Posts Tagged: Wedding Planning

Maddi + Ryan – Relaxed + Pretty Soho House London Wedding

LONDON BRIDE LIFE, WEDDINGS, Urban

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Understandably it’s taken me a while to do this post – it’s always hard to write a feature on a couple’s who’s wedding you worked with them on, purely as you are so close to it you want to make sure you do it justice and although I’d love to write about allll the details but I’d probably bore the pants off you all [what, you mean you don’t need to know how many lace ribbons I tied around cutlery!?].

Maddi and Ryan were married in a rather surprising balmy September day last year at the city chic Soho House. I’m so lucky I get to witness these special days with my couples – the party atmosphere, the warmth of friends and family, the special little touches, the loving looks and of course the unforgettable exchange of precious words. I distinctly remember standing behind the doorway trying not to be seen by anyone, waiting for my cue from the registrar to push play on the music for the ceremony exit but I found myself distracted and welling up at their touching vows, that were so personal and meaningful. It’s a lovely moment and always so nice to see this part of a wedding. Don’t worry though….I made me cue. Just.

So rather than talking about things from my point of view, I will leave you with the incredibly atmospheric photographs by the superb Ed Peers and words from Maddi the bride herself, but it was a wonderful day and a pleasure to work alongside many talented suppliers to bring it all together for such a lovely couple!

“A relaxed intimate city wedding was our vision.  Soho House is a beautiful building which has been sympathetically decorated to reflect the era of the house.  The dark wooden floor boards, sash windows and eclectic mix of colours from one room to the next helped our decision when choosing colours.  We went for vintage soft pinks and creams which blended with the house colours but linked our rooms together.”

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Maddi wore a classic, pretty and really feminine tea length lace dress – the Rosalba by Stephanie Allin “I had no vision of what style of dress I wanted apart from that it should be lace – I love the timelessness of lace. I tried on numerous dresses but it wasn’t until I tried on tea-length ones that I knew I had found my style of dress. It was then a long hunt for the right lace one which was finally found at Stephanie Allin’s boutique in London. It was a gorgeous tea length dress with a cream underlay and a soft cream/pink lace over the top.”

“My wedding jewellery was my favourite part of my outfit as it meant so much a beautiful bracelet made by my talented friend Becky of Cherry & Coco and a sentimental and gorgeous piece each from my mum and mother-in-law.”

As you can see from above Maddi also had two pairs of shoes for her big day – well what better way to treat yourself! “As I chose a short dress it was all about the shoes – my favourite accessory.  I have dreamt for years about owning a pair of Louboutins so for my wedding I knew they were the perfect shoe.  After a lengthy hunt in London I went for a classic nude peep toe pair with the adorable name ‘You You’, perfect for a wedding day!  I changed these in the evening for a pair of sparkly gold Kate Spade shoes. I love shoes!” 

Maddi got ready at the nearby Soho Hotel with her bridesmaids and family, and you can see the buzz in the room! I remember collecting a few bits from there on the day and they were all so giddy with lots of laughter and chat going on “We had an awesome team and a really fun morning getting ready!”

I remember Maddi mentioning she was going to incorporate plaits into her bridal hair style which I was so excited to see, and I have to say that her hair stylist Cassandra Rizzuto did an amazing job as it looked so so pretty! Maddi’s make up was by the incredibly talented [and London Bride favourite!] Mariam Jensen who used her infamous airbrush technique to create a beautiful fresh and romantic look on Maddi. There was a lot of pampering going on in the morning so Rebecca McMahon did the beautiful make up on the bridesmaids too.

To compliment Maddi’s soft feminine lace dress, the bridesmaids wore navy blue lace strapless dresses from French Connection teamed with the gorgeous sparkly navy ‘Charm’ Kate Spade shoes – possibly my favourite bridal shoes! Their sweet hair flowers were sourced from DinkyBird Boutique on Etsy. “For the bridesmaids we decided to go to the high street as I wanted dresses they could wear again and feel comfortable in. They fitted the girls perfectly and we accessorized them with hair flowers and sparkly shoes“.

The great thing about a central London wedding is that the bridal party could walk around the corner to the venue for the ceremony! So much fun walking around Soho in a wedding dress! Meanwhile the boys were getting ready and met with friends and family at Kettners for a pre ceremony tipple!

The Groom wore a brown suit from Reiss and the groomsmen all wore their own navy suits.  They were linked together with vintage pink Mr Start ties and Reiss brown brogues – such a stylish party! “Ryan went for a brown suit from Reiss – well he is Mr Brown! He also had brown brogues from Reiss which all the groomsmen had.” Oh I do love a smart shoe on a man!

I love the sweet tags for the cute wedding keepsakes and traditions, nice to remember the little things!

Maddi and Ryan chose Soho House for their venue which held the whole day from the ceremony to the drinks reception to the evening party. “Soho House is a wonderful maze of rooms and staircases and we hired three rooms for our day.  We decided early on we wanted to get married in London and viewed numerous venues.  We were looking for an intimate venue which could host our whole day and had style with ideally some outdoor space.  Soho House fitted perfectly it is a house so has the automatic intimate feel and has the most amazing roof top terrace which meant we looked out over London’s roof tops and up to the stars.”

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What music did you walk down the aisle to? The first time Ever I saw your face by Roberta Flack

Do you have any planning advice for other brides? “Make it personal and that can be from the simplest of weddings to the dramatic wedding but make it yours.  Make mood boards and take the time to work out what you both want from the day.  My favourite part of this was adding our own vows to the ceremony – we had been together nearly 9 years when we got married and it was so special standing before Ryan and in front of our loved ones telling him how much he meant to me and promising him my heart and soul.”

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When I met with Maddi, she was a girl after my own heart with lots of carefully thought through details and ideas. I was so impressed with how creative this pair were [and so sweet that they did a lot of it together!], sourcing gorgeous vintage mason jars, making printed lace handkerchiefs for their save the dates and amazing handmade paddles for their order of the day – there was so much thought behind it all and it was a pleasure to bring it all together on the day. Ryan, the groom is a designer so did all the amazing stationery for the day, including the invitations, order of the day paddles, tableplan and photobooth sign!

“We didn’t have a theme as such more a style of soft old vintage colours in pinks and creams mixed with kraft paper and hand stamped details.  We made a lot ourselves as we wanted the day to reflect us and have a personal touch.  My talented husband [Ryan the Groom!] made all the gorgeous stationery and we spent many a night putting together paddle fans, drink stirrers and cookie catchers!  We filled each room with vintage style flowers beautifully put together by Euphoric Flowers (who are an amazing duo) in aqua Mason jars, tea cups, antique silver jars and French enamel jugs. 

I love all the blooms that Euphoric Flowers did – there was a lot of wood in the venue and this really lifted it and created a really pretty feel to the fairly dark room. As they were all in little jars they were also great to transport from ceremony to dinner to evening so nothing was wasted!

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Maddi and Ryan made SO many unique touches for their wedding day. They were so creative and it was these little touches that I think made their day all the more special. “We handmade a lot and added bits and pieces to the venue to give it our personal touch.  We made bunting, drink stirrers, DIY photobooth area, hung pompoms from the ceiling and much more! We would have struggled without Charley to put it all up and turn rooms around- she did a fabulous job.” 

“We also had a vintage set of scales with a collection of glass sweetie jars filled with retro sweets Rhubarb and Custards, White Mice, lemon sherbets and cola bottles. I loved looking round each room on the day seeing all our hard work and ideas come to life and really made our day feel personal to us. The best bit about making and collecting everything means we got to keep it after the day and now our home is full of wonderful memories from the day.”

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After the ceremony as guests were enjoying delicious drinks and food, Maddi and Ryan went with their photographer Ed to capture a few portrait shots along with their bridal party too. “We choose Ed Peers as our photographer who we feels captures light and the feel of a day perfectly.  He didn’t disappoint and our day has been documented perfectly.”

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Soho House by nature is really intimate so the meal was held on beautiful big wooden tables which Maddi and Ryan supplied pretty rustic details for; bespoke stationery, cute favours, lace ribbon and beautiful flowers from Euphoric. “We had cream hessian runners and our assorted jars and cups filled with flowers and herbs placed down the centre.  We then made Cookie Catchers for our menus and had our own personalised chocolate fortune cookies from Maple Molly’s for our favours.”

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It’s not often I get to sit down and enjoy a meal at a wedding as I’m always running around but Maddi and Ryan so kindly seated myself, Jeff and Ed who were doing the video and photography together with their friends and family. I only managed a main course before rushing off but it was delicious and so nice to sit soaking up the atmosphere, even if it was for twenty minutes!

We choose a buffet style menu as we felt it was more relaxing and interactive for our guests.  The food was AMAZING and I can’t recommend it enough! We also opted for a buffet style cake table – our main cake was a yummy sponge layered cake with four other delicious cakes all made by my mum and our friends.  We decided to let our wedding cake get eaten for dessert as we didn’t want it to get left.  I was so impressed with their friends efforts, the cakes looked amazing and having helped to serve them, I know that they went down very well!

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“In the evening we had a layered cheese cake from La Fromagerie with home-made chutney made by my mum and I.  La Fromagerie are brilliant and really helpful at guiding you through what works well and we had a great morning tasting the cheese!”

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 What was your first dance song? Everlong by Foo Fighters (the acoustic version!).  The lyrics are beautiful and mean a lot to us.

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“Due to the fact Soho House is a small venue we felt it would be better to only have a DJ so we choose Mitch from DJinc who did a brilliant job and our friends and family didn’t leave the dance floor. We danced till 3am!”

When it was getting late as I finished up, I left a rooftop full of guests in arms swaying to music, with a beautiful bride and groom in the centre sharing a fun dance under the stars. It was a pretty amazing atmosphere and I love how Ed has captured the evening and these beautiful romantic moments at the end of the night.

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What was the most special or memorable moment of the day? “Walking down the aisle and seeing Ryan’s face, saying I do and having a day full of love and happiness all for you and your husband you can’t ask for anything better.  As cheesy as it sounds it really is the best day”.

I’m also thrilled to share with you their teaser wedding video by the brilliant Jeff Woods – brides and grooms PLEASE consider having a wedding film! It’s quite often one of the regrets I hear from my couples and it really is something you can look back on in one, ten and perhaps even forty years time. I love this film of Maddi and Ryan’s day by Jeff.

We originally weren’t going to have a videographer but we choose Jeff Woods as when I first saw his videos on a wedding blog they actually moved me to tears.  He has done an amazing job capturing our day and I am so pleased we booked him. I will forever treasure both the photos and videos”. 

Huge congratulations to the lovely Maddi and Ryan, and thanks for letting me share your day! Also thanks to the superb Ed and Jeff for sharing their work and to all the suppliers involved in the day.

*UPDATE – Maddi is selling her beautiful tea length lace Stephanie Allin dress. If you are interested please drop me a comment or email enquiry and I’ll put you in touch!*

Photography: Ed Peers / Cinematographer: Jeff Woods / Venue: Soho House / Bride’s Dress: Rosalba by Stephanie Allin / Bride’s Shoes: Christian Louboutin / Bridesmaids Dresses: French Connection / Groom’s Suit: Reiss / Bride’s Make Up: Mariam Jensen & Hair: Cassandra Rizzuto / Bridesmaids: Rebecca McMahon Flowers: Euphoric Flowers / Cakes: Friends / Cheese Cake: La Fromagerie / Stationery: the Groom, Ryan/DJ: Mitch Matthews at DJ Inc

2 0 1 2 – what a year for London Bride Weddings !

LONDON BRIDE LIFE

It’s been a bit of a blur of a year juggling lots of projects, work and the blog and so much excitement especially living in London during the wonderful summer of the Olympics. This year has been full of wonderful posts on the blog to have researched and written, including sharing lots of gorgeous real weddings with beautiful stories but this post is perhaps my favourite of 2012. Why so? Because this one is dedicated to all the lovely London Bride couples I’ve been working with on the planning and styling of each of their unique weddings in 2012. It is incredibly special to be able to work so closely with each couple, getting to know them and to create a special day for them and then of course to be there and witness the celebration and love [albeit mostly whilst running around!]. It’s certainly a humble reminder as to why I do this, it’s been a super busy year and I will admit it’s pretty hard work but it’s wonderful to look back and know it was all so worth while. It’s pretty cool really. I’ve also been lucky enough to work with a number of couples on helping them behind the scenes; sourcing venues, designing and styling and helping them find the perfect supplier for their day so thank you to each and every one of my wonderful couples that I’ve had the pleasure of working with.

Here are a few of some of my favourite photos of my couples, oh how lovely to reminisce… congratulations to you all and I hope your first Christmas together has been magical and here’s to a happy healthy 2013…

LondonBride_WeddingPlanner_0006Katie + Brett | Joanna Brown Photography

Katie and Brett had a sweet ceremony at Islington Town Hall and afterwards guests walked locally to The Albion pub via heart decorated tree lined streets for a stylish and relaxed gastro-pub celebration complete with lots of lovely DIY details, great food, cocktails in the garden and lots of dancing. They enlisted some fantastic suppliers for their day so I was there to oversee things and set up Katie’s handmade touches. I’m so pleased the sun shone for these guys after a very rainy April, and they looked utterly glamorous on the day. You can see the full wedding featured on the blog here.

LondonBride_WeddingPlanner_0002Angelia + Wiyono | Eddie Judd Photography

Angelia and Wiyono live in London but were actually having a wedding back home with their families in Indonesia so they wanted to capture some beautiful pre-wedding photos in a few local picturesque locations in London. As well as shooting at the historical and immaculate Hampton Court Palace, I styled and co-ordinated this detail-filled shoot at the Mayfield lavender fields for a romantic session for them both, based on her love on pretty pinwheels. These guys were so cute [and patient as it was a long day stuck in Olympic traffic!], you can see part 1 at Hampton Court Palace and part 2 at the lavender fields which I featured on the blog earlier in the year.

LondonBride_WeddingPlanner_0004Michelle + Richard | Rik Pennington

Michelle and Richard’s wedding was co-ordinated from the states, where they both live and work but they opted for a beautiful north London church ceremony followed by an elegant pub wedding reception near where Richard’s family live in Regent’s Park. Planning from abroad can be a bit tricky, but Michelle was both flexible and organised which was great! The day came together without a hitch and I oversaw the logistics ensuring guests weren’t lost in London and set up the pub with all their sweet touches that hinted at both their scientific careers. They were an incredibly relaxed couple who had an informal celebration surrounded by wonderful family and friends who came from far and wide which was so lovely to witness. Sadly they did see the British rain come pouring down, but I’m just so glad it waited until the dance floor was full before it did so!

LondonBride_WeddingPlanner_0003Elaine + Lloyd | Roger Brown Photography

Elaine and Lloyd are a really fun creative couple bursting with ideas but as a recent mum and dad, they had little time in the lead up to the wedding, so I helped bring their day together along with a few unique ‘London Bride’ styling touches. After their church service guests travelled by shiny red routemaster buses to the incredibly fabulous and retro Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes for a colourful, family friendly and fun wedding party. While canapés were served, guests put on their shiny shoes and were treated to games of bowling and some seriously awesome tunes as they had a couple of DJ’s spinning out sets of funk and soul music. It was hard to restrain myself from dancing whilst working and running around as the place was filled with such a wonderful party atmosphere and music and I loved setting up all the colourful graphic details for this day that were dotted around the space and seeing the whole family enjoying the fun and games.

LondonBride_WeddingPlanner_0005Maddi + Ryan | Ed Peers Photography

Maddi and Ryan had a fairly small cool city wedding in Soho’s creative hub, at private member’s club Soho House. Maddi was a girl after my own heart with a love of pretty things and little details she had put together lots of elements to include in the day most of which she made herself with Ryan who’s a graphic designer. Soho House is a maze of a venue, with lots of rooms and stairs [which certainly kept me fit!] and with the whole day happening in the same venue, there was lots to co-ordinate and set up but I love how the day flowed through each part of the celebration and they just didn’t stop smiling with laughter all day long. They were incredibly welcoming and I had a very rare treat of being able to join their warm friends and family for the meal [well, I just about managed to quickly eat the main course!] so it was a wonderful day to be a part of and great to be able to transform the space with their unique touches. They were also blessed with an unexpected very warm September day so the club’s rooftop came in very handy and as I finished up, I left an excited crowd dancing under the stars! I am hoping to blog the full wedding and all the fab details soon so keep your eyes peeled!

Warehouse Wedding London MC MotorsGemma + Pete | Aneta Mak Photography

This was my final wedding of 2o12, and… well, what a way to finish the year! Gemma and Pete were married at Islington Town Hall followed by an incredible reception at probably the coolest and most sought-after alternative venue in London – MC Motors. A huge industrial warehouse space in Dalston, just a stone’s throw from their home it took a year of planning and an 18 hour day to transform the space into ‘distressed elegance’ for their special day. Gemma and Pete are an amazing stylish couple who have impeccable taste, from the food to the flowers, and all the many many tiny details and elements in between it came together with an awesome team of suppliers for a spectacular day that truly reflected them and their vision from start to finish. Working at what is essentially a filming location certainly has it’s challenges, but as a planner it was a fantastic opportunity and a great space to dress, as well as a chance to work to with an exciting and unusual brief with a very like-minded couple creatively. I am bursting to share more of this day [and Aneta’s beautiful film photography] with you soon in the near future!

If you are currently planning your wedding and are interested in learning more about my wedding planning and styling services and how I may be able to help, please see my services page for more information and how to get in touch!

A Very Long Engagement

PLANNING, Advice

My thoughts began wondering as I saw on twitter that a few talented photographers had received enquiries for not just 2014, but also for 2015. That’s three whole years away people.

Now firstly, I would like to say that I think it’s fantastic that the wedding industry is so booming and that there’s lots of lovely couples tying the knot – that makes me so so happy.

However, I just thought I’d ask….what happened to the year long engagement?

Image / Marta Locklear via Style Me Pretty

Typically as the story goes, couples would be engaged for a year which would be more than enough time to plan their wedding – I’m fairly certain that this was the whole reasoning behind an engagement – but now it’s quite the norm to have an 18 month or even a two-year long engagement.

Whilst I don’t think there’s any reason to hurry yourself down the aisle – I can’t help but think there is unnecessary panic around planning a wedding and wonder if this is from the wedding industry? Dressmakers panic you into making you think you need at least 6 months for your dress to be made. Of course, wouldn’t everyone like a confirmed amount of money in advance with lots of time to do your job? Yes that’s the ideal, but realistically 3 months should be more than enough time – so why panic you? Venues usher you into putting a deposit down years in advance to secure your ‘so-called’ popular September date.

And lately I’m hearing more and more about couples moving their actual wedding dates to secure the photographer of their dreams – which whilst very flattering for the photographer, it does seem somewhat crazy? There are so many amazing talented photographers out there, I’m surprised that there is need for this to happen. Perhaps everyone is going for the same popular dates/months?

Image / Sweet Wedding Details on Etsy

Part of me can’t help but wonder what happened to the boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love, boy and girl get engaged and then a year later boy and girl get married? The problem now is that a year although should be enough, it isn’t.  Top venues are booked on all the popular dates (January wedding anyone?) and of course there is also the small issue of your guests. As a girl who has to book a night out with her friends three months in advance I can only imagine how much time I will need to give them to save the date for my own wedding [oh and if you are reading this, you know who you are!].

There’s also the momentum. A year’s engagement will fly by, you’ll have a few months of being in that amazing loved up, special bubble where friends congratulate you, send you cards and you enjoy more than a few glasses of bubbles. You are then in a whirl of wedding planning, decisions, weekends of venue visits, coffee with the in-laws and city trips with your girls to find them dresses. Then there’s the party weekend of the stag and hen, and before you know it – you are walking down the aisle.

What a buzz of a year, but stretching that over two years? Well, already I’ve been engaged 8 months and have done no planning and let me tell you it’s slightly less exciting now. The novelty soon wears off, with every purchase treat or splurge on a night out, or a pair of shoes you find yourself punishing yourself as you should be saving for the ‘wedding fund’ and it really is quite tiring to have to constantly think about IT. With time you also start to question the decisions you’ve made – you quickly learn to step away from the bridal magazines in case you spot the dress of your dreams when you’ve already put down the deposit on what you thought was it 8 months ago.

Let’s also not forget the boys here. Boys though they will nod, agree to go with the lamb and might if you’re lucky find the wedding DJ, let’s be honest, are NOT that into weddings. Boys  [correct me if I’m wrong] but having your fiancé obsess about whether to choose white or black envelopes for the invitations for 6 months doesn’t exactly make for fun pillow talk. All the quality time you spend together there will always be wedding chat, and discussions and… guaranteed disagreements.

Image / Marta Locklear via Style Me Pretty

I actually attempted to plan my own wedding in 4 months for fear of falling into all the above, but it wasn’t possible.  Well not possible if you want something half decent, and your guests to show up that is.

I don’t think you should have to wait two years to have the wedding of your dreams, but perhaps this is what it has come to? Weddings also cost money, quite a bit of it and if you aren’t lucky enough to have savings or a generous family then affording a wedding in 4 months is again, highly unlikely.

I’m sad that I’ve missed the spontaneity, I’m sad that I didn’t get the date I wanted [stamps feet] and believe you me, my other half is sad that he has to listen to wedding chat for a whole lot longer…

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Did you have a long engagement? Have you struggled securing the suppliers you wanted? Answers on a postcard…