Well this gorgeous, colourful, joy filled East London wedding seems like a truly beautiful way to start a new week.
Allow me to introduce you to the very lovely TV Advertising Manager Alex and Documentary Producer Leo, who tied the knot on 14th May this year, at Hackney Town Hall, followed by a reception at a restaurant local to the couple’s home, Jones & Sons, in Dalston.
Alex looked sensational in her The Own Studio bias cut slip dress which she wore with a delicious organza puff sleeve top. Our love and thanks to Alex for her super kind words about Love My Dress. Genuinely, I’m stoked that you enjoyed visiting Love My Dress whilst planning you wedding Alex – this means the world, and especially so as you discovered some amazing suppliers here, including the incomparably superb dance-floor fillers, Wedding Smashers!
I adore these images by Elena Popa Photography that capture the abundance of love and joy present on this day – and I hope you do too, dear reader.
Shoes, Scent & Accessories
I chose not to wear a veil as it felt very formal, and I wanted a more relaxed feel. My shoes were from Zara and I wore hairclips by The Handmaid Tiara on Etsy.
My perfume was Downtown by Calvin Klein – I wear this every day and wanted to smell like myself. Leo also just wore his classic aftershave Hugo Boss.
On the day my parents gave me a stunning yellow sapphire and diamond pendant to match my engagement ring. The diamond was originally from my mum’s ring, so the necklace is incredibly special. I also wore a pair of earrings borrowed from my little sister.
The Own Studio
My dress and top were from The OWN Studio. As soon as I saw The OWN Studios designs, I couldn’t imagine any other dresses. They felt so cool and modern but also timeless which is exactly what I wanted. I wanted to be comfortable and be able to dance on the day, this is why I didn’t have a train or veil.
Visiting the OWN Studio boutique was a brilliant experience. They were so warm and welcoming, giving me suggestions on how we can alter their designs to make the dress fit my dream.
They were also very flexible and quick; many other designers would have charged me extra as we had less than six months before the wedding day. I would definitely recommend working with them.
I am really looking forward to dying the dress and altering it so I can wear it again as formal wear. I really didn’t want it to be a one-time wear and that was key to The OWN Studios designs.
Love My Dress was an amazing source of inspiration, I spent hours going through all the real weddings on their Instagram looking for ideas I could steal. I would have felt way more out of my depth without them as a guide. We found loads of inspiration from Love My Dress, including the music/entertainment (we hired The Wedding Smashers), stationery style, grooms’ suit, confetti and colour themes. We loved looking at all of the real wedding and took lots of inspiration from what other people had done. The Bride
Leo wanted to wear a green suit as he was keen to have something that felt a bit different. Unfortunately, he left buying the suit until less than a month before the wedding so didn’t have as much choice as he would have liked.
Suit supply wear brilliant though they had lots of colours and designs allowing you to pick something fairly bespoke but without the long lead times.
Leo also wore grandfathers’ gold cufflinks and a gold tie pin I gave him for his 30th. He then bought all his groomsmen vintage gold tie pins which they all wore on the day.
I asked my bridesmaids to pick their own dresses, I didn’t want anything matching and I really wanted them to feel happy comfortable and to wear something that they would wear again. My sister wore a green dress from Reformation and my cousin wore a silk blue dress from Mango.
They both wore their own shoes and I bought them a little engraved gold pendant from Missoma.
Our ceremony took place at Hackney Town Hall. We aren’t religious, so we always knew we would get married in a registry office, but we still wanted something grand and impressive, so when we saw the North Atria at Hackney Town Hall we were sold.
My father walked me down the aisle. My sister and cousin were my bridesmaids and walked down the aisle first. This was to the sound of Strong, by London Grammar.
Our wedding bands were pre-loved, from Browns Jewellers in Harrogate. My parents melted a little bit of my late Grandmothers gold wedding band into mine which was incredibility special. My engagement ring was from Browns Jewellers in Harrogate.
Leo’s sister Francesca read Baz Luhrmann’s Everybody’s Free, which was amazing and funny. Alex’s Godmother Anne, read Neil Gaiman’s All I know About Love. Alex’s best friend, Caroline, read What Love Isn’t Yrsa Daley Ward.
We love Elena Popa’s stye – she captured the cool London wedding vibe that we wanted but still brought warmth and fun to her images. On the day she was amazing.
She did everything to get the best shots whilst making sure it was fun and she never felt in the way. I couldn’t recommend her more.
How They Met
We met through friends at a birthday party. Leo’s best friend is married to my little sister, and they were our maid of honour and best man.
We got engaged in October 2021, Leo proposed at home over a home cooked meal of all my favourite foods.
We had been together for over five years, so we wanted to get married quickly and had a pretty clear vision of how the day would look. We had the location and date locked in within a weekend.
A Wedding Inspired by Flowers
We had been to a lot of weddings back in Yorkshire where I am from and a few abroad, but we had never been to a London wedding, so to us it felt fun and new.
We had a relatively small budget and didn’t want a particularly formal day, so that dictated a lot of our choices. We wanted it to feel relaxed and not too prescriptive.
The flowers were a key decision on the theme and style, once I found Filth Florist everything else was built around that.
As soon as I saw Filth Flowers on Instagram, I became obsessed with their flowers, I wanted something non-traditional, something really exciting and a bit of a showstopper.
After speaking to Rosy, I knew she understood exactly what I wanted from the flowers. Rosy was brilliant to work with and I trusted her plans completely. She even came at the end of the night to make small bouquets for our guests. People still talk about the flowers and the ones they got to take home, it was such a nice touch.
Our reception was at Jones & Sons in Dalston. We lived in Dalston when we first moved in together and this was our favourite local restaurant. We always said it would be the perfect place to have a wedding and it was the only option we could imagine when we started planning our own.
We love the industrial cool feel of Jones & Sons, so didn’t need to add much for décor. The venue suggested that we hung faux wisteria from the ceiling, which created a more intimate feel.
We really liked their disco ball so just add an amazing ‘Crazy In Love’ neon sign from Wedding Venue Lighting. This sign became a make-shift ‘photo wall’ as a lot of the guests wanted to take instagram photos in front of it.
Detail & Decor
I saw Bakes By Olivia in a Liberty photo shoot and thought they were amazing. It was so fun to pick the colours and flavours. We went with Lemon and Raspberry, with a glittered cherry on top.
Leo designed all the stationery, taking inspiration from the colours of the flowers. We wanted a very clean, geometrical design. We also deliberately created the name cards, the same size as business cards so that our guests could take them home as souvenirs if they wished.
One of our best friends Callum brewed a special table beer (Happily Ever Larger) which went down a storm, the labels carried our picture, the date and a link to the day’s Spotify playlist.
Evening & Favourite Moments
I also loved that I got to have a bit of an outfit change for the evening when I took my The OWN Studio organza top off and danced in just the silk slip.
Our first dance was to Madonna’s Like a Prayer. We found it hard to pick a song for the first dance, but we knew we wanted a banger that we could really dance to. In the end this song was perfect, and we had the best time getting the party started.
It’s hard to pick our favourite moment as it was all pretty amazing. I loved getting ready in the morning with my family and friends, there wasn’t too many of us and it felt like such a special exciting time. The first dance was epic, much more fun than we had expected, we really got into it!
Words of Wedded Wisdom
Don’t over think it, make decisions quickly and trust your gut. You know how you want to the day to feel and everything will come together in the end.
I may have given myself a little more time but then I also think not having much time reduced our choices and prevented us from over-thinking things.
It would perhaps have been smart for Leo to buy his suit a little sooner as it meant that he didn’t have time to go for a fully tailored option.
Our budget was originally £20k, but we released quickly that was unlikely so upped it to £25k.
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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.