Jessica + Kevin
THIS COUPLE TOOK ON LONDON’S MOST ICONIC BUILDINGS OLD AND NEW, FOR THE BIGGEST DAY OF THEIR LIVES…
PHOTOGRAPHY: Jacob and Pauline Photography
You’ll get a different version of events depending on whether you ask Jessica or Kevin how they first got together. While Kevin would have everyone believe that he came, saw and – after some time – conquered, Jessica has other ideas. “We first met at my god sister’s birthday. We didn’t hit it off: I thought he was stuck up and he thought I was stubborn! A few more meetings followed before we finally hit it off at the Rum Kitchen, West London, after the rest of our group failed to show up, and the rest is history!”
The proposal happened just after Kevin returned from a business trip to Dubai. He called me while I was having my hair done to ask me to meet him and even told me to hurry up! I wasn’t going to go, but my mother who was in on the surprise made sure I did. We headed to the Rum Kitchen for food and afterwards, in the rain, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! Turns out Kevin wasn’t in Dubai on business, he was out there getting the ring designed!”
While bride Jessica is a self-confessed fashion lover, finding her dream dress actually became quite frustrating. “I went to several bridal boutiques and couldn’t find anything I liked within budget. I went home, grabbed a pencil and sketchbook and designed my own dream dress, then I booked an appointment with dressmaker Jenny Lessin and shared my ideas. She redesigned the dress and made it for me. Seeing my dress being made and trying it on as it evolved was an experience like no other!”
The two-piece design featured luxury lace sourced from India, a silk skirt and an embellished leotard.
“The dress made me feel so elegant yet still sexy thanks to the thigh high slit. I loved the juxtaposition of our formal House of Commons venue with the fun of my dress!”
The bride’s dressmaker also made her veil, and she added both Christian Louboutin heels for the day and sparkly customised converse from Sparkle Mania for the evening. “I ended up rocking Mickey Mouse earrings from a trip to Disneyland because I forgot to put in my Swarovski earrings!” Jessica laughs. The bride’s bag came from Lisabea Bags.
Kevin also opted for the bespoke route, wearing a custom jacket and trousers made by Daniel and Lade with a collar bar from ASOS, bow tie from Zara and pocket square from Marks and Spencer. “He looked amazing! I didn’t have a clue what he was going to wear because he wouldn’t tell me – he didn’t think it was fair that I should see his outfit if he couldn’t see mine!”
“With none of her bridesmaids, or indeed her bridesman, being girly girls, this bridal party steered well clear of anything too matchy matchy.”
“I wanted their outfits to represent their personalities,” explains Jessica, “and they were buying their own, so I wanted it to be something they would wear again. We chose a trouser suit tuxedo from House of CB paired with a bra top from Zara. Jason’s suit also came from Zara, and Naomi opted for a black mini dress from Miss Selfridge.”
The bride chose her regular hairdresser for her wedding day, Sharon Robinson, who just so happens to also be a talented session stylist used to working with celebrity clients. Abby Hopkins, who again Jessica had worked with previously, took care of her bridal makeup with Sophia Cragg looking after the mother of the bride and groom’s makeup.
Their unique ceremony took place in the Jubilee Room in the iconic House of Commons. “We got a permit to have our photographs taken in front of Big Ben – it was amazing!”
Rather than following with a formal wedding breakfast, Jessica and Kevin kept things relaxed with pick and mix style dishes.
A chic and stylish black and gold colour scheme inspired every detail of their big day, with even the guests wearing black and gold to match! “It looked amazing, chic and so modern, fitting the bill fabulously for our glamorous London theme and Gherkin reception venue. The views were incredible so we didn’t need to add much in the way of decorations.” The black invitations from Minted featured gold text and monograms as a clue to the theme, and guests were asked to RSVP to their wedding website. “It made it really easy and I could then just export the guest list!” recommends Jessica.
“Our cake was the centrepiece of our wedding! Nat from Indulgent Sugar Plum talked us through the flavours, let us taste them (Kevin’s favourite part of the wedding planning!) and then produced a watercolour painting of the cake for us to approve before she made it. No one had seen anything like it and it featured vanilla, Oreo and coconut and amaretto cream layers.” Joanna from JoJo’s cupcakes also supplied a tower of vegan cupcakes, too.
CEREMONY House of Commons, London
One of the most iconic buildings in the world, no other venue is more instantly recognised than the Palace of Westminster. Steeped in history, it provides a unique setting for a wedding celebration. Our two venues are exceptionally versatile – from the ceremony to an intimate reception or lavish wedding breakfast, we have the facilities to suit.
The House of Commons has ten venues licensed for solemnisation of marriages and civil partnerships: these include the Members’ Dining Room, which fits 150 people, and the Jubilee Room, which fits 60. Ceremonies can take place between 10.30 and 16.30 on Saturdays and Fridays when neither House is sitting, with a latest ceremony start time of 16.00. The Westminster Registry Office accepts provisional bookings and will also allow couples to give formal notice of their ceremony up to 12 months before the day.
Using the skills and experience acquired from hosting State occasions our team of co-ordinators are able to offer you advice and inspiration for your special day making the planning process enjoyable and stress free. From the initial visit, planning the floral arrangements and menu, right up to the main event, our event co-ordinators are with our guests every step of the way. To find out more, visit www.parliament.uk/venue, or contact the Facilities Events Team on 0207 219 3090.
RECEPTION VENUE The Gherkin, London
DRESS Bespoke from Jenny Lessin
BRIDESMAID DRESSES House of CB, Zara and Miss Selfridge
GROOM Bespoke from Daniel and Lade
ACCESSORIES Jenny Lessin, Christian Louboutin, Sparkle Mania and Lisabea Bags
HAIR Sharon Robinson
MAKEUP Abbie May and Sophia Cragg
CAKE Nat from Indulgent Sugar Plum and JoJo’s Cupcakes
FLOWERS Sunflower Florist