Susan & Sean wanted a small, intimate London wedding inspired by Susan’s love of the 50’s era and to really reflect their creative personalities. A quirky wedding with the bride directing the wedding photographs herself.
Sean and I met on a dating site 5 years ago. We instantly hit it off and I knew within the first week of dating he was a keeper! We always knew we would get married eventually, but we got officially engaged in September 2016. I had secretly been waiting for a proposal for a long time! Sean proposed at home – not overly romantic but that’s not his style.
Neither of us wanted a big traditional wedding or lots of guests, we wanted something small and intimate.
We are both very creative people, both musicians and I am a photographer, so I wanted there to be good music, good food, good photos and good wine! But above all a great day out for everyone. Also, we did not want an expensive wedding so we only invited immediate family.
I have always like the 50s era in terms of fashion, style and photography so this had a big influence. I did a lot of research on Pinterest on vintage weddings for inspiration.
In 3 words: Small and quirky (not only does that describe the wedding but also us!)
The Venue & Ceremony
As we wanted a non-religious ceremony we got married at a registry office. There are a limited number of registry offices in London and after researching online I found that the civic suite at Wandsworth Town Hall was one of best locations. There is a beautiful marble staircase and entrance hall, as well as courtyard and gardens outside so I knew this would be perfect for photographs.
We decided to use the Brewers Inn across the road from Wandsworth Town Hall as a meeting spot for drinks before and after the wedding ceremony. Then onto an Italian restaurant nearby – Zagarone in East Putney. A lovely relaxed restaurant and everyone loved the food! We followed this with Champagne and cake at my brother’s house in Putney.
The dress was the most stressful part of the wedding preparations! Also trying to decide on the colour! I didn’t want anything traditional and trying to decide between purple, silver or ivory!
I have always loved the 50’s era dresses and Audrey Hepburn’s style. Again I was researching on Pinterest for 50s vintage dresses. It is also how I discovered the shop where I bought my dress.
It took a while to find the perfect dress and I left it too late to be able to order a customer made dress. Being short I tried a lot of dresses before finding ‘the one’. I got my dress from Lady V London. It was an ivory 50’s style vintage dress and had a purple petticoat also purchased from Lady V London.
The dress was simple and elegant and fitted so well.
As purple is my favourite colour I opted for purple accessories. Purple shoes, purple handbag and costume jewellery – pearl necklace and purple bouquet.
Sean’s suit and accessories were from Ben Sherman.
Hair and Makeup
I did the make-up myself. In the run-up to the wedding I watched 50’s style makeup tutorials on youtube and did a few practise sessions before the big day, I did, however, get a Shellac manicure at Little Minx East Dulwich so I had flawless nails!
I had my hair cut and colour at Blue Tit London but on the day styled myself.
As we have cats I thought it would be best for an artificial bouquet and also meant I could keep this as a memento of the day without them being destroyed by the cats!. The bouquet was beautiful so well made and really complimented the dress. You don’t need to spend a fortune on flowers and eBay is a great place for reasonably priced flowers. The bouquet was from LA Designer Flowers on ebay.
Italian – Zagarone restaurant in East Putney. We visited the restaurant for lunch a couple of months before the wedding and the food was excellent. Staff very friendly and they cater well to large groups.
As we had a small number of guests we opted for quality over quantity. We had a simple red velvet cake from Lola’s cupcakes. We often buy the cupcakes and had several birthday cakes from there so we knew our guests would love the cake.
We personalised the cake with a red glittery wedding topper from Funky Laser shop on Etsy.
As we only had 8 guests we did not send invitations but we did have personalised wedding favour bags and tags for the dinner table. I really recommend Etsy.com for wedding accessories, stationary and favour bags. I got a special favour box with princess themed toys and activity books for my niece, which was personalised and had her name on the front she absolutely loved it!
We had mini trivia and quiz games laid out on the table. My family are a big fan of trivia so this was fun after dinner entertainment. We also had some activity boxes for the children from Event Themes.
Being a photographer myself the photographs were the most important aspect for me. One of my brothers is an artist and filmmaker so we did all the photography ourselves. We already had all the equipment and 2 cameras on the day. I also edited all the photos myself which saved considerable costs! The trickiest part was editing in the cats on the group family photo. I could not leave them out!
Even for an intimate wedding, it’s important to ensure the photos are the best quality you can afford as these are what you will use to remember your big day for years to come.
I spent a lot of time planning the shots I wanted before hand. At a registry office, you have limited time for photographs due to other weddings coming through so it’s good to plan in advance if you are going down the DIY route. Also encourage others to take photos on their phones so you have a whole selection of different types of shots.
It certainly was a quirky wedding having the bride direct the guests and telling them where to stand! I was a bit bossy at times! But it paid off!
I married my best friend and soulmate! It was also a great day out for everyone. A very London wedding!
bride TO BRIDE
Set your budget and decide your main requirements for the day beforehand and stick to it. It’s easy to get carried away and overspend. Nowadays there’s so much pressure and expense with weddings. But you really don’t need to have an expensive wedding to have the perfect day. Remember it’s your day and you don’t want to feel so stressed and overwhelmed that you don’t enjoy it!
Also give yourself plenty of time for the dress! I wish I had realised this sooner! Pinterest is a really good source of inspiration. Look at alternative supplies on Ebay and Etsy if you want something a bit different.