TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROPOSAL
We were on holiday in the Philippines and staying in a beautiful island resort. Liz had come to meet me after I had completed my medical elective in a hospital there. During the day, we had been island hopping and Liz seemed a bit ‘off’ and keen to get back to our treehouse after. When we got back she asked me to wait in another room as she had a ‘surprise’ for me – I assumed this would be a gift for completing medical school! When I came out, she had laid out photos of us from when we first met to the present day leading out to the balcony where she made a beautiful speech and popped the question!
NOW ABOUT THE BIG DAY! WHAT WAS THE THEME AND INSPIRATION?
Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror episode ‘San Junipero’ – and generally we wanted to achieve relaxed house party vibes.
As two women getting married, we also went out of our way to remember and recognise the women that inspire us. This included a photo montage of women who couldn’t make it (from Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin to various dead relatives), table names inspired by our dream dinner party guests (mostly female!) and a friend’s speech which closed with the epic final words of Morgan Lloyd Malcolmʼs Emilia.
DID YOU STYLE IT YOURSELF?
Yes, with help from talented family and friends.
TELL US ABOUT THE CEREMONY AND RECEPTION LOCATIONS. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THE VENUE AND WHAT DID YOU LIKE ABOUT IT?
It was an informal civil ceremony at Woolwich Town Hall with around 40 of our closest friends and family. We walked down the aisle to Jessie Ware’s Champagne Kisses and signed the register to Jah Cure’s Call on Me. Our friend Rebecca did a reading which was compiled from extracts from the parliamentary debate on the Same Sex Marriage Bill and we wrote our own vows. It was warm and casual, we got some of our lines wrong which lightened the atmosphere!
We chose Woolwich Town Hall because of its beautiful green and light pink decor.
After the ceremony we transported our guests to One Friendly Place in a London routemaster where we were met by more friends and family for the party. One Friendly Place is a large warehouse space split over three floors filled with an assortment of random props! We loved the urban and informal feel to the venue and the opportunity to use each room for a different part of the event.
Deciding to work with our wedding coordinator, Laura Devine, was the best decision we made throughout the planning process! Laura took time to get to know us and understand what we wanted from the wedding – going for a drink with us to talk through details of the day. On the day, Laura ensured we could just sit back and enjoy the day, whilst making sure we were looped in on timings and details where needed. Her calm demeanour and smile fit right in and it was like having another guest at the party!
FLOWERS, DECORATIONS, DID YOU DO ANY DIY?
Flowers were done by Alright Petal Flowers – owned by our fabulous friend King-Wey Hii. We wanted them to be colourful and wild, King-Wey did not disappoint!
The whole wedding felt like a DIY project and we were blessed to have friends and family who were keen and willing to help. Our signage, table plan and menus were done by Sophie Olivia Designs, one of Liz’s closest friends. Queer Eye inspirational posters and House Band promotional posters by Jo’s creative cousin Michaela. ‘Divas Who Send Their Apologies’ montage by Liz’s sister Katie. We also had personalised pinatas by Pinyatay.
Palm Tree Caterers provided us with a delicious Caribbean buffet – Jo’s family are from Jamaica so jerk chicken, curry goat and plantain felt like the obvious choice!
We had late night pizzas by Van Dough which went down incredibly well!
We had a cake table full of cakes baked by friends and family. This included a personalised fruit cake with our photo on it and a huge rainbow cake!
Our band was made up of friends and family who sang a diverse playlist from Respect by Aretha Franklin, to Despacito by Luis Fonsi, and Dreams by Gabrielle.
Jo’s Outfit (dress, shoes, headpiece, jewellery etc.):
During the day – Galavan dress, Glamorous shoes, jewellery borrowed from family
In the Evening – Rosa Bloom’s Aphrodite Jumpsuit
Lizʼs Outfit: Peter Pilotto trousers, Hobbes blouse and trainers from Jigsaw
Bridesmaid Dresses: Their own! We provided the colour palette and they then wore what they wanted.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER
We loved Carolineʼs laid back style. We didnʼt want to spend hours taking group shots and posed couple pics – Caroline totally got our vision and made sure we had the handful of groups shots we requested as well as suggesting some fun couple photos at both our venues. During our engagement shoot Caroline put us right at ease, getting us to play silly games to loosen us up but never making us pose unnaturally – it felt really relaxed like we were just hanging out with a friend. On the day, we wanted lots of spontaneous shots that captured the fun of the day and we got exactly that.
WOULD YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR COUPLES PLANNING THEIR WEDDING?
You do you. Don’t get too caught up in the ‘shoulds’ and the ‘musts’, take the traditions you want and design something that reflects you and your partner.
Wedding Coordinator: Devine Bride
Ceremony Venue: Woolwich Town Hall
Reception Venue: One Friendly Place
Furniture and Props: Classic Crockery
Catering: Palm Tree Caterers
Late Night Pizza: Van Dough
Lighting: Halo Lighting
Makeup: Asha Verma
Stationery: Sophie Olivia Designs
Jo’s Outfit: Galavan / Glamorous shoes / Rosa Bloom’s Aphrodite Jumpsuit
Lizʼs Outfit: Peter Pilotto / Hobbs / Jigsaw
Florist: Alright Petal Flowers
Photographer: Caroline Opacic
Band and DJ Equipment: Wedding Smashers
DJ: DJ Alex Brees
Takedown: The Wedding Spark
Check out other gorgeous real weddings on our blog!