Happy Monday morning all! After a little bit of a relaxed week on Love My Dress, due to half term holiday commitments, we have a week packed to the rafters with charming, elegant, funny, brilliant, down right ruddy gorgeous inspirational content for you, starting this first Monday in November with the lovely couple Charlene and Paul, whose wedding was photographed by the inimitable and ever-so-lovely, Emma Case.
The couple tied the knot on 29 September 2013 with a ceremony at The Chapel of St Peter & St Paul, followed by a reception at Hackney's MC Motors (the most amazing old industrial warehouse, that oozes character and has the most amazing array of vintage/retro props).
Photography Copyright (c) 2013, Emma Case
was and still is a regular reader of Love My Dress, and here she shares
how she and Paul visualised their wedding and the plans they made to
pull off a fun and memorable event for all their guests…
"I’d like to say our wedding theme and style was vintage but
with a chic/modern twist. Paul and I are both laid back and above
everything else, we love having fun. We both really wanted this to
shine through in all the decisions we made together for our wedding and
we wanted our day to represent 'us'. It was really important to us that all
our guests felt very special, and had a fun and memorable
"We decided early on that we wanted a London wedding. We met in
London, live in London and we both love London! We wanted to get married
in a church and chose The Chapel of St Peter & St Paul in Greenwich – we're so lucky that this beautiful church is so local to where we live. As this part of our day was very traditional we wanted the
complete opposite for our reception venue, something informal and fun.
When we viewed MC Motors
we instantly fell in love with it and we knew we would be able to throw
the best party/celebration ever. We also loved how different the two
already had so many amazing props on site that we could use. However,
me being me I still wanted to add our own personal touch. Throughout the
year, Paul and I, my parents and Paul's mum had the task of collecting
anything 'old’ to help style our wedding venue. This included books,
candle holders, suitcases, photo frames, jars – you name it! We went to
car boot sales, charity shops, antique shops and markets, hunting for
bargains. It was great fun collecting everything, and seeing it all
displayed on the day was amazing."
"Paul and I met on the internet via mysinglefriend.com.
Paul was the first person to send me a message, though it was nearly a
sliding doors moment, as we nearly didn’t meet! I thank my lucky stars
we did. We had been living together for two years and
everything was going amazingly, then in September 2012, we went on
holiday to Gozo."
"During the second day into the holiday, Paul took me by complete
surprise and proposed. He started reciting a poem during sunset called
‘I was meant for you'. We were both already in tears before he got to
the end of the poem and that's when he got down on one knee and asked me
to marry him. Exactly a year later we got married.
We didn’t want a long engagement and were so lucky both venues were available at the time we wanted them."
"As soon as I tried on Jenny Packham's
Dentelle design, I knew it was ‘the one'. I burst into tears, along
with my mum, sister and mother in law to be who were all with me! Prior
to visiting Miss Bush Bridal,
I had visited eight other bridal boutiques and was starting to wonder
if I was ever going to have that feeling. So finally finding my dress
really was a very magical moment.
I loved how elegant and romantic the dress was – I felt like a
Hollywood star in it! It was also amazingly comfortable, and this was a
key point for me as I didn’t want to be restricted when dancing in the
"Our photographer was the incredible Emma Case.
I Met Emma and Pete for a coffee date in London and knew instantly we
had to have them photograph our day. They are the nicest people and
equally amazing at their job. Their passion for what they do oozes from
them and I loved that.
It was like having two of our friends photograph our wedding. They
captured the day amazingly – the love, fun and joy from the day shines
through. We are thrilled to bits with our photographs and really
couldn’t have chosen better."
"I had eight bridesmaids, six girlfriends and my two best gay
friends, and I'm so glad I had each and every one of them. To anyone
thinking ‘how can I have that many bridesmaids’ I say go for it! It's
your day! My girls wore 'Gloria' lace dresses from Whistles with Vivienne Westwood Skyscraper heels in raspberry. For the boys I managed to find ties from Liberty that matched the colour of the girls dresses perfectly."
"For our flowers, I didn't want anything too set and wanted them to have a vintage feel. Sam of Violets and Velvet
created all the flowers beautifully – she dressed the venue by filling
different shaped glass jars. We had two features, a floral garland on
the pillar in the middle of the eating and dancing area and a floral
garland on a large cartwheel. I had a loose trailing hand tied bouquet using white roses, white astilbe, dill, trailing foliage and flowering eucalyptus."
bridesmaids carried loose hand tied bouquets using flowers such as
raspberry astilbe, scabious seed heads, pale pink dahlia, sweet
avalanche roses, plum astrantia, wax flower and interesting foliage. The
colours complemented their dresses and shoes beautifully."
"As I had such an amazingly long aisle to walk down, I knew I wanted a veil. I got my veil from Richard Designs ,which matched my dress like a dream.
Paul wore an amazing damson colour suit from Paul Smith.
He wanted to be dressed differently to the ushers as he wears a navy or
black suit to work everyday. He looked incredible, and I'm so glad he
made that bold choice. He also wore a Greenwich Pocket Watch which was a gift that I left for him on the morning of our wedding."
is an incredible venue with lots of character already, but I still
wanted to add our personal touch. We filled it with old books,
suitcases, photo frames filled with old family photographs, pom poms, jam jars and 6ft 3in grey balloons! I held a wine and pom pom
fluffing night at our flat with friends – little moments like this were
so special as they all loved being so involved in the build up. We
were lucky to get into the venue the day before, so Paul and I, with an
amazing team of ushers and a couple of bridesmaids set to work and
decorated. We hung 46 pom poms in one area.
"Our caterers were Handmade Food and we could
not fault Helen and Fergus, who we dealt with, in any way. From day
one Helen's communication and friendly nature was second to none. Paul
and I are very laid back and left quite a few things to the last minute
and Helen was amazing at keeping both of us in check. I trusted Helen
100% and it was thanks to her that it all ran so smoothly when we
arrived at MC Motors. The guests were extremly well feed, and everyone
was raving about how yummy the food was. It really was delicious.
I’m a big lover of cake, so having just one was never
going to be an option! Luckily Paul's Mum and Nan are amazing at
baking and they kindly made a selection of homemade cakes, they were
delicious! They were displayed on an old piano on a selection of old
books and old cake stands that Diane (Pauls' Mum) had collected for us."
"We don’t have a song that we call 'our song', so we both chose a
song to dance to that was upbeat, with perfect words and that we knew
the band would sound great singing live. I’m a professional dancer so I
really wanted to do a choreographed routine. Paul is not a dancer so he
wasn’t too keen!
Three weeks before the wedding we still hadn’t decided
what we were going to do, so we chose a song and I got my way (lucky
me!) and off to the studio we went! Paul was the perfect student and
did brilliantly at picking it up so quickly
"Emily Kent of the Wedding Hair Company was
the only make up artist that I met as I instantly felt comfortable with
her. She is so passionate and knowledgeable about her work. I wanted to look like me on the day – Paul hates me wearing a lot of make up – so I wanted to be very natural. Emily created exactly what I wanted, with both hair and make up, and I was thrilled with the results.
"I wore a pair of Rainbow peep toe shoes that I purchased from John Lewis.
Looking for shoes was the hardest thing – I couldn't find any I liked
at a reasonable price so I settled on a simple pair. I couldn't justify
paying £££ for a pair of Jimmy Choo’s as so many other things were much
more important to me."
"Because we had such a large bridal party, ie, seven ushers and my two bridesmen, we decided to hire the suits from Anthony Exclusive Formal Wear.
This was the only place that we could find that hired out modern slim
fitted navy suits and we couldn't fault the service. The staff at the
shop were always so helpful and all the guys looked gorgeous on the
"My amazing Dad walked me down the aisle – it's a moment that will always hold a special place in my heart."
"My favourite part of the day was our ceremony. We had three readings, – Corinthians 13. 1-7, Song of Songs 2:8-10, 14, 16a; 8:6-7a, and the poem 'I Was Meant For You'.
The service was beyond anything we ever imagined. Everything about it
I had never felt anything like the feeling I had walking
down the aisle, I literally felt like I was floating and thought my face
was going to burst becasue I was so happy and smiling so much. The
first time seeing all our friends and family in the church, knowing they
were all there to share this incredible moment was so overwhelming, it
made me realise even more how lucky we are to have such wonderful
friends and family."
"We couldn’t tailor our vows as it was a church wedding, however
we still managed to add our own personal touch to the ceremony. We
really mixed it up, kept the tradition of a church choir but also added
our own choir. We are very fortunate to have friends who sing and are
also very creative."
"My ring is bespoke. Paul had my engagement ring designed
especially for me, which had a wedding ring designed to go with it. We
are lucky to have a family friend who is a jewellery designer in Soho. I
love that this is unique to me".
"My friend Nick works at the Performance Preparation Academy in Guildford, and he kindly offered to put together a choir for us of fifteen of his students. Whilst we signed the register they sang ‘Home’, by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and 'Here, There and Everywhere' by the Beatles.
My friend, Katie, sang ‘Fields of Gold’ by Eva Cassidy – everyone
was in tears, even Emma and Pete the photographers! It was amazing for
our guests to be entertained in such a special way.
Another very special moment was leaving the church. Our exit song
was 'You’ve got the love’ by Florence and the Machine – again sung by
the students from the Performance Preparation Academy. Everyone left literally dancing and clapping down the aisle. The whole service was incredible!"
"We hired two 1950’s R7 single decker red london
buses to transport our guests. It made it more exciting and fun for
them. Paul and I hired a black London cab to take us from the church to
the MC Motors."
"We hired a photo booth from The Mighty Booth
– every guest got to take away a photo print from the booth and we
looked on this as their favours. Paul and I also had a signed guest book
with all the photos in from the booth – it's such an amazing keepsake."
"We always knew we wanted a live band at our wedding and we found
Freddie and The Freeloader on a wedding blog. We went to a couple of
their gigs, (one being at Glastonbury), and booked them straight away. They were fantastic and our guests danced all night long."
Words of Wedded Wisdom…
your day, so do what you want and don’t have any regrets. Think outside
the box where possible and make it as personal as you can. All the
little details and personal touches never go unnoticed, and the guests
love it and makes them feel special.
We were so lucky to have such an amazing group of suppliers, that really was a luxury choosing them all ourselves. It
was really important to us to have suppliers that we clicked with, who
understood everything we imagined and wanted. They all played such a key
part in our day we wouldn't have changed any of them for the world.
We were also lucky to have such great friends and family who were more than happy to help us with anything we needed.
We also didn’t hire an event planner – I was too excited at the prospect
of planning our whole wedding, from researching and finding different
suppliers to doing arts and crafts – it made the whole day so much more
personal. I loved every minute of planning it."
"In the build up to our wedding I was obsessed with wedding blogs, especially Love My Dress,
it was my morning read with my cereal and tea. I loved reading other
brides stories and getting inspiration. I also loved how detailed every
wedding is on the blog. Love My Dress is a true inspiration to anyone planning a wedding.
I'm so glad we decided
to have a videographer – we had a film produced by Leanne Dodds of Blooming Lovely Films (it's currently being edited). It was actually my mum that persuaded us. You spend
months and months planning one day so it will be so nice to watch it all
back. I remember watching my mum and dad's and thinking how amazing it
was. Now we will be able to do the same."
I can honestly say the day was everything and more that we
both had ever dreamed of and we wouldn't change a thing. From the
moment I started to get ready in the morning with my bridesmaids to
arriving back at the hotel in the evening with my husband, it was all
just perfect. Everyone says it, but it really was the best day of my
Oh Charlene, I am so touched by your kind words about Love My Dress,
and I know just how excited you were about this feature too, which made
preparing it a real joy – I genuinely mean that! Thank you so very much for sharing your
beautiful day with our readers, we are beyond grateful, and send you and
Paul all our love and best wishes for a beautiful future.
What's your very favourite thing about this beautiful wedding? Let's show some love to Charlene and Paul in the comments box below for so kindly sharing their wonderful wedding photographs with us all.
Photographer – Emma Case
Venue – The Chapel of St Peter & St Paul + MC Motors (East London)
Brides Dress – Dentelle by Jenny Packham, via Miss Bush Bridal
Veil/Headpiece – Richard Designs
Brides' shoes – Rainbow, via John Lewis
Bride's accessories – vintage headband made up of brooches + Monica Vinader earrings/neckalce
Groom's Attire – Paul Smith + Greenwich Pocket Watch
Bridesmaids Dressess – Gloria Lace Dresses from Whistles + Raspberry Vivienne Westwood Skyscraper
Bridesmen – ties from Liberty
Flowers – Violets and Velvet
Cake – Family
Entertainment – Performance Preparation Academy in Guildford +
Photobooth Hire – The Mighty Booth
Additional Styling – pom poms + antique/car book vintage finds + props already at MC Motors
Catering – Handmade Food
Hair and make-up Artist – Emily Kent of the Wedding Hair Company
Groomsmen – Anthony Exclusive Formal Wear
Videographer (film not included) – Blooming Lovely Films