Wednesday 6 May 2015

My Secret London Wedding Anniversary - Part 2

So here we go ladies, Part 2 of my vintage tea-party themed wedding. After our quicky wedding ceremony in Hackney Town Hall {our local}, we headed to Victoria Park for our pictures, where {joy of joys} we found the best photo-prop ever. An ice-cream van! I'd really recommend trying to organise a few photo props - it makes for much more natural portraits, particularly if you're feeling a bit stressed on your wedding day. After our pictures we headed home for our vintage tea party reception. We decorated our Shoreditch flat with handmade white pompoms, white bunting bought from eBay, and a dozens of roses bought from Columbia Road Flower Market on the cheap! Stunning photographs published with thanks to Caught the Light, and I've filled in my own Before the Big Day Bridal Questionnaire, so check out my answers below for all my suppliers and wedding DIY projects.

Our amazing wedding photographer was Chloé from Caught the LightI can't remember how I found her, but I've long been a fan of her work here on Before the Big Day, and I booked her over a year in advance for my French wedding. 

When we decided we wanted our London wedding to be photographed as well, she very kindly agreed to help out. Chloé's work is stunning, and I can't recommend her enough. She's wonderful to have around, and generous with her time. At one point she even spotted that my two-year old nephew was making a run for it, and rescued him in the nick of time!

This was our secret wedding before the big official day in France, so we kept it simple with a tea-party back at our flat in Shoreditch. It was lovely for closest family to see us in our home - many of the grandparents hadn't seen it before. 

For our decorations, we used white bunting and handmade white tissue pompoms, that looked like peonies {tutorial here}.

As we got married at 3pm, we settled on a tea party. I considered an Alice in Wonderland theme, but settled instead on a vintage tea-party, complete with cucumber sandwiches and my mother-in-law's vintage china.

We bought all the tea-party food from Marks & Spencers, and my husband picked it up on the morning of the wedding. We bought the champagne and hired glasses {for free} from our local Majestic who delivered everything.

I bought special pink doilies and cute little Alice in Wonderland-style cocktail stick cake toppers from eBay to decorate the food.

The vintage tea-party style cake stand was a bargain from eBay, and worked perfectly with my theme.

I'm slightly obsessed with paper straws, and agonised over which pattern to choose for weeks! In the end I settled for red hearts.

We bought giant L-O-V-E balloons as photo props, but had a disaster on the day, because the O kept deflating. I'd recommend buying two of each, just in case! We bought our own helium cannister, so we could pump them up on the day.

The only problem with hosting our wedding at home, was that I spent the morning panicking slightly, cleaning and decorating. If you decide to do the same, I'd recommend getting everything ready several days in advance, or calling in favours from your friends to help out.

We DIY'd our flowers, with blooms bought from Columbia Road Flower Market the Sunday before. We kept them in a darkened room, but they still opened a bit too much - so in some ways I wish I'd spent a bit more money and got up early to buy them on the day. 

My mother actually chose and organised my cake, and my grandmother paid for it as a wedding present to us. We chose white and sage green as a colour palette and I love the stars as a motif. 

The cakes were delicious - we sent one home with everyone at the end of the party. We also chose to give little pots of Dorset honey as favours, because that's where I grew up.  I decorated the pots with green and white baker's twine, and little handmade thank you tags.

I really enjoyed planning our wedding! I started Before the Big Day because I love weddings and thinking creatively about how to make them stand out from the crowd. However, it was A LOT more stressful than I thought it would be. With hindsight, I probably should have taken on a few less DIY projects, but it saved us lots of money, and it made our wedding personal to us. 

My advice to brides? Read Before the Big Day! Come up with a theme idea, and start your DIY projects early. Eat properly on the day of your wedding - I got grumpy just before the ceremony - not a good idea! And leave yourself lots of time to get ready. You'll want to have time to compliment your bridesmaids and your mother on what they're wearing, and if it's all a bit of rush you won't have time to savour every special moment.

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