Today’s wedding has to be a perfect example of a London wedding! Bride and groom Anna and Dil were married in September with a Catholic ceremony, followed by a walk down the Southbank with their guests, bubbles and dancing aboard a boat down the Thames, then a hearty British feast followed by late night fun. Bride Anna also chose the most beautifully sparkling Jenny Packham ‘Gemma” tea length gown (one of my favourites!) and bridesmaids in fun Maids To Measure floral print dresses and cheery bright florals from Wild About set the decor off perfectly.
BLACK CAB CUPID
Who would have thought a taxi ride would play a hand in fate, but it did for Anna and Dil!
We met completely randomly, in a black taxi in London after a night out. Anna’s bridesmaid Nichola had got out to get money and Dil and his friend Tris thought the taxi was empty and got in. Turns out they were going somewhere near by to Nichola and Anna so the taxi driver suggested we share the fare. Dil and I got talking, swapped numbers, and he text to take me out the following evening.
One of my best first dates ever as we got along really easily. I was living in Leeds at the time so we started to see each other on and off over the next few weeks and had a great few weeks of dating over the summer. Charlotte (one of my other bridesmaids) and I had a big Vegas and West Coast America trip planned and when I got back, Dil was waiting at the airport to take me away for a weekend together at a lovely country hotel in Kent and then we became official from there!
After a year and a half I moved back from Leeds to Kent to buy a house with Dil which we have spent a long time doing up together. Dil proposed on my birthday in 2014 on a weekend trip to Bath. His proposal was scuppered by the floods and couldn’t do it where he wanted to but we drove out to lovely spot and he asked me there instead! Ended up being even more lovely as it was on a spot called Alfred’s Tower, which is my grandad’s name who is no longer with us. We drove back to tell our parents and celebrate with them!
There surely isn’t a more fun way to enjoy your wedding in London that strolling down the Southbank before hopping on a boat in a beautiful dress with your new husband, all your guests with balloons and flowers…
London and the Southbank is really special to both of us as Dil moved there from North Wales to go to University and I had spent many weekends with my family when I was younger walking up there on Sunday days out. We wanted to get married somewhere that meant something to us, and encompasses all the things we like doing – mainly having fun, eating good food and drinking wine!
We wanted everyone to share some of our favourite things to do and do the Southbank and Borough Market became an obvious choice. We can be quite restless so wanted something were we moved about a bit during the day so decided to have a separate afternoon party on the Thames on a boat, which was fantastic, and meant we could have a bit of outdoor space too if the weather was nice!
One of our favourite parts of the day was walking along with everyone from the church to the boat and then down the Southbank to get to our reception venue, Roast. It was lovely to have some time on our own to chat after the service but also to walk along chatting to all our friends and family too as we went from place to place. It was important everyone felt comfortable, well fed and watered and had fun so that was what we tried to achieve! I also love bright colours and so was keen to not stick to a small colour palette, and the bright colours and balloons added to the ‘party’ vibe we wanted.
Anna chose one of my favourite Jenny Packham dresses, the ‘Gemma’ tea length style, with that exquisite sparkling neckline it was the perfect party dress choice for their day and all the dancing and walking she did!
I had a bit of an idea in my head as to what I wanted and ended up trawling the internet for ages looking at various styles. I wanted a bit of a party feel to the dress and when I was looking it turned out I was more in to sparkle than I thought! Then I stumbled upon a picture of my dress and that was that! Booked in to Jenny Packham and tried on 5 dresses, leaving this one to last, and that was that. Sold!
I tend to know what’s going to suit me and although I did have a wobble thinking I should have tried on loads of different styles, but I just loved all the beading and how soft it was. It also meant I could do all the walking around London without worrying about picking up half of London’s debris on my dress! I thought I wanted a little half veil but then fell in love with the sparkly headband and then added on the veil about two weeks before my wedding in one of my final fittings!
Getting ready was one of my favourite times – we had use of one of the rooms in The Rookery and all had breakfast in there whilst working through last minute additions to table plans and dresses – it was a hive of activity. It was so lovely as lots of the family and friends could pop in, say hello and have a glass of champagne with us in the morning!
My hairdresser was my usual hairdresser Premlee who is honestly just magic. Was really lovely having him there for the morning and him and Rich made everyone look stunning. As did Danielle the make up artist!
Maids To Measure
It’s great to see bridesmaids in something fun and floral, which works so perfectly with the theme for this wedding.
The bridesmaids dresses was a lovely afternoon out at Maids To Measure, ending with a few bubbles after! The girls could chose whatever they liked as I really wanted them to feel and look great on the day. They tried on loads of styles each and found one that suited them but then we couldn’t decide on a colour that suited everyone. It was very close to the end of our appointment, when we were flicking back through the dresses and spotted the patterned fabric, which had just come in. Everyone loved it and looked great in it and so it was a great last minute save!
The grooms outfits from Walker Slater were spotted on a wedding blog and they had a fun day out (and night after) in Covent Garden once they’d chosen their tweed and the Best Man had stopped taking photos of himself in his new suit!!
And they all look extremely dapper gents!
A church service was really important to me as I grew up a Catholic and although I rarely go to church now, it was always something that I wanted to do when getting married. Father Tom at St Etherdreda’s was really lovely and gave a lovely talk after our ceremony where he honed in on bits and pieces from the readings and the poem that we’d picked too.
For out ceremony, Father Tom was incredibly useful. On his advice, we decided not to have a full Catholic Mass as, with Dilwyn not being Catholic, it wouldn’t be fully inclusive of us both straight away, which was a really lovely thought. I searched for ages to find modern, non ‘man centric’ catholic readings! In the end I chose one from the book of Ruth, adapted one from one of St Paul’s letters and then my Mum read ‘The Lovely Dinosaur’ by Edward Monkton which had everyone in tears as she read it so well!
For the hymns we had “I watch the sunrise” which was one of my favourites from when I was little and then “Bread of Heaven” as Dil is welsh and a huge rugby fan! The church choir was fantastic too and really made the service so beautiful.
ALL THINGS BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL
Clearly Anna has an eye for interiors given her job, and choosing the bright and bold colourful theme for the reception made their restaurant reception venue look so fabulous and special with beautiful flowers from Wild About.
My mum and I went on holiday to South Africa years ago and there was a wedding in the hotel there that had a huge display of little vases and flowers and from there I was set as to having them! I wanted it all to be really bright colours so Andy at Wild About mixed everything up but kept individual flowers to each vase to give a colour block effect which I love, and tied in with all the colours in my bouquet.
I run my own Interior Design company and so the flowers and decorations were really important to me, but also that they worked with the amazing architecture of Roast. Being absorbed by lots of things day to day so my instagram feed has been a great source of inspiration from lots of places.
I love a balloon. It’s not a party without a balloon! So these amazing oversized ones from Bubblegum Balloons were in from the start. It was great using them as markers on our walk along the Thames to show everyone the route – even if I did get wrapped round a few tourist on the walk as it was quite windy!
The food and wine were really important to us as we wanted everyone to enjoy themselves as much as possible and we love a good meal and bottle of wine! The canapés on the boat were beautiful and everyone was given little fish and chip portions as they got off the boat for the walk down the Southbank, which was awesome to watch!
Roast designed a beautiful menu for us o try and although I was set on a chocolate desert, the elderflower jelly and raspberry ice cream totally won me over! The sweetcorn soup was just delicious and everyone mentions it to us afterwards! We had lamb and mash for our mains.
Our sparkling wine was English, to tie in with the English theme of Roast and I’m stocking up on it for Christmas as it’s so lovely!
No cake, but a huge cheese cake provided by Neals Yard Dairy in Borough Market.
DANCING THE DAY AWAY
We picked Lady and the Tramps band for the time on the Boat as they did a really good mix of songs to get the afternoon off to a bang and everyone was up dancing early! Then, we had a recommendation for The Bears from a friend of a friend and they were brilliant – their preplanning on making sure they had all the songs we wanted was just brilliant. Our first dance was to We are Young, by Fun and the last one was Viva la Vida by Coldplay as that brings back memories of leaving Coldplay gigs with friends still singing the woah bits with the crowd!
We decided to have a polaroid station and big cinema sign so people could write messages on it as an alternative to a photobooth and looking through the guest book, there are some absolutely genius inclusions!
I can’t stop telling Laura from Babb Photo, how great she is. We just love our photos and everyone has remarked on how brilliant her photos are and how she just blended in on the day. She was great all day – not needing to be prompted and not being dictatorial either! We can’t thank her enough. She has honesty captured the true spirit of our wedding, our friends, family and us!
Make it last as long as possible! We loved having brunch with everyone the day after as it gave us a chance to catch up with them properly and separately to our wedding day.
Savour the ceremony and just afterwards – for us we remember the church and walk down to the boat so well and it totally sunk in that it was our wedding day and we were married at that point!
Congratulations to Anna and Dil! What a fun and fabulous day, thank you for sharing it with us and to Laura for capturing it all so wonderfully.