A Phase Eight Dress for a Cool, Modern Wedding at London’s Asylum Chapel & Reception at The Amadeus

If your budget and desire is leading you to the choice of a high street dress, then the Phase Eight brand, which has a concession in most big department stores (and you can also purchase online), is well worth your time exploring.

Today’s bride wore a Phase Eight dress for her pre-Covid wedding at London’s Asylum Chapel – which has been one of the most featured venues of all time on Love My Dress – famous for it’s decadent decaying interior vibe and patina.  Hayley wed Ben tied the knot in August 2019 and held their evening reception at The Amadeus in Maida Vale, London.

Sally T Photography + Follow

The bride’s shoes were from Kurt Geiger and her make-up and hair were styled by Nicola Beddoes.

“I found Nicola through a company called By Jodie. Nicola really listened to what I wanted and never tried to change my mind.”

“She had great suggestions and she was super relaxed about everything. My make-up and hair looked so pretty, and she also created wonderful looks for my mum and my sister.”

“Seeing how confident and beautiful they felt was an amazing feeling. Nicola is just brilliant!”

Hayley chose her embellished, cap-sleeve gown at Phase Eight, adding a gorgeous Britten Weddings veil and a delicate hairvine, also by Britten.

“I decided quite quickly that I didn’t want to spend lots of money on my dress.”

“I was talking to my friend the other day about it and I said to me, it was more important to spend the money on booze for everyone than my dress and I don’t regret it at all.”

“I loved the dress because of the beading. It is so pretty and intricate and I never thought I would find a dress like it in a high street store.”

“Britten have such a stunning range of veils and also do custom-made. I also purchased my headband, garter and jewellery for my bridesmaids and my mum from them.”

“When we first decided to start planning, we thought we should start with the venue. I remember typing into Google ‘unusual wedding venues’ in London and that’s when I saw Asylum Chapel.”

“After instantly falling in love with it, I couldn’t imagine us getting married anywhere else.”

“It is such a beautiful building but once you enter the main hall, it feels like a dream.”

“The weathered walls are so romantic and as soon as the light hits stained glass windows, the room comes alive.”

“We decided to have the option of one of their coordinators, who helps with the set-up on your day and we couldn’t have hoped for a nicer person.”

“Frances was a star from the first day we met her and, on the day, her help, calming nature and enthusiasm were priceless.”

“One of main considerations of our day was that most of our guests would have to travel for our day. We had many guests from different parts of the UK as well as lots travelling from across the world.”

“We decided to have an afternoon wedding so that people could travel on the day. For this reason, we needed to find a venue who could stay open later.”

“We thought this would be easy to find in London, we quickly realised this was not the case with most closing by midnight. But then we found The Amadeus.”

“This beautiful, duck-egg blue, nineteenth-century building, complete with the original organ, was perfect. Not only did it have the later licence we were hoping for, it also was dry hire meaning we had so much flexibility.”

“On top of that, they also have a no corkage fee which meant we could supply all the alcohol ourselves, genius! The team there were so accommodating and relaxed.”

Hayley and Ben connected on Tinder, meeting for a drink after a couple of weeks messaging.

“That evening we quickly decided to meet up again, at an exhibition held in the Natural History Museum. There we shared our first kiss.”

“We went to that exhibition every year after that day and three years later, Ben decided to propose at the Natural History Museum. Right there, in front of a massive  photo of a gorilla, he got down on one knee and I said yes.”

“It has always been my dream to have strings at our wedding and it was the only thing I said was a must. Asylum Chapel had Blue Topaz as one of their recommended suppliers.”

“They were fantastic. They set the atmosphere beautifully with classical music before the ceremony and pop classics after. They were perfect!”

I love that Hayley had a best man, who accompanied her down the aisle at Asylum Chapel to Pachelbel’s ‘Canon in D’ to meet Ben. The music was played by Blue Topaz.

“My best friend was my best man. He is one of my favourite people and I’m so thankful he said yes. I know how nerve-racking it must have been for him, but it really meant the world to me having him by my side walking me down the aisle.”

“Our celebrant was one of my good friends, Ben. He had signed off as a humanist celebrant the year before and there was no doubt that we would ask him and we knew he would be brilliant.”

“All our guests loved the ceremony as it was personal and they got to hear our love story, which was beautifully captured by Ben.”

“Even though we know him, he kept the process the same as he would with any other couple. He had a meeting with us both and separately and we got to see what he had written before and were able to add/amend anything.”

“It was definitely a special part of the puzzle as we got to relive all our memories of being together.”

“We decided to write our vows together because we wanted everyone to be able to understand. We repeated each line, Ben in French and me in English. The last line we did in reverse and I think me speaking in French was a lovely moment for us both.”

The couple’s rings came from Chapelle Jewellery and they asked their mums and two nephews to each choose a reading.

“They were kept secret from us so we heard them on the day. It made it truly special and we loved the readings they chose. Our mums also did a reading together which was such a touching moment. My nephew had written a poem about us which was the sweetest thing.”

The bridesmaids wore gowns in pale blue and pink from Monsoon and Dorothy Perkins, whilst the flowergirls were in Monsoon Kids dresses. Meanwhile, the groom wore a French Connection suit.

Capturing the exceptional atmosphere of Asylum Chapel eighteen months after the engagement was Sally T Photography. If you love her work, you can see even more of it here on Love My Dress.

“We cannot stress this enough, but choosing your photographer is one of the top things to consider when you first start planning.”

“I had seen a stop motion video wedding a couple of years ago and I thought it was beautiful, so it was definitely in the back of our mind when considering if we wanted to have a videographer or not.”

“When we started to look for a photographer, we searched stop motion photographer and there was Sally.”

“From the first exchange of emails and to her absolutely joy of us getting hitched at Asylum Chapel, we knew she was the one for us. As she was in Yorkshire and we are in London we had a Skype meeting.”

“These can be a bit awkward, especially if you haven’t met the person before. It really wasn’t the case, we just clicked and that is so important.”

“You need to feel comfortable and at ease and Sally did just that. Everything was so simple. On the day, she was just incredible, and people said how lovely she was.”

“We are so thankful to have such beautiful photos and Sally captured the essence of joy we shared on our day.  Sally is such a talented photographer and whoever hires her, is lucky indeed.”

After the ceremony, the newly-weds and their guests piled into a London Retro Bus Hire bus for the scenic journey to The Amadeus.

“With such a distance between our venues, we wanted to provide transport for all our guests and there is only way in London – a red double decker bus.”

“We took the scenic route through London, past all the landmarks. It was such a treat for the guests, especially those from France and our nieces and nephews loved it. We sang along to the playlist all the way.”

“One of main considerations of our day was that most of our guests would have to travel for our day. We had many guests from different parts of the UK as well as lots travelling from across the world.”

“We decided to have an afternoon wedding so that people could travel on the day. For this reason, we needed to find a venue who could stay open later.”

“We thought this would be easy to find in London, we quickly realised this was not the case with most closing by midnight. But then we found The Amadeus.”

“This beautiful, duck-egg blue, nineteenth-century building, complete with the original organ, was perfect. Not only did it have the later licence we were hoping for, it also was dry hire meaning we had so much flexibility.”

“On top of that, they also have a no corkage fee which meant we could supply all the alcohol ourselves, genius! The team there were so accommodating and relaxed.”

Both venues are uniquely beautiful in their own ways, so the couple only added masses of candles and foliage to create the magical vibe. The clever bride actually created the floral styling herself.

“We both have a love of flowers and plants and we definitely wanted to incorporate it into the day. I think the biggest thing was making the day as easy as possible for our guests to attend.”

“A lot of our ideas were created with that in mind, from having a later ceremony to having it translated into French for Ben’s loved ones.”

“Sometimes I have a lot of crazy ideas and one of those was creating the floral arrangements myself.  I was lucky to be gifted a floral arranging course with Jane Packer.”

I had the best day and learnt so much. It really got me thinking that I could do this. In London, we are so lucky to have such amazing flower markets, one of which is New Covent Garden Flower Market.”

“Not only does it have the most amazing selection of flowers, it has the best supply of vases and centre pieces.”

“We chose one of each vase we wanted for the centre pieces and a bunch of each flower we wanted, and I created how I wanted the centre pieces to look, which was such fun.”

“A few weeks before the wedding, we picked up all the vases, candles etc. and on the day before the wedding, very early in the morning, we took a van and picked up all the flowers and the ivy.”

Then me, my best man, bridesmaid and my mum spent the day making the arrangements. One by one, I showed them how to create different elements of the arrangements, the table settings and the ivy.”

“In the evening, I arranged my boutique and to my bridesmaids’ surprise, got them to create theirs. My best man created the buttonholes from the flowers in my bouquet.”

“My mum got to make the two flower girls’ crowns which reminded her of making things for me and my sister when we were little. It was a really special moment and it gave us all a chance to be together.”

The bride also created the stationery suite concept, drawing on her and Ben’s shared love of travel.

“We wanted to create something special, especially as we were inviting a lot of guests from all over the world. I came up with the idea of creating a vintage-style postcard using stamps from around the world.”

“Every invitation was different and came in a glassine envelope like the ones you see in stamp collections.”

“For the stationery, table numbers and the order of service, my best friend Joseph Turvey, who is a very talented illustrator, kindly designed them for us.”

“Everything looked so beautiful and just what we hoped for and made it feel so personal. For the table numbers, we added pictures I have taken on our various travels together and matched them up to our table map which was a map of the world.”

The couple chose to add elements of both British and French cuisine into their wedding menu.

“Cheese definitely needed to be included and, of course, a roast dinner. Because we wanted to make the most of our time at Asylum Chapel, I came up with the idea of making the starters myself and serving it there.”

“It needed to be something people could eat easily and a bit of fun! I came up with the idea of having three bite-sized treats wrapped up in red and white gingham-lined paper bags sealed by a peg and a tag saying, ‘Eat me’ as a little nod to ‘Alice In Wonderland’, one of my favourite books. I made the sage and shallot sausage rolls the night before the wedding and made up the rest of the elements with one of my bridesmaids in the morning.”

“The Amadeus had recommended suppliers, one of whom was Catered By Justin who just happened to make the most amazing roasts. Justin and Sarah really listened to our ideas and were more than happy to create a lavender crème brulée for our dessert.”

“Not only do they create such wonderful food, they take care of everything from the tables, to the centre pieces, to the bar. They allocate all the staff and we had the most incredible co-ordinator, Caron. She was simply the best and nothing was any trouble. Everything ran so smoothly and we trusted her completely. Those little things really do matter. We also had the idea of having a little sweet treat to go alongside the dessert, mini biskies from Cutter And Squidge. It was something we had tried when we first got together and we thought it would be a lovely sentiment to have to finish the menu.”

 

The French element came in the form of their wedding cake.

“We didn’t want just any wedding cake, we wanted one made of cheese. We both have a love of cheese and with Ben being French, this was such an important addition to our menu.”

“There was only one company we wanted – Wildes Cheese. I had tasted their cheese before we were even engaged. Not only was it absolutely delicious, all their cheese is made in London. We thought we would end up having a wonderful selection of French cheese but Wildes Cheese gave them all a run for their money.”

“We were invited to their micro-diary which was just magical. We were told the story of each cheese and how each tier could be arranged.”

We cannot express how fantastic these guys are; it was one of our best memories from planning our wedding and we are so grateful to them for such a joyful afternoon.”

“Everyone thought the cake was amazing and such a great way to incorporate as a course on the menu.”

As night fell, the evening party got underway, complete with a photobooth from Emerald Lion Photo Booths. The Amadeus was transformed into a dance floor by magical lighting from Red Cat Lighting.

“They were recommended by The Amadeus. They provided lighting for lots of events there and knew the venue really well. Richard knew exactly what we wanted to achieve, and, on the day, it looks magical. Light is everything!”

The couple will have plenty of memories to look back on, thanks for a thoughtful gift from Ben’s sister and brother in law.

“They took Polaroid pictures of all our guests (which we had no idea about) and got them to write a message in an album next to their picture. It was presented to us the next day and it captured everyone’s joy so perfectly.”

“A family tradition of Ben’s is, along with a bottle of Champagne, every guest writes a message to our future selves. Then on our first wedding anniversary we get to open that bottle and enjoy reading everyone’s messages. I think that’s something quite special.”

The couple’s first dance was to Nat King Cole’s ‘Unforgettable’ before they danced the night away with their guests.

“Our favourite part was being with all the people we love and celebrating our day with them. We couldn’t have asked for anything more.”

Words of Wedded Wisdom

“Excel spreadsheets are everything. That was the first thing we did, and it really help visualise everything and it becomes the perfect checklist.”

“Decide what is important to you. This is your wedding and you want it to be special so make those things happen, even if it’s the smallest detail. You will really appreciate those things forever.”

“Your day shouldn’t be too serious. Although planning a wedding might be stressful at times, remember to have fun. Once your day comes, let go and fill yourself with joy. Your day will be perfect!”

“Don’t be afraid to be creative and try things yourself to make it more personal, but only if you feel confident to. There are so many wonderful suppliers out there who will help you every step of the way and make your life stress-free. Trust them, they know what they are doing and are there to create the most special day for you.”

“Enjoy yourself, make time for each other and cherish every moment!”

Lovelies, if you think Asylum Chapel might be the London venue for you, then take a look at these other weddings to see how it can be styled to suit you and your personalities.

I just need to say a big thank you, Hayley and Ben, for sharing your wedding with us and thank you also to Sally T Photography for your magical work.

Ele xx

 

Credits & Thanks

Eleanor Crossland

Eleanor Crossland View all Eleanor's articles

Ele lives in the Lincolnshire countryside, close to the beautiful coast. A qualified Pilates teacher, she loves fitness, yoga, Pilates and has a healthy addiction to baking, writing and travel.

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