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!)
My husband is a theatre producer and I trained as a drama therapist. We met doing a play at University, which we then took to the Edinburgh Festival. Our invitation was a photograph of us poking our heads out of a closed red velvet curtain in a theatre! The other side was more traditional and elegant, with all the wording.
Last minute I decided to wear a crystal and pearl headband that my cousin lent me that she had worn for her wedding. I wore a veil from Veiled in Beauty and borrowed an antique pearl necklace from my now mother-in-law and wore pearl earring studs. I also borrowed an antique pearl bracelet, which I spotted on my sister-in-law’s wrist about a week before and was kindly loaned it. My dress was quite modern so I liked the idea of simple antique jewellery to wear with it.
JIMMY CHOO WHITE SHOES
My shoes were white satin Jimmy Choo‘s— medium height, pointy toe — classic.
Oliver wore a morning suit from Moss Bros but to make it more individual he teamed it with a dashing linen waist-coat from Ede & Ravenscroft! He also wore his great grandfather’s pocket watch.
I had five bridesmaid all wearing different outfits. The colours were all from the same palette however — cream, pink, mauve and brown.
HAIR + MAKE-UP
I had someone from Bobbi Brown come and do my make-up but kept it quite simple and a friend recommended a hairdresser. I changed my mind about my hair style about ten times however, even after having a trial. Bridesmaids and Mother were called in for last minute advice. In the end I had it all down with a few slides in the sides.
A SPECIAL CEREMONY
Our ceremony was a blessing as our Rabbi couldn’t / wouldn’t legally marry us as Oliver isn’t Jewish. (We had a civil ceremony three days earlier with family only, at Marylebone Town Hall.) Having a ceremony in this way enabled us to make it completely personal and discuss with the Rabbi what was important to us. We had friends and family saying blessings and readings and the Rabbi sung some Hebrew songs that we had chosen, alongside our friend playing the guitar.
We wrote vows for each other and read them to one another. The most unique part of our ceremony was the ‘contract’ — and the ancient process performed to make it binding under Jewish law, between a Jew and non-Jew. The contract was in Hebrew and English (we wrote the English, our Rabbi translated it) and read out by the Rabbi and our best man. The process involved both my husband and I placing something owned by us independently, into a small bag (he put in my wedding ring, I put in a silver Kiddush cup), and then together lifting it above our heads — at this point we were bound to our contract and everyone cheered!
Instead of having a chuppah, we had an arch with flowers in the corners. The arch was made of silver birch by my father-in-law, from the woods near their house, and the flowers were arranged by my mother-in-law.
I walked into At Last by Etta James played by a string quartet. Just loved the song really but it was also quite fitting as we had been going out ten years!
My very talented mother-in-law did the flower arrangements at the ceremony – filling large aluminium buckets with dusky pink and white flowers and small buckets that we tied to the chairs along the aisle. These flowers were from Covent Garden flower market. In the marquee for the reception we had Amber Rose (florist in Temple Fortune) do the flowers. Half the tables had tall gladiolas in bright colours, the other half had low vases filled with bamboo, roses and orchids. In the pool we had brightly coloured gerberas. The hand ties/button holes were done by the florist and were antique roses.
DECOR + CREATIVE DETAILS
We brought back 50 silk Vietnamese lanterns from our trip nine months earlier! They survived 5 flights although some needed TLC (glue gun). They were gorgeous and we rigged up light bulbs into each of them.
The tables were named after different countries and places we had been to and on each table we had a photo from us there. The name cards were real theatre tickets with details of the wedding on it instead of a show. I made the seating plan look like a stage with red velvet curtains pulled back (same theme as invites). I printed out the menus on flower pressed paper and tied them with ribbon onto the napkins. Along one side of the marquee I had printed out pictures of us growing up and made them look like polaroid pictures. I used wooden clothes pegs to tie them onto a long piece of ribbon.
OUR WONDERFUL PHOTOGRAPHERS
We used Richmond Pictures (Karina and Tom) — recommended by another photographer I knew. I had met with Karina and loved the photos she showed me, natural with sense of fun. It worked perfectly as Tom stayed with the Groom and Ushers at the start, and Karina stayed with the Bridesmaids and me. Karina became more that just the photographer — she became my lip gloss keeper – indispensable!
SUSHI, CANAPES AND CAKE
We bought the cake — simple white icing over fruit-cake. We then decorated it with fresh roses. Adam Zeitlin did the rest of the catering — the food was fantastic! Along with some amazing canapà©s at the start — we had a sushi bar, very popular!
Our friend represents different bands and recommended a group called the Rare Collective. They were made up of musicians who had supported Amy Winehouse, Mark Ronson, Jamiroquai and others. The main singer was even in the Thriller music video!
ADVICE TO OTHER BRIDES
Don’t stress — it’s the people that make a wedding!
VICTORIA + OLIVER’S LITTLE WHITE BOOK
Photography — Richmond Pictures
Videography — Gorgeous Films
Bride’s dress — Alice Temperley
Bride’s Veil — Veiled in Beauty
Bride’s shoes — Jimmy Choo
Groom’s attire — Moss Bros + Ede & Ravenscroft
Marquees — County Marquees
Catering — Zeitlin
Make-up – Bobbi Brown
Florals — Groom’s mother + Amber Rose
String quartet — Blue Flamingo Entertainment
This wedding just looks like brilliant fun, and the details are divine. The Vietnamese lanterns are achingly pretty aren’t they? And I do love the backdrop of the family gardens together with the famous London skyline. A truly creative and inspired affair!