This may well be one of the coolest and most stylishly decorated venues that I have ever laid my wedding blogger eyes upon! Yes, Gaby and Mike found a venue that reflected the look and feel that they were after – a warehouse venue with original brick walls, cavernous ceilings, crystal chandeliers, whimsical art work (including loads of original Andy Warhol’s), decadent furniture and dramatic lighting. This wedding is full of fun and creativity, but one of the stand-out ideas for me was the ‘Vodka Social’. Since the groom is Russian, different flavoured vodkas flowed throughout this wedding and we are talking some really *awesome* flavours such as ginger, spiced pear, raspberry, caramel, tiramisu and horseradish! More on that later on. First of all let me hand you over to our lovely bride on how and why she chose the venue. VENUE Gaby, The Bride: Mike and I had several important non-negotiable items as we started our wedding planning, and one of them was the venue. The venue sets the tone and influences the look-and-feel of the wedding, and is the backdrop for the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception. It’s where we’ll take a majority of our photos, and where our friends and family will celebrate the most special and important symbol of our love and commitment to one another. We knew we wanted something unique, spacious, modern and truly unforgettable for our wedding. We wanted it to be a reflection of us and our taste, and most importantly, we wanted to infuse our vision in the space…rather than the vision of the space taking over the wedding. We’ve been to so many weddings in hotel ballrooms, where the look is always the same: cream colored walls, gold neo-baroque sconces and floral or damask-patterned carpets. While there’s nothing wrong with that, we wanted something unlike anything we’ve seen before. We wanted something modern and sexy, but also understated and simple. We also knew we had our work cut out for us as many venues in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul areas have exclusive relationships with vendors, making it very difficult to work with the vendors we had already picked out and meet our Kosher food requirement. We looked at no less than two dozen venues and called at least another dozen more…and each time, we came back to ARIA at the Jeune Lune. It was a favourite of ours from the start. In fact, I had my heart set on the Jeune Lune even before we were engaged! While celebrating the 2011-2012 New Year, Mike and I and a few friends went to a New Year’s party hosted at the Jeune Lune. It was the venue’s inaugural debut from being a theatre to becoming a premier venue hall in the Theatre District of downtown Minneapolis. I remember walking in to the Jeune Lune and being completely mesmerized by the space! I leaned in to Mike and whispered in his ear: “This would be the perfect spot for a wedding.”
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When I knew I’d be blogging this beauty of a wedding I whooped, hollered and clapped my hands with glee… Its filled with so many wonderful details, and the bride, Steph describes it all so beautifully.
It’s set in the depths of the Norfolk countryside at the resplendent garden venue that is Narborough Hall, and it’s full of creative details, fashion-inspired touches, and an achingly chic bride and groom ( well they do both work in fashion industry – in fact that’s how they met, but more about that later on).
You guys are in for a treat. Seriously. this wedding is a dream.
Steph, the Bride: I fell in love with Narborough Hall as soon as I saw it… somewhere where we could feel at home, and relaxed. We were originally going to get married in Ibiza, but my family are farmers, so they couldn’t be away from the crops and the animals for any long amount of time, not to mention that my grandad wouldn’t be able to travel that far..
Narborough ticked all the boxes in terms of being a bit boho and absolutely beautiful, and somehow really tranquil and fun.. not at all stiff or pompous.
The fact that the flowers could all be sourced from Narborough’s own gardens also made it feel very natural and not ‘plastic’ or put on.
I sort of toyed around with loads of magazine tears and ideas from the internet..The problem was that trend seemed to be for kitsch, hand made, english country wedding, and although I love all that, I didn’t want our wedding to look like it had been taken straight out of someone else’s wedding shoot or too ‘theme’ wedding rather than my wedding..
So I began to look at films and other inspirations and found some fantastic images of Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s and that kind of era, mixed with a bit of faded English glamour and tarnished jewels became the background theme.
Philippa and Andrew’s big day is the epitome of romantic elegance. The exquisite colour scheme of purples, greys, golds and pastels pervades everything in their wedding; it’s present in Philippa’s luscious bouquet (that frankly looks good enough to eat) and their beautiful dessert table too… right down to the invitations, menus and lighting.
And how gorgeous is our bride, Philippa? Doesn’t her Audrey Hepburn / 50s inspired Stephanie Allin dress look immense? And I am swooning over her awesome Lulu Guinness ‘lips’ bag (her lovely husband actually surprised her with it on the day… so cute)
Anyway I won’t delay you any further; go on check out Philippa and Andrew’s splendid day for yourselves: ogle over the gorgeous imagery by Mark Seymour and, at the end of the post, the wonderfully atmospheric film by The Dreamcatchers.
A BALLROOM VENUE WITH BEAUTIFUL PARK VIEWS
A countryside wedding was our original plan, however this was proving difficult because at the time we had 200 guests to invite. We didn’t want to go to a beautiful countryside manor and have to use a marquee — what’s the point of going to a stunning location to be put in a marquee and have to spend thousands dressing it? So we decided that interior was key and the Mandarin Oriental was the perfect answer. We had the best of both worlds, a beautiful ballroom with Hyde Park literally on your door step.
THEME + STYLE
We went for a ‘romantic and elegant’ theme. Being a makeup artist I love to mood board so this was always going to be a fun task . The colour scheme and the style of the wedding was so important. Purple was the chosen dominant colour used throughout the wedding on the invitations, menus, flowers, ties etc) with greys, golds and different coloured pastels to compliment. The ballroom was dripping in gold and had lots of huge mirrors inside and so the romantic mood was enhanced with soft purple and pink lighting. Candelabras were placed on every other table with a small floral display on top & pastel coloured scattered petals on the mirrored base. The alternate tables had a low flower display with tea lights and scattered petals so not to block anyone’s view. Purple was used throughout the flowers in different shades to enhance and compliment the mood.
This morning I have the ideal antidote to the stormy weather and the general sub zero antics that appear to be going on outside. Steve from Newlywed Films recently contacted me to share one of his favourite wedding films from 2013 and it’s perfect for brightening up a particularly inclement day such as today.
There are so many details that I love about this wedding, from the groom’s theatrical top hat and the bride’s Vivienne Westwood-esque dress (especially that bustle) to the fact that their reception took place in the London Transport Museum – how fun and fabulous is that?! Their guests chatted and ate on the different buses throughout the museum and as Joanna, the bride, says, “The London Transport Museum had never held a wedding reception before which meant it was a really fun and creative process for us and felt very unique and special.”
Anyway, enough from me, check out the wedding film for a sun-in-your-heart Thursday feeling.
Joanna, the bride: We don’t have an exciting/romantic backstory in terms of using the London Transport Museum as our wedding venue – we just came across it when we were venue searching and then nothing else seemed to compare!
We didn’t want a sit down meal but we also wanted our guests to be occupied the whole time so a museum space with fun exhibits seemed perfect, especially as we knew that there would be kids at the reception. It turns out that it was the adults who probably enjoyed it the most though! Also, the transport museum had never held a wedding reception before which meant it was a really fun and creative process for us and felt very unique and special.
Today folks we have back garden glamour abound, with a wedding hosted in the bride’s parents’ home followed by a reception at the bride’s grandparent’s home. How lovely is that?
There’s loads of super creative DIY, a gorgeous Alice Temperley bride, a Routemaster bus, some swimming pool action, and some immense photography from Richmond Pictures.
Victoria, a creative arts therapist, and Oliver, a theatre producer, met during their time at the Newcastle University Theatre Society where they played two drunks in Kebab! The Musical . What an awesome ‘how did you meet’ opener!
VENUE + LOCATION
Victoria, the Bride: We had the ceremony in my parent’s garden in Highgate. They have a lawn down some garden steps, which makes it feel like a secret garden almost. We then took red London buses to my Grandparent’s house, also in Highgate, as they too have a lovely garden – we had a marquee here. I grew up in both these gardens so both venues had a lot of sentimental value and my fiancà©e loved the gardens too. (My Grandpa died a few years ago but my Grandma was thrilled to host everyone — she danced all night. This was particularly special as she passed away 6 months later. We have such great memories of her as hostess with the mostess!)