Our Vintage London Wedding

Greg and I celebrated our third Wedding Anniversary earlier this month, so I thought I would use this excuse to reminisce about our wedding celebrations and talk about some of the ideas and inspiration for the day

We got married at Islington Town Hall and had the reception at Leon, Ludgate Circus.  Leon was the perfect venue for us, as we love their food and we wanted a really fun, casual and relaxed celebration.   The Ludgate Circus branch is a great space, in a great location (close to St. Paul’s Cathedral) and as it’s usually closed at the weekend, we were able to book it out for the whole day.

London is such a huge part of our lives,  we love living in this great city and really try to make to most of it.    So it was a given that we would have our wedding here, and as we knew that friends and family would be flying in from all all over world to share the day with us, we wanted to make the city part of the celebrations.  And, of course, we couldn’t miss this opportunity to hire a vintage Routemaster Bus for the day.   As I’m also a huge fan of mid century style (and we were both heavily into Mad Men at the time) a Swinging London vibe just naturally evolved.   Colour inspiration came from this great vintage postcard of Piccadilly Circus.

Piccadilly Circus, Vintage Postcard
The Vintage postcard that inspired the colours for our wedding.

Pinterest is a great tool for gathering ideas and there are lots of wedding blogs out there, which are full of beautiful and inspiring weddings.  But with so many options and possibilities available it can sometimes be a little overwhelming.   My main advice for bride and grooms to be is focus on what you love and don’t worry about what others expect or tradition dictates, it’s your day, enjoy it.   Of course, we couldn’t have everything we wanted, it would be so easy to go crazy and spend a fortune.  But at the end of the day, it is just one day, and we didn’t want to go into debt over it!  So we were fairly strict about sticking to our budget.   However, we didn’t feel we had to make too many sacrifices, we just prioritised what was important to us:  Good food, free flowing booze, a great DJ and a fantastic photographer.   And then had to get a little creative with some of the other stuff.   We made most of the decorations, stationary & favours ourselves, and sourced all the remaining bits and pieces on ebay or at vintage fairs/markets.

Below are a few of the Mood Boards that I created for various aspects of the wedding.  I LOVE mood boards and use them a lot in my work as a designer.  I find them really helpful for focusing my ideas and communicating them to other people.    And it was great to be able to share my “vision” for the wedding with everyone involved (Florist, Cake maker, Hairdresser etc)

mood board colour and style inspiration for the ladies in our wedding party
mid century glamour for the women in the wedding party

Mid century wedding Hair and make up inspiration, Mad Men style

mood board for a wedding cake table
Cake and Treat inspiration
Mid century inspired menswear
Mid century style for the groom

Designing the Wedding Invitations

We wanted as many of our loved ones as possible to be able to share our big day with us.  So that meant sending out a Save The Date very early, to  give the Aussies, Canadians and other guests plenty of notice to book their flights and holidays.

Both Greg and I have a bit of a thing for Tea Towels, so sending out custom printed Tea towels as “Save the Date” notices sounded like the perfect idea.  They were also a big hit with all our guests, we sent them out a year before the big day and hear that they are still being used and enjoyed today.

  •   The Original Wedding Tea Towel Company is run by Karen & Ben a couple of graphic designers who started the business after designing tea towels for their own wedding.  They  have lots of ready made designs that you can choose from or they will also create a bespoke artwork for you.
  • If you are creating your own artwork or would like to get other items (like tote bags or T-shirts) printed up. You can also try I Dress Myself, an Eco-Friendly Printing service that I recently used when printing a range of Fundraising merchandise for a theatre production last year.

I wanted our tea towels to be quite bold and graphic (like a lot of the Typographic posters that line our walls) so I created a very simple design featuring just our names, the date,  location…..and of course a Routemaster bus!  The more towels you get printed the cheaper they become, and I think we paid around £2.50 each, which, concidering what a practical and well loved souvenir they have become, was money well spent.

I do in London
Detail from our Save the date Tea Towel

The inspiration for the main invitations came from these lovely old London Transport leaflet that my elderly aunt had kept from the 50s.

Welcome to London, vintage London Transport Leaflets, Coronation Elizabeth R 1953, Festival of Britain 1951
Welcome to London
Festival of Britain London Transport Leaflet, 1951 interior map
How to get to the Festival of Britain, 1951 (interior of pamphlet)

As someone who can’t resist a pamphlet, I loved the idea of creating our own little mini guide for our wedding, containing all the information that our guests would need.   In practical terms these invitations were fairly cheap and easy to create (using ivory paper in a colour photocopier).   Designed to fit on an A3 sheet, which we folded into an 8 sided, A5 Z fold booklet.  These were sent out in Bright Blue envelopes, with a vintage postcard for each guest to send back their reply.

Our Wedding booklet
a few pages of our Wedding pamphlet/invitation
vintage postcards, RSVP, London, Travel
RSVP cards created from Vintage Postcards.

I could probably go on and on about all the various elements of the wedding, but will stop there! Thank you for indulging my little trip down memory lane.

But if you do want any more information about about the day (with links to all our suppliers), check out the feature on Whimsical Wonderland Weddings.   Huge thanks, of course,  go to our  amazing photographer Marshal Gray, we are still so happy with the way that he captured our day.  And we were also very lucky to have a great second shooter, Lucius Fox, who captured some fantastic moments and took loads of great pictures of the details, many of which I have featured above!

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