DAVID & PETE’S SOPHISTICATED TOWER BRIDGE WEDDING
Look at these guys! We absolutely love their wedding and pictures shot during their walk in South Bank, they are hilarious. Take a look at pictures taken by Rhapsody Road Photography, and read what they told us about their big day.
HOW DID YOU MEET?
We met each other on the Worldwide web! It was New Years Day 2011, we chatted online and decided to meet that evening. The rest is history! We started dating straight away and I, David, moved in with Pete on April Fools day 2011!
In November 2012 we went to Australia to meet Pete’s family who live in the Hunter Valley area of New South Wales. We arranged an additional trip to visit the Great Barrier Reef. To my surprise, Pete proposed at a waterfall inside the rainforest in Queensland-just the two of us. It was super romantic and amazing.
We chose shoes by Crocket & Jones because we wanted high quality goodyear welted men’s footwear and it does not get better than this.
We picked shoes shaped the same but I had lace ups and Pete chose buckles so they did not look identical even though we knew they were the same shape.
Our personalized cuff links were from Links of London. David’s were engraved D&P and Pete’s P&D. We had the same engraving inside our wedding rings along with ‘May 2017’
Finding straightforward high quality men’s wedding bands was harder than we thought. Wedding jewellery seems to be all about the ladies! A friend recommended Ritz Fine Jewellery and the service they provided was second to none and made both grooms feel like brides!
We got suits by Thom Sweeny in Mayfair. Their style is relaxed yet polished and summed up what we wanted for our celebration. We chose the same cut/style of suits but with our own personal twist-because we didn’t want to look like matching gays! So we chose different Italian cloths. I chose outward trouser pleat while Pete opted for no pleat. Pete had raised trouser hem and I didn’t. We shared the whole made to measure experience together; choosing our suits and going for fittings was so much fun and wonderful to share, which straight couples don’t get or do!
The best thing about a gay wedding is you can cherry pick all the best bits of wedding celebration formats and leave out the stuff that doesn’t work for you. Tower Bridge, for example, was all set up for hiding the bride from the groom before the ceremony but we didn’t want any of that because we had lived together for 5 years and part of our wedding day was getting ready together at home with our best man, a couple of friends, and our fabulous wedding photographer Em.
We wanted the day to be personal to us. The 343 bus to City Hall stops just outside our apartment. We decided it would be a giggle to get the bus to the wedding … so we did! Our best man wasn’t keen but that made us even more determined to go with our plans. After getting off the bus we had a short walk to Tower Bridge around MORE London. It was lunchtime and it was such a cool experience mingling with the office workers who were busy grabbing lunch as we walked to get married on one of the most iconic places in London. It was an unexpected bonus to the day.
London is our adopted home and we love it. Where could be more iconic for a wedding than Tower Bridge. Pete’s family and friends were coming from Australia to share our day so we wanted it to be special for them too. When we started looking at same sex wedding venues, so many places were geared up for blushing brides in soft focus with big flowing dresses and staircases. That was not for us. As soon as we saw the North Tower Lounge at Tower Bridge we knew that was it. The exterior screams London, the interior is gothic and quite industrial yet has a leaded window, which is strangely church like and was perfect for our ceremony. It’s the best London wedding venue for us. The other dealmaker was that the maximum capacity was 40, which was perfect.
We chose to have one best man- our best friend Phil. He loved his role and enjoyed himself so much on the day. One of my (David) colleagues, Lady Caroline Davison, happens to be a registrar and was given special permission by Tower Hamlets to read the ceremony. It made it really personal and special to be married by a friend.
After the initial champagne reception at Tower Bridge we hired a vintage route-master double decker bus to take the wedding party over to The Drawing Room at Ham Yard Hotel in Piccadilly. During the bus ride my mum, Norma, realised I had a ring like the one my dad had bought her. We shared a special moment being a bit sad while remembering my dad who passed away several years ago.
Some of the best bits of our wedding day were climbing onto the roof of Tower Bridge with our photographer, Em, for amazing views and amazing London wedding portraits. Then our super chilled reception with our friends and family at Ham Yard.
We don’t really get wedding cake and we just knew our family and friends would prefer cheese. So we worked with NEALS Yard and chose a Montgomery Cheddar, Colston Bassett Stilton, Red Leicester and and Tunworth Soft Cheese. We cut it as soon as we arrived at the reception. Half was whisked off and bagged up for guests to take away and the other half cut up for us to enjoy as nibbles with out drinks and canapés.
We chose to have our wedding reception at Ham Yard because it’s classy, cosy, relaxed and the service is exceptional. We decided not to have the traditional sit down meal and instead opted to have canapés and ‘small bowls’ of delicious food sent around. We chose a menu of: Smoked Haddock and Salmon Fish cakes with Parsley Sauce, Cumberland Chipolatas with Mashed Potato and Onion Gravy and Butter Chicken with Pilau Rice. Oh and salted caramel lollipops for those with a sweet tooth! This worked really well because people could choose when and what to eat. It also meant that our wedding guests mingled and had a good giggle…we also had a free bar all evening.
Speeches were kept to a minimum, just the best man Phil and Pete’s dad Rob. And they did these as soon as we arrived at Ham Yard along with the cutting of the ‘cake’. That got all the formalities out of the way so we could all enjoy a relaxed, chilled drinks party till late-but not too late, because the next day Pete and I were going to Zambia on our safari ‘buddymoon’!
Thank Goodness we didn’t have and band or a DJ or a playlist because nobody would have listened to it if we had! It was all about our fabulous friends and family. Nobody needed a dance floor or entertainment. They did it themselves as we thought they would!
Our photographer was the amazing Emma from Rhapsody Road Photography. We found her by looking for a creative, London wedding photographer. We love her energetic, playful and creative approach to photographing weddings. The first time we met, we all shared a bottle of wine and lots of laughs. The deal was done; we’d found an amazing wedding photographer and a new friend.
Our ‘buddymoon’ to Zambia was with 6 friends who we have done several London to Paris bike rides with for a fab charity called The U Foundation, raising money for remote communities to build schools and facilities. Our best man is a pilot and he flew the light aircraft we had chartered to take us to the bush to go on safari at Kapamba lodge with Bush Camp Company
We rounded of the honeymoon relaxing at a luxury lodge on the Zambei Siankaba and flew over Victoria Falls in convoy in microlights.
Ceremony venue: Tower Bridge
Reception venue: The drawing room at Ham Yard
Hair: Ted’s Grooming Room, Holborn
Flowers at the ceremony venue: Hayford and Rhodes
Tower Bridge canapés and champagne reception: Rhubarb
Cheese cake: Neals Yard Dairy
Cufflinks: Links of London
Wedding bands: Ritz Fine Jewellery
Shoes: Crocket & Jones
Suits: Thom Sweeny