This simply stunning London Town Hall wedding was planned in just one month – that’s four weeks people! Originally Ania and David were set on a big wedding celebration, but when the groom was offered a job overseas their plans changed! If you ever needed proof that less really can be more, this is it.
Ania and David’s day is full of smiles and beautiful details, all wonderfully captured by La Cabine de Margaux. Ania looks incredible in her Free People wedding dress – you NEED to see the back of this dress, and I love the delicate dried flowers in her hair – she absolutely nails the ethereal boho bride look! Oh, and I’ll just casually mention that their dog makes an appearance, complete with the most amazing floral collar!! You don’t want to miss this…
Photography by La Cabine de Margaux
The beautiful dress
Ania, the bride: I fell in love with Free People wedding dresses – they’re so romantic, original and have a boho feel to them. They were so very different from all the awful, cupcake-shaped, overpriced glittery shit I had tried on! I ordered my dress online, and it was shipped from the US. However, the dress was completely transparent – something I only realised when it arrived!!!! I had a lot of work done to it at a tailor in Hampstead. The alterations cost as much as the dress – but I was still within my budget and they made my dress look vintage and classy. I accessorised with my grandmother’s earrings (as my something old) and a Monica Vinader bracelet and necklace – the necklace was a surprise gift from David.
David bought his suit from TM Lewin and his cufflinks were a special gift from my father. David is a maritime engineer so they were ‘sea’ themed!
One bridesmaid & the best man
I had one bridesmaid – she wore one of her pink dresses with her mum’s fur coat and she stole my Kurt Gieger heels! The best man wore a tailor made suit he already owned.
Rustic details & DIY
We didn’t have long to plan so I did everything myself, including decorations for the pub where we had drinks and canapés after the town hall ceremony. I searched for rustic crafts on Pinterest and experimented with jam jars, linen fabric and dry flowers. I wanted our day to be small, romantic, and simple – and it was exactly that. I drove David crazy with all the jars I was collecting, which I turned into beautiful candle holders! We didn’t really have a theme to the day… although we did agree on a yellow tie, pocket square and some yellow details in the buttonholes and my bouquet.
London town hall wedding ceremony
We had a civil ceremony in the smallest room in Islington Town Hall – it was perfect! The registrar was an amazing woman and made it really memorable. I chose some classical piano music to play during the ceremony.
We found our photographer, La Cabine de Margaux (Margaux Carron) on Gumtree! I contacted so many photographers but most of them were already booked, or asked for a ridiculous fee. Margaux was within our budget and had exactly the kind of photos we liked! She created wonderful memories for us, something we will forever be grateful for!
We had beautiful dry flower buttonholes made for the groom & best man, and I had a beautiful bouquet all made by Isabel Castro Freitas. My best friend, who was also my maid of honour, flew these babies all the way from Portugal on her lap in a shoebox! I also ordered some dry flower hair pins from The Artisan Dried Flower Co.
I didn’t have time to organise a cake so I ordered Hummingbird Bakery cupcakes! They’re always a winner!
Low key reception and the Ritz
We didn’t have a big party after the wedding ceremony. Instead, we reserved an area in The Woodman, a pub in Highgate for drinks and canapés. Later on we splashed out on a fancy dinner, and took our 2 favourite couples (best man & partner and maid of honour & partner) to the Ritz. It turns out they have a dance floor! When the music died down, David and I agreed that we’d go and have our ‘first dance’ and whatever song the band played would be our song. We went to the dance floor, held each other, looked into each other’s eyes and the music started – and we burst out laughing! The orchestra started playing ‘The first cut is the deepest’!
Wishes & Advice
We didn’t have any favours but we did buy these ‘wish’ and ‘advice’ cards and a fishbowl, so people could write messages to us – we had so much fun reading them in bed the next morning! We actually cried with laughter!
Wedded words of wisdom
To all brides out there – don’t go crazy! We were planning a big, traditional wedding, however due to David accepting an expat deal overseas we had to rush things. In the end we organised our simple London Town Hall wedding in a month! It is possible. Don’t stress. Keep things simple. Make things yourself. Get your friends and family to help you. And if things go wrong, nobody cares and you shouldn’t either. I was so nervous about everything on the day, especially as I was planning a surprise for my husband – he had no idea our parents were flying in for the wedding! – but as soon as I saw his face, I forgot about everyone in the room, about the time, about what to say, what not to say, how I looked – it doesn’t matter – enjoy the moment, because it is so precious. During the vows my ears started ringing because I was so emotional – and I couldn’t hear what David was saying! I had to watch the recording my friend made to listen to them again. If you can make sure you record it in some way or another! Always remember that this day is yours. Whether it’s just you two in the room, or 200 guests, it makes no difference – It’s just you and him. Don’t stress.
A lot of people spend thousands on their wedding, but there’s honestly no need to do that at all – unless you really want to! You can create a beautiful wedding, without spending a lot and instead spend it on an amazing holiday/travelling, your future home, a car, or whatever else you want. Even if your parents suggest paying for you, have a long think about it – it’s a massive, sometimes unnecessary expense, especially in England. Go abroad if you have hundreds of guests. Greece, Spain and Italy all have amazing villas you can find on Airbnb that you can rent for peanuts, and most of them have wedding planners at hand.
You don’t have to go by the book – be original. Do things your way. You don’t have to be the same as everyone else. It’s your wedding. Not theirs. If they don’t like it, too bad. You’re not marrying your relatives, friends, parents. You are marrying the person you love the most in the world – it should be exactly the way both of you want it. A lot of people were disappointed that we didn’t have a big wedding, no party etc., and a lot of our family who live abroad weren’t invited or didn’t want to fly just for drinks at the pub which is totally understandable – we’ll celebrate when we see them. After the wedding, we bought 100 USB sticks and put all our photos and the wedding video on them. We sent everybody a card with a USB stick and some prints. I made it look really cute with some beautiful ‘East of India’ wedding ribbons, small wooden pegs and some pressed paper from Paperchase. It was an adorable parcel, and everyone really appreciated it!
Oh and one final tip – get your bridesmaids to go to the toilet with you, you will need help with your wedding dress – or have to send them to find toilet paper!
We haven’t been on honeymoon yet! We left the UK to move to Qatar straight after the wedding, so are in the middle of planning it… we’re thinking of somewhere tropical for sure!
A huge thank you for to La Cabine de Margaux for sharing her images with us, and to Ania for the wonderful write-up. I love all the details and the advice is spot on – take heed ladies! I really hope these two get to enjoy a lovely sunny honeymoon soon!
Ania & David’s little Black Book
Photographer – La Cabine de Margaux
Ceremony venue – Islington Town Hall
Reception venue – The Woodman, Highgate
Bride’s dress – Free People
Bride’s shoes – Kurt Geiger
Bride’s accessories – Jewelerry: Monica Vinader | Flower hair pins: The Artisan Dried Flower Co. |
Cape & gloves – John Lewis
Flowers – Isabel Castro Freitas