A super stylish couple and their Refinery Bar, Bankside wedding in London.

I love this part of London.  There’s the Tate Modern and the stretch of river that takes you to London Bridge.  It has some of my favourite London landscapes and views of the city.  Taryn and Mark wanted an urban, cool day that reflected the location.  Their family joined them from all over the world to celebrate.

Black and white image of couple cutting wedding cake

Scroll down to the bottom to find out about Taryn and Mark’s stylish London wedding in their own words and get in touch if you’d like to chat about your London wedding plans.

Greenery and apothecary jar styling Refinery Bar Bankside weddingGuests on long dinner tables Refinery Bar Bankside wedding Wedding catering olives bread steak Refinery Bar Bankside Couple at night in front of St Pauls bankside weddingNight time portrait of couple in front of tate modern bride in gold sequinsTwo legs in Photobot photobooth at Refinery bankside wedding

A New York City first meeting

We met via the online app Happn. in New York City, where we were both living at the time.  After meeting for a safe brunch date Mark walked Taryn to her spin class. Mark invited Tarryn to drinks and dinner that same night… as a result we had a 17 hour first date!

An urban cool wedding, with a huge party

Our aim was for a wedding that was urban and consequently cool, reflecting the Bankside London setting, with a retro angle too.  Most of all we wanted it to feel like a huge party in a cool bar with our nearest and dearest.

A wedding with US and UK traditions

Because we are from different sides of the Atlantic (Mark from the UK, Taryn from the US), we wanted to incorporate elements of both UK and US weddings.  Irreverent and humorous speeches were our nod to the UK and a fully open bar covered the US.

A brief and meaningful wedding ceremony

We went for a ceremony that was brief, but also very meaningful.  It was officiated by Taryn’s oldest friend, and featured readings by Mark’s ten year-old daughter, Astrid, and eight year old nephew, Digby.

Our wedding highlights

Our favourite part of the wedding was our very culturally and geographically diverse family and friend groups mixing and having a great time together.  The DJ’s interspersed the evening’s music with karaoke performances, which worked especially well. Karaoke is HIGHLY recommend for inter-friend bonding!

It turns out that Americans aren’t aware that the term ‘wedding breakfast’ isn’t actually a breakfast, which caused some amusing confusion.

Our biggest expense

The open bar, which went on until 1.30am for 110 very thirsty guests.  We knew it would be a major expense, but we really wanted to show our gratitude our guests, especially as so many of them had taken a transatlantic flight to be there.

Working with a professional planner

Having a professional planner wasn’t cheap, but it really helped us to save money overall as they were able to get the most of our budget.  I’d love to thank Lisa at Carmela Weddings.

The best part of wedding planning

The seating plan!  We were both dreading doing it, but it turned out to be a lot of fun as we tried to profile the personality types of each of our guests, while making sure each table was balanced.  Imagining how the people who had never met would get on with each other was hilarious!

Words of advice for other couples

Keep family and friends a short distance away from the planning process.  Make the key decisions yourself, so your day that reflects you and only you and plan ahead carefully, so that you can enjoy the day itself with minimal stress.

Check out more London weddings here.  Get in touch if you’d like to have a chat about your Refinery Bar Bankside wedding plans!

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