The story behind today’s lovely couple Will and Soula is certainly one to melt the hearts! They were childhood sweethearts in London when they were just 12 years old, though 20 years passed as she moved away but then then they just so happened to be brought back together when they discovered they were living just across the street to each other. Just over a year later and they were engaged to be married. Don’t you just love it how fate has a way sometimes…
I often look back on my parents photographs of their wedding day, back in the 1970s and all they had were each other a few witnesses (they didn’t even tell my Grandparents, naughty!) a registry office and then they headed off on holiday with their friends camping in France for their honeymoon. How romantic!
This wedding reminded a little of their photos, the soft romantic photography, the simplicity of the ceremony and the vintage style, all lovely inspiration for a London wedding!
Will and Soula were childhood sweethearts in London when they were 12 years old. They hadn’t seen each other in 20 years . Soula, a make-up artist, left London to live in other countries whilst William remained. He dedicated himself to the prestigious Savile Row in Mayfair and has been a Bespoke Tailor for over 15 years. Through the grapevine,they discovered they now lived on opposite sides from one another on Victoria Park, East London.
With curiosity they met again, age 32, one very hungover afternoon, by the bandstand of the park. The memories came flooding back and it didn’t take long for them to realise they still felt so much for each other. Within 4 months Soula had moved into Will’s flat. William proposed a year later on the beautifully unspoilt sands of Jeckyll Island , South Carolina. It was the last day of a very long Road Trip over the Deep South. Six months later they were married near their home at Hackney Town Hall alongside many old friends from their childhood and plenty of family.
We chose to have a London wedding as we are both Londoners and all our friends are based here too. We did not want to make things difficult regarding travel and hotels with friends so it felt natural to stick to our roots. Neither of us had dreams of a country wedding, We love East London and Soula’s mother had worked there for over 30 years and Will and I have been living East for almost 10 years.
We felt we could have a big party and relax in the knowledge that we were not putting our friends out.
We were married at Hackney Town Hall. A lovely Deco Building. I went down the aisle to Bill Withers, “Lovely Day”. I love soul and it felt a happy choice. My brother gave me away since my father died sadly a year ago. I needed something upbeat. We also had a reading , “Sonnet 118” and “I love you” by a french poet named Paul Eluard. William chose the exit song, Jake Thackery “LA Di DAH”
We had our reception at the Tab Centre In Shoreditch. A beautiful old tabernacle, tucked away near Columbia rd.
THE PAINTED LADY
As a make-up artist , my favourite era has always been the 20s and 30s. My dream was to have those beautiful marcel waves. I had my hair styled by Belinda at The Painted Lady on Redchurch Street in Shoreditch. I found a beautiful white silk flower headpiece in Texas, an original from the 1920s and it set my outfit off just right.
As for the make-up I wanted to look like myself, I could have gone all out with big smokey eyes but I know this would not have suited my personality. I kept my look very fresh and natural and did my own. The hair was the statement piece. I also found in Alfies Antique Market a 1920s beaded purse. The shoes are from a friend’s shoe company called Anello and Davide . I wore the most beautiful bespoke shoes , true to deco style.
I found both dresses on eBay and Etsy. I had no desire to go to any of those bridal shops, I wanted a true vintage dress. My dresses were so vintage however, they came through the post in need of quite a lot of work. I luckily came across Laurie Vanian, an antique/vintage dress restorer at Alfie’s Antiques Market. She lovingly restored both dresses to their former glory.
Naturally, William the Savile Row bespoke tailor at Dryburgh Bespoke, cut all the suits for his father, brother and best men. He was stitching/cutting in his workshop relentlessly in order to get the suits ready for the day. Such a perfectionist, he was even sewing buttons on into the late hours the eve before our wedding day! His brogues came from Foster and Son also a bespoke shoemaker.
We all made the decorations ourselves. I made small deco style place cards on corks, we had candelabra entwined with ivy and roses. Will’s best man is a lighting technician so he helped us out with uplighters. I was all incredibly effective and cost very little . I made wedding favour bags stuffed with sweets. My best friend made a cheese tower with little sculptures of the bride and groom on top. My other friend made brownies for desert. And my mother built an incredible meringue wedding cake tower !
The food was fantstic, thanks to Marie Laure at Easy Gourmet, easygourmetcatering.co.uk. Very professional and the best food I had hoped for. We got all our drink from France. We had Picpoul Pinet , Champagne and a lovely claret.
We had our friend Cleo Felstead to DJ. She was fantastic as she knew what we would of liked to here. She has been a DJ for many venues in London for over 10 years .
It all goes too quickly! So just remember to enjoy yourself and not worry about the small stuff. NO one notices as they are all happy to be surrounded by loved ones .
Congratulations to Soula and Will, such a lovely story and couple and thanks to photographer Claire for sharing the day.