October 2018 - An Unconventional London Wedding

So after lurking and (occasionally) commenting on this board for a while I've decided to jump in and start my own planning thread.  There don't seem to be many brides having London weddings on this board, so here goes! 

 

How we met: 

I met A through my friend L. She had known him since university. I met L during my master’s degree. We were on the same course and she lived in the flat below mine. We became good friends as I didn’t really get on with any of my flatmates,  so spent a good deal of time in the flat downstairs with L and her flatmate B, who was also on the same course as us. When we finished our masters, she got a job in London and moved down. Luckily for her, her friend A had a house in West London with a room spare. 

 L knew I was still looking for a full time job and when a job came available at her work she urged me to apply. I did and I got the job, so I moved down to London in March 2011. I also found a place in West London, close to L, where I ended up living with a misogynist who was the literal worst human being in the entire world. I used to go round to L’s place to escape. Her landlord/jhousemate was always pretty shy, and would only ever poke his head into the living room to say a brief hello before running off upstairs. 

 Two years later in May 2013, I had since escaped from the hell that was my hideous flatmate and was living at the opposite side of London. My friend L invited me to a Eurovision party at her place and as I love Eurovision, went round to enjoy the fun. 

 So I’d had a great time listening to cheesy music and drinking copious amounts of prosecco. It got to 1am and I was happily drunk when A walks into the living room. It turns out he’d been babysitting for his cousins and was tired and about to creep off to bed. Full of fizz and good cheer I turned to him as he was getting up to leave and basically demanded that he talk to me.

I can’t remember the exact words I used but A assures me that it was something along the lines of ‘Oi you, come and talk to me for once’. He took this as a come-on, whereas  I just felt that it was a bit weird that I’d been coming round to his house for two years and never said more than ‘hello’ to him. I didn't even know his name!

I spent the rest of the night talking to him, and at around 4am we went up to his room and we then spent the rest of the early morning setting the world to rights in his bed. It turned out that he was a feminist (very important to me, especially after the horror show that was my previous flatmate) and we really gelled with each other.

I went home at around 8am, and I sat on the tube realising that I had both forgotten to get his number, and couldn't remember his name. Excellent stuff! 

«13456720

Posts

  • Ashley72Ashley72 Posts: 1,121 New bride

    Ahh I love that story! I'm born and raised and still living in London (South London) and am such a proud Londoner I am excited to read more of your thread! So many people head out to the counties but there are loads of gorgeous places in the city. Looking forward to reading more! 

  • Our first date:

    Four or five days later I got a text from an unknown number saying that he really enjoyed our chat at the party and would I like to meet up for dinner soon? I agreed in the positive, and we chatted back and forth for a few days while we tried to set a date. I then had the incredibly awkward task of asking my friend L to confirm exactly what A’s name was, as he hadn’t signed off his texts. L laughed and told me which meant I could finally change his name in my phone from ‘Eurovision’ to A. 

     We arranged to meet up at a gastropub, and despite us both being cripplingly nervous we had a good time. We continued to date and after ten months I moved in with him. 

     

    The Build-up:

    After three years together I knew that A was the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I found myself for the first time ever, creating fantasy wedding Pinterest boards and quietly stalking wedding blogs and forums.

    One night after several beers, I told A that I wanted to get married and he felt the same. I felt sure that a proposal was going to be on the cards soon.

    And then A’s mum fell ill.

    Unfortunately A's mum was diagnosed with lung cancer and obviously all potential proposals were out of the window.  I lost my dad to cancer when I was 22, and it really helped A to have someone to talk things through with who had been there before and to be able to ask questions and vent at (just because someone is ill, doesn't mean that not occasionally irritating!) when things got tough.  As weird as it may seem, his mum's illness helped strengthen our relationship and bring us even closer together. A's mum sadly passed away in February 2017 and soon after we found out that A's granddad had prostate cancer and was very ill. A's granddad then passed in March, 

    2017 was shaping up to be HIDEOUS. 

    We were at a friends wedding in May, and again, drunk and happy, I again told A that I wanted to marry him when things were a bit less shit. He told me to send him some pictures of the sort of rings that I liked so that he would have an idea of the sort of thing I wanted when the time was right. 

    He'd been going through a pretty rough time with everything so I assumed it would be a while yet. 

  • Ashley72 wrote (see post):

    Ahh I love that story! I'm born and raised and still living in London (South London) and am such a proud Londoner I am excited to read more of your thread! So many people head out to the counties but there are loads of gorgeous places in the city. Looking forward to reading more! 

    Hooray, I'm originally from the North East, (A is a born and bred Londoner) but it was pretty obvious to the both of us that we were going to have a London wedding. It's a central location (we have family and friends scattered about all over the place) and its where we met and still live. 

  • Little did I know that a little less than two months later I'd be getting a ring on my finger!

     

    The Proposal

    It was very simple and low-key, a home proposal. I came in from work tired on the Friday night and I thought it was weird that he was hovering around me as I was taking my shoes and coat off. He then grabbed my hand and led me into the living room, where he got down on one knee and gave me a lovely speech and then proposed!

    He had originally planned to go out for a meal and then go for a walk around the park, but he received the ring that day and decided he couldn't wait to propose. He was so nervous, despite the fact that I had previously told him several times that I wanted to marry him. It was adorable.

    He had also bought me some very nice gin and various treats. We then ordered in dinner and just sat and enjoyed each others company for the rest of the evening. It was perfect.


    The ring

    image

    image

    Excuse my fat fingers!

  • MrsLMTMrsLMT Posts: 3,830

    Aww I love your getting together story. I'm so sorry to hear about your recent loses. 

    Your ring is magnificent, wow. 

  • ruthie1979ruthie1979 Posts: 794

    Sorry to hear you had such a rubbish year but yay for the engagement and what a stunning ring 

    We get married in Oct 18 too so looking forward to following your thread ❤️️

  • ruthie1979 wrote (see post):

    Sorry to hear you had such a rubbish year but yay for the engagement and what a stunning ring 

    We get married in Oct 18 too so looking forward to following your thread ❤️️

     

    There are quite a few October/Nov weddings on here, I was really surprised!  I had assumed most people would be after the traditional summer wedding. Autumn is my favourite season so I've always loved the idea of a crisp, bright (fingers crossed anyway!) autumn wedding.

  • VegasLouVegasLou Posts: 821

    Ooh your ring is beautiful! Love your story so far and looking forward to more.

  • Bunny87Bunny87 Posts: 180

    Wow what a a ring! Congratulations on the engagement and glad 2017 is getting better for you both. 

  • ABtobeABtobe Posts: 44

    So sorry to hear about your losses. 

    I love your thread so far. Your ring is gorgeous! 

  • britbirdbritbird Posts: 1,448 New bride

    Another October Bride.  Welcome, and look forward to hearing more.

  • Thanks everyone, I'm thrilled with my ring and so excited to start wedding planning.

    And on that note:

     

    Venues:

    A and I discussed where we were going to have the wedding, as he is a born and bred Londoner and I'm originally from Northumberland. He's also half Armenian Cypriot, so a destination Cyprus wedding could even have been an option as his family have property in Cyprus and we visit frequently.

    I had a venue in mind for aaages, namely the Treehouse at Alnwick Gardens in Northumberland, about 15 miles away from where I grew up. It's a stunning space and I thought it would be perfect:

    image

    image

    Unfortunately, when I enquired about the venue I found that ceremonies usually start at  4-5pm and the venue is open to the public. I wanted a much earlier start time and exclusivity, so it was a no-go for us.

    So back to the drawing board! Unless it was the Treehouse, A wasn't keen to have a wedding outside of London. He thought it would be a pain to plan and as we live and met in London, it made sense to us to have it in the capital.

    So we decided what we wanted from a venue space. Neither of us wanted the traditional elegant stately home type wedding venue, we wanted something relaxed and fun, more of a party than a wedding. We decided that we wanted a fun party style venue, with exclusivity and enough space for our guests to roam around in, so they weren't tied to just one room.

    We decided we didn't want anything fancy, and were drawn to venues with an urban/industrial vibe. A's sister recommended a venue where she had been to a wedding earlier that year, we had a look at some pictures online and thought that it was worth looking into.

    Brixton East:

    As the majority of our friends are West London/SW London based, we thought this was well located and looked stunning when it was set up for a wedding. It was dry hire, which appealed as it meant that we could bring in our own booze and keep costs down:

    image

    image

    Dry hire for a weekend wedding for 2018 was  £7,500 + VAT. When we had a look at the venue we thought that was a crazy amount of money to spend on what was basically walls and a roof. Hire of everything else would be extra, which we hadn't really thought about when we first considered the venue.

    We decided to pass on Brixton East, but it had made us realise that we definitely did not want to go down the dry hire route unless the venue hire was incredibly cheap.

     

  • MrsGxMrsGx Posts: 328 New bride

    Yay a new thread! Looking forward to reading more.

    Your ring is stunning!! 

  • ducklingduckling Posts: 116 New bride

    Ahh I like this thread already, I'm a Londoner now living in Newcastle and getting married in Northumberland! 

  • Lexie2017Lexie2017 Posts: 189

    I am having a central London wedding too so I'm curious to find out where you're going to end up! There are so many fabulous and unusual venues.

  • duckling wrote (see post):

    Ahh I like this thread already, I'm a Londoner now living in Newcastle and getting married in Northumberland! 

    Exciting, where are you getting married?

  • Wedding Venues continued:

     

    Our next point of call was The Lamb Tavern at Leadenhall Market. I work close by and have stopped by for a drink after work previously and thought it was a great location. 

    image

    Leadenhall Market is beautiful and you can have your drinks reception and your first dance out on the cobbles. The market is closed on the weekend and the venue is exclusive hire, so this felt like a real gem.

    image

    There were a few issues that I had with the venue - the first was that the dining room was very traditional, and lacked the warehouse vibe we were originally after - although after discussion we decided we were prepared to look past this, as the outside space was so amazing, the food looked really good and drinks were well priced (for London).

    The real kicker, and in the end why we didn't end up here, is the minimum spend. We were quoted a minimum spend of £8.5k for 2018. I calculated how much we would spend on our numbers for food and drinks and it only came to £6k, which left us with a £2.5k shortfall that we would have to meet. The Lamb were prepared to come down in price slightly, but I wasn't happy with either having to put a large whack of money behind the bar, or hoping that our guests would cough up the remainder on the evening, just to meet the required spend.

    We're not having a large wedding and we felt that for our numbers this minimum spend would be a problem, so we decided to pass. We had planned for 60 people, but if you were having 70-75 this venue would be perfect as the minimum spend would be totally reachable.

     

    Save

  • Lexie2017Lexie2017 Posts: 189

    Ooh, I never even thought of Leadenhall, but that would be so beautiful! The minimum spend is quite an issue in London. Ours is 8k and for 60 day guests plus another 70 in the evening we are keeping everything crossed we make it, as the catering is quite reasonable - one of the main reasons for choosing the venue, but now causing us a little concern!

  • VegasLouVegasLou Posts: 821

    Ooh I'm excited to see which venue you've chosen. Love the ones you've looked at, I haven't heard of Leadenhall Market but what a great space. 

  • Feeling bummed out at The Lamb not being right for us, we met up with A's dad who offered to pay for whatever venue we wanted! This was amazingly generous and he was happy for us to up our budget so we could get what we wanted.

    He wasn't mega happy with the idea of us having our reception in a pub (his idea of an ideal wedding would be West London based and the sort of venue he would visit with his friends. He called us a few days later having planned us a wedding - ceremony at Chelsea Registry Office, and then hiring out The Bluebird in Chelsea for our reception:

    image

    image

    Quite nice really, but not what we wanted, so we rejected his ideas and continued with our search.

     

    The next place we looked at was The Barbican. You can have your wedding ceremony in the tropical conservatory there, and it is STUNNING.

    image

    I mean, how fab is that?

    While I loved, loved, LOVED, the ceremony space - I didn't really like the venue space. It was nice with clean lines and modern decor but didn't really match the wow-factor of the conservatory.  I also really, really hate chair covers with a passion. Just buy nice chairs for gods sake! If a pub or a restaurant can do this, then an events venue charging a not insubstantial amount of money for venue hire and catering can certainly afford to!

    image

    I asked about whether they just did ceremonies, as I would have loved to have gotten married here, but was told that unfortunately they did not. Bummer.

    Frustrated that I wasn't finding anywhere that I really wanted I took to the internet, randomly searching wedding blogs for London based weddings. I came a wedding venue that, based on the pictures alone, I was sure would end up being the one for us.

     

    Save

  • Lexie2017 wrote (see post):

    Ooh, I never even thought of Leadenhall, but that would be so beautiful! The minimum spend is quite an issue in London. Ours is 8k and for 60 day guests plus another 70 in the evening we are keeping everything crossed we make it, as the catering is quite reasonable - one of the main reasons for choosing the venue, but now causing us a little concern!

    Hopefully your evening guests will make it easier for you! We're not having extra evening guests, so we thought it would be too tight and it would stress us out!

  • This was the picture that I found and the venue was the Islington Metal Works:

    image

    which led me to this wedding report on Rock and Roll Bride: http://www.rockmywedding.co.uk/roz-owain/

    This venue looked like everything we wanted: not fancy, industrial, quirky and a proper party venue. I was in love.

    I emailed for a brochure and I originally thought the price was a little high (£125pp) - but then I realised that this included all decorations, all interior flowers and greenery, exclusive hire and a three course meal, canapés, reception drinks and drinks with the meal, plus their events team handle putting up all the decorations and taking them down afterwards, plus a planner and running things on the day.

    I felt like we would get a lot for our money here, as opposed to say, Brixton East, where you got walls and a roof for a similar price range.

    I arranged a viewing and the staff were great. It's independently owned, so they have zero problem with you doing things that a lot of venues would veto, such as confetti cannons, attaching decorations to all surfaces, loud music, late license etc. They also have the most amazing props room, which comes complete with a statue of Jesus, and a tube carriage as a bar.

    The only issue is that they don't have a licence for ceremonies, so we would have to get married elsewhere. I was quite happy with a registry office wedding to save some cash, so that wasn't a problem. 

    Islington Town Hall is about 15 minutes down the road, and the Council Chamber has the most lovely domed ceiling. Perfect.

    image

    image

    We were sold, and after a discussion at the pub down the road, we decided to go ahead and book. Islington Metal Works is our reception venue!

    Our date is on hold for both our ceremony and our reception venue. They won't be confirmed until we pay our deposit, but we've been assured that our bookings are secure. Hooray!

    And some more pictures of the Metal Works because it is awesome:

    image

    image

    image

    (the tank is no longer there, which was a little disappointing. I had visions of doing thank you cards with a photo of A & I on the top of it, with the header 'Tanks a Lot').

     

     

  • Lexie2017Lexie2017 Posts: 189

    Oh, wow, that is gorgeous! And Islington Town Hall is lovely too. Will you be walking down Upper Street in between?

  • Lexie2017Lexie2017 Posts: 189

    Incidentally, if you can afford it, pay those deposits now as not only will it give you peace of mind, it has just given us a lovely filip to our final budget to remember that we put down deposits on the two venues we chose all those months ago, which we can deduct from the final bill! We also paid our ceremony fees in full as soon as we could afford it as they go up every year.

  • It's not your traditional wedding venue by any means but we thought it was great.

    I think we're planning on getting the cheesy red Routemaster as we're planning on getting married at the end of October next year and the weather might be a bit grim for a fifteen minute walk in our gladrags.

    Depending on timings we might do a little tour of central London for the benefit of our out of town guests with prosecco and bus snacks, before heading to the reception.

     

  • Lexie2017Lexie2017 Posts: 189

    That is a fab idea - make the most of it with a little tour, especially as you have the whole party together. The bus hire company does competitions every so often so keep an eye out and you might get it for free!

  • MrsLMTMrsLMT Posts: 3,830

    I love your venue! Absolutely fantastic and so different! 

  • LizzieBHLizzieBH Posts: 196
    weatherwaxe wrote (see post):

    I also really, really hate chair covers with a passion. Just buy nice chairs for gods sake! If a pub or a restaurant can do this, then an events venue charging a not insubstantial amount of money for venue hire and catering can certainly afford to!

    Completely with you on this! I rejected so many potential venues and caterers based solely on overuse of chair covers in their photos... 

    Amazing venue – what a great find! We actually live in Islington and were torn for ages about whether to have a proper London wedding or get married in Spain where my family lives. As it turns out we'll have the ceremony at Islington Town Hall and a big party in Spain. :)

  • britbirdbritbird Posts: 1,448 New bride

    Wow- love it! So different and unique

  • The metal works reception room is a bit of a blank canvas that you can really do a lot with. When we visited they were busy turning the room into a beach shack, complete with a wooden fronted beach bar and plastic fruit garlands.

    I think we could really do a lot with the space and as they don't really have many restrictions on what you can do you can really go to town.

    image

    image

    And look, nice chairs!

    So here's my mood board:

    image

    We don't really have a theme as such, but we wanted a vibrant bright colour scheme. When I started googling 'colourful weddings' a lot of Mexican fiesta themed weddings came up, complete with papel picado bunting, which I love and definitely want to use. I think it will look great against our industrial metal works setting.  

    I definitely don't want a Mexican theme, as neither of us have even the remotest link to Mexico, but I wanted to incorporate the colourful fun atmosphere present in the fiesta pictures that I found, so I want to include bright colours, lots of textures and hanging decorations. 

    Also as we're getting married at the end of October, I thought some bright painted pumpkins with glitter stems would be a fun touch.

«13456720
Sign In or Register to comment.