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 love a London pub wedding. What could be more romantic than promising your loved one to spending the rest of your lives together and then heading off to the pub a jolly good knees up with all your friends and family?! There is always a lovely ambiance at a pub wedding. I think there is something about the relaxed setting that lends itself to intimacy, laughter and all round nice times.
Summer, winter, rain or shine, a London pub wedding delivers high jinks all year round. The buildings are usually years old, bursting character features, cosy in the winter with a roaring fire and spacious in the summer with a blooming pub garden. Plus there is probably nothing more quintessentially British than drinking a pint in a London pub. All these reasons make a London pub an excellent choice for a wedding.
Madeline and Javi wanted a London pub wedding for their big day back in October last year. They booked Camera Hannah to capture their nuptials, and knowing that I love a pub wedding, Hannah asked me to come along and second shoot for her. Having a second shooter is a great way to increase the volume of images that you get from your day for just a little bit more money. You get both aspects of the day as each photographer follows the journey of each partner. I’m in a big network of full time, professional photographers and we often call on each other to assist one another at weddings. I love second shooting for other photographers; it’s a nice way to see how other people work, learn techniques, share your own experiences and work as a part of a team. Being self-employed means spending a lot of admin and editing time alone, so working with someone else on occasion does great things for your creativity and well-being!
Working as a team with Hannah it was great to be involved in such a lovely wedding. Madeline and Javi filled their day with personal touches, the wedding party arrived at The Royal Inn on the Park on red London buses and were greeted with plates of Spanish tapas from Javi’s home country of Spain. The family speeches were in both English and Spanish and were followed by traditional pub fish and chips. The function room at the pub was decorated like a very cool 50s school prom with strings of paper tassels and coloured balloons. Guests were invited to decorate themselves with a temporary tattoo bar, and Madeline and Javi’s friends sneakily surprised them with a shower of gold glitter burst from a glitter canon on the dance floor. It was a beautiful, sentimental day that ended with a brilliantly fun party.
Hilary and Richard got married at Orleans House Gallery in Twickenham back in July 2016. When we met to discuss and plan their garden wedding, Hilary and Richard told me that they were most looking forward to having an informal wedding and celebrating with their family and friends. The day started with a casual and relaxed vibe that continued right through to the garden wedding party. The couple wanted to break with tradition, so they arrived at the venue together to welcome their guests with cider and mini scones with jam and cream – a nod to the bride’s family roots in Devon. The guests entered the ceremony room to the sound of a pianist playing songs from the couple’s favourite show tunes. Once everyone was seated, Hilary and Richard walked down the aisle together.
The ceremony was simple, elegant and meaningful with two readings and the traditional exchange of rings. Once outside, the wedding party walked to the reception held at The Secret River Garden; a secret oasis hidden behind a high wall and opening out on to the banks of the River Thames. The garden was in full summer bloom with a tiny woodland and lush green lawn. Richard and Hilary took no chances with the weather and had hired a really fab tipi to host their sit down meal and dance floor. They thought about all their guests, especially the many youngsters and even hired children’s entertainer The Little Top– complete with their own tipi bursting with activities. This made for a really fun wedding for all the guests.
Lots of the details at Hilary and Richard’s wedding were homemade which gave their garden wedding a lovely personal touch. Hilary wore a mint green embroidered dress which had been kindly made for her by one of her mum’s friends. The bouquet was made up by Hilary’s mum combining a bought bouquet with flowers from the local florist. The table decorations comprised a table runner which was formerly a cheap pair of Ikea curtains, on which stood jars tied with lace and ribbon collected by the family, holding sprigs of Gypsophelia / babies breath which had been bought as a large bunch from the local florist. Richard made the tassel garland around the cake table which held the most epic wedding cake from Cakes by Robin, topped with the couples’ initials and a specially designed camel and penguin bought on Etsy from Miss Sarah Cakes.
The table plan was laid out on a map of the world, printed by Papier and framed in a heavy wood frame provided by the tipi supplier. The couple’s love for travel was carried through to the dining area in the tipi by the hanging paper aeroplanes which had been patiently made by Hilary from an old road map. The table names and place names were also printed by Papier.
Thankfully, the sun was shining down for the guests to enjoy canapes, Pimms, Prosecco and raspberry lemonade in the beautiful garden.
You can read what Hilary and Richard thought of my photos from their big day by reading their review of me on my nice words page.