I know I say this most of the time, but J & J’s wedding was a really special one (what can I say? I love my job!) They not only brought the outside in with their sensational florals, but they also brought the house down with their incredible entertainment – all taking place under the roof of Hackney Town Hall, London. I am still pinching myself I was the wedding photographer to capture this one.
Hackney Town Hall, London’s best wedding venue
When you think of a town hall wedding, you’re probably not envisaging anything like Hackney Town Hall, London’s crème de la crème of ceremony spaces.
As well as the older, iconic parts of the Grade II-listed Hackney Town Hall, such as the beautiful wood-panelled Committee Rooms, there’s also the newest additions: the North and South Atria. These two spaces connect the brick walls of the original building with impossibly tall glass roofs, which give the impression of being outside when you’re actually under cover at all times. At one end of the room, the wall features an incredible panel that gives an industrial feel close-up, but further away actually works as a piece of art, revealing the windows and building features beneath.
J and J used both of the rooms for their wedding celebrations, hosting their ceremony, drinks hour, and evening reception in the North Atrium, and their delectable wedding breakfast in the South Atrium.
A springtime meadow
While the elegant, industrial character of the building brings its own character and charm from the off, the atria at Hackney Town Hall still offer you the opportunity to put your own spin on things. And this is exactly what J and J did by transforming the North Atrium into a springtime meadow!
J and J got married in March, so their flowers were a spectacular selection of bright and pastel shades studded throughout verdant foliage. They worked with the brilliantly talented Ivy Amelia Flowers, who arranged these flashes of brilliant blue and bursts of yellow with the abundant greenery into a beautiful bridal bouquet for J. She then added violet and pink tones to the mix to decorate two huge vases that flanked either side of the ceremony, as well as incredible arrangements that lined the aisle, and looked as if they were springing up from the ground itself. Later, these were moved to the end of the long trestle tables laid for the wedding breakfast, and more bold and bright flowers adorned the tabletops.
Of course, the aesthetic impression of this floral wonderland was magnificent – but it also meant the room smelled amazing. Again, it was so easy to forget that you weren’t actually outside!
A Persian wedding ceremony
As J and J had already had their legal wedding, their Hackney Town Hall London wedding was a symbolic celebration. As such, they had two friends lead their Persian wedding ceremony (and they even matched the shade of blue of their notebooks to the colour palette of the day perfectly!)
After exchanging rings, J and J began on the symbolic actions undertaken with the sofreh aghd. The sofreh aghd is a traditional Persian ceremonial spread, containing particular items to represent the couple’s happy new life together. Laid out on a tasselled cloth in front of the newlyweds was a mirror (to bring light and brightness to the marriage), two ornate candlesticks (to symbolise energy and clarity), and various nuts, fruits, and candy (to symbolise strength and sweetness). Placed on top of the termeh, a traditional Persian cloth that’s traditionally handed down between generations and is there to represent family, were seven spices to guard against the evil eye all placed in incredible cabbage leave-esque ceramic bowls, as well as Revelations of Divine Love. With a fine, silky sugar cloth being held over them, they fed each other from these delectable treats, and were showered with two sugar cones by a procession of their loved ones.
Wedding breakfast and the Bandaoke Experience
After the ceremony we headed out to the steps to take some group photos and a confetti shot (because what’s a Hackney Town Hall wedding without a shot on the stairs?!) before heading back into the North Atrium for some celebratory drinks. Here, Kitchen Party had worked their absolute magic with a selection of delicious canapés that were only to be surpassed by the menu they’d put together for the meal itself! As well as other members of their family and friends, both bride and groom gave a speech – to a rapturous reception. Then, it was time: time for the Bandaoke Experience.
What’s The Bandaoke Experience? I hear you cry. An excellent question. Basically, it’s live band karaoke – so instead of a traditional wedding band format, where they’d sing and play and you’d dance, or a traditional karaoke format, where you sing but with a pre-recorded backing track, you get to go on stage and sing your heart out with an experienced live band behind you. As cocktail waiters walked around with trays of Negronis and margaritas, everyone either tried their hand at Bandaoke, or danced enthusiastically to the people who were trying it – an incredible end to an incredible day.
Planning a Hackney Town Hall wedding?
If you’re planning a Hackney Town Hall wedding and are looking for a relaxed, documentary style wedding photographer to capture it, I’d love to chat. You can get in touch here. Or perhaps you’re planning a London wedding, but not necessarily at Hackney Town Hall – check out my intimate London wedding venue inspiration here.
Whether you’re planning supersized or super small, I also just wanted to shout out the superstar team who worked to bring J and J’s wedding to life. The couple worked with wedding planner Ann Nicholas to draw the day together so everything was perfectly organised and ran super smoothly; and thanks to the dream team of Ivy Amelia Florals, Kitchen Party Events and Well Dressed Tables everything looked – and smelled – amazing too.
If you are wondering if you need a wedding planner, you can watch my chat with Ann Nicholas here and we discuss the benefits of hiring a wedding planner.