Posts Categorized: London Weddings

A Japanese Inspired Wedding with Origami on the Thames

Posted by & filed under DIY, Elegant, London Weddings.

Japanese Inspired London Wedding by Depict Photography

Well not only is today’s bride probably the cutest that may have ever graced the pages of London Bride but Emma and Rod’s Japanese inspired wedding was bursting with personal touches that the couple put so much creativity and time into. I also love their two different city venue choices, a beautiful elegant venue for the ceremony and then a relaxed pub with views over the Thames and of course a ride on a London bus in between!

It’s great to see a bride incorporating some lovely touches from their own heritage into their London wedding, the beautiful intricate origami cranes look beautiful along with the Japanese Taiko band which looked so much fun! What bride and groom wouldn’t want to bang a loud drum on their wedding day? The sunny August day was captured on film beautifully by Depict Photography.

“We wanted to create a day which was relaxed and as personal as possible.  We hand-made our invitations, decorations (chains of origami cranes), favours (origami flowers) and table plan (we used the same origami hearts that we used our initiations).  For us, our wedding was not just about the two of us – it was a day to say thank you to our family and friends for being part of our lives and supporting us.  We would not be where we are without them.” 

When we created our wedding invitations, we knew we needed some ribbon to finish them off.  We scoured the shelves of Dalston Mill Fabrics .  The light green coloured ribbon that we chose became a loose colour theme for the day.  We also had a general theme of London (the city where we met and currently live) and also wanted to include elements from Japan as that is where my family are from.  

Japanese Inspired London Wedding by Depict Photography Japanese Inspired London Wedding by Depict Photography Japanese Inspired London Wedding by Depict Photography Japanese Inspired London Wedding by Depict Photography Japanese Inspired London Wedding by Depict Photography

Emma looks so chic in her fitted gown and elegant up do! “I am very petite – under 5 foot – and so I was concerned that I would not find a dress that would like right on me.  However, after a visit to the Bespoke Wardrobe in  in Essex, my fears were allayed.  There, you can pick the dress and then it is made to measure – perfect!!  I met Reggie there who was so friendly and helpful.  She encouraged me to try different styles and also helped with the accessories.  My dress was Solitaire by Suzanne Neville - this originally comes with straps and a big belt.  Reggie was great – she suggested having the dress made without the straps or the big belt which suited me better and also adding an extra element to the dress by wearing a beautiful lace jacket by Stewart Parvin

After advice from the Bespoke Wardrobe, Emma was able to change the look of her dress with just a few small changes which made it seem like a different dress entirely (much to the Groom’s surprise!) “For the evening reception, I removed the jacket and put on a very glitzy belt (hired from the Bespoke Wardrobe).  This made the dress look completely different which I loved! When Rod came to meet me for the first dance, his first words were ‘You bought a second dress?!!’. His face was a picture!”

They sourced the bridesmaids dresses from H&M, a great high street hit! The flower girl wore a dress from John Lewis and the Groom was dressed in a lovely suit from Austin Reed along with his best man. They completed their style with handkerchiefs from TM Lewin.

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We looked at a number of venues in London – all we knew we was that we wanted something special for the ceremony and we wanted to hire a Routemaster to get to the reception!  When we were shown around 28 Portland Place, we both loved it.  It’s in a great central London location and the rooms are stunning – it has beautiful period features and is well maintained.

Emma and Rod managed to combine both their nationalities into their civil ceremony, “To personalise our ceremony venue, we made personal vows and designed our own Order of Ceremony which was in both English and Japanese. For decorations we opted for a couple of large round balloons which were supplied to us by bonbon balloons.  Rebecca from bonbon was great – we had supplied her with a box full of green origami cranes and asked her to attach these to the balloons. I know Rebecca spent time devising ways of ensuring that balloons would still float with the cranes attached which was so kind! Rod and I both spent many hours making paper cranes – Rod’s sister helped to string these all onto fishing wire to make them look as though they were flying.”

Emma walked down the aisle to ‘Crossing the Stone, Catrin Finch’ – a beautiful and moving piece of music which was recommended by her Mother.  They also played Caliban’s Dream from the Olympic opening ceremony – as a nod to where they live in Stratford and as they loved the Olympics! “We spent a lot of time on our song choices and were really happy with them.” 

Japanese Inspired London Wedding by Depict Photography Japanese Inspired London Wedding by Depict Photography Japanese Inspired London Wedding by Depict Photography Japanese Inspired London Wedding by Depict Photography Japanese Inspired London Wedding by Depict Photography Japanese Inspired London Wedding by Depict Photography

It’s so fun to see bride and groom’s taking to the streets on the wedding day, and these guys marched with their friends and family down the street with the amazing Taiko band playing along! “Hiring the Japanese taiko group was one of the best decisions we made as it added something really different to the day.  One of the drummers came to meet us off the bus and walked us down towards the Thames and into the venue – it felt incredible to be part of that. After finishing their performance, the taiko group also invited Rod and I to have a go too – brilliant fun although I think we got a little competitive! 

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The Oyster Shed is a pub in the City – where Rod and I both work.  I had been in there for dinner with friends and really liked its light airy space and relaxed atmosphere.  The fact that it is right next to the Thames by London Bridge with a view of the Shard definitely helped too.  We were both a little nervous as the venue was relatively new and they had not held many weddings there before.  However, I cannot fault them – Freddie who co-ordinated everything for us was absolutely brilliant.  She listened to all my requests, no matter how trivial, and did an absolutely incredible job bringing all our ideas together.  Rod and I had spent hours making chains of origami cranes – by the time they got to the  venue they were tangled up but Freddie kindly ensured they were de-tangled and placed all around and outside the pub as I had requested.  When Rod and I arrived at the Oyster Shed, we were so pleased by how gorgeous it looked.  The staff were all brilliant too – professional and friendly! 

For the table decorations, the Oyster Shed supplied us with their beautiful candelabras.  The flowers themselves were supplied by a fantastic florist in the East End.  Rod is originally from Stratford and Sewell’s have always supplied the family’s flowers – for a variety of occasions.  It was really lovely to go somewhere that knew the family and we knew we could trust them completely. 

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The table plan was created during a brain-storming session with Rod’s sister – we decided to use the origami hearts we had made for our invitations.  The numbers all meant something to us (e.g. 4,238 was our table number – this was the number of days since we met, 11,876 was the number of miles we had flown to between Tokyo and Japan to be with one another etc).

We made origami flowers for each place setting – these took ages as they’re made of 5 separate pieces of paper which have been folded.  We feel like it was worth it though – we often spot the flowers and chains of origami cranes which our guests took away with them when we visit their homes!  A fantastic reminder of an unforgettable day.

The food surpassed my expectations – the portions were generous and the quality was fantastic.  We had so many compliments and all I can say is a big thank you to the Oyster Shed.  The food and the service was second to none! We didn’t want to spend lots of money on the wedding cake so we opted for a plain iced wedding cake from Waitrose. The cake was decorated with fresh flowers by our florist and we both love cheese so decided to have a cheese ‘cake’ too.

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We also bought parasols for me and the bridesmaids – a little nod to my background and they made for fantastic photos.  They came in useful on the day too as it was incredibly sunny! Photography was an important element of the day for us – a single picture can evoke so many memories that we wanted to make sure we chose a style we really liked. The photographs from Depict Photography stood out to us. Kate was very friendly and relaxed and as her husband, Kev is also a photographer – it was great as he was able to join Rod prior to the ceremony when Kate was with me in the morning. 

We also hired a photobooth for the evening – this went down fantastically well.  The photos are in our guestbook and looking through that really makes us laugh! 

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We had spreadsheets and lists to ensure we were well-organised and prepared…but nothing could prepare me for the moment I walked down the aisle towards Rod.  My lip quivered with emotion as I struggled to compose myself.  Rod and I had been together for over 11 years before we got married but to publicly declare our love in front of our friends and family – that is something I will never forget.  

There were so many other memorable parts of the day though – getting ready with my bridesmaids, seeing my nephews and niece (our pageboys and flower girl) looking absolutely adorable, seeing my parents before we left the house for the ceremony, the readings, dancing the evening away to classic songs from our ‘youth’ – I could go on.  It truly was a fantastic day full of incredible memories – something to put away and keep forever. 

Huge thanks to Emma for such a lovely write up of their special day and to Kate at Depcit Photography for sharing her beautiful wedding film photography work.  

Photography: Depict Photography / Ceremony Venue: 28 Portland Place / Reception Venue: The Oyster Shed / Bride’s Dress: The Bespoke Wardrobe / Hair & Make Up: Sam Sham /Flowers: Sewell’s / Band: The Sounds of Japan / Balloons: bonbon balloons

Kati + Tom – A Wedding Rave Up at The George Tavern

Posted by & filed under Informal, London Weddings.

One of the things you have got to love about London is diversity. It’s everywhere, and even on these pages. I love writing this blog as it allows me to share some luxurious, decadent celebrations, some romantic traditional weddings and then, some like this. Today’s couple, Kati and Tom planned a super relaxed pub…well wedding rave up! A ceremony in an old car park, maids of ‘dishonour’, flower girls with cat ears and techno for the evening entertainment. This couple clearly know how to have fun and celebrate. Perhaps wedding raves are the next big thing… if so, send an invite my way!

“The idea was always to have fun. It was about bringing together everyone that we cared about to add to our party of two. I still can’t get over how relaxed and fun packed the day and night was. A proper rave up by the name of Love Haze. We’d commission a young designer Chris Dillon who had been through one of the programmes that I run at D&AD – he did an amazing job of creating an old school rave flyer that set us off perfectly…it all built from there. The whistle love hearts are still the most perfect icon there could have been to represent us and our day.”

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I absolutely LOVE Kati’s alternative bridal dress, with black embroidery and lace. For a city bride looking for something more alternative it’s always worth exploring designer collections if you find bridal boutiques are just too formal for what you’re after. “I struggled to find the dress that was ‘the one’, so I split the difference and got two! The gorgeous lace Maje for the day and a ‘cosmic tutu’ for the evening. My stunning best friend/maid of dishonour Nat had a change too, so we switched it up for the evening., I did have the most amazing Kat Maconie shoes but they didn’t last the afternoon, so the biker boots came out for the dance floor stomp. Like the rest of the wedding, I kept a relaxed approach to it all.

As my Maje dress had black stitching down the front, it seemed fitting to have my ‘maids of dishonour’ in black. My make up was pretty natural as I was in the driving seat and it’s all I can do!

My flower girls were in also lace/satin with gold cat ears [they couldn’t believe I’d said they could wear them]. My husband and brother-in-law [his best man] looked beyond hansom in the Reiss suits they’d worn the year before when my husband had been best man for his brother. We’d changed the accessorised colours [we went for a fern green, with the blue linen suits and peach tan leather shoes] to give it a refreshed feel.”

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You wouldn’t know this couple got pretty much married in a car park would you? Lucky for them as the sun was shining they quickly put Plan B into action: “The George Tavern was the perfect location, the staff were also a big part of making it such a perfect day. We were supposed to get married in the old theatre above the pub, but when we got an unexpected incredible day of sunshine, it was all hands on deck to move it outside in to what was a car park a couple of weeks before. The ceremony was short but beautiful, conducted by my husband’s ex-agent who is now a celebrant. It was super honest and told the tale of us and our friends. Although neither of us are too into poetry, there is one poem that became extremely meaningful to me around the time I met Tom; Rumi’s Zero Circle - my sister read it as part of the ceremony.

The flowers were collected over the couple of weeks before the wedding by my sister and mum. We used flowers from my mums garden on the tables and if Deb [my sister] saw a vessel of any kind it would get a plant in it for the day. Deb also did an amazing job cutting my bouquet fresh just before I walked down the isle. I also had a head dress by Grace and Thorn - it didn’t last too long in all the activity though sadly! 

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“The food was incredible – very informal. There was no sit down dinner, just food available at various points for people to be able to help themselves to. People still wax lyrical about the Jollof Pot guys. Super lovely people too! We wanted to put our money behind the bar and ensure all our friends and family had the best time without having to put their hands in their pockets so pretty much all our budget went on this!” 

When you hear a couple have had techno at their wedding, you know they know how to party… “For us, it was always going to be about the music. It’s huge part of us, how we met and our relationship now. My husband did a mix just for our first dance and after the Love Haze pre-recorded mega mix, the music throughout the evening was provided by our friends, who DJ’d one after the other to a heady mix of old school, hardcore, jungle and of course techno. My husband had created homemade lasers with string and UV lights. With the addition of a couple of hazers, the ‘rave cave’ was complete and we were set for entertainment all night long.”

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“Our photographer Lisa was amazing. I saw her pics online and loved them so I contacted her only weeks before the wedding and managed to snag her on one of her only free weekends of the year! The pictures are one of the things that people still comment on too. I’m over the moon with them and remember the first time Tom and me opened them up – we were moved by how much they had managed to capture of the day. Lisa’s pictures are visible evidence of my most perfect memories.” 

Memorable moments:

“Walking down the aisle to Yazoo ‘Only You’ literally in to a Love Haze towards my husband, being by his side and looking out at all our amazing family in friends awash in sun light. It was home.

Plus, my dad’s speech. He’s a quiet man, but it started off by him jumping on the sofa and talking about laying down a track [he’s 71]. I’ve never felt so proud or in awe. He was famous that day.”

 

What an awesome couple and beautiful work as always from London Bride favourite, Lisa Jane Photography. Thanks to you all for sharing!

Photography: Lisa Jane Photography / Venue: The George Tavern / Bride’s Dress: Maje / Bridesmaids: Asos / Groom’s Suit: Reiss / Catering: Jollof Pot and Big Apple Hot Dogs