Your London Wedding - March/April 2023 (Issue 88)

Leanne and Paul met in the summer of 2013, at a house-warming party hosted by Leanne’s friend and her husband, who just happened to be Paul’s brother. “We still thank them for buying that house and throwing that party!” says Leanne. They instantly clicked and started dating. “For the next couple of years, I spent periods of time working in London and we loved making the most of our time in the city together, with Paul visiting every other weekend,” she says. By the end of 2015, Leanne was settled back in Aberdeen, and they spent time living life to the full and making memories together. “We weren’t sure if a wedding would ever be part of our story as the idea of a big traditional celebration never suited us,” she says. However, things changed when the pandemic hit, and they started to see more micro-weddings taking place. “It changed the way we were thinking, so after nine wonderful years together, we decided to tie the knot in a way that reflected us, in a city that we love.” The duo got engaged in September 2021, on Eilean Shona, a remote island off the west coast of Scotland. “It was our third visit to the island, and Paul had planned to propose on the shore of the secluded beach, but his big moment was hampered by the arrival of a group of kayakers just as he planned to get down on one knee,” says Leanne. “After a quick detour to the summit of the island, he proposed as I was looking out at the views. I was so surprised when I turned around, that I forgot to say yes,” she says. “Eilean Shona is a completely magical place, where J.M. Barrie holidayed in the 1920s and is said to be the real-life inspiration for Neverland, so it was truly special to us both to experience that moment there.” ELOPEMENT VIBES They opted for a micro wedding in London, followed by a party at home in Scotland with all their friends and family. “The style of our day was casual, relaxed, and personal. We both knew that a big ceremony wouldn’t suit us, so we opted for a semi-elopement vibe with 12 of our nearest and dearest and chose London as our destination because it’s one of our favourite places in the world,” says Leanne. “I loved the idea of a city-hall wedding, and Old Marylebone Town Hall is a truly historic, stunning venue. I love thinking about all the couples that have walked through those doors as newlyweds over the years,” she adds. They wanted to follow the ceremony with a fun afternoon of drinking and dining in the pub, and The Phene was perfect for that with its picturesque beer garden and beautiful private rooms. “We ended our day with drinks outside at the rooftop bar of the Treehouse Hotel where we were staying for the weekend,” she says. “London was experiencing a mega-heatwave and sitting outside in the warmth of the night looking out over the city, under the brightest full moon, was the best end to our day.” VINTAGE GLAMOUR Leanne wore stunning Catherine Deane separates for her bridal outfit. “I saw them on Instagram and I loved them instantly. I thought about making a spontaneous purchase, but my cautious nature got the better of me and I ended up visiting a few traditional bridal shops in Aberdeen over several months,” she recalls. After not finding ‘the one’, she followed her gut and made an online appointment with Catherine Deane. “I loved the entire range, but the Monique Top stood out to me as having a glamorous vintage vibe, which felt completely me, and the gorgeously light Anika skirt was exactly what I wanted for a summer city wedding,” she says. “I didn’t know anyone who’d ordered their wedding dress online, so I was anxious but the process was amazing. I visited the Catherine Deane showroom when I was in London a few months later for my second look outfit for our reception party. I had the best bridal shopping experience in their gorgeous showroom and chose a bridal jumpsuit for my party look,” she adds. Leanne accessorised with a Catherine Deane veil and carried a small, beaded handbag that complemented the intricate detailing on her bridal top. “My shoes were from a Spanish designer Flordeasoka, which I got in Madrid whilst on holiday there with some friends – I chose green velvet sandals with a gold block heel, as I really wanted something that didn’t feel too bridal and I knew I’d wear them again,” she says. 33 REAL WEDDINGS