When Shalma and Leo contacted me last year I was intrigued to hear more about their wedding plans… it was the first time I’d shot a wedding in somebody’s home and I was keen to hear their plans for how they planned to make their day special without having to book the grandest venue in London to do so.
The wedding was such a fantastic day, and the fact that the reception was at Leo’s mum’s back garden didn’t take anything away from how special the day was… if anything it made the day even more special. I asked Shalma to explain how they made their back garden wedding super special.
Here’s what Shalma said:
The most important thing to us when planning the wedding was doing everything our way. We didn’t want to be pushed into doing soemthing that wasnt us or inviting guests just because they’re your distant cousin 10 times removed!!!
Every detail in our wedding was personal to us, from the hand made bunting, cake, random mix of music, Leo’s geeky cufflinks! Because we are from two very different backgrounds, deciding not to have a “white wedding” gave us the freedom to do what we wanted.
It was great fun seeing Leo for the first time at the registry office! There was a crowd of people in the way and we kept looking for eachother, once i saw him it was great. I laughed so much!Walking down the aisle together was a deliberate decision as it meant we were starting our marriage as equals. I dont believe in being “given away”. It just made sense that we walk in together.
I love the photos of me and Leo. Love! At first I didnt want to missed out on the party but the shoot time was only an hour and was totally worth it. Im glad we took your advice to do this. Not only was it nice to have some photos of us but it gave us a moment to come back down to earth and have a moment to reflect on what just happened!
Being from a muslim background I thought I would be wearing red so I never had a desire to wear white as my wedding dress. I knew straight away that I wanted a short dress and Ive always loved the 50s style. Candy Anthony was everything rolled into one. Perfect! Leo’s look has always been classic so it couldn’t be your average penguin suit. He did loads of research into the sort of suit he wanted and eventually decided that the only way to get the right look was to get a bespoke suit. We couldn’t afford Saville Row but I found a great company which makes bespoke at affordable prices. Leo found a picture of Robert Downey Jr at the Sherlock Holmes premiere and used that as his inspiration.
The reception at Leo’s mums house was so beautiful. We went for a secret garden look. Lots of greenery with hints of colour dotted around. I love bright colours which is where the indian theme came into it, indian silk bunting, coloured jam jars for candles and flowers. Having no colour theme or venue restrictions gave me freedom to do all of that. What made the reception really special was the personal connection to the house, Leo grew up there, we lived there for a while and it has happy memories. It just seemed right to add our wedding to all the memories.
Im so glad that we didnt have a venue or a sit down dinner to pay for. We put most of the money we had into food and photography as these two aspects were the most important to us. You don’t need to have a full wedding breakfast, in fact having canapes and mini food served through out the day meant there was a less formal structure. No one went hungry, we didn’t need tables, chairs or cutlery and we had all our favourite foods! We had a small budget but we got everything we wanted. All of our friends and family helped out so much that it was very personal. Our day was special because we had no restrictions, no time limits, no colour theme, no head table and no band or cheesy DJ. It was two best frinds saying I do the way they wanted with who they wanted.
Thanks Shalma! This wedding caught the eye of Rock N Roll Bride and was one of her featured weddings!
Shalma’s wedding make-up was by one of my recommended make-up artists Claire McDonnell.