LONDON WINTER WEDDING
The dress and the look
I first came to hear about Indiebride London from a work colleague who recommended them as somewhere she thought I would like. The moment I looked on the website, I was hooked. I loved the vintage style of their dresses and their slightly bohemian twists.
I arrived at the Indiebride studio on one of the hottest days of the year with my sister, Betty. Despite it being only minutes from my house and a building I'd passed numerous times, it was a complete surprise when I walked in. I was greeted by the absolutely delightful Miina who led us up into the eaves of the church building and asked which dresses I had wanted to try. She immediately put me at ease with her friendly manner. I listed around 15 which I tried on over the course of the hour (with my sister also adding a few more in for luck).
I ended up choosing the Olivia dress in the end and I'm so pleased I did - it was perfect. Being a winter wedding, I wanted sleeves but for it also to feel glamorous and somewhat unstructured. I also loved the satiny finish of the dress which also made it feel like an evening gown. I added one of their delicate silk belts stitched with handmade flowers to tie around the middle as well as a veil that I bought in one of the Indiebride sample sales. Every time I popped to Indiebride for a fitting I would find myself being so grateful that it was them that I had found to make my wedding dress!
I don't wear a huge amount of makeup so I was slightly out of my depth when it came to choosing what to wear on the big day. My wonderful friend, an old university pal, Caitlin, came to my rescue! She's the makeup whizz of our friendship group! She helped me choose a whole new set of shiny makeup from Nars - I opted for a natural palate but with iridescent, bronzey hues. She was also my makeup artist on the morning of the wedding and topped me up throughout the day.
I had a simple, low chignon on the day rather than anything too fussy. I stayed at The Hospital Club in Covent Garden the night before the wedding. Myself and my four bridesmaids all had our hair styled over the road at Windle & Moodie. My stylist, Valentina, was brilliant and helped to banish any anxiety that morning!
Apart from my Indiebride veil and belt, I kept accessories very simple. I wore my late-Grandmother's diamond and sapphire bracelet which was very special - it was also something old, borrowed and blue! I wore a necklace that Harry had given me for Christmas which was a rose gold, lobster pendant by Alex Monroe. Both our wedding rings as well as my engagement ring were also Alex Monroe so it felt like it all went well together!
The groom’s outfit
Harry went to Paul Smith on Floral Street for his wedding suit. It was a beautiful blue wool and mohair suit with a peacock green lining. The tie was a dark blue silk with a paisley pattern and flecks of silver, from Ted Baker. He wore this with a white shirt and black shoes with a high shine finish.
After making the decision that we wanted to get married in London, we started making appointments at various venues. We are both from Brighton originally so looked at possibly doing it there first but decided that London felt like the most natural choice for us. We chose St Stephen's in Hampstead, a 19th Century deconsecrated church that has been restored for community use by a charitable trust.
The first time we visited it, the wonderful Patrick who runs the venue, told us its history and showed us around. We fell in love with the place almost immediately - the stained glass windows, high arches and beautifully ornate detailing everywhere we looked. We had the whole day at St Stephen's starting with the ceremony overseen by a registrar from Camden council to the meal and then partying into the night. For us to be able to have such a beautiful grand church with a secular ceremony, worked perfectly.
We knew from the start that we wanted a winter wedding, something that shaped the way we themed our day. We wanted to create a cosy, slightly magical haven from the busy, cold streets of London outside with hundreds and hundreds of candles doing just that.
Flowers were integral to the enchanted feel that we were trying to create. We chose JamJar Flowers to be our wedding florists. We loved their unfussy flowers and the stunning array of colourful jam jars and poison bottles that their flowers come in. As it was a February wedding, we went heavy on foliage all around St Stephen's - green garlands sat at the top of each pillar and masses of greenery were distributed amongst the candles on all of the windowsills. We had an enormous urn at the front of the church filled with early blossom, magnolia branches and white lilies. The bouquets for myself and the bridesmaids were all seasonal, early spring flowers - lots of blush, lilac and peachy tones.
Food and cake
For Harry and I, food is incredibly important and the thing that our social and family lives revolve around. We chose to have the wonderful Blackpot cater our wedding having instantly warmed to their friendly approach and style of food. Harry and I chose to have our guests sit at two long sets of rustic wooden tables in the feasting style. We wanted the meal to feel like a true celebration with lots of sharing dishes.
Our canapes were wild mushroom arancini with mozzarella and truffle oil; a sea bass ceviche on tostadas and chargrilled steak on sourdough with an anchovy dressing. We chose to have a mezze style starter with guests sharing dishes of baba ganoush, hummus, tzatziki and tabbouleh. Our sharing main was a slow roasted shoulder of lamb cooked in a provencal style served with smashed white beans and winter greens. The dessert was a blackcurrant and blueberry brûléed tart. Later in the evening, we served cheese and charcuterie.
Our cake maker was a local South London company called Cakehole. Every Saturday they have a stand at a farmer's market near us and every week we would take home an enormous slice of their delicious Victoria sponge (and eat it). Our wedding cake was 3 tiers of their Victoria sponge with a semi-naked finish and decorated by our florists with blossom.
After a lot of discussion, Harry and I decided against live music and opted instead to just have our own playlist that Rick Davanzo of Arrow Entertainment played for us. Harry's dad had put together a jazz playlist for the drinks reception which was perfect as a background to all the excited chatter after the ceremony. After dinner, we all took to the dance-floor which was set up where the altar would once have been. The main lights were dimmed and the party lights came up with our own playlist playing lots of 90s nostalgia! The dance floor was heaving the whole night which made us very happy.
We also had a face painter from Glitterbox come and do glitter makeovers on our guests in the evening. People would return to the dance floor transformed into glittering butterflies or adorned with painted flowers - all made for fantastic photos.
PhotographyWe chose the wonderful Paul Harris as our wedding photographer after finding his portfolio online. We loved his informal, documentary style of photography with the emphasis being on catching small moments throughout the day over hundreds of posed shots.
- Nadia -