Don’t you just love a really good book? For me it’s fantasy; although I love the nostalgia of childhood books and old Penguin & Ladybird classics. Today’s wedding is gorgeous for its literary theme – and Alex & Adam are the loveliest couple, I’ve been so excited to share their day with you! This is an amazing wedding. The venue is fabulous: I love discovering little secret, tucked away venues with a character and mind all of their own. And the couple are absolutely gorgeous – Alex’s dress is divine; Adam’s smile is superb!
Alex is a Secondary school English teacher and the church was where the famous Victorian poets Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning were married beofre eloping to the continent. Therefore the reception was literary themed with book print bunting, books on tables as centre pieces and Penguin style book covers as the table plan. Name cards were Puffin Book cover postcards that were chosen to suit the guests. Adam is an opera singer and the music was heavily important so this was another theme for the ceremony and continued with the best man’s personal song/speech.
Keep themes simple with props and items that you can source yourself from home, borrowing from relatives or second hand shops. Call upon friends and family to help: our choir were all made up of our friends which made it all the more personal and special. We also saved money by supplying our own toasting and greeting wine: it was cheaper to pay corkage than pay for the restaurant’s fizzy.
Also we didn’t spend further money on lots of food in the evening. having been to a wedding as guests only a few months before, it was clear that not all the food would be eaten. Instead we bought cheese, fruit and had some sausage rolls and even then there was lots left over.
Images are by Derbyshire Wedding Photographer Ash Davenport at Miki Photography, who I thoroughly recommend you discover more from here:
“The photography was worth every penny as it is worth capturing all the moments of the special day and having a professional ensures that the pictures will be perfect to share and showcase. The other main costs were the food and the band which again were vital.”
The English Wedding Blog interview: Alex & Adam
Wedding photographer’s website:
How did you choose your photographer?
We had been searching around but mikiphotography were recommended to us by a friend whose relative had been married a year ago.
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!
Ash was incredible. We knew from when we first got in touch that he was going to be fantastic: he was so efficient and also patient. We met him for a pre wedding shot to get to know him which was quite nerve-racking and we didn’t know what to expect but he put us at ease straight away. A few clicks of the camera later and we completely forgot that we were on London’s Southbank with hundreds of tourists going by, but felt that it was just us and Ash with his camera. These shots gave us so much confidence – not that we doubted him for a moment. The big day itself, Ash blended in and got on with everyone really well. He was never obtrusive but always in the background taking those wonderful natural shots. It was great to see him enjoying the day and capturing the guests having a fantastic time too.
Tell us about the moment you saw your wedding photos for the first time?
When we received Ash’s email with the link to our photos, both of us were back and work and although everyone asks “How’s married life?”, we were just back to normal. Both getting home late we ordered a takeaway, opened one of the remaining bottles of fizz and sat together to go through the pictures. Ash had encouraged us to make sure that we savoured it and really enjoyed looking through the pictures. It was like watching the minutes of the day in a Zoetrope: the images flicked through the seconds and it was magical. The pictures had caught the smiles, laughter and even the tears.
St Marylebone Parish Church, London
Reception at ‘The Artisan of Clerkenwell, St John’s Square, London.
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
A day of musical joy shared with family and friends.
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
Magazine and searches on the internet were the main places that we looked although. Pinterest was the first place to start to get inspiration.
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
http://www.feelgoodinvites.com were great. We saw their Penguin style book covers on Pinterest and fell in love with them.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
I tried on a few dresses and immediately feel in love with my dress. I was nervous though between first trying it on and then the fitting which was a couple of months later. I was worried that I wouldn’t like it anymore, but I needn’t have worried. The best part was having pockets for my handkerchieves on the day.
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
Romantica Olive Dress from Grace and Lace in Colchester.
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
Debenhams was a great place to get reasonably priced costume jewellery including sparkling hair combs. The bride’s and bridesmaid’s jewellery all came from here.
And what did the groom wear?
Moss Bros Navy Carisbrooke Morning Suit with paisley neck ties.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
Coast Brya Rose dresses in cornflower blue.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
Our wonderful hairdresser Michelle Kerins Robinson with her sister Stephanie Kerins travelled up to London and got the whole wedding party ready in the morning. It made it so relaxing and worry free having someone familiar come to us rather than trying to get mother of the bride, bridesmaids and bride to a salon. She had so many tips and tricks too so her experience was invaluable.
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
We had spring flowers: tulips, narcissus and mascari which was part of the reason fro getting married in spring as these are our favourite and also represented Adam’s Welsh heritage. McQueen’s of Bethnal Green. http://www.mcqueens.co.uk/. The church didn’t need flowers as it would have cost a fortune to make a big impact in such a large and ornate church. It was beautiful in itself. For the reception we bought bunches of daffodils from the supermarket (having tested how long would need to keep them so that they would be open on the day).
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
The book themes bunting and paper lanterns were the decorations of the venue with the stacks of hardback books and our personal collection of Penguin Classics as the table centre pieces. The styling of the venue was very quick and very easy.
Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?
The only homemade part were our favours of our family Sloe Gin. We picked the sloes with the family on a Sunday afternoon walk in October and then made the slow gin, leaving it to ferment and bottling it up a week before the wedding. The sloe gin is a family favourite and it was wonderful to make and share with our guests.
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
The cake was another family creation. We chose fruit cake as this is our favourite and a classic choice. My mum made the fruit cake; dad covered the tiers in the marzipan, I made the icing and Adam utilised his artistic flair and iced them.
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
We had a band: Backbeat Village (http://www.backbeatvillage.com/) who were recommended to us. Adam has great contacts with his professional music friends. The best musical surprise was the song that our best man, Dave, wrote about Adam. It invovled chorus participation from all the guests and even the restaurant staff and Ash, our photographer got involved. This was hilarious and so original.
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
Make lists and divide the work load between you so that it is clear who is doing which jobs (but do be willing to help each other out if time is ticking). Take advantage of invites to friends weddings as an opportunity to observe what is going on and ask for their advice and talk through your plans. Stick to what you want and don’t feel pushed into decisions by family but do remember that it is a special day for them too so always think of your guests.
Remember to cut all the tags out of new clothes but just in case you have forgotten something, pack a mini sewing kit in your makeup bag just in case a button or label is on. The groom should have plasters just incase him, best man or usher cuts themselves shaving – no one wants blood on their shirt.
What’s the best thing about being married?
Being with my best friend for the rest of my life!
Favourite supplier web links for other brides and grooms: