A Valentino Dress for a Stylish and Unconventional London Wedding

Hello lovely ones – hope you’ve had a chance to enjoy our first glamorous wedding feature of today and that you’ve taken note of this opportunity to save a lovely 30% on the purchase of your wedding headpiece with Rosie Willett. This afternoon’s wedding moves away from the tradition and glamour of this morning’s nuptials and takes a more modern, unconventional turn.

Martha, a freelance journalist married Chris, a marketing director for Universal Music, on 26th November last year at St Stephen’s in Hampstead (a former church), chosen because the couple wanted a non-religious ceremony but still wanted that sense of occasion. Their ceremony was followed by a reception at The Amadeus in West London which provided a brilliant blank canvas to create exactly the mood they wanted. Our much loved Little Book For Brides member, the talented Claudia Rose Carter, photographed this gorgeous, cool and quirky London wedding.

“A friend of ours who was a photographer mentioned she was a fan and when we looked Claudia up she was just exactly what we had had in mind. She 100% delivered what we wanted without needing much direction, and was lovely and laid back which was very welcome on the day.”

Photography by Claudia Rose Carter

Through trying on wedding dresses, Martha discovered that she wasn’t ever destined to wear a more conventional style wedding dress and instead, opted for a most gorgeous 70’s inspired Valentino design.

“I was fed up with trying on wedding dresses. I felt like I was ‘dressing up’ and didn’t feel like myself at all. One day I was wandering around Selfridges when I saw a 1960’s style short cape hanging on a mannequin in Valentino. I was just like ‘that’s what I want!’.’”“We were guided simply by our tastes with everything else – we wanted our wedding to look stylish and personal to us so we spent time on the small details. We were desperate for our ceremony to not to be too stuffy or boring and it was really fun. We just smiled and giggled throughout.”

These gorgeous pink beauties are by Miu Miu and I love the statement they make with Martha’s pretty pleated dress.

“We discovered Scarlett and Violet because of their close proximity to the venue, but Viv, the owner, was wonderful to work with and really enthusiastic about all the bright colours we had in mind,”

Martha’s super cool bridesmaid wore a pink suit and shoes from And Other Stories.

“We met when I was a staff writer at Marie Claire magazine and agreed to do a dating feature. My boss, best friend and brother all had to find me a man and Chris was my best friend Liz’s choice.”

“The date was 25th October 2011. Chris proposed exactly four years later on a surprise weekend at The Langham hotel in London. We married just over a year after that.”

“My mum accompanied me down the aisle. I lost my dad when I was a child and my mum has advanced cancer so it was important to me for her to take this role on our wedding day.”

“We were accompanied by the sound of ‘Suddenly’ by Angry Anderson (Scott and Charlene’s wedding in Neighbours!) Chris and I used to joke about it because I love Neighbours and as the wedding loomed, we decided to just go for it to make people laugh and set the tone of the day.”

“We had lots of 1980s kids on the guest list, and many people recognised the song straight away.”

The couple had three readings during their ceremony; ‘Union’, by Robert Fulghum, ‘The Book of Love’, by Magnetic Fields and ‘Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog’, by Taylor Mali.

“We had a table of 1980s/90s style sweets like popping candy and drumsticks for guests to help themselves.”

“There were also lots of lights and foliage and stars and light boxes – so the space was dimly lit with a cosy but fun feel.”

Polly Crossman designed our invites. We did the rest ourselves, including writing the story of our relationship as a save the date.”

“We had a Neals Yard cheese wedding cake provided by Tasting Plates which formed the main part of the evening food.”


Martha and Chris’s first dance was to ‘I Wanna Be Yours’ by the Arctic Monkeys.

“Chris loves the Arctic Monkeys. This song is an adaptation of the John Cooper Clarke poem I read at my brother’s wedding, so is special to me too.”

Wedded Wisdom

“Try and get around to saying hi to all your guests early on in the day and then you can totally relax and be yourself for the remainder!

We imagined we’d spend about £20,000 on our wedding, but of course ended up going over! All the little personal touches we thought would make the wedding special really added up. I was surprised to find ‘Low key’ doesn’t necessarily come cheap!”

Super gorgeous! Huge thanks to our lovely photographer friend Claudia Rose Carter for once again sharing her beautiful images on Love My Dress. We are very proud to list Claudia’s work in our Little Book For Brides – and you can see more of Claudia’s work here on Love My Dress.

Love Annabel x

Credits & Thanks


Annabel View all Annabel's articles

Annabel is the founder of Love My Dress. She has a passion for photography, walking, yoga, nature, and loves to support talented artists and creative businesses. In 2013, she became a published author. Annabel lives in rural North Yorkshire with her husband and business partner Philip, their two daughters Eska and Leanora and menagerie of furry hounds. Annabel supports Philip in the running of the family flower farm at at Moonwind Flowers. She is also co-founder of What About Weddings.

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