With gay marriage becoming legal across the whole of The United States and London Pride taking place this past weekend, this has to be the perfect time to share Chris and Russ’ fun-filled London wedding! They were married in February at Islington Town Hall, followed by a meal at St John’s Tavern and an evening reception at The Star.
“We met in a pub in Camden in 2008″, they told me. “Russ is a Londoner and Chris, a Hullensian. Russ said, ‘You can tell you’re not a Londoner, because you’re smiling.’ The next night we met up in St John’s Tavern in Archway. It is a fantastic pub that really looks after its customers. As the place of our first sober encounter, we have a deep personal connection with it, and it had to have a key role in our wedding.”
Keir and Donna were married in London. “Keir proposed on a night bus from Elephant and Castle”, the bride began, “and it was perfect for us. We didn’t have any particular inspiration or theme for the wedding, we just wanted to do something in London that was simple and involved all our friends.”
“We stayed together the night before the wedding in Church St Hotel in Camberwell with some of our closest friends. We ended up drinking far too many cocktails and crashing around 3am!”
Donna wore a Charlie Brear dress and jewellery that she had designed by a friend, Roberto Costa. “I was very laid back about the whole thing. I bought the flowers for me and my bridesmaid the morning of the wedding from a local florist.”
If you want to do things low key, intimate and completely on your own terms for your wedding, they Anna and Mark’s big (well, small) day is going to inspire the hell out of you! They were married on December 29th at Camden Town Hall.
“Mark asked me to marry him the morning that I left for a two-week business trip and we agreed that we wanted to get married quickly while my best friend and his husband were in the UK from Texas”, Anna explained. “Mark’s daughter was here from New Zealand too, so we picked a date that was just over a month away. We told very few people before the day, which helped keep it personal and without any sort of pressure to make it more of an ‘event’. Fortunately everyone has been very understanding of this once the news was out and just been really happy for us.”
“Keeping it small was really important to us”, Mark said. “We chose four people each as a guests. Keeping it quiet kept the pressure off. I think getting all the build-up on social media beforehand would have been too much. Although being the centre of attention on Facebook for two whole days afterwards was really touching.”
After the ceremony they had drinks at the World’s End in Camden, and lunch at Honey and Co. “We just reserved a table for our ‘reception’ at my favourite restaurant, Honey and Co. on Warren Street”, said Anna. “We didn’t tell them it was a wedding or anything.”
My favourite wall ever, Shoreditch
I love London. Living just on it’s doorstep means I’m there quite a lot. While it’s known for being a very spendy city, there is hope for you my frugal honeymooning friends, as it also has a surprisingly high amount of free things to do. These are some of my favourites.
Although the tube in London is excellent, whenever I walk around I’m always super surprised at just how close together a lot of things are. We’re so used to travelling underground that we often fail to notice what’s right around the corner!
Walking around the Thames is a must do. Yes, it’s a tourist cliché but it really is gorgeous. If you start up by the The Houses of Parliament and walk all the way down to Waterloo, you’ll see a lot of the big sights including Big Ben, the London Eye and the Southbank. If you’re feet aren’t hurting too much after that, keep going and you’ll get to the Tate Modern, Millennium Bridge and St Pauls.
I also love walking around Notting Hill for all the pretty rows of colourful houses and vintage thrift shops, Covent Garden for window shopping and Shoreditch for graffiti snapping and hipster watching!
Notting Hill is so pretty
London is blessed with very high quality and yet completely free of charge museums. The National History Museum, The Science Museum, the Tate Modern and the V&A are all surprisingly fun. You can see a comprehensive list of free museums on the Time Out London website.
Green Park in the spring
Nikki and Lee wanted a laid back and informal wedding where they didn’t have to spend a fortune to have a great time! “Our budget was £5000 and we stuck to that like glue”, Nikki wrote. “We initially wanted to elope and just have a little ceremony somewhere on a mountain, but then, one sunny August afternoon in the pub with our friends, we just looked at each other and agreed it was too much fun not to have everyone we loved there!”
“I’ve always been crafty and big on saving money”, she continued. “It took months to find a venue that would let us bring in our own food and drink and that didn’t cost the earth and had a bar. Mycenae House, which is a community centre, fit that perfectly. The only catch was that it was used for yoga the following morning, so everything had to be cleared out by 12pm, meaning everything had to be disposable and we had to be SUPER organised.”
One Friendly Place in South London was the perfect venue for Anna and Mat’s colourful wedding. While they officially got married three months earlier at Islington Town Hall, they wanted to throw a fun celebration for their friends and family. The venue was decorated with the coolest props already, but they added their own personal touches with the LOVE sign (made by the groom!), flowers in beer bottles (which they collected themselves) and the multi coloured paper lanterns which they hung from the ceiling.
“Our inspiration was just the notion of all the things we loved and enjoyed”, Anna said. “We decided very early on there were literally no ‘rules’ we were going to follow, and we did exactly what we wanted! We had party bags, balloon animals, loads of live music and mountains of booze and food. Basically, we wanted it to be the best party we’d ever been to and not to be constrained by the notion of what a wedding reception ‘should’ be.”
“Our theme was just ‘fun’! We created our own website called ‘Lovefest’ to share all the details of the day that was very fairground/ circus themed but the day itself was just a mash up of everything we like, including Mat’s love of skulls which made it into the cake and some of the decorations.”