Tissues at the ready, folks, because I guarantee that you won’t make it through this gorgeous lesbian Jew-ish wedding without welling up – especially if you watch the tear-jerker of a wedding video at the bottom of this post, artfully and sensitively shot by Love Storage.
Charlotte and Ellie wanted a dramatic and industrial meets romantic, dark florals-vibe for their big day, and they found the perfect venue in the iconic St Pancras Renaissance Hotel in London. The story of the day was expertly captured by fantastic photographer, Dale Weeks.
We simply adore the moody aesthetic and jewel-toned theme; Charlotte and Ellie’s vintage-industrial look made their whole day so quirky and unique, but still so chic and stunning.
The attention to detail from artistic bride Ellie was simply phenomenal. Each item was carefully and lovingly picked with the theme in mind: the home-designed invitations, the rust-coloured chairs, the Victoriana table decorations and whole flower stems strewn down the aisle. The style extended to the brides’ outfits, which were simply beautiful and perfectly in keeping with the tone and theme of the wedding.
We love the birch pole Chuppah, complete with Charlotte’s grandfather’s tallit, and that the start of the Jewish ceremony was signaled with one of our all-time favourite wedding songs, Sunrise Sunset. Could there be a more perfect or sincere way to conduct a Jewish ceremony?
Over to Charlotte and Ellie to fill us in on all the details from their divine wedding day.
When you know, you know
Charlotte: Ellie and I met online. There was no woo-ing and no long conversations. Ellie sent me a message saying “Shall we go for a drink then?” and when I agreed she informed me that I had to choose the location.
I chose The Bridge in Hoxton and we met outside Hoxton station that Saturday afternoon because we both already had evening plans.
We sat side by side in the boudoir-like surroundings, drinking coffee and chatting for hours. It felt very natural from the start, like we’d known each other for years. It didn’t take long before we were spending every spare day together!
A historical London venue at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel
We got married at the St Pancras Renaissance in London. We used three rooms: The Gallery for the ceremony, the Ladies’ Smoking Room for the reception and the Hansom Hall for the dinner/dancing.
We wanted a venue that reflected our love of London and its history. I love all things Victoriana and Ellie wanted something dramatic and industrial so it really couldn’t have been more perfect!
We also loved the fact that the building (hopefully) won’t be going anywhere and it’s somewhere we will pass regularly and can visit for special occasions.
Vintage-industrial meets elegant romance
Ellie is very artistic and wanted to put her own spin on things, and I knew I’d love all of her ideas and that she would make everything beautiful.
Despite getting married in August we wanted the colours to be dark and dramatic and for the whole day to feel a bit moody. We worked to the design and colours of the hotel (we had rust-coloured chairs to factor in!) and kept things vintage-industrial, but still wanted it to be elegant and romantic.
We went for burgundy, rust, dark pinks and greys. Our florist loved Ellie’s ideas from the start and was able to suggest some perfect colours and ideas to compliment the scheme.
She added ferns for extra Victoriana and we had copper objects on the table, like candlesticks, terraniums and jars to create little scenes with the flowers. We wanted each table to be a bit different. She also suggested throwing whole flower stems down the aisle and it definitely added to the drama.
Contemporary invitation design with traditional elements
Ellie designed our save the dates and invitations and then we had them professionally printed by Downey & Co in Hackney. We wanted a modern design but my parents were insistent on having some of the more traditional elements of a wedding invite so we combined all of our ideas and it ended up looking beautiful.
We used a vintage flower print and dark pinks and greys with copped embossed letters to try to convey the feel of what was to come!
Getting ready separately
Although Charlotte’s mum and sister decided to have their hair and makeup done we decided against having any professional input.
We both just wanted to look ourselves and we had fun going to Mac to buy things in the lead up to the day, though we got ready separately so needed two of everything.
Ellie got ready at our flat with her parents and best friend Rebecca who was one of our bridesmaids and Charlotte stayed the night before in the hotel and got ready with her parents and sister who was our other bridesmaid.
Romantic meets New Romantic wedding outfits
Ellie: I tried lots of different dresses on and in the end went back to my beautiful silk and lace gown by Lyn Ashworth. I bought it from Wedding Atelier London where Svetlana made me feel so special and comfortable, I couldn’t recommend her shop more.
Svetlana made me the lace bolero. I knew from the beginning I wanted long sleeves, a low V at the back with a wide sash and bow. The fabric was really important and I loved the way the silk rustled and swished around.
I wore satin ballet slippers from Bloch because I wear them a lot in the summer and I wanted to be comfortable and to be able to dance.
For my accessories, I chose an amazing flower crown with amnesia roses, blackberries and chocolate cosmos which our florist made for me, and a cathedral-length veil. My flower crown was one of the first things I knew I wanted, and then Svetlana at Wedding Atelier London helped me choose the right veil.
Charlotte: I had my heart set on wearing a feminine tailored tailcoat but didn’t think I’d find one anywhere. When looking online I came across one by Christopher Kane and when I tried it on it was perfect!
I’ve never bought anything from a high-end designer before and the whole experience was so much fun. The staff were amazingly helpful and I had my own tailor who fitted it to me perfectly.
While trying it on I saw a black lace high-neck blouse in the shop and the two items looked awesome together. It was quite New Romantics and I felt very Adam Ant throughout the whole day! I managed to convince my parents to let me wear black skinny jeans and I just bought some suede monk shoes from ASOS.
Bridesmaids in blush lace
Choosing the bridesmaids dresses was one of the trickiest things we had to organise! In the end we settled on blush coloured lace with matching flower crowns and glitter shoes.
Our Jew-ish ceremony
As Ellie’s family isn’t Jewish, and neither are a lot of our friends, we wanted a Rabbi who would explain what was going on.
We used Paul Glantz and he did just that. He also sent us some text to print out to put on everyone’s chairs so people could read about the ceremony and symbolism.
Our Ketubah came from Jennifer Raichman because we wanted something modern but beautiful. Ellie did her MA degree in Book Arts and wanted something papercut, we ended up with such a beautiful Ketubah and it’s now framed and all our wall!
Our favourite part of the ceremony was when the Chuppah came in. After the civil ceremony Charlotte’s cousins and their partners and our brother-in-law carried the Chuppah in to Sunrise Sunset being played by our string quartet. It really felt like something magical was happening and it marked the transition from the English to Jewish parts.
Our florist gave us some birch poles and decorated them and she tied my grandfathers’ tallit to the top to create the chuppah. We wanted something very personal and it definitely was. They held the chuppah throughout the ceremony so we were able to have all our closest family underneath throughout which was lovely.
Sunrise Sunset to signal the Jewish ceremony
For the ceremony and reception we had a string quartet and for the evening we had the incredible Festival Sons.
We spent ages trying to choose our processional song and even practiced walking to them in our lounge and with our parents… we eventually settled on Pachelbel Canon in D Major, mainly because we watched a wedding video and thought it sounded lovely.
It worked really well though, even though the quartet had to play it twice because Ellie took too long to come in after our best men and Charlotte had walked in with her parents.
The quartet played Sunrise Sunset as the chuppah came in, to mark the start of the Jewish ceremony, and we asked our Rabbi to suggest appropriate music for the ceremony. We had Eshet Chayil which the quartet very generously learned especially, and after Charlotte smashed the glass they played Siman Tov and everyone clapped along and sung which was fun!
As soon as we met Joey from Wild Fox we knew we wanted her to do our flowers. She was so excited about the dark jewel-like scheme and we loved her style and she’s such a sweet person. She uses all seasonal and foraged flowers and foliage and hand painted silk ribbons which were gorgeous!
Natural, reportage photography and a moving wedding video
We were lucky enough to manage to book Dale Weeks even though he gets booked up ridiculously far in advance. We’d been stalking him online for ages and loved his natural style.
He doesn’t really do posed photos which we adored, we’ve been to some weddings where the photographer is telling you what to do all the time and that definitely isn’t his style.
He effortlessly blends in and captures everything without you even knowing he’s there. We knew we wouldn’t be disappointed and we definitely weren’t. He captured the whole dramatic romantic atmosphere and everyone just looks like they’re having fun which is what we wanted!
We decided to have a videographer at the last minute and I’m so glad we did. We chose Love Storage, again because their style is very natural.
A home-decorated Marks & Spencer cake
We bought the cake from Marks & Spencer and Eleanor’s mum decorated it with ruffles, gold leaf and polka dots. It was delicious and she did such an amazing job!
We didn’t think we should pay for a cake when we had such a pro in the family and we are so glad we chose to let her decorate it!
Festival Sons and Israeli dancing
We chose Festival Sons for the evening, we looked around for a band that would provide a fun festival-style atmosphere and they also did a rock set after the first set which was really cool!
The lead singer has the most incredible voice so choosing them was easy! They got everyone dancing and people hardly moved off of the dance floor for the whole night.
They also played an acoustic set during dinner which was lovely. They offered to play the music for the Israeli dancing after dinner but we chose to use a recording to give it the typical Klezmer feel, it worked really well!
Our first dance was to First Aid Kit Emmy Lou and Festival Sons learned it and put their own spin on, it was incredible, he has such an awesome voice! It wasn’t a standard first dance song but it’s special to us as we always listened to it when we first started dating.
It was either that or Band of Horses No-one’s Gonna Love You which is about a break up so we didn’t think that was appropriate…
Gourmet marshmallow favours
We had gourmet marshmallows from Cloud Nine, they were so fun and tasted awesome! We had three flavours: lemon meringue pie, white chocolate and pistachio, and raspberry. We also ordered 50 too many so that we had some to eat after our honeymoon…
We decided to do a joint speech but we kept our two halves separate until the day. It was so lovely being able to stand up together to thank everyone and to speak about each other. Our guests kept commenting that you could really “feel the love”.
Advice to brides and grooms currently planning their wedding
I think that two brides generally means double the stress but we made sure that we delegated tasks between the two of us and to our parents, at least then we only had to worry about our own things.
We also would have been totally lost without our Toastmaster Jango. It was so useful being able to ask him “what normally happens?” in the lead up and having him guide us on the day and keep everything running smoothly. Even if you think you can manage everything yourself it’s not until the day that you realise how much organisation is needed! Also, don’t forget to book your photographer early!”
Charlotte & Ellie’s little white book
Photographer – Dale Weeks
Videographer – Love Storage
Venue – St Pancras Renaissance
Ellie’s dress – Lyn Ashworth from Wedding Atelier London
Ellie’s shoes – ballet slippers from Bloch
Charlotte’s dress – tailcoat and black lace high neck blouse by Christopher Kane
Charlotte’s shoes – suede monk shoes at ASOS
Make-up – bought at Mac
Flowers – Wild Fox
Cake – Marks & Spencer
String quartet – Festival Sons
Invitation – designed by Ellie and printed by Downey & Co
Favours – marshmallows by Cloud Nine
Ketubah – Jennifer Raichman
Rabbi – Paul Glantz
Toastmaster – Toastmaster Jango