The lovely Alice chose our Nancy dress for her London city wedding. She decided to have the dress made according to her measurements as it is a fitted style, lace dress. The dress style suited Alicia perfectly and it was such a pleasure to work with her! I loved seeing Alicia's wedding pictures and seeing their dog, Boz, being an important part of it just melted my heart.
- Miina -
THE DRESS AND THE LOOK
Early on we decided to have a London wedding as London has been our home for over 10 years, we also wanted to have as many London based suppliers to keep everything as local as possible. I came across Indiebride online and instantly loved the vintage style of the dresses which were elegant with bohemian twists and most importantly designed and handmade in London.
After getting engaged, trying on and choosing a wedding dress was part of the wedding planning process that I was most nervous about. However, when I arrived at the studio and greeted by the very friendly and welcoming Miina, my mind was instantly put at ease. The studio is located in the eaves of a church building which is very private and feels very comfortable. My mum joined me for the first appointment and I had my mind set on something simple and fitted made from lace and with sleeves. I tried on a number of dresses including the Nancy dress which was actually the first dress I tried, and although I tried on others during the appointment nothing could compare and I knew that it was the dress for me!
The entire process of buying the dress from Miina was just perfect and her laid back and calm approach made it really enjoyable and certainly not as stressful as I had imagined it would be. As I chose the made-to-measure service, after my initial fitting I had a number of appointments where Miina meticulously altered and adjusted the dress which was a really fascinating process seeing it all come together. The Nancy dress is a fitted lace dress so it was important that it felt comfortable both sitting and dancing and Miina ensured that it was tailored to my shape and height and that I was happy and comfortable with every little detail until it was perfect.
I typically don’t wear a lot of makeup, so it was important that I looked as natural as possible on the day as I was conscious that I wouldn’t look like myself. My best friend and bridesmaid recommended a makeup artist called Roisin Kinch who I had a trial with before the wedding and I loved what she did. On the day she did my makeup and also my bridesmaids and my mums which was perfect and lasted all night!
I still use my hairdresser Sarah Britner from Derbyshire that my mum and I have used since I was a teenager, so naturally she was the only choice for my wedding day. Sarah really knows my hair, after cutting it for decades, so when I told her that I wanted a natural wavy half-up / half-down look she knew exactly what to do. As I wasn’t going to have a veil, I bought a couple of pretty hair pins from Lola and Alice with pearls and diamantes which provided a bit of sparkle in my hair. We had a wonderful, relaxed morning getting ready with Sarah who also did my bridesmaids and mums hair and made us all look very beautiful.
I kept my accessories very simple, I wore some simple pearl earrings and my husband bought me a special bracelet from Astley Clarke which he left for me on the morning of the wedding and was a lovely surprise. I also had my mum’s beautiful beaded clutch bag which was from her own wedding in the 1979 as my something old and borrowed!
My engagement ring and my husbands ring were from E.C.ONE a great independent jeweller in Clerkenwell and my wedding ring was my late-grandmothers who had passed away earlier in the year.
THE GROOM’S OUTFIT
My husband and his best man had made to measure suits from Timothy Everset in Spitalfields. His suit was a very deep navy colour which he wore with a white shirt, plain navy tie with silver tie pin, white pocket square and black leather shoes from Grenson – he looked very handsome and sophisticated. The other man in my life, our yellow Labrador Boz, wore a very smart black and white dicky bow to make sure he fit in with our smart city theme.
We are both Catholic and it was important to me that we would be married in a Catholic church. We had been to a few friend’s weddings previously at St Etheldreda’s in Holborn and I had mentally logged it as a place I would love to get married in. Contacting Father Tom was one of the first things I did after getting engaged and we were so happy that we could be married in such a special place. The church dates back to 1300 and is thought to be the oldest Catholic church in the country. It is exceptionally beautiful inside and the professional choir provided a magical backdrop to the service.
For the reception we hired the Hawksmoor Guildhall restaurant in the City. Giving our guests a great meal was one of our top priorities, so when we found out our favourite steak restaurant could be exclusively hired for weddings, we knew it was the perfect place! Located next to the historic Guildhall, the restaurant is a very classy venue which has an elegant art deco interior and was very much in line with our simple but classic city wedding theme. Sophie from the venue was assigned to us as our wedding coordinator and she was fabulous! She just knew everything and had absolutely every detail under control on the day which made it all run perfectly and without a hitch.
A vintage red routemaster bus took the guests from the church in Holborn on a scenic journey through the city of London, past St Paul's cathedral to the Guildhall which they then walked through to the restaurant – our out of town guests particularly enjoyed this sightseeing tour!
As the venue was already pretty stunning, there wasn’t really much more we needed to add which made it simple.
The flowers were all done by our friend (and guest) Nichola Myhill from Grove Flora Flower Studio. Nicci has such impeccable taste and as I don’t know very much about flowers, was completely comfortable with letting her loose. My mum and I spent a very enjoyable early morning with her at the New Covent Garden flower market a couple of weeks before the wedding and we picked out all the colours and types that we liked. Nicci provided the table flowers, beautiful bouquets for the bridal party and two stunning flower arrangements for the grand staircase entrance at the venue.
On the tables we had clusters of lots of small glass bud vases with flowers, simple black candlesticks with tall white dinner candles from IKEA and then small cut glass tealight holders from the Hawksmoor. I wanted to make the place settings myself which reflected our love of animals – they were plastic animals sprayed gold with a simple name card slotted into the back. Instead of favours we donated money to WWF and I learnt how to do calligraphy so I could hand write each name.
We had six giant white balloons with gold tassel tails provided by Bubblegum Balloons that we had placed around the dance floor and in the bar area to complement the art deco interiors. We used some of the art deco patterns from the restaurant as part of our stationary and used them in the invitations, signage and table plan which tied everything together.
FOOD AND CAKE
We served a selection of canapes in the bar area of the Hawksmoor when guests arrived from the church, these included Pork, Beef & Mutton Sausage Rolls, Smoked Salmon with Soda Bread, Cheese Gougere and Mini Cheese Burgers. We had the speeches ahead of the main dinner so that everyone could then just sit and enjoy the food. The main dinner was sharing style with Prime Rib, Porterhouse and Rump Steaks, Triple Cut Chips, Creamed Spinach, Roasted Mushrooms, Macaroni Cheese with Bearnaise Sauce and Bone-Marrow Gravy. For dessert we had Bramley Apple Pie and Sticky Toffee Pudding, all the food was delicious and we had lots of great feedback from guests saying it was the best food they’d ever had at a wedding.
Our late-night food of Sausage Sandwiches and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches went down well later in the evening and kept everyone going until 2am! We skipped having a traditional wedding cake and instead opted for 12 dozen glazed Krispy Crème’s which we both love and we made stands to display them which everyone loved.
We asked my brother to play the guitar and sing a few songs at the end of dinner to start of the evening entertainment. He did three songs which we let him pick himself, so it was a great surprise when he started singing. We hadn’t planned on doing a first dance, but his final song Elton John’s Your Song got us on the dance floor which turned into a very special moment. We then had hired the London-based Wedding Smashers DJ’s to play from 9pm-1am. They were absolutely amazing and kept the dance floor full the whole evening – they even carried on an extra hour and the party continued until 2am!
Our photographer was the wonderful Lyndsey Goddard who had come recommended from a friend and was really the perfect match for us. She is a documentary style photographer which we loved as we weren’t keen on having too many posed photos. She managed to document the entire day and captured so many great moments of everyone having a great time along with a few more formal group shots and of course some of us with our gorgeous Labrador, Boz, who just had to be part of the day.
- Alicia -