We are in Hackney, East London this morning with Amy and Paul’s fuss free city celebration held on the 27th June 2015. They tied the knot at Hackney Town Hall followed by a good old fashioned knees up at The Peasant pub.
Everything was kept low key and relaxed, being parents to a baby it was essential that the planning was simple and without stress. They scrapped oodles of details and décor and focused on giving their guests a great party atmosphere. Isn’t that totally brilliant?
Amy looked utterly elegant in Marilyn by Augusta Jones which she added a bow belt too, so swishy and romantic. The bridesmaids wore sweet black dresses while the gents wore their own suits, I really adore Paul’s tweed number.
Thanks so much to Haywood Jones Photography for sending over these delightful shots.
THE PROPOSAL | We got engaged whilst travelling in Asia. We were trekking on our own in the Nepalese Himalayas. The big question popped out on an isolated hillside and we celebrated in style by spending the evening in the equivalent of a shed with no heating with snow coming in through the cracks – wearing every single item of clothing we had with us!
THE VISION | We just wanted to keep it really simple, unpretentious and down to Earth. More of a party than a formal occasion. Amy’s family is originally from Hackney and we’ve lived in London for 10 years. With all of our friends here it feels like home so the theme was (loosely!) an East London pub proper knees up.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | Once we’d found the right ceremony and evening venue the rest was simple. We deliberately kept everything as simple as possible, partly because we had just had a young baby so were too tired to stress over everything! We’re big believers in the fact that, as long as you’ve got the people you care about there with you, the rest is just details not worth worrying about. The only headache we had was making sure our family got the right amount of sleep in our 6 month old so he wasn’t screaming at the ceremony! That and ensuring we had a babysitter to pick him up before everyone got too drunk to look after him!
BUDGET | Approx £14k in total.
THE VENUE | Our ceremony was at Hackney Town Hall. The reception was at The Peasant in Clerkenwell. We looked at a few pubs and this was perfect – a big Victorian pub with a ready made interior (we didn’t need to add to it), great beer and, most importantly, great staff.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My dress was from Morgan Davies and is by Augusta Jones (Marilyn) – I customised it by removing the top netting and adding a chunkier belt. I just wanted a really classic look that wouldn’t age over time – I want my children to look back at my wedding dress and approve!
FINDING THE DRESS | I would say this was probably the hardest decision for me. I was starting to lose hope that I would find my dream dress, but then I nipped into this shop I had noticed next to The Peasant in my lunch break one day – I wish I could say I fell in love with it immediately but because I’m quite critical, I did try it on about 4 times before I decided to definitely go for it and even then I still thought, I wonder if there’s another dress out there for me! But I knew I had to make a decision! I made the mistake of going into Browns and trying on an amazing £8,000 couture gown just for fun – I would not advise you to try on a dress you can’t afford as you might just fall in love with it. The only issue was we had a baby in-between finding my dress and actually getting married so it was a little bit tight around the top!!
GROOM’S ATTIRE | A tweed suit from Asos and shirt and tie from TM Lewin. Fortunately Paul already had the shoes – Chester Brogues by Loake (the only item of clothing he’s spent more than about £40 on in the past decade!)
THE READINGS & MUSIC | Our readings were a mix of serious and fun. It didn’t take us too long to find them – we were pretty set on where we landed. Music was also easy except our first dance…. there were loads of songs we wanted but most turned out to be either too hard to dance to or had inappropriate lyrics!
Readings: Your Personal Penguin by Sandra Boynton, The Amber Spyglass by Phillip Pullman and The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks.
Ceremony Music: Bon Iver – Skinny Love, Dennis Kamakahi – Ülili E (vocal duet with David Kamakahi) and Jake Bugg – Simple As This.
First Dance: Al Green – Let’s stay together.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | Becky Moore, Laura Russell, Phoebe Blossom, Kirsty Cordingley.
THE FLOWERS | Amy’s bridesmaid and general all-round arts and crafts wonderwoman Phoebe did these for us. She made simple but beautiful decorations for jam jars and bottles – a mixture of lavender, baby’s breath and white roses (purchased from Covent Garden flower market at the crack of dawn!)
THE CAKE | Again, we used our friends talents. Lizzie made her first ever wedding cake and Nicola made a selection of gorgeous cup cakes. Our only error is we were having such good fun, that we didn’t notice the time and forgot to actually cut the cakes our friends had lovingly made!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Bethan from Haywood Jones Photography was our photographer. We loved her style and the whole process was hassle free, easy and fun.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Fortunately the pub was kitted out. We didn’t have to do a thing except add a little bunting. The upstairs was a traditional brasserie with lots of French art and posters. Downstairs was decked out with brilliant music posters.
THE HONEYMOON | With a young baby we only managed to get ourselves away for a few nights at the Pig in Brockenhurst. Believe it or not, nearly a year later, we’re still planning our proper honeymoon! It keeps changing but current thinking is Mauritius.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Too many to pick from but if pushed we’d say the rave and glowstick section of the disco, everyone being 9/10 drunk and walking back to our air bnb through the streets of London getting well wishes from people at kicking out time and managing to fit in a bag of chips at a kebab house on Old Street! We also hired an old London bus with plenty of Prosecco to take us all to the venue – despite being a bit hot and sweaty, it was great fun!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Don’t sweat the small stuff. Find a venue you love, invite the people you want there and you’ll have a great time. Nobody ever remembers small stuff like table decorations or favours. Also, spend money where it’s important to you rather than where you feel you should. Finally, plan everything the way you want it. It is your wedding day after all. For a bride – getting married on a hot and windy day will ruin your hair before you get to the ceremony and there’s nothing you can do about it so don’t stress!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Haywood Jones Photography – husband and wife photographer team.
Venue | The Peasant (DJ Lee is recommended by the venue – he was amazing and we’re pretty fussy about our music!)
Wedding dress & accessories | Morgan Davies Bridal
London bus hire company | Ensign Bus Hire
Photo Booth | Vintage Booth – fantastic open photo booth – brilliant to deal with and great value.
Many thanks to Amy and Paul for sharing their super fun nuptials with us xo Lou