baked with love
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"We always knew we wanted to get married in London. It’s the place we’ve both called home for more than a decade, it’s where we met, and it’s where our life is firmly rooted. As a wedding cake maker, I’ve been lucky enough to see the ‘behind the scenes’ of so many gorgeous weddings, and a modern, chic and informal city wedding always felt right for us.
"Chris had always loved the idea of getting married at Marylebone Town Hall, mainly because it’s where Paul McCartney got married (twice!). It’s also so entrenched in London history, and it’s somewhere we’d both passed many times and seen city weddings happening at every time of year. I guess we wanted our day to join that incredible canon and become a tiny part of the rich tapestry of the place. It’s also the most breathtaking building, and reminds me of London’s regency period which is one I’ve always loved the trappings of.
"For our reception, we knew we wanted to take everyone home with us to Stoke Newington, which is where we live. Sadly our flat definitely wasn’t up to hosting 120 guests, but we quickly settled on West Reservoir, a beautiful old Victorian water building. We've spent the last few years walking past it with morning coffee on Saturdays and it felt perfect for us. We moved everyone from Marylebone to Stokey on two route master buses, where we plied everyone with champagne and cheese biscuits made by my mum."
"I’ve lusted over the Camellia heels for years, and I bought them before my dress as I knew I wanted to wear them for my wedding day. They’re the perfect amount of flamboyant for me — a little party at street level without distracting the eye too much. They were also perfect with an ankle length dress, and really got to shine.
"The bow I swapped my veil for the reception was the perfect shape to echoes the signature bows on the shoes."
"As someone who’s incredibly exacting about fashion, I think I surprised everyone (including myself) by making a very quick and relatively pain-free decision on the dress. I’ve always been really influenced by 70s style and knew I wanted a silk dress, a balloon sleeve and an open back. I adored the shape and cut of Camille Charrière's ceremony dress last year, which definitely played a part in my decision to go ankle length and bias cut with a timeless high neck and nipped waist.
"I tracked down something near perfect with Australian brand, Shona Joy. I wore their cut out, balloon sleeve La Lune dress in cream, which I had altered to have button cuffs put in and the hem taken up (I’m 5”3’ so even the midi cut was dragging on the floor!).
"The deep cream hue of my dress ended up being a perfect match for my veil, which was antique — it’s actually 250 years old, and has been worn by brides in my dad’s family through the centuries. It’s such a special heirloom which spent 100 years or so in New Zealand before travelling back to London 65 years ago for my Granny’s wedding. I also wore a sapphire 1920s bracelet that she left me when she died, along with a pair of my other granny’s yellow emerald earrings. It was gorgeous to feel like they were both there with me even though neither could be."
"There were so many special details! Here are a few favorites…
1. Our niece, Connie, was a flower girl and wore the same dress I wore to do the honours for my auntie and uncle in 1996. It was handmade for me by my auntie’s mum Kay, a really talented seamstress, and it was gorgeous to see it get another outing.
2. The playlist that our guests arrived to the ceremony to was carefully curated over several car journeys. We wanted music that totally represented us — it featured Self Esteem, The Beatles, Elvis Costello, Jessie Ware, Joni Mitchell, Prince, Yusef Cat Stevens, and Mona Lisa and Mad Hatters by Elton John, from one of our favourite films, Almost Famous. I could hear everyone arriving to Self Esteem while I waited with my bridesmaids and remember laughing at the surrealness of it all.
3. The bus journey from Marylebone to Stoke Newington was the stuff of legend. We drank so much champagne, my dad was cavorting round the bus topping everyone up, and my Mum and all her friends were giggling like teenagers remembering their days (and nights) training as nurses in the city.
4. The menus on the tables were handwritten and drawn by me, and of course, I made our wedding cake. I decorated it with flowers from my bouquet halfway through the reception when I realised I’d forgotten to do it earlier!
5. What felt like half the wedding party piling into taxis afterwards to go dancing in Finsbury Park into the small hours. It was honestly the day of my dreams."
"I’m so glad we stuck to our guns and did the day our way. It can be hard to do that when there’s a lot of opinions floating around, which I think there often are with weddings. We didn’t do a lot of tradition elements which raised eyebrows along the way, but the final day was perfect for us. We're not very ‘weddingy' people, but it felt like a true was reflection of our life and all the people we love.
"I’m glad we didn’t spend crazy amounts of money. It’s one day, after all. We organised it all ourselves, we made a lot of the elements, we wore nice but not crazy expensive outfits, and we served a family style, spring-like Greek menu rather than doing a fancy sit down dinner. We didn’t have flowers at the reception, instead collecting hundreds and hundreds of jars which we filled with tea lights and drops of essential oil, and repurposing the bridesmaids bouquets as table arrangements. We focused on making it fun and joyful and - mainly - did quite well at not getting too bogged down in the pressure of it all (although I definitely had my moments!).
"One thing I learnt — for any wedding cake bakers reading this — don’t make your own cake. It is honestly the last thing you need on your to do list in the days before — I would not be told otherwise, but I’ll admit I was wrong on that one!"
"My favorite moment was the taxi ride with just my mum, dad and brother to the ceremony. We were missing one brother (at the pub) but it was very special to have time as a four which was calm before the chaos.
"And Chris’s speech. So funny, so heartfelt, quoted Caitlin Moran and reminded me that I am one very lucky lady indeed."