It’s hard to write a blog post summarising our wedding day in a page. There was so much excitement, love, and happiness in the build up and on the day that I’m genuinely not sure I have enough words to put it down articulately in a post.
Planning the wedding from July 2017, from the get go, we simply wanted it to be a really really special party for all of the people we loved the most in a place that everyone could ideally get an Uber home from afterwards. Initially penciled in for September 2018, we pushed it back by 8 months to May this year- as despite our optimism at saving for a big day, weddings are really bloody expensive and despite how lovely an idea it was (‘oh but my parents got married in September!’), let me tell you that putting yourselves under pressure to afford one big day didn’t really feel like the right foot to be getting off on- no matter how much you want to wear a lovely dress and look at each other adoringly to a soundtrack of At Last. We pushed it back, and set the date for the 25th of May 2019- a couple of weeks after our ten year anniversary (cue soppy ‘aaahs!’).
Looking around a few venues in South London, we eventually settled for Queen’s House in Greenwich. Looking around a couple of months after our engagement, we both fell in love. Initially built as an apology present for Queen Anne of Denmark- it was commissioned by King James I as a supposed apology gift to his wife after he swore in front of her after she had accidentally killed one of his favourite dogs- which felt wholly apt and the kind of precedent we wanted to set foot into marriage on (ahem). It also sits along the Thames in the middle of Greenwich, and next to the beautiful park- somewhere both Joe and I spent a lot of time growing up (albeit in yellow skinny jeans and ‘BROOTAL’ written on my knuckles’) and have endless happy memories of.
Finally, the day before- where we made a 7am run to New Covent Garden Flower Market with my dad, baked lemon and raspberry cakes in the kitchen and then sat around a candlelit table with our nearest and dearest at the Artist Residence in London that night.
That drive over to the hotel in the Uber the night before felt so surreal- it was just me and my dress, and a heap of flowers and a handy playlist supplying the excitement. I couldn’t wait to see my mum, dad and brother. Drinking cocktails, sharing family style plates with our nearest and dearest, and probably annoying our hotel neighbours with laughter before attempting to catch some z’s before a very exciting weekend.
The wedding day started bright and early- with Carrie making sure Gold Radio was pumping around the room and the bridesmaids and I ordered breakfast upstairs. We chose Artist Residence, as it’s somewhere I’ve had the privilege of staying a handful of wonderful times, and having only about 10 rooms- felt a little like we’d pretty much have run of the place too, which felt quite special. I spent the morning slowly getting ready, and strangely was probably the most calm I’d been out of all the weeks leading up to the wedding. There was no anxiety. No jitters- just a real bubble of excitement for what was to come. The sun started peeping out from behind the clouds, and we saw the Citroen 2CV park up outside the hotel, that my dad and I would be heading to the venue in (my dad used to have the exact same car called Dolly, and when I was tiny we’d drive my mum to work in it- so it felt very special).
Anyway- once everyone was dressed and ready to go- we headed downstairs (only after a few tiny tears) and we were off. It was the most special drive across London, plodding past waving cricket fans at The Oval- I felt like bloody royalty! The venue had also opened the gates to the house, so we got to drive up the main driveway, which was incredible, and was the most surreal way of park people watching too- and spotting any guests walking in too. This was probably the only time that the nerves started to creep in, and only as I was about to walk down the aisle did everything hit me, seeing Joe at the end I began to get a bit teary- and walking down I’m pretty sure the minutes started all blending in and time started speeding up. We had a string quartet playing two of our favourite songs both in and out, and I don’t think I even remember hearing them! It went by in a total flash, and before I knew it Joe and I had snuck to one side before having Pimm’s and canapés with everyone overlooking the park. It was magical.
Before long we were all ushered in for dinner and speeches, and although Joe and I made a conscious effort to make sure we had a moment to gobble up our spaghetti (there was no other main that would do), I spent most of the time trying not to bawl at the speeches- especially my dads exceptional poem, which had everyone reaching for their napkins. I couldn’t have felt luckier. At dinner, there was also one point where we were told evening guests would be arriving in 15 minutes and I couldn’t believe it was nearly half past 8- WHO STOLE THE TIME?!
We just about had enough time to inhale some pudding- and couldn’t have been more fortunate to have such a flourishing cake table- with our wedding cake by Frances being the star of the show. Although we’d made a couple ourselves- we’d sent a little note with our invitations that we’d be having a bit of a wedding bake off, and if people fancied bringing something they were very welcome to (and just to let us know in advanced). Luckily, we seem to have some excellent bakers in our family and friends- and the table was filled with cookies, sponges, loaves and biscuits (as well as a Colin the Caterpillar, because what’s a dessert table without Colin?!)
Finally, it was time to head downstairs for the evening and dancing. Underneath the venue is the ‘undercroft’ and it extends into three sections (where we had the bar, some sofas and seating and our favourite area- a stage with prom style ‘Just Married’ sign and a disco ball). We wanted it to feel like an old school retro disco, and it couldn’t have been more perfect. Because the dance floor and area was quite an intimate space, it meant the floor was always filled, and people were always singing- which is all we wanted. Joe and I shared a magical (and slightly nerve wracking) first dance, my bridesmaids and I naturally performed our Spice Girls’ routine and we ended the evening with Caravan of Love and Hey Jude, and I’d give anything to do it all over again. The sun went down in Greenwich and we headed back across London in our minibus- reserving only a couple of minor sing alongs for the way back…
P.S Stay tuned for a handful more wedding posts too! I’m prolonging it for as long as possible- but don’t tell anyone.
Our wonderful suppliers…
Venue: Queen’s House Greenwich | Catering: Palette | Photographers: The Curries | Videographers: Paper Twin (complimentary) | Dress: Naeem Khan via The Wedding Club (press discount) | Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Bag: Shrimps | Earrings: Madewell | Clip: Simone Rocha | Flowers: Joanne Truby | Joe Suit & Shirt: Oliver Spencer | Groomsmen’s Suits: Next | Bridesmaids: Ghost (complimentary) | Stationery: The Noteur
Celebrant: Sarah Powell | DJ: My dads top pal, Rob! (if you need details let me know- he is BRILL)
Car: 2CV Wedding Cars | Wedding Cars: T&I Cars | Hair: Rob Scott at Larry King | Make Up: Zoe Taylor (as part of my work with Chanel)
Styling: Italian Eye and Samantha Latham for styling | Favours: Pastiglie Leone
Cake: Frances Quinn | Perfume: Jo Malone (complimentary)
Because people have also asked, we found our LIFE CHANGING disco ball from Fusion Sound and Light which was some of the best money we spent. The delivery made the cost add up but I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
P.S Finally, weddings are expensive. Like, really pricey. They’re brilliant, beautiful occasions but can seriously cost the earth if you let them, and not everything you see online is something you need at yours- trust me, I’ve learnt. Scouring Pinterest, Instagram and blogs can make you feel like you need every detail thought of and covered to have a perfect day- and you don’t. Occasionally in the process I was offered a press discount, or generously someone’s services complimentary- and these things all make such an enormous difference, and can really allow you to ‘do’ more where you’d perhaps saved in places (put it this way; this gal didn’t realise how much nice cutlery costed). I am so enormously grateful for this, but wanted to let you know because nobody should feel any pressure- especially when it comes to celebrating marriage. At the end of the day, it’s about you and your partner. I promise.