West London wedding party in Ladbroke Grove
When Ellie and Phil decided to tie the knot, they decided to do something very different to your regular punters; elope to Japan. This happened in May last year, just the day after I photographed them both at the Barbican for an engagement shoot (which, by happy coincidence, was showing the excellent Japanese House exhibition at the time). Luckily for their friends and family, they returned in July and threw a huge West London wedding party in Ladbroke Grove. This of course happened after previous wedding party in Devon, and a last minute party picnic in Hampstead Heath… So these two know how to party hard. Wisely, they chose the excellent planner Andri Benson of Always Andri wedding design, who brought a ‘theatrical and magical’ design to the party. Also, this was a send off of sorts to the Dock Kitchen for myself - a venue I photographed in early on in my first year as an alternative wedding photographer. Sadly, the lease on this venue expired at the end of 2017, so here’s hoping chef Stevie Parle remerges with a similarly stunning venue soon.
So, back to this West London wedding party in Ladbroke Grove then. After a brainstorming session, bride Ellie and planner Andri decided on Japanese themed decor, with the colours red and pink closing representing the cherry blossom seen in Japanese parks in spring. Guests were greeted on the walk up by huge pink balloons attached to the sheds that line the Dock Kitchen’s entry path, alongside the Grand Union Canal. Upon reaching the entrance, a huge swoosh of red and pink balloons by Bubblegum Girls wrapped around the door, along with a beautiful vintage sign painted by Beyond Vintage. Inside, guests were greeted by cherry blossom along the walls and windows by Emma Soulsby flowers, who also provided huge bespoke bunches. At the back of the venue where the band would later play were huge paper flowers provided by Paper Petal Wild, on the terrace more flowers and lanterns lined the roof of the marquee, where a small tiki bar provided cocktails to the guests throughout the day. The centrepiece of the outdoor terrace was one of the most staggeringly awesome cakes I’ve ever seen - a “unicorn croquembouche cake”, standing at over one metre tall, from Anges De Sucre. Along with the cupcakes she also provided, this was some serious work, so much detail… I wonder if they do a gluten free version?
Despite dark clouds in the morning and rain predicted, the sun shone and the West London wedding party in Ladbroke Grove rolled on. Guests arrived and snacked on canapés, cold beers, fine cocktails flowed. Two members of The Parktones provided music in the daytime, and would return as a full band in the evening to get the party moving. Groom Phil’s two teenage children joined the best man in provided many anecdotes that caused both Ellie and Phil and wince and and laugh out loud. Later on in the evening after excellent Mexican food, Phil joined his daughter on guitar and his son on drums (with one of the Parktones on bass) to start the rawkus part of the party, with guest dancing long into the night.
Venue and catering- The Dock Kitchen
Design & planning- Andri Benson at Always Andri
Flowers - Emma Soulsby
Balloons - Bubblegum Girls
Giant paper flowers - Paper Petal Wild
Cake - Anges de Sucre
Blackboard Sign - Beyond Vintage
Marquee- Toby's Tents
Band- The Parkas via The Band Boutique