If you thought seeing a grown adult dressed in an animal costume was surprising, Georgina Ball has you beat. In December 2014, while dining with a friend at a London café, a giant bear wandered her way—and then got down on one knee and proposed. Beneath the costume was Mark Baynes, her then-boyfriend of seven years.
That's why, when the couple—who met while working at the same law firm—set about designing their wedding day, they did so with one mission: It would be as fun as their engagement! Mark and Georgina skipped traditional wedding venues an instead booked a beautifully crumbling 19th-century chapel and quirky former pub filled with vintage furniture and eye-catching art. They kept the details simple (to let the spaces really shine) and focused on creating a relaxed vibe where their guests—who flew in from all over the globe!—could really let loose. Photographed by Emilie White, this fun London wedding may have you rethinking that ballroom!
While dress shopping, Georgina narrowed her search down to one designer—Rime Arodaky, but had a hard time choosing her favorite style. She shopped at The Mews, deciding to go with the dress that stood out the most. "I loved the back of the dress I chose in the end and it was very different to other dresses I’d seen before," she says.
Instead of a veil, the bride paired her gown with loose waves and a crown of rose buds and olive leaves. Her bridesmaids wore two different dresses: soft blue column dresses (from Ghost) and lavender lace dresses (from Self Portrait). “I loved how the Self Portrait dress complimented the lace on my dress,” says the bride.
Mark wore a blue Paul Smith suit as the pair exchanged vows in front of the chapel’s altar. Pillar candles, blue hydrangeas, and branches of greenery softened the worn concrete.
During the ceremony, the bride's brother-in-law sang and played on the guitar. Georgina walked down the aisle with her step father as he played "We're Going to be Friends" by The White Stripes, while the newlyweds exited to Kodaline's "The One."
Family was the theme of the ceremony. In addition to her brother-in-law on the mic, Georgina had two of her sisters as bridesmaids, her cousin and their nieces as flower girls, and her nephew as the ring bearer.
Guests tossed confetti as the newlyweds made their way to their getaway car, the bride’s parents’ classic MG sports car. A gin & tonic bike—yes, that's a thing—served cocktails as guests made their way out of the chapel.
“Mark, my mom, my sisters and I did all of the flowers for the reception,” says Georgina. “We went to the New Covent Garden Market the morning before the wedding and loaded up the car!” The result? A combination of cream, lavender, and blue blooms placed in jam jars wrapped in lace, and scattered throughout the reception space.
Guests were encouraged to mix and mingle as food was served in a grab-and-go style. The couple served bistro boxes of slow-roasted lamb, smoked salmon, and roasted butternut squash. For dessert, the couple served a naked lemon and vanilla wedding cake.
After dinner, guests headed to the basement of the pub, where a live band played all night. “Having all of our favorite people in the same place at the same time—especially those living in the U.S., New Zealand, and Australia—was incredibly special,” says Georgina. “And having our families so involved made our day all the more meaningful!”
As evidenced in their cool London wedding, the couple chose venues that were blank slates, and learned a lot in the process. “We definitely didn’t make it easy for ourselves!” says the bride. “We spent a lot of time resourcing everything, which we wouldn’t have done if we’d opted for a full-service venue.” But with results like these, we’d say the effort was totally worth it.
Ceremony Venue: The Asylum || Reception Venue: The Roost || Bride's Dress: Rime Arodaky, purchased at The Mews || Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Hair & Makeup: Olivia Newman-Young || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Self Portrait, Ghost || Groom's Attire: Paul Smith || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Ingle & Rhode || Floral Design: Red Eden & Olive || Catering: Street Kitchen, Oyster Meister, The Travelling Gin Co. || Entertainment: New Frequencies || Photography: Emilie White