The blue and yellow colour palette at this wedding is so uplifting. It gives a really fun, modern feel to the celebrations, not to mention bucket loads of personality.
Ami and Peter were married on the 2nd July 2016 at Charlton House, followed by a party on a bus, a picnic in the park and finally a party at Hackney City Farm in London. They really played with the décor and included spray painted toy animals as a nod to their quirky venue. There was also an abundance of happy sunflowers, bunting adorning the space and a home baked cake.
Ami’s dress was just the cutest ever. A pre-loved Ian Stuart number, which reveal a flash of her quirky footwear. Peter chose a tweed suit by Victor Valentine teamed with tan shoes and yellow tie. Such a joy filled summer loving wedding.
Thanks so much to Bai & Elle Photography for sharing these truly lovely photographs with us.
THE PROPOSAL | Peter proposed in Greenwich Park on a sunny Sunday afternoon in August 2015. It was 3rd time lucky as Peter had tried and failed to pop the question a couple of times before but had been thwarted once by tube strikes and once by rain. How very British.
THE VISION | We always knew we wanted to try and make our wedding ‘feel’ personal and we made all the decorative bits (invites, flowers, décor, place settings etc.) ourselves. We didn’t set out with any particular vision, but found we were influenced by the venue, so ended up having gold spray painted toy farm animals as our place settings – not something we ever imagined we’d have!
THE PLANNING PROCESS | Ami’s from Scotland, Peter’s from the south coast of England, but we’ve lived in London for many years, so we were always clear we were going to have the wedding in London to ensure the inconvenience of travelling was even shared by both families! Once that was settled we had a lot of fun wining and dining our way round lots of flashy and showy venues, but once we found Hackney City Farm the rest of the day suddenly seemed to fall into place around it. We really wanted to offer our guests a full day of fun and because Hackney City Farm is a working café during the day and doesn’t close to the public until 4pm we hired an old Routemaster bus and ended up planning a post-ceremony-pre-reception-wedding-picnic in Greenwich park!
BUDGET | We wanted to make sure our guests had a brilliant time but didn’t want to end up with an enormous bill at the end of it either. Through mum baking the wedding cake, godmothers making the decorations, and us making our own invitations we kept the budget manageable and made the day feel like it was ours, rather than something we bought off the shelf. In the end the cost came in at somewhere around £11,000, which is still quite a lot but weddings are an expensive business.
THE VENUE | We had the ceremony at Charlton House (a lovely Jacobean manor house nestled hidden near Greenwich Park), a picnic in Greenwich Park itself, a bit of a party on an old Routemaster bus, then our reception at Frizzante in Hackney City Farm. We didn’t want anywhere too formal and Hackney City Farm seemed perfect – plus the Agriturismo style food was delicious! Everywhere else we had been it seemed a case of ‘oh we’ll charge you extra for this and extra for that” (including toilet paper in one venue!!) whereas at Frizzante, Luca and the team were so friendly and helpful and it seemed to be a case of “oh and we’ll also do this and also throw in that for you”.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | The dress was second hand and I found it on Preloved. When I went to try the dress on at the lady’s house she also very kindly threw in my veil for free – when my mum burst into tears when I tried it on I knew I couldn’t say no! My shoes were from Irregular Choice and were surprisingly comfortable!
I can’t wear pierced earrings and despite trawling round nice jewellers, no one seems to sell clip on earrings – except for Claire’s Accessories, which is where my wedding earrings are from! The necklace was a graduation gift from my grandparents and my bracelet was the last gift my grandad gave to my grandma before he passed away and she wanted me to have it for my wedding day.
FINDING THE DRESS | This was a breeze. The dress is by Ian Stewart and I had been browsing his designs. I didn’t really have an idea of what I wanted but when I saw a picture of this dress I instantly liked it. I had been checking out eBay, Oxfam and second hand sites just out of interest when a friend mentioned Pre-loved. I was so lucky as I found this dress on Pre-loved, in my size. It fit perfectly and the rest is history.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | I’ve been wearing suits every-day for the last eight years and they’ve all been various shades of grey (!) or navy, so I wanted something a little bit different. I spotted a beautiful herringbone tweed three-piece by a small tailor called Victor Valentine and absolutely loved it. They are mail order but make suits to your size. The suit was stunning when it arrived and looked great on (everyone loved the red buttons!), however, wearing a heavy woollen tweed suit on one of the hottest days of the year may have been an error on my part!!!
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We chose two readings; a letter by John Steinbeck (we’re both big John Steinbeck fans) to his son on the subject of love (we really recommend giving it a read), and “A birthday” by Christina Rossetti which is a very sweet poem Ami has always liked. Ami walked down the aisle to “This time tomorrow” by The Kinks.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | There were five beautiful bridesmaids in five beautiful dresses. As the bridesmaids were spread out across the country whatsapp and ASOS were invaluable in helping to organise the final outfits. It was agreed for the bridesmaids to wear the same colour dress then each person chose their own style, something they were comfortable in for the day.
THE FLOWERS | Ami and her mum made the bouquets, buttonholes and flower arrangements themselves. We got up at atrocious-o’clock to get to New Covent Garden flower market (opens 4am) to choose the right flowers. This was a bit daunting and I would say it is a good idea to know exactly what you want and quantities before going as the sellers do not appreciate browsing and dithering! Although we tested some ideas with flowers we’d got from Columbia Road, there were a few unfriendly sellers who didn’t seem interested but I would recommend Zest Flowers for a friendly and professional service! It took a good few hours to make the bouquets but it’s easier than you think (definitely consult Youtube for hints and tips!)
THE CAKE | The cake was baked by Peter’s mum using over 12lbs of butter, sugar and flour, 15 lbs of fruit, over 30 eggs, and two bottles of brandy and ginger wine! Enough to feed a small army and then some.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Bai & Elle Photography were recommended through a friend, and they were perfect for our day. They are young, fun and take brilliantly imaginative and inventive photographs, and there’s the added bonus that they come as a pair so there wasn’t a special moment missed! They provided us with an excellent and professional service and the photos arrived shortly after the wedding in a beautifully presented gift box!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Our flower arrangements were a watering can which we got from the local DIY shop and a pot from Poundland with our flowers in it! Peter’s godmother very kindly made us 75metres of bunting and we bought some battery operated fairy lights to decorate the reception venue. Frizzante at Hackney City Farm also provided jam jars with sweet williams and lots of candles all around the venue which looked lovely. We had iris and sunflowers in little jam jars on the table and bought a load of plastic farm animals which we spray painted gold and used as place settings.
THE HONEYMOON | We spent a beautiful two weeks in Borneo, chilling on the beach, climbing Mount Kinabalu, heading into the rainforest, releasing baby turtles and getting acquainted with all the amazing wildlife!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | So many happy and fun memories… highlights include the Greenwich registrar continually mucking up the vows was an amusing highlight; Peter was continually referred to by his middle name and also as the wife! We had huge fun with one of Ami’s friends leading the wedding party in an impromptu ceilidh, and there were some really touching moments and memories during the speeches. We were also extremely lucky with the weather was another – it as bright sunshine after the ceremony and all throughout the picnic, after we got back on the bus the heavens opened – but it had all dried up by the time we got to Hackney City Farm, phew!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Every cliché people tell you is true – getting bizarrely stressed out during the planning stages, guest list drama and the day zipping by so fast! But go with your gut, do it the way you want to and make sure the day is filled with lots of love and don’t take it too seriously …aside from the vows that is!!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Bai & Elle Photography
Bus | This Bus – There are a few Routemaster companies out there but ThisBus were absolutely fantastic (you can eat and drink on the buses!) and the service both in terms of the organisation and the lovely guys who drove us around on the day was second to none. I would highly recommend them:
Venue | Charlton House – The ladies at Charlton House were lovely, so organised and everything went very smoothly. Charlton House is such a beautiful venue, even without additional decoration and has a large capacity for a civil ceremony which is just one of the reasons we ended up here.
Organisation | Task Rabbit – We couldn’t have organised our picnic in Greenwich Park without Dale and Sandie who we found via Task Rabbit. We weren’t sure how we could deliver the food and drink to the park and set up the tables without a lot of faffing around – so for any miscellaneous jobs for your wedding (or anything really) it’s a really great site to find people on to help out.
Hair | Pure Synergie Greenwich – did the bride’s, the bridesmaids’ and the mother of the bride’s hair – they were great, they arrived nice and early and certainly grafted to make sure we were all ready in time! They were a friendly team and did a brilliant job!
Band | Midnight Soul Train – A shout out to our awesome band too who kept us entertained and were flexible enough with the fact that the dinner and speeches vastly overran.
Oh so wonderful.
Ami and Peter, thanks so much to you both for sharing your amazing wedding with us here today xo Lou