Jaia and Tom had a chic ceremony and reception at London’s Century Club and put it all together in just 4 months, I love Jaia’s style – beautiful Old Hollywood Glamour which sets the tone perfectly for this popular members club. Clair Estelle captured their day perfectly.
“We agreed early on that we wanted the day to be really colourful, and relaxed, without too much matching or theming. I love all things vintage, but we also wanted it to feel modern and reflect who we are. Century was exactly what we were after as a venue, with its eclectic style and colourful relaxed atmosphere. We originally intended to have a Town Hall wedding, but we were a bit haphazard in our approach arranging the wedding in only 4 months, and couldn’t get the date we wanted at any central registrars, so we had the ceremony at Century too which actually was perfect.”
Jaia looked stunning in her chic and elegant vintage inspired Jenny Packham dress, I love all the detailing and bejewelled sleeves and with her gorgeous long locks she looks she is the epitome of Old Hollywood Glamour, “I’m really happy with my dress which was the Eve dress from Jenny Packham, I had wanted something vintage and also considered getting one made, but in the end the bridesmaids vote went to this one, and I have to agree!”
Jaia did her own make-up and accessorised her beautiful Eve dress with earrings by Glitzy Secrets, and the sweetest little clutch from Annie’s Vintage in Islington. As a last minute addition she also wore a vintage hair clip which was borrowed last minute from one of the bridesmaid’s Rachelle – the perfect finishing touch, thank goodness for fabulous bridesmaids!
Bridesmaids dresses are always a tall order, and this meant they had to search just that little bit harder and across the pond! “I had an idea that I wanted the bridesmaids in different dresses, so we decided to look for the same dress in three different colours. It was quite a task to find a dress that everyone liked in colours that looked good together, we trawled the internet and the high Street! BHLDN had lots of options, but they don’t have a uk shop so I had to order them from the states and get them fitted. This was probably the most stressful thing to organise mainly because of the lead-time, I left it quite late, but I really like the cut and I just love the colours, especially the peach (and the pink, and the silver!).” I love the dresses but it is worth bearing in mind that ordering online you may always have to bear in mind charges for alterations! Each of the girls also wore bracelets by Frosted Willow on Etsy.
I’ve attended weddings where a member of the family or close friend has sung for them during the ceremony and it’s been the most moving and memorable moment, even for me as a guest. Jaia’s cousin and bridesmaid, Anna sang ‘Sea of Love’ [Cat Power's arrangement] and I can only imagine how beautiful and emotional this was, especially for Tom “Toms friend Matt accompanied her using Tom’s mothers guitar. It was so beautiful, our guests said it sent shivers down their spine to hear Anna’s soulful voice coming from the back of the room. This was one of the most special things about the wedding for both of us.”
“Tom was really touched that we included the guitar which had belonged to his mother, since she died when he was a child. I had asked Matt to play it as a kind of surprise so that there was a sense of her included in the day, however small. He says that was his most special part of the day.”
“My favourite thing was seeing everyone I love in the same room together as I walked in. It was really exciting and special, it was worth all the build up just for that moment. The intimate space of the rooms at Century really added to that. And of course, actually being married, that was a pretty special moment too! “
Jaia arranged the bouquets, corsages and large floral arrangements herself and also had a bit of help with the buttonholes and table arrangements from friends the night before!
Some simple and tasty favours were offered to guests, made by the bride and groom, “We Made little pots of different kinds of jam to serve both as place-names for the tables and favours, (it only took two weekends, it was a lot more work than I expected, even though jam is pretty easy to make). We designed labels with each guests name printed on them and tried to give everyone their favourite flavour if we knew what it was. The different colours looked great on the tables.” A reminder to those DIY brides that things always take longer than you think!
“We had little sets of origami paper and instructions on how to make different origami animals on each table, lots of people had a go and it kept the children entertained as well as adding to the colourful look we were after. We also set up our own ‘photo-booth’ after the meal with a bit of technical help from one of the groomsmen, – just a camera on a tripod and lights set up to be self operated with a remote control and timer, and we supplied dress ups and props to make it more fun. It was a real hit, guests were lining up to have a go and the resulting photos were fab. The self-operation meant that people did all kinds of silly things without feeling self-conscious.”
“We didn’t have a first dance because we fundamentally disagreed about it (I wanted to take dancing classes and Tom refused) so instead we invited everyone to join us on the dance floor for The Doors ‘Touch me’. After that we had an hour of 50′s rock and Roll to get the party started, which went down really well with all ages, almost everyone was up dancing early on.”
“There are a few things I might have done differently in hindsight, and we had a small problem with spotify dropping out during the ceremony music ( I recommend using an ipod). Century hosts a lot of events and because they are a members club we had limited access to the venue so i had to pull a favour and get some friends to go and set up early on the day, which I would have liked to do myself the night before, in a perfect world.” Always think about access for your venue and worth checking early on if you are planning to do decorate heavily as ideally don’t want to be lifting a finger on your wedding day!
As a wedding planner of course I love a good list or spreadsheet, and it really is so useful especially keeping track between you both “Google docs/ Google Drive /Google Calendar were all really useful. It meant that Tom could see what I had scheduled or estimated in the budget, and we could both work on things separately when we had a spare half hour.”
Congratulations Jaia and Tom and thanks again to their photographer Clair Estelle, “Clair did a wonderful job documenting the day for us, she was so calm gentle and sweet through the whole day and never stopped snapping. We have some lovely pics.”
Photographer: Clair Estelle / Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Century Club / Bride’s Dress: Jenny Packham / Bride’s Shoes: Repetto / Bridesmaids Dresses: Bhldn / Grooms Suit: Burberry / Hair: Danni Hooker / Cheese Cake: The Cheese Shed / Flowers: Arranged by Bride and friends