It’s not uncommon now for couples to choose a two-part wedding celebration. Many want to jet off somewhere exotic for some sunshine with close friends and family or perhaps even an intimate elopement, but with this comes a limit to your guest list which is never easy an easy decision to make.
Therefore a double celebration with a small destination wedding and a BIG party back home is a great compromise! That’s what today’s couple Lauren and David did, who celebrated in the city at The Happenstance with not only St Paul’s as a stunning backdrop but beautiful blue skies that matched Lauren’s fun choice of dress for their spring ‘mad hatters tea party’ wedding reception.
TWO PART CELEBRATION
We met in June 2010 on a night out. A friend of mine wanted me to meet someone and noticed Dave across the room in the bar. With that, she was over there, grabbed his arm and said “you’ll do” and dragged him over to talk to me, which was mortifying. Luckily, we got on amazingly, so we swapped numbers, met up a week later and that was that! Three years later Dave proposed after an evening out celebrating our anniversary.
We decided to get married in Riviera Maya, Mexico, as we’d celebrated our year anniversary there and fell in love with it. We wanted a small intimate wedding ceremony in an idyllic setting and that’s certainly what we got. But we knew we wanted a big London reception once we returned so we could celebrate with everyone who wasn’t able to make it to Mexico with us.
MAD HATTER’S TEA PARTY
As we weren’t going down the “traditional” wedding route, we thought we’d take advantage of that and run with a more laid back day in a quirky London bar. We made the most of The Happenstance’s interior by having an Alice in Wonderland theme, which everyone was delighted with. The whole day just had a relaxed and fun atmosphere, and we couldn’t have been happier with how it all turned out.
Aside from the few small Alice in Wonderland details we brought to the venue, we asked The Happenstance to not change a thing. We loved the odd chairs, candles and flowers that they use anyway, and we wanted it all to maintain the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party feel! We received so many compliments on the food and drinks that The Happenstance provided. We also decided against having a wedding cake and instead went for a Krispy Kreme tower, so that people could just help themselves throughout the evening, and that went down very well indeed too.
BARDOT BRIDAL STYLE
I wore a traditional wedding dress in Mexico so when it came to our London reception, I knew I wanted to go down the 1950s route as I adore the dresses and overall look. I headed straight for Vivien of Holloway for the dress and found the perfect one immediately.
With regards to the hair and make up, I found Suki Miles online and was blown away by the shots on her website. I got in touch and asked if she would be happy to do our wedding reception and create a Brigitte Bardot look for me, and from start to finish, Suki was an absolute delight.
Dave knew from the start that he wanted a sharp navy suit and found the perfect one from Moss Brothers, which he teamed with the most beautiful Barker shoes.
We couldn’t have asked for better photographers than Sam & Louise. They were amazing from start to finish. From planning the day in the first place, feeling happy to get in touch with my millions of questions, getting quick and helpful responses, to the actual day itself. They were friendly, professional, dedicated, and the shots that they captured are stunning. We are beyond delighted with the service they provided and can’t recommend them enough.
When it comes to music, we’re both really fussy so we decided to do it ourselves and create a couple of mammoth playlists on Spotify to play through the venue’s speaker system. Whilst this was quite a long tough process in the lead up to the reception, it was so worth it. The music was perfect for us and our day.
Our Mexico ceremony and London reception are two of the best days of our lives. It was a big decision to go abroad for the ceremony and know that most people wouldn’t be able to join us, however we got to have the best wedding party upon our return, in one of our favourite venues, watching all of our friends and family have fun, dance, and be merry. What more could we ask for?
We’re so glad that we committed to that decision as it was right for us and at the end of the day, you’re getting married for you, not for everyone else. That’d probably be the biggest piece of advice I’d give anyone, to ensure you make the decisions for you, because it’s your day.