Woooooooo weeeeeeeee WHAT A YEAR?! So 2018 was the first full year for Parrot and Pineapple, and I can hand on heart say it’s been ALL KILLER NO FILLER. I’ve absolutely loved every wedding that I’ve photographed. And, just as I planned for, they’ve all been different and unique in their little ways. But there’s been one over riding common theme – couples that just wanted to get married without any of the traditional patriarchal bull shit that is all too often associated with weddings.
Here’s a tiny fraction of the images that I took from all of the weddings I photographed. All of these images are my absolute faves. I got a little bit emosh putting this video together. Because these images are exactly what I set out to capture. Little moments. Joy. Strength. Love. Big fun.
Sit back, relax, hit full screen and most importantly turn up the volume.
When Grace and Graeme told me they had a cat named Peggy Mitchell I was dead set on shooting their wedding. First of all, I love cats and secondly I love Eastenders. And who was the greatest character is Eastenders histroy? Only East End Queen GETOUTTAMAPUB Peggy Mitchell. Which is a fitting name for a cat owned by a couple who had a lovely East London wedding. The were a dream come true for me!
Scroll down to see all the photos and read how they planned their perfect wedding. They had eclectic bridesmaids in yellow, dried flowers, a couple of hundred green beer bottles, A DOG and Grace chose to wear her glasses (because as a fellow specs wearer it’s lovely to see a bride in glasses!).
What’s your love story? How did you meet?
We met back in 2011 when Graeme started work at the group of recording studios where Grace worked. After a year of hanging out and after-work drinks we got together after a fateful Elton John gig in 2012!
What was the proposal like?
Super laid-back. Grace was studying for her finance exams on a Saturday, and as soon as she got through the door Graeme proposed in the flat with Belle & Sebastian playing in the background. We hastily had a cup of tea then headed out for a celebratory dinner.
How did you find planning your wedding? Anything funny/interesting happen along the way?
We did nothing for about 6 months, then took it pretty steadily over two years. We knew from the start that we wanted to get married in London, and spent a long time looking at lots of venues, primarily in East London. We were trying to find a venue that would fit in our budget, was in a location we were likely to visit again, and would allow us a fun and informal party that was still felt a bit fancy.
We tried to plan things so that there wouldn’t be any last-minute stresses or too much to do at once or on the day. Dried flowers meant we had all the bouquets, button-holes and flowers for decorating the venue over a month in advance. Using beer bottles as vases meant that they could go in the bottle bank at the end of the night, rather than worrying about bringing lots of vases home at the end of the night, or hire collections.
We had a lot of fun getting through all the beers for vases in the couple of months leading up to the wedding. Anyone visiting our home in those couple of months could only drink beer, which I don’t think anyone particularly minded. We managed to finish the 120 with a couple of days to spare before the wedding. I don’t think we will be drinking any Biere D’or in the near future.
Which venues did you choose and why?
We chose Islington Town Hall for the ceremony and The Tab Centre in Shoreditch for the reception. The Council Chamber in the Town Hall is a beautiful venue, and we needed somewhere that could fit all of our guests for both ceremony and reception. The Tab Centre is a lovely old hall right in the middle of Shoreditch. It’s a not-for-profit venue and anything they make goes back into supporting the local community too which appealed to us, and being dry-hire we had the freedom to do what we wanted in there. We live in East London and knowing that we’d wander past the venues from time to time after the wedding appealed to us too.
What was your ceremony like?
The ceremony was a bit of a blur! The Council Chamber at Islington Town Hall is a beautiful venue so we didn’t need to do any decorating in there. We had a carefully curated selection of Belle & Sebastian songs playing while guests arrived, then for the ceremony music we had an acoustic band made from 4 of our friends. They are all trained musicians so the music was fantastic. We had one short reading by Grace’s sister Hannah- “That Still & Settled Place” by Edward Monkton. It spoke to us because we’re most relaxed and content when we’re together in our home in Plaistow. In an other slight break with tradition we had our Mums as witnesses, and Grace walked down the aisle solo behind her parents. For the music we had Blackbird by The Beatles as Grace walked down the aisle, then during the signing of the register we had When I Go by Slow Club and Fairytale Lullaby by Bombay Bicycle Club (a John Martyn cover), then Two Of Us by The Beatles as we left.
What did you both wear? Why did you choose those outfits?
Grace wore a dress by “Sweetheart” from a wedding outlet near Graeme’s home village in Yorkshire (Bridal Factory Outlet). I had been to a couple of dress shops, and found the experience a bit terrifying, as I’m not really one for getting dressed up. The outlet felt a lot more chilled out, and there was loads to chose from which you could buy off-the-peg there and then. A couple of married friends had also recommended the dress outlet, as it was where they had bought their dresses. I was pretty sure I would be having a good dance and flinging wine around by the end of the night, so it was important that my dress allowed dancing, and I wouldn’t be too heartbroken if it was a bit stained by the end of the wedding. I bought flat blue leather sandals and jewellery from a selection of Etsy shops. The sandals were super comfortable, which also enabled a lot of dancing, and I think having a bit of colour made my outfit look a bit more fun than classic white shoes. My hair and make-up was done by Anita Stevens, she was great! I knew very little about what I wanted, so she was fantastic at making suggestions, and I felt so glamorous once she was finished. Graeme wore a suit by Alexandre of England after a long afternoon of suit shopping on Oxford street with his slightly more fashion-conscious friend, shoes and accessories were from Ted Baker.
What sort of theme did you go with for your wedding decor?
We were going for a more informal, colourful theme than your classic high-end wedding. Seat covers were banned for a start. We used dry flowers throughout the venue and for the bouquets and button-holes, all coloured blue, purple and yellow. We spent the months prior to the wedding drinking 120 little green bottles of beer to put the flowers in on the tables, which actually worked out cheaper than buying glass bottles or hiring vases, and meant they could all go into the bottle bank at the end of the night. For favours we used succulents, adding to the green vibe of the venue. We went with rustic looking tables and decorated them with the flowers, succulents and fairy lights. The venue had coloured down lighters, so after a few bay trees and a giant light-up “MCALLEN” sign that’s about all the decorating we had to do! One of our favourite items was the guestbook and polaroid camera – we’ve been enjoying looking through the hilarious messages and photos after the wedding!
What was the plan for your reception?
Aside from feeding and watering everyone we didn’t have much of a plan for reception! Our caterers were PieMinister. We had a drinks reception with canapés on the balcony at The Tab Centre, followed by a main meal of pie and mash, after which Grace’s Mum, Graeme and his head groomsman Graham gave speeches, then it was straight into the party for the rest of the night. The most important thing for us was that we had all our friends and family in one place having a great time, and I think it’s safe to say we achieved that.
What is your advice for other couples getting married? What would you do differently?
I think my (Graeme) advice would be to try and relax and enjoy the day. Try not to focus on all the tiny details, and trust that you and your friends and family will have a fantastic time regardless of the colour of your napkins for example. If you don’t fancy running around on the morning of the wedding go for decorations like dried flowers that you can get well in advance. We were able to set up the venue the day before too which was incredibly helpful. I think my advice (Grace), is pretty similar to Graeme’s.
Only bits I would add, is that I’m really glad we spent the night together the evening before the wedding. I think you can feel quite stressed the night before about everything running smoothly on the day, and that all your guests are going to get there. I imagine we both would have felt a lot more stressed if we hadn’t have been together to chill each other out. My only other advice is about hair and make-up.
I had been in two minds about spending what felt like quite a lot of money on getting my hair and make-up done the morning of the wedding, as I don’t really do much dressing up. I’m so glad I did, as I felt super glamarous and fancy all dolled-up. To reiterate, I think dried flowers was a great move, my bouquet still looks lovely in a vase at home!
What was it like to work with me?
Rowan was fantastic! We didn’t appreciate before the wedding that you’re not just looking for someone who can take fantastic photos (which Rowan can), but it’s also really important that they can organise people and arrange great group photos without being bossy, blend into the crowd when needed, and generally be great fun and get along with all your guests. Rowan absolutely smashed it and all our guests have commented on how great she was and how lovely the photos are. She was also brilliant at finding little spots around the venue to take photos, for example some street art in a church yard near The Tab Centre, and a great big yellow door that went perfectly with the bridesmaids’ dresses, all without taking us away from the party for too long.
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.
On the blog this week is Hannah and Alex’s mega fun London city wedding – complete with lots of Greek dancing and Irish spirit. When I first met Hannah and Alex and they told me they just wanted to have fun with their family and friends, I knew their wedding was going to be good – and it did not disappoint! The dance floor was packed right from first dance all the way through to when I reluctantly packed up my camera kit to go home a few hours later.
How did you meet?
The most romantic of love stories – we met at an infamous Irish bar in Stockwell called the Swan at about 5am. But Alex did then take me to Gordan’s wine bar for our first date which was a little more classy.
What was the proposal like?
Hilarious! We were in Jamaica but there was a storm warning so sadly Alex’s romantic dinner for two on the beach got moved to the sitting room of another hotel room which was deadly quiet and totally devoid of atmosphere, we moved the settings onto the balcony to make it seems slight less bizarre. We were then visited by an over-enthusiastic hotel photographer who made us pose for ‘romantic pictures’ (we’ve never seen the result of these). Finally, over pudding Alex was ready to propose but our eager waitress obviously wanted to witness so Alex had to ask her to wait outside before he proceeded to panic, practically throw the ring at me and ask if ‘I..er…fancy getting married’. Luckily, there wasn’t actually a storm anyway so we then had some much more chilled drinks on the beach. This is my paraphrased, slightly hazy memory of a perfect proposal anyway.
Which venues did you choose?
We chose St Etheldreda’s Roman Catholic church for our ceremony – it’s an absolutely stunning and very old church in the heart of London City. And, it turns out that my mum has taken us there for mass a few times as a child. It was really close to our reception venue too – I loved the idea of a whole gaggle of people heading to the reception together. We got a wedding car from the church to the reception and that is the one thing I regret, not walking with everyone. Our reception was at Stationers Hall, a very large venue in central London with a garden. The rooms are stunning. I was slightly concerned if the formal and slightly medieval looking hall would transform into an evening venue but with a whole load of uplighters from the DJ it looked and felt just how I wanted.
What did you wear?
I wanted a dress that was comfortable and that I could eat and dance in. I went for a classic style with Grecian floor length dress with a plunging neckline. It worked perfectly! And the split up the front meant you could see my pink shoes giving it a slightly less traditional feel. I had a simple cathedral length veil which was so long! It may have looked photogenic but it was supremely annoying. Then some coloured dried flowers in my hair. I didn’t want to look too precious so ended up wearing an old pair of earrings which added a bit of bling! My ‘something borrowed’ was an elephant broach on the waistband from my mum, ‘something blue’ was a bracelet from my sister, ‘something old’ was a ring I wear all the time which has been passed down the family and ‘something new’ was pretty much the rest!
Alex wore a pale grey suit. All the groomsmen wore brightly coloured ties which coordinated with the flowers and bridesmaid dresses.
What theme did you go for with your wedding styling?
We didn’t have a specific theme as such, we just wanted it to be a very colourful and fun day. This was incorporated in the bridesmaid dresses, some were in sunflower yellow and some in raspberry pink, my shoes were bright pink, the flowers and the very colourful confetti. For all our stationary we had a greenery, leafy motif which was also brought out in the beautiful garlands we had on the banqueting tables and all the olive leaves around the cake. We didn’t have a traditional cake but a tower of cheese as we are quite possibly addicted to cheese. I made the table plan with my sister. We decided not to do table names, but many people commented on how much like Hogwarts it looked, so in retrospect wish I’d done the Hogwarts house names. Alex is half Greek, half Irish so the greenery did look quite greek, my dress actually looked quite Greek (unintentional), and we also had Greek and Irish dancing through the night (sadly the lovely listed floors understandably meant no plate smashing inside).
What was your ceremony like?
Our favourite bit, aside from the sermon, was probably when we both got the giggles as couldn’t remember if either of us had taken the labels of our shoes, but neither of us could check in the way we were kneeling.
What did you enjoy about your reception?
So many highlights! We it ended on the best high ever. We chose Oasis – Don’t look back in anger, which was maybe a bit cheesy but we knew everyone would know it. We were up on people shoulders with everyone, all our favourite people in the world, circled around us all singing along. It was the best possible way to end the night!
What was your first dance?
Lucky Man – The Verve. We both knew we didn’t want a particularly romantic, slow song as or first dance. We, also have very different music taste but we discovered it apparently crosses over in Mancunian Rock given we’d narrowed it down to The Smiths and Oasis as well…who knew!
What entertainment did you have?
During the day we had a pianist playing modern music during the drinks reception in the garden and then again during meal. I’ve been at wedding before and it’s lovely background music, plus you constantly find yourself recognising songs. Also, one of my relatives is a great pianist and ended up dueting with him for a few songs. For the evening we had a DJ who was accompanied by a saxophonist which everyone really loved. I think a highlight was seeing the saxophonist up on the window sill, silhouetted against the stained glass window. (PianoDJs organised all of this).
What’s your advice to other couples getting married?
In the run up I wished I’d done so many things differently (not had a London wedding, had it more casual, had it smaller, etc, etc), but on the day everything went so well! I am so glad I stayed with what we originally planned as I wouldn’t change a thing. I think my main advice wouldn’t be don’t stress it, it may not be you’re perfect wedding ‘on paper’ but once it starts and everyone is having an amazing time then it doesn’t really matter where it is, what you wear or what the ‘theme’ is.
How did you manage your budget?
A large London wedding was always going to be a lot but we did come in just under budget. We did a few things to make that work for us, for example we wanted an open bar with a champagne reception and plenty of booze flowing, so it worked out it was cheaper to get corkage and then go to France and buy most of it there. My dress, while still not cheap, was ex-sample, and getting the veil from the same place meant I got a discount. All the suits were hired in the end as Alex hates wearing them so there was no point him buying one that would hardly ever be worn again (because my dress will be worn so much again… :)). Rather than have a three course meal, we had two courses and then provided a help yourself cake buffet from M&S, plus some baklava and loukoumi from Greece.
What was it like to work with me?
So much fun!! I would recommend you to anyone. For our pre-wedding shoot you gave us enough direction without us feeling stilted and posed, you made us relaxed and made us laugh despite the fact there were quite a few people around. Plus, you were great company. This was so reassuring for the wedding day. On the day you were subtle in the church, organised the group photos with just the right amount of forcefulness while coming across as light-hearted and upbeat the whole time, plus you got all the posed photos over quickly, so we weren’t away for the guests for too long. I have had so many compliments for you, from people at the reception who said how much fun you were to have around. And the bridesmaids said you were great in what sounded like a slightly stressful car journey where you were very calming company. Everyone who has seen the photos so far loves them!
Shan and Rob tied the knot at Camden Registry Office, and afterwards took a canal boat ride down to their Shoreditch warehouse wedding venue Shoreditch Platform. This wedding oozes chic style and I love the use of Gold in the little details. Shan and Rob wanted to have a really fun wedding that was all about having a great time with the people they loved the most. They weren’t afraid to just go with whatever they wanted as a couple for their wedding day. Equality is important to both of them and they broke a lot of traditions and got creative with what felt right for them. Shan walked down the aisle by herself, gave a speech and invited her Maid of Honour and mum to give a speech at the reception. I really love it when women take active parts in a wedding day
Tell us how you met and got engaged…
I met Rob through friends of friends at a small festival in Wales called Free Rotation. We’ve been together a few years and then just decided to get engaged after a chat together. We were on holiday in Amsterdam at The Vondel Park, there was no ring but it was still magical!
How would you describe your wedding theme?
Urban, city wedding with low fuss and maximum vibes!
What were your favourite details?
All the details that our friends and family did for us. My very talented friend Natalie made gorgeous invitations and wrote each invite by hand using her calligraphy pen. I loved the wedding cake as my Mum made it, and being big but rival foootball fans had a little fun by having Thierry Henry & Dimitar Berbatovas cake toppers. My maid of honours mum decorated the venue with her beautiful simple flowers and vases. Last but not least the DJ sets! My husband being a DJ certainly made the music.
Was your favourite part of the day?
Being on a canal boat sailing through central London, champagne in hand, eating the empanadas my bridesmaid had made whilst surrounded by close family and friends. My father also painted four canvases of places that were special to myself and Rob, which were displayed behind the bar.
How was your day unique?
Equality played a big part in our day – we wanted a variety of people to speak so I asked my mum, dad and Maid of Honour to deliver a speech as well as my husband and his brother (best man).
What made you choose Shoreditch Platform for your wedding venue?
The fact that there was no corkage charge, we could have our own caterer, it has a super sound system and it was open until 3am. We wanted somewhere that wasn’t “weddingy” and we found it!
Tell us about your wedding outfits and why you picked them…
I knew I wanted plain, plain, plain! Originally I was desperate to have long sleeves but luckily I chose against the idea seeing as it was 28c on the day. Rob has dark hair and blue eyes so a navy suit was the way to go. I love gold so we went for a few gold touches – my shoes and Robs tie.
What was your biggest expense?
There was no big expense really. Considering we have free booze and food and 110 people we think we did pretty well ok our budget.
How did you save money?
We worked backwards from the total and simple set an amount to save each month. We knew we wanted to get married within a year so we decided to reduce our extravagances for a year. Our parents were very kind and each gave us the same amount to avoid any money awkwardness.
What was it like working with me?
You were absolutely incredible! Both commanding and relaxed all at the same time. You helped us to organise the day excellently and the end result was stunning! We love our photos.
Advice to any couples about to get married?
Put your hands out in front of you count your fingers – that is how many people who you are probably going to piss off! So just accept that people will get upset and annoyed and stick to the plan that you and your partner want!
Ensuring people don’t have to spend a lot of money to be with you on your special day makes the whole thing more relaxing! So go for free food and drinks rather than overpriced details that no one notices.
Greenwich Yacht Club is a true hidden gem of a London wedding venue. It’s nestled on the Greenwich peninsula, just downstream from the O2 and literally built ON the Thames. The clubhouse venue is an architecture lovers dream, standing up high on stilts over the river and built from glass. So when Grace and Jiten got in touch and asked me to photograph their Greenwich Yacht Club wedding I was chomping at the bit to take up their offer! They filled their day with bright colours, mountains of delicious food, two heartfelt ceremonies and a lot of laughter. Scroll down to read all about it and see the snaps.
What’s your love story? How did you meet?
We met on a night out in South London. I overheard Jiten talking about someone I went to school with and butted into his conversation. He then proceeded to call me Georgina for an evening and persistently asked if he could pass for Mexican … the rest is history!
What was the proposal like?
We didn’t really have a traditional proposal as such. We had lots of conversations about whether or not marriage was for us and eventually mutually agreed it was. I was then browsing vintage engagement rings online and found the perfect one in a shop near where we live. Jiten just said ‘lets go and get it!’ but we had agreed it was too soon to be planning a wedding so he hid it from me for 6 months! When the time was right we took it to our local park with a bottle of wine (and a packet of chips from the chippie) and sat under a tree and Jiten gave it to me then.
How did you find planning your wedding?
Mostly it was fun and we enjoyed doing some of the tasks but there were definite moments of stress and we had to remind ourselves that we were consciously trying to make this a low-key and fun wedding and not to get wrapped up in things that did not feel like us or were just doing to meet others expectations.
Why did you chose Greenwich Yacht Club?
We wanted somewhere where we could have all elements of our wedding in one place to minimise travelling about and having to pay extra for transport – so we were looking for somewhere suitable for civil ceremony, Hindu ceremony (let us have a fire!) and a party. We wanted it to be local to us so only looked in South East London and wanted it to be relaxed, a bit different, low key and informal. We found the perfect place in Greenwich Yacht Club which ticked all the boxes and immediately just felt fun and relaxing!
What did you both wear?
I wore a 50s style tea-dress because I have always loved vintage clothing and wanted something less formal than a more traditional wedding dress but still to feel special in it. I had a pair of gold heals for the ceremony but abandoned them for the Hindu ceremony and went bare foot, and then just wore sandals in the evening. I wore my grandma’s earrings for a personal touch and they were 60s esque so went well with my dress. I was given a gold mangalsutra (wedding necklace) during the Hindu ceremony so wore that for the rest of the day. I had a dried flower crown first for the civil ceremony and replaced that with a 60s headband in the evening. Jiten wore a blue suit with a peacock lining and bright yellow tie as he wanted something colourful and fun.
We both wore traditional Indian wedding outfits (red, white and gold) for the Hindu ceremony, though I went for an Anarkali rather than sari as it was more comfortable and I could dress myself. Though in reality it took three bridesmaids and my sister in law to get me in and out! Jiten abandoned the turban as he felt it was too much.
What sort of theme did you go for with your decor and styling?
We wanted the wedding to be as colourful as possible and that was our only theme really. We just went for brightly coloured bunting etc… and let the beautiful flowers do the talking. We had some traditional hindu elements (like a religious mandap) but made these ourselves so just made them as colourful and bright as possible. I really wanted natural, meadow type flowers and our florist made bouquets more amazing then I had ever imagined and really were the centrepiece. We also had a giant poster of Sly Stallone in Cobra as Jiten has always loved him and all things 80s and its a film we both love – that was definitely a talking point- we did actually tweet Sly a photo of this but alas he didn’t reply.
What were your ceremonies like?
We decided to have our ceremonies (civil and Hindu) with only immediate family and a very small handful of close friends as we felt it would be more intimate and less intimidating! this was great as it felt like all of our guests were in the wedding and afterwards they all said they felt very included in such an intimate wedding. Civil ceremony: we had both been milling around with our guests before the ceremony so we didn’t have a grand reveal and then walked down the aisle together. I did not want to be given away and we felt like it was a good symbol of how we want our marriage to start – we were also nervous so it was nice to be there together.
We chose a ‘This is the place’ by the talking heads to walk down the aisle to as it is a fun, romantic (and most importantly 80s) song that we both already loved and has a light hearted feel to it. We contemplated the Rocky Theme tune but decided it was too out there! we kept the ceremony short and sweet and avoided the very traditional parts and public vows. My two sisters did readings, one read an extract from ‘The Amber Spyglass’ which was one of my childhood favourite books and the other wrote a poem which made everyone cry! The ceremony felt really special and remains a definite highlight because it felt really personal.
We then had a Hindu ceremony which was a complete contrast. We found the UK’s first female Hindu priest, Chanda, which was great as it felt really feminist and she was amazing. she is really kind and funny and put us all at ease whilst keeping the service spiritual and meaningful. The ceremony was really colourful and fun to do. Jiten had to present me a mangal sutra (wedding necklace) which he couldn’t do up and was busy strangling me with it until his sister in law rescued us!
What was your plan for the reception?
In contrast to our tiny ceremonies we wanted a massive party with all of our friends and family. We had 150 guests for an informal buffet meal of Indian food and drinks, speeches, cake and dancing. The speeches were a definite highlight, we had Jiten, the bestman, bridesmaids and me doing speeches. Everyone was quite merry by then and they were a really funny part of the day. Jiten even got his entire family doing a Leeds football chant!
Did you have a first dance?
We avoided this like the plague as we felt it was too traditional for us (and too intimidating as neither of us can dance!) – our friends more than made up for this on the dance floor.
What entertainment did you have?
We had a vintage style juke box as we don’t always agree on music and thought it would be fun to let people choose their own music – which turned out to be a very eclectic mix! this was great as it was a great talking point. It also looked really good and was a fun edition to our décor.
What is your advice to other couples getting married?
Go for it and enjoy it as much as possible. We had a bit of stress in the run up but not too bad, and the day itself more than made up for it – we had the best day ever (far better than we imagined) and it all felt worth it! My only real advice would be not to get swept up in other peoples expectations and stick with what feels right for you as a couple and make sure it reflects your personalities.
What was it like to work with me?
AMAZING from start to finish. We were both really worried about having our pictures taken as we are both a bit self conscious but you made us both feel so at ease and it ended up being a really fun experience. The pictures are great and so many friends and family have commented that they are the best wedding photos they have seen. More than that though it was like having another friend at the wedding and we had loads of fun with you. THANK YOU.
Such nice words from Grace!!! I’m feeling all flustered and bashful now. Keep scrolling to see all the fun photos from Grace and Jiten’s Greenwich Yacht Club wedding.