Tuesday 5 May 2015

My Secret London Wedding - Our 4th Anniversary

Four years ago today, we celebrated our secret wedding in London. Why secret? Well our 'real' wedding was in Provence, but legally we had to get married in the UK first. At first we thought we'd just sneak off on a Tuesday afternoon and get married privately with just two witnesses. But then our parents wanted in. And then we realised that the grandparents weren't going to make it out to France, so they snaffled invitations. And then, being a wedding blogger, I got all excited about a vintage tea-party wedding theme, and Chloe from Caught the Light offered to do our pictures. So before we knew it, we were planning two weddings. That's two ceremonies, two themes, two dresses {lucky me!}, and double the details! Take a look, and see what you think!

We got married at Hackney Town Hall on 5th May in front of 20 family and close friends. It was our local registry office, and we loved the grand staircase at the front of the building. We followed up with a tea-party reception at our flat in Shoreditch. It was lovely for closest family to see us in our home - many of our grandparents hadn't seen it before.

My dress was from an Australian designer called Rose & Ruby. They've actually stopped trading, but I managed to find this one on Australian Ebay, and I took the plunge and bought it without trying it on. Luckily it fitted perfectly!

My shoes were gold strappy stilettos from Halston Heritage with blue sequinned I Do stickers on the soles. They were my 'something new'. 

My mother's vintage sapphire engagement ring was my 'something borrowed and blue', and diamond studs my mother gave me for Christmas - my 'something old'.

I had my hair done at my normal hairdressers, One Drayson Mews Hairdressers in Kensington {ask for Tracy}, but I did my own make-up, using special products I'd bought for the big day, including Chanel foundation. I also had semi-permanent individual fake eye-lashes applied by Lash Lab. This was a huge success, and I'd recommend it to any bride. Long eye-lashes just look super-glam!

My husband wore one of his work suits, with a white shirt and Hermes tie. He didn't want to buy anything new for this wedding, as we were saving our pennies for our big day in Provence.

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.

I didn't have official bridesmaids, but my best friend Tam, and my sister Katy both helped on the day. I would have loved to put them in matching dresses, but we were keen to keep the costs down!

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 bought them from a florist on the day. 

My mother bought up flowers from her garden for my bouquet and the boys' buttonholes. She made me a bouquet out of lily-of-the-valley - my absolute favourite flowers, and the buttonholes were roses from a bush that my grandfather had given her as a present. 

I  decided at the last minute to walk up the aisle with my Dad to Pachelbel Canon in D Major. Luckily the registry office had the music to hand - but it just goes to show even a wedding blogger can forget key details!

Our rings were made for us by F Hinds, who I hugely recommend. I had trouble getting Nick's on his finger, but we succeeded eventually!

I can't remember whether we walked out to any music at all!

Our confetti was another DIY project. My mum and I both kept rose petals, and dried them out in our airing cupboards. We only needed a little bit for our twenty guests, so it worked perfectly. I'd really recommend getting brightly coloured confetti. It makes for better photographs!

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!

I really wanted to find a green space for our portrait pictures, and luckily there's a park just round the corner from Hackney Town Hall. It had threatened rain in the morning, but luckily the afternoon was clear, so we could have these lovely garden portrait pictures taken. 

My plan was to have champagne and water in the park, so our guests could enjoy a drink while we had our portrait pictures taken. Unfortunately everything was too rushed on the morning of our wedding, and I never managed to organise it. This was definitely a mistake! Remember your guests will be expecting a drink straight after your ceremony - wherever you are.

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