Zoe and Nathan are possibly one of the chicest couples whose wedding day I’ve ever had the pleasure of blogging. Everything is utterly elegant, from their exquisite wedding cake, to Zoe’s fishtail Pronovias lace frock and her savvy maids. The pair said I do in January starting the brand new year off with a bang as sparkly new Mr & Mrs at the iconic ICA in the centre of London.
I’m more than a little bit jealous since groom Nathan is a shoe designer so he willingly took Zoe to Manolo Blahnik to look for her wedding shoes! What a dreamboat! I’m not going to say too much more but instead will let the pictures, taken by David Jenkins do all the talking…
The Bride’s Fashion
Zoe The Bride: A lot of people thought we were mad to get married in January and I was expecting lots of soggy photos but the weather was beautiful on the day. Cold but very sunny!
As we were keen from the start on a small, intimate day with a few more people to join in the evening we struggled to find a venue in London that could fit 25 guests. All the venues were suitable for either under 16 people or for over 100!
As soon as we saw the ICA we knew it was perfect! Just the right size to have the Ceremony and Wedding Breakfast for a party of our size and in a beautiful building in an iconic location. As Nathan and I are both designers it was also quite nice to have the wedding above an art gallery!
Our catering was provided by Peyton & Byrne and was very tasty! Despite the small numbers they were extremely flexible and all of our guests could chose their own menu in advance rather than us creating a set menu.
My dress was from Pronovias and was a fishtail design. I’d had in my mind before hand that this was the style I wanted but dutifully tried on lots of different styles – just to make sure! I think it is really good to do this as sometimes what you think you want you realise doesn’t actually work for you and vice versa. I was really keen on lace sleeves but it really didn’t suit me. I knew my dress was The One when it felt like I was wearing the dress not the dress wearing me and I didn’t want to take it off!
I always knew I wanted to wear a veil and felt like a ‘proper’ bride as soon as I had it on! The veil was from Pronovias. In the evening I switched to a jewelled hair comb from Jenny Packham to add a bit of sparkle. Otherwise I kept my jewellery very simple with just a pair of drop earrings my parents had bought for my birthday.
I’m lucky in that Nathan is a shoe designer so he willingly took me to Manolo Blahnik to look for my wedding shoes! I’m not really a fan of Sex and the City so didn’t realise the significance of the Hangisi satin shoe in Blue until afterwards. Nathan won’t admit it but he likes SATC and he knew what he was doing!
They are beautiful shoes and they really made me feel ‘complete’ on the day and of course they were perfect as my something blue!I think that’s one of the fun things about getting married – you just treat yourselves to things you’d never in a million years get to have normally!
I chose to have someone come and do my make up on the morning of the wedding as knew I would feel too stressed if my eyeliner went wobbly by doing it myself! I found the brilliant Kristina Gasperas online and went to her studio in Richmond for an initial trial a few months before the wedding. She really listened to what I wanted which was a natural yet polished look plus Kristina was a very calming influence on the morning!
My friend Juan who is a great hairstylist did my hair. He is really good fun too so was lovely he was there! My mum took a shine to him!
Our flowers were by Gail Smith who was recommended to us by the ICA. We had quite a clear idea of how we wanted the flowers to look but had no real idea on the specific flowers needed to achieve it.
We wanted classic spring time flowers in white and blush with arrangements that looked naturally put together and not too neat. Gail was great at taking our direction and applying it into the perfect selection of blooms. The one flower we did especially ask for were Honeymoon Tulips which I had in my bouquet. It was actually really helpful that as Gail does a lot of events at the ICA she knew from experience what works particularly well in the space.
My two best friends Nina and Zoe were my bridesmaids. As our wedding was a city wedding a longer flowing style somehow didn’t seem right. These neat tailored dresses just seemed to suit the location.
The dresses we bought were from Reiss. Both ladies looked gorgeous and the rich, dark navy worked so well with the blush and gold highlights running through out our colour scheme. They have both also been able to wear their dresses again since!
Nathan’s Best Man Rob wore a Paul Smith suit. All the men wore navy suits with different patterned versions of navy and cream tie.
Nathan wore Paul Smith head to toe – a perk of our jobs at the time! His navy double breasted suit was paired with a navy waistcoat and he had a navy and cream tie.
His shoes were Paul Smith for John Lobb and were particularly special as Nathan had helped work on this collaboration. Those shoes are his pride and joy! A tip from the staff at Paul Smith’s Albemarle Street store was to wear braces instead of a belt to ensure a cleaner look and so he bought a white pair from Jermyn St. Well if they are good enough for James Bond! He always looks nice and dresses well but that day he was especially handsome and I felt so proud of him.
David Jenkins photographed our wedding. It was important to us that our photographs were as authentic and natural as possible and as soon as we saw David’s portfolio of work and saw how instinctively he subtly captures those special moments we knew he was the prefect choice.
We met with David a few weeks before the wedding and he is such a nice guy we immediately felt at ease which as someone who hates having their photograph taken was important! It was David’s idea to take outdoor shots on Horseguard Parade which was perfect and in the end we didn’t even notice he was snapping away all day! David captured our day perfectly and the photos are also presented in a beautiful album.
I thought this would be simple but ended up being the very last thing to tick off my To Do list!
It was actually a bit of a struggle to find a bakery that would make a cake for 70 guests. Everyone seemed to only offer cake for 100+ guests. A few friends who were married had said not to worry about a cake but for us cutting the cake was one of the symbolic parts of the day that we wanted to do.
Eventually Abigail Bloom came to the rescue after again being highly recommended by the ICA. Abigail is so helpful and flexible as well as being such a talented baker.
Although a lot of her cakes are for a larger number of guests we took the top two tiers from an existing larger cake and had it has our complete two tier cake. The top tier was carrot cake and the bottom tier was lemon drizzle. Neither Nathan or I actually got to try any but everyone said it was lovely and it look beautiful.
From the start we both knew we wanted a live band with a sax player! We thought Motown could be a crowd pleaser to get everyone dancing in the evening and Motown Gold was the very first band we came across via EarCandy.
They were amazing and have recommended to everyone! Our first song was not in there usual repertoire but they learnt it especially for us and they really did have everyone in a party mood!
The band not turning up was one of my pre wedding nightmares but as they booked through the Earcandy agency there was always a point of contact and a back up if any problem should have happened.
Our first dance was a medley of Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You by Frankie Valli and Dancing in the Dark by Bruce Springsteen. Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You because one of our first dates was to see Jersey Boys together and Dancing in the Dark because we have just have so many good memories dancing to this song! Inspired by Strickly we even had dance lessons before hand to feel a bit more confident but on the night we forgot all the steps anyway!
We only really had favours because I had found some really pretty glassine bags with gold foil spots on Etsy that I just had to use! I filled each bag with love themed sweets such as Mr & Mrs rock and jelly love hearts. For Nathan’s nieces who were 2 and 5 at the time I filled their bags with play jewellery and crayons to keep them occupied!
Together we had a clear idea from the start about how we wanted our day to be which was essentially relaxed and intimate and we made sure we did the things we wanted rather than what we thought we should do to please other people. Luckily our families are very easy going so it wasn’t really a struggle!
We wanted the ceremony to feel like a family gathering and the meal afterwards to feel like a family meal rather than a formal wedding breakfast. Despite the very special surroundings this is exactly how it felt. It was all about being together with our most favourite people. It really was the most special day.