Real wedding: A traditionally beautiful church wedding in London
The couple held their ceremony in a beautiful church, decorated with classy green and white flowers; the floral displays really were something to behold, with cascading white blooms and leafy greens draping down from the pillars.
With little over three months to plan their January wedding, Emily and Simon created a day that was not only traditional and sentimental, but also absolutely perfect for them.
Photographer | Sarah Gawler
How they met
Emily and Simon first met when they were both working at a Hyde Park based estate agent.<br /><br />"The first time I set eyes on Simon he arrived at the office on a Boris bike," remembers Emily. "He just looked so funny."<br /><br />"Every time we worked together we didn't stop talking, to the point that he had to stay hours late because he hadn't done any work."<br /><br />It took Simon and Emily a few years before they become a couple, though they always kept in contact.<br /><br />"I sent him a Christmas present in 2013 and we started spending time together from them," shares Emily. "He invited me to cinema dates and we went for casual dinners, but we were so shy and didn't want to ruin the friendship."<br /><br />"We eventually got together in February 2014 and I moved in with him three weeks after our first kiss. I knew as soon as I moved in with him that he was the man I wanted to spend all my life with."
Simon proposed to Emily on October 16th 2014, eight months on from their first kiss<br /><br />"We met outside his office in Mayfair and went for a walk through Hyde Park and up to the office where we first met," shares Emily. <br /><br />"We stood in the exact spot where we first met, and he told me how much he loved me and proposed!"<br /><br />"He then remembered to get down on one knee, but I was already hugging him and saying yes. It was such a happy and exciting moment."
The ceremony venue
Simon and Emily knew they wanted to get married in a church, but finding one was trickier than they had imagined.<br /><br />"We looked at so many churches that said no because we didn't live locally," explains Emily. "We wanted to get married as soon as possible and planned a January wedding - only giving us around three months to organise the big day."<br /><br />"We stumbled upon St Mark's Church in St John's Wood in London and the priest, Aidan, immediately invited us in for chat," Emily continues.<br /><br />"Aidan was so cheery and organised and talked to us about our marriage and our beliefs. We needed someone to guide and help us with both the wedding and our marriage and Aidan was a huge help."
The wedding dress
With the venue all sorted, it was time for Emily to decide on a dress.<br /><br />"I had tried on a few wedding dresses, but I just felt like I was going to a party or a ball, not my wedding," says Emily.<br /><br />"I went to <a href="http://www.stephanieallin.net" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Stephanie Allin</a> and tried on the Cassie dress and I knew right away it was the one for me. It had an in-built corset and made me feel so slim and comfortable."<br /><br />"The only problem was, it was just too expensive for a one off wear. I asked if they could take the lace off, which they did, which helped with the price. Demi who worked in the shop was so helpful and came up with fantastic ideas around what I had in mind."
The back of the wedding dress
"My dress was fairly straight, with a light layer of material that flows onto the train," describes Emily.<br /><br />"We added thick ruched straps and I chose beading over the waist which was sewn onto the middle."<br /><br />"The dress also had amazing white buttons all the way down the back which made it really special - important when people in the service will be looking at it a lot!" she continues.
Emily affixed a family "S" pearl brooch to her bouquet, and wore a veil, also purchased from Stephanie Allin.<br /><br />"I originally hadn't thought about wearing a veil but once I tried it on it felt amazing and really special, and kept me slightly warmer in the January weather."<br /><br />Prior to her big day, Emily had visited the wedding dress exhibition at the V&A museum, where she got inspiration for her dress. "I knew I wanted to go for a simple and natural look."
Wedding day shoes
Emily wore a beautiful glittering pair of <a href="http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/dresses-and-style/shoes-and-accessories/flat-wedding-shoes/20250.html" target="_blank">flat shoes</a> for her wedding day, ensuring she both looked gorgeous and felt comfortable all day long.<br /><br /><br />
The groom's suit
Simon looked dapper in a dark suit, courtesy of <a href="http://www.buckleighoflondon.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Buckleigh of London</a>. He wore a pale blue tie from <a href="http://www.edeandravenscroft.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Ede and Ravenscroft</a>, and bought his shirt from <a href="http://www.harvieandhudson.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Harvie and Hudson</a>.
The theme for Simon and Emily's wedding centred around light greens and whites, with the couple aiming for a natural and soft garden feel.<br /><br />"We wanted the day to be about our marriage, not all the extras," says Emily. "Simon wanted a very private day with an emphasis on friends and family."<br /><br />Nicole Pierce from <a href="Petal%20and%20Grace" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Petal and Grace</a> created the flowers for the wedding, embodying the natural colour palette.<br /><br />"Nicole and I went to Covent Garden Flower Market, which was a fun activity for wedding preparation," Emily shares. "I was able to be really hands on and show her my ideas for the flowers."<br /><br />"At the church we had huge urns overflowing with white hydrangea, dill, viburnum and two types of eucalyptus."
The wedding flowers
Emily and Simon chose to decorate the pillars of the church with garlands of eucalyptus and white lisianthus, while the altarpiece incorporated candles with dill, white lisianthus and veronica.<br /><br />"We had a disaster on the morning of the wedding as the flowers for the pews had been done the night before, then overnight the heating had wilted them," recalls Emily. "Miraculously, Nicole salvaged what she could and made smaller arrangements."<br /><br /><br />
The bridal bouquet
Despite hosting their wedding in January, Simon and Emily were able to include a few spring flowers in the bridal bouquet, to create a floral look that was reminiscent of warmer months.<br /><br />"I wanted to use flowers that had a loose and natural look, that matched the white and green colour scheme," Emily explains. "The bouquet was designed to be made from flowers similar to ones that grow wild in fields - soft and small."<br /><br />The bouquet included white lilac, dill, viburnum and senecio.
The couple held their reception at famous Mayfair hotspot <a href="http://langansbrasserie.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Langan's Brasserie</a>.<br /><br />"The Mayfair location was perfect as the area has been a large part of Simon's working life for the last ten years," explains Emily.<br /><br />"The first floor dining room was the perfect size to allow guests enough room, while keeping the reception very intimate." <br /><br />The venue took charge of decorating the space, creating the table plans, menus and name cards. Nicole the florist crafted the centrepieces from vases holding the same flowers that ran throughout the day. <br /><br /><br />
The wedding cake
The beautiful naked caked was created by Jane Symonds (contact on 01989 730 277); the cake was a Victoria sponge with white frosted icing.<br /><br />"Jane was so relaxed and helpful with ideas," says Emily. "She presented the cake on a large chunk of wood to make it fit with the theme for our day."<br /><br />As non-drinkers, Emily and Simon provided non-alcoholic cocktail peach tea, as well as champagne for guests who fancied a tipple. <br /><br />"The wedding was a quiet affair," Emily explains. "We wanted everyone to enjoy the evening and just chat. There were loads of clubs nearby for people who wanted to go out dancing - my father-in-law stayed out until four am!"
The wedding night
To celebrate their first evening as Mr and Mrs., the newly weds stayed at the <a href="http://www.corinthia.com/en/hotels/london" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Corinthia Hotel</a> in London. <br /><br />"They upgraded us to the River Suite which overlooks The London Eye and The Thames," says Emily. "The room was so vast, and Beyonce and Jay Z had stayed there too! The hotel had laid out personalised chocolate desserts, and a note from the manager to say congratulations, as well as a massive fruit basket. It was such an amazing treat!"<br /><br />'The hotel was among the most memorable moments of the day, along with giggling the whole way through the service."<br /><br /><br />
Advice for brides-to-be
"My advice is to buy a little wedding planning notepad," shares Emily. "Simon bought a <a href="http://smythson.com/?gclid=CMHF8POBq9ACFVQ_GwodgMQDfA" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Smythson</a> one and it was perfect - just small enough to put in your bag."<br /><br />"Also, don’t go over the top with random extras; no one really notices how extravagant the menus or table cards look and you won’t have time to take it home and it’s so big you won’t want to."