Good morning all – we’ve almost made it to the weekend, and I hope you’re feeling jolly good about that. This morning’s wedding is a city-chic style affair with a bride looking beautiful in a gown by two of my favourite British designers. Ben, a product director for a software company and Rosie, an Account Manager for a product designer and procurement company, tied the knot on 20th June last year at Islington Town Hall, followed by a foodie-style reception at Hawksmoor Guildhall. These images were taken by the couple’s friend and professional photographer, Tom Biddle.
“I wore the cream satin ‘Belle’ dress from Belle & Bunty, which I purchased from their London boutique. I was pretty open-minded about choosing a wedding dress, my only criteria was that it needed to be comfortable, easy to move around in and that I still felt like me in it. My satin Belle dress was the second one I tried on. The cut & colour was so flattering and with a modern take on classic vintage style, it’s hard not to fall in love with any of their dresses.”
“The décor in Hawksmoor is amazing as it is so the only additions we made were small flower arrangements in mason jars on each of the tables and some giant light-up B & R letters from Vowed & Amazed at the end of the dancefloor. They created a real focal point to the room and were a great backdrop for all the dancing later on.”
“We were both keen on keeping things as informal as possible and felt that our wedding day should be filled with our most favourite things; incredible food, fantastic company, plenty of booze and dancing. Whilst I’m originally from the West Country and Ben also spent time living there, London is our home so it seemed right that we should have a city wedding.”
“Because the dress is so simple and classic, I didn’t wear any other jewellery but chose a beautiful Jannie Baltzer headpiece made from French lace, sequins, crystals and pearls that tied with ribbon at the back and then had a full length, silk veil for the ceremony.”
“I found our florist, Rebecca from Ivy, Pip & Rose on a wedding blog and instantly fell in love with her laid back style. From our very first meeting I knew she’d create something beautiful and the bouquets she made for me and my bridesmaids, tied together with long, pretty ribbons were exactly what I had hoped for.”
Rosie’s bridesmaids wore a twist wrap dress by Dessy.
“I bought each of my bridesmaids little handmade bracelets from Etsy as a thank you for helping us tie the knot.”
“My wonderful Dad walked me down the aisle to ‘Sea of Love’ by Cat Power.”
“Ben and I were introduced over a decade ago by a mutual friend and were actually friends for several years before we became a couple. We’d talked about getting married but it wasn’t actually something I thought would ever happen so when Ben proposed on holiday in Barbados last year it was a total shock – in fact I’m not even sure I said Yes?!
We were engaged for 15 months before we said ‘I do’ on 20th June this year.”
“The ceremony venue was probably the easiest of all decisions – we lived in and around Highbury for six years before moving south of the river and always loved Islington Town Hall as a building, so for us, it was the perfect place to say our nuptials.”
“Our lovely friend Alex, a close friend to us both, read a poem she’d chosen herself which was a surprise to us on the day.”
“We each travelled to the ceremony by taxi and then hired a traditional Routemaster via Timebus to take us and our guests to Hawksmoor.”
“For the reception, we didn’t want anything too ‘wedding-y’ and instead wanted it to feel like we were taking all our friends and family out for dinner somewhere amazing. When we found out Hawksmoor Guildhall did weddings (without doubt our favourite steak restaurant in London) we knew that was the place for us. The staff on the day were incredible, really relaxed, brilliant fun and very accommodating of our drunken guests who didn’t leave until 4am.
We just tried to add little touches that reminded us of all the special times we’ve shared both together and with all our favourite people over the last ten years – we named our tables after Glastonbury stages as a nod to our love of music, the time we’ve spent there together and the fact it was our mini-moon destination just after the wedding.”
“The Hawksmoor really is all about the meat (sorry vegetarian parents!) and after canapes & smoked salmon we served a sharing menu of 3 different cuts of steak with a range of sides including triple cooked chips and their famous Mac n’ Cheese. Because it was a pretty hefty main, we skipped desert and opted for salted caramel rolos and espresso martinis to get the evening celebrations started. Our late-night food came in the form of the most incredible lobster rolls, bacon sandwiches and a cake of cheese.”
“Apart from the ceremony itself, my favourite memory of the day was probably looking around at our reception drinks and seeing all our different groups of friends and family laughing and chatting together – it’s an amazing (and completely overwhelming) feeling to see all the important people in your life come together in one place.”
“We decided not to do favours and instead printed polaroid pictures of each of our guests and added them to their place setting. It was great seeing everyone’s reaction to the photos we’d picked as they took their places for dinner.”
“Our wedding completely hijacked my bridesmaid Polly’s birthday so we swapped the traditional cutting of the cake with a ‘Happy Birthday’ singalong during the speeches and then served her Hummingbird Red Velvet cake alongside a cake of Cheese from The Cheese Shed.”
“After a lot of deliberating, we eventually opted for a classic covers band that got everyone up and dancing. For those that were still standing at midnight, we put together a Spotify playlist to take us into the small hours. We both love music and have a mixture of both good and terrible tastes.”
“We wanted the evening to take us on a journey through our favourite genres (however dodgy) so it started with a Garage hour, moved on to 90’s dance/indie belters and then finished with a complete mash-up of favourite songs from friends that we’d asked to contribute to the playlist. The dance floor was packed all night and the lovely people from the dance floor company sat and patiently waited for us to vacate it for about 45 mins before finally removing it at the end of the night!”
Words of Wedded Wisdom
“Try not to get too caught up in what other people want. Everyone will have an opinion (whether you ask for it or not!) but they are all there to celebrate the two of you and your lives together – if your day reflects your personalities then everyone (including you) will have the most incredible time.”
Beautiful! Huge thanks to you Rosie and Ben for sharing this beautiful day. Readers, you can see more ‘Belle & Bunty’ brides here.
Love Annabel xx
Photographer – Tom Biddle Design and Photography
Venue – Islington Town Hall + Hawksmoor Guildhall
Wedding Dress + Veil – Belle & Bunty
Bride’s Shoes – LK Bennett
Headpiece – The Abby headpiece by Jannie Baltzer
Perfume – Chloe
Grooms Suit – Ted Baker
Bridesmaids – Dessy
Florist – Ivy, Pip & Rose
Cake – Hummingbird Red Velvet cake + The Cheese Shed
Transport – Routemaster via Timebus
Rings – Hatton Garden
Catering – Hawksmoor Guildhall
Hair and make-up Artist – Victoria Percival