London. The 1960s. Mod.
These were the inspirations for Paula & Mark’s big day. The couple met at a rhythm, blues & soul night run by Mark in a bar in Bethnal Green, so the theme was very ‘them’. “We bonded over our love of vintage fashion and music”, wrote Paula, “I couldn’t believe my luck when we were introduced, we hit it off immediately. The bar has changed owners since, but we always smile when we go past it. It holds happy memories of parties and beautiful friends in immaculate vintage fashions dancing to great music and having fun.”
The ceremony was held at Islington town hall, with the reception taking place at The Peasant pub. “We wanted the wedding to feel like it was OUR day. Not a generic ‘wedding’ that looked like every other wedding you see on the pages of wedding magazines. We wanted it to be as individual as we are and to reflect our love of anything Mod.”
“First and foremost we wanted a party and a day where family and friends could relax and have fun. That was the most important thing to us. I didn’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable. We knew that it would be a vintage inspired wedding as mine and Mark’s everyday life is inspired by retro style and the vast majority of our friends all have a love of anything Mod. It just felt natural to us. Even my entrance was different! I walked down the aisle to ‘The Avengers’ theme tune. The tune is very special to us as we share a love for the 1960s series and Emma Peel is my heroine! Our guests loved it and said that it was so us!”
Mark & Ania didn’t particularly want a theme for their wedding, but what they did want was a relaxed and laid back wedding with all their friends and family. They chose Islington town hall as their ceremony venue as the north east of London is one of their favourite areas of the city. For their reception they headed to AK Rowing Club which is right on the bank of the Thames in Hammersmith.
“We went from not wanting a wedding at all to toying with an idea to run away and get married in secret”, began newlywed Ania. “But as the planning went on, the guest list grew bigger and bigger and we ended up with the project of organising a proper wedding. We really wanted for our big day to be as simple and relaxed as possible. We didn’t have any particular theme in mind when planning the day other than wanting a simple, informal day.”
I love a detail-heavy wedding as much as the next blogger, but you know what, it’s usually the unapologetically low key and budget weddings that pull at my heartstrings the most. Rain & Attila spent just £600 on their wedding and the day couldn’t have been more perfect.
“We just wanted a wedding as simple as possible, and we didn’t think it worthwhile to spend a fortune on unnecessary formalities”, wrote the bride. “The most important thing was the two of us making a life commitment to each other, and we would like to share the joy with the closest family and friends. So we opted for a civil ceremony at our local council and headed for a casual lunch and drinks session in a pub nearby. We and our 20 guests all enjoyed it very much.”
The couple got ready at home – together – had their ‘first look’ in their back garden and their portraits in Richmond Park, Their reception was held in a local pub. Rain wore two dresses, the long ceremony dress came from eBay and her short reception dress was bought from Topshop.
For the flowers, which were really the only ‘detail’, the bride took a flower arranging course so she could do the whole lot herself. She bought roses from a supermarket and arranged her bouquet and her groom’s buttonhole the morning of the wedding.
I often daydream about what our wedding would be like if we were to do it now (embarrassing admission alert!) and I think I’ve hit the daydream wedding jackpot with Bianca & Paul. The industrial vibe of their Shoreditch venue is just perfect perfect perrrfect. The space in question is Village Underground, an ”evolving project building an international platform for creativity and culture” as the website describes it. SWOON.
“The venue puts on all sorts of events at night so we couldn’t actually get in until 7am on the morning of the wedding”, began Bianca. “So Paul, all the ushers, some additional friends and both dads were there unpacking the van full of all our props and chairs, decorating the venue, setting up the table decorations while I sat at home sipping bubbly!”
Ralph & Carly love all things Americana and retro and so the theme for their wedding was easy to decide on. They wanted to incorporate the feeling of driving through America in an open top car – something they love to do in real life. Ralph had even proposed on a road trip through Arizona, one of their favourite places in the USA. “We love Americana and we feel that there is a big difference between what is retro and what is vintage”, Carly explained. “We wanted our wedding to be all things that we love. We love nothing more than booking a flight and a car in the US and then exploring, although sometimes we end up in very peculiar places and cannot wait for daylight to arrive so that we can head out! For the most part though it’s the way that we have discovered some of our favourite places. Each table was named after a hotel or motel that we have stayed in on our trips, there have been many others but these had the coolest signs.”
The wedding was held at The Chainstore in Trinity Buoy Wharf, at the London Docklands, a venue they originally found when going to an American themed diner in the area! “Went to visit the diner there, Fatboys, and after eating more than we could handle we felt that it would be best to walk it off so we went exploring”, Carly continued. “This is when we discovered the lighthouse which turned out to be The Chainstore. We fell in love with the building and its surroundings and I immediately pictured our wedding. When we looked into it we found that it is a complete blank canvas which was music to our ears as we had visited other, more traditional, wedding venues that were dictating everything to us. That, to us, sounded like hell!”
Orange isn’t a colour you see enough at weddings… but we should – Laura & Hanno’s Hackney wedding proves how amazing it can look! The couple were married at Stoke Newington Town Hall, just half a mile from their flat, with their reception taking place at The Londesborough pub.
From the bride’s gorgeous 50s inspired dress, to the bridesmaid’s burnt orange numbers, the theme just really works. “Ever since we started planning the wedding I knew I wanted my bridesmaids to look HOT,” explained Laura. “Not pretty, not sweet, not floral, not vintage – just HOT! So, when I came across the totally original orange dresses in the Spoiled Youth collection by Aqua, I knew I’d found my weapons, and our wedding colour! I did hear on a couple of occasions that ‘I shouldn’t make my bridesmaids look too good, to make sure I look better’…What a load of crap!”
“ As soon as I’d heard that, I went all out – they are my best friends, and all happen to be totally gorgeous, so I wanted to absolutely maximise their minxing potential! They all ended up choosing which dress they preferred from the collection – with a bit of faffing around we got them all sorted, even the lovely Celeste, who made me so proud by sticking with it all despite being almost 8 months pregnant on the day! The pièces de resistance though were definitely their amazing hair and make up, all done by the super cool Elbie Van Eeden. The girls chose their own hairstyles, but they all had a plait somewhere to keep a running theme throughout.”