Whilst it’s fairly common for weddings on these pages to be full of couples alongside their guests, enjoying a leisurely meal followed by an evening of dancing, that kind of wedding isn’t for everyone or in fact may not always be feasible. It’s the old romantic in me that is thrilled that there is the occasion where there is simply a couple, looking to confirm their love with each other in an intimate and low key celebration. Anna and Evgeny did just that with this stylish London elopement, and I have to suggest, it may be tempting – after all there’s no guest list to agonise over, no family pushing you into traditions, and no huge bill to foot – just a sweet and simple ‘I do’ is sometimes all it takes…
Beautiful photography by Dasha Caffrey.
With just 4 days to the wedding, Anna took a visit to her local florist, which luckily was the fabulous Wild At Heart in Westbourne Grove and spotted some white peonies. They matched the simple palette of the wedding perfectly, “At the beginning I wanted Lilly of the Valley, but then I realised it would be very difficult to get them on the such a short notice. With just 4 days left until my wedding and I didn’t have time to run around to look at lots of flowers. So I went to my local florist Wild at Heart in Westbourne Grove and I saw white peonies. My grandmother use to grow peonies in her garden and it reminded me of my childhood. The smell was divine and I asked straight away for a bouquet to be delivered to our hotel.”
Anna took inspiration from wedding blogs and decided to include the sweet ‘I Do’ stickers on the sole of her weddings shoes. They also indulged in her favourite chocolates Walker Pink Marc de Champagne Truffles, sharing them amongst her friends on the special day.
A few weeks before our wedding I came across the “Don’t for wives” and “Don’t for husbands” books. Great little books, we had a great laugh reading it. Despite being from 1913 it is reminded us that things aren’t so different now than 100 years ago.”
The joy of only have you to think about during the planning is you can afford to be a little more lavish with your plans, and rightly so, Anna and Evgeny combined their celebrations and honeymoon at The Berkeley Hotel in Knightsbridge.
“We wanted to find a place where we could escape the ‘busy’ London, have time for ourselves and have little honeymoon after the wedding. We were looking at traditional London hotels in art deco style. The Berkeley and Claridges were on the top of our list. At the end The Berkeley Hotel won by one big point that we couldn’t miss – Rooftop Swimming pool. We wanted to get married in London and have some photos of London, the city where we found each other. So we just hopped around the city taking black cabs whenever we wanted to take a few photos in a particular location.”
Whilst they spent a year planning a big traditional wedding in Hereford, during this time Anna and Evgeny’s goals and priorities changed. “Evgeny started his own business and one of the things we chose to sacrifice was our wedding. It wasn’t an easy decision for us but we felt it was the right one. Building a successful company requires a significant effort, not only from the founder but also from his family. At the beginning, we thought to postpone our wedding for a couple of years, but then we realised that we just want to marry each other and continue living a happy life. So we went to Marylebone Town Hall and got married.”
How simple is that? I can also vouch for the business thing taking priority, both myself and ‘Mr London Bride’ have embarked on our own businesses in the last two years, hence the very-long-beginning-to-think-it-may-not-happen engagement!
Despite falling sick the day of the wedding, Anna and Evgeny made the most of the day and you wouldn’t know it from their beautiful photos! “I’ll be honest, the whole day flew by in 5 seconds. My husband and I woke up with a terrible cold and all we wanted to do was stay in bed. I was thinking that we spent lots of time planning to get married and everything was supposed to be under control but there I was sick in bed unable to control anything! I remember my friend kept saying through the day “The worse the wedding, the better the marriage” It still makes me smile.”
Although this is a fairly simple, low-key wedding, it is definitely still oozing with style. No surprises then that the bride Anna works in the fashion industry and had her own stylist on-hand to help with the dress hunt. “I am fortunate enough to work in fashion industry and I have a few stylists in my team. As soon as I mentioned that I need a dress for an intimate wedding, we knew we should check out BCBG Max Azria. My colleagues know me and my style quite well, so we checked out the website and in a matter of few seconds we all knew that this was my dress!
I always knew that I want my wedding shoes to be from Badgley Mischka. Their evening shoes designs are the best on the market. So I knew where I was going to get my shoes from the start.”
I am in love with 1920s era and the art deco style. We had only one month to plan everything, but it was very easy as I knew exactly what I want. I did some projects at university using 1920s style, so it was very easy for me to find everything. Also The Great Gatsby film that just came out, was very inspiring, as well as the story!
Anna teamed her beautiful Avi BCBG Max Azria gown with a vintage 1920s clutch which I think is the perfect addition to her stunning engagement ring, “I usually shop online: this is how I find all the unique pieces and this is how I came across my clutch. It was pure coincidence. I really like it because it’s so 1920s.”
Planning Tips From Anna…
“Read the wedding blogs! Scroll through tonnes of real weddings photos. Create different boards on Pinterest for your florist, photographer and baker and save your pictures. It gives them idea about your style and personality and it would be easier for them to understand what you want.
And leave yourself lots of time to get ready. If it’s all a bit of rush you won’t have time to savour every special moment.”
Huge thanks to Anna and Evgeny for sharing their very intimate wedding and to Dasha for her beautiful photography.
Photography: Dasha Caffrey / Getting Ready: The Berkeley Hotel / Ceremony: The Old Marylebone Town Hall [now closed for refurbishment] / Bride’s Dress: BCBG Max Azria for UK stockists visit here / Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Bridesmaid: Damsel In A Dress / Groom’s Suit: Hugo Boss / Hair: Christian at Dappa Hair / Make Up: Neringa Sutkute / Flowers: Wild At Heart