An English Meets US 1930s Feel Wedding with a Silent Disco

1930s wedding

Morning morning, lets get the week started shall we? :-)

Georgie and Andrew were married in May at the stunning Orangery at Holland Park. I love these two, they are just too cool for school. With bride Georgie donning an amazing tattoo and Andrew an amazing beard, these two just have style in buckets.

Georgie wears an amazing vintage Jenny Packham dress with the famous Acacia II headpiece, i love the 1930s feel she oozes.

The venue is opulent, with incredible vibrant blooms decorating the rooms, and not to mention an amazing silent disco for the guests at the end of the night. This is one wedding i want to be at.

Thanks so much to the brilliant Nabeels Camera for sharing his utterly beautiful photography today, here is what he said about the day;

“Georgie & Andrew are such a lovely couple and it was great for me to see his American family and her English family combine. It’s always interesting to see how different cultures are at weddings, even a culture that on the surface seems very similar to our English one.

Andrew had ALL his American friends get ready in a tiny flat in Brixton in the morning which gave it a manic, but exciting vibe in the morning while Georgie got ready right in the middle of the city in her parents flat in Marylebone.

The weather being great thankfully and that the silent disco was one of the most unique things i’ve seen at a wedding. As Georgie says they had tight noise restrictions in Holland Park so they opted for the disco but they managed to keep it a total secret from everyone… not an easy feat.

Plus the headphones were cool in the pictures because they left coloured light trails if i did a long exposure as you can see in the last few images.”


jenny packham bride

Names…. Georgie and Andrew

Wedding Date…. 26 May 2012

The Proposal…. There was no official proposal – we actually decided to get married at San Francisco city hall with just 2 witnesses on a bit of a whim in July 2010, Andrew is American and im British and we couldn’t see another way of being together. So we sort of put the cart before the horse and were married before we were engaged. I think we both saw these two years as a bit of an engagement period though as we knew we wanted to have a wedding with all of our family and friends once we were settled and living together.

The Vision for the day…. The vision: US meets UK – some classic bits of both cultures. US Golden Age of Hollywood meets English garden party, loosely based on a 1930s theme.

The vibe: Un pretentious but elegant, classic with fun and personal touches. We wanted people to share a sense of the journey we’d been through from meeting on my travels in San Francisco to being separated for 2 years, travelling back and forth when we could for visits, until we married in July 2010 then waited 9 months for the visa to be approved for Andrew to move to the UK in march 2011. Being together had been a real test and we wanted to celebrate and share our commitment that we’d made it this far despite difficulties we’d had to overcome.

The Planning process…. Fairly laid back, although we spent almost 6 months trying to find the venue. I wanted a garden type wedding and Andrew wanted it to be in London which was a difficult combination for us to agree on to find a garden in London without it being on or near a main road. Once we saw and fell in love with the Orangery everything else was plain sailing as we had more or less the same ideas about food, music, booze, dancing and the little touches.

Also we had a lot of fun at the numerous food and wine tastings. Our caterers, Party ingredients were fabulous, we really enjoyed planning with them. Tuuli our event manager was fantastic, very calm yet enthusiastic. We originally were going to go with another caterers but they seemed a bit stuffy, and we are so pleased that we didn’t. The food was fantastic, they worked around us and were very warm and accommodating, nothing was a problem. They were also fantastic value for money but gave a 5* service, everyone’s still raving about the food and I just wish I was less nervous on the day to have really got stuck in to it!

The Venue… The Orangery in Holland Park. Surrounded by flowers, in the middle of a gorgeous park, it was sumptuous. We loved the history and the style of the building and that it gave an indoor/ outdoor feel due to the huge windows on all sides letting in the sun and incorporating the nature and wildlife (wild peacocks strutting around) from outside.

The Dress + Accessories….. The dress is a vintage Jenny Packham called Sway and I wore it with the headband acacia II in antique silver.

Finding the dress…. Knowing nothing about wedding dresses before I started I knew I wanted a certain style – that turned out to be Jenny Packham’s signature 1930s style dress. Actually the very first dress I saw on ebay before I even knew who Jenny Packham was, was the one I ended up going for after a lot of browsing on second hand wedding dress sites. I loved the beading and the shape of it but the images of it were on a size 10 model and I’m size 14 so it didn’t do the dress any favours hanging off her. However I took a chance and it was lovely. With a few alterations (a bra loop to keep my bra beneath the dress and slight shortening of the straps to keep my modesty) it was perfect. The vendor also sent me an ivory feather stole/ jacket that added a lot of glamour, it was just too hot on the day to keep it on for very long!

I hired the Acacia II headband in antique silver from Elegant Wedding Creations, a shop on Ebay. Shoes were cheap and cheerful as I knew I wouldn’t wear them again. I went for a t bar diamante sandal with 3” heel that I could dance in and felt fairly secure. i think i got these from Amazon in the end.

Groom’s attire… The American tradition is for men to wear tux’s so despite my initial concerns Andrew was adamant thats what he’d be in. He wanted to stand out with his groomsmen from normal suits, but neither of us like Morning Dress and actually he was so right, he looked fantastic and it was the perfect match for my quite OTT sequined dress.

The Readings + Music…. Andrew and his dad are huge jazz fans so we really wanted a jazz band. I pushed for a New Orleans jazz band as they have a more swinging sound and fit with the era so we got a 3 piece band. I came down the aisle to ‘Crazy ‘bout my baby’ by Fats Waller. We had a solo during the ceremony to remember people who couldn’t be with us and Andrew chose the very moving ‘Goodbye PorkPie hat’ by Charles Mingus then the recessional was ‘S’Wonderful’ by the Gershwins.

The Orangery operates a strict no amplification policy so later on to get around not having a disco after dinner, I hired a silent disco instead as a surprise for everyone. It was a huge hit, even with the dubious and uninitiated amongst the guests. Also it meant we had 2 channels so played something for everyone. I made one playlist a ‘Dad’s disco’ with classic hits from 60’s moving into indie and rock and the other channel was dance music and pop from the last 3 decades. Call me Al by Paul Simon and Gangsters Paradise proved to be huge hits!

The readings were the real hit of the wedding. The one I chose was from my favourite book The Mandarins, by Simone de Beavoir. It followed the first meeting of the heroine Anne (based on Simone) with the character based on her real life love Nelson Algren when she was travelling the USA. It had a lovely parallel with our own meeting, I read the book not long after meeting Andrew so it had a lot of poignancy for me and was subtly understated.

Andrew’s choice was a knock out, hes a fabulous writer and his reading was his actual letter to the Visa application bureau asking for them to change the date of his visa application so he can enter the country sooner to be with me. He made a few embellishments but it was very romantic and in places hilarious. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

We wanted the readings to show people a bit of the jouney we’d been on to get there and I think they both worked beautifully.

Beautiful bridesmaids….. My best friends from Uni Lucie and Jilly were my bridesmaids and did a great job of calming me down the morning of the wedding. They both looked gorgeous. We chose a slightly more 20’s flapper style dress from Biba in a light rose pink with grey beading that closely matched mine. They also had the same shoes as me, only mine were in ivory and theirs were in silver.

I also had my two little nieces Esme and Ivy (4 and 2 yrs old) as flower girls. They looked gorgeous in ivory dresses with embroidery and sequins from M&S with little rose pink sequinned ballet shoes with a bow on the toe also from M&S. after a slightly worrying screaming fit from Ivy leading up to the ceremony, both girls made it down the aisle without any drama.

The Flowers… I didn’t have a strict colour theme but wanted the flowers to add a vintage feel using pinks, apricots and corals. My bouquet was mainly roses in pinks and apricots with some spray roses and berries to soften it. The flowers in the bridesmaids bouquet were all vintage roses that bled from green into pink. Large centre pieces were on every table which had peonies, tulips, roses and some foliage and berries.

Beryl the flower lady did a great job and was remarkably reasonable given the amount of flowers at the wedding. Also she did her table arrangements in pots that could be given away at the end of the day which was lovely for the guests.

The Cake… Didn’t have one – we had a buffet desert instead with … Pavlova Of Peaches And Redcurrants with Chantilly Cream, The Ultimate Chocolate Mousse, Watermelon Lillies Filled With Tropical Fruits, A Selection Of British Cheeses. Seemed a bit much to have cake as well.

Your Photographer…. The lovely and talented Nabeel Khan. Nabeel was fantastic, we met before the day to discuss what Andrew and I wanted. Then went to the venue two weekends before to get some ideas for photos and have a walk around. He was great on the day, not too intrusive but just bossy enough and as you can see he got some brilliant pictures. He’s a very talented and personable chap.

The Details + Decor…. Peacocks were a loose theme due to the wild ones wandering around, they turned up on the bottom of the wedding invite. Apart from that the décor was simple and elegant, white linen, plain clear glass, antique style cutlery. The strongest motif running throughout was the use of art nouveau font for all the menu’s, table seating, name places etc. We wanted the gorgeous grounds and location to be dominant and anything we could have done would have looked a bit tacky and unnecessary in such a gorgeous venue.

The Honeymoon…. We will be going to Crete in September for 10 days, Andrew and I both took a bit of time off before the wedding to see his family and friends who came over for the wedding. Also we were waiting to see from friends and families wedding donations if we were going to Butlins or the Bahamas.

Memorable moments… Andrew’s visa applicant letter as the reading, I didn’t know what the reading was going to be, until i heard it so that was very moving. Everyone, young and old, throwing themselves into the silent disco and then realising that the headphones worked outside on the lawn, soon everyone was out dancing under the stars and if you lifted up your headphone you would hear some very dodgy singing.

Advice for other couples… Don’t over complicate it, the small details that take ages to do, often go unnoticed. I would recommend having a celebrant, I think the ceremony is the most important bit so do it right. Make it personal, make it fun, make it exactly how you are, we had our own made up readings. Andrew is Jewish so we incorporated the fun bits such as the smashing the glass and the mazel tov without it being a religious ceremony as neither of us are religious. Our celebrant Roxy Hotton was fabulous, so warm and engaging, a great sense of humour and really bothered to get to know us both before the day. She, unlike most other celebrants, allows people to have religious elements to their ceremonies if they want, whatever they like! I don’t think it could have been more beautiful. People said that was the most heartfelt and enjoyable ceremony they’d ever been to and it really engaged everyone about why they’re there from the get-go.

Also don’t let people drink too long without giving them some food or nibbles – this didn’t happen at our wedding but at another I’ve just been too. We were all hammered by the speeches and it became a very messy day indeed.

Credit where credit is due…

Party ingredients

West London Flowers

Roxy Hotten – Celebrant

Sally Dobinson – Event Manager, The Orangery at Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea [email protected]

Jeny Packham Acacia II hire – ebay shop – Elegant Wedding Creations

Men’s tux’s – Moss Bros Hire

Wine and alcohol – Majestic Wines (delivered to our caterers 3 days before to chill)



Thanks so very much to Georgie and Andrew for sharing their amazing wedding with us today. I love Georgie’s advice to keep feeding your guest to prevent hammered guests… genius hehe!! :-) XOXO Lou

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1 Comment

  • What a gorgeous wedding! I love that one of the statues became adorned with a guests hat! This wedding looks like it completely and totally epitomised the couple themselves. Also Nabeel has captured it all so beautifully!

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