Images by Katherine Needles Photography.
Wedding planning isn’t easy and it can be daunting, emotional, tricky and at times no fun at all. But I think when you read about Louise & Oli’s story then those budget worries and family politics start to pale in significance.
Louise was diagnosed with cancer just 4 months before the wedding, but instead of postponing the celebration the couple forged ahead and rocked their big day in style.
In an online interview Louise said “Planning the wedding definitely helped because I didn’t have time to overthink what was going on. When I got home after my first chemotherapy session I did our seating plan. It gave me something to focus on and be excited about.” Louise continues “In between each chemotherapy I had something fun to look forward to that pushed me to do everything I could to feel better.”
Just 5 days before the couple jetted off on their honeymoon, Louise was given the all-clear.
Cancer is something that has touched pretty much everyone in one way or another, so I hope you take courage and inspiration from Louise & Oli’s story. I also think it’s a strong lesson in seeking perfection for your wedding day, just let go folks and enjoy what it’s all really about – love, family, friends and that one person that makes everything magical.
Notes from the Bride
We chose our venue as we wanted a centrally located London wedding. We wanted somewhere easy for our guests to travel, being only 20 minutes outside of London ourselves, somewhere a bit different to the weddings we had been to in the past and just something that we could really make our own and Shoreditch Studios was most definitely that.
My dress was made by a designer called Cristiano Lucci, it was bought from the second shop we visited and I fell in love. It was a wedding dress wholesaler so I got it for a steal but they only had it in a size 8 so I bought it with the mission of dropping 2 dress sizes to fit into it! Along with my dress I wore some beautiful Kenneth Jay Lane crystal hoop earrings and a pearl bracelet made from an old necklace of my mums as a gift from my mum and dad. My shoes where vintage blue metallic Manolo Blahnik’s that my sister bought me for my birthday and make up was done by my talented work colleague Kazia Adams. Kazia did mine, the bridesmaids and my mum, we had quite natural face make up but the most beautiful eye makeup that just added that element of glamour. My final accessory was one I wasn’t really expecting, I had planned to have my long dark hair in a center parting low bun, tight away from my face. The reality was a bobbed blonde wig with the front strands pinned away from my face. 3 months before my wedding I was diagnosed with a type of Cancer called Non- Hodgkin Lymphoma and due to my chemotherapy I lost all my hair. I was super happy with my hair though and feel like it went with the dress perfectly, so I can’t complain.
Oli and his five groomsmen looked super handsome in dark green tweed Moss Bros. suits with dark brown Ted Baker lace up shoes, they paired this with a gorgeous burgundy tie and a burgundy paisley pocket square made by my mum, these were also our wedding favours to guests which was an idea stolen from Vogue. I work for ASOS so we had to have a touch thrown in so the bridesmaids wore off the shoulder burgundy floor length dresses, they all looked phenomenal and even after my maid of honor lost weight, one bridesmaid was pregnant and the other just had a baby they all fitted them perfectly and everyone commented how beautiful the girls and the dresses looked.
We love Christmas, so with an early December wedding it was inevitable that it was going to have a touch of Christmas and Winter magic so this is the theme we ran with. We had long trestle tables dressed in beautiful foliage runners, silver, white and mint colored stars hanging from the open steel beams, uplighters onto the brick walls, a fairy light curtain along the back wall where the top table was situated and fairy lights wrapped around the stairs and balcony railings. With such a rustic/industrial venue we really wanted to just highlight everything with beautiful lights and a good friend of mine who works for The Saville Group made our dreams come true of a winter wonderland laced in pretty lights. The final touch was a 12 foot Christmas tree covered in white lights – clean, classic and stunning.
Our flowers where done by a family friend who owns a florist called The Flower School. She was my first choice and she pulled together the most beautiful collection of flowers for us – foliage runners for the tables, dotted with little burgundy ranunculus flowers, hand tied wild bouquets of eucalyptus, thistle, ranunculus, berries and succulents, she even covered two arches in eucalyptus to soften the walkways. We were so pleased with the flowers, one of my favorite things from the day.
Our wedding planner gave a choice of three different caterers he regularly used and from the mock up menus they provided we picked our favourite to test. We discussed what we wanted in length but in the end, we went for a Mexican theme menu, both our favorite foods, we thought why not! The tasting was with Ginger Jar Food, run by a lovely Chef named Jenny who along with her team are insanely talented. Everything we tried was delicious and on the day, they delivered above our expectations. With a mix of Mexican style canapés, starter sharers of nachos and quesadillas and peanut chicken thigh and winter slaw for main, everyone was in food heaven. For our dessert and cake, we went with a Krispy Kreme tower, plates of donuts where put on the tables so you could help yourself, some had one, some had many many more but there was more than enough to go around and KK is always delicious!
Our Videographer was a friend of my sister’s boyfriend, he showed me her website, The Wedding Film Parlour, and we knew we had to have her, she made beautifully cut, movie trailer like wedding videos, she picks the music and cuts the best bits of your wedding to make something truly special you can keep forever. We are in love with our video and have watched it hundreds of times already, I still cry every time. Elle put us in contact with Katherine, she recommended her highly and having worked together a few times she said her style was just what we were looking for. She was correct. Katherine Needles Photographyis the easiest, loveliest person. She made everything easy in the lead up and everything streamlined on the day. Her pictures where just what we wanted, everyone natural and having fun. We couldn’t have asked for a better duo in Elle and Katherine and thank them for blending into our day, making me and my bridal party laugh and just generally enjoyed the experience of being papped through London!
Best part of the day
Looking back at our day there isn’t necessarily one point that we would say stood out from the rest, it really was perfect for us. It was exactly what we wanted, all our nearest in dearest in one place celebrating our lives together with plenty of good food and booze thrown in.
But if I really had to pick I would say that initial walk into the venue and down the aisle with my dad to the song Young and Beautiful by Lana Del Ray. Best friends walking down the aisle before us, a sea of beaming faces looking at us, and the incredible atmosphere The Wedding Arrangers and everyone else involved had created, then seeing Oli’s face at the end waiting for me. What could be better.
From one bride to another…
With the build up to our day having a slightly different focus, my health, I was so pleased we were organised from the start. Words of wisdom would really only be relax, your day will be incredible, everything comes together and it’s amazing how family and your nearest will collect around you when you need them most. We loved our day, we love our family and wouldn’t change one thing about the day.
Venue Shoreditch Studios
Photographer Katherine Needles Photography
Wedding Planner The Wedding Arrangers
Food Ginger Jar Food
Bride’s Dress Cristiano Lucci
Groom’s Suit Moss Bros.
Flowers The Flower School