and decided against the formal sit down meal and instead had a big buffet of all our favourite foods! We both have a real sweet tooth and so after the ceremony we opted for some epic vegan doughnuts made by the awesome Borough22 who was brilliant through the whole ordering (and sampling!) process. Originally we wanted to hire a bar for outside the chapel to serve drinks from, but it was a little out of our budget range so instead we decided to make our own along with a matching doughnut board! It was so much fun making these together and added a real personal touch to the day. The guys at East Dulwich Tavern were absolutely fantastic and worked with us both to create a fully vegan menu for the evening feast! We had everything from mini burgers and fries to falafel and hummus and a huge array of marinated vegetables. The food went down an absolute storm with our guests which was really great to hear as we expect some were a little apprehensive about coming to a vegan wedding!

Mel: It was really important for me to have at least an element of my home town incorporated into the wedding so when we came up with the idea of having a vegan dessert table full of lots of sweet treats we had to get Blondes from Hull on board. They provided all of our desserts including Oreo brownies, lemon drizzle and rocky road to name but a few! To save costs on a ‘wedding’ cake, we decided to order individual cakes from Rubys of London and just add them to our own tiered cake stand. I made the floral topper myself using artificial flowers which sat on top perfectly! We also made little ‘midnight snack’ goodie bags for our guests to fill before they went home. Me and Ollie even filled a bag up ourselves and one of my favourite memories of the day is sitting together on our bed in the hotel room eating our wedding cake and reminiscing about the amazing day we’d just had!

The Photography & Film

Mel: Photographers were our number one priority when it came to planning the wedding. We really wanted someone who would capture all the emotions of the day but blend into the background and go unnoticed. We loved the work of The Curries and as soon as we met them we knew they were the right photographers for us. We are in love with all of the images and special moments they captured!

Ollie: We went back and forth on videographers due to budget but a few weeks before the wedding we watched a home video of my late dad and just being able to see him almost in person when he is no longer here with us made us realise the importance of capturing some video footage of the day. We had previously reached out to This Modern Revelry and were so stoked they were still available last minute to capture our day.

Those guys along with The Curries were such an epic wedding dream team and we had a lot of fun capturing images with them – I think that’s one of the reasons why we are laughing so much on almost every photo or video clip!

Advice

Mel: When you start planning, work out what truly matters most to you on your day. It’s easy to get carried away but having a list of priorities will keep you grounded! We also had a monthly checklist so we could plan and tick off everything we wanted to achieve that month. It seemed less hectic and full on planning by month rather than week.

Ollie: Definitely take time throughout the day to step away just the two of you – it sounds cliche but savour every moment because it really does go by so quickly!

{Watch The Film}

Photography by The Curries
Author: Fern Godfrey
Fern spends most of her time dreaming about weddings and trying to convince her long-suffering boyfriend to propose. Lucky enough to live in sunny Cornwall, if you need her – you’ll find her at beach.

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