Sara and Nik are a super stylish couple who wanted to get married in London where they live. They opted for a ceremony at Old Marylebone Town Hall followed by a reception at the cool New Street Grill.
They ended up having an iconic British feel to their wedding day, with a red, white and blue colour scheme and a route master bus.
Sara looked incredible with her retro feel dress and blue shoes, i totally love her updo too. Nik and the boys went for chinos and bow ties, while the bridesmaids looked pretty in blue. They also made some lovely touches themselves and created the beautiful bouquets. Wow!
Thanks so much to the brilliant We Heart Pictures for sharing their images with us today.
The Vision for the Day… We had never originally set out to have a particular theme. We knew what we didn’t want which was something too modern, contemporary or traditional but we also didn’t want to be too alternative. It was our choices that ended up creating our theme as opposed to choosing things based on a set theme. We suppose it ended up with a little bit of a nod to 50s retro with the dress, the Routemaster bus and the band with a colour palate of red, white and blue because of the iconic British things like the Routemaster bus, black cab that you always see around London (and Nik’s red trousers!). Our cake even ended up using this accidental colour palate as all the cheeses had a white edge and we used blueberries and raspberries to decorate it as opposed to flowers.
The Venue… We had been together almost 10 years before we got engaged and had never spoken much about getting married but had thought we might get married in Spain in an outdoor ceremony with lots of sunshine and a giant paella. Then, when we got engaged it just didn’t seem like what we wanted any more and decided that it would mean more to get married in the City where we live.
As soon as we decided to get married in London we instinctively knew what we did and didn’t want. We already knew that we wanted our ceremony in Westminster Register Office (The Old Marylebone Town Hall) we’d never been inside before we booked it but there was just something about it from the outside that seemed like it was perfect. We’d driven past it loads and seeing the red Routemaster buses outside was always pretty special.
We also had a reception venue in in Soho called House of St Barnabas. It’s in an old Grade 1 listed Georgian Townhouse, it’s a private members club who hire rooms for events but it’s not stuffy and pretentious like other London members’ clubs and would have been really cool. It’s got a secret chapel and garden out the back that you’d have no idea is there when walking past the front on Dean Street. We had imagined having an upside down type wedding with our band playing in the chapel at the end of the night as opposed to saying our vows in one. It’s a beautiful building that’s not afraid to have some fun and it’s got a heart too as it’s set up as a charity to help London’s homeless.
Unfortunately, House of St Barnabas was having a refurb and weren’t taking any bookings. We then started our search for alternatives. We considered Castle Gibson, Islington Metal Works, St Chads Place and Devonshire Terrace but stumbled across New Street Grill by absolute fortune. As soon as we saw it we knew it was the place. Perfect location, nice atmosphere, relaxed and unfussy. We actually think we ended up with a better venue than if HoSB had been available. The team at New Street Grill were excellent and we’re so pleased to have had the reception there.
The Dress + Accessories… My dress is called Bille from Blue Bridal. They’re a UK designer with their workshop in Cardiff. http://www.bluebridalwear.co.uk/
I wanted a dress that had a retro feel to it and had seen some short dresses before. My dress had a 50s thing going on which felt like it would be perfect with the old 1950’s Routemaster bus and Rockabily band we’d already chosen. I say these things like I chose the dress to match the other things we’d already chosen but really I just felt like a short dress fit my personality better and when I saw it in a magazine I already knew it was the one. I phoned the designer in Cardiff and they recommended a local shop where they could send the sample. I had only tried on one other dress before going to Grace of Westcott boutique in Surrey to try my dress (which I almost bought the first day I tried it on but later changed my mind). Barbara at Grace was excellent and spent some one-on-one time with me trying on different styles to make sure I was happy with my decision before going ahead and ordering my dress.
It was quite a quick decision because as soon as I’d seen the dress in the magazine I knew it was the one for me. I did however come across some other dresses that looked like they would have been good too at The Vintage Wedding Dress Company http://www.thevintageweddingdresscompany.com/charliebrear/
My shoes were from Irregular Choice. I actually chose my shoes before I’d even seen that picture of my dress in the magazine so had no idea what type of dress I’d be wearing. I’m not really a fan of the traditional ivory satin wedding shoes and I knew that Irregular Choice do a nice range of fun and fashionable wedding shoes. Another one of the We Heart Pictures brides is wearing some Irregular Choice shoes and they had sparked my inspiration of where to look. In the end when I went into the Carnaby Street store I saw the blue ones with birds and thought they were perfect. Later on they ended up working with the slight 50s theme and worked as my something blue, they were also a bit more original than those Vivienne Westwood shoes with hearts on the front but I liked those too and would have considered them if I’d have not found my shoes first.
I went for hair and make up that I’d normally wear every day, a touch of foundation, blusher, eye-liner, a touch of chloe perfume and some red lips to match our red nails and give a slight retro edge without being too much of a theme. I wanted to do my own make up so went to MAC for a lesson a month or so before the wedding for some hints and tips. I ended up just following my own style on the day anyway but they gave some useful tips on what types of foundation would be best for all day wear.
We (me and the bridesmaids) got our nails done the day before the wedding at MW Nails in Shoreditch. It’s a really cool nail bar in Spitalfields Market that’s decked out like a vintage airplane (fitting because I work for an airline and I like quirkly and vintage things). They even serve you a glass of bubbles as you’re having your nails done. http://www.mwnails.com/
Groom’s Attire… We didn’t want anyone having to feel too formal so went for a relaxed outfit for the groomsmen with beige chinos from John Lewis and blue jackets from H.E. by Mango. The groomsmens’ bow ties had a touch of pink to match my Mum’s outfit (and Nik’s had a touch of red to match his Mum’s outfit) from an American site http://www.thetiebar.com/
The Readings + Music… The ceremony was so much fun. We had thought about the weddings we’ve been to in Churches where everyone sings a song and we thought it would be fun to do something similar in the Register Office. Every time we drive home from work we sing Power of Love by Huey Lewis and The News, so we thought this would be pretty fitting. To make sure that everyone could join in we printed out the words and placed them in some vintage books along with the order of service. We were concerned before the ceremony that no-one would join in and it would just be us at the front singing away but it was a risk that paid off, the registrar even joined in! We would have done it no matter what though :)
Two of Nik’s really good friends did readings at the ceremony too. They were excellent. Oli read the words to a song from the Wedding Singer (I want to grow old with you) and John read out a really funny poem that he’d made up. It was absolutely brilliant!
We’d been to a friend’s party last year at Blue’s Kitchen in Camden and seen a really cool Rockabilly band there. I couldn’t remember their name but emailed the guys at Blue’s Kitchen and they told me who they were. We got in touch with the band The Milkshakers and booked them up straight away. We then had iPod music on through the rest of the night at the bar.
Our first dance was to ‘Hallelujah I Love Her So’ by Ray Charles. Nik and I have complete polar opposite taste in music so this was perfect as something we both liked. We learnt how to do some Lindyhop and Charleston for our first dance by going to some lessons and classes at a Lindyhop class in Hammersmith. The dance teacher there was absolutely amazing and taught us some brilliant stuff. We’re going to carry on going to the classes since the wedding as it was so much fun learning.
Beautiful Bridesmaids… We had three bridesmaids and three groomsmen. The bridesmaid dresses were designed by Nik’s sister and made through a contact in China, shoes were from ALDO. I’d asked the girls what colour they’d all prefer wearing and we came up with blue as a unanimous result. It later turned out that this worked into a red, white a blue colour palate to reflect our London wedding with iconic British things like the Routemaster bus, Black cabs etc…
The Flowers… The most fun part of the wedding preps the day before the wedding. The bridesmaids and I got up early on the Friday morning to go to the Flower Market in Vauxhall. I wanted to use red, white and pink flowers for the bouquets so they’d match my dress, my mum and Nik’s Mum. I also really like colour clashing with pink and red and thought that it worked really well in the bouquets against the blue of the girls’ dresses.
I had done some YouTube tutorials on how to make bouquets so decided I would give it a go. I wasn’t worried at all how they might turn out as I thought it would all be part of the fun and they turned out far better than I ever could have imagined plus we made a huge saving on our wedding budget here by making them ourselves (£220 to make 14 matching bouquets). We used the same bouquets as ours as the table centrepieces too which we sat in some Kilner type jars from Ikea which I already had.
The Cake… We bought the cheeses for the cake from Neals Yard Dairy at Borough Market, it turned out to be pretty reasonable versus other pre-made cheese wedding cakes we’d seen online. Plus, it was really easy to organise. Nik took them a picture of what we wanted, they recommended the cheeses and we ordered it for collection the Thursday before the wedding.
Your Photographer… Our most special moments though are definitely the photos. I don’t think there’s been a day gone by that I haven’t looked at them. We love the ones in the station and at the market, they look so fun, as do the photos with the bus and in the reception venue but most of all our favourite photo is the one of Nik’s grandma on FaceTime with her hat on <3 (we had our families do FaceTime with mine and Nik’s grandmas as they couldn’t make the wedding but at least they got to see the most important bit of the day at the ceremony!
The Details + Decor… We didn’t have any food favours for guests, although the place names (pegs with a red wooden heart) were kind of our favours to the guests. Nik and I got engaged at Oktoberfest in Munich and it was a subtle nod to that as everyone at Oktoberfest was wearing a peg with their name and a motif on it.
Our wedding breakfast menu was based around what New Street Grill do best, they’re a steak place and they have a fish restaurant next door. Starter options were Scallops with pea puree or Asparagus salad, main options were Sea Bass with roast beetroot or Steak, deserts were Chocolate pot or Eton Mess. Our favourites type of foods :) We also had a hog roast for our evening guests, it looked amazing and is making me hungry just thinking about it.
Our invitations to the wedding were created by one of the Bridesmaid’s boyfriends. He’s a graphic designer so made them up for us as monopoly invites as our key locations were at Marylebone and Liverpool Street. Our RSVP cards were little yellow chance cards.
The table plan was a simple blackboard with everyone’s names on it listed under real London street names, Love Lane, Bride Court, Groom Crescent, Hayes Grove and the table names were edited from a photo with these street names.
We bought a vintage suitcase from eBay to place all of our wedding cards in. It was red with a BEA (a former name of British Airways) label on it. We sat a brunette Barbie and Ken in the suitcase wearing matching outfits to us. I went through 3 Kens to try and find one that I felt looked most like Nik.
Advice for Other Couples… Have fun, get someone to FaceTime your loved ones who can’t be there, take a second pair of shoes (especially if you plan on dancing a lot), put a card behind the bar (or take a bag with some money in it), take some paracetamol (even more reason to have a small bag somewhere), take some touch up make up, think about a receiving line if you want one, how it will work and where you’ll do it (the thought had never crossed our mind before and we kind of ended up doing it twice coming out of the Register office and when arriving at New Street), ask your bus company if they have anyone booked after you so you’ll know ahead of time if they will be in a rush to move you about (or you can discuss alternative options), have one of your groomsmen announce your evening food, have signs up to the photobooth if it’s in a low traffic area, create a full day running order for your guests at the reception (could just be a chalk bord), book a cab to take you home (we flagged one on the street, it was very strange in a wedding dress but we hadn’t planned how we’d get home and after a few drinks autopilot kicks in for how you’d normally get home on a night out in town), think about all the in-between moments. We’d thought about all the biggies; cermony, photos, bus, reception, cake, dancing but missed quite a few things off in between like where we’d do the receiving line and how we’d get home but it actually worked out ok in the end being a little bit unplanned.. remember that if anything doesn’t go according to plan then it doesn’t matter because you’re probably the only person who knew what the original plan was anyway, the most important thing is to enjoy the day with your new husband, try to get a moment where it’s just the two of you.
Credit Where Credit is Due…
Photography: We Heart Pictures
Venue: New Street Grill
Dress: Blue Bridal
Ties: The Tie Bar
Wow wee, i sooo love this wedding. Thanks so much to Sara and Nik for sharing their gorgeous day with us XOXO Lou