Our London Wedding July 2018

Hello Everyone

I have been a silent follower of this forum for a couple of months now and a quiet spell at work has encouraged me to branch out and start my own thread! As you can tell by the title we're getting married in London, on a Saturday, in the height of Wedding Season - mad I know - but we've tried to keep costs reasonable and within budget!

I love seeing all your pictures, so will of course add some of ours where possible!

 

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Posts

  • MrsE2018MrsE2018 Posts: 41

    How We Met

    D & I first met around 7 and a half years ago in the Summer. I had started going to the same Church as him and although we saw each other a couple of times a week we had never really spoken before. After a few months, we began speaking here and there and by the following January we were quite good friends. Things really progressed when he invited me to his on a Saturday and cooked me my favourite meal (Spaghetti Bolognese) - haha! Whilst I really liked and got on with D, I never even thought about a relationship with him (convinced myself I wasn't his 'type') and so we became really good friends. Then, in early April following a discussion with D about an ex-boyfriend I was still talking to, he confessed his undying love [slight exaggeration] for me and we made it official!

    Proposal

    D always said he wanted me to finish Uni before we got engaged as he didn't want a wedding to come between me and the 5 million pages of Psychology reading I had to do for my degree. Whilst I tried to convince him several times I could handle both, in hindsight I'm glad we waited. I graduated in July 2016 and started my first career related job the month after. I then went in to full "when am I going to get engaged" mode! I knew D was very good at keeping surprises, he managed to take me to New York and Paris for my previous birthdays and I had no idea until we turned up at the airport what was going on!

    A few key dates went by (Christmas, my birthday, our anniversary) and whilst he did really thoughtful things for these events, there was no proposal. Of course, I wasn't disappointed because I always knew he would do it at the right time and probably catch me completely off guard - so I decided to stop thinking too much into it. Then...

    May came around and it was the first night of our family holiday in Turkey (D, myself, my mum and my sister). D had taken me on a lovely walk down the beach, it was the evening so it was nice and quiet and during the walk he said a lot of nice things to me which I don't really remember now! As we walked back to our hotel, we stopped on this little bridge and D had said he wanted to take a picture of me on the bridge from behind (i.e. of me looking across the water), it was in that photo-taking moment that he dropped down on one knee, took me by the hand, spun me around and asked me to be his Wife!

    We made a little gif on the beach the next day to announce our engagement (screenshot below as I can't upload a video file)

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  • weatherwaxeweatherwaxe Posts: 860 New bride

    Hooray another London bride! There aren't very many on here :)  Look forward to reading more!

  • Hannah343Hannah343 Posts: 118 New bride

    Your engagement ring is beautiful :) I can't wait to read more about your plans x

  • Rebecca470Rebecca470 Posts: 119

    Your story is so cute! 

    Are you both christians?

    I am also a fellow London bride!

  • MrsE2018MrsE2018 Posts: 41

    The Ring


    For the last couple of years I have been dropping [not so subtle] hints about the type of engagement ring I liked. After several hours of Pinterest and changing my mind a couple of times I decided that I wanted an infinity ring! 

    After the proposal, I of course enquired about the ring. Where it was from, how long he had it, where he hid it from me?! D told me that he went to a workshop in Hatton Garden on his lunch break and designed the ring himself and had it made based on all my favourite ring designs I had sent him over the years! It's made from platinum and I think it's a real beaut!! We went back to have both our wedding bands designed and made at the same workshop, mine will be made to fit the shape on the infinity band. Once they've been made and we pick them up, I'll post some pics! 

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  • MrsE2018MrsE2018 Posts: 41
    weatherwaxe wrote (see post):

    Hooray another London bride! There aren't very many on here :)  Look forward to reading more!

    I was thinking the same thing! Thank you for reading! ☺️

  • MrsE2018MrsE2018 Posts: 41
    Hannah343 wrote (see post):

    Your engagement ring is beautiful :) I can't wait to read more about your plans x

    Thank you! Had a quick read of your thread too, I can see you have a beautiful infinity ring too! 

  • MrsE2018MrsE2018 Posts: 41

    Date & Venues

    We've never had any special dates in mind for the wedding, we just knew it would be in the summer and on a Saturday. D's birthday is Mid-June so I suggested the following Saturday as a date but he didn't want to share his birthday month with our Wedding Anniversary - fair enough! We ended up going for the 14th July as this would be just before the summer holidays start meaning the honeymoon wouldn't cost us 3 times as much!

    As for the venues, our ceremony will take place at our Church in East London, as we're members it's free.

    image

    Finding a reception venue was the difficult bit. We needed somewhere that was close to our Church, would hold 150 - 200 people and would let us bring our own caters (D's Brother-in-Law owns a restaurant and will be doing our catering as a wedding present to us!). After hours of searching through Google we narrowed it down to 2 choices:

    Redbridge Town Hall

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    & Leyton Great Hall

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    D arranged a visit to the first venue, unfortunately I was unable to get the time off work so he went alone (and took lots of videos and photos for me). D said the venue was nice and it was within our budget, I agreed but after some Instagram stalking I noticed that a lot of people's pictures were dark due to a lack of natural lighting. I then arranged to visit Leyton Great Hall, this time D couldn't get the time off work so I took my mum with me. D and I have both been to a wedding at this venue a few years ago so we knew what to expect. After the visit it was just as I remembered, I wanted to book it but it was around £1000 over our initial budget! Buut after a conversation that night with D we decided to just book it , we'd gotten tired of looking for a venue and this one included everything we wanted/needed!

    So the date was set: 14th July 2018

     

     

  • MrsE2018MrsE2018 Posts: 41

    Decoration

    The venue is dry hire with only tables and chairs included, so knew we would need to hire a decorator. Like the venue search we found this particularly difficult as the websites we visited often didn't give much information about what was offered/prices and when we emailed for a quote there was often no reply! Grrr!

    We kept putting it off when eventually D's sister recommended a lady called Natasha (https://www.natasha.corbin-stewart.com/). D emailed her and she replied quickly with a full breakdown of what she offered and the price per item. We looked at her work on her Instagram and arranged to meet her the following week. After a consultation we were confident that she would be able to decorate our venue how we wanted, her prices were very reasonable and we even got a discount on many items because she knew D's sister! What was also helpful was that she was able to arrange and get us a good discount on a 12 x 12 star lit dance floor and 'LOVE' light-up letters.

    Our colour scheme is Dusty Blue and Rose Gold. Pinterest Inspiration:

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    I couldn't find any pictures of table set ups like the ones we have envisioned. Essentially, it will be a while table cover with a dusty blue runner, rose gold charger plates with cutlery folded into the napkins on top and the center pieces will be tall clear vases with flowers to match our colour scheme. We have opted to have a sweetheart table rather than a top table and this will also be decorated in a similar way with a starlit backdrop.

    Finding Natasha was definitely a huge relief!

  • MrsE2018MrsE2018 Posts: 41

    Honeymoon

    I skipped forward a bit talking about the decorations but thought it made sense for it to come after the venue post.

    After we paid the deposit on the venue the next thing we did was book our Honeymoon! D and I love traveling and it is something we have had to forfeit since our Engagement in order to pay for the Wedding. Because of this we decided we wanted to go on the Honeymoon as soon as possible after, so we're going the very next day! We budgeted £2300 and wanted to go for at least 10 days. At first we was thinking about booking somewhere all inclusive but we usually do this on our family holiday and whilst it's okay for the week we thought it might get a bit boring for us any longer than that. So we started thinking about a multi centre honeymoon and whether we could get this in budget. After a look on Sky-Scanner we decided on 7 days in Bali and 5 days in Kuala Lumpur a perfect mix of beach relaxing and adventure.

    We booked the flights first and because we were booking nearly a year in advance they were very cheap. In all, the 3 flights for both of us came in around £1300. We booked our Bali accommodation on Air BnB, it's a private villa right next to the beach and has it's own pool. It only cost £25 per night and breakfast is included:

    imageimageimage

    We have yet to book a hotel in Kuala Lumpur but given the average prices we've seen, our Honeymoon will come in under budget by around £200. I will post some pictures once it's been booked. We're hoping to use any money we get given as gifts at the wedding as spending money on the honeymoon, however, we will also have some cash saved if we don't get much!

    I think at times I get more excited about the Honeymoon then the wedding day!

     

  • MrsE2018MrsE2018 Posts: 41

    Photographer & Videographer

    I'm not sure how we would have planned this wedding without social media, because that's where we found our Photographer too! He was advertising a wedding photography offer and happened to be retweeted onto D's timeline. Unfortunately, the offer was only valid for 2017 weddings, but after looking at his Instagram we both really liked his style and so we emailed him to find out his availability and price.

    He sent back a lovely brochure which outlined a number of packages at different price ranges. At this point we was only going to have a photographer in order to save costs, so we emailed back and set up a meeting. We met the following week and really got on well, like I've read on a lot of threads we wanted our photos to be natural and in the moment rather than posed and he advised that this was exactly his style. He also advised that he had a team that could also provide videography and for both it would cost £2000 for the day. 

    During this time, I had applied for a new job with a higher salary. So D & I had decided that if I got the job then we would also get the videography. Whilst it was something that we didn't see as very important in the beginning, as time went on, the idea of having a video to look back on and show our future children became more appealing. Well, I got the job, so we got the videography!

    All in, we got a free engagement shoot which we hope to use to get photo's for the invitations. 1 photographer, one assistant photographer and 2 videographers who will be with us from morning preparations till way after the first dance.

     

    Photographer - http://www.ubuntugraphy.com/weddings

     

  • MrsSpag2BMrsSpag2B Posts: 479 New bride

    Your honeymoon sounds amazing! We‘re looking into Bali at the moment! We‘re also having a rose gold scheme and it looks amazing with that dusky blue!!! 

  • I'm so excited to hear more of your planning! I am also thinking a dusky blue and rose gold scheme (early days though so not certain)

  • Always excited about New Thread

    I walk past your venue every morning. It's a handsome building. No idea what it's like inside though.

    Love your colour scheme. And what an amazing deal on your photographer 

  • MrsE2018MrsE2018 Posts: 41
    Rebecca470 wrote (see post):

    Your story is so cute! 

    Are you both christians?

    I am also a fellow London bride!

    Thank you!! Yes, we are

    Ooh, Congrats! Do you have a planning thread? x

     

  • MrsE2018MrsE2018 Posts: 41
    MrsSpag2B wrote (see post):

    Your honeymoon sounds amazing! We‘re looking into Bali at the moment! We‘re also having a rose gold scheme and it looks amazing with that dusky blue!!! 

     

    Thank you MrsSpag2B!! Bali looks so lovely, the only downside is the long flight, but I told hubby if he can put up with me on a 17 hour flight the first day of our married lives he'll be able to love me for a lifetime! haha!

  • MrsE2018MrsE2018 Posts: 41

    The Cake

    We decided that we would use the Wedding Cake as dessert so that none would go to waste and so it would be one less course for the caterer to worry about (more on that in the next post!).

    One of D's colleagues left his team to work full-time on her baking business a little while ago so we felt it only right to ask her to do our wedding cake. Before our consultation she sent us a list of different flavours and asked us to choose 4 that we would like to taste. She baked us 2 cupcakes of each flavour to try, which was lovely because we were also able to take some home with us!

    At the cake tasting we decided on a 4-tier semi naked cake with bunched flower arrangements dotted around the cake. The top tier will be red velvet with cream cheese frosting, the second tier is a Victoria sponge with vanilla buttercream and salted caramel drizzle, the third will be a chocolate and salted caramel buttercream and salted caramel drizzle and lastly red velvet again for the bottom tier.

    This is a picture of a cake she has made before and is very similar to what we'll be having - the flowers used will come directly from our florist so will tie in with the flowers used in the bouquets and buttonholes.

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    After some kind discount we paid £450 for the cake.

    http://www.bunstonbakes.com/

    Cake Topper

    The cake topper I purchased from NotOnTheHighstreet shortly after the cake tasting. It only cost £17 after using a discount code I found online. It's in the dusty blue colour of our wedding and I thought it would add a nice personal touch to the cake.

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  • MrsM2018MrsM2018 Posts: 142

    It's so good to see a new thread from a London bride. 

    Leyton Great Hall is a lovely venue. A friend had her reception there very recently and it was gorgeous.

    We chickened out of the long flight to Bali as we're also travelling the day after the wedding. But it looks so romantic I think we'll have to add it to our fly list.

  • MrsE2018MrsE2018 Posts: 41

    The Catering

    As I've mentioned briefly, D's BIL owns a Caribbean restaurant and even before we were engaged we knew that we’d ask him to do the catering for our wedding.

    After a brief chat with him we have decided on a buffet style with lots of variety. From memory I believe we are having:

    Jerk Chicken

    Fried Chicken

    Oxtail

    Curry Goat

    Possibly fried fish

    Rice & Peas + Plain Rice

    Plantain

    Salad

    D’s Sister and BIL are kindly providing the catering for us free of charge as a wedding present to us, which has really saved us a lot of money!

    We’ll have 150 people to feed so we have been thinking of ways to speed up the process as we know what it’s like to go to a wedding and be the last people to get fed – haha! So we’re thinking that our bridal party and immediate family tables will be served food whilst the remaining tables are directed table-by-table to the buffet. This should at least cut some of the waiting time down a bit.

    Drinks/Alcohol

    Our venue has an area which can be set up to serve drinks but it is not a “bar” per-say. Luckily we are allowed to bring all of our own drinks and there is no corkage fee at all. We planned to pick up some bottles over Christmas when they are usually reduced and then get the rest from Costco before the wedding. As the venue does not provide any staff we’re going to hire someone to serve the drinks for which we have been quoted around £10 per hour.

  • MrsE2018MrsE2018 Posts: 41
    DandelionBlue wrote (see post):

    Always excited about New Thread

    I walk past your venue every morning. It's a handsome building. No idea what it's like inside though.

    Love your colour scheme. And what an amazing deal on your photographer 

     

    It's really nice to have all your wedding thoughts and ramblings written down somewhere!

    Thank you, It's very pretty on the inside too

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  • MrsE2018MrsE2018 Posts: 41
    MrsM2018 wrote (see post):

    It's so good to see a new thread from a London bride. 

    Leyton Great Hall is a lovely venue. A friend had her reception there very recently and it was gorgeous.

    We chickened out of the long flight to Bali as we're also travelling the day after the wedding. But it looks so romantic I think we'll have to add it to our fly list.

     

    Thank you! I have been to a wedding there once a couple of years ago, but I'm very excited to see what it looks like with our colour scheme and decoration choices. 

    Our flight departs around 10pm the next day so I'm hoping to sleep for most of it, fingers crossed!

    Where have you chosen instead? x 

     

  • MrsM2018MrsM2018 Posts: 142

    We've gone with the Dominican Republic :)

  • Hi MrsE2018. We‘re getting married on the day day, also in London. Can’t wait to read more about your planning. 

  • MrsE2018MrsE2018 Posts: 41
    BlueSapphire2018 wrote (see post):

    Hi MrsE2018. We‘re getting married on the day day, also in London. Can’t wait to read more about your planning. 

    Oohh, how lovely! Not long now at all! Do you have a planning thread? x

  • MrsE2018MrsE2018 Posts: 41

    Quick Update:

    Of course just as I decide to start a thread because it's quiet at work things would really pick up and I would struggle to find the time!

    I am working from home today due to a headache / sore throat so will continue with some more posts! 

  • MrsE2018MrsE2018 Posts: 41

    The Dress

    Unfortunately, I can't say too much about the dress itself at this stage as H2B was the one who encouraged me to start the thread as he knew I was secretly reading them for a while so he's probably been reading mine! But I can of course tell you the story of how we met 

    I'd originally planned to go Wedding Dress shopping in January as I heard that you needed to do it around 6 months in advance. However, one evening in October I was watching a wedding related programme (possibly 'say yes to the dress') and all of a sudden I got this feeling that I needed to at least start looking for my dress soon. So I texted my MOH who has been an absolute Godsend so far and said we needed to go shopping ASAP! I sent her pictures of the types of dresses I liked and she did some research and booked us in for appointments at 4 shops for the following 2 Saturdays. 

    The first (and only!) shop we ended up going to was Paverly Bridal in Wimbledon. Our appointment was at 3pm so I met up with my MOH and we went for some lunch first. 

    The shop its self was lovely and all the dresses are arranged by style. We had Pav, one of the owners, as our adviser and she first took us around the shop and explained the different styles and then gave me 5 tokens to put on dresses I liked the look of. I headed straight to the mermaid section and picked out 4 strapless and 1 with straps. There was one in particular that I had my eye on right from when we stepped foot in the shop and this was the one that I ended up trying on first. 

    As soon as I had it on I knew I loved it. When Pav opened the curtain to show my MOH she went bright red and nearly started crying (if you knew my MOH you would know it takes a lot to make her emotional!). This nearly set me off but luckily we kept it contained - haha! I tried on several more dresses after just to be sure but none could compare to how I felt in the first one. Pav let me put it back on at the end and the feelings came back again! I pranced around in it for around 10 minutes and Pav put a veil on. I probably already decided around 45 minutes ago that she was the one but this just confirmed it. My MOH was then allowed to take pictures of me in it, we were given a glass of Prosecco each, my measurements were taken and I paid the deposit (50%). 

    I also booked in the alterations with their partner company which were £250 and they will collect my dress when it comes in and store it there before my first fitting. My dress should have arrived by May and I just can't wait!! 

    She is a Diane Legrand Mermaid Style Dress 

  • MrsE2018MrsE2018 Posts: 41

    Favours:

    I've found that most wedding favours I have received have ended up in a box somewhere never to be seen again - so we have decided to go for a sweet table instead (as I know if nobody else eats them I sure will!). We are still toying with the idea of doing it ourselves but this will all depend on whether we can get access to the Reception Venue the day before as there definitely won't be time for us to do it the morning of. 

    I ordered some personalised sweet bags from eBay around 2 weeks ago and they arrived yesterday. I ordered 200 and the total cost was £25 which I thought was reasonable. I am going to order some stickers from Etsy so that people can seal the bags if they wish to take them home. 

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    Stickers:

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  • MrsM2018MrsM2018 Posts: 142

    Can you not prepare the sweets ahead of time and hand them over to your venue stylist to put out according to your instructions?

  • MrsE2018MrsE2018 Posts: 41
    MrsM2018 wrote (see post):

    Can you not prepare the sweets ahead of time and hand them over to your venue stylist to put out according to your instructions?

    We haven't thought of this actually - I will inquire with my venue decorator today and see what she says! Thank you!

  • MrsE2018MrsE2018 Posts: 41

    Giving Notice

    D & I currently do not officially live together (although I stay with him 2 - 3 nights a week and we plan to move in to our "marital home" around May) and as we live in different boroughs we had to give notice separately.

    I did mine in Mid-December, I took my 7 year old sister with me as we were going Christmas shopping after. I didn't know what exactly to expect or what questions they were going to ask but all went well.

    D did his on the 5th January, he said it was relatively easy for him because I had already done mine the officer was able to pull through all of the details and he only had to answer a few questions. 

    The certificate should be ready to pick up in the first week of February.

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