Hello readers, we have a very hip, 1950s Hollywood inspired, London wedding for you to peruse this afternoon! Sophie, a graphic designer, wed Steve, a digital producer, on the 6th of December 2014 at Shoreditch Studios in East London. Sophie opted for a stunning Audrey Hepburn inspired, Caroline Castigliano gown, and Steve wore formal black tie wear. Here at Love My Dress HQ, we’ve noticed that black tie weddings are experiencing something of a renaissance (take a look at Annabel and Laura Caudery’s feature on the subject here). It’s easy to see why; formal black tie wear evokes the glamour of a bygone era and today’s black tie affair is no exception.
“We decided on an old school Hollywood glamour theme after I fell in love with my Audrey Hepburn style wedding gown. Steve opted for black tie and the rest of the men wore 50s style suits and skinny ties. For my hair and make – up, Bridget Bardot was my muse. Meanwhile my bridesmaids wore Hepburn inspired black dresses. Our theme fitted the venue perfectly; a photography studio which oozes cool. We chose a black, gold and cream colour scheme inspired by our theme and the time of year. We wanted to keep everything natural and seasonal.”
Photography Copyright (c) 2015, Eclection Photography
Sophie purchased her beautiful 50s inspired Caroline Castigliano gown and ribbon edged fingertip veil, from the designer’s flagship Knightsbridge store.
“My gown is called ‘Hepburn’ after Audrey Hepburn. This had a particular sentimental value as my mum’s own wedding dress was modelled on the film star. I love the simplicity of the gown but also the drama of its full skirt and pockets.”
Sophie and Steve’s floral arrangements were stylishly put together by Palais Flowers. Palais Flowers paired seasonal white anemones and ranunculus with blush coloured roses to great effect, meanwhile Sophie’s bridesmaid’s sported clouds of gypsophila.
“We went for seasonal flowers in a neutral palette with very subtle shades of pink and gold. I wanted to add a bit of sparkle and glamour so we used sequins on the bouquets and sprayed palm leaves gold for the table decorations.”
Sophie’s bridesmaids wore 50s style black Alfred Sung shift dresses, purchased at Les Trois Soeurs in Canary Wharf and strappy gold heels from Uterquё. Acting as pageboy, the couple’s son Milo, looked very sweet in his H&M Kids suit, Etsy bow tie and trainers from Vans.
By the way, on the subject of bridesmaids wearing all black, did you see this feature yesterday? Our sponsor Maids to Measure have launched a new range of beautiful black bridesmaids dresses.
“We have known our photographer Heather Shuker for many years and she was our first and only choice for photographer for the day. We chose her for her creativity and ‘un – weddingy’ photos. She captures people and parties beautifully. She is a true professional and everyone loved working with her.”
“We met at an Easter event on Primrose Hill in 2007 painting and rolling eggs. Steve was dressed as a soldier with yellow marigolds on and in true Irish style he talked his way into our group. We very quickly hit it off and bonded over our love of good food, disco and fancy dress.
In September 2011, we had a baby boy following a surprise pregnancy (after an illness meant I was unlikely to be able to have children). We got engaged on Christmas day 2013 in a glass elevator shooting up forty floors to Duck & Waffle (the highest restaurant in London!). We were keen to get wedding plans under way quickly and chose a winter wedding to follow our Christmas engagement.”
The bridal preparation took place at the Ace Hotel in Shoreditch, which our founder and editor Annabel has stayed at several times recently and absolutely raves about…
Our bride’s hair was styled into an elegant Brigitte Bardot style beehive by Emma Charlton of The Lounge in Soho, and her makeup was expertly applied by Kate Balding. I love Sophie’s smoky eyes, red lip and beehive combo; she looks every bit the 1950s starlet!
“My engagement and wedding ring were both made by Ruberg, Islington. I wanted to keep my rings very simple and elegant. Steve went for a bolder design in the same metal, rose gold.”
“One of our favourite parts of the day was walking back down the aisle to Stevie Wonder’s ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered’ after we were officially married. We asked everyone to blow bubbles instead of throw confetti and we were greeted by Emily from Purple Grape Catering (who had been integral in organising the running order of the day) with a glass of champagne and lots of love from the crowd!“
“We chose Shoreditch Studios because we wanted to (legally) marry in an urban space we could really put our stamp on. We did the planning ourselves – assisted by Jenny and Rachel from Jar London, who also managed the technical production and event managed on the day.”
Sophie and Steve dressed the space simply and stylishly with strings of festoon lights, and a black and white table plan and table numbers designed by the bride. Our couple opted for one big statement decoration; illuminated letters from Vowed & Amazed which spelled out their new shared initials, ‘SOC’ (Sophie/Steve O’Connor). In keeping with the 1950s theme, Sophie and Steve supplied guests with cut out moustaches, tobacco pipes and cat eye spectacles on sticks!
“For our wedding favours we gave everyone a 7” vinyl record. We set up a listening station so that guests could listen to their records and have their own ‘silent disco’!”
Sophie’s dietary restrictions called for a wheat, dairy and sugar free wedding cake. David Wright from The Cake Shop Bakery in Woodbridge, Suffolk (voted Britain’s Best Bakery 2014 by the ITV show) rose to the challenge and created a bespoke cake to according to Sophie’s specific requirements;
“We opted for a naked root cake, in keeping with the ‘all natural’ and seasonal theme for the food, and our florist worked with David to decorate the cake with flowers, gold leafs, berries and dehydrated fruits.”1
For their evening entertainment, Sophie and Steve opted for a ceilidh band followed be three of their favourite DJs. In my experience (and I’ve danced a fair few!) ceilidhs are a brilliant way of getting all the family up and dancing together.
Words of Wedded Wisdom
“Relax and enjoy it all; don’t over think things. Don’t settle for the first price; shop around and network. Do make sure you have someone on the day who can manage the running of things so you don’t have to. All we really wanted to do was throw a great big party for all our friends and family to share in the love and that is truly what we did! The day was perfect; I wouldn’t change a thing except maybe I wouldn’t have stood so close to the soy sauce in a white dress. Oops!”
Thanks so much Sophie and Steve for taking the time to share the details of your wedding and to Heather Shuker of Eclection Photography for capturing the day in all its glory. If you are planning a London wedding, do take a look at the other wonderful London weddings we have featured on the blog and if you’d like to peruse more 1950s style weddings, you can find them here.
With crocuses beginning to pop up all over the place, it’s really starting to feel like spring has sprung in my neck of the woods; I hope has in your part of the world too!
Photographer – Eclection Photography
Event Production – Jar London
Venue – Shoreditch Studios, East London
Wedding Dress – ‘Hepburn’ gown by Caroline Castigliano
Veil – Caroline Castigliano
Shoes – Diane Von Furstenberg
Accessories – Anthropologie earrings
Bride’s Scent/perfume – Flowerbomb by Viktor & Rolf
Groom – Ted Baker suit, shirt and bow tie + Hugo Boss shoes
Groomsmen – Moss Bros suits & ties
Bridesmaids – Alfred Sung dresses from Les Trois Soeurs + Uterquё shoes
Page Boy – H&M Kids suit + Etsy bow tie + Vans trainers
Florist – Palais Flowers
Decorations – Illuminated Letters by Vowed & Amazed
Cake – David Wright at The Cake Shop Bakery in Woodbridge, Suffolk
Entertainment – Wraggle Taggle ceilidh band + DJs Dan Savidge (Bad Zuke), Duncan Turner (Sombrero Soundsystem) + Mark Hume (Cadillac).
Rings – Ruberg
Catering – Purple Grape Catering
Stationery – Sophie O’Connor
Hair Stylist – Emma Charlton of The Lounge, Soho
Makeup Artist – Kate Balding