Abi in Freda Bennet her Glamorous RSA House Wedding

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Charity worker Abi married Solicitor Charlie on 21st October at RSA House in London – a venue they discovered through Love My Dress, thanks to this beautiful wedding.

The couple were inspired by other city weddings they had seen on social media and wanted a day that felt modern yet in keeping with the beautiful historical townhouse they’d chosen as their venue.

Abi visited the Morgan Davies Bridal boutique – another discovery via Love My Dress and there, she discovered London based designer, Freda Bennet – and chose a dress that looked like it was made just for her.

The incredibly talented and wonderful Jamie Dunn captured these photographs and we hope you adore them as much as we do.

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We saw Keiran and Rachel’s beautiful RSA House wedding on Love My Dress, which really clinched the idea that we had to view the venue!

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Charlie is from Cornwall and I’m from Hertfordshire, but a countryside wedding just didn’t feel like ‘us’. My family and grandparents all live abroad so we felt like we had free reign with wherever we chose.

We’ve been living in central London since 2016 and nowhere feels more like home. We love the buzz of the city and wanted that to be reflected on our wedding day. We also wanted the day to feel like a party and be as easy and manageable for our guests as possible, as most live in London.

We saw a handful of venues in London but RSA House just felt right. We fell in love with the incredible paintings in the Great Room and all the different spaces the House provided, like the underground vaults for the evening. We wanted a venue that offered it all but allowed our guests to remain inside, in one place, warm and dry, and RSA did just that.

We hired Hannah Rose Weddings as an on the day coordinator.

The Dress

My dress was by Freda Bennet and I bought my dress from Morgan Davies Bridal, who I discovered through Love My Dress. I worked with their wonderful Senior Stylist, Bouquet Estelle.

The moment I met her she felt like another member of my bridal party, she hyped me up, took pictures from every angle so I could remember exactly how the dresses looked, and suggested lots of different styles. 

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I found dress shopping quite difficult, everything I wore felt like a costume, but she really listened to my concerns and went to lengths to pull dresses that just felt right for me.

I wanted my dress to feel fun and girly while still in keeping with the simplicity of a city wedding. I loved that the dress felt like me, and was easy to wear, sit down in and hug everyone!

When I was told that Freda Bennet was a London designer it all felt like it fell into place for a London wedding.

I knew I wanted a second dress as I wanted to be able to wear a big dress for the ceremony but not have it get in the way of enjoying myself later on. I fell in love with my second dress, Alex Perry’s Elyse, a couple of years ago when I saw it on Net a Porter. The structure, boning, and corset were so divine. I looked at and tried on so many other second dress options but it always came back to Elyse.

We Love Morgan DAvies Bridal

Bridal Beauty & Accessories

My bridesmaids bought me a beautiful Monica Vinader bracelet which they gifted to me the night before. It was engraved with the wedding date and is so special to me.

I wore vintage Oscar de la Renta earrings which I sourced through Vestiaire Collective.

Kat at the Make Up Labb did my make up and Zara at Portraits Bridal did my hair.

I gave my bridesmaids a steer on their dresses, that I wanted them to be floor length. Between them they really liked the idea of black dresses and it felt fitting with our city-vibe. They all shopped for them separately, and I did some slightly dodgy work on Canva to make sure they all complemented each other. With one of my bridesmaids joining from Australia I wanted the process to be as easy as possible for them.

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A couple of weeks before the wedding we both went shopping for our wedding scents. We wanted something a bit different to what we usually wear and made sure to wear them every day though our wedding month and on our honeymoon meaning that every time we smell them after we’ll be transported to that time. My perfume was Gucci Flora – Gorgeous Gardenia and Charlie wore Gucci Guilty

I bought beautiful blue Manolo Hangisis, but because of the rain I didn’t wear them to the venue. We had a bit of a nightmare caught in road closures and bad weather on the way to the venue and I ended up being late, and completely forgot to change my shoes! So I actually ended up getting married and having all my pictures taken in a very old pair of M&S shoes. I only remembered when I changed into the second dress and broke out the Manolos for the first time for dancing.

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We knew we wanted a black tie wedding and my bridesmaids were keen to wear black dresses so we used monochromatic elements through the day.

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The Ceremony

My parents and my bridesmaids were with me before walking down the aisle. I walked myself down the aisle and I’m so glad for those moments I got to myself beforehand to take some deep breaths!

My bridesmaids walked down the aisle to Pachabel which our wonderful string quartet The Wedding String Quartet faded into the Beatles’ Here Comes The Sun. It’s a song that Charlie and I love and I kept it a secret that I’d be walking down the aisle to it.

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We walked back down the aisle together to their rendition of The Cure’s Just Like Heaven which was absolute perfection.

We wrote our own vows to each other as we wanted the ceremony to feel as personal as possible.

Charlie’s mum Nicola read All I Know About Love by Neil Gaiman and Abi’s bridesmaid April read an excerpt from Dolly Alderton’s ‘Everything I Know About Love’.

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We got our wedding bands from Queensmith. Charlie had worked with them for my engagement ring and had nothing but praise for their work so we knew exactly who we wanted to go to for our bands.

Charlie got a subtly brushed gold band and I got a channel set pavé gold band.

We told guests we didn’t want any gifts but instead wanted to use the wedding as an opportunity to raise money for charity. We chose the Trussell Trust and guests donated in lieu of presents.

Discover your wedding readings
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We chose our photographer, Jamie Dunn, as we loved the style of his photos, he had great reviews and our initial conversations with him were brilliant. He immediately understood our vibe, was genuinely excited about the day and was happy to stay to the very end to make sure he captured all elements of the day.

Whilst we took some formal photos we (and he) prefer photos in situ and listening to how he planned to get these throughout the day gave us great confidence we’d get the photos we wanted without having to miss half the day!

We love these photographers
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How They Met

We met studying abroad at Utrecht University in the Netherlands in 2013/2014. One of my friends (and later, one of my bridesmaids!) during the exchange, April, lived with Charlie and we’d see each other out and about at various bars and on nights out. April suggested we hung out more knowing that I’d just gone through a break up and Charlie had a soft spot for blondes.

We got engaged the night before heading to New York in April 2022. To celebrate a week off work and some surprisingly nice April weather we cycled to the Horniman Museum and Gardens in South London to watch the sunset and Charlie proposed on the bandstand. We flew to New York the next day and spent the whole week celebrating with friends in the city. 

Charlie wore a bespoke Reiss suit and surprised me with an embroidering of our wedding date and initials inside the jacket. I gifted him a Tom Ford bow tie earlier in the year on our nine year anniversary.

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The Reception

We worked with Ashley at Autumn Rose Paper Co, she was absolute perfection, responded to last minute guest changes, and was so patient going back and forth and sharing many drafts with us before we went to the printers.

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Our caterers were provided in house, by CH&Co. They were brilliant. 

We hired table lamps from Table Lamp Hire.

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Our cake was by Mou Mou. Chloe made the most beautiful Victoria sponge Lambeth cake – we wanted something classic-looking but also fun.

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Philipa Day did our flowers. We saw Philipa’s work on Instagram and absolutely loved how playful her arrangements were, with focuses on individual flowers.

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We spent a number of calls planning with her and she still managed to surprise us on the day with how beautiful everything was.

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Evening & Dancing

We hired Graeme Smith from Wedding Jam and MasterSax. Both were incredible, read and responded to the mood, and didn’t bat an eye at our constant requests for Pitbull.

Our first dance was the Waterloo Sunset by The Kinks. It’s one of our favourite songs about one of our favourite places, it felt like a no-brainer.

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We actually only expected to dance to about a minute of the song, as we’d hired a surprise saxophonist to appear mid-way through as the song switched to Pitbull’s Fireball to get the party going.

But as the song started, our guests started singing along and joined in the dancing. It was the most perfect moment, and our DJ knew to play every second of the song. It was by far our favourite – and most unexpected – moment of the day.

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Words of Wedded Wisdom

Celebrate every step! A wedding is made up of hundreds of small decisions – celebrate making each one.

Every time we ticked something off our list – venue, dress, sending out invites – we went out to dinner, to the pub or just cheers-ed a beer in our living room.

Wedding planning is intensely stressful, but it’s also a privilege not everyone gets to experience. Keep your perspective, remember that you chose to do this, and every step is a celebration of your relationship – not just the day.

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Annabel View all Annabel's articles

Founder of Love My Dress. Passionate Podcaster and Editor. Annabel lives in rural North Yorkshire with her husband and business partner Philip, their two daughters and menagerie of furry hounds. She loves photography, meditation, walking, being outdoors and star gazing. She is fierce when it comes to championing talent within the wedding industry and when she's not working on Love My Dress, she supports her husband Philip in the running of the family's sustainable flower farm and floral design business, Moonwind Flowers. In 2013, she became a published author.