Good morning beautiful people! We have the ultimate urban wedding to share with you here at Festival Brides today. Having lived in London for many years, we totally feel the vibe of this Thameside city wedding and we’re hopelessly in awe of how the incredible Kirsty Mackenzie has captured the verve and vibrancy of this day. United down at the Trinity Buoy Wharf in London’s hip East-End, Tom and Jules celebrated their love in view of the city’s one and only lighthouse! This creative riverside community space plays host to lots of outdoor artwork and installations, making the perfect blank industrial canvas for the couple to whip-up their super-cool urban festival party. Decorated with handmade dreamcatchers, dancing wind chimes and laced table décor, we love the simple and effective styling that Jules created. In true free-spirited fashion, this Grace Loves Lace adorned bride paves the way for all that want to do things a little differently on their big day….
We wanted it to be informal and relaxed, so it was more like a party with just a few wedding-y elements! Although it was in an urban warehouse space, we wanted to create the feel of a festival where possible so used details in the décor to help achieve this.
Dreamy Italian Lake Como Proposal
Tom proposed to me at Lake Como in Italy. He’d tried hard to arrange a sea plane for us to go in but they were all booked, despite him offering to pay double! In the end we were sat on the water’s edge with two huge beers talking about how much fun we have together, and he asked me if I want to have fun with him for the rest of our lives. I cry-laughed a lot and eventually remembered to say yes!
Wedding on the Thames
The wedding was held at Trinity Buoy Wharf, London. I found it online on a blog – it was the first place we viewed and we loved it immediately. The fact it was a blank canvas appealed so that we could inject our own personalities into the décor to create the vibe we were after – plus the amazing view of the Thames and the lighthouse (the only one in London) were big draws.
Draped in beautiful Grace Loves Lace
I always knew the dress I chose wouldn’t be typically ‘Bridey’ – that’s just not me and wouldn’t fit the kind of day we wanted. Grace Loves Lace was by far my favourite designer when I initially started looking online, but it’s an Australian designer which wasn’t stocked in the UK at the time. I was anxious about ordering online without having tried on first, but then saw on Instagram that they were doing a 5-day trunk show in London and became obsessed with watching for updates! I was lucky enough to get an appointment for the trunk show last August and fell in love with the dress I chose, which was my original favourite anyway. The two-piece style felt really right for me – it was something a little different, informal but with beautiful details – plus I can re-wear it (the top part at least), which I did on our honeymoon. I found it quite hard to choose shoes but knew I wanted to wear heels as I’m short and eventually went for a nude pair by Kurt Geiger. My hair was by Mailis Enger and make-up was done by my friend who’s a make-up artist.
Civil ceremony under a beautiful flower arch
We had a civil ceremony and we were married standing under a flower arch. There was no aisle – instead I approached Tom outside by the river, in front of our family and friends, and we walked towards the venue together. I’m not into the idea of being given away – I never belonged to my dad and nor do I belong to Tom now! Plus it felt more natural to enter into our marriage together like that.
Wild textured peaches and blues….
When the bouquets turned up on the morning of the wedding, me and my bridesmaids were amazed to see how closely they matched my flower crown. I’d mentioned to our friends Rozi and Chloe from Rozi’s Posies about a colour scheme and we’d roughly discussed a few specific flowers, but what they put together was mainly from their own wonderful creative minds and they were the most beautiful arrangements! Wild and textured in gorgeous white, peaches and blues – I was blown away and we had so many comments on the flowers from our guests.
Pretty-in-peach mismatched dresses
I wanted my bridesmaids to be able to wear whatever they wanted so it suited their own style, so we had a rough brief of nude/peach full-length dresses for them to follow and they just chose their own. The mismatched effect looked awesome and was tied together with ivory flower crowns that they all wore, which were by Lucy Mooney Designs. It also made it easier for my sister to find a dress, who was eight and a half months pregnant on the day!
Tom wore a burgundy three-piece suit by Mark Powell. It was a smart casual vibe which suited his personality and was something a bit different. He also wore a waistcoat chain in memory of his dad, made from a chain given to him by his dad for his 16th birthday with a charm added by The Great Frog.
High ceilings, Dreamcatchers and wind chimes….
The venue is beautiful on its own, with high ceilings, bare bricks and awesome views. But we wanted to bring personal touches to it for our wedding and were lucky enough to have the help of many friends and family to do so. Elements included homemade dreamcatchers, wind chimes, and drapes to make our ceremony more intimate in such a big space. Tom and our friend James built the freestanding double door which was the first thing guests saw and walked through when they arrived on the premises. James also made the anchor and J & T on the door, which matched our invites (by Paper Heart Company) and a general theme that ran through the day.
Tom and I and our family sourced loads of jars and vintage bottles for the table arrangements, as well as wine crates. Our friend made an arch for us to get married under, which our florist did a wonderful job of decorating. We had a chill-out area in one corner, for which we hired sofas and chairs from Vintage Style Hire.
wedding favour Lucky dip in a vintage case
Despite not having a seating plan we still wanted the guests to have presents, so instead of table favours we made a Lucky Dip in a vintage case. Prizes included a mix CD of songs special to us, meringue pops by Meringue Girls, and silly ashtrays and pens of Kate and Wills, as it was their fifth wedding anniversary on the day of our wedding!
We didn’t really have too much of a need for stationary. The time for eating was very informal. It was a sit where you like vibe. Our invites were made bespoke by Paper Heart Company.
Festival-style street food and an ice cream factory!
We knew as soon as we met with Jimmy and Helen from Jimmy Garcia Catering that they’d be great for what we were after. To keep things informal and in line with the festival style, we wanted to serve a few options of street food that would be fun for our guests to choose and eat. In the end we went for build you own burger and pie and mash, with pies supplied by Lovett Pies. Then for dessert – my favourite part – we had an ice cream factory, where guests chose their flavours and then went crazy covering it with their own toppings. So fun! Our guests loved it; we had lots of people going up for seconds…and thirds!
Vintage pearls and a whole lot of glitter!
I found my veil at a wedding fair, which was by Katya Katya Shehurina. Because my dress was quite informal I felt that having a full-length veil would add some bridal elegance, and I fell in love with the waterfall style of this one. I knew I wanted to wear glitter on my face and flowers in my hair as it’s the most joyful feeling! Plus it fitted with the festival kind of style we wanted. I found this flower crown by Gibson Bespoke which was made from silk in beautiful colours. Debbie was great and happy to customise it for me to suit what I wanted. And my friend Caroline did my make-up and did a brilliant job of toning down the usual mega amount of glitter I wear when I go to festivals.
I wore vintage earrings borrowed from my sister which I had given to her on her wedding day, and a pearl bracelet given to me by my mother-in-law, made from vintage pearls from the family. I also wore my Granny’s brooch on my garter under my dress as my ‘something old’, in her memory. It felt really special to have precious mementos as my wedding day jewellery, and meant I didn’t have the stress and cost of shopping for new things to wear.
Capture the moment….
Kirsty our photographer (Kirsty Mackenzie Photography) is amazingly talented and SO much fun to hang out with, which is important if they’re going to spend the whole day at your wedding. It was like having an extra two friends (including her second photographer Marni) there all day! We are blown away by how wonderful the photos are – we didn’t want to posey or anything that wasn’t us and that’s exactly what we got – they really captured the joy of the day.
Our videographer was Will from Melt Video. Weddings aren’t usually his thing as he’s a documentary maker, but he agreed to get involved and we’re so pleased he did as the finished product was amazing. Take a look – https://youtu.be/idypP4U9sCM
From first dance to warehouse rave
Our first dance was to ‘There She Goes, My Beautiful World’, by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. They’ve always been one of my favourite bands and Tom has grown to love them just as much since we’ve been together. The song was his suggestion, which I thought was really sweet! It’s fun and upbeat with beautiful, poetic lyrics – there was no way we wanted a soppy slow dance in front of everybody!
The amazing Super Tenants came on straight after our first dance. These guys are friends of ours and SO awesome – we had loads of comments and compliments about them. And the DJ in the evening was found through friends who run a regular club night called Family We Choose – they don’t usually do weddings but it was a favour to us and we’re so happy because they made the final hours of the party go off! It was more like a warehouse rave than a wedding at the end, which was exactly what we wanted!
I didn’t expect it to be but the ceremony was my favourite part of the day. It was so much fun, everyone laughed so much! We wrote our own vows which made it really special and encouraged us to remember what it’s all really about during the craziness and occasional stress of planning the day.
Your wedding should encompass everything that you and your partner love and enjoy. Don’t worry too much about guests finding some things a bit odd or not getting it (which we did a little), because you’ll find that they embrace the uniqueness and recognise your personalities shining through. If people offer you help, accept it! They wouldn’t offer if they didn’t want to. And only use suppliers who you feel it would be nice to spend time with, as you’ll be doing a lot of that in the run-up and on the day. We think these are the main elements behind the ridiculous amount of fun that we had marrying each other and celebrating with our loved ones.
Even the weather added to the uniqueness of the day, with everything from snow to bright sunshine, to a huge crack of thunder echoing around us just as we recited our personal vows to each other. A sign of approval, we think. So don’t be scared about bad weather – just go with it!
The line up
Photographer: Kirsty Mackenzie Photography
Videographer: Melt Video
Venue: Trinity Buoy Wharf
Brides Dress: Grace Loves Lace
Groom’s Outfit: Mark Powell.
Bridesmaids: Lucy Mooney Designs
Catering: Jimmy Garcia Catering / Lovett pies
Music: Super Tenants
Stationary: Paper Heart Company