By Louise Baltruschat Hollis
Photos by Cat Arwel Photography
WWW readers Pete and Helen are a real inspiration. You see, their Walthamstow Register Office wedding in London was affected by Covid-19, so they adapted and ploughed ahead regardless. The result was the most beautiful vintage style kees up, with a personal intimate ceremony and a pub gathering.
Helen wore a gorgeous original vintage 1960s dress that she teamed with a faux fur coat and glitter block heels. Pete meanwhile wore a brown wool suit, knitted polka dot tie and maroon brogues. Didn’t they just look incredible?
Look out for pretty flowers, fun helium balloons and a lot of love all round. Cat Arwel Photography thank you so much for sharing these super special shots of what turned out to be a very splendid day indeed.
Pete surprised me with a cliffside proposal at The Minack Theatre in Cornwall in August 2019. It was the most beautiful shock, that apparently all of our friends and family knew about and had managed to keep secret for six months.
We wanted a fun and relaxed day that felt like us. We live in Waltham Forest and as Pete’s parents got married at Walthamstow Registry Office 40 years ago we knew that had to be the ceremony location.
We planned a small ceremony for 30 and then booked a minibus to take everyone to Bloomsbury Bowling for a big party in the evening, where the rest of our friends would join us. However, this was the week leading up to Christmas 2021 and COVID had other plans – unfortunately, a fair few guests were struck down by it (including the best man) or felt very nervous about coming to London in the days prior to our date and so wouldn’t be able to make it.
As our guest list got smaller we decided the day before the wedding to re-arrange our big party to the summer so we could just focus on getting married and stop being so stressed about numbers.
We ended up heading to The Castle pub next to the Registry Office after the ceremony, thankfully they had space for us. We had a proper knees-up with those guests who could still come, which turned out to be the best possible decision after such a stressful week.
The pub was amazing, everyone had the best time, we were so happy and the whole thing was a real lesson in not sweating the small stuff!
Helen got ready at the Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green
Ceremony – Walthamstow Registry Office
After – The Castle Pub
Pete – bought his three piece brown wool suit from Beggar’s Run in Shoreditch.
Recommended by a friend, he liked their vibe and went for a few fittngs to get the perfect suit. The guys there were so helpful and offered a very relaxed service. His shoes were maroon brogues from Loake.
Helen – found her 1960s vintage dress on Etsy via CircaVintageLondon. It needed restoring and altering but with the help of her mum and a colleague it got sorted and it was worth every second spent on it. The coat was from Shrimps and shoes were from ASOS.
We had a personal ceremony in the Registry Office with our own vows. A few of the groomsmen set up a phone camera so that the best man and his wife and some other friends could zoom in.
Everyone had to wear masks in the room but it didn’t matter one bit. Walking in and seeing all of our friends and family, and feeling so much love was just unbelievable. Helen walked down the aisle with her mum and dad to ‘Waterloo Sunset’ by The Kinks.
We signed the register to This Modern Love by Bloc Party and we left to Baby, I’m Yours by Arctic Monkeys.
Our photographer was Cat Arwel, and she was just a dream to work with. We met for a coffee the week before the wedding and had a wander round Walthamstow Village, which meant that on the day she knew where we could go for some great shots with just the two of us.
She captured all of the important moments of the day and made us feel so relaxed in front of the camera. You can really feel the happiness radiating from the photos – and all of our guests said how lovely she was.
We didn’t really have a theme, but knew we wanted jewel-like colours as a vague guide, and we just picked the things we liked the most. After cancelling the party we decided to keep it really simple and just rearranged 4 of the giant balloons (we had ordered 8) to have at the pub in the afternoon.
Our flowers were from Edie Rose who is very local to us. We met for a chat and sent her our Pinterest board with the kind of vibe we liked for the flowers and she created the most gorgeous bouquets and buttonholes.
Helen’s brother designed our invites which were boxing themed!
Our friend Jack made us an incredible cake, based on the Gerrard cake from Peep Show – in fact, he made another as well, so we had enough for the original guest list of 128, and safe to say no one in the pub went home cake-less.
We were meant to go to Munich and Baden-Baden straight ager Christmas but due to restrictions we cancelled and rescheduled this to the summer. It’s nice to have this to look forward to!
All of it was completely magical but a few highlights:
Don’t be afraid to ask for help – your friends and family are invaluable and want to support you.
The actual moment of getting married is 100% the best thing in the world – the other stuff is all great and lovely, but when things feel stressful and out of control remember why you are doing all of it.
As my mum said when it all felt a bit impossible – just hold fast to each other!
Goodness so beautiful!
Pete and Helen thank you ever so much for sharing your Walthamstow Register Office wedding story with us. I hope you have the most perfect wedding bash and honeymoon really soon!
Credit where credit is due
Photographer Cat Arwel Photography
Ceremony Venue Walthamstow Register Office
Reception Venue The Castle Pub
Florist Edie Rose
Pete’s Suit Beggars Run
Helen’s Dress Circa Vintage
Helen’s Shoes ASOS
Hair & Make Up Rowhan via Blow Ltd.
Balloons Bubblegum Balloons
Earrings Ivory & Co
Helen’s Ring Sarah Hickey
Pete’s Ring EC One
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