A FUN, RELAXED & VERY COLORFUL DIY WEDDING IN LONDON
Although Katie and Chris attended the same university, the couples paths never actually crossed until a mutual friend invited us both to a music festival in Germany. A 12 hour car journey from London to Berlin later, a lot of festival fun and dubious fancy dress and the rest is history.
Chris proposed to Katie over her birthday lunch at the Sky Garden in London. They went straight to Hatton Garden, chose a ring, then stopped off ‘for a quick drink’ at their favourite local pub… where all their friends we were waiting as Chris has organised a ‘surprise birthday party’ although everyone was to be surprised for a very different reason! Well played Chris!
“We only saw one venue, and booked it straight away! Stour Space is an art gallery and has huge high ceilings, lots of natural light and was a blank canvas that we could imagine making our own. It is right on the canal with decking looking out over the water towards the Olympic Stadium; there’s loads of graffiti and street art all around the area; it could not feel more ‘London’.”
“We did all the planning ourselves – the budget was a major factor in this, but we were also confident that we could plan the day exactly how we wanted it.” She told us.
“The theme was relaxed, joyful, colorful, fun and bright. With the help of my family, friends my bridesmaids, we made over 200 beautiful paper flowers to decorate the venue – it was actually good fun and not as time consuming as you’d think. The extra special huge paper roses my bridesmaids and I are holding were made by my mother in law. She might be going into business…” Katie laughed.
“My incredibly talented sister who is a teacher (but clearly missed her calling as a cake artist – if that’s a thing?) hand made the cake and all the sugar flowers. It took her weeks but we loved it, it was so special.” She added.
“The huge ‘LOVE’ letters were made by us in the few days before – to decorate an ugly hoarding that had gone up outside the reception venue. We also made ice lollies to serve at the drinks reception as people arrived – they were welcome refreshment on a hot day and possibly slowed down the alcohol consumption for a few minutes at least…”
“I had my dress made for me, which sounds totally extravagant but it worked out cheaper than any off-the-peg dress I tried on… Once I knew what would suit me, I went to Nina Furness in Cheltenham where my parents live. All I wanted in a wedding outfit was a huge 50s style skirt to swish about in (there are TWO petticoats underneath!) and Nina delivered. Added bonus of shorter dress length: just look at the shoes….”
“I did my own makeup, but my sister and I had an excellent (free) wedding tutorial at the Bobbi Brown store (then we had a little splurge on makeup. Whilst I had my hair done at Topshop Oxford Street as it has it’s own braid bar’ in the basement. We all pitched up first thing in the morning to get our hair done – then dived into an Uber to dodge a freak rain shower on the way back!”
“I like the 50’s silhouette as it is so flattering, so I chose some plain deep blue dresses for the bridesmaids dresses, then added petticoats. Asking four very different women to all wear the same shoes seemed like a step too far, so they all chose their own!”
“Our friend Tom is a musician and also runs Moozi, which provides live music for parties and events of any scale – so he helped us pick an amazing band. The dance floor never emptied, and when the band had to stop we just plugged in an iPhone and kept going!”
“We wanted a photographer who would get to know us as a couple and wouldn’t try and fit us into a particular mould. We also wanted someone who would also seek out the less ‘obvious’ wedding shots – every wedding is unique but many sets of wedding photographs look weirdly formulaic.
We loved the details Jonny picked up – things that we didn’t notice until we got the pictures back, and got to see our wedding from a totally new perspective. He also understood the relaxed vibe we wanted on the day, and were able to ‘go with the flow’, getting some amazing pictures of unexpected moments as they happened. Our guests and families commented on how much he seemed to be really enjoying himself – it’s great to work with someone who clearly loves their job!” Katie Explained.
“If I had to give any advice for those planning their wedding now, I would remind them to no get sucked into the ‘wedding industry’ insanity. It is ONE DAY in your life and no one will remember what colour the napkins were. Do as much as you can yourself, it will feel more personal. Choose a photographer who will be able to capture the atmosphere of the day. Also remember during the day to take a moment away from the madness, as a newly married couple. It’s an insanely fun, intense day – just don’t lose sight of the fact that it is about you two and the massive, exciting commitment you have just made to each other. And, do a speech. If you are halfway considering saying something at your own wedding, just DO IT. I am so glad I was able to say a few words of thanks in public to the people I love and I can’t believe more brides don’t do it.”