Irene Yap Weddings I applaud you, because the image of groom Robin standing at the altar waiting for his bride Sian literally speaks a thousand words. I swear I can feel the exact same butterflies, love and anticipation as him, and as soon as I saw that image I couldn’t wait to see more.
Not only will you go on an emotional journey at this fabulous city wedding, but you will also be mesmerised by the stunning St Stephen’s Trust, deconsecrated church venue. It screams elegance, history and looks like it was the perfect place to celebrate such a lovely union.
Now on to bride Sian’s exquisite Inbal Raviv gown, which I thought was not only elegant, but incredibly stylish with its cutaway midriff, almost giving the illusion of bridal separates. Her maids look just as beautiful in floral gowns and matching them perfectly are the sumptuous red blooms by Panache Flowers.
Sian the Bride: We knew from the start that we wanted a London venue, with the whole day at the same place. However, Robin has a big family, so we were also looking for a space big enough to hold all our closest family and friends. We found it wasn’t the easiest to find in London without it being a hotel, which wasn’t something that excited us. We found St Stephens online the day after we got engaged, and it was the only venue we saw. It’s such a beautiful building, and as a deconsecrated church, gives you the chance to get married in a church setting but with a civil ceremony. It was a bonus that it’s also in Hampstead, our favourite area of London.
I wanted something a bit different to a traditional wedding dress and also easy to wear, which to start with I found really hard to find. After visiting a few boutiques and starting to feel a bit defeated, I came across Luella’s in Wimbledon. Unlike other boutiques I had visited there were so many dresses that I tried on and would happily take home with me. The designer that stood out however was Inbal Raviv. Her dresses were so special and unusual. After a lot of deliberating (I think 3 visits before I finally made a decision), I chose the Becky dress. I loved how it felt vintage and modern at the same time, with the lace and cut out detail. It even had some rose gold beading; as my engagement ring is rose gold it felt meant to be!
My shoes were from Dune, I wanted something simple and neutral, but most importantly a high heel while still being comfortable.
As my dress had quite a lot of detail, I didn’t feel the need to wear much jewellery. I only wore a simple rose gold bangle from Skagen, to match my rings.
I didn’t know where to start when looking for a photographer, but I eventually found Irene on a Rock My Wedding feature. We wanted someone that really caught the atmosphere of the day, instead of endless posed and group photos. Irene did exactly that, and it was so nice to see how she captured the emotion of the day. We have had so many compliments for the photos and I couldn’t recommend her enough. It also of course helped that she is a really cool person in general and so easy to get on with.
Anna at Panache Florists listened so carefully to what I wanted, and what she made for us was beyond my expectations. I wanted lots of colour to tie in with the bridesmaid’s dresses, she complemented them so well! She also made up some simple buckets of gypsohila to decorate the aisle, and some ivy to decorate the windows sills of the church.
Decor / Styling
As the venue is so stunning already, we tried to keep the decoration quite simple, with lighting and the flowers as the main focus. I also didn’t want to go for a particular colour theme, and just wanted the day to be colourful in general. I am however a bit obsessed with copper, so it featured quite a bit in the decorations. I even used some bits from our home to help keep the cost down.
Robin works in IT so came in handy with his Photoshop skills for our table names and table plan. We named the tables after our favourite gigs we have been to together, and chose one of our favourite lyrics from each artist to go on the table as well.
I had considered favours for the tables, but in the end, we were much happier putting that money towards the food and drink to make sure everyone had a great time. I instead made card place settings, and inside wrote a thank you message to everyone. Although it took a long time to make, it is definitely rewarding doing some DIY for parts of the wedding. Along with the help of my mum we also made the table runners, table plan, and a few other bits to decorate the venue.
I quite quickly decided I wanted my sister Jane to make my cakes, she bakes for fun and they are always a massive success. I asked that she made a few smaller cakes instead of one big wedding cake and gave her free reign from there. What she made was way beyond our expectations, making 7 full sized cakes, brownies, cupcakes and a tray bake! They tasted as good as they looked as well. She even topped the cupcakes with the names of some of our favourite things, including the names of our pet guinea pigs! One of the cakes (with the help of my mum) had our initials in copper and the centre piece was a 2-tier chocolate naked cake, it was so perfect.
We used Food Events for our catering. Not only was their food delicious, they helped so much with the logistics of the day and made sure everything was taken care of. They even did a run to the shops when one of our beer kegs failed to work!
My favourite part of the food was the antipasti sharing starter, which was a bit more relaxed than having the standard plated 3 course meal. It was a good way of getting everyone talking at the tables. We then had a choice of mains and Eton mess for dessert.
The bridesmaid’s dresses were from Karen Millen. I wanted something with colour and that all 3 bridesmaids would be comfortable in. As I wasn’t fussed about having a specific colour scheme for the day, it made choosing their dresses a lot easier. After some searching I was surprised that I found some shoes that we all liked and matched the dresses from Clarks.
I bought the flower girl dress in Monsoon, I thought the style of it went really well with my dress. The page boy’s outfit was from Marks and Spencer.
Robin got his grooms party suits from Hugo Boss. He then chose a different waistcoat from Ben Sherman for himself to stand out from the groomsmen. The knitted bow ties were from Broni & Bo, and the shoes from Ted Baker.
Our DJ was recommended by the venue, but we chose him because not only did he create us a great party playlist, but he also provided uplighters to illuminate the arches and dome of the church. It made the venue look so awesome as it got darker in the evening. Our friend Jake also played some guitar while everyone had drinks outside after the ceremony. Our first dance was ‘Only You’ by Yazoo.
I loved the ceremony and made it personal to us through the music and readings. I walked down the aisle to ‘Hold you in my arms’ by Ray LaMontagne. Both Robin and I are a bit dog crazy so my sister Read ‘A Marriage is like owning a dog’, and our friend Jenny read ‘Sooner or Later’.