I do love a unique venue and today’s real wedding location is just extraordinary. It screams old school romance and glamour, just you wait and see…
Chris and Charlotte were hitched at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre on the 13th April 2019; the venue is a railway museum with working stream trains and a beautifully restored platform station which was just perfect for their ceremony and reception. It also fitted in with their vintage travel inspired theme, based on their love of travelling and many of the home made and thoughtful touches centred around travel. There was railway inspired stationery, with tickets and tube maps, an atlas for the guest book and paper flowers made from old maps. Isn’t it just amazing?! Their day was wonderfully colourful thanks to their stationery but also the tube map inspired rainbow ribbon ceiling which really made a great impact.
I also have to mention just how relaxed the whole day was, and I love that Chris and Charlotte along with their guests enjoyed a steam train ride, how fun. Do look out for super gorgeous attire, the perfect confetti moment and the brilliant suitcase wedding cake. The whole day was captured just perfectly by Sasha Weddings and we are so grateful to be sharing these gorgeous shots with you.
In Cambodia as part of a holiday touring around South East Asia. After an early start attempting to watch sunrise over Angkor Watt, Chris had hired a guide to drive us out to the secluded Beng Mealea jungle temple complex north of Siem Reap before it officially opened to the public – and surprised me over a breakfast picnic in the grounds while we had the entire place to ourselves!
Having been to a number of different weddings, we both wanted to put together a day that captured the very best of what we loved about our friends’ celebrations – yet also felt offbeat, colourful and relaxed. We both love travelling so wanted the theme to be vintage travel inspired and once we came across our venue (that we both fell in love with instantly) – the rest quickly fell into place.
The Planning Process
Bridebook proved a great starting point – giving a general guide for budgeting, showcasing a huge array of potential venues and making what initially felt an overwhelming timeline, bitesize and manageable.
From there, we planned and designed a lot of the wedding together – but Chris took on the logistics, contracts and making sure we stayed on top of the budget – while I curated the look and feel of the day. From the invites, to our handmade vintage flower decorations – right from the start we endeavoured to keep costs down by doing as much ourselves and with the kind help of friends and family as possible.
Buckinghamshire Railway Centre – a stunning vintage railway museum, complete with working steam trains and a restored station platform under a large glass roof.
Our three-tiered luggage cake (Carrot, Victoria and Golden Sponge) was made by my incredibly talented mother who baked it the day before (after having practiced making it for almost a year!). Sunflowers were added in remembrance of my late-grandfather and the edible travel stickers were from destinations around the world we had visited together as a couple.
The Details & Décor
Once we booked the striking Buckinghamshire Railway Centre as our venue, our travel theme quickly came together and soon circled around vintage train travel iconography and classic Underground graphic design.
Invites were styled as old train tickets, the order of service a chalk departure board, the seating plan a modified ‘tube map of the world’, and the menus and tables each uniquely colour coordinated to represent their own ‘line’ with destinations depicting our favourite places we’ve visited on our travels.
A series of tube-line inspired ribbons, draped the length of the concourse, formed a canopy above the aisle, completing the theme.
For the guestbook, we asked our guests to sign a beautiful old atlas with their suggestions of where we should go on our holidays next.
Your Outfits & Accessories
My dress was from Wed2B (which surprised many who asked) and I crafted my headband myself with beads that were given to me as a child by my late-Aunty. Chris wore a dark green Hugo suit with striped Paul Smith tie.
I walked down the aisle to Bach Prelude No.1, as recorded and performed by my father on the piano. For the rest of the ceremony we curated a playlist of beautiful piano covers of songs that resonated to both of us – be it our favourite bands, movies that meant something to us, or even games we enjoyed playing together. From Portal’s Still Alive, or the How to Train Your Dragon theme that played whilst signing the register – there were plenty of easter eggs for those in the know. Later, the brilliant Agent Joe band performed indie pop hits and kept everyone on their feet dancing until the bitter end.
Kindly provided by my friend Steph (award winning make-up artist and recently featured in BBC3’s Glow Up) @the_craft_mua, and my Mum on the day. They did such a brilliant job!
Keeping with the vintage travel theme – the flowers were painstakingly crafted by my friend Charlotte out of old faded paper maps. They looked truly stunning and we coordinated the multi-coloured ribbons on my bouquet and Chris’s buttonhole with the train line inspired colour scheme on the tables and canopy overhead.
Sasha was incredible throughout, quickly making us feel at ease with being photographed and beautifully capturing the day with an informal and relaxed documentary style. Everyone remarked how professionally ninja-like she was in finding those brilliant candid and natural instances of everyone enjoying themselves in the moment.
To fit in with our relaxed theme, we wanted everyone to feel comfortable on the day so the groomsmen wore their own suits and we provided a matching tie, pocket square and buttonhole for coordination. Vintage train job role badges continued the theme and designated everyone’s part to play on the day!
My close friends were my ‘something blue’ and were asked to wear whatever they liked, so long as it had something blue in it. They all looked lovely!
After the band finished playing, we immediately jumped into a car to take us to Heathrow that night, before jetting off to New York in the morning for a five-day mini-moon city break. We’re currently looking forward to our bigger summer honeymoon that will see us taking in Japan, Bali and Singapore in the coming weeks.
Instead of giving us gifts for our home (as we’ve been living together for 5+ years), through Prezola, guests kindly helped contribute to our upcoming trip by buying us meals out, experiences, trips to museums or even rounds of cocktails on the beach. We can’t wait!
Immediately after the official ceremony, Chris and I were whisked away from the venue on a vintage steam train – before being quickly ‘welcomed back’ by our guests with confetti who had been expertly ushered into position on the platform by the groomsmen. Everyone then had the chance to take a train ride and my mother even got to blow the whistle at one point, much to her delight. The seated booths (and confined space!) provided a perfect opportunity for us to talk to our guests in small groups for the first time.
Advice For Other Couples
Spend money only on the things that truly matter to you and will be remembered long after the decorations have come down. Small details and flourishes can go a long way to creating a memorable theme and don’t need to be costly.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Stephanie Harrison (The Craft)
The Waddesdon Deli
Oh so lovely.
Chris and Charlotte thank you both so very much for sharing your romantic and quirky steam railway wedding day with us xo Lou