Angie and Charlie had postponed their wedding once before due to covid restriction, but finally had their magical, intimate ceremony at the Old Marylebone Town Hall with just 11 of their nearest and dearest. Over to Angie to tell us more…
Angie + Charlie…
How did you meet and get engaged?
We met at a wedding where we were both platonic plus ones in 2008. He lived in Oxford and I lived in Northamptonshire. We lived apart for 9 years then bought a house together in Newbury, West Berkshire where we’ve lived for 4 years.
We got engaged on Christmas morning when Charlie presented me with one last surprise present which contained 300 Haribo rings, a bottle of Vintage Champagne, a card which said ‘Merry Christmas fiancée’ and a proposal ring – I said yes!
Was there an overall theme to your day?
No. We’re a pretty informal couple so knew we didn’t want the traditional big, white wedding and wanted something low key, relaxed and filled with the people and things we loved.
How would you describe your day?
Just amazing. The sun shone after weeks of rain and having postponed once already due to COVID from our original date in May 2020. We were worried some of the restrictions would make it strange or cold but the venue was so warm and welcoming we barely noticed them and, if anything, we can look back and know it was historic that we even managed it at all.
I love the gentle nods in our photography to it. The masks in the ceremony, my Dad was streamed on my brother-in-law’s phone as he couldn’t be there as he was locked down in Thailand, and the signs on the bus where our very clever photographer, Rachel, took a shot of us through it. It just felt amazing we managed to still do it in that small window when things eased up for that short window of time in September last year. We feel so lucky.
How long were you planning it for?
A couple of months. We got engaged at Christmas 2019 and had planned a small, intimate ceremony with our immediate family followed by dinner, champagne and cocktails at Hawksmoor Air Street (our favourite restaurant) on a Bank Holiday weekend May 2020 then a big party two days later in Bath for all our friends and family. This part has yet to happen but we’re optimistic it’ll go ahead in November after we had to postpone for a second time due to restrictions.
Where was your wedding/reception venue and why did you pick it?
We reversed engineered the day around ensuring we could have dinner and cocktails at our Hawksmoor after we were married. We’ve always loved the food and cocktails there and also the informal, relaxed atmosphere and service which is very us.
Everything else was decided once that was booked and we found the other places we loved – the beautiful Old Marylebone Town Hall for the ceremony and The Pilgrm hotel to get ready and stay after the wedding.
We loved the beautiful rooms at The Old Marylebone Town Hall and we could select from several smaller rooms which suited our small, intimate ceremony. Not to mention all the photography we saw from other weddings there looked so beautiful as it’s such a gorgeous building and in a great location, we knew it was perfect.
In terms of where we would stay after the wedding, we originally chose to stay at The Shard. However, after the wedding was postponed in the first lockdown, when we tried to rebook the prices had increased so much it became unjustifiable and we realised it wasn’t very ‘us’ anyway. Instead, we found The Pilgrm, which was not only conveniently close to Paddington station (where our trains arrived from Newbury) but we loved the small, boutique, design-led rooms, restaurant, bar and palm balcony. We also knew it would look great for our wedding photography and it was so much more ‘us’. The service and staff were also brilliant, as were the cocktails for our final drink on our wedding day which make it all the more special.
Who was your wedding photographer and why did you choose them?
We chose September Pictures after finding them through The Old Marylebone Town Hall list of suppliers, checking out their website and subsequently falling in love with their previous work. We’re not that traditional as a couple and are both creative so wanted our wedding photography to reflect that and we knew as soon as found September Pictures, they were the ones to do it and we were blown away when we saw the finished results! We couldn’t love them more!
Your outfits! Tell us more about them! Were there any special details, accessories or reasons behind your choices?
I knew I didn’t want a traditional look so was happy to find my simple, minimalist, knee-length one-shoulder dress in the Reiss Sale and my blue t-bar shoes from eBay – Charlie’s suit cost more than my whole look!
I’m generally not that sentimental but know I wanted to wear my Granny’s earrings which were so special and they looked beautiful on the day.
The only thing I struggled with was something for my hair. I tried various looks including a vintage hairpin, but it just wasn’t very me as it was too formal. A month before the wedding, after A LOT of research, I found a veil bow idea which I loved the look of. It was less formal and unique but I couldn’t find one to buy anywhere. In the end, I took matters into my own hands and ordered some tulle from eBay and a grip and made it myself with my trusty glue gun and I LOVED the final look – I think it made my outfit and I had so many compliments and questions from friends who were also getting married as to where they could find something similar.
Charlie wanted a suit that he could wear again, but was special enough to get married in. After a day spent trying on various options with nothing standing out, we found this simple but stylish suit in Hugo Boss. It was over budget, but we both knew it was perfect so he decided to pay the extra. His shoes and tie both came from Reiss. He wore his Dads watch and his pocket square and cuff links were both homages to his Dad too, who sadly passed away just a month after finding out our plan to marry. It was a very emotional day for his family as a result.
Tell us about your wedding flowers? Was there a particular theme or colour palette?
I kept the flowers pretty but minimalist and white with lots of greenery as I wanted the colour of my red lip and blue shoes to shine on the day. My florist, Willow and Blooms in our hometown of Newbury (@willowandblooms) were so brilliant and helped pick the new arrangement after COVID meant the Peonies I chose for May were no longer an option. In the end, we went with clusters of Hydrangeas to create a similar texture as well as the roses I originally chose to go alongside them.
Which decorations/props did you use on your wedding day?
We wanted it to be a colourful, fun day to reflect us and our creativity so chose colourful confetti for after the ceremony – some of which was stuck in my veil bow for most of the day after that!
Let’s talk food! What style of food did you go for and why?
Incredible steaks from Hawksmoor. I’ll always remember taking Charlie there for the first time and after the first bite, he said, ‘well thanks for ruining steak for me!’ in that he knew every time he would order steak from that moment would never be as good!
Cake! Who created your wedding cake and what theme did you go for?
We didn’t have a cake as we weren’t into the traditional things so we had the Hawksmoor sticky toffee puddings after dinner instead which they decorated with ‘Congrats’ round the edges of the plates
Tell us about your wedding stationery – who designed them for you and what style did you go for?
Charlie is a Creative Director so naturally wanted to design the invites himself! With just 11 of us at the ceremony, we only produced invites for the party which has since been cancelled twice anyway! They were digitally printed by one of his suppliers, with white ink on a navy board with a textured pattern embossed into the paper. We just wanted something simple and classy so decided against the traditional foil blocking. We were able to get custom-made envelopes to match the invites too.
Tell us more about your hair/make-up for your wedding. What kind of look did you want to achieve and was there any particular products/accessories you wanted to use?
After debating whether to do my own hair and makeup (because I’m so fussy with both and know what I like) after the pandemic hit I couldn’t even have makeup lessons, and booking hair appointments for my bridal party became a logistical headache, I decided to look into getting someone to do both. After some research, I found a hair and makeup artist through The Wedding Collective (@wearetheweddingcollective), who has a directory of suppliers for more creative, design-led couples which looked very me. I found Nicola Beddoes (@nicolabeddoes) who sounded perfect as she was all about effortless, undone hair and glowing makeup. After a fun and relaxing trial going through the options, I knew she was going to be perfect for the day. I deliberated whether to keep it natural and glowing as I first thought I would want, but after finding my incredible blue shoes I just knew a striking red lip was the way to go and I’m so happy I did!
My hair was loose, natural waves pinned up finished with my homemade veil bow. We tried the vintage pin at the trial which I knew just wasn’t very me. I loved the look of both on the day and Nicola was so lovely to have around on the morning of the wedding with her relaxed, fun energy. She made it such a special part of the day for me and my bridal party, who she also did the hair for and they all looked and felt amazing.
How did you entertain your guests throughout the day?
So in between the ceremony and Hawksmoor, whilst we were having our photos taken, we booked some tables at Bill’s, near The Old Marylebone Town Hall so they could have some drinks and relax before we met them at Hawksmoor. Once we were at Hawksmoor, we presented our flower girl and page boy with goodie bags of small games/toys to keep them entertained whilst we had our drinks and dinner.
Looking back, what was the standout moments of your day?
Walking around the gorgeous streets of West London with our photographer, in the sunshine, passing people who gave us their congratulations and were as delighted as we were to see us managing to get married despite the ongoing Pandemic. It felt like a beacon of light in such a dark year.
Another stand out moment was once our families had left for the day after dinner, leaving just us to have a few more cocktails whilst people continued to give us their congratulations and warm wishes as they passed by which felt so special. My favourite being a lady who said, ‘good for you to get married amongst all this s**t! I think that’s brilliant – congratulations!’ It felt amazing and surreal at the same time and made us laugh!
Do you have any advice for couples currently planning their wedding, for either the planning or the lead-up?
Sounds obvious but when planning it – do what you want to do and make it about you as a couple. It’s so easy to get swept up in other couple’s beautiful weddings and even places to stay when in reality it’s not very you as a couple. I loved that ours felt like it was our day with only the places, food, drinks and people we loved.
In the lead-up, once you have everything in place and booked, (and this is easier said than done, I know!), try and relax and let it go. You’ve done everything you can. Whatever happens, happens on the day after that point. Things will always go a little bit wrong or be different than you expected but you will just end up enjoying it all and it’s all part of your story. It goes so quick – even for a tiny elopement – so enjoy every second!