Ask The Experts: 5 Destination Wedding Planning Packing and Travel Tips
Congratulations on your engagement! If you’re like most couples, you’re probably wondering how to plan...
Happy Wednesday! As we reach the middle of the week, I hope it’s a good one for you all. If you are taking time off for the Easter holidays I hope you are having a lovely time. I am off work today, spending the day with Dexter at an Easter lambing event. Lots of cute animals, Easter egg hunts, delicious food and hopefully the rain will hold off! Today’s wedding certainly had no rain. In fact it was a lovely hot day in the middle of summer last year. the wedding takes place in Kingston upon Thames, an area I know well as my sister in law lives there. We always joke that this little part of the UK has it’s own micro climate which seems true for this wedding! Alex and Matt held a chilled out day by the water that was fuss free, full of laughter and a good old party. Big thanks to The Chamberlins for capturing the day for us.
Alex and Matt were married on 3rd July 2021, the ceremony was at Kingston Guildhall with the reception at Raven’s Ait – Kingston Upon Thames. ‘The location meant a lot to us as we love living near the river and this venue is at the end of our road! We also liked the idea of the guests getting on the passenger ferry to take them across the river. We wanted to keep the ceremony low key so we tied the knot at our local registry office with a handful of witnesses. We had 70 guests and the planning was spread out across a year leading up to the wedding, we did a lot of planning from our local pub.’
How they met
We first met at a training weekend in Birmingham when volunteering for VSO, a programme where under 25’s International Development programme. Fate would have it that we were both placed in the same city! We worked for an NGO in Delhi for 3 months which was amazing, however it was also a good test for a blossoming relationship as I (Alex) spent 4 days in hospital with a stomach bug – not my finest moment! We have been together for 10 years in June.
Matt popped the question when we were on holiday in Montenegro in 2019 – I had my suspicions but tried to play it cool
How did you allocate your budget?
From the start we knew we wanted to go big on the band so we decided to try and save where we could.
Where did you splurge and where did you save?
We made up for the splurge on the band by cutting back on some other bits, we made all the table decorations with empty bottles and wholesale dried flowers from a Kent-based farm.
We also bought 70 succulents and cacti from a local nursery ‘Ottershaw cacti in Surrey and asked guests to contribute towards them (in lieu of a wedding present) . That way we got beautiful plants to decorate the tables and all our guests took them home with them which was lovely! As well as being budget conscious it was a great environmentally alternative to imported/cut flowers.
How did you choose your photographer?
We like to keep things local so I had a little google of Surrey/London based photographers and when Will and Celle of ‘The Chamberlins’ popped up we were ecstatic – not only did they live round the corner, their portfolio was fabulous! We honestly couldn’t have picked anyone better; they were an awesome couple and the guests loved them.
I ended up with three dresses but only wore two!
The first I bought was a simple Halson dress from Net-a-porter which I found in the sale for £80!! I didn’t end up wearing it as I ordered a white version of my bridesmaids dress in the end (which was an absolute bargain!) from Pretty Lavish
I also ordered a white jumpsuit from John Lewis for dancing in the evening which was super comfortable. My shoes were gold platforms from New Look and my earrings were by the amazing Wolf and Moon.
Suit and bridesmaids
Olive green satin bias cut dressed for my two beautiful bridesmaids. Matt wore an olive green linen suit, custom made by ‘Suit Supply’ and wore Dr.Marten brogues.
Theme or colour scheme
For us, the only theme was comfort!
My bouquet was made up of flowers from mum’s garden and a bunch of peonies we bought the day before – my bridesmaids then tied it together with some teal ribbon (my something blue) this was intended to save on budget but ended up being super meaningful.
Decoration was minimal as our focus was music and dancing. The venue had lovely lights strung around the island and the tables were decorated with the dried flowers and plants that were donated.
We hired white tablecloths, chair covers and napkins to keep it simple and I made dried flower arrangements with name tags for all the guests.
Heena’s Kitchen based in Hounslow made the most amazing food – they served canapes at lunchtime then we sat down to a delicious curry for dinner in the evening. The guests loved it!
As we had a connection to Devon we opted for a savoury Pork pie and cheese wedding cake from The West Country Cheese Co. which was served at lunch time
Soul Factor were out of this world! The 5 piece band played soul, disco pop and Motown. We couldn’t have been happier, what a talented bunch! They really got the crowd dancing and were super talented musicians.
Who supplied the stationery?
We chose to email the invitations and name cards were done by us. Lydia Alice made the most beautiful hand-illustrated guest book.
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
We did a tour of Northern Scotland starting at Glasgow, one of our favourite cities, then carried on road-tripping up to the coast of Wester-Ross for a week
The decorations. We also made a playlist that we made for between the band performing which we sent out as a Spotify link with the thank-you’s.
Even though the day started with a downpour the sun finally made an appearance just in time for our first dance and we were lucky enough to have the most incredible sunset as a backdrop to the music and dancing.
Advice for other couples
Don’t stress the small stuff and just enjoy every moment of the day
How magical the venue was at night with all the twinkly lights, being on the river you could almost imagine you were somewhere more tropical than Kingston!
www.thechamberlins.co / [email protected] / 07712738993 / FACEBOOK / INSTAGRAM
We’re Will & Celle aka The Chamberlins; a wedding photography duo based in London, shooting everywhere in the UK. We are for laid-back, creative couples planning a modern, stylish and joyful celebration. Being husband and wife, we fully believe in the commitment of marriage and can testify to the joy that it brings in our day-to-day lives. As creative, documentary-style wedding photographers, our ethos at the core is to shoot honest, romantic and joyful photographs that capture the day as it unfolds. Our photography style fits down-to earth, modern couples the best. We tend to capture non-traditional weddings that are chilled out, contemporary in style and full of personality. We go about it in a very natural and -hopefully- fun way.
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