Planned to perfection


After PWM got a glimpse into Kirsten and Effie’s wedding planning process in our summer ’14 issue,  Effie is back to share the details of their quirky London wedding. Photography by Nick Tucker

It was a beautiful crisp and sunny day on 15 November when we exchanged vows at Hackney Town Hall in front of our 45 guests. We each arrived separately in a 1960s silver cloud Rolls Royce, having spent the previous night apart. Finally, after months of planning, we got to see each other in our carefully selected outfits, with big nervous grins.

I floated down the ‘aisle’ of the newly refurbished art deco grand suite, wearing a whimsical princess dress, while Kirsten waited at the front in a bespoke, cashmere camel suit. A string quartet played at the front.

The team at Hackney Town Hall were very welcoming and ensured the marriage service ran smoothly. My friend read a short poem and everyone sang Love Is All Around by Wet Wet Wet – cheesy, but everyone knows the words (although we’d prepared a schedule for the day with them on, just in case!) Our rings were made for us by a lovely guy, Simon Rees, based on Columbia Road in Shoreditch. It was important for us to have a local wedding and use talent from the area.

During the service we had both written vows for each other, in addition to the ceremony wording. This for us was the most important part of the day and the intensity of it all showed when Kirsten broke down – I noticed a few people with hankies at that point. As the string quartet played songs by Des’ree in the background, we signed the register, emotional and excited to start the celebrations with our friends and family.

Outside on the steps after photos, we gave all our guests flower leis to start the party, in recognition of our honeymoon destination, Hawai’i. As something a little special for our guests, we ordered taxis to take them the short distance to the next venue, and had prepared CDs with songs for the journey.

Once we arrived at Les Trois Garcons in Shoreditch, the atmosphere was thrilling. It was wonderful to have everyone you love in one room. We started with a champagne reception and with canapés, at which point someone suggested they try to see how many lesbians could fit under my dress – turns out 15!

For the wedding breakfast, we ate scallops, followed by chateaubriand – finishing it all off with an almond tart. We also had three performers in between the speeches and wedding breakfast: the fabulous Mzz Kimberley, hosting and singing; the very talented Amber Topaz, providing some naughty ditties and burlesque; and Eric Bloom on piano.

Our first dance came too soon, to the tune It Had To Be You by Frank Sinatra – before we knew it, we were cutting the rainbow cake and heading onward to drinks at Lounge Lover, and finally to bed at the Boundary Hotel.

The anticipation, careful planning and saving to make the most memorable day of our lives together so far was all worth it. It has all been captured so elegantly by our photographer Nick Tucker.

Our friends said it was the best wedding they had ever been to, which we believe is in part due to keeping it intimate and choosing venues which allowed us to show our personalities – staying true to the things we love in life: each other and good food!