It’s actually quite a struggle for me to put together the features on weddings that I’ve planned and been a part of, and for that reason you’ll notice they generally have a lot more images so I can only apologise in advance if this is a lengthy one!
I co-ordinated this urban brights winter wedding earlier in February and it’s taken me quite some time just to edit the images down. Partly because Lee at Robbins Phogoraphic has captured the day in such a way I almost feel like I can’t miss anything out, partly because Jess and Nick are a seriously good looking couple and partly because the day was beautiful – in style and in atmosphere. I’m sure you’ll see my struggle!
Jess and Nick managed to combine so much into their day. It was bright but stylish, informal yet romantic whilst being elegant and urban with their wedding ceremony at the Asylum London and reception at MC Motors. Not many couples choose February as a month to marry in, but with colourful wild flowers by Palais Flowers, beautifully worn venues, a cosy atmosphere and all your loved ones together it really could have been any day of the year.
HAVING A BALL
We wanted our wedding to be relaxed, in our own style and a day where all our friends and family had a ball. I think we achieved it. Everyone said how “nick and jess” it was and it was everything I could have hoped for.
Photography was one thing that was important to us and as Nick is quite particular about this we searched long and hard before finding Lee. We wanted a reportage style, with no forced cheesy pictures. Lee was brilliant, he blended in with our guests, made us feel so relaxed and we’re so happy with the results.
Despite heading in the direction of a summery garden wedding, this couple were finally drawn to the capital to have a winter wedding. “We live in London and it’s where we met, so although initially we dreamt about summer gardens and country houses, we thought it would be great to have a London wedding. Plus I’d never been to one so thought it would be something different (that was before finding the London Bride blog!)”
The winter thing just happened to be a convenient time for family who live abroad and I didn’t want to wait until the busy summer wedding season! As we kept everything indoors I wasn’t so worried about the weather, as long as it didn’t snow and grind everything to a halt. And we were lucky, not the crisp clear skies I’d been hoping for, but no rain either.
MIX AND MATCH BRIDAL STYLE
Jess opted for bridal separates from designer Charlie Brear to create the perfect relaxed, elegant style for her. ” I started off with a clear idea of what I wanted, so tried it on but it didn’t work. So we then went and tried on everything, narrowing down what looked good and what didn’t. My fourth appointment was at Charlie Brear, with the lovely Mandi. They have a great range of “mix and match” dresses and accessories which suited my style and felt more relaxed than some of the others that I’d tried on. I went for a high necked, low backed plain silk dress, with a beautiful lace long sleeved top to go with it. With my bridesmaids and Mum in tears, it confirmed that it was the right choice. Some advice for other brides – don’t get too hung up on finding “the one”. I absolutely love my dress, but I think I could have been equally happy in a number of others. As long as you feel you, that’s all that matters.”
With comfort high on her priority (girl after my own heart) Jess decided to skip the heels and opt for a statement pair of sparkly flats instead. “My mum actually found my shoes at Boden! I struggled searching for shoes, I knew I wanted flats and nothing white and bridal. At the end of the day, they were comfortable and had a bit of sparkle and were hidden by my dress most of the time!”
Jess was really resourceful with finding her accessories, a great idea to rent or borrow items if you aren’t wanting to invest too much in them. “I found my white feathered jacket on eBay and I rented the gorgeous Jenny Packham headpiece to complete the look. I borrowed my sister’s earring’s from her wedding, wore my grandma’s old ring, our ring’s were put in my nephew’s blue sock and my dress was new!
Having had a hair trial, which felt a bit too formal for her, on the day the style came together perfectly in her elegant side sweeping style. “I found Justine my hair stylist on a blog, she has so much experience and lives right around the corner which was handy. I went for a trial but we then decided that it was a bit too formal. I sent her some more references and on the day she created a style that I was so pleased with. She was great with the girls too, relaxed flowing locks, with a little plait here and there to tie them together.
I wanted a neutral look as I don’t wear a lot of make up day-to-day. I asked an old work friend, Olga whether to do it, she used to work for MAC and does makeup part time, and I trust her completely! It was great to have a friend there on the day. She listened to what everyone wanted and I think we all looked great!
MISMATCHED MAIDS IN NAVY
Aren’t Jess’s ladies the most gorgeous looking bridesmaids, and they certainly know how to take a good photo! They looked so elegant in their long navy gowns and with their relaxed hair and mismatching accessories they looked glamorous but not too formal. I like how each dress is slightly different to suit each girl’s own style.
I had four bridesmaids, my sister and three other best friends. I had already seen the dye to order dresses from Ghost and thought they were beautiful, so we went to try on the various styles in the navy that was my favourite. Luckily the girls looked amazing in the dresses and each picked a style that suited them individually. We then bought some fur stoles from Zara and Monsoon to keep them warm as it was February! Shoes and jewellery they looked after themselves which was great so they weren’t too matchy matchy.
BOYS IN BLUE AND BURGUNDY
With the glamorous bridesmaids, the gents didn’t fail on that front either! I love the colours they chose for the boys suits, perfectly suited to a more wintery city wedding and they managed to find a bargain! “Nick found a navy, cord, velvety suit from The Kooples which made him look very suave! We matched it with a burgundy tie and tie pin from Alexander McQueen. Then the boys – I didn’t want them in navy as Nick and the girls were already wearing navy. So burgundy it was! We got these from Austin Reed in the sale.”
The ceremony took place in the enchanting setting of The Asylum, Caroline Gardens in Peckham, quite possibly (and I don’t say this lightly) my favourite ceremony location in all of London.
My dad and I walked down the aisle to the string quartet’s version of Sigur Ros ‘Hoppipolla’. We weren’t able to have anything religious and I didn’t want the traditional wedding march. This is such a beautiful song and once I heard the quartet play it I could imagine the girls and myself walking down to it.
After a candlelit ceremony, with accompanying string quartet, the guests hopped onto route master buses and sipped on fizz as they made the trip from South to East London whilst the couple took some time out with photographer Lee for their portraits.
We found MC Motors first, having used it for photo shoot with work, and fell in love. It really is the most incredible venue and has such a wow factor to it. Knowing that we had to have our reception there we looked at the various town halls nearby. Although beautiful spaces we wanted to keep looking to see if we could find something a bit different. Then I stumbled across Asylum in Peckham. Both have the distressed feel that we love and both made us stop and stare. Even though on opposite ends of London we thought a London bus journey between the two could be fun (with a bit of prosecco of course!)
We didn’t have a particular theme – the venues speak for themselves and didn’t need much dressing. Emma from Palais flowers, who we discovered via the Alex Monroe boutique, where I got my wedding band, was amazing. She talked through our thoughts and came up with some mood boards which reflected colours, styles and quirky additions like the birch branch and candles that we had above our top table. We had bright coloured flowers, messily put together – a great contrast to the rather grey February weather.
The table names were after special places to the couple and to personalise each guests place cards, they printed a photo polaroid for everyone. A great idea which got people talking at the tables and then guests were asked to sign them with a message after dinner and pop them into the photo box which will make up the couples guest book for a keepsake.
SEYCHELLES IN LONDON
We’re into food (who isn’t!) and wanted something relaxed to go with the feeling of the day so decided on big bowls of food to share on each table. A friend recommended Seychchelles catering kitchen Vinn Goute as they’d hired them for a festival. Kris, Julie and the team were awesome. The venue is dry hire so we needed someone to bring their kitchen on site and sort out tables, chars, wait staff etc. They created a delicious menu of fish, chicken, curries and more for us and it went down a storm.
My friend Sarah made our ‘naked’ cake for us – carrot cake, our fave and we decorated it with some spare flowers.
As there’s no bar or licence at MC Motors we went to Majestic for our wine and bubbles and I did a huge online shop for spirits and mixers. We ended up with left overs as I was so nervous about running out!
The evening kicked off with the couples first dance, despite not planning one they went with the moment and I love the dancing shots captured of it! “I didn’t think we’d do a first dance, the thought of it filled us both with dread and I didn’t want a choreographed number. So we decided to pick a song that was happy, and use it as a first dance if we were feeling brave, or just add it to the playlist if not! We chose ‘All I Want Is You’ from the Juno soundtrack. After some wine and sloe gin we went for it on the dance floor and jigged around for a few minutes until everyone joined on the dance floor!
Everything went in such a flash but it was filled with so many memorable moments. Hearing Nick’s vows for the first time, turning around after we’d done the deed and seeing all of our friend’s and family’s smiling faces, the speeches were a highlight for me as well.”
Congratulations to the lovely Jess and Nick, it was a pleasure to work with you and it’s been so lovely writing up your day alongside the very talented work of photographer Lee.