A London Pub Knees Up Wedding

super cool Hackney wedding

A London pub knees up was order of the day for Cara and Mike’s February wedding. They tied the knot at Hackney Town Hall and held their reception at The Britannia, Victoria Park, London.

They wanted a relaxed approach to their wedding planning, focusing on elements important to them. With a sing song around the piano and the most amazing sounding Great British canapés, yum.

They also looked super stylish. With Cara looking beautiful in a custom made lace dress and pearl choker and Mike donning a three piece navy suit with polka dot pocket square. I have to mention the pretty bridesmaids in their chic black lace dresses with red shoe boots too. Wow.

Thanks so much to the wonderful Lisa Devine for sharing her images with us today.

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The Proposal… New Year’s day In New York, sitting on a rock in central park. It was a beautiful bright and sunny day.

The Vision for the Day… We really just wanted to be ‘us’ celebrating with all our friends and family which is why we went for a London Pub ‘knees up’ rather than a posh, airs and graces starched white linen affair. We know pubs, as do our families so we wanted to create the same sort of relaxed vibe that we’re all know so everyone had a good time.

The Planning Process… We were pretty slow off the mark and didn’t really get on top of the planning side of things until summer 2012. Once we got going, it was really spits and spurts of being very organised and on top of things to really not doing much at all! Our outlook was very relaxed (there was no bridezilla) and we were lucky that we didn’t have any family pressure to add any stress. I think our chilled out attitude towards the day made it all the more enjoyable for everyone too .

The Venue… We said ‘I Do’ in Hackney Town Hall and had the reception at The Britannia, Victoria Park, London E9.

The Dress + Accessories… I was very lucky that a friend drew my exact thoughts in terms of a dress on the back of a receipt after a couple of glasses of wine one day and recommended a very talented dressmaker, Sue kmepster to put the whole thing together. Sue used to make costumes for the Royal Opera House. She now lives and works from her home in Lode, Cambridgeshire where I’d go for fittings – it was so convenient, cost effective and completely bespoke to me. Sue made my dress from the original ‘receipt sketch’ and I couldn’t recommend her highly enough.

In terms of accessories, my two very good friends Adrian and Jeff commissioned a handmade cold water pearl choker to be made by their extremely talented jewellery designer friend Harma of Glam Unique: http://www.glamunique.co.uk/

My shoes were from LK Benett and I loved them!

Groom’s attire… This was probably more involved than the hunt for my dress. Mike is very particular about fashion and never more so than his wedding suit. He went for a handmade three piece suit made by John Llewelyn http://www.johnllewelyn.co.uk

Round Collar Shirt by Start: http://www.start-london.com/white-textured-cotton-shirt-with-round-collar-by-mr-start.html

Burgundy Bee Silk Tie by Start: http://www.start-london.com/accessories/mens/ties.html

Burgundy Brogues by Justin Deakin: http://justindeakin.com

Micro Polka Dot Pocket Square by Hackett: http://www.hackett.com

The Readings + Music… We only had one reading in the ceremony which was a poem written for us by one of my Best friends Ben De La Riva. We wanted to give Benny a role in the wedding as he’s so important to me. Originally we had wanted him to read a Dylan Thomas poem but couldn’t find one  suitable so Ben wrote us poem which was incredibly personal. My Bridesmaids, Dad and me walked in to Otis Redding Try a Little Tenderness while Mike and I walked out to Jay Z / Kanye West ‘Otis’.

Beautiful bridesmaids… You’re right they are beautiful! They are my sister Gwen and best girlfriends Charlotte, Sophie, Becca and Eliza. They are all different shapes and sizes (One is 6’ 2” tall and one was 8 months pregnant) so it was going to be very difficult to have them in the same dresses and happy about it! So, once we decided on black lace I got the girls over to my flat one day in December for a mass try on session. I’d ordered 30-odd black lace dresses from various websites and they all chose the one they wanted. It was much better than hauling our way round Oxford Street and we got to drink fizz at the same time.  They each also wore a pearl necklace by Harma as well, red shoe boots and faux fur coats.

The Flowers… My friend Rebecca Louise Law did the flowers. She’s the best floral artist in London and creating quite a name for herself. I was very fortunate that she agreed to help us with our wedding flowers: http://www.rebeccalouiselaw.com/

The Cake… We didn’t want a traditional cake. So I asked some of my girlfriends if they could make us a novelty cake. We’d gone through a stage of making novelty cakes for each others 30th birthdays so it made complete sense to have one on our wedding. Jo Barr came up with the amazing idea to make a cake of the pub Mike and I first met in, the Dolphin in Hackney, complete with drunk Cara and Mike figurines. It was put together by Jo and Sara, Katie, Charlotte & Eliza.

Your Photographer… Does she need an introduction? Only the most creative and hugely talented photographer to come out of the Greater Glasgow area and my mate, Ms Lisa Devine. She’s amazing. You don’t even realise she’s there and then a couple of weeks later a tonne of the most incredible photos land on your doorstep. I can’t recommend her highly enough.

The Details + Decor… It was important to us that the day moved quickly and the guests didn’t feel like they were hanging around or waiting at any point. So we arranged for a piano player to play some east end pub hits, war songs etc as the guests arrive. Luke Meredith was highly recommended to us and he didn’t disappoint, he played song after song as the guests arrived and were mingling. He then came back for the ‘knees up’ after dinner which, we’d printed a songbook with 50 or so  lyrics and all the guests gathered round the piano for a sing song. It was brilliant!

We also didn’t want the day to feel too ‘wedding-ey’ so instead of fizz on arrival we served hot mulled cider to warm people up on a cold day along with Great British Canapés including black pudding scotch eggs, curried parsnip soup  served in a shot glass and welsh rarebit. Dinner was pie and mash with a vegetarian wellington, gravy, mash and cabbage. Each table had a nominated chef to serve the food round the table to help kick start conversation and just for a bit of a laugh really! Each table had a bottle of sloe gin and shot glasses as well. After dinner was the sing song and cocktail hour. In the evening the sugarkube band played who everyone agreed were absolutely brilliant.

The Honeymoon… 2 ½ weeks in South Africa and 5 nights in Mauritius.

Memorable moments… It was just brilliant. The knees up was fantastic, the speeches were great and got a fantastic reception. Getting the bumps at the end of the night stands out too!

Advice for other couples… Try not to add unnecessary stress or pressure onto yourselves. Planning a wedding can be hard work and already stressful enough. If you can approach it with a relaxed attitude it will pay off.

Credit where credit is due…

The Britannia pub – http://www.drinkinlondon.co.uk/britannia

The Band, Sugar Kube – http://sugarkubeband.com/

Flowers, Rebecca Louise Law – http://www.rebeccalouiselaw.com/

Jewellery, Harma @ glamunique – http://www.glamunique.co.uk/

Suit, John Llewelyn – http://www.johnllewelyn.co.uk/

Piano, Luke Meredith – http://www.myspace.com/lukemeredith

Photographer, Lisa Devine – http://www.lisadevinephotography.co.uk/


Such a smiling, fun and happy wedding. Amazing.

Thanks so much to Cara and Mike for sharing their beautiful wedding with us today XOXO Lou

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