Do you have tea? Biscuits? Good. This post will be longer than normal because this wedding was so pretty and had so much in it that its going to take a little longer than normal to take tell its story.
So, Emma contacted me last year after seeing a comment I had left on a Love My Dress post about how much I adored her wedding venue, The Asylum, or more accurately, Caroline Garden’s Chapel, in London. After a few excited emails (all me!) she booked me, and I was thrilled. I don’t often take central London weddings, but Emma sounded lovely and the Asylum’s siren call was echoing in my ears. Or eyes. Something like that.
I met Emma at her home for a little bit of bridal prep, bucks fizz and Motown classics, and mooning over her gorgeous Charlie Brear gown before we headed off to The Asylum. The chapel was a working church and the heart of an almshouse community of retired landlords until it was partially destroyed by an incendiary bomb in WWII. It lay empty until 2010 and is now an arts & events venue. It has a huge visual personality, as you can see from the images, and some might find that overwhelming – I loved it. It is a striking space, and Emma & Chris’ simple decorations of candles and flowers and bulbs transformed it into a welcoming and oddly intimate space.
Chris & Emma’s wedding was officiated by the lovely celebrant Roxy Hotten, who told the story of their relationship amongst music from Emma’s brother, readings from friends, and some serious spotlight-grabbing by gorgeous Esme.
Food was provided by The Swine Waiter, and afterwards the speeches showed us how loved-up and much loved this couple are. Chris’ dad made a short speech which had us all in tears (myself included), and part of which I will no doubt badly paraphrase here;
“I understand why people have been going on a lot about equal marriage at the moment. Not just for themselves but for their families. I always hated calling Emma ‘Chris’s partner’. I have wanted to call Emma my daughter since the day I met her, and today I can”.
I get a lump in my throat just reading that again. I am such a wuss.
Food was followed by a bake off (including some controversy when one of the joint winners was found to have bought their cake, luckily winner no.2′s fab pinata cake was honestly made…, see pictures below), and by dancing to the amazing Los Amigos band. Then we left the Asylum as the sun began to set and off to the East Dulwich tavern via a big red routemaster for more dancing, more drinking, and generally putting cherries on top of a pretty darn amazing day.
Emma and Chris. Thank you for your welcome, your trust in me to record your day, and your all-round brilliance.
Thanks to Nick, for his help assisting & second shooting during the ceremony.