Anna & Michael
This London wedding was a fun and foodie fusion of Australian and British traditions!
PHOTOGRAPHER: Juliet Lemon, julietlemon.com
Anna and Michael were walking through picturesque vineyards in Australia, the bride’s native country, when the groom took the perfect moment to propose. “I was so surprised!” Anna gushes. “He had designed the ring himself to feature a blue sapphire flanked by two baguette diamonds.
I knew I wanted an Australian designer for my gown, so I went to Oliver’s Bridal and Formalwear, who stocked a good range. I ended up buying the very first dress I tried on, with the help of expert advice of my soon-to-be mother-in-law.”
Anna’s Stella York dress featured a beaded lace bodice, A-line shape and tulle skirt.
“I freaked out a bit when I put it on – seeing myself as a bride for the first time was a real shock!”
“But I’d never felt so great as I did in that dress. The only change I made was to have the straps adjusted to be off the shoulder instead.”
The bride also wanted to pay homage to her own and her groom’s heritages with her accessories, choosing only Australian or British designers. “I wore Alex Monroe’s ‘Willow Warbler’ earrings – this bird flies long distances to find its mate, so we have that in common,” the bride laughs. She chose Vivienne Westwood shoes, cleverly buying both the heeled and flat versions so that she could swap seamlessly later in the night, and a Lulu Splendor hairpiece.
Michael purchased his suit from Debenhams, adding a shirt, tie and cufflinks from Hawes & Curtis and John Lewis shoes.
“My father pinned the Sinclair family crest onto his lapel to officially welcome Michael into the family on the day.”
Coining a new name, Anna asked three of her best friends to be her bridesladies. “I refuse to call any of my friends a maid,” Anna laughs. “Choosing outfits for people in different countries proved tricky, so two days before the wedding we bought outfits they felt amazing in. I gifted them Joy Everley necklaces too – each was different and included a charm that represented our unique friendships.”
“We got married at the zoo for a place that had a little piece of Australia in the middle of London!”
Anna and Michael married at ZSL London Zoo, overlooking the Australian outback enclosure! “We only had 45 guests, so it was super intimate and the space was perfect. The emus and kangaroos aren’t fans of confetti, so our family and friends blew bubbles as we walked down the aisle instead.” After the ceremony, everyone boarded an old red Routemaster bus for a wine tour of London, led by the bride’s sister and her fiancé, who are Australian winemakers.
“My amazing work family at Hamleys were a huge help planning our wedding.”
“The marketing team organised our venues, the design team created our invitations, the HR team planned my hen do and the franchise manager did my makeup! The buying team bought games and cake toppers, the magician from the store came to entertain… the list goes on!” reveals the bride.
The couple celebrated their reception at Gordon Ramsay’s Heddon Street Kitchen. “The man himself was there in the morning while we set up the wedding!” Seeking fantastic food without the formalities of a sit-down meal, it was the perfect choice.
“We had a roaming buffet, which avoided the stresses of a seating plan.”
We chose an Outback theme for the ceremony and an English tea party theme for the reception. We had so much fun with the décor leading up to the wedding! Michael’s brother-in-law supplied astroturf, to bring the outdoors in at our city venue, we bought bunting, collected teapots and vintage tea cups and even purchased a post box, which is now a cool feature in our home.”
Jo Wilkinson Floristry, a friend of the bride, created the flowers with only the brief to create something that reminded her of Michael and Anna for guidance. Jo set out to capture Anna’s warm, flamboyant character and the couple’s two home countries in the blooms.
“Roses are very English, gerberas are bold and eye-catching and kangaroo paw and eucalyptus added an Aussie vibe,” explains the florist.
Hummingbird Bakery supplied the lemon and raspberry wedding cake and vanilla cupcakes.
“Our venue recommended the DJ, Matt, who was brilliant at reading the room and knowing what tune to play when. We chose Frank Sinatra’s ‘Way You Look Tonight’ for our first dance. It was one of the first songs we listened to together. Every time we hear it, the song takes us right back to where it all began for us.”
Having planned their wedding in just four months, the couple’s honeymoon was more spontaneous than most. “The day after the wedding, we booked a flight to Venice to leave the next day. It was super romantic and even snowed during our three days there. We call it our minimoon, because we haven’t given up on having two weeks somewhere tropical too!
A highlight of the day was standing in the middle of Regents Street for photographs. We had London buses and black cabs tooting at us in celebration! It didn’t matter that it rained one bit – none of our guests minded and you’d never know in all but a few of the photos.”
CEREMONY ZSL London Zoo
RECEPTION VENUE Heddon Street Kitchen
DRESS Stella York at Oliver’s Bridal and Formalwear
BRIDESMAID DRESSES Topshop
GROOM Debenhams, Hawes & Curtis, John Lewis
ACCESSORIES Alex Monroe, Lulu Splendor, Vivienne Westwood
FLOWERS Jo Wilkinson Floristry
CAKE Hummingbird Bakery
TRANSPORT Routemaster Hire