When Wendy and Alex started looking for a venue for their July wedding, they were stuck. They wanted somewhere quirky and creative but also somewhere that didn’t break the bank. Luckily they stumbled across Asylum Arts in London, a disused chapel that is now hired out for weddings and events. The space has a crumbling almost derelict vibe which they loved. The dramatic backdrop meant they didn’t need to decorate much, so they just added candles, tea lights and simple flower arrangements around the room.
“We wanted to do something that signified the city we love, our home, London”, Wendy began. “We wanted urban, relaxed, but chic, with something people could take away in a visual way, that wasn’t too ‘try hard’. As a creative mind, I had a real vision from the beginning about how I wanted the day to look, and more importantly; feel. Both for us and our guests. We didn’t want stuffy, formal or sombre… We wanted people to smile and be put at ease. Its this reason I chose to have the bridesmaids clap along in time to the piano piece my musician friend played me down the aisle to; ‘Dog Days Are Over’ by Florence and The Machine, I didn’t want to walk down the aisle in a silent, stiff, uncomfortable way with everyone gawking at me with an odd atmosphere! So we lightened the mood with some hand clapping!”
“The venue was essentially an empty space which we hired, we did EVERYTHING ourselves!”, she wrote. “We handmade all the table decorations, room decorations and floral arrangements ourselves. The tea lights and candles were in jam jars we collected over the 6 months leading up to the wedding. We covered some in lace. My mother made the bird cage centrepieces with silk flowers in, and my step mum made the mismatched printed cotton serviettes. Each guest was asked to bring bought along a square of fabric and I am making a memory blanket by patchworking them together over the next few years!”
“We wanted to make the wedding a ‘us’ as possible, as well as wanting to do a lot with our ‘not so huge budget’”, the bride continued. “So we started early and made lots ourselves, as well as roping in the help of our friends and family! Decorations don’t need to be expensive, just get ideas from things you love around the house, or cute things in the pound shops that can be adapted! We were so pleased with all our decorations, and it didn’t cost the earth!”
Being a designer herself, Wendy even handmade her own wedding dress. “Obviously not everyone is able to make their own wedding dress, but I felt so special in my own creation, and having literally put blood, sweat and tears into our own day made it feel so much more ‘ours’”, she continued. “Alex had always said he wanted me to make my own dress, despite other people saying how stressful it could be, and he says now how proud he was to see me walk up the aisle in my own work.”