so says today’s gorgeous bride on the English Wedding blog. Fiona had her cast taken off just a few days before the big day – but it didn’t spoil a wonderful wedding day as she married the (also gorgeous!) Toby in London.
So it was bye, bye Jimmy Choos and hello adorable ballet pumps for this bride! Fiona’s wedding report tells a wonderful story – there are certainly tears but the wedding ends in triumph and celebration… in a Covent Garden nightclub!
The beautiful wedding photography is by Geoff Reardon, and portrays this sophisticated wedding day with the elegance and charm regular readers will recognise from Geoff. I’ll leave you to enjoy the story in words and pictures…
Fiona and Toby’s elegant London wedding
The build up to our wedding was slightly stressful…..I (bride) broke my foot 6 weeks before and it was touch and go as to whether my cast would be off in time, coupled with the fact that the London Riots were two days before and unfortunately the day before our wedding we had to attend my Great Aunt’s funeral. We literally got back from Yorkshire with one hour to spare before our wedding rehearsal and by the time the morning of the wedding arrived, we were just so keen to get married before anything else could happen to us!
I had my cast removed three days before and had just about learnt how to walk properly (albeit in ballet pumps now rather than my Jimmy Choo wedding heels that I had swooned over for weeks only to have to take them back once I broke my foot (running to work in a bid to get Bride fit and hit an broken paving slab….) Our wedding ceremony was at 3pm and we both had a brilliant ‘getting ready’ experience thanks to our ushers, bridesmaids and wonderful photographer (Geoff Reardon and his assistant, Clare). They made us feel so at ease and captured amazing shots without us realising they were there at some points!
My wedding dress was “Georgie” by Sassi Holford. I wore ballet pumps by French Sole (took Jimmy Choo heels back as broke my foot six weeks before our wedding!!), a veil and crystal headband for the reception from Sassi Holford, pearl earrings and a bracelet by Tiffany.
Toby wore a morning suit by Cannali, shoes by Crockett and Jones, bright blue socks and a blue polka dot tie from John Lewis.
Due to our run of bad luck in the lead up, I just wanted to get down the aisle as fast as I could (before I tripped up or the Church was looted by rioters!!) so I was actually 10 mins early and had to drive around the block twice in our white wedding taxi. We got married at Chelsea Old Church where Toby’s parents got married and my Father and I managed to get down the aisle before the organist had had a chance to play ‘here comes the bride’ (the Vicar had announced that I was here but the organist had not realised and by this point I had made my way down the aisle…quite funny and reflected how keen I was to get the ring on Toby’s finger!!) An absolutely amazing service with our best friends doing readings and Toby’s best friend singing a Welsh love song with his Mum playing the piano…perfect!!
At the last minute, my friend’s son (Josh Hine) who is an intern at an advertising firm, offered to film our wedding for us. He edited it down to 8 mins and put it to 3 pieces of music (split into 3 sections..Church, Reception and dancing). The result was amazing as it captured the whole day, but doesn’t bore people when we show them a video as only a short one!) I would recommend everyone to get this done! Guests, also didn’t even realise he was there as he was so inconspicuous.
We then had 40 mins for photos with Geoff and Clare, which once again impressed everyone as it wasn’t a long time and people could enjoy the views of Chelsea whilst we had our family and group shots taken. Then (due to Geoff’s motorbike being pinched during the Riots) he untraditionally jumped in our white taxi cab and took the journey with us to our Reception venue…The Waldorf. Our guests went in 2 red London buses and also got a tour of London on the way so our families from the North were very happy!
This venue also holds a link to our family, my beloved Mother loved to eat and stay here when she came to London with my Father. We had drinks and canapés in the large Pavillion room with a slide show of pictures of our family (to include both our late Mothers) and although it was emotional, it was more of a celebration of their lives rather than highlighting the sadness that they are no longer here to share our Wedding with us.
Whilst this was going on, Geoff and Clare took us into our main room (Palm Court…stunning décor and lighting) where we had our romantic shots taken! They only took 30 mins and we were ahead of schedule by the time we entered the Palm Court again for our Wedding Breakfast lead in by our Jazz band quartet.
We had delicious food….salmon platter to start, steak for main and Eton Mess. The speeches were brilliant and thoroughly entertaining for everyone! We then cut our cake (3 tiered with London Marathon figures of Toby and I (we had run the marathon in April) made by my very talented Godmother, Sue Hufton).
We used Toby’s usher’s sword (in the army) to cut it with and then went into the Pavillion room which was now set up for dancing (our jazz band turned into our disco band) and my Father played ‘True Love’ on the piano for us to dance to.
My bridesmaids came on at the end and scored us a la Strictly come dancing with score cards! My good friend Rhian who is an opera singer sung a love song to us with her Mother accompanying her on the piano….very emotional and cried buckets!!!
Then it was dancing madly for the rest of the evening. I threw my bouquet and on first attempt it got stuck in the chandelier (my Dad was sweating thinking that he would be paying repair costs…) Finally got it down and on Take 2, our friend caught it, who has recently got engaged!!
We ended up in a night club aptly named Dirty Martini, in Covent Garden much to the surprise of the bouncer and guests inside (a whole wedding party turning up)We had our pictures taken all evening by random people and free drinks….my dress even stood the test of time and not one stain on it!!!
My husband (!) carried me out of the club and we returned to the hotel where my Godmothers and Aunts had covered our room in glitter, streamers and banners! A brilliant end to the best day we could have ever imagined!
Being surrounded by all our family and friends and seeing how happy they were for us and how they all care about us…very emotional.
Wedding day advice
Recommended wedding suppliers
The Waldorf Hilton (Katie Ely wedding organiser….amazing!)
Geoff Reardon Photography (This gentleman is not only a great photographer but has become a great friend too) His artistic and creative ideas are brilliant, his presentation and attention to detail, amazing; and his time management and precision on the day is remarkable. Geoff was also assisted by Clare West. www.geoffreardon.com
The London Taxi Company
Sassi Holford (they listen to what you want and make it happen! Also very patient with dress fittings when your hem line needs changing because of heels turning into flats last minute)
French Sole ballet pumps (beautiful and comfortable…you will wear them again if you get a glittery or gold pair!)
Tiffany (I was spoilt, but I had the most beautiful pearly studs and bracelet from my Father which are timeless classic pieces)
The London Bus company (we hired two red buses to take our guests to the Waldorf)
The Dave Challis Band (based in Yorkshire but well worth the trip down) The band were a jazz quartet to start with and then turned into the main band in the evening. They had music for all eras which kept everyone happy and they are a real fun band to be around. Not one person didn’t dance!
Josh Hine (Vidographer)
See more of Fiona and Toby’s London wedding on Geoff Reardon’s wedding photography blog: geoffreardon.wordpress.com/2011/09/13/fiona-toby-get-married-chelsea-old-church-the-waldorf-london/