Good afternoon everyone – can you believe its Thursday afternoon already? (You’re either like me...
With the truly multicultural mix of family and friends that celebrated with our real wedding bride and groom today, together with the travel theme and the floating reception, this is the real meaning of the phrase, the world and his wife coming to your wedding. What I love about today’s post, sent to us by 1Chapter Photography, is that it’s the perfect mix of closeness and intimacy and big full-on fun. Jade and Peter-Neil’s actual wedding was a very small affair with just two guests, followed by a gathering of nearest and dearest in a rather unconventional but delightful floating wedding reception.
Jade and Peter-Neil were married on the 8th January at Camden Town hall, with their reception on 1st March on The Prince Regent Floating Boater followed by Wedding Breakfast at The Summerhouse in Little Venice, London. “Our ceremony was a very small affair with only our two witnesses as guests. So for the reception, having guests travel from Malaysia, Singapore, China, South Africa, The US, Portugal and France we wanted to make the event more of an experience. We had a few ideas but in the end we decided on a 2 hour canal cruise along Regents Canal would be an unusual “getting to know London” experience for many of our guests followed by lunch at The Summerhouse by the canal.”
How they met
We met on 24 Jan 2012. Jade was on holiday in Europe. While she was in London we met briefly but kept in touch after Jade returned to Beijing (where she worked at the time). I visited Jade in March 2012 and the rest is history…
We had planned to visit the Great Wall for Chinese New Year (2013) and I planned to pop the question there. I was nervous carrying the ring around and was hiding it in all sorts of odd places. I was also not sure of exactly when and where to do it and eventually without really planning the moment I asked her to marry me. We were in our hotel room at the time. I should have waited for us to be up on the Great Wall but she said yes so I guess in the end it doesn’t really matter too much.
How did you allocate your budget?
Jade has plenty of experience with event planning so she knew we didn’t have to spend lavishly and needlessly in order to have a beautiful wedding for us and our guests. The Summerhouse was excellent value for money in my opinion; the food and service was excellent and the setting was perfect for us.
Why did you choose your photographer?
Jean-Marc from 1Chapter Photography had already been our photographer for our engagement and civil ceremony, so it was an obvious and natural choice.
The dress and accessories
My wedding dress was by Clarisse USA, diamond earrings and necklace were gifts from my Mum, wedding ring by Cartier, shoes by Betsey Johnson Couture. I had a change of dress for The Summerhouse, it was a traditional Chinese dress, ‘qipao’ or ‘cheongsam’, and it was made by a tailor in Beijing.
The suit and bridesmaids
TM Lewin and Thomas Pink. Wedding ring from Van Cleef & Arpels.
And bridesmaids wore their own dresses as they all arrived from 3 different cities just days before the wedding, but they all dressed according to our ‘all shades of blue’ theme.
Blue and yellow, keeping it close to nature, water and the canal journey that we were on that day.
Silk flower bouquets, corsages and boutonniere were ordered from KateSaidYes on Etsy USA.
What sort of decoration did you have? We wanted to keep the cost minimal on decoration so they were mostly DIY with an eclectic combination of paper tissue pom poms, ribbons, buntings and mini coloured vases. We had purposely kept the cost down so that we could spend more on guest favours that also doubled up as decorations – magnetic animal card holders, personalised apple table tent signage and instead of real flowers, our flowers came in the form of yummy pop cakes in mini vases.
The food and wedding cake
The Prince Regent – English Afternoon Tea with champagne
The Summerhouse – 3-courses, Starter: New England clam chowder / Crispy salt & pepper calamari, tartare sauce & lemon / Caramelised fig, walnuts, feta cheese & rocket salad. Main: Salmon & haddock fishcake, wilted spinach, beurre blanc & tomato chutney / Pan-fried duck breast, pomme dauohinoise, cherries & rosemary jus / Spinach & ricotta gnocchi, sundried tomatoes, wilted rocket. Dessert: Apple tartin, vanilla ice cream / Winter berry crème brulee / Selection of ice cream and sorbet
A love bird wedding cake in vanilla and lemon flavour by Crumb & Doilies and exquisite pastel flower pop cakes in vanilla flavour by Delish!
Adam Temple played the guitar and sang while on The Prince Regent. Live entertainment was not permitted at The Summerhouse as it is in a quiet affluent residential area, so we had a compilation of our own wedding album instead. We also later shared a link with our guests where they can download the songs as well.
Buy or DIY your stationery?
Both but we mainly bought raw items and made them ourselves. Peter-Neil’s best friend from Paris helped with the table signage for ‘Pretoria’ (Peter-Neil’s home town) to match the 2 that we bought of ‘Kuala Lumpur’ (Jade’s hometown) and ‘London’ (our home now).
Personal or handmade touches
Nearly all of our decoration were DIY.
– Arriving at The Prince Regent Floating Boater on the canal and being welcomed by all our waiting guests.
– Although the boat trip was early, 11am to 1pm, all our guests had a fantastic time. Our musician friend, Adam Temple, really helped to get the party going.
– Arriving at The Summerhouse was also amazing because it was the first time we could see all our planning and arrangements.
– Entering as the Bridal Couple was certainly a highlight.
– The speeches were all perfect. Jade’s mom’s speech stands out as a real crowd pleaser. Then again so were all the other speeches.
– Jade and I were so relaxed throughout and really enjoyed every moment with friends and family.
Advice to other couples
Remember to enjoy and savour the day
Plan the day well and have a timed schedule of events
Don’t waste money.
Stick to your budget.
At the end of the day everyone is there to have a great time so most of the work is already done
How quickly the day went and how well the day went. We were really nervous and in the end we had a wonderful day; we were also so pleased to hear from most of our guests that they really enjoyed themselves too.