Kayti and Joe met at a big wedding, but opted for a very intimate London wedding to formalise their relationship. They didn’t tell anyone what they were planning, they just invited their mums over to stay and told them that morning what they had planned for the day! The element of surprise definitely added to the fun and romance.
Why did you choose Tower Hamlets Registry office?
Tower Hamlets Registry Office is down the road from our flat and it’s where our daughter was registered. With this being a secret low-key wedding we wanted somewhere that had sentimental value.
What’s your love story?
We met at a wedding! Kayti was best friend to the bride and the most drunken bridesmaid ever! Joe was friends with the groom and wasn’t exactly sober either. Neither of us remember much from that night, but tried to piece it together in the pub the following weekend. There was no proposal! We booked an appointment with the Registrar to see how we go about getting married – next thing we know, we’d booked a ceremony for 29 days later!
What did you both wear?
Joe wore his “interview” suit and Kayti wore an ivory lace dress from Phase 8. Kayti had had the dress for years and actually worn it as a guest to another wedding (which in hindsight was probably not a good idea!). For the ceremony Kayti wore a stole she’d worn for the wedding we met at, and had a gorgeous (fake) fur coat to wear outside – picked up from Hoxton Street Market for a bargain £25. It was only the bridesmaid – our one-year-old daughter, who got a new outfit : )
Did you want any particular style for your intimate London wedding?
There wasn’t a theme as such – but the styling was quite vintage. Kayti’s a big fan of a brooch, and had a lovely vintage one her Nan left her and also wore a similar one from Joe’s Granny. A winter wedding, close to Christmas – meant we could go big on furs, gold and glitter! The flowers were recycled from a baby gift we got when Esme was born – a bouquet of bibs! Brown felt and gold ribbon were used to make the “petals” and wrapped in gold tissue paper. Our wedding cake was a selection of our favourite cakes and cronuts were displayed on a beautiful vintage cake stand we’d had for years and never used!
What did you plan for your ceremony?
Like us, the ceremony, was laid back, stress-free and relaxed. We decided not to tell anyone and just invited our Mums – who were our witnesses. Joe told his Mum a few weeks before the wedding to book her in, but Kayti was a bit more sneaky – she got her Mum down to London on false pretences and didn’t tell her till she was here. As the wedding was so close to Christmas, we knew we’d be seeing lots of family and friends over the festive period, so knew we’d have chance to celebrate with everyone. We loved how relaxed the ceremony was – neither of us felt nervous at all and could just be ourselves. We had no readings – the ceremony was short and sweet (like Joe!). The favourite bit for both of us was our daughter breaking into song half way through our vows!
Did you have any music?
We are both music fans so went big on the tunes. Whilst the guests were waiting for the ceremony to start we played Be my Baby by the Ronnettes – this was Joe’s late father’s favourite song. Kayti walked down the aisle to You’re So Cool from the film True Romance, a film we are both a big fan of. We signed the register to our song – one of the lesser known David Bowie hits – Absolute Beginners. After the ceremony, we went back to our flat for cake cutting and champagne drinking before we went out for lunch. Joe was in charge of the music and did a cracking play list – which included some of our favourite songs, to name a few – Pulp – Something Changes, Hot Chip – One Life Stand and The White Stripes – Hotel Yorba (our daughter’s favourite song!).
Would you do anything differently to your intimate London wedding?
We wouldn’t do anything differently! We loved it! There was no compromising, no arguments, no worrying about budget…and this was all because we kept it a secret and had no guests. For us both we wanted the day to be special, but our main objective was just to be married. It was about us and no one else. We appreciate it’s not for everyone and would hate to encourage any family arguments, but this suited us and we wouldn’t change a thing!
What was it like to work with me?
We knew from the get go we would blow most of the budget on a photographer. We contacted the photographer who our friends used at their wedding (the one we met at), but unfortunately she wasn’t free that day and recommended Rowan. We took one look at her website and knew she was the photographer for us! She was a pleasure to work with – given there were only five of us at the wedding, we were worried it might be a bit awkward with a stranger there. But there was no need to worry – we all totally fell in love with her. She was brilliant to work with – she even managed to take photos of our daughter actually looking at the camera – something we’ve failed to do for 15 months. And my god – she made us look so cool! We are both really pleased with every photograph – we think the photos were even more important to us – not only something to remind us of our special day, but because we decided on a secret wedding – something to share with all our friends and family so they could see what we got up to.
I first met Lauren and Danny at a house party for the The Olympic Opening ceremony. Danny was living in a flat overlooking the Olympic Park so we got a brilliant view of the fireworks as it was all kicking off. I met them both again when I photographed our mutual friends wedding, Shan and Rob. So when Danny got in touch to say he was engaged to Lauren I was thrilled to be asked to photograph their Islington Town Hall wedding; even more so because it was top secret! I love it when couples go right back to basics and really focus their wedding day on what they want – to be together. Here’s their story:
How did you both meet?
One of Danny’s friends Rob, was engaged one of my best friends Shan! We had been mutual acquaintances for a while, but a night out in Dalston Danny pretended to be my husband to stop a sleazy guy hitting on me, later was when we had our first kiss. We moved in together six months later!
What was the proposal like?
We got engaged in Galway, Ireland in March 2018. It was the sweetest engagement – Danny took me for a stroll after dinner around the bay, in the rain and pitch dark. I complained the whole way because I didn’t want to walk further in the rain! From under my hood I saw him start to dip down onto the soaking floor – before he could get down on one knee I had told him to get off the floor and agreed to marry him!
What was planning your wedding like?
We knew we wanted a small wedding, but had planned to do it abroad. Every time we started to plan it was getting more and more complicated. We thought we would just have a quick look at registry offices appointments at the end of summer but when we looked there were two slots available on 29th June so we just thought bugger it, let’s do it! We were only engaged four months.
Why did you chose your venues?
We looked at Islington Town Hall at first, because we knew the venue was gorgeous and the surrounding area would be good for whatever we planned after. After we booked we realised that we had actually had our first official date in Islington so seemed even more fitting.
What was your ceremony like?
Since we booked it last minute and in smaller of the rooms at Islington Town hall, the only option was a simple “quickie” type ceremony without any personal readings or music. Which actually suited us quite well!
What was your plan for the reception?
After the ceremony we headed off to The Albion pub up the road, lucky the weather was absolutely perfect so our gamble booking a garden table paid off. Since we only had seven guests this was the perfect venue to go to, it felt like we had left London. Both the pub exterior and garden are stunning! We actually realised the day before that we hadn’t even visited the pub before the big day; lucky for us it was ideal.
As our ceremony was at 10:30am when we arrived at The Albion we had the place to ourselves but it quickly filled up over lunchtime so we had the best of both worlds when it came to intimacy and atmosphere.
What’s your advice to other couples getting married?
Do exactly what you want to do! It’s easy when you start planning to get a bit carried away and you end up deviating from what you actually had your heart set on. After a number of scrapped plans we went back to original plan of a simple registry office ceremony with only our closest family members there, and it couldn’t have gone better. We do plan on having a bigger party for our friends at some point but doing it this way meant that we removed most of the pressure and stress; we just got to enjoy ourselves!
As our big day was only six weeks after we booked it meant that we had to make quick decisions and things couldn’t spiral. I felt so much calmer and relaxed about my own wedding than I had at other weddings where I was just a guest!
If you do plan small ceremony definitely pay out for extras such as flowers and a photographer really made all difference. We have stunning photographs and it added to the sense of occasion.
What was it like to work with me?
Rowan was absolutely amazing, I would 100% recommend her to anyone having a small wedding (or a large wedding for that matter). Having her there meant that all of our guests are in the photos, it added a sense of occasion. Someone in my team at work had a very similar ceremony at the same venue didn’t have a photographer and was envious when she saw our pictures. Having Rowan take our photos meant that we could share pictures with our friends and family who weren’t there. Rowan made us feel comfortable and less awkward which is really reflected in the photographs.
It also set a more formal environment and felt more wedding-ingy! Plus Rowan’s style of photos really suited our informal intimate ceremony. The photos are really beautiful and away from the standard style of wedding picture. She styled photos in ways that we wouldn’t have considered doing but the results are dreamy.
Keep scrolling to see more Islington Towan Hall Wedding Photos and the credits list!
Georgina and Dan planned a beautiful and intimate London elopement at Islington Town Hall. They invited just the closest members of their family to watch them sign the wedding register and followed the ceremony with drinks and food at a local pub. I couldn’t imagine a more romantic way to get married!
What’s your love story?
We met at school! On a Geography trip aged 14 and 15. We were friends before “going out” and have never looked back. We lived together while at uni and have since moved all around London and done as much travelling as possible. We settled on East London 4 years ago and LOVE IT. Dan proposed in September 2016 and we got married a day after our 12th anniversary.
What was the proposal like?
It was in our flat on a Friday night, very private, very casual, very us. Dan recreated a meal we had eaten whilst travelling around Italy 5 years ago and he got down on one knee after pudding. We kept it a secret for 24 hours before FaceTiming our family.
What was it like to plan your elopement?
We loved it!! Every moment! I’m very organised so we booked everything quite early on, being decisive so we had plenty of time to enjoy the relaxed run-up. I can genuinely say it was completely stress-free and enjoyable. I miss it!
How did you decide to elope?
We had a small ceremony at Islington Town Hall surrounded by our immediate family, followed by a bigger ‘do’ in Italy the following weekend. It was so lovely to have some time with our close family to celebrate our marriage before flying out for a party with 50 of our friends and family.
What did you both wear?
I wore a silk Temperley gown which felt so special to wear, with satin Manolo Blahnik heels. A dream outfit! I bought the dress at a sample sale before we were engaged with plans to dye it but didn’t quite have the heart to do it! I’m so happy I got to wear it in all its glory. I’d wanted the shoes for years and the wedding was the perfect excuse to finally buy them.
Dan wore a navy/black Next suit with brown polished Burberry shoes. The fabric has a great texture with velvet collar and the shoes were a nice alternative to the classic Oxford.
I carried a natural, wild bouquet with peonies, David Austen roses and lots of foliage. Dan’s button hole echoed this with a fluttery, blush flower and more foliage.
Why did you chose Islington Town Hall?
The venue is already beautiful and because we were having a larger wedding in Italy the following week, we kept things simple. Although we stuck to the normal legal ceremony format and wording, it felt very intimate and emotional.
After the ceremony we walked in parade to The Pig and Butcher pub in Angel where we had the most delicious feast. A particular highlight was the bus driver honking and the little boy who asked if I was Meghan (Markle). It was 6 days after the royal wedding so fresh in people’s minds! Still made my day.
What advice do you have for other couples planning a London elopement?
Be organised! Make decisions quickly and stick to them. Don’t lose sight of why you’re having a wedding (to get married to your favourite person!). Savour every moment and breathe. You’ll remember everything so much more vividly if you are relaxed. We wouldn’t change a thing, the day was a complete reflection of us as a couple.
How did you keep track of your budget?
We didn’t have a strict budget but we did decide quite early on what we were willing to pay for certain things. We focused on the key elements – food, the ceremony, drinks, music – and kept the rest simple. No one remembers the favours but everyone remembers a killer party. We had an extensive excel spreadsheet to keep track of it all!
What was it like working with me?
Rowan was SUPERB in every way. Professional, fun, friendly, experienced… I could go on. The photos you took are more than we could have asked for. We can’t wait to work with you again.
If you are planning your own London elopement why not book me to capture your special day so you can share the moment with your wider friends and family through pictures that document your story. I offer an up to two hour photography service for £350, which is just enough to capture your ceremony, some relaxed and informal couple portraits, followed by some of your after ceremony drinks celebration. Contact me here to enquire about availability.
I'm am informal wedding photographer seeking to capture the colour and fun of your wedding day. Want useful wedding planning tips, no nonsense advice and a bull shit free zone? Explore the blog topics below:
There are so many amazing wedding photographers for you to choose from - but which one is right for you?! After all, the only things you get to keep after your wedding are the rings and your photos.
Join my mailing list and get my completely FREE and impartial guide to choosing your wedding photographer. Everything you need to know to find THE ONE (to photograph your wedding).
Woo Hoo! You're in. Check your inbox to confirm your email address (don't forget to check the junk) and your download will be on its way to you.