This wedding has so many elements I am utterly loving and I think you are going to be left feeling super inspired once you have read all about this special celebration.
Helen and Shaun were married on the 2nd March 2018 at Orleans House Gallery before taking a boat to their reception at the The Wharf Teddington in London. They decided against any traditions that didn’t work for them; such as having donuts instead of a wedding cake and they simply focused on giving their guests a great experience.
Helen didn’t want to wear a wedding dress and instead chose a super stylish bridal jumpsuit by House of Ollichon. The wide leg trousers and lace sleeves are just stunning, she looked so very beautiful. Shaun opted for a smart suit and burnt orange tie, with a modern succulent buttonhole. In fact there were no flowers at their wedding, but purely greenery and foliage used throughout. The results were gorgeous, especially in the reception room teamed with personal touches and pretty lighting.
Of course, I just have to mention the snow! The snow really made for the most magical backdrop to their incredible photographs by WWW fave My Beautiful Bride. We are just so grateful to be sharing them with you today.
Neither of us proposed. We kept having conversations about getting married as it was getting onto 9 years together. We finally made the decision to do it while eating fried chicken burgers at Byron Burger in Richmond, as guacamole dripped down my hand…!
We really wanted to have a day where everyone just had a great time. Something simple, but with some unexpected elements. The snow storm was definitely an unexpected element…!
The Planning Process
Planning was surprisingly easy and enjoyable. We were both involved, and neither one of us did more work than the other. We had spreadsheets for costings and timings, this helped us see if things were getting too costly, or if we were trying to do too much. We were lucky that we didn’t have pressure from friends or family to do anything we didn’t want to do, so it was just a lot of relaxed conversations between the two of us.
We were determined that we could get a lovely wedding without breaking the bank. There were the key things we knew we wouldn’t cut corners on, such as an amazing photographer, great food and wine, and what we wore on the day. Apart from those things we bypassed a lot of other things; our mantra the whole time was ‘do we really love it; can we do without it’? It’s very easy to be sucked into the latest trends or listen too much to what other people think should be done at a wedding. Don’t spend money on things you think other people will love, only do it if you love it – it’s your money!
We got married at the beautiful Orleans House Gallery in Twickenham. They had a huge renovation just before, and we were the first wedding to take place in the newly refurbished building. It was a little nerve wracking in the build-up, seeing the scaffolding still on every time we passed, but it all worked out and was stunning. We then got a boat to take the wedding party to the Wharf Restaurant in Teddington for the wedding reception. We live in Teddington, so we kept everything very local.
Your Outfits & Accessories
My outfit was from the wonderful House of Ollichon. It was a wide legged jumpsuit with a lace back and arms. It was more than I could have wished for – I knew I was not a wedding dress person and I could never picture myself as a bride. The jumpsuit made me feel like me, and everyone loved it. I paired the dress with studded nude open toed sandals from Carvella. I had very numb toes when the snow came in.
Shaun’s outfit was a suit from Suit Supply, paired with a burnt orange patterned tie. The tie drew a lot of compliments on the day, it looked quite retro and 60s style.
My hair is very low maintenance day to day; it’s short and straight, so apart from making sure it was coloured the week before, that was all that was needed. I had Sam and Sophie from my local hairdressers, Toni and Guy Teddington, for the bridesmaids who were styled with loose, wavy hair. I’ve known both hairdressers for a while and it was lovely having them with us the morning of the wedding.
Make up was done for myself and my mum, by the fantastic Kristina Gasperas in Richmond. I wanted a bronzed smoky eye and then a natural, glowing base. We had a trial with her a few months before and we were both blown away. She was wonderful on the day too, so positive and calm, even in the face of a snow storm.
The Readings & Music
The guests waiting for the bridal party had a soundtrack of Arctic Monkeys and Last Shadow Puppets tracks.
I walked into Orleans House Gallery to the acoustic version of ‘Stellar’ by Incubus.
Sara, one of my bridesmaids, read an edited version of ‘I wanna be yours’ by Dr John Cooper Clarke.
While we signed the register, we had ‘Stop the World I Wanna Get Off With You’ by Arctic Monkeys.
We walked out to Dave Clark Five ‘Glad All Over’.
On the boat to the Wharf Restaurant, we had put together a Beatles vs. Rolling Stones playlist – alternating between the two artists. That was a lot of fun.
The disco in the evening was mostly 90s/00s cheesy pop and rock disco. As it should be!
Shaun, all the groomsmen, Shaun’s dad, and my dad all had different suits but the same tie, it worked nicely to bring it all together.
I only had two bridesmaids, my very best friends, Sara and Sian. I had thought about having them each in a different dress, but we were struggling to find any that worked. We managed to find two similar dresses that paired beautifully; both tight, embellished tops with thin straps and then tulle skirts. Sian’s was a pale blue/grey dress from Needle and Thread, and Sara’s was a dusky pink dress from Amelia Rose. They had matching grey suede-look biker jackets from Boohoo. I had a tailor remove the belt from both so they were more streamlined and structured.
We used our local florist, Gardenia, for our flowers. I have always loved their shop in Teddington, and they have another shop in Wimbledon that they do wedding flowers from. They were such a delight to work with, and completely blew us away with their final display.
Both Shaun and I love foliage, and green house plants. We knew we wanted a flower-less wedding and wanted to focus all on the greens – ferns, ivy, eucalyptus etc. My bouquet was all greenery, and I loved it. I wanted it quite large and unruly and that was exactly what I got.
We had long tables not round tables at the wedding breakfast, so we had runners all the way down them of green foliage, and then white dinner candles of different heights within the greenery. We also asked for little jars and bottles with sprigs of green here and there throughout the restaurant, which looked lovely against the white and wood of the venue.
Michael Clement (My Beautiful Bride) was our photographer. Michael was wonderful from the first meeting– he even abandoned his car the night before in a snow storm, to make sure he was with us on the day. On the day he was friendly and unobtrusive – so many people told us how nice he was and how at ease he made them feel.
The Details & Décor
Décor was very simple. We let the venues speak for themselves mostly. Orleans House Gallery was newly renovated, and we didn’t add anything to the venue. The Wharf was also beautiful inside on its own, we only added the foliage, candles, and a great local company provided sheets of fairy lights for the dance floor pillars, and the mezzanine surround. The fairy lights were one of my favourite things about the venue, it looked great.
Our table names were pets, both past and present, either that we have had together, or family pets. We had a photo on each table name for each pet, it was so nice to be able to have them all there! It was a little bit emotional for some of the family members to see their beloved pets who are no longer with us, as a part of the wedding.
On every place setting there were some temporary tattoos from a company in Australia – a selection of silly things that meant something to us as a couple. It was very funny to see where they ended up on people over the course of the evening. And even funnier to see people with them on the following morning.
We had a mezzanine level at the Restaurant, this was used to serve the doughnuts, we also had a kids’ activity table up there, and a photobooth from the Photobooth Guys with a hedge backdrop which was so much fun and looked great!
We have both surfed for years and love the South West, so we went to an Air BnB in Cornwall for 5 days – it was great not to think about a long haul flight after the exhaustion of a wedding; we just threw things into the car and strapped our surfboards to the roof and off we went.
The wedding cake was one of those things we classed as something we didn’t love so we didn’t need. And I don’t think anyone misses it when there’s no cake – if they get something for dessert.
We chose to have vegan doughnuts from Crosstown Doughnuts. We had jam filled, vanilla ring and a chocolate ring. The vanilla ring was iced with ‘Wardmac’, which is what some of our friends call us, as it’s a blend of our surnames – Wardman and McCormack.
The snow. So much snow. The morning was very pretty and light, and then just as we were declared man and wife it came down like confetti, and just got heavier. I will never forget standing in front of the Naked Ladies Fountain in Twickenham for some photos, in a blizzard of snow, numb toes, and just laughing with Shaun, the photographer, and Shaun’s best man, Tom. It was otherworldly.
Another moment which stands out to me is getting a call the morning of the wedding from one of my oldest friends, Nicola, in tears saying that the weather meant she couldn’t make it down from the East Midlands. I was so sad she wouldn’t be there, but once we’d had the ceremony and went outside for photos I saw her face in the crowd and was completely gobsmacked. She said she’d cried all the way through breakfast and just decided to try and battle the snow on her own, leaving her young son with her husband and jumping in the car. She made my day.
Advice For Other Couples
Do your own thing. Make sure everything is ‘you’, stay true to the things you like, and don’t do just because it’s expected and ‘weddingy’. Question everything – why can’t you wear that, why do you need a wedding cake, why is it just these people that make speeches, why why why.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
We tried to stay as local as possible with our suppliers. Most are from Teddington, Twickenham, Richmond or the surrounding area.
House of Ollichon
Suits & Ties
Lighting at The Wharf
Twickenham Party Lights
The Wharf Teddington
Helen and Shaun, thank you both ever so much for sharing your beautifully minimalist wedding with us xo Lou