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Multi-Cultural Wedding at London Mandarin Oriental Hotel

It’s not every day a cultural beauty like this comes our way. But this morning, m’dears, we’re diving into one completely bespoke, impeccably planned affair celebrating what the joining of two families is truly all about. One part Jewish and one part Hindu, it’s a beautiful nod to both the bride and groom’s heritage, and you can see the love affair unfold through Aneta MAK’s lens right over here. 

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Summer
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From the Bride & Groom… I think most couples want their wedding to be a true reflection of themselves. Dan and I were no different in this respect, we wanted our wedding to showcase our passion for food and how we love to throw a good party, whilst also reflecting both our Indian and Jewish heritages.

Coordinating the religious ceremony was the most difficult aspect for us. We decided we wanted to have a joint religious ceremony rather than two separate Indian and Jewish weddings as we felt this would not be a true reflection of our future HinJew household, where both religions would be intertwined.

Our first task of finding a Hindu priest and a Rabbi who would be happy to work together was very difficult in itself. We then had to build our own wedding ceremony from Jewish and Hindu rituals. This was a political minefield to navigate: pleasing families, the priests as well as ourselves sometimes seemed impossible! We got there in the end however, and the result was a ceremony which incorporated both our cultures, families, and was completely bespoke to us.

Style wise I wanted to keep it simple, the Mandarin Oriental is a beautiful venue and so I opted for classic white, cream and buttermilk flowers. The table decorations had cascading orchids to add another dimension and soften the overall look. I didn’t have a colour scheme as I wanted the overall appearance to be natural and not too over stylised. Plus I had heard horror stories of brides being up all night ordering chair cover samples from China to ensure they were the same shade of duck egg blue as their bridesmaids dresses! I wanted to avoid slipping into this kind of bridezilla stress! The result was green bridesmaids dresses (they chose colour and outfits themselves), pink and grey straws, and neutral flowers.

My favourite detail or touch were the personalised flags we had commissioned. These were life size photos of us hanging over Knightsbridge at the entrance to our wedding. In the future if we buy a house it must have two flag poles so we can hang them once more!

TIP: Make freezable favours so they can be made well in advance and so are not a last minute chore. We made Florentines, white chocolate with lemon and lime and a dark chocolate and peanut variety. By all accounts they were yummy but having made 300+ I am now thoroughly sick of them.

Best part of the day was the party, Indian and Jewish dancing followed by some old school classics and of course a garage set! It was crazy! At the end of the night we were on such a high, we went to our room and ordered whiskey and room service and reflected on the day together.

My advice for anyone planning a wedding is to try and not get too bogged down in the details and to focus on what really matters to you. We had a brilliant day but we acknowledge it’s hard to take it all in at the time. As my husband says, the prominence of that one day increases with every day that passes. It was the best day of our lives, we know it now but we will know it even more in 50yrs time.

Photographer: Aneta MAK | Videographer: Kissing Gate Films | Cake: Le Papillon Patisserie | Stationery: Hello Lucky | Ceremony: Mandarin Oriental Hotel | Reception Venue: Mandarin Oriental Hotel | Makeup: Roopa Chudasama | Hair: Daniel Galvin | DJ: Sliding Vinyl DJs | Bespoke Flags: Mandarin Oriental Hotel | Bride Indian Wedding Dress: Bibi London | Bride Jewellery: Mother Of The Bride's Own | Bride Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bride White Dress:: Pronovias | Cocktail Hour Band: The Wandering Hands Band | Favours: Bespoke / By Bride & Groom | Florals: Wildabout | Groom Cufflinks: Lanvin | Groom Shoes: Prada | Groom Suit: Bespoke By Dress 2 Kill | Indian Jewellery: Kyles Collection | Jeweller: Keglim Laufer | Personalised Straws: The French Etiquette Via Etsy

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Whimsical London Warehouse Wedding

Leave it to Jodie Chapman to send us one of coolest, chicest weddings that’s ever graced our pages. Held at London’s MC Motors/Castle Gibson warehouse, this gorgeous duo opted for an affair that spoke perfectly to their whimsical, vintage-loving style. Mark my words - this English “I do” has just set the bar for quirky weddings everywhere.

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Fall
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From Jodie Chapman Sonali and Richard’s wedding took place at the coolest venue in London. MC Motors/Castle Gibson is a warehouse that is usually rented out for television/film productions, fashion shoots, and the occasional wedding. With the front of the building having the old-fashioned cinema style board, the wedding took on a little bit of a film theme, with guests collecting cinema tickets to tell them where they were seated, and images of Brando, Clark Gable and Grace Kelly adorning the venue.

Sonali got ready at their mews home in East London before heading to the church where she married her love. They then went on to MC Motors, where guests enjoyed drinks to the sound of the Basin St Brawlers jazz band and took pictures in the photo booth. After a vegetarian Gujarati feast, they partied the night away.

Photography: Jodie Chapman | Videographer: Roland Mihalszky | Florist: Scarlet and Violet | Ceremony: St Marys Church, Stoke Newington | Reception: MC Motors/Castle Gibson | Bride's shoes: Dune | Catering: Gujarati Rasoi | Groom's suit: Cad and the Dandy | Bride's dress: Candy Anthony | Bridesmaid dress: Two Birds | Bridesmaid dress: Butter by Nadia | Jazz band: The Basin Street Brawlers | Make-up artist: InParlour | Reception DJ: The Wedding Smashers | Wedding cheese cake: Cheeses of Muswell Hill

“Will You Be My Bridesmaid?” DIY

You can’t help but love a crafty bride-to-be, especially one as creative (+ sweet) as this lovely lady. Because when it came time to ask her nearest and dearest to stand beside her on her Big Day, the oh-so-talented Rebecca D’Amato did so in a glittery, gold and fabulous way.  Think Christmas Crackers, beautiful calligraphy from Shannon Kirsten, yummy treats from Charbonnel Et Walker and fun-filled confetti.  See it all captured by Aneta Mak in the full gallery.

From Rebecca D’AmatoMy fiancé and I moved to London last September during our engagement. After living here a few months we decided to plan our wedding here. Knowing that we are getting married as a destination wedding, I feel like everything we do, I want to make a little extra special for everyone. We chose to have a small bridal party, so I felt even more so I wanted to do something special. I wanted to do something pretty and “British” to ask my bridesmaids to be a part of our big day, so I thought of the fun Christmas Cracker tradition. Christmas Crackers are filled with trinkets and goodies and are such a fun treat! I had custom watercolor scrolls made for them, bought gold London key chains, I made my own confetti, bought my favorite British truffles (Pink Champagne! Charbonnel et Walker! Yum!), added a LONDON print that they could add to their desk to get them excited for the wedding. Everything was created in our wedding colors: pink & gold.

When my bridesmaids received them, they were ecstatic. It wasn’t something elaborate, but so pretty and sweet and special. Christmas crackers look really difficult, but truly you can buy the kits online and add some pretty goodies and ribbon, and voila, a fun surprise!

My dog, Sir Oliver, couldn’t help but be interested in the project, as well!

Photographer: Aneta Mak | Styling: Rebecca D'Amato | Calligraphy: Shannon Kirsten | Address Labels: Rifle Paper Co. | Linen: Rebecca D'Amato | Pencils: Earmark Social Goods | Truffles: Charbonnel Et Walker

London Garden Bridal Shoot

The idea of anything in an English garden automatically gets me giddy. So when amazing vendors like Perfect EventsKristyn Harder Photography and Wild About team up to create a inspiration shoot in one such locale, it sort of feels like I hit the wedding jackpot. With no detail left unnoticed and pink + gold accents around every corner, this is one gorgeous gallery you just mustn’t miss.

From Nicole of Perfect Events…. I’m so delighted to share with you this utterly amazing bridal styled shoot full of stunning details for you to swoon over. The shoot is the result of an international team of outstanding vendors, Canadian Kristyn Harder Photography, bridal wear by Italian bridal couturier Federica Bruno Couture and the talents of London’s wedding industry finest – Perfect Events, Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium, Freya Rose, Wild About and more.

Held outdoors in the magical setting of Regent’s Gardens nestled in the middle of renowned London’s Regent’s Park, a Royal Park, the only one of the eight Royal Parks where you can get married. A truly beautiful and historic parkland, a quintessential English setting, what makes it even more special is the fact that it’s a rare tranquillity in Central London with 11 acres of private grounds, stunning scenery, beautiful lawns, a Secret Garden which we used for most of the shots, in particular secluded shots of our model bride and groom – a real couple Blake and Emily. You could be a millions miles away from London yet right in the heart of the city. There truly is no other venue like it in Central London, oh and did I mention location has the Royal seal of approval.

A gorgeous dessert table with metallic gold Chevron detailed wedding cake complete with exquisite sugar flowers, pearl covered cake pops, ornately decorated cupcakes some of which we suspended above the dessert table, along with paper pom poms and garlands, crystal glassware filled with delightful treats and elegant cream leaves table linen all encased by lush gardens and a pretty pond.

A pretty palette of blush pink and gold, a wedding table set under a historic tree, from the branch hangs a unique ivory chandelier overlooking vintage styled plates, metalic gold detailed stationery, white dessert dunes table linen, crystal vase with beautiful blooms, Gold Chiavari chairs dressed with ivory tulle tied elegantly to one side and silk handmade flowers.

A pergola beautifully decorated with fabulous flowers, accented by curtains of crystal beaded garlands and hanging candelabras formed the perfect backdrop for the couple and the most impressive Marie Antoinette inspired wedding cake.

We created a day look for the model, consisting of an ivory satin skirt, wonderfully textured bodice, in vogue delicate lace bridal cape which fell gracefully to one side, heavenly shoes, flawlessly natural, soft makeup – pink lips, on the eyes soft gold/peachy, fluttery, feathery lashes and the cool named eye shadow ‘Expensive Pink’ by MAC, stylish hair, gem encrusted hair accessory. And for the evening the model bride adorned a gorgeous fitted gown with lace bodice and ruffled skirt and exquisite metallic gold floral hair jewellery, subtle changes to the makeup – slightly darkened smokey eye lids whilst keeping the pretty pink lips.

And for a touch of fun giant ballons, photo booth style car and humorous props galore. A table plan of gold layed curves created the frame to a ladder of guest names.

Every single detail is truly amazing, you can seriously muse until your heart’s content – simply awe inspiring, exceptional, captivating and out of this world!

Photography: Kristyn Harder Photography | Florist: Wild About | Wedding Dresses: Federica Bruno Couture | Wedding Cake: Elizabeth's Cake Emporium | Shoes: Freya Rose | Jewelry: Federica Bruno Couture | Makeup: Alison Cameron Makeup | Hair: Kasia Fortuna Hair Designer | Bridal Hair Accessories: Lila Lila | Chairs and Tables: Rosetone Event Furniture Hire | Linens: Over The Top Rentals | Menswear: Anthony's Formal Wear | Photoshoot Location: Regent’s University London | Stationary and Accessories: Eagle Eyed Bride | Venue Decor: Mediterranean Occasions Venue Stylists | Wedding Planner/Stylist: Perfect Events

London Wedding from Polly Alexandre

This day could give Will and Kate’s wedding a major run for its money. It’s that incredibly special. But once you get to know this London affair a wee bit little better, it really comes at no surprise. Because when a Brides UK editor ties the knot with Polly Alexandre on board, mass amounts of pretty are naturally bound to follow. Mark my words, SMPers, we’ll be obsessing over this one for a good, loooooong while.

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From Polly Alexandre… I was hugely flattered when Polly, who was Lifestyle Editor at Conde Nast’s Brides Magazine, asked me to photograph her wedding to Rhys. Polly & Rhys met through a mutual friend 6 years ago and they managed to create a successful long term relationship whilst Rhys was working abroad. Born and brought up in London, it was a city wedding Polly decided upon, with the magnificent Royal Hospital Chapel in Chelsea as the location for the ceremony – particularly apt as it is a military chapel and Rhys used to be in the army himself. Polly combined blush pink with white and grey accents for a feminine but grown up look. She wanted the overall look to be polished and elegant & appropriate for a city wedding. Working with some of her favourite suppliers, she created a wedding that was stylish and classic, polished, so very English, and well, just overall incredibly elegant.

The ceremony was held at the Royal Hospital Chapel, chosen because Rhys used to be in the army and liked the idea of getting married in a military chapel. Afterwards champagne was served in vintage style saucer glasses, before red London buses whisked away the wedding guests to the super elegant Hempel Hotel. The hotel exudes a minimalist zen like calm with a lovely garden. In this garden the couple had a beautiful marquee with oversized florals. David Austin roses and stocks were used to make an impact in this big space. Then after some heartwarming speeches it was off down into the ‘nightclub’ area downstairs in the hotel for dancing late into the night.

Upon marrying, this globe trotting couple emigrated to Dubai to start a new life together. Polly & Rhys are a perfect match, an absolute pleasure to work with, and I wish them many years of happiness and love together….

Photographer: Polly Alexandre | Cake: Peggy Porschen | Ceremony Venue: Royal Hospital Chelsea | Reception Venue: The Hempel Hotel | Brides Shoes: Valentino | Bridesmaids Dresses: Ghost | Calligraphy: Paul Antonio | DJ: Matt Maurice | Bridal Bouquets: Jamie Aston | Bride's Evening Dress: Bespoke from Luella’s Boudoir | Brides' Dress: Amanda Wakeley | Brides' Veil: Amanda Wakeley | Flowergirl's Dress: Marie Chantal | Groom's Bespoke Suit: Hackett | Hair & Make Up: Sarah Brock | Pageboys Outfits: Stella McCartney at Alex & Alexa | Photo Booth: Booth Nation | Reception Flowers: By Appointment Only Design | Super 8 Filming: Amabel Adcock

Vintage London Wedding from Corrado Chiozzi

As someone who is completely obsessed with all things British (obsessed is an understatement), London weddings are pretty much my favorite thing ever.  So when a sweet set of English nuptials comes my way, I consider it a reason for a serious celebration.  Especially when that sweet set of nuptials includes a crazy cool vintage theme, an amazing Loft Studios backdrop and a stunning White Rose gown that will most certainly take your breath away.  See it all captured by Corrado Chiozzi right here in the full gallery.

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From the Bride… The first thing that Paul and I decided was that we wanted to be married in London. Although neither of us grew up here, its where we have lived together for the past four years and is our favourite city.

We chose the Orangery in Holland Park for the ceremony as it is just beautiful without being fussy and we liked that it was a public place that we could visit again and again. April 6th turned out to be the sunniest day of the year so far and after the service, the weather was perfect to enjoy canapes on the lawn outside the service provided by Bovingdons caterers was warm, friendly and tasty!

With such a classic ceremony venue we wanted something a bit different for the reception, something that captured the urban side of London. The Loft Studios in Willesden was perfect and we were able to add our own touches that complemented the old brickwork, white tiles and wooden beams. We transported our guests from one venue to the other on the old routemaster buses. This celebrated the fact that the wedding was in London and fitted in to our vintage theme. The flowers to decorate the Loft were ordered online and arranged by myself, my Maid of Honour and my Aunt, who used to work in the floristry industry. We (with the help of my nan and the WI!) had collected jam jars for over a year and once decorated with lace and hessian, made excellent vases!

My husband and I both love anything vintage and this was reflected throughout. Some of our friends and family made cupcakes and these were displayed on a traditional dressing room table. This was fitting because the Lofts main purpose is a modeling studio. We hired a traditional fish and chip van for the catering (who doesn’t like fish and chips!?) and live music was provided by a friend of ours and his band, playing a range of covers from the 60s onwards.

For the favours we collected china tea cups, saucers and plates for the guests to have their after dinner drinks in and take home. We, with the help of family and friends, collected these from charity shops over the course of a year and our guests loved that they could keep these and use them over and over. We also used photos for our table plan and asked guests to stick their picture alongside their message in the guestbook.

The occasion was made even more personal by a painting on the wall of the two us by one of my husband’s work colleagues, painted in a 50s style. This was my wedding gift from him and it fit in well with the style of the reception. A big surprise we had in store for our guests was a flashmob dance halfway through the evening. My best girl friends and I studied Dance at university but seeing the boys bust a move certainly had everybody laughing!

The most important thing for us was that our wedding was a little different from the norm and reflected our own personalities. This was one of the main reasons why our guests had such a good time and the one piece of advice I would give to anybody planning a wedding is to do things the way that you want its worth a little bit of work and not giving in to the easy option! You also don’t have to spend lots of money to make the room look beautiful or to keep people fed and smiling.

Photography: Corrado Chiozzi | Floral Design: flowers4design.co.uk | Ceremony: Orangery at Holland Park, London | Reception: The Loft Studios in Willesden, London | Shoes: Nine West | Bridesmaid Dresses: Topshop | Catering: Bovingdons | Catering: Fish and Chip Catering | Bar: ukmobilebars.com | Groom Shoes: Ask the Missus | Groom Suit: Topman | Groom Tie: TM Lewin | Hotel: Drayton Court, Ealing, London | Rentals: Yahire | Transport: Omnibuzz