There is just something so utterly romantic about London’s beautiful mews streets. This stylish and intimate London wedding captures the romance of the city and a beautiful couple.
Having met in South Korea, with Justin from the USA and Joella from the UK and a move to Beijing on the cards, they decided on an intimate Spring wedding in London as a farewell to their friends and family. The day was captured exclusively on film by photographer Ed Osborn.
Having been together for over 6 years, for the wedding, it was important to them to be able to enjoy their favourite wines and foods for their guests so kept the wedding quite small. “It was really important to both of us to have a really small wedding. Although we really wanted to get married, neither of us had ever wanted a huge wedding with loads of people staring at us! Because we were set on having such a small wedding this meant we weren’t able to invite all of our friends and family. We were worried about this but everyone was incredibly supportive of our decision.”
Joella looks stunning in a dress she tracked down from the high street, however despite it being the ‘one’ it wasn’t the first dress she bought “As we had such a short engagement I knew I wouldn’t be able to go to a bridal boutique due to the short timescale, so soon after we got engaged I went by myself to a sample sale. I didn’t expect to get anything that day but got swept up in the moment and bought a traditional, strapless gown. Whilst it was a lovely dress, it wasn’t what I had in mind and I soon started to have doubts. A couple of weeks later my mum came down to London to help me buy shoes and accessories. As she had missed out on wedding dress shopping I thought it would be fun to try on a few high street dresses which may also help perhaps confirm that I’d found the right dress! However as soon as I tried on the ‘Evelyn’ dress from Phase Eight I knew that was the one! As soon as I put it on everything just felt right.”
After having my trial for my hair and make-up with Cathy Shaw as I wasn’t wearing a veil she came up with the idea to place flowers in the back of my hair which was perfect!”
“We chose Bluebird for the reception as I had always liked the look of it (we used to live nearby in Fulham and would often go past but had never actually been in). As we were keeping the guest list under 30 we were looking for an intimate venue but we didn’t want to be seated in a restaurant with lots of other people. We also still wanted to play our choice of music and have a bit of a boogie! Bluebird was perfect as they have several private rooms.
We chose the Bluebird room as it has a gorgeous private bar in the room and was on the ground floor- so felt separate from everyone else. It was also a great size for our number of guests. We had a champagne reception around the private bar while Justin and I had out photos taken with Ed, then we all sat around one large table for a three course meal with plenty of wine, followed by coffee and chocolates. I loved having everyone on one table. As our parents had never met before, it was a great chance for them to get to know each other more and Justin and I could see everyone and chat to each other and our friends.”
“I don’t really know how you would describe our style – we really just picked the things we thought were beautiful and worked well for a city wedding. We didn’t really have any decorations because Bluebird already looks great. I wanted pink and ivory flowers for my bouquet and Lisa at the Flower Sanctuary in Balham (a florist local to where we were living at the time) helped me choose. I’d originally thought I’d have peonies but I’m so pleased I went for the Avalanche roses as they suited my dress really well. I was thrilled with my gorgeous bouquet. Bluebird put us in contact with Hannah Martin, who did the flowers for the reception. She did a wonderful job and the flowers were gorgeous. We took them all home and our flat was filled with flowers for a week afterwards!”
“We originally weren’t going to have a wedding cake (I don’t know what we were thinking?!) but after briefly considering a few options I discovered Hummingbird did wedding cakes! After that, there was no doubt that we would have a red velvet cake! We had a wonderful time at their Spitalfields store tasting cake flavours and choosing the design. We went for an ivory cake with a pink flower on the top. We didn’t tell anyone it was red velvet until we cut into it so that was a good surprise. We were actually all too full after the delicious meal to eat much cake, so the staff at Bluebird kindly got little cake boxes so everyone could take a piece home! We had many texts the next day saying how delicious the cake was! I didn’t want anyone to be left out (who wants to miss out on cake?) so the day before the wedding Justin and I went to Ms Cupcake in Brixton and picked up some vegan red velvet cupcakes for the vegan and lacto-free guests. They were also delicious by all reports!”
“After the ceremony we gave our guests a little tour of London on a vintage Routmaster bus. That was one of our favourite parts of the day. It was so much fun sipping prosecco and waving at all the tourists. It was a nice treat for our guests as most of them are not from London.
We didn’t go crazy on lots of little details but we did have a few personal touches. Justin is from the USA and I am from the UK- I found some American and British flag cufflinks online which he wore for the wedding as a nod to both our homelands! We decided not to have wedding favours but we had little bus tickets made up for the bus ride with our names, wedding date and location on. The guests all liked these and kept them as mementos. Instead of a guest book we provided a variety of London postcards for guests to leave messages for us and post in the card box. Everyone enjoyed this!”
“We had the ceremony at Marylebone Town Hall in the Blue Room. Marylebone was the only place we considered getting married. We just loved the building and the romantic idea of all the different people who have got married there. We also used to spend a lot of time in the Marylebone area when we first moved to London in 2008. We rang up the day after we got engaged to book the Blue Room! We had never even seen it in person but we just knew it would be right for us.
We didn’t see the room until we walked in at the start of the ceremony! It was magical to enter for the first time ever and see our friends and family standing waiting for us. We chose not to have bridesmaids or a best man and instead chose our friends to be the witnesses and my sister held our rings for us whilst my brother managed the music for the ceremony.”
“Because it was a small wedding and we didn’t have an aisle to walk down, we decided to enter the room together rather than have the tradition of my dad giving the bride away. We entered to Sigur Ros’ song ‘Untitled Three’. We cut a bit off the start to a more dramatic point. It felt like an amazing dream. Hilariously, when the registrar was telling my younger brother at what points to play the music on the ipod, she accidently played a few seconds of Gangnam style! Justin and I didn’t hear this of course but everyone told us later that they half expected we were going to dance into the ceremony to Gangnam. We actually had it on there as a joke song for the end of the reception as we originally met in South Korea! We signed the register to First Day of my Life by Bright Eyes and walked out to Jose Gonzalez’ version of Heartbeats. We also just want to mention how amazing the registrars at Marylebone Town Hall are. They really put us at ease and made the day fantastic.”
“Justin and I met half an hour before the ceremony on the steps of the town hall! There was no one else around just us two (or it felt like that!) as the other guests had all gone inside when I arrived. We had both felt a bit nervous (not about marrying each other but about having everyone watch us say the vows and also about if the day would all go well) but as soon as we saw each other we knew everything was going to be perfect. My dad, my other siblings and our friends all didn’t see us until we walked in to the ceremony room – I really liked that as it felt so special and like a surprise!”
“Our amazing photographer was Ed Osborn. We knew of him because I worked with his girlfriend 4 or 5 years ago! I had often seen his work online and we loved the look and feel of his photos. We absolutely love the fact that he shoots exclusively in film and the guests loved it too. Ed captured some really gorgeous moments and we love the photos so much.”
“Even though the wedding was small, we still wanted to have some music and dancing. It was important to Justin and I that we had music we really liked at our wedding so made our own playlists and played them on an ipod hooked up the sound system the restaurant provided. We also asked guests to suggest songs to us and included them too. Everyone got excited when one of their song picks came on. There may not have been many of us but we still had a great time drinking and dancing! The Bluebird staff were brilliant and rearranged the table after the meal to make a large enough dance floor.
We absolutely loved out wedding day! We are so glad we did it the way we did and are so thankful to everyone who made it so special. We are now having an amazing time living in Beijing and love looking at the photos and remembering the day.
Whether you are having a tiny or massive wedding, follow your instincts and have the day you want. Oh and read lots of wedding blogs! They are so much fun and I loved being nosy at other peoples weddings.”
Thank you so much to Ed for sharing his beautiful work and congratulations to such a lovely couple on their beautiful wedding day and write up! Hope you had a wonderful honeymoon this Christmas too!
Photography: Edward Osborn / Ceremony Venue: Marylebone Town Hall [currently closed for refurbishment] / Reception Venue: Bluebird Chelsea / Bride’s Dress: Phase Eight / Groom’s Suit: TM Lewin / Hair + Make Up: Cathy Shaw / Florists: Flower Sanctuary (Bouquet + Buttonhole) Cakes: Red Velvet by Hummingbird Bakery + Vegan Cupcakes by Ms Cupcake