Our Legal Wedding in London

I can't quite believe it's almost been two months since Simon and I got married around the corner from our little flat in London. We actually got married twice this summer, the intimate legal wedding took place in Stoke Newington Town Hall on the 1st of August and just over a month later we had a much larger traditional wedding at my sister's house in Fife, Scotland.

We decided to do the illegal bit here in London to save at the hassle of trying to find celebrant that we liked in Scotland. The Scottish wedding was pretty much a destination wedding for us and took quite a lot of organisation! We agreed that it would be so much simpler to get legally hitched near our flat and have one less thing to worry about in Scotland. It was also absolutely amazing having two completely different weddings, any excuse for more celebrating!

Simon and I were married on the anniversary of the day we first met, marking five years together. My wedding band featured five little diamonds which signify each sparkling year we have spent together. We were so happy to be married in the area of London where we have spent most of our relationship, our first date was down the road and we have lived in the same flat for four years. Stoke Newington has been a major part of our lives and we just love it so much, it would have been strange to have become husband and wife somewhere else.

On the morning of the wedding Simon and I both got ready in our flat, it was just us which was perfect. Our brilliant florist brought round my bouquet, button holes and flowers for my hair and suddenly it was time to go. We walked the 10 minutes from our flat to the Rose & Crown which sits directly opposite from the town hall. It's a pub we regularly go to and so it was a perfect meeting place for a quick glass of prosecco before heading off to the ceremony.

We walked across the road, which felt incredibly nerve wracking and exciting, and up the steps into the Town Hall. Simon and I were interviewed in one of the private rooms whilst our 15 guests were seated in the main chamber. One of my favourite moments was hearing the music begin (a mix of Van Morrison, Neil Young, Nick Drake, Nico and the Beatles) whilst I waited to walk down the aisle. I met my four gorgeous bridesmaids for a group hug before my brother and I entered, that part is such a blur and all I remember is Simon. We said our vows, two of our friends performed readings by my favourite authors Tove Jansson and Ali Smith and suddenly it was all over. I cried so much, becoming Simon's wife and understanding how much he loved me was an all consuming thing.

And then it was time to celebrate! Everyone made their way outside for the confetti toss and Simon and I were lead into a little room to have our "holy sh*t we just got married" moment. It felt so completely wonderful to have Simon as my husband and I couldn't wait to see everybody properly after the ceremony. We were then lead down the main staircase in the town hall, which I must say is such a beautiful Art Deco building, so much prettier and manicured than the much larger town halls in London - I'm looking at you Chelsea!

We headed outside and I managed to get a mouthful of bougainvillea confetti (which my mum and I collected in Turkey!). We mingled, and chatted with our guests, who where just our nearest and dearest, and had a few group snaps before Simon and I headed off for our couples shots.

Simon and I headed to Clissold Park for a few photographs together and then had a wander around Stoke Newington, past all the pretty shops and restaurants for a few pictures that showcase our beloved neighbourhood. The best bit about getting married down the road from where you live is the fact that we walk past all these places everyday and get to relive all the special wedding moments. There's a photo of us walking past the 73 just by chance, that's the Stokey bus and I've lost count of all the times Simon and I have hopped onto it together!

My mum and my bridesmaids headed off to our favourite restaurant, Rubedo, to begin setting up the tables and pop up the decorations whilst the rest of us finished up our drinks in the pub. Just like everything else, the restaurant is really near our flat. We really need to pay them a visit again now we're back from our honeymoon!

The day before the wedding Simon and I went out around the streets and public spaces in Stoke Newington to gather blooms and greenery for the tables. We managed to forage absolutely everything! I made table arrangements from hydrangeas, dahlias, olive branches, eucalyptus and rosemary and we used some of the extra dried bougainvillea confetti on the table too. I also hand painted the menu and the place cards for a little personal touch, it's a good job there were only 18 of us as that prep took half a day! It was a lovely process to prepare all the pretty bits ourselves and we knew no one else would have the same wedding reception decorations because we made them all ourselves.

Simon and I arrived to find everyone sitting and enjoying the fizz. It was such a lovely sight to see our friends and family chatting and getting along so well. The weather was super warm that day so the windows were flung open, the happiness was palpable and the nibbles were going down a treat. Soon it was time to dig into the eight course lunch and to hear our parent's speeches.

After lunch (it took four hours to eat all the food!) we headed back up to the Rose & Crown to meet all our friends for the pub quiz and a lot of drinking. I think around 60 people came to that part of the evening and I only just made it around to say hello to everyone. I woke up the next day with a hangover so I must have had a good time!

Initially, in the planning process of this wedding I thought it would just be a quick legal "in and out" with a bit of a party at the end of the day. It actually ended it being a uniquely intimate and social affair with plenty of good quality food, wine, laughs and sunshine. The 15 people we invited to have with us at our ceremony brought so much joy and happiness to our day. I want to say that although our Scottish wedding was completely magical, there is something so unique and special to a small wedding. I remember turning to my mum during lunch and saying "I don't need another wedding" that's how perfect our day was.

Suppliers and Info:

Photography - sophiecarefull.co.uk  Sophie was perfect and captured some truly unique and intimate moments that most people wouldn't spot
Bridal bouquet, hair piece and buttonholes - hazelgardinerdesign.com Hazel read my mind and created my dream wedding flowers
My suit - asos.com
My shoes - anthropologie.com
Simon's suit - walkerslater.com
Simon's shoes - grenson.com/uk/
Table flowers - forraged in Stokey
Wedding stationery - designed by me nancy-straughan.com
Wedding venue - hackneyvenues.com/stoke-newington-town-hall
Lunch venue - rubedolondon.com Rebedo is the perfect restaurant in my book and we couldn't have asked for better food to have for our wedding
Reception venue - roseandcrownn16.co.uk my family also stayed at the Rose & Crown and the rooms were beautiful
Wedding cake - our good friend Jess instagram.com/_maybe_jess


  1. Lovely wedding photo shoot. Couple is really looking beautiful. My friend is getting married soon at one of New York wedding venues. Just looking for a reputed photographer who will take best pictures. Hope will find experienced one soon.