Tash & Richard had a beautiful yet rainy July Hackney Round Chapel wedding. Boys in bow-ties, two ceremonies, mis-matched bridesmaids, frozen cocktails and a Jewish Hora dance, we loved co-ordinating this wonderful perfectly imperfect London wedding!
It’s been a little over a year since the lovely Tash and Richard’s wedding that we co-ordinated and I’m so pleased to finally be sharing their fabulous day!
It was July and whilst you’d think that would mean beautiful hazy sunshine, it in fact meant torrential downpours, all day long. And I mean all day. It’s one of the wettest weddings I’ve co-ordinated, ironic really given it was a summer wedding but it absolutely didn’t dampen the day one bit, and I remember how much it actually made everyone laugh and smile because of the ridiculous-ness of it all! I love the image above by their photographer, Emma Case as it just shows, you can’t plan for the weather so you just have to smile and roll with it, just like these two and their guests did.
It really was a beautiful day despite the rain, with pretty mis-matching maids in creams and blush, boys in bow-ties, flowers made by the Groom’s mother, treats of cheese and ice-cream, frozen slush cocktails and two ceremonies, plus a rather epic Hora (Jewish circle dance) that I’ve witnessed at a wedding (not going to lie, the planner in me was concerned about anyone getting hurt but pleased to report everyone was of course fine!).
I’ve loved featuring the write-up from the bride Tash, I know many of you enjoy simply browsing through the images, but if you can, do take a few moments to read their lovely story of their day – as the bride Tash had herself said, “I found it really comforting and touching to read entries about weddings that carried a sense of reality and not everything being totally perfect. There can be so much pressure to get everything ‘right’ and for all the decisions to come naturally and hassle-free.” A wise and wonderful bride… over to you Tash and Richard.
We first met at university when we were 19 but didn’t get together till we were 23. That was eight years ago now and we’ve done a lot of growing together through our 20s. We realised we couldn’t imagine ever not being together and on a cosy Friday night last September, Richard popped the question while we were on the sofa. He’d had a ring made and was hiding Champagne in the vegetable drawer. It was perfect.
AN INTIMATE BIG PARTY
The number one most important thing for us was always going to be our friends and families being there. We’re both blessed with large extended families and a lot of friends and so the priority was to find a venue that could fit everyone but still feel intimate. We had people coming from around the world, some of whom had never been to the UK and as we’re Londoners, we always knew it was going to be a city wedding.
The next priorities were really good food, a great live band and a photographer who would capture the atmosphere and loads of moments between our guests that we knew we’d be missing. All of the suppliers we chose nailed it. I think Hackney Round Chapel is one of London’s best kept venue secrets! It’s unusual, affordable, historic and best of all, fit all of our favourite people under one roof.
THE DRESS SEARCH
I found the dress search tricky. I had ideas of what I wanted but when I tried them on, something wasn’t working. I had often thought I’d love a winter wedding, partly because I wanted a dress with long sleeves but as I work in schools, summer was the season that worked best and I thought I’d be far too hot if I wore the long sleeves I’d always wanted.. It turns out our wedding day was one on record for July rain and storms and sleeves would have been absolutely in keeping with the weather!
The lesson I took away is just to do whatever it is your heart is set on rather than trying to be sensible… Despite depriving myself of long sleeves, I found a dress that I loved and felt like me in a sweet little bridal boutique in Surrey. My parents have been divorced since I was young and my dad lives abroad but they both came with me to my appointment at the shop and I’ll always treasure that afternoon. My dad took great pleasure advising other brides about what suited them best (or not..) with mixed reception from the ladies. Mortifying yes. Funny and memorable, totally!
SEVEN MAIDS IN A ROW
As I had seven bridesmaids all with their different tastes and shapes, I left it to them to find their dresses in various shades of cream, nude and blush. They were all either ASOS or high street and I think they worked so beautifully together.
In keeping with his love for the finer things in life, Richard spent far more on his suit that I did on my dress! He says: It was a deep navy blue, three piece extravaganza from Cad & The Dandy which he was very happy with. The groomsmen wore their own suits and Richard chose them all matching paisley bow ties from Mrs Bowtie.
We had two ceremonies – a short and sweet civil ceremony at the Islington Assembly Hall and a Jewish blessing at Hackney Round Chapel. They were two of our favourite parts of the day. I walked down the aisle in the Assembly Hall to Hans Zimmer’s ‘You’re so Cool’ from the film True Romance and every time we listen to it now, we feel all warm and fuzzy.
We stood on our living room rug for both ceremonies, so that we could always have the spot we got married on in our home. It’s an old hand-me-down from my mum and I did a bit of a half hearted search for one that would be more beautiful, but in the end, we decided that the day wasn’t about everything being perfect, rather it was about the real us, old rug and all! Richard’s brother and one of my close friends Carrie did readings and our married friends Evelyn and Mike who are musicians played a few of our favourite songs – it was so comforting and special hearing all their voices during the ceremony.
We kept decorations really simple, focusing on lighting and flowers and the room was beautiful. Richard’s mum is an incredible florist and she did all the flowers! She created some of the most gorgeous arrangements, not to mention all the bridesmaids’ huge bouquets and the flower girls’ crowns. We were all smitten. Fast forward to the end of the night and I was unceremoniously climbing on top of chairs to pull down some of the arrangements around the venue to send guests home with, they were too special to waste!
One of the things Richard claimed as his own from the start were the wedding favours. He surprised me with his enthusiasm and went ahead and bought 180 penguin classics for everyone. It was a great idea and made total sense as he’s a book addict and holds a real love for them. We also adore films and so we stayed up till 4am one night, not long before the day, and came up with 20 film titles and quotes as the table names.
Food was by Chilli Bees and it was so good! We had canapés followed by a buffet and a seated dessert and it worked well. As great lovers of cheese, we had a cheese cake made of seven different cheeses which everyone had a bit later and we also had a vintage ice cream tricylce which I booked after having a dream about ice cream at the wedding and being convinced it was 100% a necessity! It was and everyone loved it although Richard and I didn’t have a single scoop – what were we thinking!?
Another stroke of genius was Richard’s idea of asking his friend Lefti (barman at Hawksmoor) to supply us with his frozen cocktail slushy creations which went down seriously well with everyone.
Our band were the amazing New Power Soul Club who travelled down from Liverpool. After their set, we plugged in Richards iPhone with playlists he’d put together. Luckily he has great music taste although some of my less appropriate choices may have made it onto there.. the photos from the dancefloor are our favourites, air guitar galore!
EMMA CASE PHOTOGRAPHY
Emma Case and Pete Smythe captured everything we wanted, despite the torrential downpour outside. They were fabulous and friendly and caught so many special moments between our guests, the rain just didn’t matter in the end.
Our treasured friend Jodie Canwell made our wedding films – a short trailer and a longer version, and we love them to bits. To anyone dithering over the decision, get a video!! It’s completely different from photos and is such a joy to watch. You can view the trailer video here.
Richard: Try and let go of the idea of everything being perfect. We had a few mishaps on the day including severe weather warnings, a bridesmaid selfie accident and guests having to direct the wedding buses to the venue! But despite the few hiccups, our suppliers did such a such a fantastic job. Have faith in the people you’ve chosen to support you (suppliers, bridesmaids, groomsmen) and let them sort out any issues on the day as your only job is to enjoy yourselves and soak it all up.
Tash: The excitement of the day carried us all along and the simple fact of having so many of your favourite people all together celebrating the two of you is just magic. My feminism kicked in during the planning and I asked three of my bridesmaids to do a speech which was one of my best decisions. They wrote a funny poem about my life and I laughed, grinned and cried all the way through.
We had an unforgettable day that felt like us and all the decisions that we didn’t overthink turned out to be the best ones so a final piece of advice would be to choose what feels natural and right for you and don’t be afraid to mix it up and do something a bit different.
A huge thank you to Tash and Richard for sharing their day and for their lovely write-up, especially given they are expecting a new addition to their family soon! And of course massive thanks to Emma and Pete, who are two of the nicest people in the wedding industry and are always such a pleasure to work with.