The wedding we are sharing today is special for so many reasons, but the main one has to be that the bride made her own, spectacular gown. Let’s head to London for the fun, glam and quirky wedding of Olivia and Sean.
Photography & Film by This Modern Revelry
London’s Asylum Chapel and Love My Dress recommended venue, Shoreditch Studios, were the blank canvas venues for garment technician and bridal designer Olivia and architect Sean‘s nuptials on 25 August 2021.
Both beautiful venues in their own right, the couple added a huge splash of their own personality by combining different textures and tones with a colour palette of blush pinks and nude tones, as well as a dose of shine and glitter.
Olivia, who has been making wedding dresses since 2012, and is due to launch her own label, O ace D, later this year, designed and made her own wedding dress, adding so many fun elements for show-stopping glam.
“I will be launching my brand O ace D this year. I designed and made my wedding dress myself.”
“The dress design was inspired by a neon yellow Jason Wu dress from 2012. I have had that image saved for that long, the screen shot is from my ancient iPhone 5 screen!”
“Mix Jason Wu with a Georges Hobeika-level of embellishment, Khyeli for texture and an Oscar de la Renta timeless silhouette et voilà, my dress.”
“There’s something quite sad about finishing your own dress and having the final fit and having no-one around to celebrate with you.”
“When I’d sewn the last stitch, I tried it on and thought, ‘Right! Well that’s that done’ – a bit of an anti-climax really.”
“Usually when I have a bride come to collect their dress there’s bubbles with friends and family.”
“Had I finished it earlier, I would have arranged some friends to come around and have that experience but there was just no time; I finished three days before the wedding.”
The brides wore long, elegant gowns, cleverly customised by Olivia.
“Bridesmaid dresses were one of the first things I tackled. The downside of being able to sew is that you can basically make anything, which often leads to too many options.”
“Did I want them matching? Did I want them in the same fabric different dress styles? In the end, I opted for matching.”
“I bought simple, cowl-neck, slip dresses from Asos and embellished them myself with crystals and ostrich feathers.”
“I had the ostrich feathers specially dyed which, for some reason, made them static and they became the bane of my life to fix; they looked like little octopuses.”
“With my sisters in Australia, the only chance we had to do their fittings were on my hen do, in the shared bathroom of an Amsterdam hostel.”
“I was adamant I wanted all my bridesmaids to feel and look themselves.”
“I was happy for them to wear whatever shoes they were comfortable in.”
“It was the same with hair and make-up; I wanted them all to look and feel exactly how they wanted to.”
The talented bride put together the delicate yet utterly quirky dried flower displays together herself, with the help of a florist friend.
“I originally planned on drying our own flowers but quickly scrapped that idea after attempting to dry a bunch of protea and spilling silica gel balls everywhere.”
“Luckily, I have a very talented friend who trained in floristry before fashion. She kindly came to wedding HQ at our flat and managed to arrange twelve disco balls, two bridal bouquets and four bridesmaid bouquets all in one weekend. What a superhero!”
“Sean’s suit was a bit of a fluke. He wanted something a bit jazzy and we bought it in the January sales as a back-up whilst we continued the search.”
“It fit great and we kept it on the back burner in case we came across anything else. Nothing was as good as what we had already bought.”
“The only problem was that it didn’t come with a waistcoat so we had to try find a perfect colour match to his suit. Commence the most hectic waistcoat trying on session known to man.”
“We bought nineteen waistcoats to try on and I knew Sean’s interest in this fitting session was limited so I had to work fast. Thank God we got there in the end.”
The bride walked down the aisle to ‘Where Is My Mind’ by Maxence Cyrin, preceded by the bridal party.
“First to come down the aisle were our mums, each paired with a groomsman. We thought it would be a nice touch to get them involved and show them off.”
“Then, each bridesmaid was paired up with a groomsman and sent down.”
“It was pretty hectic outside the chapel as each pair had never actually met each other before so they had the briefest of introductions and then headed in.”
“Finally, as tradition goes, my dad walked me down the aisle which was a really lovely moment. One of my favourite photos is my dad shaking Sean’s hand as we got to him.”
“Sean felt pretty strongly about having a friend conduct the ceremony. I thought it was a fun idea so was happy to go with it. We put a script together and Sean’s best man really pulled it out of the bag. He made it so personal and fun. I would definitely recommend having a friend marry you.”
“We both read a poem as part of our vows. I read ‘The Bridge Across Forever’ by Richard Bach and Sean’s was ‘Love’ by Bob Marley. We had two readings, ‘The Beauty of Love’ and ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’ by Louis de Bernieres.”
The couple exchanged rings before walking down the aisle together to ‘Want Need Love’ by Prospa.
“Sean’s wedding ring is from an independent jewellery designer in LA. It’s a thick, matte, black band, engraved with, ‘I’m f**king interested, ok’ which was my response to him fishing for compliments during our early days of texting.”
“I will eventually get around to having my wedding ring designed and built around my engagement ring but for now, I have a stand-in wedding ring from Myia Bonner at Wolf & Badger.”
“I found this moment the hardest song to pick for. In my head, that moment when you’re announced married should be an explosion of joy and elation and I wanted a song to reflect that.”
“Every time I tried to envisage this moment I could see us dancing down the aisle. Some might think the song was a bit much but it was perfect for us in that moment. It definitely got everyone dancing.”
The bride’s hair was pulled back into a messy bun, showing off her statement hoop earrings. She also wore a selection of rings from Tessa Metcalfe Jewellery.
“Regarding earrings, I knew what kind of vision I was going for but couldn’t commit to anything definite until the dress was fully finished. I made sure I had a few pairs from Regal Rose to choose from. I decided which ones to wear about ten minutes before I had to leave the house.”
“I hadn’t really thought this through and all my bridesmaids and mum were downstairs waiting for the reveal, so the very important earring choosing job was left to my fantastic hair stylist, James.”
“When I first moved to London I lived in an old 60’s ex-council, high-rise flat. My bedroom was the old living room and had access to a balcony which was overtaken by pigeons.”
“I updated my sisters every time they laid eggs and would send them pictures. One birthday, they bought me a Tessa Metcalfe single claw ring.”
“Tessa Metcalfe is a jewellery designer obsessed with pigeons and her rings are designed to look like pigeon claws. I bought my second Tessa Metcalfe ring after my grandma passed away; the colour of the stone reminded me of her couch.”
“Sean worked with Tessa to create my engagement ring, which I think is just absolutely adorable and super-sentimental.”
“I bought Sean Tessa Metcalfe pigeon claw cufflinks for his wedding present as a little nod to my engagement ring. Sean also wore a dried flower pocket filler which he made for himself, our dads and all his groomsmen. Adorable.”
The joy, fun, delicate decor and atmospheric venues were photographed and filmed by This Modern Revelry.
Their movement-filled style and alternative vision suits Olivia and Sean as a couple so well.
“Laura and Alan were utterly amazing at being there exactly when you needed them and when you didn’t even know you did.”
“They managed to make us feel really comfortable even when we were doing some of the more staged poses, by just whipping out a speaker and playing a great song to help us relax into it.”
“I can imagine they’ve seen more smoke bombs than they care to count but they were more than happy when we pulled out a huge box of them and got straight into having fun.”
“When we got our photos back, I honestly didn’t even recognise myself (in a good way, the best way).”
“The standard of their photography is mind blowing – next level.”
“When we had sat down to eat, they came over and showed us a few sneak peek shots so we could share some bits of our day with friends and family that couldn’t make the wedding.”
“When they showed me the now-named ‘Swan Shot’ of me throwing my dress, I almost fell off my chair! I thought ‘your work here is done with a shot like that’.”
“I would more than recommend This Modern Revelry to anyone who wants their wedding to be captured in a really fun and natural way.”
“I put so much time and effort into researching hair and make-up artists but was completely overwhelmed by the whole thing; I found it quite stressful. I didn’t want to look too bridal or too ‘done’. I had clear inspo pics and was looking for more fashion/ editorial makeup artist, than bridal.”
“I got to about three weeks before the wedding and still had nothing booked. I get my hair bleached at Bleach London and thought, ‘every stylist that works there is cool and not the bridal hair type, why am I not asking them?’”
“I found the amazing James Oxley who not only did an amazing job of my hair but also managed to keep me cool and grounded on the morning. He was all-round fab!”
“I was happy to do my own make-up. Two days before the wedding I went into MAC and asked for everything they would use on a bride. The shop assistant said she felt like she was on supermarket sweep running around getting everything on the list.”
Olivia wore sky-scraping, gold and silver heels, perhaps her favourite part of her bridal style.
“My dress was a joy to wear and I’m super proud of it but, you know what, I think secretly my answer is my shoes! I am a bit shoe-obsessed and I absolutely adore Terry De Havilland heels. I had a screenshot of the shoes for a few years but they were discontinued.”
“I reached out to the brand, explaining they were my dream wedding shoes and would it be possible for a custom order. It was as if the stars were aligning – they were in the process of relaunching them. My shoes were the first wedding item I purchased so I was really excited about them.”
“I had them for two years before I got to finally wear them which was absolute torture! I tried them on all the time before the wedding just to make me happy.”
After the wedding ceremony, the guests were taken to Shoreditch Studios in coaches from Anderson Travel whilst the newly-weds were driven there separately.
“I asked our chauffeur to take us over Tower Bridge as it’s my absolute favourite. Just before we got to it, we pulled over and Sean ran into Tesco and bought us a couple of pre-mixed Jack Daniels & Coke. Driving over Tower Bridge is one of my most treasured memories. It was so special and just the two of us (plus driver).”
“There were no guests, no-one taking photos, no nerves. We were driving through one of the busiest tourist spots in London in a very noticeable car – everyone was looking and waving. I felt like the queen or something.”
Sean and Olivia met through Tinder and had always wanted to celebrate at Asylum Chapel. They held their legal ceremony the day before at Wandsworth Town Hall.
“Asylum Chapel was my deal-breaker on any Covid date changes we went through and the reason our wedding date ended up being mid-week. There was no chance we were getting a weekend slot in 2021. I am completely obsessed with its ‘Romeo and Juliet’ vibes and its perfect imperfections.”
“We’ve been to a few acoustic, candle-lit gigs there since booking our wedding so when it came to walking down the aisle, I felt so comfortable and at home.”
“We are originally from neighbouring cities but met in London where we had both had moved for work.”
“I knew he was a Yorkshire boy from his profile, which I liked. We had been messaging for a couple of weeks and both secretly joked to friends we were meeting our husband/wife ahead of our first date.”
“Two and a half years later, Sean managed to get me back to the same spot to propose. I was severely hungover and not dressed for the occasion but good old Seany was fully prepared with a change of dress and shoes for me, knowing I’d want to be sparkly.”
“We got engaged on a Friday and the following week I already had him at the Asylum Chapel for an open evening. He fell in love with it and we set the date for exactly one year after our engagement. We didn’t really want to drag the planning process out and quickly managed to box the biggies off.”
“Then Covid hit and our plan of ‘not to have to string out the planning process’ really got scuppered. We had three different wedding dates, three different wedding reception venues and three million different invites sent out, but we never gave up on the end goal.”
“Our original reception venue, a railway arch, didn’t survive Covid. We knew that we wanted to stick with railway arches so hunted out every arch going around London. We both lived around Shoreditch when we first met and spent many date nights there, so it turned out really well.”
“It was so nice walking around Shoreditch with our photographers taking our photographs and saying, ‘Oh, that’s the bus stop I used to get home from Sean’s house’ or, ‘That’s where we used to get our end of night kebabs’.”
“As Sean wanted his friend to marry us, we needed to hold a legal ceremony at Wandsworth Town Hall. Afterwards, we went to the King’s Arms pub with its really lovely beer garden for drinks and a meal. We had immediate family and Sean’s best man at this ceremony.”
“I found it important to keep both weddings on consecutive days to make it a really special event. I was definitely more nervous saying vows at the registry office wedding than our main wedding, even though the guest count was up by 100%. It turns out it was a great rehearsal and almost a practice run for the next day. It enabled me to be pretty chilled out through our main ceremony and actually relax and enjoy it.”
“We wanted the wedding to be ‘us’ in a day. We’re easy-going and didn’t want to get too caught up in any of the small stuff. We didn’t want a stuffy wedding or any part of it to be uncomfortable. The ceremony was so fun and we wanted the reception to be a big party.”
“We didn’t want anything too ‘pretty pretty’ so we made sure we had a juxtaposition between the delicate dried flowers which we placed in glitter balls down the aisle and we also made concrete flower holders ourselves for our table centre-pieces. Colour-wise, it all came together quite organically. I love blush pinks and nude tones but also go mad for anything shiny and glittery. This came through with the glitter ball flower decorations, bridesmaid dresses, seating plan and name places.”
Olivia and Sean added their own décor elements to Shoreditch Studios to add personality and atmosphere.
“Shoreditch Studios is primarily a photography studio so we needed to hire the lighting required to dress the room. Thankfully the venue had a company on their supplier list so we used them. Kate Banard, Production Manager at Shoreditch Studios, was our point of call for everything regarding the venue and she was amazing.”
“The lighting company had different lighting packages to choose from with additional items such as huge disco ball (we obvs. needed to have that). We opted for festoon lights zig-zagging across the whole of the room with a strip of drop-down lights above the top table. It was simple yet effective.”
“Surprise, surprise, we did all the stationery ourselves. We made our own seating plan from clear Perspex. We painted the back and wrote all the names on the front.”
“This mirrored our wedding invites, which were made in a very similar way.”
“The place cards matched the table plan aesthetically and these were attached to mini bottles of Kraken Rum, bought from Just Miniatures Wholesale.”
“We thought this was a great way to tie in name places and wedding favours. Most people drank the rum at the table but quite a lot of guests took them home and kept them as a little memory.”
“We had was concrete table centrepieces that we made ourselves. This was a project that completely spiralled out of control, mainly because I do not have a clue what to do with concrete and I also do not have a clue how to give up on something I’m determined about. I knew our tables weren’t very wide and would be the whole length of the room so I was looking for something that could run down the middle of the tables and not be too overbearing. I came up with the concrete idea when I saw images of wooden dried flower bars which I thought were so beautiful but just didn’t quite match our style – they were almost too pretty. I was already looking at concrete ideas and thought, ‘why now marry the two together?’.”
“It was a messy and very long process but I was delighted with the result. They were a labour of love to make but when we walked into the dressed room at the wedding and saw everything come together, I knew all the hard work was worth it. It looked even better than I had imagined.”
The three-course wedding breakfast was from Cater London.
“We were introduced to Cater London through Shoreditch Studio. Greg and his team were a dream on the day.”
“Their operation was seamless and so professional with loads of polite staff on hand.”
“I loved sitting at the top table and looking out at all our guests mingling. It was really lovely seeing all our favourite people under one roof, all making friends and chatting to each other.”
“I bloody loved, loved, loved all the speeches! I’m a sucker for speeches at anyone’s wedding, let alone my own!”
On planning and getting married in the Covid pandemic, the couple have the following thoughts to share.
“I think we have been as lucky as any 2020 couple could be trying to plan a wedding. We went through hell but feel like we made the right decisions at the right time. We didn’t bury our heads in the sand and made proactive choices. I was actually relieved when we made the decision to postpone the first date (my dress was not on track to be finished).”
“We decided to postpone the second date mere days before the roadmap announcement was made, which meant we were in a good position to pick a new (third) date and secure it with all vendors before everyone went crazy.”
“One of the main impacts on our wedding was that my sisters couldn’t attend which was really sad. They both live in Australia and there was nothing that could be done about it. At first I put on a brave face but realisation quickly seeped in that I was missing two bridesmaids.”
“I was missing who I was supposed to be getting ready with the morning of the wedding and the family unit was missing two main members. I shipped over their bridesmaid dresses to wear on the day (one of which was stolen, a whole other story) and we had them on Zoom as much of the day as possible which was great, but it’s not quite the same. I’m the first of three daughters to get married and not having my two sisters in our wedding photos is just sad.”
“We had a first dance planned and it almost didn’t happen as we were enjoying the day too much.”
“Sean had to come grab me, mid getting changed into my second dress, to remind me we hadn’t done it yet.”
“It was to a song called ‘Delete’ by DMAs. Sean introduced me to the DMAs so they will always remind me of him and when I started collating music for our wedding playlist, this just really stuck out.”
“‘Delete’ has a real build to the song and I kept envisioning all our friends jumping in and getting involved. Once I started thinking it could be our first dance I cried every time I heard it, which is when I knew it was the one for us.”
“For the party, we had a playlist going which we’d put together. As the night went on, our guests started putting their own requests on and before we knew it, we had a Voguing dance-off going on which was very entertaining.”
Words of Wedded Wisdom
“Make sure you love your photographers and/or videographers because other than your partner, they are who you spend most of the day with.”
“Planning what family and group photos we wanted really helped us plough through all them fairly swiftly without too much faffing around from guests.”
“Don’t scrimp on things that are important to you.”
“Take moments out of your day for just the two of you.”
“Accept things don’t always go to plan.”
“Something that really helped us was having an hour by hour running order of the day and asked a groomsman to help keep an eye on it and gently navigate the day.”
“This also massively helped the caterers and venue staff keep us on track.”
Olivia and Sean, I’ve absolutely loved this insight into your wonderful day. Thank you so much for sharing it with us and Olivia, I’m in awe of your creative talents and wish you the best of luck with the launch of your bridal brand. This Modern Revelry, thank you so much to you both for your gorgeous photography.
Love this venue? We highly recommend Shoreditch Studios as a blank canvas wedding venue. Shoreditch Studios brings all the cool, East London, converted warehouse vibes.