Today we share the wedding of Magdalena and Federico. They’re proof that epic love stories can spark in the most unexpected places, like between the shelves of Loughborough University London during their PhD journey. And just as they wrapped up those doctorates? They sealed the deal on their next big adventure together.
Their wedding at Barge East in Hackney Wick was every bit the unconventional bash. Nestled in the heart of where their love story started, they threw out the rulebook and curated a day that was undeniably them: laid-back, authentic, brimming with surprises, and infused with sustainable choices. Capturing their day was creative wedding photographer, Natalia Case, who is proudly part of our Unique Rebels Union directory.
Here’s a sneak peek into their one-of-a-kind celebration. Over to Magdelena to tell us more…
Magdalena and Federico…
How did you meet and get engaged?
We met at Loughborough University London, during our doctoral studies. We got engaged on the day of our PhD Graduation Ceremony.
Was there an overall theme to your day?
Celebrating our love and life together.
How long were you planning it for?
About a year. We knew right away where we wanted to get married and where the reception would be, as it is in our neighbourhood and we wanted to keep it local to our life here in London.
How was your day unique to you?
It was easy going and smooth, we were excited but not nervous and everyone made us feel so loved and appreciated.
Where was your wedding reception and why did you pick it?
Barge East – in Hackney Wick. This is where we met, fell in love and live nowadays. The neighbourhood became special to us, as it is our home nowadays.
Who was your wedding photographer and why did you chose them?
Natalia Case, we came across her Instagram when we were looking for a photographer and our initial zoom call was love at first sight (I blieve from all three of us! ;))
Your outfits! Tell us more about them!
I had a two piece bridal suit tailored, because I could not find anything that I liked. The suit was perfect, I felt beautiful and comfortable. We matched the groom’s tie to my wedding shoes (both blue) as a nice detail, no particular reason other than we liked the style and idea.
Tell us about your flowers…
We decorated all venues ourselves! We chose very simple baby breadth flowers and eucalyptus, the day before our wedding we went to Columbia Road Flower Market and picked out the blue Hortensia. We wanted to keep it in the moment with our final choices and went along with how we felt the day before the wedding. The flowers turned out amazing and we loved every bits of it.
Which decorations / props did you use on your wedding day?
Simple, timeless and sustainable. We did not want to waist many flowers, we used old jam jars and maple syrup jars from home. In the church we had a programme printed in English and our Mother Tongues German and Spanish.
Let’s talk wedding food! What style of food did you go for and why?
We had canapes and buffet style food, we decided not to have a seated meal, we wanted to keep the day light, easy going and flowing. People could pick up food the entire evening, so whenever they felt rather than us deciding when to eat.
Cake! Who created your wedding cake and what theme did you go for?
Signorelli, 7 Victory Parade, East Village, London E20 1FS – Our local, family-owned favourite bakery around the corner from our house. During the pandemic the bakery did so so well in staying open and flexible, we loved supporting them and besides that they make, hands down, the best cakes in London.
We had 3!! wedding cakes, simply because we felt like it. During the tasting we could not decide, so we thought, rather than having ONE flavour cake, why not get 3 different ones with our favourite flavours. One of the cakes we also ordered in gluten free and vegan, as we had some guests with dietary restrictions, and we did not want them to feel left out.
Tell us about your wedding stationery – who designed them for you and what style did you go for?
We had programs during the church ceremony printed in English, Spanish and Germany, as our guests were either from London (at least live here), Uruguay and Germany.
The groom designed all stationary, as he is a (graphic) designer himself! On the boat we had menus which were printed from the Venue but had an extra header with our names and Wedding Date on them, which was a lovely detail. We also designed little cards with the evening programme, with little sailing rope going around the page, and we printed a Flag for the boat with our Names, Wedding date and Location.
Tell us more about your hair / make-up for your wedding.
I went for an easy hairstyle, open hair with curls and a headband covered in the same silk than the bridal suit. The hairdresser came to the wedding suit while we prepared for the day with the closest girlfriends.
Make-up was done by a make-up artist around the neighborhood as well, went for something more dramatic than usual with red lips to stand out.
How did you entertain your guests throughout the day?
We actually did not tell the guests our entire wedding day plans. All they knew from the invitation was the time and venue of the ceremony, the rest was a surprise. We then booked a Red Vintage London Double Decker to pick us up after the ceremony, drive us around Victoria Park and the QEOP and drop us off at the Boat in Hackney Wick. This was a super nice surprise and people were so excited (especially the guests whose first time in London it was).
Looking back, what was the stand out moments of your day?
Arriving at the church and welcoming everyone BEFORE the ceremony. We decided not to have the walking down the isle moment and walk into Church after everyone arrived, but rather welcome and hug everyone before the ceremony, this made the day so special and loving. We were not nervous at all and the ceremony started in a relaxed and such positive vibe.
Do you have any advice for couples currently planning their wedding?
Please plan your day how YOU TWO wish, not what people, family or society want or expect. It is entirely your day to celebrate your love, no one has the right to judge whether you are doing it ‘right’ or ‘wrong’.
Thanks so much for sharing your top tips! And to Natalia for these epic wedding photos! If you would like to see more please take a look here!