Juliet and James kept things local for a celebration of all things east London
Photos: Joanna Bongard
James and I wanted our day to fit our personalities, to plan everything ourselves and to involve as many local makers and talented people as possible. So, two days before, my father and bridesmaids Belle and TJ made an early morning trip to New Covent Garden flower market. TJ and I also managed to snip some eucalyptus from a tree in my local park – without getting caught – and Belle created the bouquets. How did I keep them fresh? In my bath, of course.
There were no ‘getting ready’ rituals on the day (we even spent the night before in the same bed). I wanted my dress to be both modern and elegant, and luckily I found the Daughters of Simone ‘Jude’ dress on Instagram. It was when I tried it on in the New York showroom that I really fell in love with the crochet fabric. James wore a bespoke suit from Beggars Run with brogues from Barker and a Burberry trench.
We love Hackney, so the town hall seemed like the perfect fit for our ceremony. After some photos outside – it may have been overcast but I can’t say we noticed – we hopped on our 1953 Red Regal bus and made the quick trip to the Alfred Le Roy boat, where our guests enjoyed prosecco, canapés and some magic from Pete Heat. The main event took place at Crate Brewery. Styling was a DIY job by both families and friends, and James’s cousin created a piece of software that pulled images from Instagram using #fromhackneywithlove and projected them onto a screen.
Being vegetarians, we opted for a veggie wedding, and The Canababes came up with a delicious menu – many of our guests said it was the best wedding food they’d ever had. The Hardihood made our raw and vegan three-tiered chocolate cake, and we even had a carrot cake made by my dad, an autumn fruit pavlova from mum, and a naked cake by food stylist Holly Cochrane.
When we were planning our wedding we knew we wanted a big party with plenty of dancing. Giacomo Smith and Kansas Smitty’s band played jazz while we ate, before our musician friends Jim Dale and Hayley Mary played a set of covers.
One of the main men was Doug Coppell, who does lighting for some of the UK’s biggest festivals. His brief? Get us all dancing as if we were at a proper warehouse party. Inspired by the festival, he came back to us with a plan to create a mini Secret Garden Party in the Brew Shed – and it didn’t disappoint.
One of our must-haves from the beginning was to have our first dance with everyone. Hayley, Jim and Doug made that happen for us in the best way imaginable: they performed OutKast’s ‘Hey Ya!’ and got the whole room dancing. It was, without a doubt, one of the best moments of the day.
Highlight of the day
Juliet Reading our own vows. We were nervous about writing them, but we were so pleased we did them ourselves. There’s something really beautiful about sharing words about your love for one another surrounded by your family and friends.
James On a par with our vows was our first dance. We had two good friends playing on stage and everyone was up dancing. That’s exactly what we wanted: our first dance to be with everyone.
Venue Crate Brewery
Bride’s dress Daughters of Simone
Bride’s shoes Swedish Hasbeens
Bridesmaids’ dresses Urban Outfitters
Hair and make-up Zoe Cornwell
Groom’s suit Beggars Run
Caterer The Canababes, The Hardihood
Tableware Hogs Back Event Hire
Transport 1953 Red Regal single-decker bus from Alphabus
This article was first published in Squaremeal Weddings 2016