Wedding planning can be a minefield – and stressful to say the least. But it’s also super fun, especially when you finally get to enjoy the day itself. Whether the wedding day is a grand affair or low-key, intimate celebration, it’s guaranteed to be amazing. To give you some wedding planning inspiration, the LOOK team are opening up their wedding albums so you can see how they tied the knot in style. From the wedding vows to wedding venues, wedding shoes – very important – to wedding songs, we guarantee you’ll have wedding fever in no time…
Rose & Bosko’s Accidental Eloping
The Couple: Rose Owens, Art Director & Commercial Content Manager and Bosko Kotula
The Venue: Southwark Registry Office followed by a 9-course meal at Exmouth Market’s Quality Chophouse and drinks at 5cc London.
The Theme: An intimate, low-key affair; “love and laughter forever after.”
The Dress: Handmade by a London seamstress designed by Rose and inspired by Amal Clooney and Oscar de la Renta.
Being Australian, our original intentions were that we would fly Bosko’s family (from Bosnia, Croatia), to Sydney, where we would be joined by a hefty guestlist of roughly 70 friends and family. How wrong we were. Upon the harsh reality that the day would rack up an eye-watering cost of around £40k, we decided it would be best to stay in Europe for a more intimate ordeal involving just 17 guests – and so the accidental elopers were born.
Sign up for the newsletter
Get news, competitions and special offers direct to your inbox
We kicked off with all the official bits and bobs at Southwark Registry Office, before our guests were whisked away in traditional black cabs to the Quality Chophouse in Exmouth Market, Clerkenwell. There, we were treated to a delicious surprise 9-course meal based only on our choice of meat – lamb.
To make things extra special, I left a personal note in front of each seat letting our guests know that they were to choose their own wine (which would then be matched to the food accordingly) on us. I had actually been to the restaurant for my birthday, where I noticed that they had the same plates my Grandma had used during my childhood, so I asked the diner to lay the table using those exact plates – if ever there was a time to appreciate the little things, a wedding really is it.
Six hours of wine later and we moved on to our next venue: cocktail bar 5cc London. One of our close friends turned MC for the evening where we danced the night away, wine closely in tow, and marked the start of “love and laughter forever after”.
Kate & Jake’s Wes Anderson Wonderland
The Happy Couple: Kate Andrews, LOOK Fashion Stylist and Jake Wilmore
The Venue: An old Norman church followed by a reception at Middleton Lodge, North Yorkshire
The Theme: Quite woodland-y – lots of ivy, greenery, fairy lights, taxidermy – with a Wes Anderson vibe.
The Dress: Vintage
Jake proposed just after Christmas 2011. It was not a one-knee situation – that would make me cringe. We married the following November.
I wore a vintage dress, bought in York, teamed with silver Max Mara shoes. As it was a winter wedding, I also had a thick, heavily embellished vintage cape from The Vintage Wedding Dress Company. My sister was chief bridesmaid and wore a customized, full-length off-white lace Zara dress. I had three little bridesmaids who wore head-to-toe matching Monsoon and looked adorable.
We married in a very old church in the beautiful village of Easby, near Richmond North Yorkshire where I’m from, then had a reception at Middleton Lodge, which is a gorgeous stately home nearby.
My fashion photographer friend, Jon Gorrigan, took the photos before turning DJ in the evening, playing amazing Northern Soul songs. Through my job I know some brilliant hair and make-up artists, who came up from London to work their magic.
We ate confit duck, drank endless champagne and tucked into bacon sandwiches later that night. My cousin is an artist and made my life-sized owl wedding cake – it was a real talking point. Our first dance was Peter Starsted Where Do You Go To My Lovely.
Middleton Lodge has a cave style basement where we went at midnight and Jake’s cousin (who founded East London club night Work-It) played 90’s hip hop. We stayed up till around 4.30am, by which point lots of guests were scattered around the Middleton Lodge, asleep in various places. There was lots of copping off and scandal – just how every northern wedding should be!
Lucie & Ross’s Woodland Wedding
The Happy Couple: Lucie Clifford, LOOK Fashion Stylist, and Ross Somers-Ireland
The Theme: Woodland Chic
The Dress: White lace dress from Mirror Mirror
Ross and I have been together for 14 years, so when it came to proposing, he made sure it was a winner. With a house sprinkled full of rose petals, candles burning and David Bowie playing in the background, he proposed with a beautiful 1950’s vintage diamond ring. How could I refuse?
Once we had researched civil ceremonies and venues had been decided on, I had an illustrator, Alice Brazier, design recycled paper invitations with a map of the woodland. We used a colour version of the design for the rest of the wedding stationary too.
A year after Ross’ proposal, the big day arrived. My hair and make-up was done by industry friends Afton Radojicic and Sheridan Ward, with the photography shot by Alicia Clarke. We were going for a rustic but chic vibe with our outdoor wedding and it was no easy feat to get the stretch teepee, festoon lighting, 14 decorated tables and everything in between ready in just two days! But somehow it all came together…
Wild flowers with sage, rosemary and thyme decorated the venue, and we chose an amazing live band who played acoustic Beatles renditions as I walked down the aisle then rocked the casbah later with some one-off medleys.
Dinner was a slow-cooked meat feast by Dr Sweetsmoke followed by the speeches, dancing and flowing alcohol served in old jam jars and straws from decanters! Later on came fish and chips, candy floss and more live music.
Oh and of course special mention has to go to our ringbearer, Touie the Sausage dog…who joined in with all the celebrations, decked out in a mustard waistcoat to match the groom’s suit. As we partied into the early hours under the stars, it was definitely a day (and night) to remember!
Gemma & Matt’s City Chic Nuptials
The Happy Couple: Gemma Gow, LOOK Fashion News Editor and Matthew Yates
The Venue: Stoke Newington Town Hall followed by a reception at The Queens Arms pub, Walthamstow.
The Theme: Low-key and laid-back, with a rose-gold colour scheme inspired by Gemma’s engagement ring.
The Dress: Carven
Matt proposed to me after almost eight years together, over al fresco fish and chips by the sea in my hometown in Newcastle. He got seriously lucky with the weather – it was a beautiful sunny day in November 2013. After celebrating (hard) with friends and family, the wedding planning commenced.
We decided on a wedding date of June 13 2015, and debated everything from London church to Northumberland stately home before deciding on Stoke Newington Town Hall in London. I fell in love with the buildings art deco glamour and loved the idea of a proper London wedding. It was a relatively intimate ceremony with 75 guests.
The reception was held at our local pub, The Queens Arms, which we hired completely for the whole day and night.
My dress was from Carven, which I found on Net-A-Porter.com. Made from beautiful thick white crepe, I knew it was the one as soon as I saw it. I loved it’s simplicity and slightly retro, off the shoulder style. My shoes were jewelled satin courts from Ted Baker, and I found a beautiful polka-dot birdcage veil from a shop called Smitha Menon Bridal on Etsy. My four bridesmaids wore blush pink ASOS prom dresses and rose-gold Office heels, while my flower girl Emily wore a Monsoon dress. LOOK’s former Beauty Editor Katie Chan did my hair and make-up – bronze eyes and a pink lip – and the super talented Terri Pashley took our beautiful photographs.
I opted for all-white flowers. The bridesmaid bouquets and table decorations (made by myself, the maids and a very talented friend Katie) were made up of gypsophila, freesias and stock, while I had a bouquet of 5 giant white hydrangeas.
After the ceremony, we took a traditional London Routemaster red bus to the reception, where canapés and prosecco were served on arrival. Our wedding breakfast was a starter of baked goats cheese followed by lamb, dauphinoise potatoes and spinach, washed down with delicious wine. Dessert came in the form our to-die-for wedding cake, a flower-adorned ‘naked’ creation by LOOK’s Senior Picture Researcher Victoria Adegboyega.
After the heartfelt speeches – as well as the traditional father of the bride, groom and best man, I also made a speech – the party really started. Our first dance was to Wonderful World by Sam Cook, followed by a fantastic set by singer Phoebe Gorry and her band. Then, our best man – who runs an indie club night – got one of his DJ’s to take over. Cue rocking out to everything from The Rolling Stones to Rage Against The Machine. My 80-something year-old grandparents were still on the dance floor long after a knackered Matt and I had called it a night. The next day we were bombarded with text messages telling us that the wedding was a ‘proper shindig’ and that people ‘had never been so hungover’, which made us very happy!
Claire & Dan’s London Party
The Happy Couple: Claire Collins, LOOK Assistant Editor, and Dan Sanderson
The Venue: Islington Town Hall and a reception at an art gallery in Bermondsey Street.
The Theme: London Cool
The Dress: Jenny Packham
The day Dan and I got engaged was hilarious – a drunken day of fun and shenanigans.
He proposed in bed on a Sunday morning. He had gotten up to watch Match of the Day leaving me to have a lie in. At about 9.30am he appeared in our bedroom and started rummaging in his PJ bottoms. My immediate thought was ‘I’m not in the mood’ thinking he was about to get undressed – then he pulled a ring box out. It was perfect. A Welsh gold ring with platinum setting and a single diamond – it was just what I would have chosen. Plus, it was engraved with the word ‘Cariad’, which means love in Welsh. I said yes then we had a champagne breakfast. Then I was told to dress up because we were going out for the day. A taxi arrived at 11am to take us to Shoreditch House where more champagne was waiting and every member of staff seemed to know we’d gotten engaged. It was free drinks aplenty. We stayed all day drinking cocktails, getting absolutely smashed, before leaving at 6pm to go to The Ledbury, a double Michelin starred restaurant for supper. Again, champagne was waiting but we were so drunk by this point we could barely drink – or taste the food. If there’s ever a time to go to one of top ten restaurants in the world, it’s not when you’ve been drinking since 9.30am.
We decided there was no point in a long engagement and set a date for the following June. With just eight months to plan there was no time to waste. We both wanted a cool London wedding as opposed to a country affair and chose Islington Town Hall for the ceremony and an art gallery in Bermondsey Street, which sadly has since been taken over by a restaurant chain, for our reception.
Before I even looked at a wedding magazine I was clear in that I didn’t want a princess like dress. I wanted glamorous rather than traditional. The dress I chose, a gorgeous Jenny Peckham floor length gown, was like something from an old Hollywood movie. Cut on the bias, backless and a plunging neckline almost to the belly button. My whole look was in keeping with the dress and I chose a cuff and earrings that could have been from a 1920’s film and used that era as inspiration for my hair. My jewellery was from Glitzy Secrets and shoes from an eBay shop.
My three best friends were bridesmaids and wore champagne- coloured fit-and-flare dresses from John Lewis’ occasion wear department and my two nieces, who were flower girls, wore simple ivory dresses from John Lewis. We all carried antique roses.
We had about 100 guests who were all entertained by a string quartet playing Welsh classics such as Green, Green Grass of Home and Delilah. They were waiting longer than I’d anticipated because I was so late for the ceremony we nearly missed our slot – the London bus that was taking the bridesmaids and I from the hotel in Bermondsey to Islington Town Hall got stuck in appalling traffic! I arrived at the Town Hall with less than half an hour until the end of our hour slot, extremely stressed.
I walked down the aisle to Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol played by the sting quartet and Dan, who was wearing a made to measure purple suit from Mr Start in Shoreditch, was already crying. Weirdly, this made me determined not the cry and I was squeezing his hand really hard during the ceremony in a bid to get him to pull himself together.
Most of the guests got back on the bus to go to reception. We had a waiter on the bus serving prosecco but we over estimated how much we’d need so people ended up drinking from bottles, rather than glasses and were rather smashed by the time we arrived at the reception, where there was champagne waiting on arrival.
After canapes and more champagne, the wedding breakfast began. The tables were simply decorated with long stem white lillies. Our amazing, red velvet with cream cheese frosting cake was made by my wonderfully talented colleague, Victoria Adegboyega.
The highlight of the reception was the press-up competition organised by the DJ’s, called the Village Disco, who my husband had seen at Bestival the previous year and loved. They got about ten men, including my 67-year-old father – who happens to be a complete fitness fanatic – into the middle of the dance floor, take their shirts off and do press ups. The last men standing were my dad and one of the ushers, James, who’s a personal trainer. The whole wedding party was shouting ‘Terry, Terry!’ to cheer on my father and he ended up winning, doing something like 80 press-ups. Hilarious. There was also a musical statues competition, which my father also won!
The day ended with at least half of the wedding party coming back to the Bermondsey Square Hotel where people were still drinking in the bar at 5am. One or two had to be thrown out of the hot tub in our wedding suite so we could go to bed. It was an exhausting but fun day and if you ask anyone how they’d sum up our wedding, they always reply, ‘drunken!’ Which I think makes it a success.
Watch this space for more LOOK team weddings, including Art Director Rose Owens and Head of Fashion Content Lucy Wood, who’s beautiful invites we’re still swooning over…