Decor & Details/DIY Weddings

Underground Gallery Wedding In London With Cool, Flashy Signage

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Did you know that you can get married in the London Underground?! Hidden in Shoreditch is the old, historic ticket hall, now known as Kachette, the super cool, modern scene for today’s fabulous real wedding.

To decorate their incredible raw wedding venue space, the couple hired the help of friends in the industry to create the coolest, flashy signage, filling the gallery with their own custom artwork.

The scene is eclectic, wild, and seems to be a serious blast, thanks to the neverending talents of our friends at Studio 1208. The team put together creative portraits, caught plenty of candid moments in their typical cinematographic style, and managed to work without any natural light throughout the hip and happening party (tipping our hats to you!)

 

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Our Love Story

Andrew is a lawyer from New Zealand. Laura is a Brit who grew up just outside of London and works as a press officer at the V&A. We’re both left-leaning art lovers, so it’s fitting that we met in 2012 via Guardian Soulmates in the pre-Tinder days! We talked over email for a few days and agreed to meet one lazy Sunday at Brixton Village, close to where Andrew was living at the time.

Laura was about 4 hours late! Laura let Andrew know, of course, but he still decided to head down early regardless to feed his insatiable coffee addiction. We walked and talked for hours and both drank way too much coffee. Before we knew it, it was nearly midnight and we were running to make the last tube. But not before lining up our next date for the following Tuesday…

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The Dress & Attire

Laura is obsessed with art-deco. She wore a white art-deco-style silk-jersey column dress slashed to the lower thigh by Amanda Wakeley. She paired this with inky blue Manolo Blahnik ‘Hangisi’ silk pumps, a vintage crystal headpiece and a necklace and ring by east London based jewellery designer, Clarice Price Thomas, inspired by streamlined New York skyscrapers.

Andrew wore a deep blue bespoke three-piece suit from Ash Tailor Samui, with tan brogues by Grenson. Laura’s bespoke emerald and platinum engagement ring was also made by Clarice Price Thomas, as were both platinum wedding rings.

The bridesmaids wore bespoke dresses in an inky blueprint designed by Frances O’Leary. Each bridesmaid chose their own shoes. Laura gave each an art-deco style necklace made by Clarice Price Thomas to wear on the day.

Laura and the bridesmaids stayed at the Ace Hotel in Shoreditch the night before the wedding and they all headed to Foster London for hair styling on the day. Each chose their own individual look. Make-up artist Nina Sagri came to the Ace Hotel. Laura’s look included nude-coloured eyes, bright pink blush, and a slick of red lipstick.

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The Venue

We wanted to find a venue that suited us both, where we could hold both the ceremony and reception, and that was just down the road from our flat in Hackney Wick. A fairytale wedding filled us both with dread. What we wanted was a blank canvas to make our own, and where Lizzie and her Early Hours Ltd team could go wild.

We found this in Kachette, an incredible studio space in Shoreditch. Made up of two railway arches, the venue just off Old Street is the former ticket hall of Shoreditch Underground Station. An industrial, gallery-like space, it had an incredible simplicity and modernist aesthetic that was just irresistible. It felt like our flat in stereo.

We worked with Lizzie and the Early Hours Ltd team to develop a creative concept based on large-scale installations. Statement text-based artworks crafted out of spray-painted succulents for texture transformed the space.

From Tracey Emin’s ‘Love is what you want’, which greeted guests on arrival to ‘Show your heart’ adorning the space above our sweetheart table at dinner and the words ‘F*ck it, I love you’ scrawled across the brick wall of the bar, we wanted to get as far away as possible from flowers floating in goldfish bowls and martini glasses and have fun with the space.

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The Ceremony

Laura walked up the aisle with her father, Trevor, to the track ‘Walking on a Dream’ by Empire of the Sun. Andrew and Laura signed the wedding register witnessed by Laura’s Mum, Ann, and Andrew’s Mum, Sue, to Ben Folds’ ‘The Luckiest’. We both walked down the aisle in search of the nearest glass of champagne to Prince’s ‘I Wanna Be Your Lover’ once it was all over.

“The moments before walking down the aisle with my awesome Dad were really special. He said some very lovely things that will always stay with me. I was so happy when I reached Andrew – all my nerves melted away. Looking back and seeing my Mum and brother beaming on the front row, as well as our incredible friends and family all gathered together in one place was really magical.”

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The Photography & Videography

From the minute we met Nick and Maria from Studio 1208 and encountered their incredible work, we just knew we had to have them play a part in our wedding.

We first met them at the wedding of our best mates Lizzie and Joe. Watching them work was mesmerizing. I utterly loved their aesthetic, approach and attitude. They were also great fun to be around; both so warm and easy to get along with. Nick and Maria create art.

Their work is so original and they are true visual storytellers. We knew we didn’t want bland, cookie-cutter photos and videos documenting our day. We wanted something different that captured our personalities and reflected our life together in east London.

The videos and images they have created for us are beyond anything we could have imagined. They ran with our brief and brought the city and its architecture into focus. We had such fun shooting with them, from the rooftop of the Ace Hotel, to the side streets of Shoreditch in all its neon and street-art saturated glory. They even found some bikes and sweet-talked their way into ArtWords bookshop as a brilliant backdrop!  Not only did we get an awesome set of arresting images and videos, but made two great friends in the process.

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The Florals

Laura’s best friend Lizzie Clarke runs her own incredible floristry company called Early Hours Ltd. Lizzie is one of the most wonderfully creative people we know – we genuinely believe her head is full of rainbows! Locking Lizzie in was the first decision we made – before we even had a venue.

The Early Hours Ltd team also created a beautiful wild-flower and foliage-strewn wooden backdrop for our ceremony and sourced Laura’s favourite flowers, cream anemones (which were out of season), to make up the bridal bouquets and buttonholes. White balloons anchored with concrete weights by Bubblegum Balloons finished the dressing of the space.

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The Details

We both love Breton stripes and wanted our main colour scheme to reflect this; no saccharine colours allowed!

To create our wedding stationery, we worked with our good friend and graphic designer, Karl Demner. He created a simple, yet stunning abstract motif of white and inky blues, which adorned everything from our table plan to order of service, menus and other printed materials scattered throughout the venue. Prints of our musical heroes (Bowie for Andrew; Prince for Laura) hung next to the table plan, suspended on guide-wires along the red-brick wall, while tables were named after our favourite artworks, from Jeff Koons’ ‘Rabbit’ to Kazimir Malevich’s ‘Black Square’ and Henri Matisse’s ‘Blue Nude II’.

Laura created the place settings using small brown luggage labels and alphabet stamps from the English Stamp Company, which were placed on top of white linen napkins.

Following dinner, we cut the cake created by our wonderful friend, Charli Scouller. She took on our bizarre brief to dream-up something that incorporated our disparate love of Breton stripes, Tracey Emin neon artworks and concrete brutalist architecture. She made a tiered cake encompassing all of this with three different flavoured sponges – salted caramel, red velvet and chocolate. Salted caramel was the runaway winner of the night.

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Advice to Other Couples

Seek inspiration in the unexpected and always keep your eyes open – while wedding magazines were so useful in helping plan the practical parts of our day, we also gained inspiration from a wide variety of style, design, art, travel and interiors magazines, such as Cereal, Kinfolk, Wallpaper and Tate Etc, as well as my eclectic Instagram feed.

We also kept our eyes open and made sure we looked up as we walked and cycled around our home city, London. It is full of incredible clashes in architectural style, street art, food markets, craft beer and artisan drinks distilleries, as well as all kinds of unexpected goings-on. Overall, the city itself had the biggest influence on our day.

Try and hold off the ridiculous crash-diets and balance healthy eating and exercise your way instead – Instead of going on a crash diet for my wedding, I turned to Deliciously Ella cookbooks to create tasty and nutritious weekly meal-plans with food that I actually wanted to eat, as well as exercise. I wanted to recognize myself in my wedding pictures and look like myself, but on a good day, and without ballooning up immediately after the big day when ultimately my eating habits became less rigid!

Start your wedding day off on a high by working off that stress! – I knew I would have tons of adrenaline that I needed to get rid of early-on during my wedding day, so I arranged an 8am BrideRide spin class with my bridesmaids and friends who could stomach it at 1Rebel. She made us sweat with a punishing workout and then arranged for post-ride Proseccos. It was amazing – I have never felt more zen!

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Invest in great photographers and videographers – once the wedding is over it just becomes a memory. Some of the only tangible things that remain are the images and videos captured on the day. With this in mind, and because a number of Andrew’s friends and family couldn’t make the trip from New Zealand to London to attend, we made the decision early on to invest a sizeable part of our budget in the right photographer and videographer, with an aesthetic, approach and attitude that we both loved.

Work with suppliers and collaborators that come highly recommended, or better still, that you know and trust! Another way to avoid stress on the day is to work with suppliers and collaborators that you know and trust to bring your day to life. We were lucky that so many of our friends work in creative professions and were keen to help shape our day.

You could also appoint one of your best friends to oversee how your venue set-up is coming together. My oldest friend and bridesmaid Jess (who knows me inside-out) checked in on the set-up to troubleshoot and make sure I would be happy with how everything was progressing.

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