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.”
I seem to be featuring a lot of elopements at the moment. So many Rock n Roll couples are choosing to do things completely on their own terms, which I think is fabulous! Viktorija and Martynas, originally from Lithuania, were married at their embassy in London on their five year anniversary.
“I’ve dreamt about all the different wedding I could have ever since I was a small girl because I always knew I wanted something different”, began the bride. “When I came to marry Martynas we decided on something bold and public. I wore red and we took the London Underground all day.”
“My dress was red and made by Tiulio Feja. I picked red because I wanted to wear a unique colour and it means passion and love and power – everything you need in life!”
After the ceremony, the couple did portraits around the city with Kristida Photography.
“My favourite part of the wedding was probably was in the afternoon, during the portraits, when I realised that in a couple of hours we were flying to the Dominican Republic on our honeymoon”, she said. “I’m just mad about travelling! We had our ceremony at 3pm and at 9.30pm we were already on our way to PARADISE!”
David and Molly were married at Testbed1, a creative and experimental art space in Battersea, London. Opened in spring 2010, the architecturally distressed storage area of an old warehouse and office building was love at first sight for this pair!
The couple met in school and finally got married 15 years later! “After a short run of just 15 years together, we decided it was finally the right time to get hitched!”, Molly laughed. “I’m so glad we waited though, despite so many years of ‘will you guys every get married?’ from friends and family! Knowing each other for so long meant we had the confidence to make the wedding perfectly, and completely ‘us’.”
The theme of their wedding was an indoor festival and the unusual venue really helped to set the overall tone. “David and I love going to gigs and music festivals together, so what better way to celebrate our marriage than throwing our own music festival for all our loved ones!?” she continued. “We definitely didn’t want to do the field-barn-vintage-festival thing that’s been done loads and loads (super cute, but that’s just not rock enough for us) so we wanted to find a more urban vibe, a warehouse close to home to rock out in. Ideally we wanted an outdoor feel, but indoor enough to not have to think twice about weather!”
Both introverts, Charley and Simon wanted their wedding to be as undaunting as possible! They achieved this by focusing on what really mattered. Their ceremony at Islington Town Hall was followed by a reception at The Union Club in Soho.
“We wanted a simple wedding that encapsulated our introverted natures while making sure we had a day to remember forever”, Charley began. “We’re not exactly traditional, so any classic wedding traditions we didn’t like – we didn’t do. We’re both quite shy, so the idea of having a day where all the attention was on us felt really scary! We were particularly worried about having a first dance. The thought of it made us uncomfortable so Lisa Jane, our photographer, suggested we have a secret dance somewhere in the city. We loved that idea! On the day, Simon brought a headphone splitter with him and played our song on his phone while we danced on top of an empty multi-storey car park in the middle of Shoreditch! Our photographer and videographer were there to capture it but only we could hear the song. It was so peaceful and so us. It sounds completely random but we loved it!”
The wedding theme was a mis mash of a lot of the things they love including vintage and dinosaurs! “There were dinosaurs everywhere actually – the cake toppers, toy dinos as favours on the tables, even our reading during the ceremony was about dinos! Our friend Luke read A Lovely Love Story by Edward Monkton, about two dinosaurs finding love. He read it so beautifully, it was a wonderful moment.”