Heather and Peter’s summer 06 St Chad’s Place wedding was so full of personal touches that really made their day unique. They had a walking post-ceremony procession with a brass band, 1000 origami cranes to bring them good luck and bride Heather chose a stunning ethically sourced Sanyukta Shrestha dress.
Peter and I met drunkenly in Bedford’s only indie club the weekend I graduated from university and here we are more than 7 years later. Peter proposed in a bath tub overlooking the sea in Brighton last April, just over a year before we got married in July of 2015.
The couple chose to hold the wedding in the city so that family and friends travelling from all over were able to make the most of spending the weekend and exploring London.
Our families are all over the place with some in Leeds, Hull, Bedford, Lincoln and even Spain so finding somewhere which suited everyone was just never going to happen. We both live in London, as do most of our friends, so it made sense for us to get married here. As we were asking people to travel to us, we thought London was a great place because people could make a weekend of it and visit the sights whilst here if they wanted to. We kept things small at just under 70 people as I knew I didn’t want to walk into a room and see a single face I didn’t know and it made things feel really intimate and several guests said that they felt really honoured to be there because of that.
Heather’s bridal style is really individual, and also reflected her ethical beliefs in a stunning Sanyukta Shrestha dress from ethically sourced fabrics. Teamed of course with some oh-so photogenic killer heels!
Peter designed my engagement ring with the incredibly talented designer Hattie Rickards and all of her materials are ethically sourced because that was something that was important to me.
So when it came to buy the dress, I wanted to go somewhere where ethical sourcing was a priority which is how I found Sanyukta Shrestha in Fulham. Her dresses are made from the most gorgeous silk and they had a lovely timeless feel to them. I didn’t want to get hung up on the dress too much, searching endlessly for the ‘one’ and the dress I chose made my mum cry so that was good enough for me. My dress search was so easy – I literally bought the first one I tried on!
The headpiece was the trickiest thing. I was adamant that I didn’t want a veil, but I got swept up with things and commissioned one at a bridal show. It was gorgeous but as soon as I put it on, I knew it wasn’t right. I ended up wearing a £30 headpiece from ASOS which received so many compliments. I just wish I had trusted my instincts in the first place and avoided the unnecessary expense.
The shoes were a total blow out, with some financial help from my mum and aunty. They are such an iconic style from Miu Miu and I wanted a shoe I loved, not just a white or metallic shoe which matched the dress. They got a lot of love on the day and I think they got more photographs than I did!
Bridal Party Style
Peter’s suit was from Hardy Amies on Savile Row – great affordable suits that were just the right side of special without being too showy. His bow tie and pocket square were from Reiss as were the groomsmen’s ties and socks.
My beautiful bridesmaids wore dresses from Reiss which perfectly complimented the style and colour of my dress and they bought some fab shoes in the sale at Dune. They chose their accessories themselves, but overall we mostly kept things simple.
Getting ready at the St Pancras Rennaissance, where we were staying, was one of my favourite parts of the day as it was a really emotional, exciting time surrounded by some of my favourite people. Our make-up artist Kylie McMichael was brilliant at getting everyone looking amazing and pulled off every single elaborate plait hairstyle my bridesmaids threw at her on the day without question! She was a great support and I can’t recommend her enough!
The ceremony was at Camden Town Hall, just opposite the St Pancras Renaissance where we were getting ready, which meant we walked there all together when the time came. It was so surreal and amazing to walk amongst people going about their normal day to day lives whilst we were dressed up, bouquet in hand whilst weaving through the traffic of London buses and taxis.
We wrote our vows ourselves and read them to each other before we exchanged rings. I couldn’t recommend doing that more. It was so emotional and I connected much more to that than the legal statements you are required to say. I think it made the congregation feel like they were truly witnessing something special too because it was so personal – there wasn’t a dry eye in the house and our amazing photographer Laura McCluskey got some great snaps of our friends and family wiping away their tears.
I walked into the room to Pulp’s Something Changed, and we left as man and wife to The Cure’s Friday I am in Love – two songs which mean a great deal to us both. In the ceremony we also got the congregation to stand up and sing ‘All you need is love’ by The Beatles with our brass band. Turns out it’s an incredibly hard song to sing and it was a rather hilarious memory of the day as people laughed at how out of time/tune/sync we all were!
Camden Town Hall is just a short walk from 06 St Chad’s Place so we organised for a brass band to lead the procession, just to make it a bit more of an event and keep the momentum of the day going. I always think that the time after the ceremony and before the reception can be a bit flat and this was the perfect solution. Walking through King’s Cross with people coming out of their houses, pubs and cafes to take photos of us all is a great memory.
Paper Cranes + Plants
With the bride being an interior design blogger the venue was dressed beautifully, although this was also down to Peter, the groom being a big part of that and a very patient part too!
As the founder of Blomma London – an interiors blog, I was always going to be really keen on getting the room right. Luckily St Chad’s is a great space already, so it didn’t need much. Peter, very romantically, decided that he wanted to fulfil the Japanese tradition of making 1000 paper cranes for the wedding day as a good luck omen for our marriage. They hung so beautifully from the beams in the room and made a real statement. I hadn’t actually seen them until the very minute I arrived at the venue after the ceremony and I was just totally in awe. Later we used the paper cranes in each of our thank you cards so everyone could keep a very special memory of the day.
What a lovely idea and great way of re-using them!
Everything else was kept really simple. I didn’t want a colour theme at all – I think if it’s forced it can just feel a bit naff. I love plants and succulents so we used the colour of them as our inspiration and we used mini plants in ceramic pots as favours and place names for guests. The menus and seating plan were designed by the lovely Sincerely May who worked with us to create a geometric, very ‘unwedding-y’ design which reflected the colours of the succulents and they looked amazing on the day.
Finally I bought flowers from an online wholesaler and designed the table arrangements myself, using a collection of clear glass vases from IKEA and I loved how they looked. I chose quite structural stems to stick with the setting – anything too wild and country wouldn’t have been right in the middle of King’s Cross!
TASTY Tapas + Cocktails
Putting this feature together sure did get me hungry! Delicious tapas boards, along with Espresso Martinis looks like a great wedding menu to me!
One of the reason we chose 06 St Chad’s Place was because we heard the food was great. The canapés when we arrived were delicious as were the gin cocktails.
To start the wedding breakfast we had tapas which included a charcuterie board. For the main, guests chose between artichoke tortellini, sea bream or chicken leg confit served with grilled asparagus and minted Jersey Royal potatoes. For pudding we had Eton mess and rounded everything off with an espresso martini rather than coffee and tea. Luckily I work with some pretty amazing wine experts, and they perfectly matched each course with one of the wines on the venue’s great drinks menu. Just a little touch but it went down really well which meant we didn’t have a single drop of wine wasted!
Also, the cake. Wow the cake. It was a lemon and blueberry number made by my very talented sister who should definitely bake full time. It looked and tasted phenomenal and I couldn’t have been prouder or more touched she made it for us.
Disco Shed + Danceoff
We hired Disco Shed from Disco Wed as our wedding DJs who were simply incredible. Music is really important to both of us and we had a very specific idea of what we wanted, and more importantly what we didn’t want (Queen medley anyone!?). They kept the atmosphere up all night, and happily indulged my friends when they requested Beyoncé about 10 times to facilitate a rather heated dance off.
We had the lovely Laura McCluskey take our photos because we loved her reportage style – no stuffy group shots, just beautifully captured memories of the day. Laura was an amazing support on the day too (I don’t think we would have actually got to the ceremony on time without her!) and the photos are just amazing. I can’t image ever getting tired of pawing through them.
I think every bride says it but really do exactly what you want – don’t feel obliged to do certain things because they are traditional or because you feel you should. It’s really not necessary and anyone who has too much of an opinion will melt away on the day. Take time to enjoy the planning stages as well because those memories are as special as the day itself. From cheese tasting with Peter at Neil’s Yard, to planning wedding rings in Soho House with our jewellery designer – these little moments all add to the experience, just try to remember to soak it all in. Finally don’t tell anyone about the seating plan before the day itself – TRUST ME on this one!
Wise words. Oh the joys of the seating plan! It’s never a surprise to me at my weddings when guests start moving themselves around…can you believe it, but they do!