A beautifully traditional London wedding

When I first saw James and Rachel’s London wedding on Neale James’s blog I was taken aback by the elegance of their day. This is a wedding to inspire you quietly: details and styling are classic and understated; Rachel’s bridal style is simply beautiful. Her dress is by Sassi Holford. Photos by Neale James  (1)

I love the images from documentary wedding photographer Neale James too. Neale has an unobtrusive and naturally relaxed photography style, and his images tell a wonderful story. Rachel and James’s day begins with bridal preparations and continues through the marriage ceremony and onto the reception and speeches – for the happy couple, these were the best part of their day.

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Don’t miss the first dance towards the end of the blog post, and do click to view Neale’s wedding photofilm after you’ve seen all the images. You’ll love it!

Thank you to James and Rachel for sharing such a lovely wedding report with us all today! Congratulations to you both. Claire xxx

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A beautiful, elegant London wedding blog: James and Rachel

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Wedding venue:

The historic Temple Church for the marriage ceremony following by the wedding breakfast at the adjacent Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, London.

Wedding photographer:

Neale James, Breathe Pictures. Captured the story of the day perfectly and gave us an unobtrusive, friendly and personal service. Fantastic images and the stills film is incredible. We’ve watched it over and over and it still brings all the emotion back!

How would you describe your wedding style?

Traditional, classical.
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Rachel wore a Sassi Holford bespoke Zara dress.

James wore an Austin Reed grey silk tailcoat, matching waistcoat and trousers with powder blue ruche and matching pocket square.
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Who proposed, and how?

We were planning a holiday to Rhodes, Greece. I (the groom) contacted the hotel beforehand to inform them in the hope the hotel would offer us an upgrade, and that they did – a lovely private villa away from the masses. I pretended of course I had nothing to do with it, so Rachel had apparently told herself early on this would NOT be the holiday on which I would pop the question as many other previous holidays and been and gone apparently with some measure of disappointment (long suffering ladies out there will apparently understand!). To dispel any further hopes of an engagement ring, I didn’t propose until three days in to the holiday, when I ordered a bottle of champagne via room service and on the balcony during the evening sunset asked Rachel to marry me. As will now be obvious, she said yes – phew!
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The wedding ceremony:

Religious or civil? Religious, Church of England.

Which readings did you choose? 1 Corinthian’s 13, Extract from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres
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Wedding venue styling and details:

The style of wedding was guided by the historic surroundings of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple. The rooms are classically furnished, so we tried to follow that classical and elegant theme. We went with simple tall glass vases with ivory flowers on each table in the Main Hall and candlelight to blend with high ceilings and oak panelling.

What were your wedding highlights?

The highlights of the reception for us were the speeches – but the highlight for others was possibly the first dance! Six under cover dance lessons later, and a proper “strictly” routine practiced and perfected (well almost!) no one could quite believe their eyes (a mixture of rapturous applause from the family friends and Rachel’s mates and much amusement and leg-pulling from James’)

Wedding music and entertainment:

  • Church entrance music: Zadok the Priest, Handel sung by choir of sixteen.
  • Church service hymns: Praise Him. Lord of all hopefulness. Guide me O thou Great Redeemer.
  • Church exit music: Arrival of the Queen of Sheba, Handel.
  • Reception music: DJ

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Memorable wedding day moments:

The Temple Church and the marriage ceremony was our most memorable part of the day. The Temple Singers and musicians were out of this world – we think the whole congregation had goose bumps, let alone us! We will never forget how we felt during the entrance music, Zadok the Priest, and the first sound of the sixteen strong choir as Rachel walked down the aisle. And given the Welsh contingent the rousing rendition of Guide me O thou Great Redeemer (“Bread of Heaven”) was also pretty memorable! We will also never forget the Master of the Temple’s address and of course the kiss the bride moment.

Wedding day advice:

In this country, plan for bad weather. That way you won’t be disappointed if it’s bad, but unexpectedly happy if it’s good. Also take a time-out together just the two of you during the day to stop and enjoy the moment. The day passes so quickly just make sure to soak it in and don’t worry about the little details anymore!
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Recommended London wedding suppliers:

Photographer: Neale James Wedding Photographer

Florist: Karen Woolven Floral Designs,

Dress: Sassi Holdford,

DJ: Gumball Events,

Church Order of Service, menu cards, table names and table plan: Diverse Printer & Design,

Thank you cards: Pinhole Press,

James and Rachel | Wedding Photofilm from Neale James on Vimeo.

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.



  • Great looking day with some lovely photography to take you through it. Beautiful venue 🙂

  • What stunning first dance photos! x

  • Wow! What a awe inspiring wedding venue! Temple Church and the nearby hall are absolutely so very grand! It’s funny how different people fit their surroundings, some people love quaint country affairs with bunting and cup cakes, which is absolutely beautiful, and then along comes another couple, with a huge venue, grand architecture, and yet they pull off the exact same feat of taking your breath away at how they’ve ‘made it theirs’ for the day.
    Congratulations to James and Rachel on putting together a beautiful wedding!

  • Amy
    8 years ago

    How lush is this wedding? Lovely elegant style in everything 🙂 and a stunning bride and handsome groom to boot! Also, loved the music. What was the track used at the end of the photo-montage though?

  • Rob Dodsworth
    8 years ago

    Nice work Neal, some great captures. Also, some great words of wisdom from the bride & groom…”The day passes so quickly just make sure to soak it in and don’t worry about the lit­tle details any­more!”

  • Martin Hambleton
    8 years ago

    This is classic, clean, crisp wedding photography of the first rank. You’ll look at this wedding in 20 years’ time and it’ll still look great.

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