If you are currently in the midst of wedding planning and feeling a bit overwhelmed...
Today’s wedding takes you to East London, Hackney Town Hall and The Hoxton Arches to be exact for this gorgeous minimalistic day filled with style and a wonderful mix of urban cool. Both Ava and Sohail wanted to concentrate their efforts on the food and drink and let their super stylish venue do the talking without loads of fuss and frills. The result is this wonderful wedding, filled with love, emotion, some amazing looking desserts and of course the stunning and super stylish bride and groom, all captured perfectly by Tracey Hosey Photography.
Ava and Sohail were married on 1st August 2015. The ceremony was held at Hackney Town Hall, London and the reception was held at The Hoxton Arches, London. ‘We normally travel far and wide to people’s weddings which is great as we get to see many different places, but for us we both love East London and it’s special to us. We’ve lived here for 5 years, it was the first place we’d lived together, so it felt special to also get married and celebrate locally – 15 minutes away from our flat and cats! We had 75 guests in total. We booked the town hall, reception venue and photographer quite far in advance, but didn’t really start properly planning until about 6 months before the wedding.
How they met
We met through a mutual friend and have been together for 10 years
In 2012, we went on a holiday travelling around Cambodia and Thailand, which was grand for us. In Cambodia, we had planned to see the sunrise over Angkor Watt. We woke early, jumped in our tuk-tuk and went to the temple to watch an amazing sunrise together. As the crowds cleared away, I dove straight into our breakfast basket that Sohail had organised for some bread, only to turn back and find Sohail on one knee…
How did you allocate your budget
We are enormous foodies, so to speak. Sohail is a keen amateur/home patissier and we love a tipple, so food, cake and a good drink were always top of the list. We knew we wanted to prepare and plan as much of the wedding ourselves to have it our way and quell our obsessive ways. We’re fortunate to have many local, independent producers so we tried to use as many as possible. We looked for a dry-hire venue so that we could bring in our own suppliers. As such the venue itself was not too expensive, but a good amount of our budget went into the logistics, including furniture and crockery hire. A great photographer was also high on our list so we allowed for a good amount of our budget to go there
Where did you splurge and where did you save
We splurged on our clothes and saved on the booze. We made sure to not pick a venue that charges corkage, took advantage of some seasonal M&S bulk-buy offers coupled with friends and family discounts with a lot of alcohol and soft drinks for a very fair price… And we’re drinking the leftovers to this day!
How did you choose your photographer
We spent what felt like a lifetime looking at photographers, and started to feel very disheartened as their work was really quite “samey,” often too forced or tawdry looking. After some time, we found Tracey’s website and really loved both her wedding shots and also the portraits. Tracey was natural, fun and the opposite in a good way.
Dress was by Rime Arodaky, shoes were Alexander McQueen and the only accessories Ava wore was a pair of Dior earrings.
The Suit and Bridesmaids
Sohail wore a bespoke Huntsman, Savile Row suit, Tom Ford bespoke shirt and accessories and Jimmy Choo shoes with curtain tie tassels.
Ava had a group of helpers rather than traditional bridesmaids, they were all asked to wear anything they liked that was a shade of blue, and were given gerbera corsages
Theme or Colour Scheme
We wanted to keep things very clean and neutral to work with the clean white walls and brickwork of the venue. Coincidentally, Sohail chose a blue suit which worked nicely with the blue dresses of the helper-maids.
We chose 4 or 5 different flowers, all in off-white colour. This added to the “clean” and simple look we wanted
Apart from the white flowers on the tables, decoration was kept to a minimum. We’d hired some festoon lighting for the main room but decided against using it in the end, as the venue’s lighting worked perfectly. We did splash out on an Arabian tent and parasols for the outdoor areas at the front and back of the venue in case it would rain… only in the UK in August! Luckily the weather was fine, but the tents and parasols helped to add some colour to the outdoors which was a nice contrast to the white of the indoors.
We are both of Iranian-decent, and love Persian cuisine, especially barbecue. So we had just that. Canapes were Persian breads topped with aubergine dip, mini herb kuku and mini-savoury rice cakes. For the main meal we had a different aubergine dip, salad, chicken and lamb barbecue with rice and bread. Evening snack was a third type of Persian barbecue, with minced meat, wrapped up in Persian flat bread. Sohail was up until about 4am just days before the wedding, baking three types of sweets for our favours.
With Sohail being so keen on baking and desserts, we knew we’d need to find the perfect baker/patissier. Sohail searched high and low and found Lucie Bennett who trained with William Curley. Lucie was an absolute pleasure to work with and made the most outstanding cake table of patisseries!
Our main cake was a coconut sponge, with coconut white chocolate cream and passion fruit curd, coated in a beautiful white chocolate ganache. We then had four smaller dessert/cake variations that made up our dessert table. This was definitely a highlight for us!
A band. This was one of our last items to tick off the list…
We managed all of the stationary ourselves. Sohail taught himself how to build a website, and we printed the invites ourselves on Polaroid photographs. The website contained all of the information for the day so we included details of how to access it on the Polaroids.
Personal or Handmade Touches
Everything on the day was a personal touch, this was really important to us. We both love planning and organising and are very detailed, there were a few things we did not get to do which is a shame, but when we look back to how much we put into everything that we did do, we feel really pleased.
Seeing Sohail blub like a baby multiple times, having not seen him cry in the last 10 years…
Walking up the aisle and seeing all of our closest friends and family, and feeling really, really lucky.
Advice to other couples
Make it about the two of you, and it will be great. There is no way to please everyone so just make sure to put the two of you first.
Nothing prepared us for the emotions – the happiness and fun.
Considering how detailed we are, we ran out of time to pick the music for walking up and down the aisle to! We only chose our first dance 3 days before the wedding (Jimmy Hendrix – May this be Love (Waterfall)). The night before the wedding Sohail told me he’d pick something good, and as I waited to enter the room I heard Bob Dylan’s Love Minus Zero. This was the perfect choice. I walked back down to the Rolling Stones.
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