An unusual ‘Tropical Victorian Themed’ Wedding and Rime Arodaky wedding dress for couple Tracy and Chris at The Asylum and Horniman Museum South London.
One of our favourite spots for a ceremony in London, the atmospheric Asylum Chapel in Peckham followed by an elegant ‘tropical’ styled reception at the beautiful Horniman Museum conservatory with it’s amazing vista over London from Forest Hill, South London. Tracy and Chris were married in July last year, and we love this couple’s personal style and how they’ve injected their own fashion into the bridal outfits. We’re big big fans of bridal separates or two pieces, and Tracy’s very figure flattering choice of Pennington skirt and Caplan top by Rime Arodaky looks seriously cool, feminine and modern. We love how she’s teamed it with a statement fashion forward headpiece by designer Luna Bea and I think we’ll be seeing much more statement headwear on 2017 brides to come!
A mention has to go to the super cool flower girl in her bespoke House of Hackney fabric outfit. How fabulous does she look and so fitting for this ‘Tropical Victorian’ themed wedding which was even translated into the reception venue from the florals to the food and even the gin!
We met at a bar in Shoreditch, Engaged for 4 years. He proposed on my birthday, after a lovely day out in London and rooftop dinner, he proposed in Pyjamas in front of the TV with cups of tea in hand.
ENGLISH TROPICAL GARDEN PARTY
After looking at many venues, we decided we really wanted to stay local to our area, so when we found The Asylum Chapel and Horniman Museum conservatory they were perfect. We also wanted to use all local suppliers which we did.
After finding Asylum and Horniman our themes came together; ‘English Tropical Garden party theme with slight Victorian twist due to the conservatory! We wanted a simple but tasteful and fun wedding with good food and good music/ the DJ was important to us. As we and all our friends really love a good dance off!
RIME ARODAKY TWO PIECE
I thought I wanted a long dress with long lace sleeves and open back, but when I tried this style on they all just made me look really short and dumpy! So when I eventually found the designer, Rime Arodaky’s wedding dresses online, when at The Mews in Notting Hill bridal boutique, they recommended I try the Caplan top and Pennington skirt, and to my surprise it was ‘the one’. Not something I would normally have gone for but it really elongated me, and was very flattering.
I wanted quite a ‘statement’ headpiece for the ceremony at The Asylum, a simple side comb wasn’t going to be enough to fill the space. Lou at Luna Bea was great, she tweaked her ‘Lily Crown‘ for me adding additional flowers to create a sort of Victorian / Edwardian crown. It was really comfortable and light on the day and didn’t come off either!
My hair I had no idea’s so I left totally in Mark at The Klinik hands. I was nervous when he mentioned I needed hair extensions for the braids, as I have never had these before, he said my naturally long hair wouldn’t be enough on the day and he was right, but they were so well done everyone including my mom thought it was all my real hair! He was amazing as he landed up being my stylist and dresser on the day too, and made sure I had champagne at the right time to calm any nerves.
My friend Kat did my make up, we did a few test runs and trips to Selfridges make up hall. She gave me a bit of sculpting I was surprised it actually works. I highly recommend Urban Decay ‘De slick make up setting spray‘.
House of Hackney Flower Girl
Keeping in the ‘Tropical Victorian’ theme for my God daughter, Izzy, I had her a dress made by Linda Brooker studio, in House of Hackney ‘Palm’ print linen. Together we decided on a Victorian look dress and Pageboy style beret.
Chris, the Groom and his Best Men and also the Father of the Bride wore stylish suits and tuxedo’s all from Hackett London.
ACOUSTIC Aisle MUSIC
I was very lucky I found The Wedding Music Company at a Bridal fair and straight away when I told him my venue and idea’s he recommended the Difference ( Cello and Guitar duo ). They were perfect and they played throughout the ceremony service and they were able to learn a specific song for us, Golden Skans by the Klaxons, as this was ‘our’ song when we met back in 2006 which I went down the aisle to. I had 2 readings, my Brother and my friend Belinda.
I had too many themes to start, White, Jungle, Tropical, Colonial, Victorian, African! My friend Angie helped me with this as a wonderful wedding gift. She eventually sat me down and made me pick ‘one’ theme, we went with ‘Tropcial’. I had to do a storyboard for her of my ideas and what I liked and then she took it from there! For The Asylum, Angie created 2 vases at the front of Chapel and tied bunches of flowers along the chairs as aisle decoration. We had to keep quite simple as there isn’t much time to dress it and you have to remove all decor after the ceremony.
The Horniman Conservatory is such a beautifully detailed building you don’t need a lot of decoration. However I did have this vision of filling it with Palm Trees. Like a Victorian Tropical Play conservatory. However after investigating the costs of transporting & wheeling hired palm trees in we went with Palm decorations on the tables which was very effective, and much less expensive! I recommend H&M home for vases and table decs.
‘Old School’ English Menu
We wanted food and drinks to be strong and punchy and food filling. We also tried to keep all drinks & dishes very old school ‘English’, so Dorset Goats Cheese, English Roast Beef, Nyetimber Sussex Champagne. Fentimans Victorian Lemonade.
Guests were served gin cocktails and G&T’s, I highly recommend the Travelling Gin Company, they were local to us, and they ‘created bespoke’ cocktails for us on the day, very patiently incorporating my ‘many themes’ and ideas! They also serve off bicycle baskets on the day which is a fun quirk, and went with the Victorian look I was after.
We also paid for corkage for all guests with our caterers so no shortage of Wine. And not limited to the 2 glasses per guest rule.
Hearty food we went for classic English Roast Beef, and Sweet potato pie for the veggies. Our caterers Suzanne James Catering worked closely with us to keep costs down & within our budget, but in the end we did land up going over where we wanted specific things! The Beef was delicious on the day, not easy to get right when doing multiple roasts in a makeshift tent in the garden!
Our cake was a huge 5 tier gold decorated cake with cherries which was rich chocolate caramel and toasted coconut filling.
I researched online and came across a beautifully shot winter wedding shoot at the Asylum, I loved the relaxed natural unposed informal shots, and beautiful light. I managed to track down that the photographer was Heather Shuker, Election Photography. We met up and straight away she had the right visualisation of our day!
She was really professional, constantly spotting the good light on a bit of a cloudy day, and even chased after our vintage hired bus when it drove off without us, so I highly recommend her!
After meeting us and hearing our music taste she recommended her friend Paul Courtney as a DJ and he was really brilliant. We love our electro/ techno and he managed to mix that flavour into a wedding mix that worked for all ages. Everyone was up dancing from the start to end!
It all went too quick!! I want to go back and do it all again! Best moments were the Confetti shower as we came out of the Asylum & our first dance to ‘ Jungle is Massive’ by General Levy.
Do allow some time for mistakes, our vintage buses drove off and left us on the pavement for 40 mins! Also, if wear a big bib when you eat. No one noticed and I was able to sell my dress afterwards!