That’s right, last week Jeff and I got hitched! Or as he keeps saying to me: “You liked it so you put a ring on it…”
All in all, the day really was like a fairy tale. The sun was shining (in January, in London – luck, I know!), we were surrounded by friends and family who love and support us, and everything just fell into place and the day rolled along smoothly. Absolutely ace if you ask me, and from what I gather the Bride takes centre stage at the wedding, so… ACE!
Now, I didn’t want to blog about the wedding too much in the lead-up because it was a budget wedding and we did a lot of DIY and I wanted there to be plenty of surprises for our friends and family, but it’s done and dusted so I’m happy to spill the beans… complete with our budget at the end.
When we started planning we knew we wanted to do as much DIY as possible. Not just because this can be a money-saver, but because we’re both hands-on and enjoy creating things. We divvied up the tasks and I walked away with: bunting, origami cranes, and cake topper. Jeff got: cake and wedding playlist.
At first it all felt overwhelming, but then we put together a crazy spreadsheet that broke down all the tasks that needed doing into the timeframe they needed to be completed by and it all felt much more manageable.
From there on out we lived by this project planning spreadsheet.
All in all I’m well chuffed with how everything turned out! The bunting looked sweet in the windows, the cake topper complimented the bunting, people enjoyed playing with the paper cranes – and I know a few guests even enjoyed taking them home as a little souvenir!
And of course, Jeff did a brilliant job with the cake and playlist – though you can’t see the playlist!
The Day Of
Not many people know this about me, but I’m a bit of a closet makeup junkie. I don’t know all about every brand or product, but I do know how to apply makeup. (Despite what people who see me on the day-to-day must think, because I almost never wear any!) So to help cut costs on our wedding, I decided to apply my own. Not too shabby if you ask me, and it stayed in place all day/night.
(However, I did pay to get my hair done. I may be an adult, but how to style hair so it looks halfway decent is so beyond me it’s ridiculous.)
Traditionally the Bride and Groom don’t see each other on the wedding day until the Bride is walking down the aisle, but at Town Hall weddings there is no aisle to walk down. This means that the first time the Bride and Groom have to see each other on the day is during the interview just before the ceremony. Not ideal if you want to have a first look photo!
So Jeff and I talked with our wedding photographer, Anna, about what we could do to get around this and we opted to meet at Hoxley and Porter with our friends and family attending the ceremony. She was great at orchestrating the entire photo, helping round up our friends and family and getting them to guide us to the centre of the photo so we were standing in the right place. It definitely helped set the tone of the day, adding to the excitement and creating an ice breaker moment for friends and family who hadn’t met yet, but had to work together to help us get this first group photo of the day.
Then after several sets of group shots we were off to the Town Hall – and a photo that’s just so London and also makes me think of The Beatles!
We decided to have our special day at Islington Town Hall. We loved that it was local to us, it was gorgeous inside and out, and the ceremony wasn’t too long so it couldn’t get dull. (I’m not one who likes to sit still for very long!) We also wanted a small wedding, so we opted for Room 99 where we could invite just 30 guests – the perfect amount to get in our closest friends and family without feeling overwhelmed.
After the ceremony, it was off to the Comedor Grill and Bar for celebrations! We were greeted with a prosecco reception, followed by a 3 course dinner (with wedding cake for pudding, of course!), before speeches, throwing the bouquet, and taking over the sound system with Jeff’s awesome playlist for our first dance and all the other songs.
And as a bit of a wedding treat, the lovely guys and gals at the Comedor treated Jeff and me to an extra large margarita (a hat tip to our holiday in Mexico last year) in our fave cocktail sharer.
As a kind of wedding gift, my brother took apart one of my gold cranes and re-purposed it into this gorgeous gold flower. It was quite thoughtful, because I did have to give away my real-flower bouquet later that evening! (Though his girlfriend caught it… hmm…)
And despite all our planning, one thing just didn’t get done when we said it would: the speech.
We’d decided to break with tradition and deliver the Groom’s speech together, and simply ran out of time to write it. But always prepared, Jeff remembered to bring a pen and some notecards with him so we penned it at the dinner table between courses. As you do.
Luckily, we got quite a few compliments on how nice our speech was, which was pretty damned exciting considering we ad libbed the entire thing!
And with all that, would you ever believe we did the *entire* day for less than £2500? I’m talking marriage fees, Town Hall fees, booking out a restaurant, 2-course dinner, service charges, wine during dinner, prosecco reception, and dancing till midnight, photographer, groom’s suit, my entire outfit (including dress- £60 at Topshop, baby!), hair, cake, flowers and decorations.
The food and drink was easily the biggest bill, followed by the photographer, but with these things you get what you pay for and we got top quality. I couldn’t recommend The Comedor or Anna Pumer Photography more highly because it was great working with them and we got excellent results, happy guests, and beautiful memories.
*All photos taken by yours truly in this blog post were taken on the Nokia Lumia 1020, courtesy of the Nokia Connects trial – thank you for sending me the white one, it matched my wedding dress! 😉
Yayyyyy!!!!!!!!!!! Married!!!!! can’t bring my mind around that yet 😉 again, one of the most charming weddings ever, xoxoxox
Thank you Paloma! Was so great to see you and have you around for the celebrations and fun times xxxx
It really was a fairy tale wedding! And a great post about it too! Congrats again 😀
Aww, thank you Cheryl! And so happy you guys were able to join us ❤
It looks like a beautiful wedding! Congratulations 🙂
(I also love see that a wedding doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Gives me hope for when I have to plan one!)
Thanks Nicola! And you’re right – it doesn’t need to cost a fortune to have a great wedding. (Or any event for that matter!) I think the key is being sure of what you want with the event but flexible with the details. For example, we knew we wanted flowers but changed the types of flowers last-minute to save money. (The hydrangeas I wanted were going to cost over £100 because they’d have to be imported, whereas these purple ones – not the colour scheme, but close enough! – were much more easily available so cost about £30.) 🙂
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Hey Katie! Gorgeous wedding, I love Islington Town Hall. I’m an American in London and just got married last year in the UK too! And I also work in social…so many coincidences!
Thank you, Kelsie! And congratulations on getting married! Nice to e-meet another American working in social in London. Small world, eh?
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