7th August 2021
K&M’s day could so easily have been a washout. As I drove to their home in Wimbledon, Surrey, the heavens opened and had already flooded the surrounding neighbourhood. I was one of those crazy people driving their car through foot-deep floodwater on TV when you ask yourself why have they not pulled over; but I certainly wasn’t going to be late for the bridal preparation.
In stark contrast to the craziness on the roads, I arrived at the couple’s home to be greeted by a remarkably chilled bride-to-be and bridesmaids, in the midst of her hair and make-up. No wedding day nerves here; it was a calm and relaxed place to be.
On to Wandsworth Town Hall, where the sun had broken through and was transforming the facades of the building into something far more Mediterranean than south west London.
It was by the time the ceremony in the Alexandra Room had concluded, that I was struck by how happy the bride, K, was. I mean, all brides are happy on their wedding day, right? But often, this is mixed with nerves or anticipation, pressure of the day etc. But not with K; she just kept beaming at her new husband, M, from their first exchange of glances as she made her way down the aisle, to the newly wed portraits on the spectacular art deco stair case of Wandsworth Town Hall, and the confetti dash outside.
After the portraits, the new couple and guests made their way to their specially commissioned wedding bus, and on to the Reception at The Dukes Head on the banks of the Thames in Putney. The couple and I took some time to walk along the riverbank for portraits, bringing genuine glamour and romance to the top deck of one of London’s red buses for a handful of photographs. I don’t think K stopped smiling, or broke eye contact with her new husband M, once. The couple returned to the Reception in the beautiful Coxswain Restaurant on the ground floor of the Dukes Head, ahead of the wedding breakfast upstairs in the Wolsey Room.
This was a wedding where there was a distinct sense of two families coming together, with the couple’s parents – previously separated by the Irish Sea and the recent travel restrictions – meeting for the first time.
The day started out with monsoon-like conditions but the rain held off when it counted, giving way to blazing sunshine for photographs outside the Town Hall earlier in the day. But by early evening, the heavens had reached a compromise, and a blazing rainbow arced over the Thames. Sounds clichéd, I know, but one end of the rainbow sat stubbornly on the roof of the Dukes Head. This was clearly, the couple’s day. And it stayed that way, long into the night with wonderful Anglo-Irish celebrations on the dancefloor. All illuminated by K’s amazing, unending smile.
Venue – @dukesheadputney
Flowers – @floralhues
Hair and Make Up – @hannahgibbinsmus
London Bus – @thelondonbuscompany