Dale & Brent's Wedding at The Old Library, Dulwich College, London
Perfect piano for your perfect day
'If music be the food of love' the right music can create the perfect atmosphere on your special day. Whatever your musical taste, Karen's solo piano or piano and vocals can provide the perfect accompaniment to your ceremony, cocktails and wedding breakfast.
Her repertoire covers all styles from classical to jazz, from show tunes to chart hits, from ballads to Bollywood, and she will be delighted to include all your musical requests. She will liaise with you from first contact right up to your wedding day to make your day musically perfect. If you require a lasting memento of your day Karen will record your own personal CD.
Karen studied at Trinity College of Music and performs extensively both in the UK and abroad. She was one of the resident pianists at the Ritz Hotel in London for several years, and is also a regular pianist at West 5 gay venue in Ealing.
For more information,
Telephone: 07808 071206
G Wedding Directory would like to thank Dale & Brent for allowing us to publish their story.
Andrew & John.
Weddings are incredibly personal and meaningful. From the outset we wanted ours to reflect our love for each other, as well as our interests and identities. From selecting the venue right down to the name cards on the table, it was important to us that a lot of detail and care went into planning our big day.
We originally thought two ceremonies were in order, one in Canada so that my family and friends could attend, and one in London, UK, the city in which we met and currently live (which would be ideal for Dale’s family). The challenges of organising two events in separate places and our budget quickly meant our London wedding was the only way forward. Our ‘save the dates’ – designed by me with help from a good friend, complete with nuzzling national icons the Toronto CN Tower and London’s Big Ben on the front and a fridge magnet inside – went out a year and a half early with the hope of getting as many of our Canadians in attendance as possible; this also meant we had plenty of time to work on the details.
Dale and I met when we both lived in south London’s Brixton, so for our venues we went with two fairly close options: one in Dulwich and one in London Bridge. The Old Library at stately Dulwich College was both the perfect place to comfortably seat our 70 guests in an intimate interior and it was ideal for some wonderful post-wedding photographs with the backdrop of architect Sir Charles Barry’s (think London’s Palace of Westminster) grand edifice. We knew as soon as we heard Karen play at London’s West 5, that her talent was exactly what we needed for the ceremony. We wanted a mix of popular songs with classics.
Karen’s impressive ability meant until the ceremony began guests were treated to an impressive medley of Bruno Mars (Marry You), Elton John (Your Song) and, among others, Elvis Presley (Can’t Help Falling in Love). We then walked down the aisle to Beyonce’s XO, and exited to a classic – Handel’s Queen of Sheba. Like our guests we were incredibly pleased with Karen’s performance, not only did we subsequently purchase a CD recording, I even began taking lessons from her.
A very busy open-air fruit and vegetable market next to the river Thames might seem like an unlikely place for a wedding meal and reception, but an adjacent converted building belonging to Borough Market was perfect. The problem, which we quickly realised was not a problem at all, was getting our guests between both locations. For this we hired an iconic London red Routemaster. We had our official wedding photos taken with our groomsmaids before the ceremony which meant our guests weren’t awkwardly busying themselves before the reception would begin, but it also meant the celebrating began as soon as the bus departed. With a thirsty bunch of family and friends, we knew Prosecco – purchased along with the wine for the evening on a ‘booze cruise’ to France – would be a hit, so every guest was given a glass as they boarded the bus. Bubbles were sure to set the convivial spirit, but so too was a personalised pub-quiz, which guests in teams of four were treated to. Questions about our relationship and lives as well as the journey through Brixton and past some of London’s famous landmarks delighted all.
Upon arrival at the reception venue guests were met with a creative welcome sign outlining the programme, they were also invited to enjoy an English cocktail. On display was our cupcake tower and wedding cake – which not-coincidently was the exact same flavour that two years earlier I had “will you marry me?” decorated on top. Carrying through the two-towers theme, the cake, like much of the stationary, was decorated with this meaningful architecture. In addition, guests were encouraged to select a retro postcard depicting one of the many places Dale and I have visited, then write us a message – our take on a guest book – and place it in the iconic Papier-mâché red post box. Also on display was our homemade beer – made by us at a micro-brewery in Brixton infused with Canadian maple syrup we purchased on a recent trip. Our homemade label might be a bit provocative, but it certainly earned some laughs from our guests!
Soon after everyone was invited to be seated upstairs for the Canadian-British inspired dinner, and yet more personalised details were revealed. Running with the architecture theme (it might be worth saying that I have several degrees in the subject, and therefore have a keen interest) our table plan listed each person’s name under a sketch of a famous building from one of our favourite holiday destinations around the world. Identifying each table was a small sign, each with a unique building sketch, as well as painted plant pots in our wedding colours holding either a white balloon or a floral decoration (each painstakingly made by us with hundreds of cut-out coloured petals). The colours, by the way, also featured subtly throughout the day: with the groomsmaids shoes, our ties, the stationary, and our umbrellas used when taking photographs in the morning. Each place setting included a name card depicting the two-towers motif and a few words personalised to each guest. Halfway through the meal everyone was instructed to turn over their name card, some of them included a childhood photograph of us and an instruction to move tables: not only did this allow new conversations, but it also meant at the head table we were able to sit with our parents and later, for speeches, our groomsmaids. We received several compliments remarking on the thoughtfulness and care that went into planning our special day: we think these personalised touches made all the difference.
Photography: Bernard Pretorius www.bernardpretorius.com
Flowers: Karen Woolven Floral Design https://www.facebook.com/karenwoolvenflowers
Lighting: Beyond Certainty
Wedding Cake: Hummingbird Bakery https://hummingbirdbakery.com/
Balloons: Balloons of London http://balloonsoflondon.com/
DJ: GJ Discos http://www.gjsdiscos.co.uk/
Catering: The London Kitchen: http://www.thelondonkitchen.com/
Piano: Karen Newby http://www.karennewby.co.uk/