Beauty and barbecue

Kay and George planned a chilled day with Greek flavour

A true high school sweetheart story if ever we heard one, Kay and George met on the first day of sixth form. "I was attracted to her openness, how outgoing she was, and her style," explains George. "I loved how calm George was,"Kay reveals. "He was quite quiet when I met him and I enjoyed the fact that, the more you got to know him, the more he revealed himself to be this opiniated and funny person - that, and his looks!"

The couple were together for 10 years before George popped the question or, as Kay laughs, "Well, actually he told me to marry him! A while before he proposed he'd bought me a teddy ornament that had a little envelope on it but there wasn't anything in it. I'd tease him about it now and then, saying 'still nothing', until one day, there was something. Inside was a small note that said 'Marry me', I turned to look at him and he was on one knee, holding out the most beautiful ring."

Beauty and barbecue: Image 1 With George's large Greek family to accommodate, the couple started to hunt for a venue with space for everyone. "We were looking for something different and affordable, and were pleasantly surprised to find the West Reservoir Centre a bus ride away from our home," says Kay.

Beauty and barbecue: Image 2 Having thrown a barbecue to celebrate their engagement, Kay and George were keen to recreate that chilled vibe for their big day, opting for a barbecue-style feast that would appeal to everyone. "We chose a non-traditional ceremony at Islington Town Hall instead of a Greek Orthodox church so we wanted to serve authentic Cypriotcuisine at the reception," explains George.

Beauty and barbecue: Image 3a

Kay and George also eschewed tradition for their cake, opting for a semi-naked, ombre style with four tiers of lemon drizzle, Victoria and coconut andlime sponge with a topper that read 'finally Mr & Mrs'. "We met our cakemaker at a wedding show at Islington Town Hall and we knew she was the one as soon as we tasted her samples," says Kay.

Beauty and barbecue: Image 3

With atmospheric lighting and plenty of wowfactor already on offer at the reception venue, the couple chose to keep the decor simple, with table centrepieces composed from a heart-shaped slate and glass bottles tied with a mint ribbon and filled with peonies, roses and gypsophila in shadesof white and coral.

Beauty and barbecue: Image 4 Like many brides, Kay started her search for a wedding dress with a specific style in mind, and came out with something entirely different, although unlike the majority, she found the one after visiting just one shop. I had intended on wearing a tea-length dress and, after trying on every short dress they had, I stumbled across my gown and fell in love with it, she admits. Kay completed her look with a crystal bracelet and matching stud earrings, and Ted Baker shoes a gift from George not to mention the sunnies she picked up on her wedding morning, ducking into Accessorize after her hair appointment. Meanwhile, George chose a grey suit with an ivory paisley tie and pocket square and Ted Baker shoes. Both bride and groom found their own outfit more easily than their respective bridesmaids and groomsmen. "The bridesmaids wore mint dresses from Dorothy Perkins," says Kay. "Finding a style that all of them liked was a mission in itself and more stressful than choosing my own." George adds, "Our groomsmen are all such different shapes, so finding a suit that flattered them all was proving to be quite the task. We eventually went to Next, which had the same suit in different cuts that flattered all of them."

Beauty and barbecue: Image 5 But hard as dressing the bridal party was, Kay and George confess that the trickiest thing to organise was the tableplan, "It's difficult to seat so many people withoutalso having to worry about who isn't speaking to who and why this person shouldn't be sat next to that person," says Kay. "In the end we managed to seat everyone in theperfect spots, keeping our closest friends and family near to the top table and even playing cupid with some of our single guests, which seems to have worked!"And with George's Greek-Cypriot roots and Kay's English and Caribbean background, the music selection was tough. "Our families are so different but we had an amazing DJ, Tony. We discussed what we liked and he advised us and created the perfect soundtrack to our day," Kay reveals.

Kay and George's contact book

Bride's dress

David's Bridal
www.davidsbridal.co.uk

Bridesmaids' dresses

Dorothy Perkins
www.dorothyperkins.com

Cake

Catering

The Big Fat Greek Barbecue Company
www.bfgbbqco.com

Ceremony venue

Islington Town Hall
www.sayidoislington.com

Entertainment

Flowers

Elisana Florist
www.elisanaflorist.co.uk

Groom's suit

Groomsmen's suits

Photographer

Reception venue

West Reservoir Centre
www.bettervenues.org.uk

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