Fresh White Wedding with Handmade Ceramic Favours and A Pink Suit

High school sweethearts in New Zealand, Alisa and Henry were on the same rowing team, sharing their first kiss at a regatta late one night on the edge of a lake. After spending 15 years together including moving across the world to the UK, the couple were determined to celebrate in their own way. They told us, “Our inspiration was simply celebrating us!”

Alisa and Henry married in Lambeth Town Hall in August, with two close friends as witnesses, before holding the wedding party a month later, at The Old Parish Rooms in Rayleigh, Essex. Alisa explained, “Not having the ceremony as part of our wedding celebration is probably uncommon but it meant that our day was worry-free and we could enjoy it from the moment we woke up!”

They held a 30-person party with guests arriving for welcome drinks and canapes whilst the couple had photos taken locally. Alisa continued, “Upon our arrival to the venue we had our good friend and MC Sam introduce us as newlyweds before we danced in, hand in hand, to Everybody by the Backstreet Boys and had confetti thrown over us.”

With a £7500 budget, Alisa and Henry saved money by keeping their numbers small and using free online templates for their stationery. Henry’s sister, a professional pastry chef at a Michelin starred restaurant, insisted on making their cake, and Henry created all the wedding favours.

Alisa explained, “Our name cards and wedding favours were ceramics, handmade by Henry. He made over 30 budvases, each with a different style, thrown on a pottery wheel and stamped with our A+H logo that we designed ourselves. Every guest chose the vase shape that they loved the most to take home with them. We also made our guests’ name cards together. We stamped each guest’s name in clay alongside our logo and felt these added a really special touch to the wedding tables.”

With friends and family back home in New Zealand, the couple were aware that many would be missing out on celebrating with them, however their focus was always on each other. They told us, “Had we been able to celebrate with our friends and family back in New Zealand, we would have loved to do so. We were initially sad that our parents wouldn’t be able to witness such a special occasion in our lives, or walk the bride down the aisle, but this was the compromise that we made in order to marry. We do not regret our small wedding one bit!”

Children were also on the guest list at Alisa and Henry’s wedding, and they made sure to cater for them as well, creating a space specifically for them to hang out. This meant their parents could party, safe in the knowledge their little ones were being cared for. Alisa explained, “It was important to us that the children’s parents could enjoy themselves with a few glasses of bubbles! We created a cosy kids area in the mezzanine of the venue complete with colouring books, stickers, blankets and cushions, and bought a load of second hand Playmobil from Ebay.” Alisa also added some advice, “We also hired a childminder – we’d highly recommend this if inviting children to give the parents a few hours of letting their hair down!”

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