Dani and Mark mat three years ago at Balham Bowls Club in south London. So when it came to choosing a venue for their October wedding, nowhere else could have been more perfect! “The night we met I was quite hungover and was out for a friend’s birthday, Mark was out for some drinks with his friend (and best man) Paul. Depending on who tells the story, I apparently gave Mark ‘the eye’ as he walked into the pub, which prompted him to start talking to me later in the evening, OR (my version) I don’t remember looking at Mark as he came in and wondered why he was staring at me all night. Either way, he bought me a rum and coke and we were inseparable ever since.”
“The idea behind our wedding was that we really just wanted a big party with all our friends. In a way it was easier knowing what we didn’t want (chair covers, fruit cake, pastel colours), which helped us find what we did want – lots of bright colours and for everyone to have a really good (boozy) time!”
“One of my biggest worries about the wedding was that I would just cry the whole way through the ceremony, not get any words out and generally look disgusting”, she said. “In the car on the way my bridesmaids Googled ‘techniques to stop crying’ and discovered that apparently if you recite song lyrics it can help. We ended up singing Bon Jovi ‘Living on a Prayer’ at the top of our voices all the way to the ceremony – I think the driver thought we were drunk! And I managed not to cry through the ceremony (mostly)! We were actually both quite surprised at how much we loved the ceremony part, even all the photos outside beautiful Wandsworth Town Hall. Walking into the reception to cheers from our friends and family was pretty amazing too. It was really overwhelming to see everyone in there!”
With the surname ‘Button’, Lauren and Nick had to have some cute button details in their October wedding! The day took place in Hackney, East London, where they live. “The inspiration for our wedding was our location”, wrote the bride. “We started with an idea for a traditional East End wedding, a church service followed by a ‘knees-up’ in a local boozer. Nick’s parents got married in the same church in Haggerston so that was really special. All of our other ideas started to form around this really.”
“Our theme was laid back London”, she continued, “with quite a few buttons thrown in (seeing as that’s our surname!) There are so many parts of the day they we loved that they’re all competing for our one favourite moment. The service was lovely, there we tears and laughter and the groom being singled out and embarrassed was definitely a highlight! As Nick’s parents got married there, and his father is unfortunately no longer with us, this was a particularly important part of the day.”
Cat and Harry are an easy-going kinda couple, so they wanted that reflected in their August wedding. Their ceremony was held at Islington Town Hall, and their reception at The Peasant pub down the road. “We met at a drum & bass night at Fabric nightclub, which is where we would both frequent back in the day”, Cat began. “Harry lived around the corner from it and we spent many a night there in our early days of dating. When having a chat with Steve and Jo, our photographers, before the wedding we discussed different backdrops we could use for our photos which were local to our reception venue. It turned out was just around the corner from Fabric so we did some photos outside it! The finished photos really speak for themselves and we absolutely love them.”
“The inspiration for our wedding was just that we wanted a low-key, relaxed and easy, good old knees up with our nearest and dearest”, she continued. “We had been engaged for almost two years and having a baby in that time had meant we didn’t want to get married any sooner but when we did, we wanted to pull it all together relatively quickly, fuss free without any ‘wedding planning’ stress. Islington Town Hall is a beautiful building and seemed fitting for our ceremony as we used to live in Islington. On researching pubs nearby for the reception, The Peasant is just down the road, so it seemed like the perfect choice. It’s also a beautiful old London boozer and the décor means that nothing really needed to be added to it. It had a fantastic restaurant upstairs and the landlord, Nick, was such a lovely guy and incredibly helpful throughout so it all seemed to fall into place quite effortlessly. I think our wedding was a little different to the norm as we didn’t want it to feel too formal, we just wanted it to feel like a fun night out celebrating with all of our friends and family, with great food and good music.”
Ben and Helen had a casual wedding in Tooting. “We wanted to throw a wedding for our families as much as for us, to celebrate life and love and enjoy a special day together”, Helen said. “It was important to us to celebrate all the years we’d already had together (and all the ups and downs, joy, growing up and hard work in that!) rather than acting as if the wedding was the start. So that was part of the message on our invitations, and we got the Registrar to frame the ceremony that way in her welcome – a celebration of 8 and a half happy years and the witnessing of our next step together.”
The ceremony was held at Merton Registry Office and their reception at Tooting Tram & Social. They got the tube between the two! “We threw out any of the traditions that didn’t suit us, and built our day from the ground up to make sure it was personally meaningful”, she continued. “Traditions we ditched included the top table, cutting of the cake, fancy tired wedding cake, bride given away by father, bridesmaids, best man, receiving line, just men doing speeches. We included lots of creative and soppy details, and prioritising fun! Guests say they were still feeling the love and humming the tunes weeks later! Our venue was an old tram shed turned gig venue – a stunning reclaimed industrial space with gorgeous natural lighting, chandeliers, industrial piping and vintage tiles.”
It’s no secret that I love a colourful wedding and Toni and Christopher’s really fits the bill! They chose Hackney Town Hall and St John at Hackney Church for their July wedding, only it was their reception that was held in the church!
Their day had a retro 1950s theme. “We hired lots of vintage sofas and standard lamps to make a ‘drawing room’ area”, Christopher explained. “We covered each table with bizarre kitschy little ornaments bought from eBay. Our friend created signs out of flexible neon wire and chalk board and we had custom made bunting from Yo Yo Cottage.”
“We wanted our wedding to be exactly like as if you were coming around to our flat for dinner”, he continued. “We wanted our guests to be completely happy and comfortable, and we loaded our wedding with both our personalities. We did away with a lot of traditional stuff – we both walked down the aisle together, we didn’t have a first dance, or cake cutting. It was just all about fun, chatting, music, dancing and eating… and boozing.”
There are some weddings I see which (forgive me, I know this is terribly unpatriotic) I instantly think, “damn, that’s SO COOL, it can’t be a British wedding”. It’s nice to be completely wrong though, especially with this wedding. In fact “SO COOL” doesn’t even cover it a little bit… April and Dennis are off the richter scale!
The Dutch/Kiwi groom and his American bride met in Amsterdam while they were both travelling around Europe. Long story short, they fell in love and settled in London. They were hitched on the roof of Rockwell House, a studio space in east London that comes complete with epic views of the capital’s skyline.
“When we started planning the wedding we knew we wanted Something completely different than any wedding we’d ever been to”, April began. “In searching for this we really found truly alternative was hard to come by. It all still seemed to be a tweak of the same old thing.”
“It was important to us that everything we did on the day was considered beforehand, that we didn’t do anything automatically just because it’s what you do at a wedding. I think we ended up with a really different, really special, really representative of us, day. We got wedding tattoos instead of rings – two halves of one tattoo actually – a Mexican Day of the Dead sugar skull with the words ‘hasta la muerte’ beneath (until death).”