Don’t you love the smell of fresh rain on the warm pavements in the summer [yes, perhaps something we’re all a bit too familiar with of late] but I can just sense that this smell was in the air for this utterly pretty Thames side London wedding of Nicola and Lindsay. With plenty of peonies, handwritten notes to guests, a talented typographic groom and the bride bearing a ruffled bolero this is such a chic wedding from top to toe. Held at the Swan at Shakespeare’s Globe the day was captured effortlessly by Chloé Browne at Caught The Light, who certainly made the most of this incredible riverside location and it’s beautiful couple at it’s helm.
Over to bride Nicola…
“I’ve always loved the Swan – it has big windows for admiring the beautiful view over the River Thames, the atmosphere’s always great, and the food and booze always top notch. I thought about our favourite bars in London, then went about finding out whether they could do weddings. Once I remembered the Swan, it was the obvious choice for everything that we wanted. I was going back to London for a visit just after getting engaged so I was able to pop in to the Swan and could instantly imagine having our wedding in their Balcony room – overlooking the river on one side, and the theatre on the other. I went back to New Zealand and told Lindsay I’d found the perfect place in my home town!”
“My dress was ‘Flauta’ by Pronovias. I bought the red shoes from in Melbourne whilst there for a long weekend – they were in the sale and the only pair left. It was a sign! The ruffled bolero was Benjamin Roberts and it was such a fun accessory that lots of people have commented on (and that has been lent to friend getting married since). I also wore the most gorgeous blue silk ribbon garter from Gilda & Pearl.
My Mum, sister, bridesmaid and myself all had our nails done together the day before the wedding at the quite lovely, retro Powder Room – highly recommended for some 50s glamour prior to the big day!
I loved getting ready with my family and bridesmaids at the Dean Street Townhouse. The champagne brunch, rolltop bath, getting pampered by my lovely make up artist – it could not have been in more perfect, quintessentially British surroundings.
Without any official planning, Lindsay and I had both left cards and gifts for each other to open the morning of the wedding, which was really special. My sister also gave me a beautiful silver and diamond horseshoe for good luck, which we stitched to my bridal bouquet.”
“Lindsay and the male members of the wedding party wore their own grey suits, with matching Paul Smith ties to link them all together.
Our flowers were created by the amazing girls at Scarlet and Violet. They did a fabulous job with all of the flowers. We wanted pink peonies and a general colour theme of bright, cheerful pinks and purples. Everything arrived beautifully packaged with coloured ribbons and hand written labels – those small touches make all the difference. They also transported the balloons from the party store across the road from their shop, found us a lavender plant and lent us a lovely enamel jug from their collection of interesting and obscure flower-holders!
We re-cycled the flowers – the florist gave us paper bags so our guests could take some flowers home with them. We attached ‘Thanks a bunch!’ signs to the bags so they would match our overall style. It was great to think the flowers would be pride of place in another home the following day, rather than wilting at the venue or, worse, in the bin!”
“Our wedding didn’t follow a strict theme – we wanted it to feel casual and contemporary, but nicely put together, we really wanted our wedding day to be all about having fun, good food and drink.
We put together our sweetie table ourselves, mostly using things we ordered online from Not On The Highstreet – including the cute, personalised ‘Lindsay & Nicola, Est. 16.07.11’ wooden crate.
Lindsay designed all of the stationery himself. We went for a set of four postcards tied together with wool. We chose letterpress for its tactile loveliness and the amazing Shona from Magpie Press in Auckland, printed the cards for us, and threw in some coasters too. Of course, Lindsay had to demonstrate his web design skills with a wedding website too!”
“Every guest had a personalised wrapped chocolate bar from New Zealand and a hand written note telling them what their presence at our wedding meant to us (the notes were honestly the biggest hit of the day). We made the menus and coasters for each person too to tie in with our ‘Eat, drink and be married’ theme. The table names were all typefaces that we like and that tied in with our wedding, like Bliss and Delicious.
We had a sharing style feast with dishes loaded into the middle of the tables for guests to share, this was a great experience and a little bit different to the usual individual servings or buffet style wedding food. The crockery was so pretty – everybody had a completely individual plate from the Swan’s gorgeous collection.
The weather definitely played havoc with our schedule – we had to leave our dinner mid-way through for photos during the only break in rain. Our guests told us afterwards how amazing the main course and dessert were but we didn’t even get to try them! Later in the evening we had little fish & chip cornets for those still hungry.
“One of our favourite moments was the ‘Golden Hour’ as we’ve all dubbed it. It rained literally all morning on the day of our wedding. During dinner, the sun made an appearance in spectacular style and we rushed outside to take the pictures we thought we weren’t going to get – the post-shower glow of London and the river in the sunshine made for some gorgeous photos. Walking along the embankment and over the Millennium bridge with tourists and Londoners all wishing us congratulations was pretty magical and definitely once-in-a-lifetime material.
“To save costs, we made heaps ourselves, which is why our luggage was so heavy on the way back over from New Zealand! Some of the things we made for the day were ‘I do’ cocktail swizzlers, handwritten personalised notes, hand sewn confetti packs, wool pom-poms and photo booth props. We also spent hours making up the paper decorations from Paper Poms so it was all very rewarding!”
Our raspberry ripple cake was made by Maisie Fantaisie, it was a Madagascar vanilla bean cake, with vanilla bean buttercream, raspberry preserve, fresh raspberries and strawberries. Our florist provided the peonies for the top, and we had the cutest little bride and groom peg people made by Pegged on Etsy.”
We wanted people to have an activity to do whilst cocktails and canapés were being served, so we made a photo-booth area with a Polaroid camera, props, notes and a string board to post the pictures. We also had a coconut shy, which caused the competitive streaks in our guests (especially the boys) to come out!
The speeches were all very special – we had the fathers’ speeches before dinner as Nicola’s Dad was so nervous he wouldn’t have been able to enjoy his dinner! Lindsay’s father mentioned Lindsay’s late mother and gave us all a special moment to remember her. Nicola’s sister’s speech was interrupted by the chimes of Big Ben, which was pretty memorable. We’re so glad we wrote our own vows, it made such a difference and provided an element of surprise for each other on the day.
I loved travelling to the venue in a Classic Fairway black London taxi complete with ivory ribbon. Watching the craziness that is London outside the windows as we drove through central town, and having complete strangers waving away, was priceless.
Our gift list allowed guests to give us money towards a particular honeymoon experience, rather than just cash or a cheque – Buy Our Honeymoon – it went down a storm.
I’m so glad I took a nice umbrella to avoid getting ruined in the London summer rain!
My Dad and I walked down the aisle to an acoustic guitar instrumental version of ‘Here comes the sun’. Lindsay and I ‘danced’ our first dance to Adele’s ‘Make you feel my love’.
Our videographer, Frances from Reel Love Films produced a fun, elegant four-minute highlights video of the day which completely blew us away!
Now isn’t that just one fabulous wedding, and video? Thank you so much to Nicola and Lindsay for letting me share their day, and congratulations for your upcoming anniversary!
Big thanks to photographer Chloé and Reel Love Films for letting me share their fabulous work too!
Photography: Caught The Light / Venue: Swan at Shakespeare’s Globe / Wedding Dress: Flauta by Pronovias / Accessories: Shoes by Nine West, Bolero by Benjamin Roberts, Garter from Gilda & Pearl / Bridesmaid Dresses: Ted Baker / Hair & Make Up: Jo Clayton / Flowers: Scarlet & Violet / Cake: Maisie Fantaisie / Videographer: Reel Love Films