Round-the-world romance

Marshella and Derek's travel-themed wedding got off to a flying start with a waterside ceremony at Henley-on-Thames

Marshella and Derek – The first meeting


When mutual friends discovered Marshella and Derek were both planning round-the-world trips independently, they arranged for them to meet up en route and it wasn’t long before the travelling companions had became a romantic item. “By the end of the trip we’d fallen in love and decided to move to London together without actually ever having a first date!” says Marshella who originally comes from Australia.


Photography by Rosie Parsons (rosieparsons.com)

Marshella and Derek – The ceremony


After a proposal in Troon Scotland (Derek’s homeland), the couple investigated having a ceremony at the River & Rowing Museum, Henley-on-Thames. “It was in the process of applying for a licence and we had to wait five months in case it wasn’t granted,” says Marshella. “But it all worked out and we became the first couple to be married there!

It also meant we could travel by boat to the reception at Temple Meadow Island (weddingvenues.com)

Marshella and Derek – All set to sail


Unsurprisingly, the theme for the reception was travel and their world tour. The tipi tents (beautifulworldtents.co.uk) were inspired by similar styles the couple had stayed in at Bryce Canyon National Park in the US.

Marshella and Derek – The theme comes together


As the travel theme gained momentum, Marshella created RSVP cards from photos taken during their travels. “We asked guests to write a cheeky message before sending them back to us which we hung from brown strings with wooden pegs.

I also had a world map made into a display board with coloured stickers representing places we travelled to together and separately on our trip, as well as place we’ve been to as a couple.”

Marshella and Derek – The seating plan


“Each table was named after a country and included foodie tips from that region,” says Marshella. “The seating plan was actually individual boarding passes which I designed to look like actual passes from Qantas (for my guests) & British Airways (for Derek’s).”

Marshella and Derek – Tables ablaze with colour


Marshella designed the menu and had it printed on sheets of A3 paper to make placemats and the couple bought brightly coloured paper napkins from Ikea which Derek’s restaurant manager brother-in-law arranged in the glasses.

Marshella and Derek – Sign of the times


The couple kept an eye open for cool vintage signs with a travel theme which they used to decorate the reception tents.

Marshella and Derek – The dream dress


Marshella wanted a dress with a sleek vintage feel that wouldn’t be too big and princessy on her petite frame and knew Charlotte Balbier’s design Tabitha was perfect for the job (charlottebalbier.com).

Marshella and Derek – Fascinating accessories


To accessorise her dream dress, Marshella designed a birdcage veil which was made by Unveiled Bridal Designs (unveiledbridaldesigns.com).

“It had ostrich feathers complimented by bleached and natural peacock feathers, finished with freshwater pearls and golden shadow crystals,” she explains.

Marshella and Derek – Love those shoes


The bride finished her look with a pair of quirky polka dot wedges which were from eBay.

Marshella and Derek – Such devoted sisters


Marshella had one bridesmaid – her sister Julia – who wore a blue green polka dot dress which they bought from the high street and customised themselves.

“My sister is a huge fan of Converse shoes so as a thank-you gift, I custom ordered her perfect pair to be made in the US and asked one of my American friends to bring them back with her,” says Marshella.

Marshella and Derek – Sticking with tradition…


With help from her sister and mum, Marshella made 1000 origami cranes as decorations. “It’s a Japanese tradition that the bride who finishes 1,000 cranes before her wedding day will be richly rewarded with a good and happy marriage,” she says.

Marshella and Derek – …and breaking with tradition


In place of a traditional cake, the couple chose cupcakes from Anima cupcakes (animacupcakes.com) who they discovered at their favourite market, Brick Lane.

After much flavour tasting they settled on vanilla with white chocolate icing; cookies & cream; berries & cream; red velvet; banana and chocolate.

Marshella and Derek – Having fun with photos


“We decided on an outdoor “photo booth” which I made using cloth bought from Ikea with two big holes cut out to make them look like photo frames on wallpaper,” says Marshella. “Fake moustaches on sticks and blackboard speech bubbles as props gave us some amazing fun memories.”

Marshella and Derek – find out more


Marshella is a London and destination wedding photographer and you can find details of her recent weddings at shelldemar.com/gallery


Now, check out 15 pages of inspiration at Jude and Dave’s Art Deco Do