We’re getting all chic in the city today with Keira and James’ nuptials held on the 23rd May 2015. They were married at the Temple Church, which was followed by a big party at Brixton East in London. They were keen for a London wedding as it’s where they live and James proposed at the top of the Shard – so romantic.
They wanted to create a laid back atmosphere with a late finish and free bar. It looks as though a great time was indeed had by all. They kept the décor simple with a lavender colour scheme and they crafted paper cranes to decorate the space. I just love the rainbow mini meringues, the mismatched bridesmaid dresses and the gorgeous bouquets.
Keira chose to wear Jenny Packham’s ‘Odessa’ which looked absolutely stunning, while James was suited and booted in Reiss with a a Ted Baker tie. So stylish.
Babb Photo, thank you so much today for providing the amazing imagery.
THE PROPOSAL | James proposed just after sunset at the top of the Shard in London. This stemmed from a bit of a private joke (which I haven’t written here because I suspect that no-one else will find it funny). We then we went for a lovely dinner near Borough Market. It was a complete surprise and a wonderful evening.
THE VISION | For the wedding reception we wanted a great big party in London, which is where we live. We were looking for a laid back reception venue, with a good atmosphere, which would allow for a late finish and a free bar (no corkage). For the wedding ceremony itself we decided to get married in a more traditional setting.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | Neither of us wanted a long engagement; we planned our wedding over a 7-month period, which gave us just enough time to get everything done. The hardest part of the process was deciding how to decorate the reception venue because it was a wonderful blank canvas with endless possibilities (and the decorating budget was a little tight). In the end we decided to make things difficult for ourselves (mainly me) by folding and stringing 1000 paper cranes in different shades of purple and lavender from the ceiling. Thankfully we were both really happy with the result.
BUDGET | About £25,000 (excluding the honeymoon) for 100 guests. We spent the budget on the things that mattered to us the most – the venue, food, alcohol, and (for me) the dress. Our families also helped us a lot. Where we could we did things ourselves: the wedding invites, orders of service, reception decorations and venue flowers were all DIY. I did my own make up. We didn’t have a wedding car.
THE VENUE | We were in the lucky position of being able to get married in the beautiful Temple Church because of my work (you are not able to marry there unless you meet certain criteria). We had the reception at a restored furniture warehouse called Brixton East, which is a wonderful venue.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | I wore Jenny Packham’s “Odessa”, a simple pearl comb in my hair by Dolecka, and pearl jewellery from Tiffany’s.
FINDING THE DRESS | I did not leave myself much time to find the dress; I set aside two days when my Mum was visiting and we went to four bridal appointments. Although I did not have a dress in mind, I knew I wanted something long, simple and elegant and not too big or princessy (those dresses look great on some people, but would not work for me). In the end I picked the first dress I tried on, which came from Blackburn Bridal.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | James wore a Reiss suit, Dune Shoes, and a Ted Baker tie, which he picked to match the colour scheme.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | As we got married in a traditional setting we had two biblical readings, three hymns and orchestral music. We also had an amazing soloist who sang Ave Maria and Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring during the signing of the register.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I wanted my bridesmaids to feel happy in what they wore on the day, and I was not concerned about matching dresses. I asked each bridesmaid to pick a long dress that they liked (with a budget of up to £200 per dress) and then I ordered their choice of dress in a colour that would fit with the overall scheme. Emma wore a grey dress from Wtoo, Anna and Faye wore dresses from Alfred Angelo in lavender and Victorian lilac, and Anneka’s pinky-lilac dress came from Hong Kong (as that is where she lives). I then bought each bridesmaid a pearl handbag and a silver-grey wrap from Etsy. They wore their own shoes.
THE FLOWERS | Only the bouquets and buttonholes came from a florist (Phil at Battersea Garden Centre, who did an amazing job). The rest of the flowers were very simple. For the church, I tied dried lavender and gyp (bought online) in bundles for pews-ends. For the reception, I collected and cleaned white wine bottles, which I filled with different shades of pink and purple gerbera (also from an online wholesale supplier).
THE CAKE | James´ sister and Mum arranged the dessert. We had a simple wedding cake from Marks and Spencers decorated with gerbera, as well as mini meringues, and fairy cakes. James’ sister had the fairy cakes decorated with our initials, wedding symbols and pugs (because I’ve been pestering James about getting a pug for years… but we still don’t have one). James’ mum also arranged a cake of cheese for later in the evening.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | The lovely Laura Babb – I can’t recommend her enough. I normally hate having my photo taken, as does James, but she made us feel really relaxed. She captured all the key moments of the day, without ever being obtrusive, and was enthusiastic, fun and professional throughout.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | The reception venue was over two floors. The bottom floor was decorated with the paper cranes and flowers. The top floor was decorated with pom poms and hanging purple/lilac lanterns in different sizes. We used the bottom floor for drinks and dinner, and the top floor for dancing later in the evening. It would have made sense to use the top floor for the initial drinks reception (so that Laura could have taken some photographs of the tables before everyone arrived), but we chose not to because of mobility issues with one of our guests.
For the seating plan I filled little paper bird cages with an organza bag of jelly beans, to which I tied a gift tag indicating where each person was sitting (by reference to the colour of a giant paper crane which I placed on the various tables). These mini bird cages were arranged around a large bird cage for cards at the venue entrance. For the place names I bought little lavender envelopes, onto which I glued dried flowers. I used mini pegs to pin these to white napkins. Inside each envelope I put some jokey information about the person sitting opposite. I also filled little glass bottles with single malt whisky (a family favourite), which we drank during a toast.
The only decoration in the church was the pew-ends.
THE HONEYMOON | We spent 2 months (!) backpacking around Colombia and Ecuador instead of a having a traditional honeymoon. It was amazing.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | The hard work that some of our friends and family put in the day/night before to help us get the venue ready. Me, my Mum, and all the bridesmaids getting drenched in torrential rain as soon as we left the hairdressers because I forgot to order a taxi (or buy any umbrellas) – luckily everyone saw the funny side. Actually getting married! The speeches – I laughed so much my jaw ached.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Enjoy yourselves!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Laura Babb
Caterer | Honey & Co
Reception venue | Brixton East
Bridal shop | Blackburn Bridal
Florist | Battersea Flower Station
DJ | Alt DJs
Just utterly perfect.
Thanks so very much to Keira and James for sharing their super beautiful wedding with us here at WWW xo Lou