Keeping your wedding day honest and simple
If you want to make your wedding day unique and special, why not look into having it in your backyard? A London-based celebration will surely be an experience full of creativity and memories. Take this couple from Greenwich, for example! This blog post is the perfect example of how they infused their vision into their modest South East London back garden with all their favourite people around them.
Getting ready at an Airbnb in South East London
Alice chose to get ready in an Airbnb located in Greenwich, London. She had her family and closest friends surrounding her. Booking an Airbnb can be the perfect way to give yourself the space you need. You also have access to a kitchen for those all-important wedding day necessities like tea, coffee and bubbles.
With Alice's background in hospitality, she was the perfect host. Still, today was her day to be treated, and her loved ones ensured she was taken care of on her special day. I arrived to find Alice lounging in beautiful light while getting her makeup done by her best friend, a professional makeup artist. Alice had chosen to wear a white suit she had bought from Zara, paired with a striking pair of green heels from Dune. She also had her grandmother's wedding dress hanging on the side. So whilst I took pictures of her suit, I wanted to capture the beautiful dress next to it. The atmosphere was relaxed and inviting, like waking up in a cosy French chateau. After some quality time with Alice, it was time for me to leave so I could take pictures of the groom and his party before the ceremony at Charlton House.
I was overjoyed when I found out about Charlton House, Greenwich's hidden gem. It has a long and fascinating story, returning to James I's reign. Considered one of the finest examples of Jacobean architecture in Britain, it is usually closed to the public, but they make an exception for weddings. This breathtaking venue has been blessed with much of South East London's history. Its extravagant period details - original fireplaces, wood panelling and an exquisitely carved staircase - made Aiden (and his wedding guests) look especially elated. When we stepped inside while setting up for Alice's arrival, I felt like I was transported into a fairytale world!
Alice walked into the ceremony on her father's arm, both she and Aiden unable to take their eyes off one another. They exchanged joyful vows and personal notes of love for each other. The guests shed tears of joy as the couple said their I do's. Following the ceremony, Alice and Aiden greeted all of their loved ones with a warm hug before heading outside for a glass of bubbly carefully selected by Sarah from The Mulwray; they posed with their friends and family for photographs to capture this momentous occasion.
Bus Ride Home
After saying goodbye to guests, Alice, Aiden and I stayed behind to take some incredible couple photos at Charlton House. Its picturesque charm made the perfect backdrop! We took some shots below the house's arches and found a staircase full of autumn leaves. Later, we went to the bus stop together to get home. Although their friends had offered a lift, Alice and Aiden were keen to ride the bus – they both ride the London buses lots for travel, and they wanted to experience this today after getting married. Unfortunately, the South East London commuters weren't cheery, but that is probably to be expected. Still, Alice and Aiden were oblivious - so happy being in each other's company that nothing else mattered.
Making an entrance with bubbles
When Aiden and Alice got engaged, they wanted an intimate, relaxed wedding full of delicious food and drinks. So, they decided to host it in the backyard of their Greenwich, London home. They wanted their confetti to be biodegradable and eco-friendly, so there would be no lingering debris on the ground afterwards. After I suggested bubble guns instead of traditional confetti - all for the sake of pretty pictures - they ordered them from Amazon. The kids had a blast using the bubble guns during the reception! I got one for my son as a Christmas present; he adores it. Amazon link to the Bubble guns
Fun in the garden with their guests & family
Alice and Aiden turned their South London Garden into a beautiful backyard wedding venue that felt truly homely and rustic. Much love had been put into its creation! Their bathtub was repurposed as an ice cooler, which proved necessary since their friends brought plenty of drinks with them - no surprise since both work in hospitality. Alice works at Soma, the number 1 cocktail bar in London. The owner even brought a batch of the signature cocktail: Leaf (which tastes amazing). Meanwhile, Aiden works at Michelin-starred restaurant Evelyn's Table and is connected with the Mulwray, home to one of the best natural wine selections and run by two exceptionally knowledgeable and fantastic Sommeliers: Honey and Sarah.
They elicited laughter and tears with their speeches, and it was clear that there was great affection as I captured the guests watching Alice & Aiden in wedded bliss. The party went on till the wee hours, and having it in their garden allowed them to not worry about having to close, as it was their garden and they could stay forever.
Alice & Aiden hadn't originally intended to host the wedding party in their garden; however, after looking at many venues in London, they decided that the only place that would suit their needs was their home. It was a truly magical affair.
So if you are thinking about creating your own backyard wedding, there are so many options you can choose for making it truly your own.
Kind Words from the couple
"Thank you so much for everything! Not only were the photos absolutely amazing, but you were just so kind and patient and thoughtful. Everyone loved you and I honestly wished you could have stayed longer as a guest and just be our friend! The photos were beautiful. You made us look chilled, natural and good-looking; all the best angles."
Alice & Aiden
A little about Hannah Bain, London Wedding Photographer
I'm Hannah, a London-based wedding photographer. I live in South East London with my husband, our son, Isaac, and our small terrier, Edith. I've photographed many weddings across London, including Marylebone Town Hall, Islington Town Hall, Brixton, Shoreditch studios, and other venues.
If you are thinking about having a wedding in Shoreditch and are looking for a wedding photographer, then feel free to send an enquiry or message me on Instagram. I love getting to know new couples and especially love hearing more about your engagement and wedding day plans. I'm a big romantic at heart.
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