Monday, 8 June 2020

An Achingly Cool London Wedding on a Budget

This incredible London wedding needs to come with something of a disclaimer, as it's my best friend's big day. Tamarisk has never been a cookie-cutter kind of girl, so it's no surprise her wedding to Ryan was uniquely awesome. From her glittery gold Badgley Mishka gown, to her practical attitude towards budget and theme, Tamarisk created a wedding which focused on feasting, family and celebrating love. If you're planning your big day abroad, or returning home as an expat, you'll find her attitude super-inspiring. It turns out there's no need to obsess on the details, or the stationery or the favours, when you've got an atmospheric venue, and great DJ, lots of champagne and a truly brilliant photographer in Joanna Brown.


We got married in London at The Roost on 29th Sept 2018
. We live in Canada now, but we met in London and we miss it a lot. It felt like the right place for us to get married was where we met and fell in love. We aren't formal people, and besides, the exchange rate was not in our favour! We were looking for a venue that already had a ton of personality that we wouldn't need to do a lot too. We were both clear eyed about our appetite and aptitude for a "big project" that would span time zones ie: not at all! When we found The Roost, we knew it was perfect…all we needed to do was add a few touches, we didn’t need to go overboard. 


My husband got a beautiful, completely custom suit from his suit makers Suit Supply. Our wedding date is embroidered on the inside pocket and my nickname for him is under the collar – it says Meatball.  


I went to a big fancy wedding dress shop once and found the whole thing completely awful. It was all I could do not to break down sobbing in the changing room. The grubby, dirty dresses that are all too small…so depressing. I hated it. After trying to figure out why I hated it so much, I realised I had bought into the idea that you HAVE to wear a white dress and I remembered I don’t HAVE to do anything. That’s when I started looking for something really me. 



I landed on a Badgley Mishka gold sequin dress that I got for $800 off the retail price by finding it on eBay. I splurged on a pair Christian Louboutin rainbow striped heels though! 


I didn't enjoy planning my wedding at all. I am not a planner. Then on the actual day when you're trying to enjoy it and take it all in, people still keep asking you admin questions. This style of wedding is what worked for us – we decided what the big pieces were that really mattered to us and spent our money there. We decided not to care about almost everything else. We wanted the right venue, the right photographer and delicious food and drink. Planning a wedding from overseas, when we knew we’d be flying out for out mini-moon the very next day helped us to say no to anything that would add a complication or a big expense.  


When it came to my bridesmaids' dresses, I let them decide. One of my sisters got a dress she already owned copied in the fabric of their choosing in Dubai.



I found our photographer on Instagram when I was researching venues. One of Joanna Brown's shots turned up under a tag, and that was that, she was the photographer I had to have. I am not a fan of the romantic, dreamy style of typical wedding photography. Joanna has this amazing knack of catching the quotidian moments that are filled with love and joy but are grounded and real. She "interviewed" us to see if she felt like we were a fit and I have never wanted to impress someone so such! I wish I could just put her on a retainer to come and shoot all my big life events!   


For favours, we went with Caramel chocolate bars because I have always loved the red and gold wrapping them come in

. We got Disco Shed to DJ the party and they were outstanding, great tunes! I walked down the "aisle" to the Theme Song from Top Gun. We didn't have a recessional. Our first dance was Number 1 by Goldfrapp. 




Did you have a theme in mind? Is "cheap" a theme?! For our wedding flowers, we got a recommendation for a whole-seller from our caterer and ordered a load of baby's breath super-last minute to decorate the tables. 


I bought a plain chocolate tiered cake from a supermarket as a last minute decision because our amazing and bossy caterer told me I should. I asked her to throw a couple of punnets of raspberries on top to tumble down the layers and dust it with icing sugar, I didn't eat a crumb of it though!




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