This urban meets soft and stylish affair is filled with divine ideas today.
Daniel and Stewart chose to get married on the 29th August 2015 at Trinity Buoy Wharf in London. Their biggest priority was ensuring that their wedding was inclusive, welcoming and representative of them as a couple. They really thought about every little detail, from using the same scented candles and toiletries as they have at home to using their fave drinks in the bar. Then there were the lush florals in white hues which worked so well with the luxe navy paper goods.
Daniel and Stewart looked very suave in their Burberry and Paul Smith suits and chosen accessories. I loved hearing about their ceremony music especially, the flash mob sounded like a really very special moment indeed.
THE PROPOSAL | When on holiday in California, the proposal took place in a private vineyard in Napa Valley.
Ahead of the trip, Dan had spent time being photographed in places that had significant meaning to both Dan & Stew. In each location (their first flat, the table in which they had their first date etc etc), Dan held a series of signs, which told the story of their relationship to date. The final sign simply said ‘Marry Me?’.
Once all photos were taken, Dan bought the newest iPad that had just been released (Stew loves an Apple product!) and uploaded all the photos onto the new device, ensuring that all plastic wrapping was replaced, so it looked like the box and iPad hadn’t been opened.
Following a romantic private wine tour, with the sun setting over Napa Valley, Dan gave Stew the iPad wrapped up. Giving this as a ‘wanting to do something nice for you’ – Stew was delighted with the new iPad! Daniel then said ‘Isn’t it strange when brand new devices have photo’s on them already’. At this point, Stew went to the photo app – and saw the first picture of Daniel, holding the first sign “There was once a boy named Stew”.
Stew began to flick through all the photos (30 in total) as the story of their five years together unfolded – and as he reached the last sign, he looked up and Daniel was down on one knee.
In advance, Daniel had framed the final ‘Marry Me’ sign – which waited back at their flat, for Stew to open when they got home after the trip – which is now hanging in their bedroom.
THE VISION | Create a wedding that felt inclusive, welcoming, personal and authentic to Stew and Dan as a couple.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | Planning went in this order;
Spend 6 months in denial
Spend 3 months trying to decide what country and what city to get married in (which was obviously always going to be London)
Having settled on London – look at every possible wedding venue known to man
Serendipitously meet Sarah McAnulty, Emerald & Mae
Spend the next 12 months working collaboratively as a team, starting with the big decisions, taking them each one at a time, and stand back on the day knowing all the work, stress, fights and bottles of wine during deliberation had been worth it
BUDGET | We spent double what we had originally planned to spend…….but hey, if you’re going to do it – do it right!
THE VENUE | Chain Store Trinity Buoy Wharf.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Dan wore a navy tux by Burberry, Stew wore a navy Paul Smith suit.
ACCESSORIES | Braces, tie pins and kick ass shoes.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | Music is a big part of Daniel’s live, it being the family profession of choice.
Music was provided by Daniel’s brother’s barber shop quartet – singing acapella, they sung the grooms down the aisle to God Only Knows – The Beach Boys, and singing them out to The Longest Time – Billy Joel.
They chose one reading, which was song lyrics from The Story, read by one of Daniel’s closest friends.
Daniel did surprised Stew during the ceremony with one other musical performance. A close friend of both stood up to sing acapella, supported by the barber shop quartet, a song from one of Daniel’s favourite singer/songwriters, Sara Bareilles.
The upbeat and celebratory song, I Choose You, recounts the personal decision taken to spend the rest of your life with someone.
As the soloist completed the first verse and chorus, with the barber shop in support, a surprise ‘flash mob choir’ made up of close friends of both Stew and Daniel, rose to their feet from all different parts of the congregation, and began to join in, walking to the front of the venue to provide a full backing choir and triple the volume and personal touches of the performance.
Stew was really taken aback, overwhelmed and touched by the effort some of his closest friends had gone to surprise and join in the day’s celebration, until Daniel, who was sitting next to Stew at the front of the venue, stood and took the lead on the final verse and chorus, to serenade his husband on their wedding day, with words that were personal, heartfelt and genuine.
Was a really special and joyous moment of the day.
THE FLOWERS | The flowers were a gorgeous mix of different heights and species, all in white, using a mix of gypsophila, hydrangeas and roses. The flowers were a real highlight for both grooms on the day – the florist was just unbelievably great, super creative and such value for money. Couldn’t recommend them more highly.
THE PLANNER | Emerald & Mae – Sarah McAnulty. Who was incredible. We could not have done it without her.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Kari Bellamy. Who was equally as incredible. She was able to capture the day, the ambiance and our personalities perfectly.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | The venue was very urban, with concrete floor, stunning wooden roof and exposed bricks. In order to soften the natural building elements, it was important to the couple to create a warm and inviting theme and style that ran throughout the event, from the save the dates, to the invites, to the venue decoration that complimented the bold elements of building – including a specifically designed D&S monogram. The colours navy, white, soft grey, with natural hessian and craft paper were combined with personal touches to bring a sense of the couple into the space.
It’s also worth pointing out that the venue is dry hire, with no infrastructure at all. Everything needs to be brought in; chairs, tables, cutlery, staff, a kitchen to cook in, a tent to house the kitchen to cook in… any bit of decoration, anything you can think of – has to be brought in externally. If you want music – bring in a band. If you want to hear the band, or have guests here you for the speeches, then you’ll need full AV that can bring in speakers and microphones. The only thing existing is the floors, ceiling, toilets and incredible view. Plus no corkage charge. That was a bonus.
The couple were able to project their monogram onto the wall of the venue, and use additional festoon lights to highlight the wood ceiling, and used draping to split the room into three distinct spaces – with a phased approach to removing the drapes throughout the day, to ensure the venue was expanding and changing as the guests moved from ceremony, into the dinner, into the evening reception.
Each table had a bottle of Dan’s favourite gin, Hendricks on the table, along with a Lime, Basil, Mandarin Jo Malone candle (the scent used in their home), 4 small glass and copper tea lights and rustic table runner.
They used corresponding Jo Malone hand wash and moisturiser in the ladies bathrooms, and Noble Isle Whisky and Water hand wash and moisturiser in the men’s, again, which you’ll find in their home.
On every table, was two copies of the Wedding Guest Roulette Book, a 32 page matching booklet that gave a fun and personal paragraph on each guest. Written per table, the booklet was a simple and greatly appreciated mechanic to ensure that all guests got a chance to meet, mingle and chat to each other, based on info included in the book.
The grooms wanted to use personal connections with each drink being served. The champagne was Taittinger, which has close connections to Daniel through his job, the red was from Napa Valley, where the couple got engaged and the white was from a vineyard in New Zealand, close to where their very close friend and Master Of Ceremony’s was from. With a strong Scottish heritage, and a large number of Scottish guests in attendance, the grooms made sure there was a whisky bar offered in the evening, also ensuring his Scottish grandparents in the day, who had both passed, were part of the day’s celebrations. One whisky was from the distillery in the highlands where Daniel’s grandmother was from, one was his Grandfather’s favourite whisky, and the final one was an 18 yr malt that his Uncle would only drink on special occasions.
To make sure that the couple didn’t give their guests the worst hangovers, they also had a simple water station, with four 5 litter glass water dispensers, matching the style of the wedding. In each they put different ingredients to give the water simple flavours and make them look interesting (cucumber, mint, lemon & lime and summer fruits).
As the engagement was quite unique, the couple printed the photos that Daniel had taken, and displayed them in order in the corridor to the restrooms, and on a simple shelving unit at the end of the corridor, displayed 15 of their RSVP cards – where they had asked guests for any ‘words of wisdom’ to share with the couple ahead of the big day. Was a simple and fun way to bring more personal touches of the couple and their guests into the day as a whole.
THE HONEYMOON | The eastern seaboard of the US – traveling through the rustic and romantic Cape Cod, staying in small local boutique hotels and eating way too many lobster rolls.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Daniel – Stew’s speech, our guests being emotional during the ceremony and giving us a standing ovation was we were pronounced married and the awesome fresh hand pulled pizza truck we brought in for the evening.
Stew – the flash mob choir was something I’ll never forget, exchanging the vows was such a significant moment that will always stay with me, dancing way more than I usually do, with our live band and Dan’s speech, which made me laugh and cry.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Whatever you do, make it personal and authentic. It’s not about the costs, it’s about creating the an atmosphere and environment that marks the start of the rest of your life together
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Wedding Planner | Emerald and Mae
Venue | Trinity Buoy Wharf
Wedding stationers | Project Pretty
Draping, AV supplier & Caterer | Focus AV
Flowers | Moggy Blooms
Pizza truck | Luca Buca
Band | The Electrics
Candles and women’s bathroom accessories | Jo Malone
Men’s bathroom accessories | Noble Isle
Table and venue candles | Nkuku
Dan’s suit | Burberry
Stew’s suit | Paul Smith
Thanks so much to Daniel and Stewart for sharing their amazing wedding story with us here today xo Lou