Now this Burgh House wedding from the fantastic Juliet McKee certainly cheers up the grey skies of late! Katrina and Adam planned this amazing day in London’s leafy Hampstead in just two months [apparently it really focuses the mind!] and they achieved a stylish, fun day full of their personalities without following unnecessary traditions. With the bride being a keen singer, music played a key theme throughout the ceremony and the day and unusually this couple decided to take to the aisle together…
“The theme for the soiree was, ‘A knees-up full of musical delights, frocks and frolics’. We have never been fans of the big traditional wedding, so we cheerfully cut out any traditions that were not our cup of tea, and introduced all sorts of features to create an original, intimate, but raucous party.”
Even before stepping into her dress, without doubt Katrina was a knock-out bride, her stunning bespoke dress by Rebecca Street oozes glamour and is definitely red carpet worthy. “I’d describe my chosen look as ‘red carpet glamour, with a hint of vintage’. I wanted a sleek but curvaceous Oscar-ready evening look, rather than anything obviously bridal, and found my inspiration from the 1940s slinky silk gowns worn by actresses such as Ava Gardner. At first, I wanted to wear orange or red all over. But then I fell in love with a sumptuous heavy cream silk fabric that Rebecca works with.
Of course the accessories just have to have a mention, is there anything more sexy than a killer pair of cherry red heels to match the lips? “I introduced pops of bright red with the silk Charlotte Olympia shoes, the Miu Miu clutch and vivid red lipstick. For maximum glamour, (simulated) diamonds were my best friend! Hair and make-up could then be kept strong but simple, and I didn’t stray too far from my usual style.
As simplicity was the key to our intimate wedding, we felt that there was no need for bridesmaids or groomsmen. It worked out well, and the wedding prep in the morning was ultra-relaxed.”
“We ditched the idea of the bride arriving separately. Adam and I met at the venue for photos prior to the 60 or so guests arriving, then greeted everyone together with cocktails, and walked down the aisle side-by-side.
Although Adam and I both shared a suite at the Covent Garden Hotel the night before the wedding, we got ready separately on the morning of the wedding. So there was a wonderful sense of anticipation. The most memorable moment has to be that ‘first glimpse’ of each other in our finery, as I pulled-up to the venue in a black cab and met Adam standing eagerly outside Burgh House. This was so special as it was in private before any of the guests had arrived. Our lovely photographer Juliet accompanied me in the taxi, so she caught all of this on camera. We then had our photos taken together in the sun while were all fresh; just as well, since it was 30 degrees that afternoon!”
Hampstead Heath is such a beautiful part of London and is the most picturesque backdrop for a wedding. “The venue decision was simple. We spent a lot of time in Hampstead when we first started going out, so we were keen to marry in that area. When we attended a recital one evening at Burgh House, the place felt immediately special to us: we warmed to the beautiful setting, the art gallery, and the Music Room, which instantly turned our idea of putting on a mini-concert for the ceremony into a reality. Burgh House is a charity funded largely by hosting intimate and quirky weddings, so the staff encouraged our unusual plans and created a warm and unpretentious environment for the occasion.”
“As I am a singer in my spare time, the aim was to have live music throughout. The ceremony itself took the form of a 45 minute concert in the Music Room at Burgh House, with the vows sandwiched in the middle of the music and some entertaining one-liners from our exuberant Registrar. The brilliant Liquid Strings Quartet gamely played everything from Puccini, to leading an audience sing-a-long (The Bare Necessities, That’s Amore), and beautifully accompanying a friend and I singing the Sull’Aria duet from Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro.”
“Adam and I walked down the aisle together to the string quartet playing Elgar’s Chanson d’Amour. After the concert/ceremony, we left to the quartet’s rendition of Mr Blue Sky by the Electric Light Orchestra.”
“After cocktails and canapés in the art gallery and the courtyard, dinner also took place in the Music Room accompanied by a live jazz pianist. As Adam is Australian we have travelled extensively ‘Down Under’, so we picked wines from vineyards we have visited both in Australia and New Zealand. There was peach schnapps for the toast instead of bubbly to really super-charge the festivities, and to prepare everyone for some after-dinner swing dancing to a live jazz trio. There were strictly no posed group photos or guests hanging around waiting for our photos to be taken, so everyone could really relax and enjoy themselves!”
“With Burgh House being a listed building resplendent with warm wood panelling and my engagement ring hailing from the 1920s, the soiree’s style gave a passing nod to the Art Deco movement. We reflected that theme in the Art Deco-inspired souvenir wedding programme, menu and place cards, all produced by In the Treehouse.
The venue is so beautiful it didn’t need much in the way of decoration. We just picked-up the bright red theme in a few flower arrangements, in the cupcake decorations, and in Adam’s tie/handkerchief.”
“We didn’t have an official first dance, as we have always found it a bit of a naff tradition. However, the string quartet played some pop music during the post-ceremony cocktails and we did start singing and dancing along to Bohemian Rhapsody. We weren’t the only ones though!”. The wedding party then carried on with some of their guests for late night drinking and dancing in Soho at Milk and Honey celebrating into the night or should I say early morning!
What a fabulous fun and unique day that completely encapsulates the couple. Thanks so much to Katrina and Adam and to their photographer Juliet McKee for the beautiful documentation of their special day.
Photography: Juliet McKee / Venue: Burgh House / Bride’s Dress: Bespoke – Rebecca Street for Browns Bride / Groom’s Suit: Cad & The Dandy / Hair: The Chapel (Islington) / Make Up: Mariam Jensen / Florist: Angel Flowers / Catering: Leafi Limited at Burgh House / Cakes: Katy Made Cakes / Musicians: Liquid Strings / Stationery: In The Treehouse