The silent disco wedding in London

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This is what happens when the groom loves drum ‘n’ bass, and the bride doesn’t – a perfect solution to a very common dilemma: your wedding music. Ellie and Lee came up with the most ingenious idea of a silent disco at their wedding reception!

This gorgeous couple were married at The Inner Temple, and London wedding photographer Mark Carey submitted their photos for my blog. I loved every one: their day was fun, loving, sophisticated and family-oriented. And they really had thought of everything!

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Ellie wrote the loveliest wedding report for me. My favourite quote from Ellie is this (when I asked about her most memorable wedding day moments): “Seeing all of the groom’s friends dancing to drum and bass whilst his parents were doing the tango on the other side of the dance floor.”

I love it. You will too…

The silent disco wedding in London

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When we started planning our wedding we knew that we did not want it to be conventional, we wanted to make sure that all our friends and family would be there, that the food and drink would be high quality, and a memorable event for all. We were not fans of sit down dinners on a large scale as the quality always seems to suffer, and our aim was to make a large wedding seem small and personal.

It took a lot of ideas and help planning from our families to come up with our dream day.

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 The Garden Picnic…

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The day started at 12.45 with all of our guests joining us for a Garden Picnic. All guests were given a picnic blanket as their ‘favour’ to take home. There were a number of giant games spread over the grass such as Giant Jenga, giant chess and giant connect four amongst others. The guests had a wide range of Juices to choose from to drink, and the food was served on real china. Dishes were served from a buffet that included salmon, pasta dishes, quiches and salads. We really wanted to do things this way round because we hate being hungry during wedding ceremonies, this definitely avoided that problem.

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The other benefit was that it gave us a relaxed setting to great our guests, and a real chance to sit down with those that had come from far away and have good catch up. It was also quite effective at keeping the nerves at bay.

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 The wedding ceremony…

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We had the Ceremony in the venue’s main hall. Whilst the guests were waiting they were given a programme explaining the days events, and all of the children were given a bag made for them with toys, books and games inside. We had arranged with the Registrar to have a more modern ceremony. We had three readings, and had our own vows that we had found on the internet, but really said everything that we wanted to express to each other. On the day the Registrar arrived 45 minutes late, but all our guests were so entertained they didn’t even notice.

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The wedding fete!

After the ceremony our guests left the hall they entered what we named the ‘fete’ part of our day. We find that during a ‘conventional wedding’ after the ceremony there is a lot of hanging around. You end up drinking a lot for want of something else to do, and end up tipsy before you even get to the wedding breakfast. To avoid this we made sure our guests had plenty to do: whisky tasting, cocktail making, cheese tasting, chocolate sampling, cup cake decorating (which was put on a stand to become our wedding cake), table football, air hockey, a quiz about the bride and groom, a wishing tree (our guests wrote their message book wishes on luggage labels, and tied them onto a small tree of ours) and a communal art work (all our guests left a hand print on a length of canvas that we are going to put on our wall).

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Whilst our guests were busy we quickly did the 6 formal photographs that we wanted, it took only 10 minutes!

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Once the 2 hours of activities had flown by it was time for the formal speeches. This happened at the same time as our evening meal – an afternoon tea (with sandwiches, cakes, scones and prosecco). As the father of the bride passed away a number of years back, a family of the bride speech was made (with my brother, sister and mum doing the honours). Then we had father of the groom, best man, groom and then the bride. There was not much food left after all that talking.

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I wore two wedding dresses for the day: my first dress was bought from Lilly J in Camden Market (now closed down) – for just £20! My main dress is from Mirror Mirror in Angel Islington. I wore Ulrika by Charlotte Balbier – ivory, lace covered v-neck, empire line with crystal jewels, mermaid skirt with small train.

For the picnic my shoes were Carvela from Kurt Geiger, ankle strap wedges in ivory with a suede flower decoration. My main shoes were ballerina pumps in ivory with lace patterning from Perdita online. My jewellery (bracelet, earrings, necklace and tiara) was by Cath Loftus, made bespoke using some of my mother’s pearls.

For the picnic I bought a pashmina for £3 from Sainsburys (on the morning of the wedding when I realised that it was going to be cold!) My bolero for the evening was from Mirror Mirror.

Lee wore a suit from TM Lewin, shirt from iTailor online, white with green lining and buttons. His shoes are from Leonard Jay of London.

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The silent disco!

What music to have was a bone of contention in our relationship, as we both have very different tastes. A perfect solution was found with a silent disco. Each of our guests were given a set of headphones. We had three channels, one with music from the groom, one with music from the bride and one with choices from the parents of the wedding pair. As the night went on our guests could choose what channel of music they wanted to listen to through changing the switch on their head sets. There was an official dance floor – but people choose to dance wherever the mood took them.

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Ellie’s most memorable wedding day moments

Participating in all of the activities and seeing our friends having such fun.

Seeing everyone dancing together and shouting out what channel they were listening to.

Seeing all of the groom’s friends dancing to drum and bass whilst his parents were doing the tango on the other side of the dance floor.

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The feedback we have got from our guests was brilliant, they all said that they talked to lots of people that they didn’t know, as there was always something that they could talk about. It really did succeed in making a large wedding party into something more personal and intimate.

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 Emma’s wedding day advice

You don’t need to follow a specific or traditional plan for your wedding day. Do the things that you want to do to make sure that it is special to you. That way it can’t go wrong.

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Recommended wedding suppliers

Photography – London wedding photographer Mark Carey

Wedding venue – The honourable society of the Inner Temple (I could not recommend them more highly, their events team was spectacularly organised and the food sublime)

Band – Tommaso Starace official website

Silent Disco – Silentnoize

Transport – Addison Cabs

Cake – Cupcakes decorated by guests, provided by The Cocoabox in London. Their blog is worth a look for any chocolate-loving Christmas shoppers out there!

Chocolate tasting – Chocolate and love

Cheese tasting – Tom Badcock

Whisky tasting – Stuart Hudson

Cocktail making – Ben Reed

Stationery and Programme – Designed by the groom



Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.



  • Belinda McCarthy
    9 years ago

    I love the idea of the silent disco! It would have certainly enabled me to avoid my husband’s strange liking for Enya…. 🙂

    Great images too, full of life and vibrancy. Who needs background music when you have fab images?

    • Claire
      9 years ago

      What a lovely comment Belinda! Thank you!
      Hee… Enya? Bet she’d get the party going… or not.

  • Phoenix Photographic
    9 years ago

    Cool photos! Great set.

  • Hannah Webster
    9 years ago

    I love a bit of silent disco – that is such a fab idea at a wedding. I love it. They look like a proper fun couple enjoying a blummin’ brilliant day. Hee. x

  • mark carey
    9 years ago

    A brilliant piece Claire – this was one of the most fun weddings I had to shoot last year. Seeing people dancing around with headphones on in a world of their own has to be seen to be believed!

  • What a genius idea! Also, looking at the pictures, I really like how the children have been really included in the day. It all just looked like great FUN!

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