I love a good old London knees up wedding and today’s comes from a rather special venue, the London Rowing Club in Putney. Now I don’t know what it is about rowing clubs, but some of the best parties I’ve been too have happened in them…why is that?! Your guess is as good as mine, and no, I’m sure it’s got nothing to do with muscly men. Nothing at all.
Hannah and Alex’s big day is beautifully styled by the bride and beautifully shot by RMW fave Matt Ethan. And I must mention the blooms, which were put together by an amazing charity collective run by a lady called Steph Merton, who arrange the flowers for weddings and events for the love of it and donate their fees to charity. What a lovely idea. Also, one final mention – Hannah and Alex served vegan food for their big day, so if anyone is on the look out for vegan suppliers then do check out their recommendations.
Hannah The Bride: After a year and three months of painstaking planning, Alex and I got married at the London Rowing Club in Putney on 22 April 2017. We chose the venue for our ceremony, dinner and evening celebrations because of its amazing riverside location, quirky décor and above all the fantastic supporting team. Having an experienced and attentive venue manager was a massive help!
Before we started any serious planning, we nailed down our colour scheme and theme. This gave our whole day a framework which we could then work within. Planning a wedding is a really long and daunting task, so it’s important to set yourself some ground rules! We chose Phoebe P Liberty print as our colour scheme, which served as the basis for choosing the bridesmaid dresses, Alex’s suit, my dress, and even the colour of the paper we would print on. My brother Howard incorporated the Liberty print into all of our stationery and my mum ensured that there would be hints of it around the venue in the form of mini bunting, picture frames and even Alex’s pocket square.
When you are planning what you are going to wear, I think it’s important not to deviate too much from the things you like day to day. I love wearing 1950s style dresses for special occasions as they are fun to twirl around and dance in, I feel comfortable in them and most importantly they flatter my shape. So it really was a no brainer for me to look for a 1950s dress. I fell in love with Rose from the LouLou bridal collection at Fairy Goth Mother and customised with ivory lace, a dusky pink underlay and cap sleeves to round off my shoulders. I also ordered some extra ivory lace so that I could make a pair of mittens to wear at the ceremony. To complete the look, I wore a blush angled veil handmade by my mum, as well as diamond and pearl studs from Purely Diamonds.
Wearing a tea length dress meant that shoes were important. I really liked the Harriet Wilde collection as the shoe itself is plain but the heel is beautifully decorated with vines and flowers. I chose the pink Sakura heel but swapped the standard peep toe shoe for a round toe – I don’t usually wear peep toe and was conscious I would be on my feet all day so comfort was a priority!
Recommended by our venue, our bouquets and all of the flowers around the venue were made up by the amazing Steph Merton and her team of charity florists. Steph took us to the Covent Garden Flower Market to choose our stems, which was really great fun! The profit made was donated to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home and Hospital for Neuro Disability.
Finding a makeup artist that you fully trust is arguably even more important than anything else – they are responsible for your face after all! I initially trialled with a vintage specialist, but I ended up looking like a stern Conservative leader from the 80s. I then found Kaz Fernando who I trusted implicitly – she gave a vintage feel to my hair and makeup but worked with my features to enhance them and make me look my best. I cannot stress the importance of a hair and makeup trial enough. Make sure that you find someone who takes the time to understand you and your skin – you don’t want to end up with a shiny face and camel lashes on your wedding day!
The Groom & Groomsmen
Alex and I wanted the colours we wore to complement each other, rather than contrast. He chose brown tweed suits from Victor Valentine for himself and his best men. The brown blended really well with my dusty pink ivory dress and combination of blush coloured flowers. Alex’s suit was very subtly distinguished from the best men’s suits by the colour of the sleeve buttons on his jacket.
To avoid the headache of finding one bridesmaid dress that all three of them would love, we opted for The Pretty Dress Company, who stock a variety of different dress styles in the same fabric. This meant that the girls could choose whichever style they felt most comfortable in whilst all looking in unison.
My mum, bridesmaids and I arrived at the venue in a VW Camper called Candy, driven by Noel of Deluxe Wedding Hire. Travelling together was really important to me, and I’m so pleased we did as it was such a fun journey! Candy also provided some great photo opportunities.
The Riverside Vegetaria in Kingston catered for us, cooking up a selection of delicious vegan curries and serving them in a family style set up to each table. We didn’t want a formal dining experience or a buffet and this was an excellent compromise between the two. For dessert we cut up and served a three tiered vegan cake made by Lizzie Cope of Heart of Cake London. Serving the cake to our guests was a really nice way of socialising and making sure glasses were all topped up!
Evening entertainment was provided by Dan at Shoosh Weddings. Our worst nightmare was a DJ playing Black Lace so we opted for a credible Kisstory specialist. The dancefloor was full all night and it was a fantastic way to finish the day.
Choosing our photographer was the most difficult part of the wedding. I spent weeks researching and found so many brilliant photographers, but none felt right. When I saw Matt Ethan’s work I knew he was the one! We wanted someone who would document our day capturing natural photographs with natural lighting, rather than someone who takes endless formal photos. We barely noticed Matt throughout the day and the photos we have now are the most fantastic reminder of our amazing day. You can’t really put a price on that.
It was really important to us that the day was informal and personal, so we used the talents of our friends and family to help bring in lots of unique touches to make our day a celebration of who we are. I really think these touches made the day and the care and attention you put in will set your wedding aside from others.