Louise and Russell had two things in mind when it came to their wedding: Christmas and a big party. They were very clear from the start that the guest experience should be unforgettable, the dancing should be late into the night, and the atmosphere should be festive and fun. I was tasked with designing said Christmas experiential wedding (the ‘epic bash’, to quote Louise) in London, and coordinating the final month’s preparations and the day itself. The finished result was amazing – just take a look…
CEREMONY AT THE ASYLUM
The ceremony took place at one of my favourite venues for a winter wedding –The Asylum in London. With its distinctive exposed walls and tangible history, the Chapel creates an amazing backdrop for a heartfelt ceremony. Once lit with plenty of festive candlelight, clusters of lanterns lining the aisle and up-lighters casting an amber glow around the room and the dulcet tones of the Get Gospel Choir, the Christmas experiential wedding atmosphere was set.
Louise wanted an abundance of florals throughout the day and Blue Sky Flowers didn’t disappoint. Intense deep reds, rich purples, and winter foliage created the most sensual and stunning bouquets and really captured the romance of Christmas.
Louise wore a classic and elegant wedding dress, with an exquisite veil. It was also important to her for the bridesmaids to look ‘special and cool’ so she chose gorgeous navy dresses, in varying styles, which worked really well next to Russell’s deep blue suit.
Guests travelled from the ceremony to the reception venue on London buses and, to continue with the concept of an unforgettable experience, each guest was given a bottle of Prosecco and gin + tonic to get the party started.
AT BALFOUR ST BART’S
The reception was held at Balfour St Bart’s, London – an exclusive hire venue just crying out to host an experiential wedding or party. With a stage for live music, a DJ booth, stunning mezzanine level, an intimate bar area (which was transformed into a secret snug, reminiscent of a winter chalet – reflecting the couple’s love of skiing) the venue is a great space for entertaining guests.
The deep and intense colour palette continued through to the tables. Floor length, wine coloured linen, purple napkins, plum water glasses and copper cutlery. Each table was named after a reindeer, injecting a touch of fun, and Zoe Barker Design provided place card baubles for each setting and a hanging, fabric table plan.
Lots of candles and textured flower arrangements formed a runner down each long table – creating a visual feast for the eyes, adding to the festive atmosphere. And the stunning florals didn’t stop at the tables – the mezzanine staircase was dressed head to toe in winter foliage.
DINNER + DANCING
Guests enjoyed a sit-down meal with a choice of three options for each course. It was important to both Russell and Louise to serve guests incredibly good food. It’s one of the key elements to get right if you are aiming for an experiential wedding as it plays with all the senses. The couple were also keen for there to be enough drinks to keep the laughter flowing.
Come nightfall the brewery really came into its own. Malarkey Cakes provided an amazing three-tier cake – blue marbling, edible gold leaf, and rich red flowers – which we put out for guests to enjoy. And I styled the cake table with plenty of candles. A live band provided the perfect excuse for guests to get up and dance, later followed by a DJ, and hundreds of fairy lights created the Christmas party atmosphere the couple had hoped for.
I love when couples want an experiential wedding for their guests to enjoy. It makes for the best celebration. It was also important to Louise and Russell that her parents were able to enjoy both the planning stages and the day itself, without feeling stressed. After I designed the overall look and recommended the creative suppliers, Louise then pulled things together – with us having regular meetings to check in. I then took over the coordination for the final month and on the day, something I know her parents were particularly pleased about.
“From the very
outsetyou calmed and organised us in organising the wedding and most importantly reassured my Mum and Dad so that everything went perfectly on the day and they relaxed and enjoyed themselves.” Louise + Russell.
Design + Coordination Always Andri | Photographer Cecelina Photography| Ceremony Venue The Asylum | Reception Venue Balfour St Bart’s | Florist Blue Sky Flowers | Cake Malarkey Cakes | Table plan + place card baubles Zoe Barker Design | Chairs, coloured water glasses + cutlery Classic Crockery | Linen 88 Events Company | Hair + Makeup Tanya King via Kristina Gasperas | Videography Each and Every Moment | Ceremony Gospel choir Get Gospel | Band Salut Band