Wheeler and Tylah’s love story reads like a millennial fairytale – they met on Instagram (!) when Tylah was moving house and posted that she hadn’t unpacked her kettle yet, so Wheeler offered her round for a cup of tea.
Their initial inspiration for their wedding day was the wedding from Twilight, though Pinterest then took over. Tylah and her dad stopped by the bar on their walk down the aisle for a quick shot of Apple Sourz, and as their big day fell on the same day as the World Cup quarter finals, a few guests were sneakily watching the England v Sweden match on their mobile phones under the table at dinner!
If you’re thinking “Damn, this is the most photogenic couple I’ve ever seen”, it’s for good reason – both Wheeler and Tyler work in the modelling industry. So when it came to deciding their budget for their big day, they knew the value of spending as much as possible on your photographer/videographer. They made the rest of their £10,000 budget work hard by DIYing pretty much everything apart from their outfits.
As fantasy cosplayers in their spare time, there was no doubt in their minds that Joana and Maria’s wedding would be a fantastical fairytale! Drawing inspiration from all different areas – their participation in medieval festivals, their love of steampunk and all things rustic and fairytales; they didn’t want to be constrained by one particular genre so they just chose all the things they love.
They brought their vision to life by DIYing practically everything for their big day – from their stationery to their ceremony and reception decor, they even made their own outfits, painstakingly keeping them secret from one another and stealing moments to sew when the other one was out.
“It made it quite complicated and stressful at times, but sewing our own outfits was my favourite part of planning the wedding,” said Maria. “We really wanted to surprise each other and have the first moment we saw each other’s outfits at the ceremony.”
It came very naturally to Zoë and Gav to have a day that reflected their true personalities and to make choices that felt right to them. “I’ve never understood why girls who have never set foot in a national trust in their lives suddenly want to get married in a stately home,” said Zoë. “Maybe its just nice to be someone else, someone more fancy and regal for a day?”
Working in a banqueting department of a hotel as a teenager probably didn’t help with Zoë’s frame of reference for traditional weddings – seeing the same puffy dresses, Abba medleys and enough royal icing to survive a nuclear war week-in, week-out would be enough to make anyone ensure their own day was fiercely unique to them, a celebration of both of them as individuals, and their joint lives together.
Their ceremony was held at the bandstand in Myatts Field Park, London. Zoë and Gav spent seven years living right by the park and walked their dog in it every day, so it was a poignant place for them to say their vows. “I purposefully used a gate quite far from the bandstand so we’d have a really epic aisle to walk down,” continued Zoë. With both her mum and dad walking either side of her and her multicoloured bridesmaid and bridesman squad walking behind, they made quite the powerful entrance to their guests eagerly waiting at the bandstand!
“As all my squad are amazing, inspiring, independent women, I wanted their outfits to reflect their individual personalities, so I gave them a colour palette to work with and told them to pick out something they felt incredible in. We had a trouser suit, some ASOS dresses and jumpsuits and a long sold-out velvet jumpsuit scored on eBay. We got to do this epic stomp through the park to the bandstand and they all looked so amazing!” Zoë also did different flowers for them all too instead of bouquets – some had hair garlands, wrist corsages or lapels.