London City Chic Wedding Inspired by Art Deco Glamour…

Hey lovely ladies and gents, I'm busy having one of those days where mostly, everything goes kind of wrong. Ever get those days? Come on Tuesday, buck your ideas up, I need you to be working for me today! It's a good job I have some wedding day pretty to keep me going, seriously!!

So this afternoon, and somewhat unplanned *moves the discussion post I did have planned back to later this week!*, I'm bringing forward a rather stunning wedding I have recently finalised editing for the enjoyment of all you city-chic style brides.

Nothing beats that wedding day smile, those tender embraces and the 'look of love that' all good wedding photographers know just how to capture on camera. You know I'm a total sucker for wedding photography – all brides are beautiful in my books.  But bride and model Ali here is rather a show-stopper, don't you agree?  I adore her hair!

Ali married her beau Charles on 29 May last year at Tompkins Restaurant and Attic Bar in the Pan Peninsula building near canary wharf, London.  The day was one full of glamour and style – a true 'city chic' wedding if ever there was one….

Love My Dress Wedding Blog – Photography Copyright (c) 2011, Anneli Marinovich

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Ali chose a dress from Ellis Bridals to turn heads with… 

"I am very lucky to have worked with some amazing bridal designers over the years. It also means the novelty of putting on a wedding dress had passed so I thought it would probably be very difficult for me to find "the dress". However, I was working at a bridal trade exhibition in September of 2010 for Ellis Bridal, a lovely company that I had worked for numerous times. Everytime we do the shows, all us girls say which ones we love. One of the other models came out in this dress and I said "wow! I love that one!" I just couldn’t stop looking at her in it. As soon as I got a chance, I put it on and I just knew then that it was the dress.

It was simple, but I felt very feminine and sexy as it hugged my curves and the black bow belt just finished it off. This was definitely the dress – I didn’t even go dress shopping after I had discovered it!"


"I designed my shoes myself using the fantastic Upper Street website. I designed a cute pair of red shoes first to see their quality. They came out beautifully so I set about designing my wedding shoes. I decided upon a peep toe with small platform and 3.5" heel (at 5ft 10" i couldn't go any higher without towering above my husband to be!) it was great that i could select heel height.

I went for silver snakeskin leather and a pewter leather bow. I wanted a pair of shoes i would wear again rather than have an ivory satin pair. As a little something extra, I paid extra for the wording "On My Wedding Day, 29th May 2011" inscribed in gold on the insole of each shoe.

They were perfect and so comfortable all night long. I have worn them out to several occasions since too and evey time I look down at them I remember that special day!"

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"I adore anything art deco so my overall theme and styling was along those lines. My colours where Ivory and Black with soft pinks & amethyst…."

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"The wonderful Jo-Anne Edwards made my wedding cake {see contact details at end of feature}. I had created a design and emailed it to her. I had absolute faith in her creations and didn’t see the finished product until i walked into the dinning all to be seated for dinner! It was perfect and exactly like my design.

 We both love fruit cake so decided to go for a traditional brandy soaked fruit dark cake layered with marzipan and icing. The design was art deco inspired. As topper we chose to have the famous Butler & Wilson brooch, The Dancing Couple. This finished the art deco look and went perfectly with the design. The cake was finished off with some pink peonies…"

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"I had three bridesmaids, charles's daughters Ellis who is 16, my younger sister Bev and my maid of honour was my best friend Erica. I ordered their dresses online from J Crew in the US and had them delivered to my friend in LA, who then bought them over on his next visit. I took quite a risk as they were in the sale and non refundable so I had to go on measurements alone. All three dresses fitted perfectly! I wanted them to have a simple dress that was flattering and that they could wear again. They were made from 100% silk, and I ordered them in the colour "Light Amethyst" which was a beautiful soft shade. I even ordered myself one I loved them so much!

The girls all wore shoes from New Look – reduced to £5!"




"I chose to use Helen at The Flower Shop {details in credits at end} who does the venues flowers.  I adore peonies so we went for a mixture of light pink, pink and cerise pink peonies in my bouquet and for the bridesmaids they had cerise pink peonies.

I chose Peonies because they are my absolute favourite and are such a beautiful romantic flower…"

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"My Amazing hair was the creation of my good friend and hairdresser, Fiyon Ali (07956 249952) I wanted a 1920/30s looks so we decided on a marcel wave up-do. It was perfect and perfect for the day we had as it ended up being a very windy day, but my hair didn’t move an inch for the photos!

Makeup for me was done by a makeup artist I have worked with called Nicola Theobald…"



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"Charles, his bestman Louis and my dad all wore slim fit charcol grey three piece suits from Next with just a plain black tie. They all looked great…"


"My Dad has always had vintage cars overs the years and when I was growing up me and my sister would often be taken along to car shows. He has a black and cream Armstrong Sideley and has done for over 25 years. There was no question that I would arrive in anything but the Armstrong! Even if it was only a 3 minute drive down from the hotel to the venue! It's a beautiful car and fitted perfectly with the theme of my dress. Dad drove us there…"



"My Father Michael gave me away.  We walked down to Al Green, You are so beautiful. Charles chose it for me to walk down the aisle to…"


"When we first met, charles was a dancer and was working in a nightclub dancing. Wearing some crazy outfits! me and my friend Erica walked into a London club, I thought, “what on earth is that guy wearing on the stage!” Later on that evening he came up to us and my friend Erica started talking to him. She then turned around and said why don’t you dance with my friend! I was so embarrased! By this stage he had changed into something not quite so outrageous, he looked good. So I have my best friend and maid of honour Erica to thank for getting us together!

We were together for 7 and half years before Charles asked me to marry him, so we definitely knew each other well!  It was my 30th birthday and we were on holiday in Kenya. It was a complete surprise and he held it together well right up until the moment as I had no idea. We were at dinner with others we had met on the trip and we were lucky enough for one of them to take a photo of the exact moment he proposed. My face says it all, tears of joy and surprise!" 




"I have been very blessed to have worked with Simon Wilson from Butler & Wilson. We have become good friends over years and he thinks the world of Charles too. Simon came to the wedding, so naturally I was wearing Butler & Wilson. I had a beautiful silver hair comb with crystals and pearls. In my ears i had simple but modern pearl drops on a sterling silver hook. That was all i had for jewellery as i wanted to keep it simple. My bridesmaids had Butler & Wilson crystal heart drop earrings…"



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"We chose Tompkins restaurant and Attic bar because the venue was stylish, quirky but still very modern. Everything could be held in one place. The view from the Attic Bar upstiars on the 48th Floor where we held the evening party, was breath taking. You could see across the city, the river and the O2 Dome.

The ceremony was held in a mezanine level within the Tompkins restaurant. Then a champagne reception was due to take place outside on their riverside terrace, but unfortunately it was too windy that day. Sunny but very windy. So a plan B had to be made and drinks were served in the mezzanine level once chairs had been moved…."

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"We didn’t need to do much by the way of decor, as the venue has been so amazingly interior designed. There are lots of quirky pieces of furniture and paintings on the walls, so much detail to the place that added decorations would have taken away from the venue’s own unique look…"

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"As I am a self confessed computer geek, I designed our invitations myself. Instead of sending out invites, we emailed ours out and linked it to our own wedding website, here people could RSVP, leave us a message, look at old photos of me and charles and read about how we got together. Also listed was directions to the venue and list of accommodation nearby. The colour of the invites and website theme were using the soft light amethyst colour of the bridesmaids dresses and using an art deco themed for throughout.

I did everything myself so spent the days and nights in the run up to the wedding on my laptop and printing out things! But it all paid off in the end. I found all different 1920/1930s postcards and printed them out as postcards with there being about 10 different designs everyone on a table had a different one to each other. On the back of each was the name of the guest and their menu choice they had chosen. (i gave my guests in advance a choice of 3 different starters, 3 mains and 2 desserts) my putting a kind reminder of what they had picked there was no confusion when the waiters served the tables. The table numbers i bought white double sided free standing picture frames from ikea for £1 each. I printed up table numbers in an art deco style font. Place cards I created myself too, using an art deco style frame and font."

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"The reception dinner was held in the beautiful dining room of the Tompkins restaurant. After dinner the guests and evening guests were taken to the four large lifts and taken up to the 48th floor of the Pan Peninsula building to their penthouse cocktail bar, the Attic bar. Here guests had amazing views over the river, of the O2 arena (Millennium Dome), the city and canary wharf. The party carried on up in the Attic until 01:30am…."

"Before our first dance Charles sat me down on a chair in the middle of the dance floor with everyone watching. I thought to myself oh no he is going to sing! But instead he recited the words to the song "Just the way you are" by Bruno mars. It was beautiful, such a surprise and very romantic of my husband!

Our first dance song was by the unforgettable Etta James and the track we chose was ‘At Last’. The words, the music and her voice just make it the perfect song. A retro song that will never date or sounds cheesy. Whenever we both hear it now we both smile…"




Words of Wedded Wisdom…

"Don’t get too stressed about it all! Relax on the day, nothing more can be done so just sit back and enjoy all the attention. Try to stop and ‘take it all in’ at different parts of the day as it really does fly by so quickly.   

Shop around too, you will find bargains everywhere from ebay and highstreet and other internet stores…"


Stunning or what! Proof that a beautiful venue can often save you time and effort in terms of styling, not that you should't but there was no need on this day, the Tompkins restaurant and Attic bar did just the trick just as it was.

Big thanks to Anneli for sharing her photography today…

"I first met Anneli on a bridal fashion shoot through a mutual friend of ours who was the makeup artist. I loved working with Anneli and loved her work!"

Ladies, tell me, which are you are planning a city-chic wedding, and WHERE? Take a peep here for more city-chic wedding inspiration. 

It's the first time I've featured an Ellis Bridal dress on Love My Dress – is anyone else due to be sporting an Ellis Bridals number? And check out those Upper Street shoes! I ran a competition with Upper Street shortly before Christmas, it was such a huge success, though I'm not surprised. Give any lady half a chance to designer her own perfect pair of heels, and she'd be there 'with her boots blacked', as my Grandma used to say 😉

Please promise me you'll check out more from Anneli Marinovich on Love My Dress – she has had some beautiful work featured on these blog pages.  Also see more art deco, 1920s, 1930s, city chic and London weddings inspiration – all nicely categorised just for you 🙂

Dreaming of being in the city…… 

Hang on, I am from tomorrow! Yay! See you tomorrow Severin Hubert and Lucy Baker ;) 

Late afternoon love to you all,


Photographer – Anneli Marinovich
Venue -  Tompkins Restaurant and Attic Bar
Brides dress – Ellis Bridals
Brides shoes – Upper Street
Brides accessories – Butler & Wilson
Groom – Next
Bridesmaids – J Crew
Flowers – The Flower Shop, 9 Pepper Street, London E14 9RB – 020 7538 8484
Cake – Jo-Anne Edwards. Tel 07984 615105, or email [email protected] 
Transport – vintage car owned by the bride's Father
Hair Stylist -  Fiyon Ali (07956 249952)


Annabel View all Annabel's articles

Founder of Love My Dress. Passionate Podcaster and Editor. Annabel lives in rural North Yorkshire with her husband and business partner Philip, their two daughters and menagerie of furry hounds. She loves photography, meditation, walking, being outdoors and star gazing. She is fierce when it comes to championing talent within the wedding industry and when she's not working on Love My Dress, she supports her husband Philip in the running of the family's sustainable flower farm and floral design business, Moonwind Flowers. In 2013, she became a published author.