It’s about time for a beautiful real English wedding, don’t you think? Today’s is one of the loveliest weddings of the summer and comes from a brand new London venue (for me, at least!) Hackney Brewery. Now… being a northern girl I do love a craft beer or two – and so this is a bit of a dream wedding for me! Today’s gorgeous bride Ananda described her summer wedding to Darren as a “beautiful & raucous DIY brewery knees up” which sounds as perfect as it looked!
Ananda told me, “We spent a lot of time making decorations and all the details of how we had decorated the venue were really personal… Claire [photographer Claire Gill] captured these beautifully, giving us not only a memory of the day but also the all the memories of the days we spent with our loved ones helping us create the perfect day.”
While this is a fabulous wedding with lots on DIY details and so perfectly styled for this year, our bride and groom give some very wise advice in their English Wedding Blog interview. ‘Be philosophical about the details, as much as every detail may have seemed important in the planning, in the grand scheme of the day you will get caught up in the moment and things will inevitably be overlooked.”
Do investigate the gorgeousness that is Claire Gill’s photography website here:
The English Wedding Blog Interview: Ananda & Darren
Wedding photographer’s website:
How did you choose your photographer?
We were recommended Claire Gill by a friend and we loved the family photographs she had on her website. We loved how she managed to capture the personalities of the couples and families she photographs, she has such a talented eye.
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!
We couldn’t have asked for more. Claire spoke to us about what sort of images we would like, giving advice and putting forward ideas of her own. She made us feel at ease and comfortable.
Claire really captured the mood of the day. There is a wonderful balance between the romance of the portraits of the two of us, and the fun and celebration of our wedding party.
We spent a lot of time making decorations and all the details of how we had decorated the venue were really personal and Claire captured these beautifully, giving us not only a memory of the day but also the all the memories of the days we spent with our loved ones helping us create the perfect day.
Tell us about the moment you saw your wedding photos for the first time?
It was a beautiful sunny Sunday morning after we had returned from our honeymoon. We arranged for Claire to come over. She set up a screen and presented the slideshow, teamed with perfectly selected music taking Darren and I back to our magical day.
Hackney Brewery in a railway arch
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
Beautiful & raucous DIY brewery knees up
Your wedding style or theme:
Darren and I met at Glastonbury, Darren is a Brewer so we wanted to bring these aspects into our day to create an urban festival theme within the brewery.
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
Throughout the planning for the wedding we drew on inspiration found on Pinterest and thanks to Jo Bailey Studios I got some fantastic recommendations for lighting.
What’s your top tip for saving money?
Tissue paper creations. There are some wonderful things you can buy but making tassels and garlands ourselves not only saved us hundreds of pounds but also gave us some lovely creative weeks with friends in the lead up to the wedding.
Do the flowers yourself. We went to Covent Garden market and bought some amazing flowers which we used to make the bouquets and table flowers. Leaving us money to spend on beautiful silk ribbons from VV Rouleaux and stunning embroidered trims for the table jam jars.
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
Tables, chairs and glasses. Because our venue was so urban we felt it was important to add some feminine touches with crisp white linen tables and beautiful runs table runners.
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
We decided to go eco and paper free, emailing everyone invites instead. The designs were courtesy of my very talented father.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
I struggled with the idea of wearing a traditional wedding dress, I wanted to feel relaxed and myself. My dress was not what I’d necessarily have thought I’d opt for but once I’d put it on, I instantly felt comfortable and relaxed and knew it was the one.
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
I kept it simple. I wore my engagement ring which is a vintage family heirloom and some lovely Anthropologie earrings.
And what did the groom wear? Any recommendations for tailors?
A lovely tweed suit from Patrick Grant at Debenhams. We had planned to visit a tailors but found the perfect suit off the peg.
He wore blue suede Bertie brogues which we bought some lovely yellow lace for.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
I let our flower girls choose, and the brief from their point of view was whatever was going to be the best for twirling! John Lewis had the prettiest of dresses for flower girls and offered the same dress in a wide age range which was important for us.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
I had planned to do my own, but at the last minute decided to take the pressure of myself on the morning of the wedding and was recommended Katy who really listened to what I was after and did a great job.
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
Nicky Maple-Pearson was our hero; she had taken a flower-arranging course in the lead up to her wedding and made a beautiful bouquet and some stunning buttonholes. They were elegant but natural. They were an arrangement of some beautiful roses (miss piggy & La Perla), Coral hypericum berries, gypsophila and eucalyptus.
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
The venue is a working part of the brewery so we had to not only clear the space to create a blank canvas but very much needed to romance the space.
We created blackboard screens to screen off anything that we could not remove from the space and made these a focal point for table plans, a gallery of photographs of Darren and I over the years and a photo booth arch, which I absolutely adored!
Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?
We made tassels, drew our blackboard backdrops and made giant paper flowers.
Getting to spend weekends making decorations with friends and family was such fun and allowed us to involve our loved ones in our day, making it truly personal.
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
We would have opted for a naked cake with fruit and flowers to decorate, however the practicalities of a venue with no true kitchen meant that we needed to opt for a cake, which did not need to be refrigerated. We had three tiers, lemon, decadent chocolate and rich red velvet, coated in tempered chocolate and decorated with edible flowers, what more could you wish for?
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
We are very lucky to have some very talented friends and some of these played, which meant the world to us.
On the day tips and advice:
Have someone come and do your hair and make up and remove the pressure of worrying about doing it yourself.
Be philosophical about the details, as much as every detail may have seemed important in the planning, in the grand scheme of the day you will get caught up in the moment and things will inevitably be overlooked. If there are details that really matter to you both, entrust them to someone else, don’t try to do them yourself on the day.
What’s the best thing about being married?
I always thought that fiancé sounded fussy, and boyfriend didn’t do Darren justice, but Husband works perfectly!
Friends keep on asking us if we feel different now we’re married, and on the whole I’d say no, which I believe is a good thing. But I would add that there is a slight change, I can’t quite put my finger on what it is but I definitely feel that we are an even stronger partnership now.
Favourite supplier list for other brides and grooms: