This afternoon we are in the capital for an eclectic and chic city affair.
Jessica and Tom chose to marry on the 28 June 2014, holding their ceremony at Islington Town Hall followed by a reception at the Prince Albert Pub Camden, London. They hoped to achieve a day which was relaxed with a party atmosphere.
I soooo love Jessica’s gorgeous bridal look, her amazing sequin dress was from Miss Selfridge which she teamed with perfectly tousled hair, while Tom opted for a dashing three piece suit with pattern tie.
They kept the décor simple with pretty DIY blooms, bunting and sweetie bag favours.
Thanks so very much to Story & Colour for allowing me to share their gorgeous imagery this afternoon.
THE PROPOSAL | Erm… not sure if it’s suitable to be published!
My granny snook off one day and gave Tom a ring it’s a gold with amethyst in. It was meant to be a secret but my mum told me that night. I told Tom that I knew he had the ring and he showed me it as he thought he may has well check I liked it. I did. So I knew the proposal was imminent. We went for a picnic some weeks later and I had put some suncream into the picnic bag, apparently in the same pocket as the ring. I hadn’t seen the ring but Tom later thought that I had and sat nervously all day waiting to ask thinking I was waiting too. In the end he just said ‘Fuck it’ and got the ring out. Yes that was my proposal. ‘Fuck it’. We were both sat down on the picnic rug and he got up on one knee so he was actually taller than me when he did it.
THE VISION | Really relaxed! We wanted people to not worry about what to wear or what to buy. Just turn up, relax eat some food, drink some drinks and dance the night away.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We booked it in February 2013 as we knew the venues we wanted and didn’t want them to get booked. Then we didn’t do anything at all until January 2014 when we started planning everything. Transport and photographer were first. Once they were sorted we just did all the fiddly bits ourselves. Homemade invites and order of services etc. I must have gone into paperchase very single week to get more card
BUDGET | £7’000…we spent £8’500
THE VENUE | Islington Town Hall followed by The Prince Albert Pub, Royal College Street, Camden
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | So I bought my original wedding dress around April 2013 from Zara. It was £80, white and a nod to the 20s. Very relaxed. However… a few months before the wedding I started having second thoughts, I wanted something more dramatic but knew I couldn’t afford it. (Even though Tom offered to pay for a ‘proper’ dress for me). I tried the dress on about 3-4 weeks before the wedding and I had lost about a stone in weight. Even though the dress was loose fitting it looked awful. And I thought I haven’t lost a stone to look frumpy on my wedding day. So my bridesmaid came to London from York two weeks before the wedding for an emergency shop and we found the dress I wore for £150 in Miss Selfridge. It was meant to be, the last size 8 in the shop.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Tom also did the double. A week before the wedding he bought light grey/blue suit but then a few days before he bought the navy one he actually wore. They were both from Next. He also had a pocket watch I had bought him in the first year of our relationship for Christmas.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | “To Diego and Frida” (Tina Modotti’s toast) from the movie Frida.
I don’t believe in marriage. No, I really don’t. Let me be clear about that. I think at worst it’s a hostile political act, a way for small-minded men to keep women in the house and out of the way, wrapped up in the guise of tradition and conservative religious nonsense. At best, it’s a happy delusion – these two people who truly love each other and have no idea how truly miserable they’re about to make each other. But, but, when two people know that, and they decide with eyes wide open to face each other and get married anyway, then I don’t think it’s conservative or delusional. I think it’s radical and courageous and very romantic.
My friend Iain read it and he perfectly timed it with everyone laughing. But he took out the bit about keeping women in the kitchen, he didn’t like that bit he thought it was too feminist!
My sister read The Velveteen Rabbit, her husband kept trying to make her do character voices and she did a little bit of one and gave me a wink when she did it.
“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”
“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”
“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.
“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”
“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”
“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My sister Claire and friends Monica, Katrina Vikki and Kathryn. Their dresses were from a shop in Manchester called plum and pigeon and were made especially for each of them but only £60 per dress! My sister found them in the shop window when she passed. I bought the net skirts to go under as a surprise for everyone and everyone was really excited apart from Vikki who groaned loudly and gave me dagger eyes. She was praying it wouldn’t fit and when it did she just said ‘On no that means I’ll have to wear it’ all with a laugh and a smile on her face but it definitely wasn’t her thing!
THE FLOWERS | So, I decided that bouquets were a ridiculous expense. So I found triangle nursery online who deliver wholesale flowers, I didn’t think it would be too hard to make my own bouquets. I called them up and the recommended an order which was about three times too big in the end but it meant we could decorate my uncle’s house (where we got ready) with them and also the reception. I made the bridesmaid bouquets (which is why they look a bit ratty) and my grandma made my bouquet with the roses (which is why it looks so amazing). I kept my bouquet in a jug of water while we went on honeymoon and coming home to a dead bouquet in the corner of the living room was pretty depressing.
THE CAKE | My friend Howard made the cake! I work with him and he brought in this chocolate cake and even though I was on wedding diet I tried it. (the office was in uproar it had been so long since I had accepted any cakes or biscuits). The cake was literally the most divine thing I had ever tasted. It was a Konditor and Cook recipe for chocolate curly wurly cake with marscapone and icing sugar icing. Oh god even thinking about it now makes me want it… Howard!!! Get baking!!!!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Our photographer was the trickiest part to get. We know two photographers and had these really awkward moments when he had to decline them because we didn’t like their photos. (eeek this is going to get published) we searched for a photographer with a style that we liked and found www.storyandcolour.co.uk and we knew immediately we loved the photos. We met Dan in the pub where we had the reception, he was friendly and knew what we wanted so we promptly handed him the deposit to secure the date. On the day Dan was amazing. You hardly knew he was there and yet captured all these moments. All these little family looks we were giving each other and times when we didn’t even realise he was watching. Everyone at work has said how amazing the pictures are, even the guys who aren’t normally interested have been saying how good the pictures are. We owe a lot to Dan for capturing all those memories.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | There wasn’t much. I made home made bunting as it is so expensive to buy ready made, yet it probably didn’t cost too much different in the end! My mum and colleagues have all wanted to borrow it so it was a good investment and was nice on the day to tell everyone I did it. Otherwise we had little bottles with flowers in on the tables and that’s the lot!
THE HONEYMOON | Two weeks in France at a relatives house. It was really relaxing by the Pyrenees. We spent two nights in a hotel in Toulouse and ate and drank ourselves silly, then came back to the rural cottage to lie by the pool. My parents bought us a light aircraft flight over the Pyrenees as our wedding present, which was an incredible experience. I enjoyed the first half hour before I threw up from motion sickness…..
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | My dad’s speech was simply amazing. He said incredible things about me which I was really pleased with, all the sort of things I want to be known for he talked about. Then he thanked Tom’s mum and dad for looking after me and making me part of their family. All the girls were crying and all the men came up to my dada afterwards and gave him a pat on the back. Toms parents wrote to him afterwards to say thank you.
The ceremony itself was my favourite part of the day and I remember:
Being in a long queue behind my five bridesmaids and we were all whooping and cheering and swinging our bouquets around our heads ready to go in. then the town hall ushers looking at us and going ‘3,2,1 go!’ really loudly and flung the doors open. Everyone inside had heard us ‘like a bunch of banshees’.
Exchanging the rings and putting the ring on Toms finger and forgetting to repeat after the registrar. I was just stood there with the ring halfway on for ages, she had to repeat herself three times and everyone was in stitches.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | For the bride: when you enter the church, town hall etc make sure the first face you look at is your husband to be. You want to catch his expression when he sees you for the first time. This was advice I got from my sister who missed it at her wedding as she was looking at everyone. It was good advice.
For the groom: Don’t underestimate how important your ushers are. If the bride writes them a to do list, make sure they get it and do the actions on the list (not pinpointing anything in particular but having one empty front row and one chair missing for the bridesmaids did not go down well with me…)
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Story & Colour
Bus | Abbey Travel
Flowers | Triangle Nursery
Venue | Prince Albert Camden
Utterly gorgeous and I so love this wedding report :-)
Thanks so much to Jessica and Tom for sharing their brilliant wedding with us today XOXO Lou