Michelle and Jay threw a vintage-style urban tea party with a high-fashion finish
After a summer spent getting to know each other at gigs, it was only fitting that music lovers Michelle and Jay got engaged at the most famous festival of them all - Glastonbury. "It was the 40th birthday of the festival and Stevie Wonder was headlining," says Michelle. "During the last song I felt someone pulling at my ankle... I looked down and Jay was kneeling down with a pretend engagement ring and asked me to marry him!"
Photography: Aneta Mak (anetamak.com)
A year and three months later, the couple decided to make it official serenaded by Michelle's brother on the guitar singing a Stevie Wonder song.
Two weeks before the big day the couple got a call to say their venue had been cancelled. "It was all quite dramatic," explains Michelle. "But with ten days to go we found 29 Portland Place - in the end it was a positive as it was just beautiful and beyond our expectations."
And to get to their central London location the couple chose two classic Routemaster buses for their guests...
...while they quaffed champagne in the back of a vintage Rolls Royce Phantom from Allied Wedding Cars.
To look the part at her vintage-style tea party reception, Michelle chose a Jenny Packham gown with a Twenties feel to it. She added a nude grosgrain sash and antique brooch to the waist to fit in with her nude, cream and white colour scheme. And Jay looked dapper in a three-piece suit from Ted Baker accessorised with the engraved vintage pocket watch that Michelle had given him as a wedding gift.
Michelle put her best foot forward in metallic silver Jimmy Choos that perfectly complemented the silver beading on her dress.
She finished off the look with a delicate diamanté headpiece from Jenny Packham and a drop pendant necklace given to her by her father from Mayfair Jewellers.
"I've always loved muted colours and floaty, romantic lace," says Michelle on working her theme. "I wanted the day to feel ethereal like a vintage garden brought indoors." To achieve the look Michelle started by using her professional experience (she works on the design team at Ted Baker) to create the bridesmaids' dresses.
And the vintage touches didn't end there. Michelle worked her artistic flair to the max and decked her day out in pretty details. "I hung vintage dresses from the mantelpieces for a boudoir feel, had photos of the moment when we got engaged at Glastonbury on display and I borrowed an antique Royal Mail post box from work, which looked lovely on our gift table," says Michelle.
The stationery was a combined effort with creative Michelle designing and creating everything from the invitations to the menus, while Jay cut them all out. "I had two amazing colleagues who mucked in when it all got a bit stressful and they set up every little detail on the day for me," says Michelle.
For a personal touch the bride and groom had ceramic lovebird place card holders while their guests' homemade place names were held in glass baubles from Cox & Cox.
Vintage postcards lent a sense of bygone elegance to table decorations, which included arrangements of hydrangeas, dahlias, garden roses, anemones, delphiniums and dill created by Clare at Achillea Flowers.
Michelle also designed postcards for each guest's setting. "The cards said how grateful we were to have them there to celebrate with us and also told the story of our engagement."
For her bouquet, Michelle chose a soft posy of roses, apricot-coloured achilleas, hydrangeas and eucalyptus. "I wanted it to look like it was being viewed through a fuzzy romantic filter," she explains. Notebook favours, sourced from a market in Hong Kong, added a further pretty touch to guests' places.
"I sourced all the birdcages, tea sets and assorted oddities from markets and charity shops," says Michelle. "Our wedding was creative, fun and relaxed, like us!"
As well as a wedding breakfast the couple also had afternoon tea-style pre-reception drinks. "English tea was served alongside themed canapés - mini scones, ham and mustard finger sandwiches, fruit tartlets etc.," says Michelle. "We also served two flavours of Bellinis, as well as elderflower cordial – and beer for the boys!"
For the wedding cake Michelle took her inspiration from across The Channel with the French take on afternoon tea - a macaroon tower from Ladurée.
Jay insisted on hiring a band for the evening and the couple settled on The Supertones. "I'm so glad I gave in," says Michelle. "Our first dance was of course Stevie Wonder's Isn't She Lovely, and from the moment we asked guests to join us on the dancefloor it was full until we were chucked out!"