After being in the industry for eight years, It’s not often I draw a blank at what to write or say when it comes to weddings, and yet this page has been open for quite some time (months and weeks, even). Whilst there’s so much to tell you, I imagine the above sort of says it all really.
WE GOT married!
Since I was whisked away by Marcus on a treasure hunt surprise trip to NYC and a magical proposal back in 2011, New York has always been at the back of our minds. After five years of attempting to plan a wedding here, it became apparent it was going to be an impossible task (for so many reasons), so we eventually made the decision to elope in secret. After just 2 months of planning behind closed doors, with only our immediate family (and a hundred or so onlookers) we said ‘I do’ on Pebble Beach in Brooklyn with the sun shining and the city of NYC as our backdrop on 11th May 2016 and it was a perfectly imperfect romantic whirlwind. Yes, that’s not a typo, we have in fact been married over a year and have just celebrated our first anniversary as husband and wife!!
‘Learn to love surprises’
By the time you’re reading this we’ll have held Part 2 here in London, our ‘surprise-post-elopement-wedding-celebration-party’ on our one year anniversary with a rather carefully orchestrated reveal, a personal vow renewal and hopefully more than a few glasses of celebratory bubbles with our closest friends. That is… if they are still speaking to us.
No longer always the wedding planner, never the bride… after fifteen years together and having made over 100 weddings happen for other people, it feels pretty damn good to have finally joined the club and for it to have been my turn for a change.
It’s a bit of a tale to tell, and truth be told I think I need a bit of time to enjoy finally being able to wear my wedding ring and say ‘my husband’ in public (although having a secret husband for a year has been rather fun). So for now I’ll leave you with our very special announcement film by Philip White and where it all started with a magical NYC proposal 6 years ago… and I look forward to sharing parts 1 and 2 with you soon.
LONDON BRIDE ELOPEMENT
A small, well BIG, message of thanks to everyone who made this happen (parts 1 & 2!). For all their support, talent and of course for keeping this secret for a whole year. Special thanks and for their endless patience to our photographer Amber Gress and film-maker Philip White whom created memories beyond words for us in New York a year ago. To the few confidantes who were in on this, thank you, thank you, thank you for being a sounding board, and to the many friends and colleagues I’ve told little white lies too, please forgive me!
After planning a ‘big wedding’ Michael and Ashleigh re-evaluated their plans and chose to have a secret little London elopement on Christmas Eve. Utterly romantic, despite the rain they said ‘I Do’ at Old Chelsea Town Hall followed by enjoying an evening at The Rosewood Hotel for lobster, jazz and cocktails.
There is just something so incredibly romantic and heartwarming about today’s real wedding (complete with umbrella, how typically ‘London’), and it’s such a pleasure to share Michael and Ashleigh’s incredibly intimate day.
It’s not an uncommon story to hear of couples who are planning for a traditional ‘big’ wedding but find during this time the pressure, stress, politics and even finance perhaps all too much and they question their wedding plans. For couples who are quite private people, who may worry about being centre stage an elopement or simple wedding ceremony with just the two of you makes complete sense and that’s just what Michael and Ashleigh chose.
It’s a reminder to us all to not get carried away by what others do, or what we think we should do – and that to be truly happy means being yourselves on your wedding day, whatever way that is. Plus, look how gorgeous, relaxed and happy they are, it clearly was the best decision they made!
I love that on Christmas day they were able to tell their families they were married! What a wonderful Christmas present…
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What’s just so wonderful about London is all the many couples that come from near and far who choose the city as the destination for their wedding. Sometimes this means a big party with friends and family from all over the world, but other times it’s all about a simple ‘I do’, just the two of you, like today’s London elopement.
There’s no details to be seen here, no cake, no dancing until the small hours but there’s just something so very lovely about seeing this pair of newlyweds enjoying their special day with each other in this incredible city and yet even more beautiful as they begin their adventures with a soon-to-be new arrival, as Outi is the most radiant pregnant bride…
Outi and Nico eloped from Finland and were married at The Finnish Church in London, just the two of them and their photographer Cecelina to capture the moments. Outi looked incredibly radiant as a pregnant bride in her beautiful Seraphine dress with just a simple bouquet that she made herself. After their ceremony, they took to the iconic areas of London for some gorgeous portrait photos which I adore and I’m sure will be treasured for years to come especially after their new arrival is here!
I hope you enjoy this sweet little wedding, a lovely reminder that small can be beautiful!
Photography: Cecelina Photography / Bride’s Dress: Seraphine / Venue: The Finnish Church
Thank you to Outi and Nico and very best wishes for your new adventure, and thank you to their photographer Cecelina for sharing this day with us!