Sunshine aisle wedding decor, a gin bike, and colourful paper cranes in two galleries at this South London Wedding; starting at the Dulwich Picture Gallery and ending at the South London Gallery.
This wedding was published last week on Mr & Mrs Unique! Head over there if you want to know a bit more from the couple themselves about the ins and outs of this super stylish and modern wedding in a tale of two art galleries (including their venue’s caterers going bust!)…
But here’s how the planning rolled from my side…
Very soon into our first video call, Sam was quick to tell me they didn’t want anything too ‘wedding-ing’! Meaning nothing too traditional, but they definitely did want to have a jolly time celebrating with their friends and family. For them, this mean no fussy traditions that didn’t resonate with them; no cake, no formal photos, no first dance as such. As a largely relaxed but private pair, they didn’t want anything that didn’t suit them as a couple. It was to be a very relaxed day, with a meaningful exchange of vows, lots of gin, good food (and lots more booze), then a ceilidh to kick off the evening – harking back to their time spent as students in Edinburgh before they were properly together as a couple.
I love to encourage couples that a wedding is purely about a celebration of love and union, in whatever form that takes for you – so I was delighted that Anna and Sam had quite a specific vision in mind of how they wanted to portray a relaxed day, their way! (There are no rules, and you don’t even have to have rings if you don’t want! The only rules apply to the legal part of your ceremony, that involves a small declaration of words and signing your name; basically just like signing a contract.)
Having been together 10 years and having been to a lot of friend’s weddings, they knew they wanted to invest their budget mostly into food and drink – which is an excellent idea if you ask me, and definitely part of the formula for a great wedding. Scouting for venues, they found two that suited them perfectly locally for what they wanted and needed for their numbers. Their South London wedding locations were a great fit for their vibe.
Their ceremony was to be at The Dulwich Picture Gallery, and their meal and evening reception was at the South London Gallery. Anna and Sam plotted simple but striking décor to bring both spaces to life. Both spaces are blank canvases, and although I do quite like the stripped back all-white palette of both in their own way, in classic gallery-esque style, Anna and Sam’s modern and colourful yet sophisticated décor brought each room perfectly to life.
Sam and his groomsmen were on hand in the morning at The Dulwich Picture Gallery rolling, laying and positioning their giant sunshine aisle runner, whilst my assistant and I were over at the South London Gallery hanging the hundreds of colourful paper cranes on custom metal rods from the ceiling. It was quite the job, but made for such an impact! Although straightforward, given that there were so many paper cranes to satellite I am very glad I got an assistant in for this one! This was the main décor, with a portion of colourful cranes left over (all with magnets attached) for their guest book (see pics below), which was on the reverse of their South London wedding centred table plan. I left Rebecca from The Wedding Spark to finish the remaining rods and tidy up, while I got changed and hot footed it over to The Dulwich Picture Gallery to ensure all was ready and all suppliers were in position, and hosted guests on their arrival – from the public space and gardens, through to the private Linbury Room for the ceremony.
Anna and Sam met beforehand and walked down the aisle together to begin their ceremony, and this alone certainly set the tone for the day. Them being more relaxed and confident walking happily in together meant their serenity emanated through the room – and through the entire day, in fact. After the ceremony, the couple exited up the aisle and led guests out to the gorgeous grounds of The Dulwich Picture Gallery. Here, they hosted a closed off and intimate gin garden party to start the celebrations. It was a cloudy August day, but perfect weather otherwise for lounging in the garden with a gin! With no formal photos scheduled, the couple mingled and enjoyed their reception chatting to their guests. And just as we thought we might be running out of gin, the routemaster buses arrived to whisk everyone off for dinner.
At the South London Gallery, the caterers had the rest of the room set and ready and were on guard with drinks, as we walked off the buses and through the secret garden at the back of the building to the private events space. The couple enjoyed more garden drinks before we called guests for dinner. Food was important to the couple and the meal they had chosen was absolute perfection – many guests complimented me on how good the food was, thinking I was the caterer! There were a few short speeches, then more garden drinks while the room was turned around for the ceilidh band to set up. And I think the photos speak for themselves for this part!
I arrived back at the end to do the take down of all the rods and cranes and pack up the couples remaining belongings ready for them to collect the next day.
Wedding Coordination by Devine Bride.
“We hired Laura when we realised the wedding we’d envisaged would be slightly more complicated than anticipated – suddenly we were looking at an external caterer, a separate supplier for the drinks reception and two separate venues with fiddly decorations that could only go up on the day (among other things).
From our first (Skype) conversation, Laura was incredibly helpful, pointing out things we hadn’t even thought about and helping us with much needed deco inspiration for venue 1. In the run-up to our wedding, she pulled together an amazing schedule and sent it to all suppliers, which meant everyone knew where they had to be when. On the day, the decorations were absolutely amazing – Laura had gone above and beyond. Everything went super-smoothly (and Laura still had time to make sure mine and my husband’s glasses were never empty, and to prompt the Master of Ceremonies before ever announcement!). We had a fabulous day, safe on the knowledge that everything was Laura’s capable hands. She’s amazing. Hire her.”
Photos kindly from Story and Colour Photography.
CONTACTS AND SUPPLIERS
Wedding Coordinator (inc reception decor set up): @devinebride
Decor Assistant: The Wedding Spark
Ceremony Venue: Dulwich Picture Gallery
Reception Venue: South London Gallery
Catering: Social Pantry
Photographer: Story and Colour Photography
Post Ceremony Drinks: The Travelling Gin Co
Transport: The Red Routemaster
Band + PA: Ceilidh Factor
Please email any hellos or enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org