Emma, brand manager for a Scotch whiskey brand, married Alex, a consultant mechanical engineer on Friday 13th August last year with a city ceremony at Wandsworth Town Hall, followed by a reception at The Oak, a local Italian, now sadly permanently closed.
This was the couple’s legal ceremony – they are actually planning a larger, main wedding in France next year. But on this occasion, they had a small and intimate ceremony with a wedding party made up of fifteen people. Following the ceremony, everyone gathered at the couple’s chosen restaurant for pizza and cocktails. Emma chose to wear a white wedding suit from high street favourite, Mango.
Travelling by Taxi
Alex booked a white London taxi to take myself, my mum, sister and sister-in-law to the Town Hall. John Dempsey, the driver was lovely. He then drove us and Emily, our photographer, around Chelsea later to help us get some pictures. His company is Traditional London Wedding Taxis.
We originally weren’t going to have professional photography for our legal ceremony and I’m so glad we changed our mind as Emily from Emily Rose Photography was fantastic!
. Emily’s style was exactly what we were after – her photography always looks so effortlessly chic and beautiful, and she was a joy to have with us on the day. She made us feel totally at ease. You’d never even know she was there – she worked away in the background capturing so many gorgeous moments.
We are so happy with our pictures and would definitely recommend Emily.
A White Wedding Suit
I wore a white suit from Mango. I wanted something super comfortable and a bit different as I’m saving my dress for France. If you can’t wear a white suit on your wedding day – when can you! It was a perfect fit and a great price. I loved the tie belt around the waist.
I wore nude strappy sandals from Mango. My bag was the beautiful Antonia beaded bag by Shrimps – kindly lent to me by a friend.
I wore diamond earrings that Alex had gifted me for my 30th birthday. He had bought these from the same place he got my ring. I then changed into some drop Pearl earrings by Botias which I had spotted on Instagram for the evening party. I’ve kept the sterling silver drop diamond necklace that Alex gave me for my 18th birthday to wear as my something old for France.
My perfume was Chanel Mademoiselle, my absolute favourite.
The Inspiration Behind The Day
The main inspiration for styling our day were my flowers – a dried floral bouquet created by Emma Hewlett, our cake, made by the amazing Vaani from Sugar Plum Bakes and Alex’s tie! They were all a nod to the autumnal colour scheme we are hoping to replicate at our main wedding in France next year.
Flowers by Emma Hewlett
I came across Emma Hewlett on Instagram as she did a micro wedding for influencer Beth Sandland back in December and I adored the bouquet she did for her. It was dried florals in beautiful autumnal colours and I knew instantly that a dried bouquet was what I wanted. They are super long-lasting as well which means I get to see them every day in our home and am reminded of the day.
The colours and styles were all a nod to our upcoming French nuptials taking place in September next year. I added a rust coloured ribbon from Etsy to tie around the bouquet to match Alex’s tie.
Hair & Makeup
I found Keeley Wilson Makeup on Instagram and thought her looks were amazing. She was honestly the most lovely make up artist to work with and totally got the vibe I was after. We did a trial first to check I was comfortable with everything and then she came on the day to do myself, my mum, my sister and sister-in-law. She was great to work with – would definitely recommend her.
I booked a local hair salon in Clapham for blow dries for my wedding party. I knew I wanted to wear my hair down with a wave through it – super low maintenance for me on the day.
My sister loaned me a ‘Love’ hair slide.
Alex had a custom-made suit from Edit Suits Co and a tie from Moss Bros.
For the morning of, I bought Alex some silver fine wire ‘knot’ cufflinks from Aspinal to help us ‘tie the knot’. And some socks from Reiss so he didn’t get cold feet!
A Cake by Sugar Plum Bakes
I found Vaani from Sugar Plum Bakes on Instagram – she had been tagged in so many beautiful shoots and weddings that kept cropping up on my feed so when we decided we wanted to have a cake, I knew I had to reach out to her.
She was originally unavailable on our date but luckily for us had a cancellation, so we instantly snapped her up. Vaani sent us a few different flavours of cake to try, and we settled on two tiers made up of a lemon cake with lemon curd and lemon buttercream and a chocolate cake with chocolate ganache and salted caramel.
I sent Vaani the colour scheme and florals we were going with and she created the most beautiful cake to match. It was gorgeous and more importantly, absolutely delicious!
We met through mutual school friends in 2009 when I was in my final year of secondary school and Alex had already started university in Bristol. We lived in neighbouring towns and spent every day together during one Christmas break and never looked back. The friends who introduced us are both part of our wedding party – we are eternally grateful they introduced us over a jug of WooWoo in Wetherspoons!
We got engaged in Nov 2019 – the day England lost the rugby World Cup to South Africa! Alex left me in the flat that morning with a homemade jigsaw puzzle with instructions to follow each of the clues. The puzzle was a map of our flat displaying a treasure hunt. The hunt led me to a USB, which, when I plugged into my laptop, popped up with a website he had made specially for us with a quiz about our relationship that I needed to complete to move onto the next task. (He spent six months teaching himself to code a website, unbeknownst to me!).
Once I cracked the code, I was then sent on a hunt around London with the help of an old school Nokia pre-loaded with credit. I was sent hints from an unknown number to visit a series of locations where further instructions would await me. My mum was my phone a friend in case I got lost or stuck! Four hours and a lot of clues later, I ended up in a suite in the Shangri-La Hotel in the Shard with Alex waiting for me on one knee. It was fireworks night in London and we spent the entire evening drinking champagne and taking in the view before having some close friends join us for drinks to celebrate. It was perfect.
We picked a local Italian restaurant (sadly now closed) near our home in Battersea for our reception. The venue was already beautiful so we decided against dressing it up
We didn’t have any live music at the reception but we did end up at a nightclub with some of our friends once we left the restaurant as we weren’t ready for the night to end. Chris Malinchak’s ‘So Good to Me’ came on right at the very end of the night before the lights came up – so does a last dance count?
Words of wedded Wisdom
Ignore the traditions and don’t sweat the small stuff – just do what feels right for you both! Make sure you take a moment with your new wife/husband on the day to just take everything in. We also borrowed an Instax polaroid camera from some friends who were super on it all night snapping photos of our guests. We didn’t have the formalities of a guest book so we loved having the photos to look through the next day.
Also, if you’re getting married in your hometown, definitely book to stay in a hotel around your wedding. We booked two nights at The Artist Residence in Pimlico so we could properly enjoy the ‘just married’ feeling (with a second night to sleep away the hangover) and properly feel as though we were away from home for the weekend.
As this was a smaller affair, we were able to spend a bit more on things like food and drink and we decided to put a tab behind the bar to help keep the drinks flowing all night. We came under in the end which was great – despite our best efforts to drink the bar dry!
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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.