We are in the capital today with Fiona and Michael who were wed on the 28th July 2018 at Stour Space in Hackney Wick, London. I just love their casual industrial wedding style which oozed love and happiness all round. They incorporated a subtle green colour palette in the little details, with the bridesmaids in pretty green tulle skirts, the gents in pale green ties, a beautiful green ribbon adorning Fiona’s romantic dress and green details and decorations throughout. Talking of decoration, much of the décor was handmade, the ribbon rag bunting looked just marvellous as did the moon gate ceremony backdrop and the brilliant stationery design.
The ceremony location was just lovely on the pontoon beside the river and their friend officiated the ceremony. Getting married legally the day before gave them the freedom to have the perfect meaningful ceremony in front of all their loved ones. They then celebrated in the bright gallery space and had their portraits in the surrounding area. There are so many lovely touches and moments, from the lush greenery bouquets to the barge transport and the fantastic first dance. What an amazing celebration!
We have Anne Schwarz Photography to thank today for sharing these incredible captures with us.
We were together for over 10 years, since our schooldays, when we decided to get engaged. The thing that made us decide to get married was Fiona going travelling for a few months. That time apart showed to both of us how important we are to each other. One long conversation later, shortly after Fiona arrived back home, and we had decided that we wanted to commit to being together forever in front of all of our family and friends.
We wanted to keep the feel of the wedding quite casual, and Fiona had always liked the idea of getting married outside. We just wanted a place where everybody could relax and have a good time.
The Planning Process
After some vague conversations had taken us nowhere closer to having arranged a wedding, we started scheduling a weekly ‘wedding club’ for a couple of hours each time. We wanted to take all of the important decisions together so it felt like it truly belonged to both of us.
We didn’t have a set figure in mind, however we both knew that we in no way wanted to get carried away. The most important things to us were getting all of our favourite people in one place with some good food, enough to drink and space to throw some shapes! Everything else outside of those things we considered completely optional and were happy to compromise on hand-made bits and pieces.
We wanted something a little different and, as an architect, Fiona had some strong opinions on what kind of place we were looking for. We chose Stour Space in Hackney Wick because of the great natural lighting, the industrial feel inside the gallery and the awesome pontoon for that outdoor wedding we were looking for.
The Details & Décor
We ‘brought the outdoors in’, with lots of greenery offsetting the hard industrial vibe of the gallery space. Again we asked friends and family for help with decoration, including Fiona and her mum spending hours tying ribbons for over 50m of hanging garland. Michael’s mum made a willow hoop, decorated with more green foliage, which we used as the backdrop for the ceremony.
We designed the menus, place settings and welcome sign to match our green theme, all in the same style as our invites, with Wes Anderson-inspired icons of each of our faces.
We’re not huge fans of cake, so we thought splashing out on a big cake to be a waste for us. Instead, we asked several family & friends if they could contribute something to a cake table.
The decorative theme we had taken for the venue was green foliage to offset the industrial features of the venue. In keeping with this, Fiona selected all-green bouquets with matching buttonholes for the grooms party. The centrepieces were assembled by Fiona and her mum, using plants cultivated by various family members over the preceding months. Again, these were all green and potted in large recycled tins.
The Readings & Music
We had decided to have a very small registry-office wedding the day before, so that we had complete freedom to design our own ceremony. Our friend officiated proceedings and we had three readings. The whole ceremony was wonderfully personal, with our friend performing spectacularly in his role as celebrant and the family & friends we chose for readings doing a fantastic job.
- Marriage – Anon
- Advice from married family & friends
- A potted history of Fiona & Michael
- Entry music: At Last, Etta James
- End of Ceremony: Kiss Me, Sixpence None the Richer
- Afternoon entertainment: Reunited Barbershop Quartet from our school days (featuring one of the best men)
- First Dance: Let’s Dance, David Bowie
Fiona went DIY on the make-up, with a combination of Youtube tutorials and help from her bridesmaids. The whole bridal party went for a trip to a local hairdresser’s on the morning of the wedding. We wanted everybody to feel comfortable with their look on the day, so each person chose their own hairstyle for the day. Fiona went for a braided up-do styled with foliage from her parents’ garden, which turned out to be a great choice given the breeze on the day!
Your Outfits & Accessories
Fiona executed the most efficient wedding dress shop possible. One visit to a bridal shop with one of her Bridesmaids, with the intention of just getting a feel for what the different styles of dress were, led to her finding her perfect dress within a couple of hours. With a halter-neck lace top and a full floor-length tulle skirt, the dress turned out to be ideal for twirling on the dance floor with her bridesmaids. The dress was finished with some green ribbons.
Michael left his suit shopping very late. He had decided on a mid-grey, textured suit with green ties & handkerchiefs to match Fiona’s accessories and the bridesmaid’s skirts. He eventually found ‘the suit’ with a couple of weeks to go and picked it up from its final alterations the week of the wedding.
Groomsmen chose their own grey suits to provide some variation, and were provided with matching pale green polka-dot ties and green buttonholes.
Fiona hunted down the perfect skirt for the bridesmaids, eventually settling on pale green tulle floor-length skirts. Each bridesmaid then brought their own white tops, jewellery and shoes.
Anne was amazing! We got along with her really well from our first planning meeting, through the engagement shoot and on the day itself. She understood what we wanted from the day and we were completely confident in leaving parts of the day in her hands. Neither of us are naturals in front of the camera, but she helped to make it easy for us. We’ve had lots of compliments from people on the quality of our photographs.
The first dance went great! Fiona took on the role of choreographer with about 48 hours to go. It went off perfectly and was a huge hit, culminating in a full spinning lift which Anne, our photographer, captured perfectly!
The speeches were all excellent – from the father of the bride, the bride, the groom and the two best men. There was laughing and crying all around, and all in the right places!
After all the work and expectation building up to the wedding, we treated ourselves to a week and a bit putting our feet up in the Seychelles.
Advice For Other Couples
Have a good think about what parts of the wedding are most important to you right at the beginning of the process. This really helped us to focus our decisions around those things and to discard the parts that weren’t as relevant to us.
And keep talking to each other throughout!
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Anne Schwarz Photography
The Garden Workshop, Hatton Garden
Venue (incl. food)
Grace & Thorn
Love Bridal, Crystal Palace
Oh so wonderful.
Fiona and Michael, thank you both so much for sharing with us your truly beautiful wedding xo Lou