There are often obstacles to overcome when planning a wedding or large event. Jo and Mikey had their work cut out mind due when they realised they had booked the same venue as their friends just weeks apart. They started again from scratch and it all went off without a hitch. The result? A fun loving, happy celebration filled with colour and love. Woohoo.
They plumped for a July wedding in London, holding their ceremony at Camden Town Hall followed by a knees up at The Gibson Hall. I just love the smiles for miles, those mismatched bridesmaids dresses, the blooms, the gorgeous floral stationery and the illustrated table plan (that’s for keeps I am sure).
Thanks goes to Story and Colour Photography for sharing such wonderful imagery with us.
THE PROPOSAL | Down on one knee in Hampstead Heath – where we shared our first kiss 3 and a bit years earlier.
THE VISION | We had actually planned (and booked!) a totally different venue, before discovering that one of our friends, by complete coincidence, had booked the same venue for their wedding 2 weekends before ours. So, we went back to the drawing board and aimed for something with fun, food, booze, music and which would somehow be ‘London-y’ and ‘Alpine’ (the two places we have lived together) at the same time.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | Jo told me what she/we wanted. I made a spreadsheet. We were both delighted with this arrangement.
THE VENUE | Ceremony at Camden Town Hall (Council Chamber) and Reception at The Gibson Hall.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | A Stella York dress from Forever Bridal UK in Barnet.
FINDING THE DRESS | Funnily enough, only one shop and one trip was required as Jo chose the very first dress she tried on! I can confirm that she chose very well.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | I don’t really ever wear suits, so didn’t know where to start. We worked out that I’d probably be keenest on a standard, blue 3-piece suit and ended up getting a semi-tailored one from Moss Bespoke, which I was delighted with. White shirt from Charles Tyrwhitt; lilac tie from Next; shoes from Ted Baker and belt from a key-cutting shop opposite our house in Finchley! I also got some very snazzy cufflinks from Jo as my present from her on the day.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We had readings from Mikey’s mum and Jo’s brother-in-law. Ever the romantic, Mikey’s mum had declared in advance that she would only read something if it had “no schmaltz, no poetry, nothing that implies life has simple answers, or that soulmates are necessary or sufficient for happiness etc”, so we had to think a little outside the box on that one. In the end we found some nice extracts from Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby (Mikey’s favourite book), which described men in general taking football far too seriously. Jo’s mum also read a personalised version of The Owl and the Pussycat at the reception, and the band was the apres-ski band from our favourite bar in Chamonix!
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | Five bridesmaids who all did a wonderful job. We wanted the wedding to be as colourful as possible, and so the bridesmaids all wore identical dresses but in different colours – which Jo found via an American seller on Etsy. There were a few nervy moments leading up to the wedding where we weren’t sure exactly how it would look, but they looked fantastic on the day.
THE FLOWERS | From Amber Rose in East Finchley (who had also done the flowers for Jo’s sister’s wedding), and which mirrored the colours in the bridesmaids’ dresses. Across 20 tables we had a mixture of low and high centrepieces which added a really nice touch to the room.
THE CAKE | Jo’s mum Pippa gets all the credit here! We Pinterested our way around half the internet, and decided on a naked-style cake which Pippa did an incredible job with – ably assisted in decorating it on the day by Judy, Myriam and Lynne. We also got a ridiculously delicious cheese cake from La Fromagerie in Marylebone.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Dan, from Story and Colour. We have a mutual friend (whose stag-do we were actually both on many years ago – although unsurprisingly neither of us remember much about that!), who recommended him. Can’t say enough good things about him really – he captured the mood of the day perfectly, and was a very calming presence amidst all the mayhem that surrounded us.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Both the Council Chamber and Gibson Hall are fairly impressive rooms in their own right, without need for decorations, so we didn’t need to do too much to enhance them. As both rooms have quite a formal feel to them, we concentrated more on the smaller details, like the Order of Ceremony and table decorations, to ensure we had a friendly and relaxed vibe – nothing too stuffy!
THE HONEYMOON | We wanted some sun in August, which meant we didn’t have to venture too far. We also wanted something relaxing, but neither of us particularly wanted to sit on the same sun-lounger for 2 weeks so we did a bit of island-hopping in Greece (Mykonos, Naxos and Santorini) and then flew over to Puglia in the South of Italy to explore trullis, beaches and delicious food and wine. Oh, and we treated ourselves to a night at the Shangri-La Hotel in The Shard before we flew out, which we can only really justify if we count it as part of the honeymoon!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | The whole day is a blur of incredible memories: I went for a boys’ swim at the Victorian Men’s Ponds at Hampstead Heath in the morning with my Dad, ushers and various other friends and family which was lots of fun; of course, the moment that Jo walked into the room is one that will live with me forever; Jo’s nephews and niece charging to join us for a high-five/cuddle after the ceremony; the brief moment of calm that Jo and I had in the taxi between the ceremony and reception; the speeches, which were fantastic – but I think if we had to pick just one, we would both go for our first dance which was One Day Like This by Elbow, played by the band and sung beautifully by our friend Kate.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | If at all possible, it’s always worth remembering that – whatever happens, come rain or shine – your wedding will be amazing. Having friends, family, food, booze and music all in one room can’t really be anything other than lots of fun, especially when everyone there just wants to see you have the best day possible. More boringly: make yourself a spreadsheet.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Dan Corbett Story and Colour Photography
Dress | Stella York at Forever Bridal
Suit | Moss Bespoke
Ceremony | Council Chamber, Camden Town Hall
Reception | The Gibson Hall
Buses | Ensign Buses
Flowers | Amber Rose
Cheese cake | La Fromagerie
Ahh just amazing!
Jo and Mikey, thanks so very much for sharing your gorgeous nuptials with us xo Lou