Today you lucky readers get not one but two lovely grooms who together organised an incredibly entertaining (think confetti canons, swing band, full-on Shirley Bassey wedding entrance) and glamorous black tie wedding in the heart of London’s West End. Their story is full of phenomenal detail, useful tips, fabulous eye-candy and impeccable style.
Andrew, originally from Australia, is an Operations Director for a boutique London creative agency, and Elliott is a Client Relationship Manager for a global investment manager. They met in Melbourne, whilst Elliott was traveling for work, and the rest, as they say, is history.
With their wedding being very much a joint planning effort (and boy was there a lot of planning), the account of their double groom w-day is recounted in both their words:
AN EXCUSE TO THROW THE BEST PARTY WE COULD IMAGINE
Andrew + Elliott: As well as being a celebration of our Civil Partnership we always wanted our day to be a celebration for our friends and an excuse to throw the best party that we could imagine. For a venue, we imagined a lavish stately home [with Andrew being from Australia, he had always had the grand notion to have a lavish party in a stately home or palace (somewhere older than the 225 years of his colonised country)], but in keeping with the idea of it being a party for friends we were also adamant that we wanted a Central London location so that guests didn’t need to plan accommodation or travel. Free from needing to marry in a “place of worship” we also wanted the ceremony and reception in the same venue so that there was one less travel logistic for our guests and us.
The problem we faced with a lot of the Central London properties available was that they were either sterile, were just another banqueting room in a grand hotel or were private member clubs with dominating décor that would stop any chance of us adding our own personal touches. We started with a list of over 30 properties that could accommodate 100 guests. We researched via the web and various venue guides and then shortlisted around half a dozen that seemed to meet most of our requirements.
Off we trotted to spec out the various venues on the shortlist after work or on weekends. Several we wrote-off without even entering the building, others were excluded because of silly charges and inflexible terms and conditions. One, in particular, we rather liked but we didn’t gel with the event planner – her creativity extended only as far as suggesting neon pink lighting because this was a gay event! We were becoming slightly worried that our expectations were too high. We started to reconsider the stately home alternative. We unconsidered it again and armed with a bottle of wine we sat down and spent another evening reconsidering venues that we had previously ruled out (thinking we should at least go and inspect them as we were only reliant on photos from the web). A late addition was One Marylebone, which a good friend of ours had recommended.
WOWED BY ONE MARYLEBONE
We went to see One Marylebone one wintery evening after a stressful day at work, and apart from being wowed by the beauty of the building we immediately hit it off with Alicia, their fabulous event planner. We’d barely taken our coats off and already her suggestions were filling us with inspiration. We knew there and then that One Marylebone was the right venue – as an event space it was new enough that we would be original, as a venue it is awe inspiring and needs little additional decoration and, above all, we knew Alicia would make our day into what we wanted it to be!