Nicole and Daniel’s lighthouse / warehouse industrial-meets-romantic wedding is cooler than a polar bear’s toenails. FACT.
From the alternative, urban venue, to the dress designed by gorgeous bride, Nicole, the atmospheric lighting to the floating-effect Chuppah design, the bridesmaids in black to the groomsmens’ bow ties – everything about this big day looked picture perfect.
We love how the pair, who had been together for 15 years before saying ‘I do’, took everything in their stride. When their photographer disappeared on them, they found two more, with just days to go (kudos to James Frost, and a second shooter, Benjamin Wheeler, for stepping in and saving the day). When the lights went out during their meal, they ran with it, calling it atmospheric, and continued by candlelight. If they can cope so calmly with wedding day mishaps, then they’re truly prepared for the rollercoaster ride that is marriage.
This is genuinely a wedding to feast your eyes on, but also read Nicole’s brilliant writeup (and check out her Instagram, @nicolelevypr) and take a few minutes to watch the gorgeously cinematic wedding video below, by Our Further Project.
Over to beautiful bride, Nicole, for the full report.
How we met
Nicole, the bride: Daniel and I met at a mutual friend’s engagement party nearly 15 years ago, and we’ve been together ever since. We got engaged in 2014, so I guess you could say we’ve taken our time with the whole marriage thing.
I have my own fashion PR company Nicole Levy PR, which Daniel helps me run, and he is also an IT Director for another company.
London’s last lighthouse – with a late license!
I came across the Chain Store at Trinity Buoy Wharf and loved that it was basically a huge, empty warehouse with a late licence – a good starting point for the party vibe we wanted to create.
It’s London’s last existing lighthouse and offers gorgeous city views across the river, which we enjoyed during the drinks reception.
Trinity Buoy Wharf also has a separate building on the site called The Electrician’s Shop. It’s a dark, derelict basement, and as soon as we saw it, we knew our ceremony had to take place there. I knew it would look amazing once we prettied it up with an abundance of fairy lights and candles running down the aisle.
The fact the venue was dry hire meant we had to research and organise absolutely everything from the lighting, kitchen equipment, furniture, crockery, cutlery, PA system and all the bits in between.
It was a lot to coordinate in four months, but meant that we could tailor our day exactly how we wanted and, essentially, put our own stamp on things.
Industrial chic with a touch of glam
I was attracted to the simplicity of the exposed white brick walls and tarnished floor at TBW, but knew it needed a feminine touch or it would look too industrial.
We opted for chic botanical foliage and elegant white flowers, which effortlessly pulled everything together. Everyone knows I have a bit of a girly side, so I couldn’t hold back on choosing vintage gold-rimmed glasses and crockery with matching cutlery for a hint of understated glamor. My only other girly request was to have a big light-up heart behind the top table.
All of our personal touches, the music, food, venue, etc were a reference to everything Daniel and I genuinely enjoy, so we feel the day perfectly reflected our personalities.
Simple, chic stationery
Our letterpress invitations and on-the-day stationery were the Ella design by British stationers Strawberry Sorbet. We wanted something simple and chic that wouldn’t date, and the quality of their product is just gorgeous.
We also used a stylish website called Riley & Grey to upload additional info about the day for our guests.
A BAFTA award-winning makeup artist
All I knew was that I wanted to look like a more polished version of myself. My everyday look is a smudge of liner and a nude lip. I never wear a base, so it took some convincing for me to wear a tinted moisturiser, but I get it now. My skin glowed and I’ve since invested in Laura Mercier and Kevyn Aucoin products.
My mum’s best friend, Maralyn Sherman, did my face. She’s a BAFTA award-winning makeup artist, so I knew I’d be in safe hands.
A dress designed by the bride
In all honesty, Daniel and I had been together for 14 years, so I kind of just accepted that we would settle as we were and not bother getting married. Because of this, it had never even crossed my mind to think about what my wedding dress would look like, let alone any aspect of the wedding. But typically, when we did decide to get married, we had to plan everything on a four-month timeframe, so I booked boutique appointments straight away. I thought I would be able to find a dress really easily, but nothing inspired me, and I didn’t have long to look for something.
I decided to design my own dress. I wanted something romantic, playful, slinky and easy to dance in, and presented my ideas to Bob Holly, a dressmaker I’ve known since I was 15.
She introduced me to London-based fabric store, Joel & Son, where I discovered the dreamiest silk chiffons, transparent beaded deco fabric and delicate camellia lace.
It was daunting making a dress from scratch, and it evolved quite a lot in each fitting, but I enjoyed the whole process so much. Towards the end, I decided the dress needed to have a slit, and we notched it a little higher every time I met with Bob which was a little cheeky I suppose. Bob made my veil, garter and drawstring bag with the fabric so everything matched.
I mentioned to Bob a couple a few days before the wedding that the aisle would be quite a long walk, so she said “well you better have a long trailing veil to create some drama.” She literally carried a role of fabric behind me, which kept going and going until I reached the chuppah.
My crystal and pearl drop earrings were by Miu Miu. I absolutely loved them, but I’ve never worn clip ons before, and they were hands down the most painful things ever.
I needed ‘something blue’, and adore my British Blue cat Silvio, so carried a small pouch with some of his fur in my bag. I also pinned a brooch belonging to Daniel’s mum, Natalie, in my bag so she could be a part of our special day – she had always wanted me to marry Daniel.
The handsome groom
Daniel, and all the groomsmen, wore matching looks from Reiss. We wanted the day to be fun and relaxed, and their outfits were part of creating that atmosphere. We decided on a contrasting light grey blazers with navy chinos and plush velvet bow ties to keep things dapper.
The boys had never worn this kind of style before, but they all looked great and I think they enjoyed stepping out of their comfort zone.
Bridesmaids in black
My sister Charlotte was my maid of honour, and I let her pick her color. It was really important to me that everyone felt comfortable with their attire on the day. Unsurprisingly, she opted for black, and I didn’t have any issued with this at all.
I found her a vampish lace dress on ASOS. My best friend Hannah wore a nude, old-school Hollywood style dress, also from ASOS.
Daniel’s niece and nephew were our flower girl and page boy. Chloe’s dress and cape were by French designer Tutu du Monde, and her glitter ballet pumps from Bloch. Brandon teamed his little John Rocha suit with some Converse.
A floating Chuppah
Originally, I wanted the chuppah to hang from the ceiling, with all the foliage floating down on clear wire, but because the building was listed, we weren’t allowed. Our florist suggested clear Perspex poles to create the illusion instead.
Haunting musical choices
We wanted our music choices to be present from the start so our soundtrack leading up to the wedding procession incorporated tracks from Massive Attack, Goldfrapp, Air, Nouvelle Vague and The Rolling Stones. We wanted to steer away from anything too slushy when people arrived. Daniel played me the Jeff Buckley version of Hallelujah a couple of months before the wedding since he thought it would be the perfect aisle song. He was right, and although it was a very indulgent 7 minutes long, it worked dreamily with the dark and haunting environment.
My favourite part was when I was walking towards Daniel, I just couldn’t stop smiling and fell in love all over again.
Our wedding breakfast entrance song was You Never Can Tell by Chuck Berry. We only decided on this the night before the wedding. We danced into the room ‘Pulp Fiction’ style (or at least, attempted to), and it totally set the tone for the day ahead. This was a highlight for several guests.
Creating playlists with Daniel for the whole event was one of the most fun activities leading up to the wedding. We are both super passionate about our music, and believe that our selection and constant demand of ‘turn it up louder’ meant that our guests got up and danced throughout the day, and prepped them for a night of intense partying.
Simple, clean and romantic flowers
My bouquet was timeless lily of the valley and smelled gorgeous, but did wilt quickly. We chose white hydrangeas for the bridesmaids, which were tied with spare fabric from my dress. Button holes were simple white roses.
I researched several florists, but in the end, it made sense for me to go with RB Floral Design, since they’re based on the same complex at Trinity Buoy Wharf so were more than familiar with the space.
I sent Richard several images of the ‘simple, clean and romantic’ aesthetic we wanted to achieve, and he got the brief 100%. I cannot recommend him highly enough. He also provided natural petals for our confetti, and all the candles and lanterns for the ceremony.
Our fabulous photographers…
We were lucky enough to work with two incredible and professional photographers: James Frost, and a second photographer, Benjamin Wheeler. They came on board just three days before the wedding after my original photographer disappeared on me. It was a stressful way to lead up to the wedding weekend, and I am eternally grateful for them getting involved at such short notice. We are beyond thrilled with the images.
I have watched my video hundreds of times, and Our Further Project were one of my best finds.
Save the first dance for me
Our first dance song was only decided the night before the wedding and we decided to go with a slow song, since it would be the only opportunity for one slow dance at the wedding. We went with God Only Knows by The Beach Boys.
An alternative wedding band
We knew a live band would create a fun atmosphere, but we wanted to stay clear of the usual ‘show band’ because it’s not our kind of vibe. I came across a very professional Brighton based band called Shine On and knew they would be perfect. They played everything from Blur to Libertines, and everyone went nuts. There was so much energy on the dance floor.
We had lipstick pens for the women. They were actually press gifts I had spare from an event I hosted at work, but they’re really cute!
I made up personalized candy bags in gold and white stripe bags, which also doubled as escort cards. I stencilled the names and table number onto each one.
The men each received a Kippah embossed with the word LOVE – we purchased them from Best Kippah*
*You can also buy the LOVE kippot from Hebrewear if you’re UK based
A perfectly-timed power cut
We had a power cut for about an hour during the dinner. Our guests thought that the lights turning off was intentional, since the music somehow continued playing but all the lights went out! We ended up with a mysterious romantic hour during dinner which added to the ambiance. Luckily, we had candles on the table so people could just about see what they were eating.
This all happened whilst Daniel and I were stuck at the top of a lighthouse having our photos taken. Walking down a spiral staircase in the pitch black was quite hilarious.
My dad’s speech included a rendition of the song Wild Thing. He had no idea we would get him to sing it, but it’s his ‘thing’. It made my friends realise my family are also party animals, and was just another thing that added to the fun, laid-back atmosphere.
Our caterer, Tasting Plates, was amazing, and the food was a real talking point among the guests. I regret not finishing the huge antipasti platter, and hope someone I know books them for an event attend so I can indulge properly next time.
Advice to brides and grooms currently planning their wedding
If you want people on the dance floor, make sure you (bride and groom) stay on the dance floor – your guests will feed off you.
Daniel and I didn’t want a fuss, and planned to go straight home after the wedding, but our parents kindly surprised us by sending us to The Sanderson for the night where a 3am feast awaited us in our bedroom. It was a lovely touch, and helped us enjoy being in our bubble that little bit longer.
Nicole & Daniel’s little white book
Photographer – James Frost
2nd Photographer – Benjamin Wheeler
Videographer – Our Further Project
Venue – Trinity Buoy Wharf
Bride’ dress – fabric purchased from Joel & Son
Bride’s shoes – Alexandre Birman purchased from Net-a-Porter
Bride’s jewellery – Miu Miu
Groom’s attire – Reiss
Bridesmaids – ASOS, Tutu du Monde, Bloch, John Rocha and Converse
Flowers – RB Floral Design
Caterer – Tasting Plates
Band – Shine On
Invitation – Strawberry Sorbet
Love Kippah – Best Kippah if you are USA based (or Hebrewear if you are UK based)
Wedding website – Riley & Grey
Wedding night – The Sanderson