Heart of the city: dazzling Art Deco do in the capital
Ali & Charles: The Inspiration
Ali and Charles first crossed paths on the dancefloor back in 2002, so it was only fitting that their sleek London wedding would feature amazing sounds and a killer party. <p><em>Photography: Anneli Marinovich (<a href="http://www.annelimarinovich.com/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>annelimarinovich.com</strong></a> )</em></p>
Ali & Charles: The Place To Be
“We met in a nightclub and many of the friends we've made together over our time as a couple have been from parties," Ali says. "So <a href="http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/venues/london/tompkins/" target="_blank"><strong>Tompkins</strong></a> restaurant and the Attic Bar at Pan Peninsula Square in Canary Wharf were the perfect setting. <a href="http://www.theatticbar.co.uk/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>The Attic Bar</strong></a> became our own glamorous cocktail bar with all our favourite music.”
Ali & Charles: The Look
Art Deco style defined the details, and Ali stuck to a palette of cream and pink with striking black accents – including the bow sash on her curve hugging Ellis Bridals gown (<a href="http://ellisbridals.co.uk/"target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>ellisbridals.co.uk</strong></a> ). Her bouquet, by florist Helen at The Flower Shop (020 7538 8484), contained a mix of pink and cerise peonies.
Ali & Charles: All About The Dress
As a model used to trying on all the best dresses for her day job, Ali worried that finding The One might be a challenge. “But when I worked for Ellis Bridals at a trade exhibition, I just couldn’t stop looking at one of the gowns. As soon as I put it on, I knew. I didn’t even go dress shopping after that – there was no point!”
Ali & Charles: If The Shoe Fits ...
Ali designed her peep-toe heels at Upper Street (<a href="http://upperstreet.com/"target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>upperstreet.com</strong></a>). “I had discovered this amazing company a few months earlier in a bridal magazine and designed a cute pair of red shoes first to test their quality,” Ali says. “They came out beautifully, so I went back to create my silver snakeskin wedding shoes, with a pewter leather bow.”
Ali & Charles: Maid To Perfection
To complement Ali’s monochrome look, the bridesmaids (including friend Erica, sister Bev and Charles’ daughter Ellis) wore pale amethyst dresses from US brand J.Crew (<a href="http://www.jcrew.com/index.jsp"target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>jcrew.com</strong></a>) and finished the look with bold cerise bouquets.
Ali & Charles: Well Groomed
“Charles, his best man Louis and my dad all wore slim-fit charcoal three-piece suits from <a href="http://www.next.co.uk/"target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>Next</strong></a>, with just a plain black tie,” Ali says. “They all looked great!”
Ali & Charles: Drive My Car
Even Ali’s stylish transport – her father’s vintage Armstrong Siddeley – incorporated the colour scheme and theme. “He’s owned it for 25 years, so there was no question I would arrive in anything but the Armstrong,” she says.
Ali & Charles: Personal Touch
Ali got creative on the stationery and décor and made items such as these Deco-chic orders of service – based on a vintage 1920s poster – on her laptop.
Ali & Charles: Designer Venue
“Tompkins had such fabulous interior design that I didn’t need to do much,” Ali says. “The owner loves to collect furniture and I fell for all the quirky and unusual pieces.”
Ali & Charles: Sitting Down To Dinner
After a traditional ceremony, guests dined on a gourmet menu of tiger prawns, ham with figs and brioche, goat’s cheese salad, corn-fed chicken breast, lemon sole and lemon and ricotta gnocchi.
Ali & Charles: Paper Magic, Part 1
“I’m a self-confessed computer geek and loved putting the stationery together,” Ali says. Art Deco-themed postcards were used as menus at each guest’s seat.
Ali & Charles: Paper Magic, Part 2
Meanwhile, place names and table numbers were printed at home in period-appropriate fonts.
Ali & Charles: Do Me A Favour
“We chose favours from <a href="http://www.greenandblacks.com/uk/home.html"target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>Green & Black’s</strong></a>,” Ali says. “You can order small bars of their chocolate in stacks of three, with a choice of flavours and ribbons. These definitely went down well!”
Ali & Charles: Keep It Simple
Pots of single pink orchids adorned the tabletops. “More flowers would have just taken away from the modern look of the room,” says Ali.
Ali & Charles: Tiers Of Joy
Ali drew up the design for the Twenties-glam cake herself, and cake maker Jo-Anne Edwards (firstname.lastname@example.org) brought it to life. A crystal Butler & Wilson brooch (<a href="http://www.butlerandwilson.co.uk/"target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>butlerandwilson.co.uk</strong></a>) called The Dancing Couple served as a topper, and pink peonies finished the look.
Ali & Charles: Picture Perfect
Sixty-five close friends and family (plus another 60 evening guests) joined the couple for their celebration, and filled the dancefloor until 1.30am. “We had DJs from our days on the London party scene playing disco, soul and house,” Ali remembers.
Ali & Charles: This Magic Moment
But Ali’s favourite moment came just before the first dance, when Charles suddenly sat her down on a chair in the middle of the room with everyone watching. “I thought to myself, ‘Oh no, he’s going to sing!’ but instead he recited the words to <em>Just the Way You Are</em> by Bruno Mars. Such a romantic surprise from my lovely husband.” Photography: Anneli Marinovich (annelimarinovich.com)