David and Morena got engaged in February and were married in May, that gave them just 3 months to plan their intimate wedding celebrations on a £1000 budget. They held their ceremony in a sweet courtyard in East London and the weather played ball so that the party could continue outdoors too. They had a tropical meets 1920s feel to the wedding decor with succulents, pineapples, cacti all decorating the pink sequinned tables just beautifully.
Morena adorned her gorgeous baby bump with a beaded flapper style dress from Miss Selfridge which she accessorised with a stunning headdress. The boys meanwhile wore pale pink shirts and cute bow ties for a quirky look. Didn’t they all look so very stylish?
Thanks so much to Lily Sawyer Photography for sending over these divine images.
THE PROPOSAL | 05/02/2016 I believed I was going to meet David at the train station just to walk home together after work, I was dressed as if I was just walking home. He then said we were getting the train and he would explain everything. On the tube he showed me tickets to a concert in the 02 Arena, the place where we first met. I thought it was because we hadn’t been there since that day and as David loves surprising me I saw it as one of those treats. The concert was lovely, we had just found out I was pregnant so it was nice timing to celebrate that also. After the concert we were just looking around the vastness of the 02 as everyone cleared out (I was in my own world chatting away) and when I turned around David was on one knee looking very nervous and cute. I was so surprised David had to ask me a second time. David had gotten us a room in the first hotel we stayed in and had been secretly packing my things so they were there when we arrived. I felt like I couldn’t find stuff that day but I didn’t dream of such a gorgeous plan.
THE VISION | We always had the intention of a small ceremony that was for the purpose of uniting in front of God. The plan is to have a bigger wedding in a few years after saving. We were not prepared to postpone marrying any longer and wait until we could afford the more extravagant do, as just waiting to have more money would defeat our values and reasons for getting married. With help, especially from our photographer Lily Sawyer we were able to add the details to our small wedding that still allowed it to be special and memorable without huge cost and flamboyance.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We set times for mini meetings where we would research ideas and formulate lists. We also met with Lily Sawyer, our photographer, who also offers a wedding planning service. We discussed with her our vision and what we wanted our wedding to feel like. She sent us loads of ideas and inspirational images from where we could narrow down what we wanted and this helped us really focus. We went to Columbia Road market to buy our succulents, checked out our local Queen’s market for tablecloths and other accessories, and contacted a caterer we know to cook a few dishes for us.
BUDGET | We were well within our budget of £1000 for a small 3 hour courtyard wedding including reception.
THE VENUE | We used the courtyard and hall of a community centre in East London. An outside ceremony was so much easier to transform, and fortunately for us on the day, the sun came out to play too. A large table was laid inside for the food and a larger table for all of us to sit around and have a meal together.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | 1920s themed;
Beaded flapper style dress – £140 Miss Selfridge.
Bangladeshi head piece – £10 from Queen’s Market in Upton Park.
Sterling Silver jewel style earrings – £11 Warren James.
Sterling Silver Diamanté bracelet – £30 H Samuel.
FINDING THE DRESS | I found my dress literally 3 days before the wedding. Being that I was 5 ½ months pregnant at the time I was looking for something that was fitting but classy. I felt that nearly all maternity wedding dresses are loose fitting and look frumpy, making pregnant brides look much bigger and shapeless than they actually are. For the small ceremony I needed a dress that was also not overly bridal and so the occasion dress from Miss Selfridge actually fit perfectly as flapper style dresses usually leave a bit more room so I could just fit my bump in.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | David wore a pale pink shirt, paisley pattern pink bow tie which was matching with our son Nathan’s attire and dark blue trousers, also matching with Nathan’s.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | Katrina Banks, a friend of ours and a professional dancer and musician, played the violin as I walked down the aisle. Another friend read 1 Corinthians 13:1 and our pastor spoke on the different kinds of love: Love of emotion, friendship and commitment. For the rest of the wedding we formulated a playlist that was meaningful to us.
RING BEARER | We didn’t have bridesmaids but our son was the ring bearer and walked me down the aisle. His outfit was matching with David’s, including the trousers, shoes and socks which were in shades of pink.
THE FLOWERS | Succulents, Cactus and pink seasonal flowers eg. Roses, gerberas, sweet william, eucalyptus. We bought some flower heads from our local florist Sewells in E15 and gave them to Lily Sawyer who then made the bouquet for us including succulents and plenty of greenery in the mix to make it look lush, wild and full.
THE CAKE | Two-tier naked cake: chocolate and orange, decorated with baby’s breath and succulents. A friend of ours Lilia Casaletto made it.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Lily Sawyer.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | This wedding was very much a joint contribution. Those who attended helped in some way, whether it be bringing along table wear, the making of the cake, decorating the hall. It was made by all and enjoyed by all. We had a touch of tropical featuring the pineapples I bought from Columbia Road market, mini cactus and succulent wedding favours, which were also incorporated into the bouquet. Pink in various shades was also a prominent theme, from the flowers, table setting and clothing. The use of the outside courtyard and its greenery made up a lot of the ceremony décor.
THE HONEYMOON | We are saving our honeymoon for after we have the baby.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | The exchange of vows in the sunshine felt as meaningful and special as we would have hoped.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Be honest to what you both really want and envision. In the hectic moments of organising it helps to make time to do something nice, like going for a meal. It gives you both the chance to switch off when it feels a bit intense and reminds you why you’re getting married and what’s really important. Our wedding wouldn’t have evolved into the intimate, informal, intricate day that it was without help from others. Don’t feel like if you don’t always do it yourself or it won’t be your own way. Others brought so much more to it than we alone could have done. It was honestly a very special and memorable day to share our celebration.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Lily Sawyer Photography
Venue | Hope Church Newham, London
What a gorgeous family celebration.
David and Morena, thank you both so much for sharing your wedding story today xo Lou