There is so much to love about this modern city wedding. The couple totally marched to the beat of their own drum, let me share all.
WWW readers Andy and Jane tied the knot on the 8th July 2016 at Islington Town Hall, followed by drinks at the Narrow Boat Pub and a celebration at Lumiere London. Jane is a chef and so the food was high on their wedding day priorities. So much so that Jane was a part of the catering team and the venue they chose enabled them to self cater their day. I love the shots of Jane in the kitchen wearing her beautiful Ritva Westenius and apron. They even skipped the cake cutting and went for a roast beef carving together, tongue in cheek but totally personal and memorable to them both. The first look was a particularly touching moment, and one I am sure they will always treasure.
They included a craft beer station, wool pom pom centrepieces against monochrome table cloths and beautiful black board signage. With just 28 guests, it meant that their day was really intimate. It really looked as though a fabulous time was had by all.
Many thanks to Beatrici Photography for providing these sensational photographs.
THE PROPOSAL | July 5, 2015. Andy proposed at Hampton Court Palace while we were wandering through the Maze. He was insisting that we turn left and I was so adamant that it was a dead end and it was, I turned around and was probably about to say I told you so, when I saw him with the ring. I don’t even think he got the words out, because I just blurted out yes, over and over again!
THE VISION | Something urban, intimate, DELICIOUS and boozy.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We took a few months to enjoy our engagement before we started planning. When we did start planning it was a bit tricky to find a venue for 25 guests in central London, which met all of our requirements (self-catering, able to bring in our own booze, accessible by tube, and charming). We found a lovely venue in Islington and put our deposit down in January. However two months before the venue they cancelled, which threw our plans pretty much out the window. But everything happens for a reason and we able to find the perfect place for our venue within two weeks. I was in charge of everything from the venue, décor and food. Andy was in charge of the craft beer selection, budget, civil ceremony and keeping me sane.
To be honest, 90% of the planning was spent planning the food portion of the reception. As a chef, it was really important to me to make sure the food was amazing, not just for our guests but also for ourselves. We wanted the food at the wedding to represent both of our cultures and travels together, so we spent a long time thinking of our favourite foods and designing a menu. We decided on a craft beer station, which would have snack pairings like sriracha and lime roasted nuts, Serious Pig salami sticks and home-made beef jerky. To honour the UK we started off with an afternoon tea menu of savoury and sweets and then, for the main course, we had modern Vietnamese and South East Asian dishes.
THE VENUE | We had the ceremony at Islington Town Hall, in Room 99. It was the perfect size (capacity for 28) for our wedding guests and gave it a really intimate and regal feel.
For our post ceremony drinks, we headed to one of our favourite pubs down the street, the Narrow Boat, and just hung out and enjoyed the canal view with a few Pimms.
The reception was held at the Gallery at Lumiere London, which was amazing. The venue was just opened and we were the very first wedding (but I’m sure not the last) to be held there. The room is stunning with red brick walls, a cute retro kitchenette, and colourful couches. Carlos, Karoline and everyone at Lumiere were all so amazing and helpful, before, during and even after the big day!
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | The dress was a Ritva Westinius, an off-shoulder, low back, ivory wedding dress with a high low hem, based on the Ariella dress. My shoes were a fun pair of Terra Plana already in my closet, they were super comfortable and a bright teal colour.
FINDING THE DRESS | I was apprehensive that I would be able to find a simple, elegant, fun wedding dress, but Chenca Williams at Ritva Westenius was simply amazing. We found a style that I loved and then swapped out the fabric and adjusted the cut and length to make the perfect dress for me. I felt so lucky that Chenca understood my style and was able to make this beautiful, one of a kind gown.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Andy wore a 3 piece blue suit by Reiss with Penguin leather Oxfords.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We didn’t do readings and instead opted allocate the extra time to allow us to write out own vows. For the music, we both selected a few songs, I picked “Marry me”, by Train for the walk down the aisle and Andy picked “First day of my life” by Bright Eyes.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I had my sister as my maid of honour and Andy picked his mate from Scotland as his best man. We let them pick anything they wanted to wear for the day because we wanted them to be able to re-wear it. My sister wore a beautiful dress from flower printed dress from Reiss, while Alex wore a blue-grey vest and trousers. The both looked stunning!
THE FLOWERS | I wanted a simple bouquet and a small corsage for the maid of honour, mother of the bride and mother of the groom. My mom is an avid flower arranger and picked up flowers from Waitrose and threw them all together on the day. The groomsmen had beer inspired wheat and hop buttonholes which we ordered from a seller on Etsy.
THE CAKE | Andy and I are not really wedding cake people and quickly decided we’d give it a miss and just do a massive dessert table with our favourite sweets from Scotland, England and Canada. We did like the tradition of cutting cake, so we decided to make the tradition more personal to us and we “cut” the main roast beef course for the wedding. It was hilarious and seemed fitting since we both love food.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | We both really really hate having our photos taken, and are not at ease in front of the camera, so we knew it would be tough to find someone who could make us feel at ease. Alline Beatrici was recommended to us and her portfolio of wedding photos blew us away. However, what really convinced us to book her is that she described herself as a photographer/ninja who could blend into the background while snapping away.
On the day of the wedding, she totally became one of the family, capturing all of the laughs, candid moments and tears. She not only took incredible photos, but she even jumped in to put the finishing touches on the reception décor before our guests arrived!
We received the photos quickly after the wedding and were blown away by the beautiful and candid pics from that day. We truly will treasure them forever.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | I really was clueless as to where to start with the décor, we really didn’t have a theme colour or anything in mind. My maid of honour/sister is very creative and a whizz at Pinterest, she really handled most of the details and décor. She made all of the beautiful chalkboard signs, which everyone raved about. My only contribution was the pom-pom flowers and washi tape name cards. We also had one big wedding crafting night (which I recommend!) with my sister and my best friend, Priscilla to do the photo booth backdrop, props and menus. It was brilliant having the girls all together, since it made it fun. Plus we were done all of the details and décor 3-4 weeks before the wedding, which was key so I could focus on the food!
THE HONEYMOON | We spent 5 weeks travelling around stopping in Shanghai, Bali, Tokyo and NYC. A glorious combination of food, sun, beach, city and relaxation!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | There were so many happy and memorable moments but there were a few highlights of course.
My highlights were: sneaking away from our families and had our first look in our back garden. It was such a blessing to have those 15-20 minutes alone on the day; the vows at our ceremony, we each wrote our own and they were sweet, a bit cheeky and very personal; having my chef friends execute and serve up food – it meant a lot to me to know that people I trusted, were in charge of executing the menu.
Andy’s highlights were: cutting the steak! It was a massive bit of meat and it was fun to help carve it; I loved the craft beer station that we put together, I had the tough jobs of tasting and picking my favourite beers and taste testing snacks, it was great seeing it all come together and everyone enjoying it; seeing Jane in an apron on our wedding day!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Forget about tradition do whatever makes both of you happy.
Don’t stress about the details (I know that’s easier said than done). Andy booked me a massage the night before so I’d have to stop working on wedding stuff and just relax, it was the best idea ever!
The day will go by fast, make sure to carve out some private time for yourselves, whether it’s a first look, after the ceremony or before the reception. That time alone really made us focus on the most important thing, which was we were getting married.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Alline Beatrici
The Dress | Ritva Westenius
Ceremony | Islington Town Hall
Venue After Ceremony Drinks | Narrow Boat Pub
Reception Venue | Lumiere London – The Gallery
Food | Chef Jane Tran
Flowers | Waitrose
Hair & Make up | Blow Ltd
Such a special day.
Andy and Jane, thank you both so much for sharing your lovely nuptials with us xo Lou