Jennie and Mike’s Liverpool Street, London wedding was split between The Andaz Hotel and The Drift bar nearby. The Andaz is photographer heaven, awash with interesting spots for photos including a Masonic temple and a circular staircase that excited my mathematical brain. It was the perfect weather safe set up so when the rain eventually came it didn’t have any effect on the day. My theory, with English weddings certainly, is you should make your rain contingency so good you almost want it to rain and Jennie and Mike smashed it in that regard.
They are both graphic designers who share a love for geometry so my regular outcries of “the lines, oh the lines” didn’t seem as weird as they usually would. As such they designed and created all the table plans/table names/name tags/invites etc themselves and as a result the venue looked incredible.
“On the day Olly was brilliant! Friendly, funny and part of our day without being over-bearing. Most of our guests assumed he was one of our friends – which shows how well he blended in.” – Jennie & Mike
How it Began
The day we met was our first class at university. Mike had bleach blond hair and diamante earrings (both ears). Jennie was wearing baggy dungarees, a vest top, neon trainers, had big curly hair and lots of black eyeliner, nails etc. It goes without saying that our styles were very different. After graduating, we both moved to London and lived together with another friend. We gradually became closer – eventually after an all night house party in an east London warehouse we shared a drunken kiss and never looked back!
After 5 years together, Mike asked Jennie to marry him on the top of a mountain, above Illilouette Falls in Yosemite National Park, California (Jennie’s favourite place). And the rest, as they say, is history!
We had so much trouble finding a venue. Being graphic designers, we are quite fussy and know what we like (and don’t like). Months of searching later, we eventually discovered that quite a few bars and restaurants in London can be hired for wedding receptions on weekends, as they’re normally closed or are super quiet. We finally chose The Drift as our reception venue as it was the perfect size, decorated to our taste and was in an awesome location for our guests.
We then had the task of finding somewhere to have our ceremony. After many more stress-filled hours we finally found The Andaz Hotel had a perfect space to get hitched and was available! We found getting married in a hotel super convenient. You and all your guests can stay there and there’s no stress in getting from A to B.
Again, being fussy about aesthetics, Jennie visited many dress shops and tried on lots of different styles. Eventually she settled on a Provonias Onesi gown from The Wedding Dress shop in Wimbledon. A friend recommended the shop and they were very welcoming and brilliant throughout the whole process. Jennie loved how well her dress fitted on the day and it was exactly what she imagined herself wearing from the moment she got engaged.
A suit for the most important day of his life meant Mike wanted something exquisite, timeless and sharp. He went across Manchester, before being recommended Hugo Boss. He had navy blue in mind and when he tried on the winner, knew this was the suit he would get married in.
Our flowers and foliage created by Michelle Anne Floristry (one of Jennie’s good friends). We went to her with mood boards of the things we like and she took the rest from there. She was fantastic!
As we know nothing about flowers, here’s what Michelle had to say about what she put together for us: “Jennie and Mike’s foliage based wedding including asparagus fern, eucalptus populous, parvifolia and cinerea and soft ruscus. The sweetest scent of white Norma Jeane roses, white veronica, white astilbe, white avalance roses, white waxflower and the whitest snowflake spray roses gave a beautiful white contrast. The addition of navy eryngium and gunmetal grey brunia gave a nod to the groomsmen’s navy attire. Succulents in navy and grey tones provided a different floral form. Light grey silk ribbions provided a soft feminine look against the strong almost masculine colour scheme and floral forms.” We loved it all and they worked with the venues perfectly.
With us both being graphic designers we designed and created all our table plans/table names/name tags/invites etc ourselves. When you’re a designer there’s lots of pressure from your friends and colleagues to nail the wedding invitations. Not wanting to stress ourselves out over it all, we decided to just have fun and do something that reflected our personalities and interests. So, we went for a booze theme! The invite told our story in a poem scattered with alcohol-related puns. We had SO MUCH fun writing it, over several drinks, of course.
Neither of us is religious and despite the marriage being a serious commitment, we wanted to make sure that the rest of the ceremony was pretty laid back and informal. That’s why we chose two of our friends who we knew wouldn’t do a conventional reading. Jennie’s best friend Rachael wrote us a poem – complete with gags, jokes, puns, a few swears as well as kind words and advice. Mike’s friend Tommy decided to read out the lyrics to the whole Seal song – ‘Kiss From A Rose’. Beautiful words. The bizarre accent coupled with a deadpan straight face meant the delivery was a crowd pleaser – he had the audience in stitches.
The First Dance
Our first dance was to Areosmith – I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing. Previously, the song had no personal resonance for either of us, but now it’s an amazing reminder of a wonderful day. It was followed by Rihanna’s – Cheers (Drink To That) the perfect duo (in our opinion) to get the party started!
We decided to hire a DJ from Spiral Agency for the evening. We knew with our friends there would be no problem getting everyone on the dance-floor and we decided to spend the money we saved on a band elsewhere – It mostly went on more booze!
We both did speeches and although nerve-racking beforehand, we both really enjoyed doing them. Doing a brides speech felt empowering and let Jennie have her say and thank people personally. “I’m so glad I did it!”
Key highlights were the moment we first saw each other; being announced as the new Mr. & Mrs. Potts, delivering speeches and thanking all our friends and family… and being cheered and photographed into every room you walk like a celebrity. Normal life will never be the same again!
Our main advice is to enjoy every minute. We know it sounds cliché but it is the most important thing! Don’t let morning nerves get the better of you; don’t let yourself get stressed out – all the planning is done. This is the day you sit back and enjoy it all coming together.
With that, try your best to enjoy the whole process, planning ups and downs included. Embrace working together, making decisions and compromises – it’s something you’ll have to continue to do throughout life. Keep your guests in mind but don’t over think every scenario. If people have food, drink and shelter they’ll look after themselves and create the atmosphere. All those hours agonising over small details seem so silly on the day. If things go wrong, most people don’t even notice. Breathe and smile!
Dress: Pronovias Onesi from The Wedding Dress Shop in Wimbledon
Shoes: Carvela by Kurt Geiger
Hair: Lauren Stern @lauren_hairandnails
Groom’s Suit: Hugo Boss
Groomsmen: Farah Vintage Shirts & French Connection Ties
Flowers: Michelle Anne Floristry
The Cake: Carla from Fondant
Entertainment: DJ From Spiral Agency
Anyone Else: Zoe Foley (Sales & Events Manager) & Kieran Browne (General Manager) at The Drift for their amazing customer service, attention to detail and professionalism throughout