I do love a wedding which proves that you don’t have to spend loads of money to end up with a wonderfully stylish and personal day. Will and Mariana wed on 15th April 2017 at One Friendly Place in South East London. The ceremony was conducted by a friend and they styled the space just beautifully, whilst still letting the gorgeous venue speak for itself. There’s some serious industrial venue inspiration here for all you couples planning a city wedding. Think simple greenery décor, rustic wooden tables and chairs.
Mariana hunted both high and low online for both her’s and Will’s outfits, not wanting to spend a fortune on an outfit that would only been worn once. They both look ever so stylish and thanks to her bargain hunting, Mariana was able to have another more dance appropriate outfit for the evening’s festivities.
The flowers created by the couple’s talented friend really are fabulous, don’t the rich reds work so well with the greenery and what about Mariana’s wonderful flower crown? Enjoy all the brilliant details.
Thanks to Luke Hayden for sharing these wonderful images of the day with us.
THE PROPOSAL | Will had planned what he considered to be a Summer holiday and wanted to show me around a part of England I hadn’t been before. We went on a trip around Bristol, Devon and Cornwall. It was a pretty harrowing Summer as it was mainly raining but I learnt lots of weird things about English people and how brave children are here. There were kids swimming in brown freezing water and everyone was wearing shorts, refusing to believe it was wet and windy. It was most definitely an eye opener for a Majorcan lady like myself!
I know that Will had originally planned to propose on the beach with the fireworks but this was ruined by the weather and a few different last minute cancellations. However he roped in his best friend Oli and his fiancé to come and set up a kind of dramatic shrine to our relationship. Will is pretty over the top and melodramatic which is obviously why I love him so much! (he made me write that last bit but it’s true).
Anyway we were on our way to the next place we were staying in Devon and Will told me that there was some kind of activity that would mean I wouldn’t be able to use the toilet so he made me wee at the side of the road (charming!). I know that deep down he was trying everything he could to not act all stressed and anxious so I don’t think it helped when I jokingly asked if he was going to marry me just before we were arriving at the place.
We got there and Will made me go and look at the front door of the place we were staying. There was a sign on the door that said ‘the cows have escaped and we have left the key in the garden, please follow the arrows’.
We followed the signs down the garden to where there was a little bridge over a stream and Will had put together a photographic story of our lives together so far. He also put on some music and then walked me into a field where his friends had set up a kind of boho tent situation with fairy lights and all kinds of decorations. He then did a shaky speech before asking me to marry him! After that, we went on to eat all of my favourite foods and cried on and off for the next few hours until we were defeated by sleep. It was pretty amazing.
THE VISION | The details about the day changed and shifted as time went by but what we knew for sure is that we wanted to throw a big party to celebrate our love with the people we know cares about us the most.
We also wanted to tighten the budget as much as possible and so we tried to spend more where we felt it was important and save everywhere else.
We didn’t want to follow any traditions that didn’t feel right for us and in the end we opted to keep things simple by focusing on the things we knew our guests would appreciate more… showing a lot of heart, providing amazing food, plenty to drink and a relaxed and fun vibe.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We did the whole planning ourselves – we didn’t know anyone else that got married in London so we mainly used Google and asking around lots to find out about stuff. We wanted the planning time to be as short as possible because we knew the wedding would take over our minds and lives… however, most of my friends and family had to travel from Spain so we had to let people know far in advance. In the end it took us 8 months.
I think once we decided on the venue – everything else came together. There were definitely lots of changes – I had never been to a wedding myself! So I kind of had to figure out everything on the go. It was definitely overwhelming at times and it eventually got boring and we just wanted to be done with it! But having the best day ever with all our family and friends made it all worthwhile.
BUDGET | £10k (not including honeymoon)
THE VENUE | One Friendly Place – London. The venue was a dry hire so we had to do pretty much everything ourselves! If that’s not a problem for you, we would recommend One Friendly Place a million times. The venue manager, Rash, was an angel sent from heaven, the most friendly, warm and laid back person in the planet that went above and beyond to make our day stress free.
FINDING THE DRESS | I felt very uncomfortable about choosing a wedding dress – mainly because that’s something I’ve never really been that bothered about. I knew I didn’t want to spend lots of money so after going around some of the High Street shops – I ended up very disheartened. I really didn’t know if it was just because I didn’t know where to look but nothing I tried on wowed me enough to be happy to pay £200-400, let alone something in the thousands mark.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | In the end I got a white tutu skirt for £40 (on sale) from Kirsty Doyle as I really liked the idea of wearing something fun but at the same time, I didn’t want to miss on the more ‘bridey’ look – so after countless hours of stalking the internet, I found this very simple but beautiful cream long dress for £15 on ASOS! It was on sale and the last size so I decided to give it a go… and it fit like a glove. I added a belt and it was perfect! And so cheap I couldn’t believe it! But to be fair… no one noticed (or cared!).
I paired the tutu with a backless glittery black bodysuit from H&M – again on sale (7 pounds) and I wore that for the party bit. I got the shoes from Topshop, again on sale (£20).
For people that don’t care much about the dress being a specific way or from a specific designer… I really recommend just browsing all the available online shops and look for white/creamy ‘normal’ dresses (and especially during the sale period!).
Throughout my research I found dresses online for £60 that were pretty much identical to dresses that I had tried on the High Street worth £300. Which is just heartbreaking in my opinion… especially when budgets are tight!
Spending less money on the outfits made it easier to have two different ones. I also felt so happy that I could actually change throughout the day to be more comfortable during the party and when my first dress ended up all stained with red wine, I really didn’t care!
GROOM’S ATTIRE | For Will, we wanted to get him a tweed suit but even though they were more expensive (£300), we thought he’d get more use out of it and it would be alright. We did go to a shop where the man there treated us quite rudely – which in the end was good for us because it made us think that spending that much on his suit would not be worth it either.
I got his white shirt from Primark (£8), the trousers, bowtie and suspenders from ASOS (I think it was about £40), the jacket… he just used one he already had – and the shoes were from Office (£20 on sale). And he looked like a million dollars if you ask me! :)
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We really wanted to just spend the whole day in the venue without having to arrange transfers and so on but because the venue wasn’t licensed we decided to do the actual marrying bit in Hackney Town Hall two days before.
So, on the day, we had Will’s best friend Oli perform the ‘ceremony’. It was very short and we wrote it ourselves. We took the opportunity to thank everyone for joining us and to make a couple of dad jokes. Some of our friends also took part in it by reading a poem they made about Will and mine’s relationship and a couple of art performances created specifically for us. It felt incredibly special to be able to involve our friends and it created a very personal atmosphere.
We also curated the music playlists ourselves, we had a few with different moods that went on throughout the different stages of the day and it seemed to work pretty well! We walked down the aisle to Sigur Ros and after the I do’s we celebrated to ‘I belong in your arms’ by Chairlift – which we already used on our save the date video so we knew people would recognise it.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I didn’t have any! All my closest friends are spread around the world and in the end… I didn’t want to have an added stress so I decided to fly solo! Will had three groomsmen and they wore matching outfits and were also super helpful throughout the day which we were incredibly grateful for!
And they also looked super cute.
THE FLOWERS | I wanted to do the flowers myself (because these are SO expensive!) but in the end I realised I had no clue about flowers and that I needed help! I also wanted to wear a flower crown and I wasn’t really sure I would have time to do all of this before the wedding day – as we had to prepare the venue ourselves and everything! And so, our friend Lauren Taylor came in to save the day… she’s really passionate about flower arrangements and that sort of stuff and she was a dream to have around. She prepared my bouquet and my flower crown, she also arranged our table in the dining room with lots of greenery, the chairs in the ceremony and some other bits here and there… all of it stunning and she did it all as our wedding gift which was incredibly generous.
THE CAKE | We didn’t do the traditional cake cutting bit but we had a tower of cheeses with some biscuits and chutneys for people to nibble on after dinner. We got these at a wedding fair (with a discount) from Godminster and I think we paid around £100.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Luke Hayden – he’s the best. He captured the day so perfectly, looking at the pictures now feels like going back in time and we are forever grateful for this. He made things so easy for us and we couldn’t recommend him enough.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | We experimented with several DIY projects but in the end we kept cutting back our decor plan because it involved so much money and time. We had to set up the venue ourselves the day before and we only had a few hours so in the end we decided to rely mostly on lighting features (we got all of these from Amazon as it was a lot cheaper to buy than to hire them) and some little extra bits.
In any case, we chose the venue because we thought it was already amazing without any add ons and it was pretty much a win amongst the guests – they all loved it!. It came with a football table that was well used throughout the evening, sofas to chill, plenty of space and character across three floors so even though we never left the building, it always felt like you were somewhere new. We also had a photo booth – we used Groupon to get a better price and we ended up paying 190 for 3 hours of hire which we thought was pretty good!
We searched for MANY eating options. SO MANY. Catering companies might be very good at what they do but for us, the options we found felt incredibly pricey so in the end we decided to look for food vans. Since the venue had access for the van, it was actually A LOT cheaper to do things this way than through an actual catering company.
We can’t recommend My Pie enough, as well as the food being AMAZING, there was so much of it and it was SO CHEAP. We paid £1000 to feed almost 60 people. We had appetisers, pie and mash and then brownie for dessert. Everyone was incredibly stuffed and happy – and one of the best decisions value wise we made for the day.
We really wanted to have a craft beer at the wedding so after a bit of research we decided to go with London Lager… we ordered our beer directly from the brewery and we got a bit of a discount. They messed up the order on the day before but because the warehouse was so close by we managed to sort it out and get a couple of extra cases for free – so it wasn’t all bad.
We got the wine from Calais and we also got a lot of Cava which was only £3 a bottle! So it was an absolute bargain! We saved so much by going there and we made a day out of it. We also got free glass hire with our order which was an obvious plus!
THE HONEYMOON | We didn’t really do a honeymoon straight away but after tying the knot we decided to focus on pursuing our passions and we both felt London was suffocating us economically and so we decided to relocate to Spain. In between the transition we spent three months in Asia, travelling around Thailand and Bali and we decided to call that our honeymoon.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | I think a very special moment was when Will performed a song he’d written for me… the venue had a piano there and so we all crowded around it to hear him sing about how much he loved me! Ha! So I’d say that was pretty memorable, it made me feel very special and had everyone in tears!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | My advice would be to only invite people to your wedding who make you feel great and to avoid filling seats up with people that you aren’t that close with. It might seem obvious but when you’re working on that guest list, there will probably be a few tough calls. In our case, keeping the numbers down helped with budget and it also helped create a day that felt genuine to us and very intimate.
I’d also say, don’t worry too much. And whatever is worrying you, it probably doesn’t matter. As the day got closer, I felt really silly about how much I had been worrying about things that actually weren’t going to make the day better or worse. For instance, we didn’t have any wedding favours but I definitely wasted a lot time thinking about them.
I would say to just focus on making your friends and family feel comfortable and remember it’s all about having a good time! If you’re happy, they will be happy.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | London Wedding Photographer Luke Hayden
Venue | One Friendly Place
Catering | My Pie London
Cheese | Godminster
Furniture | Rustic Hire
Catering Hire | Adams Catering
Beer | Meantime London Beer
Wine | Majestic
What an incredible day you put together Mariana and Will! And so clever with your budget! Thanks so much for sharing. Rachel x