Tola and Kingsley had a city chic wedding in London at The Berkeley Hotel followed by a second colourful Nigerian wedding! Tola wore a stunning Justin Alexander dress with beautiful back detail perfectly suited to their elegant celebrations.
Posts Tagged: Dasha Caffrey
As I write this it’s a beautiful fresh but sunny day and I’m taken back to those brief warms spells last summer that this couple, M&C were lucky enough to have for their wedding day. This August wedding took place in the beautiful surroundings of Richmond, and to make the most of it’s incredible riverside location, the couple and their guests hopped in rowing boats to cross from the ceremony to the reception venue. Could there be anything more romantic than to be in a rowboat together on your wedding day?
This wedding is not only beautiful, but I love how M&C took their own twist on the day by having their first dance after the ceremony, donning wellie boots and enjoying a late afternoon intimate feast with their guests before whisking themselves away on the Eurostar to Paris. Proving once again just how amazing London is and that you don’t necessarily have to go all the way to the South of France to have a stunning rustic riverside day, although of course you may not always be quite this lucky with the weather…
From the Bride and Groom: “We wanted a day that would be chilled out and beautiful with just our closest friends and family around us. We loved Petersham Nurseries and planned the day around a long summer lunch there.
When we found Orleans House Gallery nearby we had the idea of rowing over the river from the ceremony to the lunch – this turned out a really fun part of the day (there was a wedding routemaster for those who preferred to stay on dry land!). Petersham totally surpassed our expectations with amazing food, service and gorgeous decoration – our memories of the day are filled with the heady smell of all the flowers. We were lucky to have the last really hot day of the year, and lots of our guests said they felt like we’d taken a day trip to the south of France.
We didn’t really care about lots of the traditional details of weddings, but loved having our own twist on things… Like we had our first dance at Orleans House Gallery straight after the ceremony, to an acoustic version of ‘our song’ played on the guitar by one of our really good friends. We also did a speech together instead of the traditional groom’s speech – we want an equal marriage and thought it was good to start as we meant to go on! Having our family and friends toast us was a sight we’ll never forget. Other special touches included having frames with old wedding pictures of lots of our family members – it was a lovely talking point, and a way to have those who weren’t able to be with us in body very much there in our minds.
We also really appreciated contributions from our families to the day – an aunt made our cake, a mum brought bowls of berries to symbolize a fruitful marriage, and so on. We opted not to have an evening do, and our guests went on to have a lazy evening in a pub garden while we got on the Eurostar to have our wedding night in Paris. It was a really dreamy summer day, and we loved it.
The day went beautifully, but beforehand we had moments of stress, even though it was a relatively low key day! My biggest tip is ACCEPT HELP from anyone who offers! Even if you don’t know what job to give them, ask for the help to be figuring out what jobs need doing!”
Photography: Dasha Caffrey / Ceremony Venue: Orleans House Gallery / Reception Venue: Petersham Nurseries / Bride’s Dress: Caroline Castigliano / Co-ordination: Lindy Dowling / Hair and Make-Up: Love Hair / Bridesmaids: Monsoon
I was recently asked in an interview for the recently launched ‘Save The Date’ Wedding Podcast (you can download my ‘Meet the blogger: London Bride’ episode here on iTunes for free!) what I feel is the draw for couples wanting to marry in London and why this blog is such as success. This very wedding illustrates it perfectly as I am always amazed at the variation that London has to offer for weddings and those wanting to celebrate in this city. For some it may be a luxury hotel, others an urban warehouse in East London and then there’s these little hidden gems that I feel so lucky to share.
When you think of London, you don’t think of a secluded garden, Jacobean chapel and dining in the cloisters of a monastery but this couple did just that with this Charterhouse Wedding! Such an incredible location which this lovely couple Patti and Matt were very lucky to be able to celebrate their special day at which was captured beautifully by Dasha Caffrey.
From Patti and Matt: “We only ever had one venue in mind for our wedding: The Charterhouse. It’s a secret gated community, in the heart of Clerkenwell, with a little Jacobean chapel, stunning gardens and historic rooms. It’s in the heart of London, but inside you feel like you’re in the middle of the countryside. I was lucky enough to grow up here – and my family have lived here for 25 years – and because of this we are amongst a handful who have been allowed to marry in this special venue. We also hired a smart pub around the corner for the party in the evening, meaning that everything was within walking distance. We loved how local this made the wedding feel, but were also mildly disappointed that we didn’t need to drive my husband’s 1968 Ford Mustang anywhere! ”
Patti had both her sisters as her beautiful bridesmaids and they decided to make a trip to the flower market to create the flowers for the reception: “The day before the wedding we got up at 5am and went to New Covent Garden market with my sisters to buy the flowers. We had our budget in cash and a few ideas, but mostly wanted to find interesting foliage and flowers that were in season. My sisters were amazing at spotting things we hadn’t thought of and charming the vendors into giving us a good deal. I actually got a local florist in Islington, Dansk, on Upper Street to make the bouquets and buttonholes. And I’m so glad I did because I loved my bouquet of amnesia roses and viburnum steel berries.”
Patti opted to use dress designer Elaine Kennedy to create a bespoke gown for her inspired by a similar Jenny Packham style and the 1930s the dress was customised into a unique design just for Patti and she looks incredible in the dress, fits like a glove!
A big thanks and congratulations to Patti and Matt on a beautiful day and to Dasha Caffrey for sharing.
Credits: Photography: Dasha Caffrey / Venue: The Charterhouse Clerkenwell / Bride’s Dress: Bespoke by Tantrums & Tiaras / Bridesmaids: Ghost (Navy) & Vintage (Green) / Groom’s Outift: Reiss / Cake: Lili Vanilli
Amanda and Tim had a ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ St Paul’s wedding in the city. Classic and romantic the couple had an enchanting day, at the very special St Paul’s Cathedral followed by Skinner’s Hall with the bride Amanda enthralling the ethereal Titania.
Whilst I know some of you are here to look at the pretty pictures [which they are of course thanks to Dasha Caffrey] however I do encourage you to read the details on their wedding day too – I always find the stories of ‘London Brides’ so very meaningful…
Amanda chose a beautiful wedding dress by Temperley which was in fact a dress she’d had her eye on for over a year before she got engaged! “I first saw my dress while shopping with my mother-in-law for her own wedding dress 18 months before (we got engaged on the same day). When I came to find a dress a year later Temperley still had the dress much to my delight.”
She teamed the dress with a beautiful veil lace edged veil which was the perfect addition for a wedding in the grand St Paul’s Cathedral. She also wore an utterly gorgeous pair of ivory lace peep toe shoe-boots from Harriet Wilde – the Chantilly.
You may also notice the bridesmaids killer heels in that gorgeous peach colour to match their neutral outfits which were by Pied a Terre at Topshop. Amanda had spotted the girls dresses online from the Joy boutique – “I sent the link to my three bridesmaids who luckily also loved the dress. For the jackets we went on a shopping marathon along Oxford St and right at the end of the day found the right one in Coast. Ros Osterman altered each dresses to make them slightly different and to fit the girls perfectly.”
Amanda and Tim were married at St Paul’s Cathedral – a very special place to be able to have a wedding in London but it was also very significant for the couple personally in many ways, “We were lucky enough to get married at the OBE Chapel of St Paul’s Cathedral due to Tim’s father (Sir Richard Francis), who was knighted for his work with the British Council. Sadly, Richard passed away when Tim was just eight, and so this was an important way to remember him. The chapel is a surprisingly intimate setting and includes the tombs of Sir Christopher Wren, Sir Joshua Reynolds and Sir John Everett Millais, which for an art historian was such an honour. However, for us, the most special part of getting married in the OBE chapel was being married by Mother Sarah. She is such a calm and lovely person, who helped us both in the in the lead-up to and during our wedding day.”
“Tim and I wanted an informal and relaxed look for both the flowers and decoration of each venue. Therefore Skinner’s Hall was decorated with tea lights, ribbons, rustic flowers (in pink and purple), and hand-made stationary. Our flowers were decided upon with the help of Sam at Violets & Velvet who patiently helped us during our initial meeting. Sam suggested including fresh herbs in the bouquets and table arrangements which smelt wonderful. Also as I am half Scottish and we met at Edinburgh University we also included thistles in the table decorations.”
Having a central London wedding can sometimes meaning compromising on location and not having any outdoor space, however they came across the perfect location where they could enjoy the best of both worlds and what a lovely day it was for them to make the most of it “Tim and I fell in love with Skinners Hall instantly, having spent months searching. The venue was perfect with its different interior/exterior spaces that allowed guests to dance, drink, eat, chill out or just watch from the big central staircase (a surprise hit)!” Looks like the guests were all enjoying the fountain roof garden!
It was clearly a very special day for Amanda and Tim, but a few were very poignant “Our exchange of vows and the choir singing Ave Maria during the service. Then in the evening, my dad’s band, “The Magic Pandas”, really upped the tempo – at the end of the night having all our nearest and dearest on the dance floor signing Bohemian Rhapsody, and then Ho Hey (Lumineers) at the top of their lungs.”
Amanda’s planning tip “The scheduling of the day is so important; we tried to make sure there were no periods of time when guests’ were hanging around. We also printed a schedule of the day so everyone knew where they were to be and when. I wish we had realised earlier that you shouldn’t try and do everything yourself, delegation is key to survival!”
Congratulations Amanda and Tim on a beautiful day and with thanks to the talented photographer, Dasha Caffrey for sharing it with us.
Credits: Photography: Dasha Caffrey / Ceremony Venue: St Paul’s Cathedral / Rception Venue: Skinners Hall / Bride’s Dress: Temperley London / Bride’s Veil: Rosalyn Osterman / Bride’s Shoes: Harriet Wilde / Bridesmaids: Dress – Joy Jackets – Coast / Groom’s Suit: Cad and the Dandy / Bride’s Hair: Lucia Farnesi / Flowers: Violets & Velvet / Catering: Party Ingredients / Cheese Cake: Paxton and Whitfield / Photo Booth: The Big Booth
Whilst it’s fairly common for weddings on these pages to be full of couples alongside their guests, enjoying a leisurely meal followed by an evening of dancing, that kind of wedding isn’t for everyone or in fact may not always be feasible. It’s the old romantic in me that is thrilled that there is the occasion where there is simply a couple, looking to confirm their love with each other in an intimate and low key celebration. Anna and Evgeny did just that with this stylish London elopement, and I have to suggest, it may be tempting – after all there’s no guest list to agonise over, no family pushing you into traditions, and no huge bill to foot – just a sweet and simple ‘I do’ is sometimes all it takes…
Beautiful photography by Dasha Caffrey.
With just 4 days to the wedding, Anna took a visit to her local florist, which luckily was the fabulous Wild At Heart in Westbourne Grove and spotted some white peonies. They matched the simple palette of the wedding perfectly, “At the beginning I wanted Lilly of the Valley, but then I realised it would be very difficult to get them on the such a short notice. With just 4 days left until my wedding and I didn’t have time to run around to look at lots of flowers. So I went to my local florist Wild at Heart in Westbourne Grove and I saw white peonies. My grandmother use to grow peonies in her garden and it reminded me of my childhood. The smell was divine and I asked straight away for a bouquet to be delivered to our hotel.”
Anna took inspiration from wedding blogs and decided to include the sweet ‘I Do’ stickers on the sole of her weddings shoes. They also indulged in her favourite chocolates Walker Pink Marc de Champagne Truffles, sharing them amongst her friends on the special day.
A few weeks before our wedding I came across the “Don’t for wives” and “Don’t for husbands” books. Great little books, we had a great laugh reading it. Despite being from 1913 it is reminded us that things aren’t so different now than 100 years ago.”
The joy of only have you to think about during the planning is you can afford to be a little more lavish with your plans, and rightly so, Anna and Evgeny combined their celebrations and honeymoon at The Berkeley Hotel in Knightsbridge.
“We wanted to find a place where we could escape the ‘busy’ London, have time for ourselves and have little honeymoon after the wedding. We were looking at traditional London hotels in art deco style. The Berkeley and Claridges were on the top of our list. At the end The Berkeley Hotel won by one big point that we couldn’t miss – Rooftop Swimming pool. We wanted to get married in London and have some photos of London, the city where we found each other. So we just hopped around the city taking black cabs whenever we wanted to take a few photos in a particular location.”
Whilst they spent a year planning a big traditional wedding in Hereford, during this time Anna and Evgeny’s goals and priorities changed. “Evgeny started his own business and one of the things we chose to sacrifice was our wedding. It wasn’t an easy decision for us but we felt it was the right one. Building a successful company requires a significant effort, not only from the founder but also from his family. At the beginning, we thought to postpone our wedding for a couple of years, but then we realised that we just want to marry each other and continue living a happy life. So we went to Marylebone Town Hall and got married.”
How simple is that? I can also vouch for the business thing taking priority, both myself and ‘Mr London Bride’ have embarked on our own businesses in the last two years, hence the very-long-beginning-to-think-it-may-not-happen engagement!
Despite falling sick the day of the wedding, Anna and Evgeny made the most of the day and you wouldn’t know it from their beautiful photos! “I’ll be honest, the whole day flew by in 5 seconds. My husband and I woke up with a terrible cold and all we wanted to do was stay in bed. I was thinking that we spent lots of time planning to get married and everything was supposed to be under control but there I was sick in bed unable to control anything! I remember my friend kept saying through the day “The worse the wedding, the better the marriage” It still makes me smile.”
Although this is a fairly simple, low-key wedding, it is definitely still oozing with style. No surprises then that the bride Anna works in the fashion industry and had her own stylist on-hand to help with the dress hunt. “I am fortunate enough to work in fashion industry and I have a few stylists in my team. As soon as I mentioned that I need a dress for an intimate wedding, we knew we should check out BCBG Max Azria. My colleagues know me and my style quite well, so we checked out the website and in a matter of few seconds we all knew that this was my dress!
I always knew that I want my wedding shoes to be from Badgley Mischka. Their evening shoes designs are the best on the market. So I knew where I was going to get my shoes from the start.”
I am in love with 1920s era and the art deco style. We had only one month to plan everything, but it was very easy as I knew exactly what I want. I did some projects at university using 1920s style, so it was very easy for me to find everything. Also The Great Gatsby film that just came out, was very inspiring, as well as the story!
Anna teamed her beautiful Avi BCBG Max Azria gown with a vintage 1920s clutch which I think is the perfect addition to her stunning engagement ring, “I usually shop online: this is how I find all the unique pieces and this is how I came across my clutch. It was pure coincidence. I really like it because it’s so 1920s.”
Planning Tips From Anna…
“Read the wedding blogs! Scroll through tonnes of real weddings photos. Create different boards on Pinterest for your florist, photographer and baker and save your pictures. It gives them idea about your style and personality and it would be easier for them to understand what you want.
And leave yourself lots of time to get ready. If it’s all a bit of rush you won’t have time to savour every special moment.”
Huge thanks to Anna and Evgeny for sharing their very intimate wedding and to Dasha for her beautiful photography.
Photography: Dasha Caffrey / Getting Ready: The Berkeley Hotel / Ceremony: The Old Marylebone Town Hall [now closed for refurbishment] / Bride’s Dress: BCBG Max Azria for UK stockists visit here / Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Bridesmaid: Damsel In A Dress / Groom’s Suit: Hugo Boss / Hair: Christian at Dappa Hair / Make Up: Neringa Sutkute / Flowers: Wild At Heart
This beautiful elegant wedding took place in the picturesque setting at the The Orangery in Holland Park. Joanna and Mark were married on a warm September day, amongst their much loved family and friends. It was a day full of colour and thoughtful touches – all captured by their very talented photographer, Dasha Caffrey but most of all it was a day about the people.
However, whilst a lot of brides revel in the planning of their special day, fussing over tiny details and enjoying their moment in the spotlight, for some it can be an overwhelming thought. You can easily find yourself stressing over the table plan, rehearsing a stumbling first dance and worrying about your lipstick… all eyes are to be on YOU. Well Joanna was one of those brides…
When Mark asked me to marry him, one of first things that I asked him was “can we run-away and elope”? I was thinking of cost saving and all of the pending stress that planning a wedding was going to be.
When he said No, I remember saying “well you walk down the Aisle in a white dress then, and I will be at the altar waiting for you!” In one sense I was really the reluctant bride, not because I was going to become Mrs. O. but because I really just didn’t want to be stared at, I didn’t want to be the centre of attention, I didn’t want things that weren’t important to become important.”
As a bride to be, your thoughts can be consumed by you as a couple; what you want out of the day, after all it’s your marriage and future, but also a wedding is an important day for friends and family and sometimes we lose sight of that.
Joanna says “As the wedding planning progressed I really began to understand the importance of having such a celebration and what it means to your family and friends. It is such a privilege to have all of the people you love and care about with you on your wedding day. Mark shared the moment with his ninety (this year) old Father and my Dad travelled (from his home in Brazil) got off the runway straight down the aisle (all with a bad knee to give me away)!
It just goes to show, that all the details and touches can be so fun, Joanna credits her mum, Linda for her creativity and artistic flair, but it’s so lovely to hear how much sharing the day with her family and friends was the most important part for Joanna and Mark.
Joanna got ready at the Royal Garden Kensington Hotel and the night before the wedding she was lucky enough to receive an upgrade to the best suite in the hotel! “I felt like Pretty Woman. I was so overwhelmed with gratitude and emotionally exhausted from all of the wedding preparations I almost burst into tears on the concierge! The view was astounding.”
“My hair and make up was by Jeni Dodson who was recommended to me by our photographer Dasha – I was very lucky to secure Jeni when I did, she was very sought after and I now I know why!” To compliment her Jenny Packham Bonnie gown, Joanna wore two very stylish hair accessories together to create such a unique and glamorous style.
Joanna’s dress is just stunning, so glamorous and feminine so it’s no wonder it was ‘the one’ “You just know when you have hunted high and low for that special dress…when you try it on and see yourself in the mirror and what you notice more is the biggest smile on your face… You just know that is the dress,..That this is the dress you will wear on your wedding day, that this is the dress that you will wear walking down the aisle.”
“Inside, the Orangery, as we knew we would face the mirrored frontispiece, as we would take our vows, we knew our friends and family would not miss us giggling and smiling at each other; they wouldn’t just get to see our backs, as most guests tend to do at weddings. They would see our happy faces reflecting back at them.
Like most things throughout the Wedding planning process, you just know. You really do, when a decision is made and its right.”
Joanna’s bridesmaids wore navy Lela Rose dresses by Dessy . They were teamed with hair accessories which they cleverly adapted and made with using a beautiful blue Acacia bracelet from Jenny Packham attached with velcro to a plain headband! These stunning cuffs were then given to the girls as gifts. Lucky things!
Their musician Sarah-Jayne from Mellisma happened to visit them at their own home where she sang a rendition of a very meaningful song which bought a tear to their eyes, from then on Joanna was insistent to have such an emotive voice sing at their wedding. “Mark tried to talk me into walking down the aisle to an iPod (to save money)…there was just no way, I would never have compromised on this and I would recommend her to any bride”.
After the ceremony the guests showered the couple with real lavender confetti which left a heavenly scent throughout the venue, especially combined with the citrus fruits too!
I love the huge burst of colour from the flowers by Mary Jane Vaughan, a great focal point for the ceremony.
Their wedding cake was made by the same person who has baked cakes for Joanna’s birthday’s since she was very young. “We were fortunate enough to coax Beryl out of retirement to create our Traditional Royal Icing Wedding cake (she has baked cakes for royalty in her 40-year career). She has made my birthday cakes from a very young age so it was poignant that she was to make me the most important cake of all…my beautiful Wedding cake.” Joanna then added edible rice paper butterflies from Incredible Toppers on Etsy
The very cute little placecard holders were little Champagne wire chairs which were made by the bride and available from My Little Bottom Drawer on Etsy.
The table plan was made by the bride and groom themselves with butterflies in relief on a mirror, with Specimen Magnifier which the guest look like they had fun with!
The incredible (and quite affordable!) venue was such a lovely choice and so full of natural light which photographer Dasha has captured so well. “We chose the Orangery in Holland Park for so many reasons; it is a Grade 1 listed building and is set in the Park amidst greenery, a rose garden, beehives and wandering peacocks. It is a microcosm of nature in the heart and part of the city Mark and live in and love. It was the natural choice for us.”
“The things on the day that meant the most to me more than anything, were having the people I love around me, being there to share the occasion.
It wasn’t about the dress, the location, the colour of the flowers… for me (although these things with the money committed, became important…more than I wanted them to really), it was about being there in the moment standing before Mark and making promises to him for the rest of my life. It was about promising to do all I can do to make him happy and bring happiness into our lives for the future. I could not have wished or asked for more.”
Absolutely beautiful, huge congratulations Joanna and Mark, it looked like a wonderful and special day and thanks to their photographer Dasha for sharing this with us too.
Photography: Dasha Caffrey / Bride’s Dress: Bonnie by Jenny Packham / Hair Accessories: Onda headress by Jenny Packham and Aphrodite from Adorn Til Dusk / Bridesmaids: Lela Rose by Dessy / Groom + Ushers: Moss Bros Hire/ Hair + Make Up: Jeni Dodson / Flowers: Mary Jane Vaughan / Catering: Bovingdons/Wedding Cake: Beryl Ellar / Singing/Soprano: Sarah-Jayne at Mellisma
There are so many idyllic spots for engagement or pre-wedding shoots in London, and this romantic session has some of my favourites such as Primrose Hill, a classic mews and the stunning backdrop of Westminster. The shoot took place just at the start of the Olympics, and this just goes to show how quiet the streets of London were, no-one believed me but this is proof!
Christy and Johan wanted to have some romantic photographs in the city to remember as they are getting married in Indonesia in a few months. They chose photographer Dasha Caffrey for her natural style and although they didn’t have experience in front of the camera, you can tell Dasha did a great job of making them feel comfortable as these guys look so glamorous!
Thanks to Christy and Johan for sharing their beautiful shoot with us, and wishing you a wonderful wedding later this year!
Photography by Dasha Caffrey