Lilian and Gary’s Epic Rave Wedding at Shoreditch Studios, London…
Now, where do I even start with today’s real wedding! Lilian and Gary held an incredible, fun, dance-filled wedding at Shoreditch Studios in London, and they made sure to throw out the wedding rule book and embraced their quirky, creative side with their nearest and dearest.
I honestly don’t think I’ve ever featured so many evening photos from a wedding party – because who doesn’t love a sequined wedding dress, margarita hour, amazing drag acts, hidden whiskey bar, pizza van, neon lights, and next-level venue styling!
Oh, and today’s wedding features not one but TWO Mr & Mrs Unique Wedding Suppliers – Cherelle from Perfectly Planned 4 You and Hayley from Lucky Pineapple! Over to Lilian and Gary to tell us more about their epic day…
Lilian + Gary…
How did you meet and get engaged?
We met waaaay back in 2014 through mutual friends. Things clicked between us on a night out at a casino – he was trying to be showy and impressive by giving me chips to gamble with, and I showed him up by flipping his money about 15 fold (no really!). The rest of the night was on me, naturally.
We got engaged in 2019 on our 5 year anniversary. He wanted to take us back to Brighton, where we’d had our first official date. It was super chill and perfect.
Was there an overall theme to your day?
Urban, fabulous, extra.
How would you describe your day?
It was absolutely the best fun we’ve ever had. We did everything our way, dropping most of the traditions and injecting our own essence. Everyone involved was super on board so we didn’t have to worry about a thing. Every one of our guests have said that it was the most fun and unique wedding they’ve ever been to, but I don’t think they expected any less.
How long were you planning it for, and what was the best bit?
We planned for about a year, and had the help of a planner to ease some pressure. We had never planned a wedding before, so wanted to make sure we got everything right. The best bit was definitely curating the drag and burlesque – we got to chat with some of our favourite performers in the country. Absolutely star struck.
Another part we really enjoyed was planning and doing the legal part – it made the whole thing real. We did this in a registry office a few days before the party, just down the road from us in Islington Town Hall. We dressed smart casual, and it was just us, our parents, and our siblings. After we went for a big family dinner in a cute Mediterranean restaurant, Gallipoli Again, next door. It was chill and lowkey and required absolutely 0 effort – I think that whole day cost us less than £200 and it was simply perfect.
How was your day unique to you?
We wanted to celebrate who we are and our special life in London, so instead of the traditional wedding we curated a bit of a rave in an East London rail tunnel. We just never saw ourselves as being “walk down the aisle” types, or having a lovey-dovey ceremony, or a big fancy dinner. In the absence of tradition we invented new ones to keep the night going, so we had a pizza van roll up, a hidden whiskey bar, margarita hour (where all frozen margaritas were free!), a club night DJ, and a drop-dead gorgeous drag host. Everything was curated to maximise fun, even our playlist was cobbled together from our eclectic love for festivals, indie, and salsa (I’m Latinx).
Tell us how you picked and why you picked your wedding suppliers:
We picked our suppliers because they understood our vision and were excited about what we had planned. We aren’t huge flowery romantics, which can be a tempting direction when you talk wedding. Of course, we chose suppliers based on their superb quality, but the ultimate decision came down to people we felt we got along with. It put us at ease that our day was in good hands.
What are your favourite details of the day?
Probably something no one would ever notice – the lights. We planned them in detail with our best man. He’s a lighting gaffer on big blockbuster films, and really understood the brief and how important the lights were to create the mood we wanted. It filled the room which really accented the urban feel of the railway arches and minimalist touches we added.
We also LOVED the gold mirror bar from Lucky Pineapple. It just brought the whole place together.
What was your budget?
About £20-£25k which we had in savings. It was all dry hire, which is great if you want full creative control, but also super daunting if you’ve never done a wedding before.
Do you have any advice for couples currently planning their wedding, for either the planning or the lead-up?
There’s caveats to our advice as we got exceptionally lucky with the lockdown. We had our party the day before gatherings were limited, and the week before lockdown was fully in place.
Ultimately though, it’s important to remember that there’s no rulebook about how to do these things. This is your celebration. In the end, what you have is a budget and a day where you can have a say in what happens hour by hour. Don’t be scared to let your freak flag fly – it’s those moments that make your day special and memorable to you both and the people you chose to celebrate with.
Also, don’t let Rona get you down. We had so much anxiety about it, not knowing if family could fly home or if the party would even happen, but ultimately what mattered was that we got to marry each other and start this lifelong journey together (even if starting married life in lockdown is a bit weird!).
Some boring advice is to keep track of your expenses from Day 1, and have a “just in case” credit card handy. It helps with any hiccups or last minute expenses you might experience, so long as you don’t wrack up a huge bill.
Wedding / Reception Venue: Shoreditch Studios, London
Wedding Photographer: Sophie Lake Weddings
Wedding Planner: Perfectly Planned 4 You
Videography Lara Elliott Wedding & Commercial Films
Venue and Wedding outfits:
Wedding flowers: Bromeliads from IKEA
Lights by Mike at Pirate Eye
Food: Pizza by Van Dough
Bar by Lucky Pineapple
Cake by Sue’s House of Cake
Wedding Stationery: Stationery and wedding website by the bride
Printing by Alan at FM Lithio
Music & Entertainment: DJ @timhinsonuk
Host and drag curation Apple Derrieres