With a simple ceremony at Islington Town Hall followed by a restaurant reception in the city, Kate has some very wise words about working within your budget, keeping perspective whilst planning and ensuring you and your partner remain true to what you want for your wedding day.
“… you and your husband/wife-to-be are ENOUGH – just you, as you are.”
It was a no brainer that our wedding was going to be in London. We met here, live here – plus we both love the effortlessly romantic backdrop that London provides.
Budget was a big factor for us and so we knew a Town Hall ceremony would probably be our best bet to keep costs down. I was living in Islington when we first met and had quite a few early dates on Upper Street – so are very fond of the area. I’d seen pictures of the Council Chamber online and thought it was such a beautiful room – even lovelier in real life! Plus it was big enough to fit our 100 guests.
Drake & Morgan venues came up fairly early in our search – again we knew we wanted something quite laid back and informal, and the fact that you just pay for food and drink, no hire fees, made it really good value.
We considered a couple of D&M options but The Anthologist was the perfect size for us and ticked literally every box (namely that the dance floor and the bar were next to each other!) The fact that we’d had our second date there probably helped seal the deal too! The staff at The Anthologist were just brilliant, and particular stand out was the event planner Rhiannon (who’s recently branched out on her own to be a freelance Wedding Planner – she’s that good!)
I saw a picture of a work colleague on her wedding day and just loved her dress – understated art deco glamour, so gorgeous and so different to your standard big wedding dress. As luck would have it the designer was having a sample sale during a week I had off work so my mum and I made an appointment… and left having bought a dress! We didn’t expect to, but when the dress you’ve been eyeing up online is suddenly found in one remaining size out the back, at a decent price, having previously thought to be sold out, you don’t argue!
David wanted a classic 3 piece slim fit suit – and to buy rather than rent so he could wear it again. We both liked the look of a slightly brighter than navy suit and found some great options in Moss Bros. Rather than trying to match it to the hire options in Moss, we went for a light grey/blue for the groomsmen – the contrast with David’s blue really worked – everyone was tied together with matching spotted ties and pocket squares.
We were lucky with the décor as we didn’t really have to think about it – the natural style and all the lovely decorative touches at The Anthologist was a big reason why we picked it! They’re also really accommodating, if there was a particular vase or candle or jug that you loved they could incorporate it in a prominent place on the day. The tables were dressed so beautifully and we didn’t have to lift a finger! The Anthologist is all about maximum impact, minimum effort (from us at least!)
I found our florist Gee, at Bloom & Burn, on Instagram and adored his stuff immediately – a real talent with shapes and colours and so knowledgeable and passionate about flowers. He was also really flexible with our budget and worked around it to get the most bang for our buck! A far cry from the ridiculously high minimum spend quotes that I’d got from some florists. We met him at the venue and loved his suggestions of the flower curtain behind the top two tables and the hanging vines in the reception area – gorgeous! I gave him a few colour/style suggestions for the bouquets and table flowers, but appreciated that he was the expert and just let him do his thing. I adored the result!
Luke, our photographer, was the first thing we booked after the date/venue were locked down. We’d been doing a lot of research online but first found him during a classic “rabbit hole” session on Instagram! I was immediately struck by his beautiful use of lighting, angles and framing – each shot had such a gorgeous quality to it that we hadn’t seen before on our search. We knew straight away he was our guy! We are beyond thrilled with all our pictures – Luke is a master!
Best part of the day
The act of actually getting married and having a new husband/wife was very cool – everyone says it, but just standing in front of everyone special in your life and telling them how much you love this wonderful person is really special and life affirming.
We both said we wanted to bottle the magic of the day – priceless.
From one bride to another
That you and your husband/wife-to-be are ENOUGH – just you, as you are. This was our mantra during all the planning, to ensure we (I!) kept things in perspective. It’s so easy to feel pressure from Pinterest and bloody wedding mags (which I ended up avoiding completely!) but in truth, the people make it (plus good music and a bit of food and drink!)
Also, if you want to minimise stress, don’t be afraid to outsource! You don’t have to make, organise, do everything yourself. Knowing The Anthologist had everything in hand on the day was invaluable and meant we could both really relax and just enjoy ourselves. Have a running order of the day, make sure all the key people know it, but on the day don’t worry if it all goes out the window.
Also, a common one, try and get some time together just the two of you, to try and take everything in. Easier said than done, because our day still feels like a bit of a dream!
There’s literally nothing we would change about the day – it was everything we’d hoped for and more.
Ceremony Venue Islington Town Hall
Reception Venue The Anthologist
Photography Luke Hayden Photography
Bride’s Dress + Headband Eliza Jane Howell
Bride’s Shoes Shoes LK Bennett
Groom’s Attire Moss Bros.
Groom’s Shoes John Lewis
Ties + Pocket Squares M & S
Hair + Makeup Shannon Belle
Florist Bloom & Burn Flowers
Calligraphy Bride Kate after attending a Quill London workshop
Film Halloumi Films
DJ Paul Webster
Transport Anderson Travel
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