>> REAL WEDDING << A PEONY WEDDING IN THE SKIES

Today I'm bringing you a real wedding but without any pics of the couple or guests.  Uh, I hear you say? The couple are extremely private but were happy for photographer Fiona Campbell to share a few pics of the venue, flowers etc with us.  I was blown away by the setting and thought the venue its self would be enough of an inspiration to justify sharing these pics.  I hope you like them as much as I do!

Fiona has kindly shared her experience of the day below.....

On June 4th a lovely but very private lesbian couple, whom we'll call Leila and Caz, got hitched in an extraordinary ceremony at The Gherkin. I don't know whether you've ever been to the top of London's most iconic tower block, but as you can imagine the views are rather good from up there! Norman Foster's masterpiece has 360 degree views and can only be accessed by private clients and those working in the building. It's a corporate venue most often used for wining and dining London's most important business leaders - an unusual choice for a wedding - but it worked! They've asked me to keep their wedding private, but they did say I could share with you some of the details of the gorgeous event and I think they're well worth sharing!

So we're up high in the sky above London and out of the smog. The Gherkin has these amazing graphic lines and the couple softened them with sumptuous stands of flowers (peonies!). The venue is split into two levels, with the ceremony and dinner on one, whilst the dancing and drinks were held on the top floor with its circular view of London and beyond. The ceremony was so moving; these are two people who care about each other deeply, and the congregation were not entirely dry eyed.

The food was provided by the Gherkin's own caterers, Searcy's 40:30, who also do the National Portrait Gallery and numerous other wonderful venues across London. Delicious. Ceviche of scallops with tomato, avocado and coriander, followed by Beef Wellington with haricots verts, caramelised shallots and truffle jus. Pudding was a chocolate tart with kumquat marmalade and mascarpone cream. Is your mouth watering yet? Trust me, it should be. As a photographer I get to eat a lot of wedding food and this was the finest ever. The tables were decorated with gleaming white and silver placements. With the Thames streaking silver below them it seemed as though we'd arrived in some kind of earthly paradise.

After dinner and speeches Leila and Caz hired in The Uncovered Band to accompany their guests as they rocked their socks off. This was a crowd that certainly knew how to party. There was a huge feeling of acceptance and joy, and the party went on all night. When everyone danced, their reflections echoed on the dome of the Gherkin in red and yellow lights, giving the room an extraordinarily exuberant feel.

It's hard to pinpoint what I loved most about this wedding. I think it was the feeling of otherworldliness, yet being connected to London. The architecture brings an incredible sense of wonder, with its strong graphic lines and interplay with the sky. At times the clouds fall a ring around the Gherkin, almost as if it was interplaying with the weather. Because the Gherkin is so high up, the air supply feels fresher than in the rest of London, almost as if you've been at a party on a mountain, yet you have London at your feet. The result is kind of dreamlike. I came away filled with a sense of happiness and fun.

And now for some gorgeous pics...









♥ Photography: Fiona Campbell Photography  / fionaalcampbell@me.com / 07977 538424

♥ Band: The Uncovered Band / sam@samanthasanderson.com / 07745586089

♥ Catering, Table Placements, Chairs; Searcy's 40:30 / entertaining@searcys.co.uk / 020 7071 5009

♥ Flowers: Rachel Morgan Wedding Flowers / rachel@rachelmorganflowers.co.uk / 07701092624

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