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Real Wedding | Katie + William

Tell us a little about yourselves!

Both myself and Will are from York in the United Kingdom. We grew up a village apart, first meeting at secondary school and then we starting dating when we were 16! Will proposed on my 21st birthday at the beautiful Aroma restaurant in Rome overlooking the Colosseum It was a total surprise and such a magical moment! I am completing a degree in Civil Engineering and work as an Apprentice Civil Engineer in the Rail Industry, whilst Will is a Professional Boxer. There is definitely a contrast in our work however, away from that we both love fashion, travelling whilst learning about history and art around the world - as well as enjoying a good bottle of wine! Growing up together has given us such a special bond. We felt that getting married was the perfect way to start our future together. 7 years to the day that we started dating, we did just that - on a chilly day in New York City.

Why did you decide to get married where you did?

When we decided to elope there was only one place we could imagine going to - New York City! We felt it channelled us both, a little crazy and very romantic. We had originally planned to elope at City Hall however, restrictions due to the pandemic had made the process quite complicated. As we live in the UK, we decided the best option would be to have our ceremony at a hotel. We knew we wanted this to be in Soho near to the West Village. When we first saw the Soho Grand Hotel, we knew it was the perfect location for us! We loved the chilled vibe of the hotel and felt instantly at home. We booked one of the suites which had a private terrace with skyline views over Midtown and the Empire State Building. We chose to have our ceremony on the terrace which was conducted by our officiant Alex, who was amazing and really made the ceremony special and relaxed! Being fifteen floors high outside on the terrace and amongst the occasional car horn created a fun atmosphere to get married in - and we were able to pop back into our room when it got a bit too cold! Following our ceremony we wandered around the beautiful tree-lined streets of the West Village and Greenwich. We feel that captured the feeling of our elopement, that in a big city like Manhattan we could still be lost in our own little world together. Restrictions for flying to the US from the UK meant that it was impossible to travel until November. Up until a month before our wedding I was convinced we would not be able to elope in December, as we had planned. Will remained very relaxed and said he knew everything would work out - and he was right! Travel restrictions were removed weeks before we were scheduled to fly.

Tell us about your outfits.

Although eloping was not very traditional, I still wanted to have some elements of tradition in my outfit. I decided to try to incorporate something new, something borrowed, something old and something blue. For the ‘old’ I decided to wear my late grandmothers 1980’s vintage Burberry wool coat. I’m so glad I did, it fit perfectly with the vibe of our photos and was also a lovely tribute to such a stylish lady!

For the 'new' I wore a white silk organza mini dress by Odylyne the Ceremony. I first saw the dress in January 2021 and fell in love with it straight away! It’s super playful and was very me. I borrowed pearl drop earrings from my mother. It was important to me that I had something of hers with me even though she wasn’t there on the day. For the blue I wore the classic blue Manolo Blahnik heels, which were surprisingly comfy, despite how much walking we did! Will wore a Kingsman suit by Huntsman Savile Row. When he saw the two piece he could instantly see himself as a character in Mario Puzo’s ‘The Godfather’. He wore Loake Chelsea boots, handmade in England and bought as a wedding present from his mother, as well as a plum roll neck jumper.

What was the most important aspect for you, in terms of planning your wedding?

Most importantly we wanted our day to be fun and stress free! However, our most important piece of planning was finding the right photographer for us. This was particularly important, as this would be the only way to share moments of our day with our loved ones. Samm Blake our photographer, captured our day so perfectly and helped to create the most special memories to treasure forever. We hadn’t really planned any exact locations where we wanted photos, other than around The West Village and Greenwich. However, Samm knew exactly where to take us in order to capture the vibe we wanted. We had so much fun walking around the streets not really knowing where we were going!

Were there any elements that were important for you to incorporate?

We had our officiant Alex read part of a song ‘Audition’ from ‘La La Land’. We both love this song and the words captured a feeling about how we live our lives and how we hope to live our future together. He then read a poem about coming together, meeting in the middle, balance and the importance of working together in a relationship. We thought this was really special.

Any tips for couples getting married, particularly during the pandemic?

Be flexible! If the last two years have taught us anything, it’s that everything can change so quickly. Plan as much as possible and just enjoy, knowing that you will have a fantastic day no matter what! Some of the most special moments of our day were last minute and spontaneous.

Are there any vendors that you would like to tell us a little more about?

We are so so thankful to Samm Blake for creating such timeless photos for us. We knew we wanted her to take our photos from the moment we first stumbled across her work on Pinterest! We were blown away with her work and she went above and beyond to help us before and after our elopement too, from helping us with Covid tests, vendor advice and even steaming my wedding dress for me just before our ceremony!

I was so pleased with my makeup and hair which was done by Tore Sejdiu! This was my first time having my makeup professionally done and I loved how natural but amazing I felt! My flowers and Wills boutonnière were made by One Flower By L. They perfectly captured our floral vision.

Alex our officiant was a recommendation from Samm, when our ceremony plans changed. Alex was fantastic and created a great flow to our wedding, whilst also making it a fun and romantic occasion for us!

Photographer : Samm Blake @sammblake | Ceremony Location : Soho Grand Hotel @sohograndhotel | Celebrant : Alex @nynjweddingofficiant | Flora : One Flower By L @oneflowerbyl | HMUA : Tore Sejdiu @tore__mua | Suit : Kingsman Suit by Huntsman Savile Row | Dress : Odylyne the Ceremony @odlynetheceremony | Engagement Ring : Tiffany + Co @tiffanyandco | Wedding Rings : York Jeweler | Katie's Shoes : Manolo Blahnik @manoloblahnik | William's Shoes : Loake Chelsea Boots @loakeshoemakers | Coat : Vintage Burberry @burberry


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