August 18th 2015, Featured
Luke and Natalie | Village Underground Wedding, Shoreditch
Luke and Natalie’s Shoreditch wedding was all kinds of wonderful and I was really, really looking forward to working with them. From their laid back preparations, followed by an emotional ceremony and then a brilliant party, photographing their wedding day was a joy. Here’s what they had to say about it:
We met at ballet school at the tender ages of 16/17. After a successful and very classy first date at Pret A Manger we began dating. During that time dance took us all over, sometimes to different countries and away from each other. Three years in and Natalie had just been on a tour of China when she came back to a secretly planned getaway to the countryside. It was simple, quiet (and raining) when I proposed. It sounds romantic when you say it now but at the time it was pretty wet. Nat then moved to Wales to dance with a company there while I remained dancing in London. Another three years passed, along with many many train/bus journeys, before we tied the knot. Now for the first time in roughly four years we will be in the same place!
We chose our Chuch, St Botolph Without Aldgate, not just for the great name. Getting married with a faith aspect involved was always something we wanted and we also love the inclusive ethos of this particular church, in fact the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement was founded there. This is something that was very important to us and it was a bonus that the Church happened to be beautiful and right in the heart of the City!
For a more ‘traditional’ ceremony, it turned out to be relaxed and fun. Laura, the Rector, made the service feel personal and relevant to us. We’d been attending St Botolph’s for about 9 months leading to the wedding and this really gave us the opportunity to get to know Laura a bit and visa versa. The most special thing was saying those vows to each other! A particular special moment for Natalie was standing at the front with her Dad, who gave her hand a big squeeze just before he gave her away. Natalie’s brothers and two of her best friends did readings, one from the Bible and one from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. Two of my favourite books! My Dad then said a really personal prayer for us which was a particularly lovely moment. I think what was really special for us was the amount of support from our friends and family. There was so much cheering and whooping, it drowned out the Marvin Gaye track we had playing as we left the Church!
Read more at the end of the post! Village Underground was an easy choice for our reception. It’s an amazing place that really reflects our love of this city and as soon as we walked in we could see ourselves, family and friends having a party there. We’d always said in the planning we wanted a big party and Village Underground is perfect for just that. We met the lovely Laura who deals with the hiring of the venue and she confirmed that it most definitely was the right place. She made the whole process a total joy and really helped us bring our vision to life.
Hattie from ‘That Flower Shop’ did all the bouquets and Natalie’s flower crown. In typical Natalie fashion, the brief was pretty vague and was something along the lines of, ‘lots of green with meadowy flowers.’ We’d seen from their website the kind of stuff they do and had total faith it would be beautiful.
There were no centrepieces as such, but Natalie and my sister, Naomi, went to Covent Garden Flower Market at 6am the day before and bought flowers in bulk which they and the bridesmaids then spent the afternoon assembling into hundreds of jam jars collected by friends and family. This was a really cheap way of doing things and was also lovely as it got friends and family involved. We had a lot of bunting hanging, that Natalie had been cutting out since January! My cousin Sheena, Nat’s Mum and friend Camille all volunteered their sewing skills and put together nearly 200m of it! With that above and the flowers below, it made the room feel colourful and bright which is something we wanted.
Our first dance was to Billie Holiday’s ‘I’ll Be Seeing You’ because it’s from Nat’s favourite film. We mixed into Stevie Wonder’s, ‘For Once In My Life’, which has always been a favourite of ours and meant we didn’t have to awkwardly shuffle for too long! Our friend, Sam, was the DJ in the evening. The music was seriously funky and watching our friends on the dance floor was brilliant.
Our advice to other couples is that it will all be fine! Talk lots, laugh lots and stay true to what you want to do. There’ll be stressful moments building up to it, but mostly it’s a lot of fun. If the day is an honest representation of you both, everyone who comes will see that and love it, as will you.
The Credits: Dress by Minna // Suit by Our Legacy // Shoes by Schuh and Dr Martens // Flowers by That Flower Shop // Venue Village Underground //
Tables and Chairs from Virginias Vintage Hire // Cakes by friends // Catering by Warburtons Catering // Bridesmaids Dresses from Asos // Stationery by The Groom