Beth + James
Rustic meets industrial décor for a vintage
furniture warehouse venue…
PHOTOGRAPHY BY SARAH LEGGE, SARAH LEGGE PHOTOGRAPHY
After spending Christmas apart, this couple reunited in a Welsh holiday cottage for the New Year. “West Wales holds some fabulous childhood memories for James and he wanted to show me his favourite spots. One morning, he took me out to Barafundle Bay – we walked as far as the hill before James dropped to one knee and pulled a ring from his pocket! Of course I said yes and accepted my beautiful placeholder ring – we then chose a ring together from Hearts of London in Hatton Garden. We finished our walk, drank Champagne on the beach and cosied up for dinner in front of the log fire before we called both of our families to share the good news.”
It was during a trip to visit her mother in Somerset that bride Beth found her wedding dress.
“We went to Sassi Holford’s Taunton boutique and I soon fell in love with Sassi’s signature dress – ‘Jessica’.”
I didn’t think I wanted a big white dress, but once I’d seen how ‘Jessica’ hugged my curves I never looked back.” The column design was made from a heavy silk and featured a pretty sweetheart neckline. Beth added a lace jacket for the church ceremony and a belt that tied in a bow with trailing ribbons, accessorising with Jimmy Choo shoes and Cadenzza drop earrings for the day, and Jenny Packham feather drop earrings and a sparkling hair comb, bought from Debenhams, for the night.
Knowing that they wanted something different for the groom, the London-based couple headed out to Barking in Essex to source suits from Jack Bunneys. “James picked a flannel blue suit with a plaid waistcoat to stand out from the groomsmen who wore blue. They looked great but I was concerned that they wouldn’t go with my bridesmaids or flowers, so I purchased pink socks to bring it all together.
I really struggled to find the right bridesmaid dresses having left it quite late, and it was actually at a fitting with Sassi Holford that I asked her what she would recommend to go with my dress. She suggested twobirds and a weight lifted off my shoulders! The long grey gown was the winner with my girls and Melissa from twobirds did a rush order for me so they would come in time. I also ordered a short pink one for myself for our honeymoon!
“We didn’t get married until 3pm, so we had a girly party on the wedding morning and I had the best glam squad ever!”
“Asura Ruksene didn’t just do my own makeup, she did my bridesmaids and both of our mothers too. The only thing I added was a different lipstick for the evening.”
The couple’s Christian ceremony featured one religious reading and one non-religious, with three hymns too. “A Welsh male voice choir sang me down the aisle and performed another hymn as James and I walked back up together.”
Two red route master buses delivered guests from ceremony to reception, armed with free-flowing Champagne and canapés from Canapé Box.
Bodeans caterers then cooked up a storm, starting with vegetable quesadillas, nachos and chicken, followed by a main of ribs, pulled pork, corn bread and slaw.
The couple then enlisted Hamish Johnston for their final course of cheese, crackers and port, which was their savoury substitute to a wedding cake.
“I also made Rocky Road bites and purchased gluten free brownies from the wonderful Tart in Clapham Old Town for guests with a sweet tooth.”
Following the couple’s video telling the story of how they met, the speeches began. “I didn’t want to pass up on the opportunity to have my say, so I stole the traditional father of the bride speech,” laughs Beth. “I’d like to think I was funny but gushing and thankful is much more my style!
“James then shared a speech full of his trademark witty banter, and after our meal the best man gave a hilarious A-Z speech about James!”
A rustically beautiful theme guided their reception decorations at their old furniture warehouse venue, inspired by all things vintage and shabby chic.
Feel Good Invites supplied their invitations, menu cards and orders of service. “We hired everything from cutlery and crockery down to salt and pepper pots from Casablanca Hire, stocking the bar ourselves which was run by the staff from TWIST London.
The small terrace outdoors became a whisky and cigar bar and we hired illuminated letters from Word Is Love.
London Lighting provided our subtly changing up-lighting which created an amazing atmosphere.” The flowers came from Birksen Florists, with the trailing ivy that adorned the pillars, florist Tim’s ingenious idea!
Being a dry hire venue, Beth and James cleverly sought out the help of Charley Beard from London Bride to help co-ordinate the many moving parts of their day. “Charley was the most efficient person I have ever met – she totally saved the day!”
VENUE Brixton East 1871
DRESS Sassi Holford, Taunton
BRIDESMAID DRESSES twobirds Bridesmaid
GROOM Jack Bunneys
ACCESSORIES Jimmy Choo, Cadenzza and Jenny Packham
WEDDING CO-ORDINATOR Charley Beard, London Bride
INVITATIONS Feel Good Invites
FLOWERS Birksen Florists, Clapham Old Town
CATERING Bodeans BBQ and Hamish Johnston
DÉCOR Casablanca Hire
MAGICIAN Etienne, French Magician