What happens when tropical meets Art Deco and all set in a swimming pool in London? Let’s find out shall we?
WWW readers Hannah and Olly were hitched on the 13th May 2017 at The Lido Café in Brockwell Lido in the middle of the city. They live in London and so a local laid back day was perfect for the pair, it also added a fun spark to their day and made for the perfect backdrop to their dreamy images by Andrew Brannan. Huge thanks to Andrew for sharing these light filled candid images, I especially love the shots of the couple dancing like no one is watching. Pure perfection.
Taking inspiration from the Art Deco venue, the cake creation featured sliver geometric shapes and the outfits had a touch of Gatsby glamour. They also added tropical vibes with tropical flowers including Birds of Paradise and hand crafted leaves for the tables. The result was just marvellous. Such a stylish and happy couple, their day radiates love and joy throughout.
THE PROPOSAL | It was our two year anniversary and Olly hijacked the plan to revisit the first date venue for dinner, with a surprise trip to The Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard. It was incredible! Pretty much when we arrived he got down on one knee in the suite we had for the evening. We had dinner in the room whilst we looked out over the skyscrapers and had a mini party – we even got a complaint because our music was too loud, oops!
THE VISION | We wanted to create an occasion that was laid back and fun. A true celebration, which everyone felt a part of. We wanted it to be our wedding and not necessarily bow to traditions that we didn’t like or feel the need for. “Formal when it needed to be” is perhaps the best description!
THE PLANNING PROCESS | The process was by and large quite relaxed. Neither of us were massively precious about things, so we mostly agreed on stuff and when one of us had more ideas or knowledge around a particular area, we generally split the tasks that way.
At the very start, we set ourselves an absolute maximum budget and set about prioritising areas of expenditure so we could make sure we’d nailed the important stuff and didn’t get too carried away.
The venue was the top priority for us and we worked through options including a museum, a roof garden, an orangery, a gallery, a town hall, and a restaurant. Many were ruled out by budget, some by the limitations of the venue (suppliers, timings, access) or just the lack of the right vibe!
We basically did everything on the internet and Olly created an uber spread sheet with endless formulas so we could keep a track of the whole thing easily. By his own admission he made the spread sheet “a bit too complicated” and ended up deleting most of it anyway!
THE VENUE | The Lido Café, Brockwell Lido, Herne Hill, London.
The venue was the big conundrum. We couldn’t quite put our finger on what it needed to be, but we knew it would need to have quite a big personality to bring that fun element and spark ideas for how the day would run, what the outfits and themes would be etc.
We live in London and wanted to find a venue close to home. A friend mentioned that The Lido Café is a venue for weddings and as soon as we stepped in, we knew it was right for us.
We have to also give a big shout to the team at The Lido Café who were incredibly helpful throughout the whole process and were a pleasure to work with.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | The dress is actually a top and skirt from the Martina Liana separates range – Tyler top and Sanja skirt. I’ve already worn the top again since paired with some more casual trousers. I wore a full length veil and the headpiece was by Nieve Designer Couture, all from Minster Designs in Wimborne Minster, Dorset.
The shoes are from House of Fraser’s own range Linea. The style is called Minelli and brings that kind of golden age of Hollywood look I was after. The necklace is a vintage 1960s piece from John Lewis. It has a pearl and a blue jewel so doubled up as my something old and something blue.
FINDING THE DRESS | This was maybe the fourth thing I tried on and it was the very first shop we visited. I had some ideas about what I wanted (this was not it!) and I was expecting to be in for the long haul as I am quite difficult to please on the wedding dress front. I didn’t want lots of lace or ruffles or diamanté etc. I thought an A-line would feel most comfortable as I’m conscious about things being too tight. I’d resigned myself to lots of trying on and keeping an open mind!
We ended up in Dorset as we were visiting Olly’s family and as a mother of two boys, we wanted to involve his mum in the dress shopping fun.
The shop were great at listening to the details of the wedding and what I like as a person to find a great selection of options. The others I tried were all beautiful but didn’t feel like me. This one was perfect for me and the venue. I felt comfortable, sleek and really grown up.
At the same time, I tried the headpiece and the veil. I thought I didn’t want all of that faff, but I was won over. Particularly by my sister who reminded me I will never get an occasion to wear a veil to again.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | The groom and the two best men all wore the same navy blue suit from ASOS, which were purchased on Black Friday (top tip, bargain hunters!). The ties were from TM Lewin and came after the bridesmaid dresses so the colours matched. Olly also wore a vintage poppy tie pin, which Hannah found on Etsy and got it as a little extra for Olly to wear as Hannah’s middle name is Poppy.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | Ceremony music: Hannah walked down the aisle to ‘Pure Imagination’ from the film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Olly did his own orchestral remix of Derrick May’s dance classic ‘Strings of Life’ which played while we signed the register, and we walked back down the aisle to ‘Right By Your Side’ by The Eurythmics.
Readings: Hannah’s dad was asked to do a reading and we asked him to pick his own because he’s very into poetry. He surprised us with three: 1. Mervyn Peake, ‘Out of the Chaos of My Doubt’; 2. Rod McKuen, ‘Taking the Time’; and EE Cummings, ‘I Carry Your Heart’.
Our friend Hannah then read (an abridged version of) the lyrics for ‘As’ by Stevie Wonder.
Reception and evening music: We had a mix of our favourite tunes playing in the background during drinks and dinner and then Olly’s friends, all formerly of their university DJ society, each played a set. They did a smashing job of playing everything from soul and disco, to 80s, to RnB and Garage, to 90s house and dance. The first dance was Sister Sledge ‘Thinking of You (Dimitri from Paris Remix)’, the last dance was a memorable rave-up to Sigma’s ‘Nobody To Love’.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | The bridesmaids were Hannah’s little sister and best friend Becky who also gave Hannah away, and Lindsay, a friend of old who has always been there through some really tough times. They wore matching dresses from ASOS in mint with silver detailing.
THE FLOWERS | The flowers were incredible! So beautiful and amazing value. We found Harley’s Flowers as a local florist online. You could see from her portfolio that she really responds to what people are after and doesn’t do the same thing for every bride.
Our brief was tropical and we had specifically asked to include birds of paradise. Harley came back straight away with a few pictures of suggested looks and they were spot on. We just ordered bouquets and buttonholes for the groom, best men and family members as we felt the venue didn’t really need floral arrangements.
THE CAKE | We were completely blown away by the cake! It was designed and made by the sister of a friend of ours who at the moment does this in her spare time. We told Katie about the venue and said we were looking at a tropical/deco theme which isn’t easy to combine in one thing! She came back with a design for four tiers with the option to make the bottom a fake layer, which we did because we loved the design so much!
She took her colour palette cue with the mint and silver from the bridesmaid dresses and topped the cake with gorgeous hand crafted sugar flowers – including hibiscus and birds of paradise – that we cannot even imagine how she made. We made a last minute addition of a Mr Peanut figurine to the top of the cake. We have him from Olly’s Grandma who acquired him age 13. He has pride of place at home and as Grandma very kindly bought us the cake, we thought it would be very fitting to have him on top.
The top cake was Victoria sponge, the middle was chocolate and the bottom lemon with white chocolate ganache. Delicious!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Our photographer was the brilliant Andrew Brannan from Pink Daisy Weddings. Like everything else, Google brought us to Pink Daisy and we could not recommend them highly enough. They have photographers in every price band and to suit every style. We immediately loved Andrew’s more unusual documentary style as we didn’t want anything too posed. He is such a nice guy and just fitted right in. All the shots were really natural as he went around capturing the day as it unfolded.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | We took inspiration from The Lido’s Art Deco style as well as the big palms that are in the Café to create a kind of deco/tropical theme. We kept much of the decoration in the Lido as was. They always have large paper pom poms hanging from the ceiling so we chose the colours we wanted and we kept all the plants and pictures including vintage photos of swimmers.
A special shout has to go here to Hannah’s mum, Di, who created an amazing home made archway for us to get married under comprising tinsel, paper tropical leaves, origami flowers and paper parrots! She also hand-made over 200 more tropical leaves and flowers, which were used as table decorations. The effort was amazing! We used leaves from a laurel plant in our garden to make the table place names. Unfortunately due to the, er, ‘organic’ nature some turned an interesting shade of brown in transit. Thankfully they were still just about legible!
Lastly we named the tables after structures from the 1951 Festival of Britain as that was a random connection we realised we have when we first met.
THE HONEYMOON | We are still in the midst of planning this! We are going away to Tuscany for two weeks in August and currently planning our route. We took two days off after the wedding in The New Forest to recharge our batteries.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Olly’s mum works as a keep-fit instructor for over 50s and put together an amazing Flash Mob-esque routine to Mark Ronson’s ‘Uptown Funk’. Unbeknownst to Olly and Hannah she had previously sent a video of the routine to everyone attending the wedding through a private YouTube link and asked people to learn it. It was a huge surprise to us and was amazing! We also had another musical surprise; Olly’s stepfather Pete and Hannah share a love for David Bowie and Pete had used a family friend’s music studio to record his own version of ‘Space Oddity’ with words relevant for the wedding!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | What they say about the day going quickly really is so true. Definitely ensure you stop and take a minute where possible to appreciate everything as much as you can!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Dress | Minster Designs
Cake | Katie Cupcakey
Bridesmaid’s Dresses | ASOS
Groom/Best Man Suits | ASOS
Flowers | Harley’s Flowers
Bride’s Make-Up/Hair | Mari Y Wedding
Rings | Midas Touch
Just so special and unique. I do love a wedding with personality shining through.
Huge thanks to Hannah and Olly for sharing their wedding story here with us xo Lou