So far in our ‘Wedding Week‘ series, I’ve shared our personal wedding ceremony and all the details on our wedding outfits. In today’s post, I’m revealing more about how I decided on a style for our wedding, chose the venue and how we decorated it. The decorations and how our day would look is probably what I spent the most time thinking about. I honestly had dreams about styling our wedding and I spent hours upon hours scrolling through Pinterest and Instagram. I’m a creative person so coming up with a style for our wedding day and making decorations was my favourite part of wedding planning!
By the way, I’m going to say ‘I’ a lot in this post, rather than ‘we’, as I was the one who came up with the look and feel for our wedding day and did the planning. But please don’t think I left Michael out or that he didn’t care. We’re a team and we know each other so well, so I considered him with every idea I had and ran every decision past him before making it. He loved my ideas for our wedding and planning was so smooth with Michael, he only said no to one of my ideas in the whole 17 months of planning!
Photos by Captured By Katrina
The Wedding Style
I say ‘style’ because I hate the word ‘theme’ for weddings. I personally think weddings should have an overall look and feel that represents the both of you, but not be moulded to fit a specific theme. It just reminds me of episodes of ‘Don’t Tell The Bride’ where the groom buys novelty decorations and makes the bridesmaids dress up in crazy outfits, just to fit a theme. I love cats but that doesn’t mean I was going to have a cat-themed wedding. The two most common questions I got asked when planning was ‘What’s your colour scheme?’ and ‘What’s your theme?’. As much as I tried to resist having a colour scheme or theme, I guess I did in the end. I just prefer to call it a wedding style haha. My colour scheme was white, black, grey, green and copper and my style was a blend of a modern, urban, minimal, industrial wedding.
Modern & urban: London was the only place we considered getting married. It’s where we’re both from, where we live, where we met and where the majority of our friends and family live. So I knew early on that I wanted us to have a modern, urban wedding as both Michael and I like modern, clean design, plus he’s my urban Brixton boy who loves the city. I couldn’t imagine him out in the countryside in a beautiful barn or old manor house, that’s just not us.
Minimal: I started my own attempt at trying to live a more minimalist lifestyle earlier this year, then I discovered @minimalistwedding on Instagram and fell in love. I definitely don’t think we achieved a minimalist wedding, but keeping that approach in mind helped me to remember less is more. You can easily feel pressured into thinking you need a sweet cart, light up letters, a band, chair covers and bows, an abundance of flowers, a 5-tier wedding cake, thrones, a light-up dancefloor… I could go on. All these things are lovely and have their place, but you just don’t need ALL the things.
Industrial: This came about once we found our venue, Trinity Buoy Wharf. I loved New York Loft weddings on Pinterest and whilst scrolling I came across Trinity Buoy Wharf and loved the white brick walls and large windows flooding it with light. I thought it was just another New York warehouse so was delighted when I realised it was in London and it wasn’t far from where Michael and I live either! All around the warehouse venue are industrial shipping containers which house creative businesses and artists. I really wanted to highlight this industrial setting and spent my daily commute to work scrolling through #industrialwedding on Instagram for inspiration.
I’d managed to pin hundreds of pictures to my Wedding Pinterest board and it started getting out of hand, so I decided to create another board with just a few, select pins and use it as our Wedding Moodboard. I did this just to give myself focus and see how my ideas would look together, but it worked so well as I was able to share the mood board with suppliers so they’d understand my vision. I definitely recommend creating a mood board or a selection of images that you can send to your suppliers so that they know what you have in mind. I thought it would be good to share our Wedding Moodboard with you too as it really shows what I was aiming for.
Our venue was dry-hire, which means we got it completely empty and had to choose and hire everything we needed, from tables to napkins, even the bar. This was quite daunting, took a lot of time and actually worked out quite expensive, but I enjoyed getting to choose everything as it ensured it all fit with our style. We hired all our furniture, linen, crockery and kitchen equipment from Yahire, who were great and are one of the more affordable hire companies.
We could only decorate the venue from 9am the day of the wedding and everything had to be cleared out that night, which meant we couldn’t set up or decorate ourselves, so we needed a wedding coordinator on the day but we couldn’t afford one. Luckily my friend Sam works in events and she introduced me to Josh, who is an event coordinator for a well-known sportswear brand. He’d never done a wedding before so we both took a risk on each other, but he was amazing! It’s scary spending so long planning every detail and then handing the controls to someone else, but I needn’t have worried. He made sure all our suppliers arrived on time and knew what they were doing and he took my instructions and brought my vision to life. Throughout the day he handled everything so Michael and I could truly relax and enjoy our day. The venue manager couldn’t believe he wasn’t a wedding planner and had never done a wedding before!
Tables & linen: We both wanted our day to be relaxed, laidback and quite informal as that’s how we are as a couple. I associate large round tables with formal functions and so I chose to have long, rectangle tables instead to give off the vibe of a family dinner or get-together. We covered the tables in white linen as I wanted white to be one of our main colours, given the beautiful white brick walls in our venue.
Chairs: I would have loved copper Tolix chairs to really fit our industrial style, but they were out of our budget. I knew I definitely did not want chair covers, so I opted for these white fold-away chairs which I think looked great and were comfortable too!
Cutlery: I had a long, internal battle over cutlery as I would’ve loved copper cutlery but again it was out of our budget. At first, I opted for Yahire’s basic range of cutlery but a few weeks before the day I decided to upgrade to their Luxury range and I’m so glad I did as it really added a nice detail to our tables and didn’t cost that much more.
Pillar Candles: Our venue is a listed building and we weren’t allowed real candles, so I wasn’t going to have candles as I didn’t like the look of LED ones. However I found these flickering LED candles that are made of real wax and didn’t look too bad. I wrapped the bottom of them in copper tape which I think made them look more stylish. I’m glad I got these as they did look nice, flickering away when night time came.
Tealight Candles: I also bought flickering LED tealight candles to go on the tables. They don’t look real by any means, but I wrapped them with these copper votive wraps and they added a nice copper accent to the tables.
Place names & favours: I saw this idea on Pinterest and loved it. The idea of creating marble tile place names, which guests can take home as a favour and use them as coasters. We bought actual marble tiles that are designed to go on the walls or the floor at home. They came on a mesh backing so my Mum helped me to peel these off which luckily was quite easy. Then Michael and I cut up bits of foam to stick on the bottom so they wouldn’t scratch any surfaces and then I wrote everyone’s name on them in a copper paint pen.
Flowers: Originally I really wanted foliage running down the length of the tables, but once we decided on the buffet style service to the tables, we needed space for the large serving bowls. So I asked our florist to create small arrangements of white flowers and lots of greenery in a mix of vases and copper vases. My only requirement was that the arrangements weren’t too tall as I didn’t want to block anyone’s view. Our florist, RB Floral Design, did an incredible job! He really understood what I wanted, even though I couldn’t name flowers. He also created these amazing statement arrangements in the arches in the walls and dressed our copper arbour and stand beautifully. I’m so happy with what he did!
Copper arbour: As we weren’t getting married in a Church in front of an altar, I knew I wanted something else for us to stand in front of during the ceremony. I can’t remember if I saw this idea on Instagram or Pinterest first but I loved the idea of a copper arbour. I researched it and realised it was really easy to make ourselves. I bought copper pipes, corners, ends, glue and a pipe cutter from B&Q and Michael and I got to work. I asked our florist to add foliage to it and I love what he did with it! After the ceremony, we used it as a backdrop behind Michael & I’s table.
Welcome sign & seating chart: We made a smaller copper stand to hang the welcome & seating chart from. I designed it so that the welcome sign was on side and the seating chart was on the other, so all we had to do was flip the sign round after the ceremony.
Stationery & signage: I work as a Digital Designer and stuided Graphic Design so I knew I wanted to design the stationery & signage myself. I kept it quite simple and pared back to match the clean, minimal style and with the help of my Maid of Honour Jenny, we copper-foiled the titles which worked so nicely. I put all the signs in different sized copper frames from Paperchase and Oliver Bonas and stood the table names in copper photo holders from Oliver Bonas. I wanted to copper foil the Order of Service booklets too, but that would’ve been too much for Jenny & I to do ourselves and too expensive to have done professionally, so I had to settle for printing a copper texture that I bought online to give the illusion. I printed the Order of Service booklets and double-sided foamex Welcome Sign & Seating chart with Printed, who were able to offer a fast turnaround.
Birch trees: These were a last minute addition but I’m so glad I got them. They served several purposes and looked great. The venue holds up to 300 people, but we only had 80 guests so I was worried the room would feel a bit empty. The trees helped to divide the area for our ceremony and then added beautiful greenery in the background for dinner and separated the dance floor. I hired them from The Plant People via Supazaar, who were great.
Card box: I really don’t like the cardboard post boxes that are designed for wedding cards but did want somewhere for guests to put their cards in. I loved these acrylic wishing wells but couldn’t find a way to make them here in the UK. I toyed with the idea of a copper wire basket but Michael vetoed that and I’m glad he did as it led me to find this copper and glass jewellery box which worked wonderfully.
Guestbook: I bought a personalised guestbook by Martha Brook on Not On The High Street when there was a sale on. It was a light grey cover with our surname and wedding date printed in copper on the front. I love it!
Fingerprint tree: My friend Lydika had drawn a tree for guests to use their fingerprints to create the leaves at her wedding and I loved it. I thought it was such a fun and interactive way of creating a beautiful keepsake and remembering everyone that was there. Luckily she agreed to draw one for us and it looked incredible – she is so talented!
Light-up industrial numbers: Our old college friend Hope has set up her own business selling decorations and I saw she had these small industrial light-up numbers, which I thought fit perfectly with our style, so I bought enough to display our wedding date at the base of the DJ booth.
Cake table: I wanted something different for the cake table so I hired a Tolix industrial table from Yahire which looked great! Our florist added foliage to the table and cake. Our cake was made by our good friend Amber who has her own cake making business called For Goodness Cake and it was incredible! My Maid of Honour Jenny made mini figurines of Michael and I in our wedding outfits. She put so much time into getting the details just right and they turned out amazing. Now they’re sitting pride of place on our shelves back home!
Photo booth: I’d searched far and wide for a minimal, modern open-air photo booth that wasn’t too expensive and then I found Blithe Booth Co. I loved the look of their booth, it fit our style perfectly and their prices were good too. On the day they were amazing and our friends and family loved the booth! I’m so glad we had a photo booth as now we have good-quality pictures of everyone who was there with us.
DJ Booth: Our DJ Chrisessence took care of getting a DJ booth for us and the one he chose fit our style and the venue perfectly! It was just plain white and looked great on the stage with the disco ball reflections.
Bar: At first I’d contemplated getting all the alcohol ourselves and then hiring bar staff to serve it, but then I realised we’d have to hire optics for the spirit bottles, shot glasses, ice buckets – literally everything. So I set about searching for bar hire and found Coxtails. They were incredible on the day and it meant we definitely wouldn’t run out of alcohol.
Check back for tomorrow’s ‘Wedding Week‘ installment where I’ll delve a little deeper into the decor and share all the personal touches we added to our day.
I’m so happy with how it all looked and came together on the day! What do you think of the style we chose for our wedding? Let me know in the comments below.
Photos by Captured By Katrina