Hello loves, firstly, thanks for being so patient for the past couple of days as the blog post schedule has been a little out of sync due to a menagerie of reasons we've now thanksfully resolved. We appreciate your loyalty and visits as readers so very much, so have worked hard to make day a bit of a bumper blog post-fest to show just how much we care 🙂 I've a really lovely Christmas DIY tutorial coming up at 11am, but to start with, I've chosen to share the wedding of Ellen and Toby, who tied the knot on 20th October at Toynbee Hall and Fourth Floor Studios, both in Shadwell, East London. Photographer Georgi Mabee submitted these pretty, smiley, colourful images for us to share with you.
Ellen wore an unusual but beautiful tiered wedding dress, by sought after Australian designer Rachel Gilbert, which she purchased from Net A Porter and I just love her choice of dark blue, self-designed shoes, from the brilliant Upper Street (yes, you can actually design your own shoes via this site!)
"I was very keen to have a high, rounded neckline and sleeves (I
think it suits my short haircut), and I came across this dress in the
January sales on Net-a-porter. I had it altered to fit by Carmen's tailoring
in Covent Garden.
loved its simple outline, and I thought the layers
of different fabric and the chunky crystals around the neckline made it
pretty without being too fussy…"
Love My Dress Wedding Blog – Photography Copyright (c) 2012, Georgi Mabee
"I decided originally to do the flowers myself, as we were after
something fairly low-key and relaxed. After I mentioned that to my Mum,
though, she volunteered and did a far better job than I could ever have
"We went and chose the flowers at New Covent Garden Market (very
early) on the Thursday morning and went for lots of peach, white and
beautiful greenery, plus probably my favourite element, thistles, which
worked perfectly for buttonholes. My Mum collected around 80 jam jars in
the run-up to the wedding which we filled with flowers and tealights.
The overall effect was stunning, especially as the sun started to go
down during dinner…"
"We were very keen for the whole event to have a fun, relaxed feel.
Once we decided on an October wedding, I wanted something autumnal but
still bright. I was keen to avoid any strict styling guidelines, but we
ended up with a palette of blues, oranges, olive green and gold."
How sweet and lovely are these pastel pretty frocks worn by the bridesmaids?
"The bridesmaids dresses were from Warehouse. They worked beautifully with the colour scheme and suited all of the bridesmaids down to the ground.All of the bridesmaids wore the vintage lockets I'd bought for them, each with a teeny-tiny note inside."
"I made my veil myself, using a vintage broach and some shimmery tulle…"
"I designed my shoes on Upper Street, and went into their studio in Islington to go through samples and styles, which was a lot of fun."
"Toby bought his suit from the bespoke tailors, Raja Fashions – they measured him up and the suit was made in Hong Kong, then altered to fit perfectly."
"I'm a graphic designer so I created all the stationery. We got the
idea from a friend's wedding to make a booklet with all the information
for the day (order of service, schedule, menu, table plan) and include a
short biography of each guest – it served as an ice-breaker and gave
people something to do during the inevitable moments of waiting around."
Since my dress had a lot of embellishment around the neck I decided
to steer clear of other jewellery, but I wore a thin gold belt from Asos."
"We chose the East London to marry in, because it's close to where
we live and we love it, particularly all its hidden gems – which inclue
both of our venues (Toynbee Hall and Fourth Floor Studios) which are re in pretty inauspicious locations, but just wonderful
We started with a pretty blank canvas at Fourth Floor Studios (apart from
some fantastic props and retro furniture that were already in residence), and a big team of our
wonderful friends and family helped us set it up and deck it out the day
We used Kraft paper runners on the table and luggage tags for
place names, then we strung up tissue paper pom-poms and papier mache
table numbers that I'd made…"
"Our photographer Georgi Mabee did an absolutely fabulous job. She's a dream to work with and we adore all of our photos."
"We met working on the student newspaper (along with Georgi Mabee,
our photographer!) – he was editor and I was deputy editor. Romance
blossomed during all-nighters in the newspaper office, over Red Bull and
cold Chinese takeaway. We got engaged on holiday in Turkey on our
five-year anniversary – he proposed in a deserted riverside restaurant
and we celebrated with Turkish champagne (not recommended). We were
engaged for a year and a half.
My Dad walked me down the aisle to 'You're So Cool' by Hans
Zimmer (the theme to the film True Romance), which my big sister always
planned to walk down the aisle to, but very kindly donated to me."
had my favourite poem, Having a Coke with You, by Frank O'Hara, read by
a close friend, and Honeymoon Flight by Seamus Heaney, read by Toby's
mum (also read at Toby's parents' wedding, by his aunt).
We also had an extract from All About Love by bell hooks – My
mum read it, and we picked it because we wanted something that spoke to
why we wanted to get married and to have a public celebration;
"The moment we choose to love, we begin to move against domination, against oppression. The moment we choose to love we begin to move towards freedom, to act in ways that liberate ourselves and others. That action is the testimony of love as the practice of freedom.
We do this by choosing to work with individuals we admire and respect; by committing to give our all to relationships; by embracing a global vision wherein we see our lives and our fate as intimately connected to those of everyone else on the planet.
In our society, we make much of love and say little of fear. Yet we are all terribly afraid most of the time. Fear is the primary force upholding structures of domination – it promotes the desire for separation, the desire not to be known. When we are taught that safety lies in sameness, then difference of any kind will appear as a threat. When we choose to love, we choose to move against fear, against alienation and separation. The choice to love is a choice to connect, to find ourselves in the other.
To live our lives based on the principles of a love ethic – showing care, respect, knowledge, integrity, and the will to cooperate – we have to be courageous. Learning how to face our fears is one way we embrace love. Our fear may not go away, but it will not stand in the way. Those of us who have already chosen to embrace a love ethic – allowing it to govern and inform how we think and act – know that when we let our light shine, we draw to us and are drawn to other bearers of light. We are not alone."
"Our cake was a wonderful surprise. Two of our best friends
heroically volunteered to make it for us, and wouldn't let me see it
until the day. I was thrilled with how it turned out though, and it was
Words of Wedded Wisdom...
"The main thing I loved about our wedding
(other than the getting married) was seeing all of our friends and
family getting to know each other and then dancing like loons together
until the early hours. The speeches were wonderful as well. We had six
(I wanted to speak, as did one of my Maids of Honour, and Toby's dad,
alongside the traditional three) and they were all wonderful in very
different ways – from incredibly heartfelt to outright filthy.
tried to tell myself throughout the planning process that I'd remember
how our wedding day felt much more than how it looked, and it was very
true. That meant that I could enjoy the lead-up and accept all the help
offered by friends and family without feeling particularly stressed or
trying to micro-manage. In the end I loved how everything I'd worked on
turned out, but the wedding could have happened in an unadorned
cardboard box and I would still be left with wonderful memories.
The other piece of advice I would give is to choose suppliers and
venues largely on how easy you think they'll be to work with. Being
able to trust everyone cut out a lot of stress in the lead-up and on the
How sweet is this wedding? How sweet is Ellen's smile? I just love it.
Huge congratulations Ellen and Toby, I wish you a lifetime of happiness and joy 😉
I love the tiered wedding dress look – do we have any other fans? What about shoes? Is anyone thinking of using Upper Street to design their own wedding shoes?
Much love everyone,
Photographer – Georgi Mabee
Venue – Toynbee Hall and Fourth Floor Studios, both of Shadwell, East London
Brides Dress - Rachel Gilbert, via Net A Porter altered to fit by Carmen's tailoring
Wedding Veil - Made by the bride using a vintage broach and some shimmery tulle
Bride's shoes – Upper Street
Bride's accessories – thin gold belt from Asos
Grooms Suit – Raja Fashions
Bridesmaids – Warehouse
Flowers – Via New Covent Garden Market and styled by the bride and her Mum
Cake – A suprise from Friends!
Entertainment – Winklepickers
Cars/Transport – First Class London Chauffeurs