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An Intimate Wedding at Islington Town Hall in London

By Alexandra Macon | Photography by 

Helen Abraham

Alice and Sinead had just moved into their first home together when they agreed to get engaged. “During Christmas break that year, we decided one morning that getting married was something that we wanted to do and that’s how the decision was made,” says Alice. Initially they considered the idea of having a tiny, “secret” ceremony with only two other people. But they scrapped those plans after giving the whole thing some thought and realizing that they actually really cared about sharing their big day with family and friends.

Even so, Alice and Sinead managed to keep their wedding very small and intimate. They decided to get married at the Mayor’s Parlour at Islington Town Hall, which only has capacity for 12 guests. “It was perfect for what we were looking for,” said Alice.

While choosing where to get married was easy, deciding what to wear was anything but. “Neither of us wanted to wear traditional wedding dresses,” explains Alice. Sinead was leaning towards the idea of a jumpsuit and eventually found a beautiful blue Diane Von Furstenberg number. Alice was looking for something colorful, as well. “I went to what felt like every shop in London,” she says. When a few months before the wedding, Alice still hadn’t found the perfect look, both she and Sinead took a day off work and headed to Sloane Square to go shopping together. “The dress I ended up buying and wearing was the first dress I tried on that day in the first shop we went into,” she remembers. The white Hugo Boss gown ended up perfectly complementing Sinead’s blue jumpsuit. For jewelry, Alice paired her look with moonstone earrings that belonged to her mother, while Sinead went with a colorful necklaces from Oliver Bones. Patricia, a makeup artist from Bride and Roses, helped the brides get ready the day of the wedding. “We both went for very natural looking make up and were extremely happy with Patricia’s work,” she adds.

When the day finally arrived, Alice described the ceremony as “very emotional and moving.” The couple had Sinead’s mother recite “Scaffolding,” a poem by Seamus Heaney, while Sinead’s friend, Helen, read an excerpt from Alain de Botton’s viral New York Times essay “Why You Will Marry The Wrong Person.” Alice’s sister did E.E. Cumming’s “I Carry Your Heart.”

After the ceremony and ensuing lunch at Ottoleghi, one of the pair’s favorite restaurants, more guests joined the group for a big party at the Londesborough pub. The entire space was decorated with colorful, festive flags by Emma Bunting and family photos. “We didn’t want to have a formal sit-down meal, so we served our guests lots of canapés instead,” Alice explains. Mini-burgers, chicken kebabs, and vegetable tarts were on offer, as were cheese tiers from Courtyard Dairy and doughnuts from the London Borough of Jam. Before dancing kicked off, speeches from Sinead’s father, Alice’s mother, and both of the brides entertained their guests. “Sinead’s speech was particularly funny,” Alice adds. And it was one of the proudest moments of the day for me to listen to her speak so enthusiastically about our life together.”

When it came time to really get things going, the newlyweds had an appropriate first song: David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance.” After a full day of celebrating, the reception ended just after midnight. “We were exhausted but elated when we went back to our home together,” says Alice. “And despite how tired we were, we still ended up staying up until 3:30 a.m. talking about everything!”