Elegant Summer Wedding at The RSA With A Bride In Catherine Deane


Photography by Lucy Birkhead

RSA Wedding London by Lucy Birkhead Photography, Bride's Dress by Catherine Deane

The beautiful light in this wedding is telling that this was a sunny August day last year for this lovely couple Lauren and Joe to be married at the RSA. Whilst the photographs depict the perfect day and it did all came together beautifully, things weren’t quite plain sailing for this couple with their planning in the lead up to the day itself. Due to last minute changes in circumstances with their original venue, Lauren and Joe chose a new venue, the beautiful Georgian RSA just a few weeks before their wedding only visiting it just 10 days before the day itself, and luckily for them it all fell into place to became the perfect backdrop for their celebrations.

A stressful time and yet hey had more unfortunate circumstances; Lauren is incredibly brave to share with us that she also had a very tough time before the wedding, as with just 6 weeks until the day, she suffered from Bell’s palsy condition causing paralysis to the left side of her face. Difficult to imagine that a time that should be filled with excitement and happiness that this couple were overshadowed with these difficult times with just weeks to go.  Incredibly, due to the amazing treatment Lauren received and the support from Joe and her family she was able to recover with 90% of her facial movement returning for the wedding day! Lauren is an incredibly beautiful and radiant bride and very brave for sharing her story and I’m so pleased that they were able to have the most perfect day and a reminder that being able to overcome such hard circumstances together is absolutely what marriage is all about….

From Lauren and Joe: “Joe and I love London it’s where we live, it’s where we met and it’s where we fell in love. Our vision for the day was to find a beautiful building we could get married in and celebrate with our family and friends. We found that in one venue and then just two weeks before the day we found out that there would be scaffolding on the building! We were extremely lucky because the Royal Society of Art had availability on our wedding date and wasn’t too far from the original venue. We first visited the RSA only 10 days before we were due to get married we were blown away and I think it was then that our vision for the day was complete.”

Lauren’s natural beauty shines through in her elegant style with a Catherine Deane dress that looks like it was simply made for her. “I had lots of fun searching for dresses with my mum and sister. I actually came across Catherine Deane on Pinterest when I followed the link I found her website! She opened a London showroom in summer 2013 and I went for my appointment, I tried on every single dress but Laverne was the one!

The Bridesmaids dresses were the first thing we found. My sister and I had been looking for months but nothing had stood out. My sister found the Whistles dresses online so we ordered them in a range of sizes, both dresses were fitted by a seamstress to make sure they fitted perfectly for the day. I loved the blue colour and that helped with choosing the flowers.

I had originally wanted a Jenny Packham dress, however that didn’t fit our budget so my Jenny Packham headdress was my splurge and I love it! I will hopefully pass it on to my sister or daughter one day. My pink Kate Spade wedding shoes were a gift from Joe’s brother. I had found them online but couldn’t find them in the UK and Oliver lives in California and was able to get these shoes from a department store I was so happy they were the perfect shoes to go with my dress. Thank you Oli.

I walked down the aisle with my Dad Peter to Alexander Desplat ‘The Kings Speech’ I will never forget the moment I heard the music and saw Joe standing in front of the beautiful clock in the Great Room at the RSA. I wasn’t nervous before walking down the aisle I was so excited about seeing Joe.” It was also a poignant moment for Joe, “Seeing Lauren for the first time on the day coming down the aisle, I lost my breath.” *Goosebumps*

“The RSA is stunning and allowed for each element of our wedding to take place in a different room. We were married in the Great Room, we had drinks in the Tavern Room, had our seated dinner in the Benjamin Franklin room and partied in the vaults. Ours guests later said that the whole day flowed so seamlessly. The location was perfect because it was still Central London and not too far away from our original venue. Guests were not having to travel great distances from their hotels.

We wanted a relaxed day with no specific style which is why we didn’t choose a single colour for decorations and such. The petrol blue of the bridesmaids dresses complimented the pale blue ties of the groomsmen. When we found The Flower Appreciation Society I knew we could trust them implicitly to create the look we wanted. We had been collecting small glass jars over the year and my mum, sister and I arranged lavender and gypsophila in them and they were placed on the two fireplaces in the Benjamin Franklin room.  We used small keys and attached each guests names as our place setting. My favourite childhood story is Peter Pan and as a subtle not do this, rather than have a key attached to ours, Joe had a thimble and I had an acorn charm.” For wedding favours, the couple generously donated to Cancer Research as a cause close to their hearts. The guests received sweet badge pins as a token. The couple also included wedding photographs of their parents and grandparents and displayed these as part of their table plan to honour their relationships.

Lauren and Joe chose seven (!) different cakes for dessert for their guests to tuck into and rather than a traditional cake they opted to cut the Banoffee Pie as it was their joint favourite. They had other cakes and pies from Galeta, Hummingbird Bakery and vegan cakes from Amy Swarbrick.

Lucy Birkhead was our photographer – we had an engagement shoot a few months before the day which was great because before we met her both Joe and I were like Chandler from friends in front of the camera! Lucy made us feel so relaxed and we love the pictures. On the day Lucy caught moments rather than taking what I would call ‘formal’ wedding shots this is exactly what we wanted.

The guy that owns our hairdresser (James Meynell) DJ’d at our wedding which was great because he was a familiar face and had a great record collection. He currently DJs for Soho radio so you can listen to his sets here.

One thing that was really unique about my wedding experience is that 6 weeks before the wedding day I got Bells palsy which is a paralysis. The left side of my face was paralysed and I had medication, acupuncture, visited a chiropractor and physiotherapist I would like to take this moment to thank Joe, my family and all the doctors who looked after me. I was extremely lucky because I had 90% of my facial movement back for the wedding day.

Huge thanks to Lauren and Joe for sharing not only their beautiful wedding day, but their journey too. Photographer Lucy has captured the day beautifully, especially *those* small moments that pass by in a blink. I wish the very best to Lauren and Joe for a very happy future together.

  • mark brown

    beautiful work as always Lucy!! xx