Tea time with a twist

Stylephiles Saleema and David served up afternoon tea with a heart motif and romantic pops of red

Saleema & David – It had to be you


Traditions got a modern twist at Saleema and David’s London wedding celebration, starting with a music-filled civil ceremony at Islington Town Hall (islington.gov.uk).


“One of the most important things for us was a hymn-style sing-along, so after we were declared husband and wife, we asked everyone to open their programme and join us for the chorus of It Had to Be You,” Saleema says. “Afterwards, we left the hall in a flurry of bubbles and heart-shaped confetti we’d made ourselves.”

Photography by Marianne Taylor (mariannetaylorphotography.co.uk)

Saleema & David – The dress


Saleema’s gorgeous grey, silk-chiffon wedding dress was Faun by Temperley London (temperleylondon.com). “I knew I wanted something fashion forward and simple with a slightly vintage twist,” she said. “The embroidery was Art Deco-inspired with cuts of perspex in white and pale grey surrounded by delicate silver sequins and rhinestones.”

Saleema accessorised with earrings from luxedeluxe at etsy.com, a half-carat diamond and white gold pendant – a wedding day gift from her father-in-law – and a diamond bracelet which was a birthday present from her mother.

Saleema & David – The flowers


“I love peonies and ranunculus,” Saleema told us. Her beautiful bouquet from Blue Dove Wedding Co (bluedoveweddings.com) contained ranunculus, white roses, silver eucalyptus leaves, pink peonies and wax flowers. “My bouquet also had a vintage Sixties crystal pin on it to add a little bit of sparkle and act as my something old,” she said.

Saleema & David – The shoes


Her silver T-bar Mary Janes were called Archidisco by Christian Louboutin (christianlouboutin.com) and added real glitz-appeal to her glamorous big-day style.

Saleema & David – What the groom wore


David’s charcoal two-piece suit with black piping was from Ventuno 21 (moss.co.uk). He wore it with a white double-cuff shirt by Spencer Hart (spencerhart.com), cufflinks and brogues by Paul Smith (paulsmith.co.uk), a silk paisley tie by Without Prejudice (without-prejudice.com) and a crisp white pocket square by Ozwald Boateng (ozwaldboateng.co.uk).

Saleema & David – The bridesmaids


Saleema’s bridesmaids wore paisley print dresses from Warehouse (warehouse.co.uk). “I wanted them to feel that they could personalise their look and feel like themselves, so I gave them free rein over their choice of shoes and other accessories,” Saleema said.

As gifts, the couple treated their best girls to a bag of treats, including products from Lush (lush.co.uk), Charbonnel & Walker truffles (charbonnel.co.uk), an initial tote from Alphabet Bags (alphabetbags.co.uk) and soaps from Bronnley (bronnley.co.uk).

Saleema & David – All aboard the love bus


The new Mr and Mrs travelled with their 100 guests by Routemaster bus to the striking Crypt on the Green (cryptonthegreen.com), where the vaulted ceilings and exposed-brick walls provided a stunning backdrop for their heart-themed décor.

Saleema & David – The decor


Lacy bunting from Re-Found Objects (re-foundobjects.com) hung above the top table and tall, slender candles cast a warm glow over tables named after classic blends of tea.

Saleema & David – Time for tea


For the meal of finger sandwiches, scones and tarts served on colourful cake stands, the couple also placed a red-heart sugar cube from Cox & Cox (coxandcox.co.uk) on each guest’s spoon.

Saleema & David – Made you blush!


Summery pinks were the perfect complement to the pale grey palette and red accents used throughout the day. Saleema chose pretty arrangements of ranunculus, peonies and roses (“David is from Yorkshire, so we had to have some white roses,” she says) for the bouquets and tabletops, and rosy-hued cava and cordial were served at the drinks reception.

To fit the tea-time theme, the couple filled organza bags with their favourite Viennese blend called Heisse Liebe (translation: ‘Hot Love’) as favours.

Saleema & David – A labour of love


“All of our stationery was a homemade labour of love by the two of us,” Saleema explains of the simple but stylish design used on their invitations, orders of service and place names. Silver paisley-patterned paper – a chic match for the bridesmaids’ Warehouse dresses – and silk cord were sourced near the couple’s home in Vienna. “The compliments we received made all of the paper cuts on our hands well worth it!”

Saleema & David – Love notes


Rather than settle for a basic guest book, Saleema and David created a unique board of envelopes and asked friends and family to share words of wedding wisdom instead. “We had a stack of cards with prompts like ‘To be a perfect husband David should …’ and ‘Love is …’,” she explains. “We got so many funny responses!”

The couple also personalised their Marks & Spencer (marksandspencer.com) cake with cute crocheted hearts from etsy.com seller sabahnur.

Saleema & David – In the end


For the evening reception Saleema changed into a Fifties-style dress, accessorised with a Jennifer Behr bobby pin hair clip, gold birdcage veil from ebay.co.uk and pearl hair clip from Primark. Guests filled the dancefloor into the night, but Saleema and David chose to make a glamorous early exit. “Our friends organised a sparkler arch for us to run through out to our taxi at 10pm,” she remembers. “We wanted to leave while the party was in full swing and head off into the night together.”

Saleema & David – Better together


For David and Saleema, wedding planning was all about teamwork, with a little on-the-day help from Bow Occasions (bow-occasions.co.uk). “David was the perfect partner and did everything equally with me – we spent months punching holes out of red paper while watching TV to make our confetti!” she says.

“Of course, sometimes you just want to talk to another woman going through the same process, so I also started my blog modernvintagebride.blogspot.com. It really helped me organise my thoughts, and I met lots of great people through it.”

More summer real weddings:

See all the pics from Emma & Paul’s picture-perfect garden party in the Cotswolds…


Pink blooms and family photographs took centre stage for Rebecca and Raphael’s Ibiza wedding…