By Louise Baltruschat Hollis
Welcome to the bright and beautiful Spring riverside London wedding of Helen and Mikey. Their day was a real party in the city, at Trinity Buoy Wharf to be precise, which included a boat ride, a pet pup as a bridesmaid and a serious dose of love.
Their vision and main focus was for a wedding that ensured all of their guests had a wonderful time, with lots of great food and drink for good measure. It all turned out to be so joyful and the fabulous images today are courtesy of Ellie Gillard Photography, thanks so much for sharing them with us Ellie!
To bring their day to life wedding planners Union Weddings pulled out all the stops. Flowers were the main feature of the day and they were just marvellous, Spring blooms were used everywhere in multicolours, yay! There was also a lot of style with Helen donning a stunning sequin wedding dress and Mikey suited and booted in a bespoke suit with black leather tie and Saint Laurent boots. Wow! I have a feeling their day is really going to leave you feeling filled with joy.
Mikey proposed up a mountain in the Peak District, via a picnic and a bottle of beer with the label ‘I love you, will you marry me’ (an actual beer that exists!). He hid a gorgeous 1920s ring in our lunchbox, I said yes with only our dog Dolly and several sheep to see it.
We wanted to have a day that everyone (us included) loved every minute of, so from the outset we decided on the stuff that really mattered to us – a venue that was easy for as many friends and family as possible to get to, and that we could bring in fantastic food and booze into, all on us. We were keen to do things our own way and not make anyone do anything they didn’t want to even if that meant forgoing a bit of tradition. Helen’s folks and some close friends had passed away some years before and she was determined that having gathered her family and friends too many times for funerals, this would be an opportunity to gather everyone important in our lives together to celebrate something lovely and wonderful. We wanted it to feel really joyous and fun and also super personal, a way of telling everyone not just how much we loved each other but how lucky we were to have them in our lives. We wanted the food, booze and fun to be plentiful.
We knew we wanted a London wedding, and had a few ideas on the style – lots of flowers and something that really reflected us and our relationship but we’d have been lost without Carrie and Ali at Union Weddings who just made everything we had an idea about possible – they found a brilliant venue and helped us source everything else – throwing lots of ideas in that made it even better. Having decided to get married, we didn’t want to wait so having amazing planners helped us plan everything within six months – and made the whole process enjoyable. Someone said to me, that it was important to enjoy every moment so we tried to do that. All our meetings with Carrie and Ali usually happened with a glass of wine and we tried to make every part of every decision or shopping trip a lovely experience – we managed to avoid most stresses! We’re both from up North but having lived in East London for years and having fell in love there, we wanted the wedding to be local, and an opportunity for our family to have a fun weekend away – we also wanted to use as many local suppliers and business people as possible.
Trinity Buoy Wharf, London
Helen’s hairdresser and friend Nicole did all the hair.
Best man, Chris, MC, Tim – no formal dress code, as we said earlier we wanted it to feel informal and not put too much pressure on anyone.
When Helen’s mum died, her bridesmaid Manny offered to buy her wedding dress when she got married – 15 years later as soon as Helen announced she was engaged, Manny called to remind her that she’d be honoured to help her pick and pay for her dress. This made the whole thing so lovely – we settled on a Karen Willis Holmes sequin dress from Angelica Bridal – Helen went with her friend Molly to the shop and fell in love with it immediately, following the excellent advice from Molly that you can tell it’s the one when you can’t stop looking at yourself in it – one trip back with Manny and the choice was confirmed. Shoes were by Christian Louboutin, and Helen wore an old bracelet of her mum’s that she had repaired for the occasion.
Mikey wore a bespoke suit from Sir Tom Baker in Soho with black leather tie and Saint Laurent boots. He’s not keen on attention (unlike Helen!) but felt a million dollars in his suit, as well as loving the process of having it fitted by a tailor to rockstars.
‘First Meeting’ by A.S.J Tessimond
‘What it is’ by Eric Fried
‘Til there was you’ performed by our friends Ros on vocals and Tim on keyboard.
Tim and Ros surprised Helen (a massive power ballads fan) with a rendition of ‘Never Tear Us Apart’ by Inxs.
Were the main focus of the decorations – we wanted to fill the big white warehouse space with a riot of spring flowers – including huge hanging flower balls from the ceiling. Guests said the smell hit them as soon as they walked in the warehouse doors.
No cake – we don’t like it so decided not to bother!
The flowers were the main thing. Resetting the room from the service to the banquet to the party but hanging flowers meant they could stay in place
We set sail on a boat down the Thames whilst the room was reset, enjoying champagne and a picnic buffet (scotch eggs and sausage rolls). We then came back for the wedding breakfast, speeches, cocktails and dancing to a band.
The place settings were postcards, each written with a personal message saying why that person was special in our lives and thanking them for coming – it took ages but we were so glad we did it!
We really wanted people to feel well fed and well watered – so the food and drink kept coming – and the fish and chip van outside for the evening went down a treat.
We also asked people to donate to the amazing St Joseph’s Hospice in Hackney in memory of our dear friend Cheryl, who set us up, it was lovely to have something good come out of the party as well as everyone having a great time.
Nashville, Memphis and Dollywood.
Manny – Maid of Honour – wore Victoria Beckham and Jimmy Choo.
Martha (Helen’s cousin) – Bridesmaid – wore Iris and Ink dress. Roland Cartier shoes.
Tilly (Helen’s cousin) – Bridesmaid – wore John Rocha from Debenhams.
Dolly (beloved Shnauzer pup) – Bridesmaid – wore gold and crystal necklace from Holly and Lil.
Ellie Gillard – we both hate having our picture taken but Ellie was great at making us feel relaxed and we so love the album she made afterwards.
All of it! Walking in to the venue and being overwhelmed by a sea of smiles and a feeling of love.
Dolly our dog being a bridesmaid.
Being on the boat and all the guests waving at the tourists on Tower Bridge who cheered back.
Helen’s friend’s Helen and Romilly doing the ‘father of the bride’ speech as Helen’s dad Ernie had recently passed away – they did him proud.
Ice lollies outside (it was very hot!).
Do what you want to do and don’t worry about having to follow traditions if they don’t feel right.
Take a moment to look around and revel in that amazing combination of people being there to celebrate something so special.
Make time for each other and to speak to everyone there – we worked our way round during coffee and were so pleased we managed to speak to everyone – even if just for a few minutes.
Don’t waste a penny on the stuff you’re not interested in; we didn’t bother with a cake, posh transport to the venue (we came and went in a black cab) or wedding favours.
Ellie Gillard Photography
Trinity Buoy Wharf
Fish & Chips
How very gorgeous.
Helen and Mikey, thank you so so much for sharing your multicolour wedding with us, so so lovely xo Lou
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