Chloe and Sam’s gorgeous Soho wedding, with Becky Harley Photography
Chloe and Sam’s chic Soho wedding is wonderfully non-traditional. I love Chloe’s approach to wedding planning – she avoided the traditional suppliers and sought out more unusual things to style their day. The venue (The Union Club) is fabulous – the surroundings just seem to suit Sam and Chloe perfectly, and I think the shots of them just loving walking to the venue and in the surrounding area are unique and fascinating! Flowers are by Wild at Heart and Chloe’s dress is from Phase Eight – doesn’t she look incredible?
My wedding dress was sparkly, chic and classic and fitted so nicely. We found it on a high street bridal window shopping spree to generate inspiration and it turned out to be the one. It was also under budget, I initially set out for a different design, I really wanted a loose, boho type dress with long sleeves but couldn’t find any ready to wear ones that I liked. It’s from Phase Eight at John Lewis bridal in Oxford Street.
I had some fun with my shoes as the sequins on my dress meant that I could go for something metallic, and I love 70s style platforms so I bought two pairs from Dune in John Lewis. I tried them on with the dress so I knew they were the right height. My jewellery was a mix of something borrowed – the bracelet belongs to my mum; I wore a solid silver heart and chain that I was bought as a teenager, and bought some earrings from &other Stories. I decided to have fresh flowers in my hair rather than a veil, as it felt more ‘me’.
Sam decided to wear a grey suit, he bought himself a new suit from ASOS, a Selected Homme 3 piece Wedding Suit. He and his groomsmen wore matching custom handmade pocket squares and ties in William Morris ‘Strawberry Thief’ print, made of silk, by Kate Temple. He also took all of his groomsmen to Joe & Co, his regular barbers in Soho, to get his and their hair cuts on the day.
I bought my bridesmaids dresses from ASOS! I ordered so many for them to try on, and eventually, just a few weeks before the day, a new range of bridesmaid dresses became available. The rose gold and sparkle were complimentary of what I was wearing. They had nice necklines and were flattering on all 3 of them, who are all different heights and shapes. They wore metallic shoes too, and flowers in their hair.
Wedding photographer’s website:
We spent a lot of time googling photographers and initially we got in touch with someone else who was unavailable but they gave us a list of recommendations and Becky was our favourite of that list. We met her for a cup of tea and got on really well, we felt really confident that she’d do a great job after we saw some of her other pictures and the way she presented them.
We were so pleased with the photos. We’re not used to posing for photos, and she made us feel comfortable and gave us firm direction. Part of the preparation included was an ‘Engagement Shoot’ which got us a bit used to being in front of the camera! On the wedding day, she was fab at organising our guests around and making sure everyone was in the right place for the big shots, as well as running ahead of us on our walk over to the venue and capturing lovely shots. I also didn’t notice her taking pictures as I walked down the aisle and she captured some lovely moments.
Becky put together a lovely presentation box with some prints and our USB (plus some extras!), It was really nice to have physical prints to go through and remember our day and it all came rushing back, the day still seems like a bit of a blur when you try and think about it and going through those pictures you can put all the little memories back together.
Discover more from Becky Harley Photography at
We only saw one venue and knew it was the one. We got married and held the reception at the same place, The Union Club in Soho which has lots of varied space for every part of the day. We knew we wanted to get married in central London as it’s our home and most of our friends are here. We met at Soho Radio and spend a lot of time in the area, so it was a real jackpot to find it. Its a gorgeous townhouse with so much character and a big space for the evening party which was an important part of the day for us. Gordon, the Events Manager at the Union, was really helpful and a reliable reality check in the buildup to the day. On the day he was amazing, as were his staff. They made everything run so smoothly and got lots of compliments from our guests.
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
Fabulous day spent with loved ones and fun dancing.
Your wedding style or theme:
We didn’t have a theme as such, we both agreed we didn’t want anything traditional. I suppose it could be described as modern vintage if thats a thing?
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
Mostly through friends and recommendations.
What’s your top tip for saving money?
Call in every favour you can! You’re only going to do this once, so don’t feel guilty about asking anyone and everyone for some help!
We did go slightly over budget, but research is essential to avoid over paying for services/ items that have been marked up just because they’re being used for a wedding. Reach out and ask around for the best places and people to use. If you have a budget that you have to stick to, you may have to make sacrifices to stay within it, because there is always over spending.
There is really only so much you can do to save money on a wedding as most suppliers and venue have their rates for weddings and will not budge. I generally avoided traditional wedding suppliers and items (like formal bridal wear shops, planners etc) and that worked out costing far less, though it still was not ‘cheap’.
The Union Club allowed us to do corkage with drinks which helped a lot, and we kept an eye on Waitrose wine offers, and purchased all of our wine on a 25% off special offer, which meant we could buy even more bottles, and it was a cash bar in the evening. Sam’s parents kindly shipped several cases of Cremant from France which sorted our bubbles supply out. I got my hair done at my regular salon, more detail below, but they did me a reasonable deal. Sam’s Auntie Sharon made our wedding cake, which saved us a few hundred pounds, too.
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
We spent all of our ‘booze’ budget to prevent people from going to the bar during dinner. We also booked a suite at the Ham Yard, which was an indulgence, for the night before and after, which meant I could get ready with my bridesmaids in a beautiful setting with plenty of space, and no tidying up!
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
Our invitations were designed and made by Amanda Appiagyei, of Delightful Note, who is a friend of a friend and a fab designer. She looked at our pinterest board of ideas that we were mulling for the flowers and decorations and turned them into a perfect design that led into our day really well.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
I contacted a few bridal stylists who were beyond the price range I had in mind, and some were expecting deposits before I had even met them which I find a bit unnerving. Instead, I went to my regular salon, Viva on Lexington Street. They don’t usually do bridal hair but they made an exception for me and the girls were really great. We had some fun at the practicing sessions, and they were really great on the day at looking after my mum and my bridesmaid, Sara. My other two bridesmaids did their own hair.
My Maid of Honour, Dani, did my make up as she’s really good at it and I don’t usually wear much or have much of a clue how to use it! It was fun learning about make up and shopping around at make up concessions such as Urban Decay, Mac and Clinique.
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
I really like Hydrangeas and big roses and they were in season so I started from there. One day my mum came into London to visit and she loves Liberty and they have a ‘Wild at Heart’ floristry concession, which has beautiful blooms. They were so helpful and relaxed and they were fine with the time frame (about 6 weeks at this point). Maria mocked up some bouquet arrangements and table setting ideas with me, as well as flowers for my hair and corsages. The quote ended up under our allotted ‘Flower budget’ and I paid up in full just a week before the wedding. Although you’d expect Liberty to be much more expensive than others, they were absolutely competitive and came with the added convenience of being just down the road from our hotel and venue, so we got the flowers delivered on the morning looking beautiful.
We decided to have foliage arrangements for the table centres of which they had some nice variations at the florist, and Sam and I found some art deco type vases for them from bric a brac markets, as well as a vase that belonged to my late Grandma. I went to VV Rouleaux in Marylebone to get some velvet ribbons to add to the bouquets.
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
It really didn’t need any decoration, its a venue steeped in character and history, with oil paintings on the walls, photographs of previous members and even a playing card on the ceiling (left there by Paul Daniels!) The party side of the venue had fairy lights, and lighting set up for dancing, so there wasn’t much we needed to do there either!
Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?
Sam’s mum, Julie, made the place cards and Sam made the seating plan board for dinner.
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
Sam’s auntie Sharon made us a wonderful wedding cake, a 3 tier sponge (one tier red velvet, one Victoria sponge and one chocolate) with edible flower decorations on it. It was a really lovely gesture as well as looking amazing, and we served it as pudding and for the evening guests, as we realised from experience that people don’t usually eat the puddings at weddings anyway.
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
Sam and I met at Soho Radio and our friends from the station range from budding DJs to professionals, so we offered out slots to some of them who showed interest and they seemed thrilled to do it. The playlist was varied and a good mix of classic wedding tunes, indie ‘bangers’ and new-ish tracks we like. It was such a fun party and we managed to get as much dancing in as we could. Our friend’s noughties indie set was a real hit. We made a running order of play for our DJs who took it in turns and was a really fun way of doing things.
We had The Royal Organ Duo play downstairs during the reception drinks before dinner, while Sam and I were whisked off to have photos taken around Soho.
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
Enjoy It! The most important thing to remember is that it is your day. Don’t sweat the small stuff – if something is not do able/ affordable, there are always other options. Set yourself realistic expectations and try not to listen to what you ‘should’ have, it’s your day. On the day, drink in the atmosphere – its over before you know it.
What’s the best thing about being married?
Being part of a team. He is my sidekick and number one person in the world.
Favourite supplier web links for other brides and grooms: