Laura & Alexander’s Simple London Wedding

* Laura, Administrator at a Higher Education Institution & Alexander, Finance *

Easy, plain, and simple are not the words most people start with when trying to plan a wedding, but from the moment Alex and I met I never doubted our love and wanted our wedding to reflect that carefree attitude we bring to our everyday life together.

It was not supposed to be easy to plan a wedding in the UK with all our family and friends living in Canada, South Africa, America, and Australia, so from the start of our planning we made a pact to choose the easiest option for everything. We wanted everyone to feel invited to our wedding and unfortunately had to accept that time, travel, and cost would prohibit many from coming on such short notice. Instead of worrying about renting hotels and block booking flights we accepted that whoever ended up coming was meant to be and would be a valuable part of our day. Looking back this was one of the best decisions as we were so touched and honoured to see all of our fifty-three guests and enjoyed spending the week of the wedding with them. I couldn’t imagine any other guest list than the one we ended up with.

Plain is not a theme you see a lot on the wedding blogs. Colours, themes, sparkles, and poofs are always encouraged. We didn’t have a huge budget for our wedding and since we were getting married in London, one of the loveliest cities in the world, we figured why obstruct it. My dress, shoes and blazer were all bought online at bargain prices and of course my husband, his brother, and father wore their family tartan and looked more handsome than ever. The bridesmaids were flying over from Canada, so they chose their own simple nude dresses off the high street. Bouquets and centrepieces were simple hydrangeas bought in bulk from the Covent Garden Flower Market and arranged the day before the wedding. Our reception was held at a local pub in a beautiful blue dining room with food taking centre stage.

Simple was hard. I was surprised how easy it was to start with a simple idea and get carried into complexity. Looking back though, on the day it was the simple moments that I valued most. The cake our friend made for us, the walk from the church to the pub, the Vicar’s smile as he cracked jokes during our ceremony, and the bottles of pretty-cheap champagne everyone enjoyed in the church garden after the ceremony. Even our simple tissue paper pom-poms, that bridesmaids helped make, created a beautiful atmosphere in the reception and became great props for the late night dance party.

For me, simple was also about stepping back and becoming a yes-bride. By keeping things easy we ended up surrounding ourselves with vendors that were friends of friends and local experts who were all there to help us on our wedding day. I was floored with the support everyone gave us, from setting up to serving champagne. Saying yes to all this help kept everything simple for Alex and me to enjoy the day, not control every detail.

There is nothing more easy, plain, and simple than true family and friends, and that was what was mattered most on our wedding day. Thank you cards didn’t do justice to how grateful we were for each and all of their help to make the day the most easy, plain and simple wedding we could have hoped for.

The Info—Photographer: John Sanders / Venue: Christ Church Highbury and The Drapers Arms / Flowers: New Covent Garden Flower Market / Laura’s Dress: BHS Bridal / Alexander’s Blazer: Joe Fresh / Laura’s Makeup: Benefit Cosmetics / Laura’s Shoes: Brandosa / Laura’s Glitter Flats: Tescos

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  • Anne

    Love this post! My fiance and I are getting married just outside of London in July. We also have family and friends coming from all across the world (including ourselves) so it’s been … interesting to organise. Love the shoes you found! I’ve been looking for a nice t bar pair for ages.

    • They’re cheap and still available online! I don’t wear heels often so I had to take them off post ceremony (glitter flats FTW) but I highly recommend them and fit true to size.

      • We should revive the London APW group!

  • Brenda

    Yay London weddings! I love the classic church/pub combination and your dress is wonderful! I’m getting married in London this summer and am also dealing with many international guests, and I really have found it pretty easy to keep simple. We’ve got the first person / thing we saw for most of our vendors, and have kept it really local by using vendors who aren’t necessarily “wedding” vendors but are just our local flower shop, local ice cream shop (ice cream!) etc.

    It looks like you had a wonderful day :)

    • Exactly. We went with our usual flower shop, a restaurant we loved, had ice-cream too :) and just in general got the first (or second) vendor because they were good and we knew them from before.
      The only thing we looked and looked and looked for were macarons, because we wanted some and we are alas not in France, but searching for those was lots of fun!

  • Charis

    This wedding is gorgeous, it is so beautiful in its simplicity. I’m up in Yorkshire and we’re contemplating a traditional church wedding followed by a pub lunch/ afternoon tea reception.

    I’ve been worried that if I have a church wedding I’ll have to ‘upgrade’ from my simple tastes- eg wear a fancier dress, have fancier flowers etc. I love that the bride wore a very elegant but simple dress, it looks stunning and not at all out of place and has made me feel a lot better about wanting to wear a simpler dress.

    Looks like you all had a wonderful day, congratulations!

  • LILY

    What a beautiful day, and the two of you look *so happy* in every single photograph! Amazing.

    Thank you for writing this post. I am currently planning a “simple, low-key, casual” wedding, and everything has been going wonderfully…until I found out last night that my longtime best friend/MOH might not be there, or would only be there for the ceremony and reception, but none of the prep/fun time before hand. I was sad to hear that, but reading your line of, “I couldn’t imagine any other guest list than the one we ended up with” made me feel so much better!

    Plus, as I said to my fiance last night (more to myself than to him, but you know), WE are getting married, and that is the most important thing.

    • Hi Lily – You’ve already got the right attitude! Forget about the rest and focus on the good times you’ll have with your MOH and husband (!) on the day.

  • Deeeeeelightful!

  • Wow … what a beautiful wedding and approach! This is the kind of celebration I want to have. Thank you for sharing your beautiful day, Laura, and congratulations on your marriage!

  • Class of 1980

    If this is plain, then it’s plain beautiful.

    Lot’s of style in the surroundings, so classic simplicity works.

  • Faith

    Have not commented in a long time, but had to speak up for this one.

    This is wedding shot to the top of my list because of its simplicity in style and attitude. Georgeous from start to finish!

  • Thank you for this post and congratulations! You look absolutely STUNNING!

    “We didn’t have a huge budget for our wedding and since we were getting married in London, one of the loveliest cities in the world, we figured why obstruct it.” THIS. I really needed this.

    We are getting married on a beautiful farm this August in NYC and I have to keep reminding myself that we don’t need to spend our time and energy fretting about decorating EVERYTHING. The surroundings are so lush and gorgeous at that time of year. For crying out loud–just leave it be and let everyone enjoy the view! We need to spend our money on more important things anyhow–like beers. ;)

    • I really need to keep this in mind. We’ve been talking about “when” we get married and have been thinking about the church he grew up in. It’s gorgeous, and filled with stained glass windows. I feel like I’ll be swept away by the planning and want to DECORATE EVERYTHING. It’s important to remember that the location was chosen for a reason sometimes- and sometimes simple is better and more beautiful.

  • I don’t even know how to describe how awesome this wedding is. It really pulls together everything I wanted in a wedding before I threw in the towel and it looks so wonderfully put together.

    The happiness here is captivating. Some of these pictures I could just look at for hours.

  • AliceMay

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! You have just restored my faith in my decision on a Debenhams dress :)

  • Granola

    Your dress is so beautiful and you both look thunderously happy. Makes me wish I’d had simpler wedding attire also.

    Congratulations to you both!

  • LOVE this: the idea of “stepping back and becoming a yes-bride.” So true!

    Congratulations to both of you. :)

  • “Plain is not a theme you see a lot on the wedding blogs.” Word. I LOVE this though. It definitely gave me some reassurance about the simple wedding we are planning.

    PS Love your hair and shoes! So gorgeous!

    • Thank you! I’ll pass that on to my hairdresser. He worked some serious magic with my mane of hair!

  • Thank you all for the kind words! I am so pleased more people are going for the simple, plain, and easy approach.

    … And getting such nice comments on a £69 dress is just icing on the cake :)

    • AliceMay

      Now you’re making £120 sound like an extravagance ;)

  • I love everything about this wedding. Laura you looked chic and beautiful, and your husband looked all fancy and handsome in his attire.
    You are so right that the time with family and friends, and how everyone puts their little grain of sand to make your day happen is what you will end up remembering the most. We also planned a wedding where lots of our guests came from different countries, hence making it small-ish, but every single person there made it so very special.
    I wish you all the joy and happiness in your marriage!

    • Thank you for your kind words!

  • The word that kept coming to mind as I read your words and looked at the photos was “lovely.” You wedding was simply lovely.

  • Ohmygoshyour DRESS. So. Lovely.

  • this is lovely, and definitely helped reassure me about our so-called plain festivities. We aren’t decorating heavily except for the stage we are getting married on and some simple centerpieces. I like simple.

  • Uncle Mike

    Where where the go-karts?

    • Ha! Saving that for renewing our vows :)

  • Plain & simple has never looked or sounded lovelier! Congratulations!!

  • Emilie

    I so needed this today. When we first started planning, I told my partner and our families I wanted a “boring” wedding. Boring meaning simple, easy, predictable, and classic. How could you go wrong with that sort of vision? Somehow my family and I have gotten all swept up in wedding madness. This was a helpful reminder to go back to our original game plan: church wedding + reception at social hall or restaurant.

    Thank. You. for helping me refocus.

    • Hi Emile, thank you for the lovely comment. The only thing better than having a wonderful wedding is inspiring others to also achieve it. I’m sure you’ll have a great time and can’t wait to see your graduate post on APW soon :)

  • Great photos and congratulations to Laura & Alexander. I really love Laura’s gorgeous wedding dress I think the lace sleeves look so elegant.

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    Love everything about this wedding. :) We’re also going with “easy” and “simple” for our wedding (in Derbyshire, but we live in London). We’re putting faith in the overall effect of a “wedding” on the atmosphere rather than elaborate decorations/clothes/plans. We’ll be juggling guests from two continents, so will have to adopt a similar attitude towards the day. Love this: “I couldn’t imagine any other guest list than the one we ended up with.” Perfect!

  • Tania

    This post was so nice to read and the wedding was beautiful!

    I got engaged to my fiancee this past Valentine’s Day and this is the kind of wedding I want for us. Simple, carefree, with our closest friends and family (totaling 20). It is amazing how difficult it can be to plan a small simple wedding, but you two did it gracefully.

    Congratulations to you both!

  • Keeley

    I was one of Laura´s bridesmaids (so, I may be just a little biased!) and it really was an amazing wedding to be a part of! Laura had a wonderful way of prioritizing what mattered and forgetting about the rest of the madness that can be weddings! It was a fabulous celebration. You could see that Alex and Laura, as well as all of their family and friends truly enjoyed their special day!

  • ElliotClaire

    Easy, plain, simple and yet perfect! The couple was right to decide not to pressure themselves over things they have no control of like the guest list, the budget, etc.. What matters is the celebration of their union and love and the result showed in their happy faces..Best wishes to Alex and Laura!