Vashti and Daniel at their city wedding

Vashti and Daniel first met at work. “In 2017 Dan crossed the Atlantic to start teaching in the UK,” says Vashti. “He knew one of my colleagues from teaching in Uganda. So, when he came over to visit our school, the Principal leapt at the chance to interview a science teacher and offered him a job. Sadly, the mutual friend left before Dan started, but he told us to look after him. We started to spend a lot of time together and one thing led to another… Once we became an item I was so excited in a way I’d never been before with anyone else.”

Vashti on the morning of her wedding with a glass of champagne

A meeting of two countries

Dan proposed in July 2019 while the couple were on a road trip through America. “We started in New York, and then moved on to Philadelphia,” says Vashti. “I love Hamilton and 18th Century history, so Dan proposed outside Independence Hall."

Vashti having her hair and makeup done on the morning of her wedding.

He started talking about how the USA and England had parted ways over 200 years ago. Then asked (rhetorically) what the forefathers would think of the USA and the UK now. I interrupted, without knowing where he was heading, and started slagging off Donald Trump! Dan steered the conversation back to the reunion of the two countries, and how thankful he was to have decided to teach abroad and find me. Then he got down on one knee and took out a ring! We then had an amazing summer, continuing the road trip and ending in Los Angeles to celebrate with Dan’s family.”

Vashti walking with her bridesmaids to the wedding venue

Shopping for the dream dress

“When Covid hit, we initially thought our July 2021 date would be safe to go ahead. So in summer 2020 I started to get anxious about finding a dress in time,” says Vashti.

“When I found WED2B online I loved the idea that I could take a dress home that day. I visited the Surbiton branch with my mum and sister. I enjoyed trying on a number of different dresses, the staff didn't mind that we spent hours in the store. They also really went above and beyond to help make the experience exciting.”

Vashti walking through London with her bridesmaids to her wedding venue

A virtual entourage

“Due to the restrictions, my bridesmaids in Denmark had to join us via video call, but they still felt included in the discussions,” says Vashti. “I choose Wyatt, the very first dress I tried on. I loved the intricate lace detail and the beautiful detail on the back. During the visit my sister and I had discussed losing weight for the wedding. So, Paloma at the store left a sweet note in the box with my dress, telling me not to worry about Pilates too much as the dress looked amazing.”

Vashti and Daniel's wedding venue

Stylish navy bridesmaid dresses

“My sister tried on some WED2B bridesmaid dresses while we were there but we didn’t buy anything,” says Vashti. “Fast forward a year, and we’d postponed from our 2021 date. Weddings were possible again, but overseas travel was just too difficult. This did give me time for a proper bridesmaid dress shopping day with all of my bridesmaids. However, finding dresses that suited the different body shapes and tastes of each bridesmaid in matching fabric was tough. “

"The ones in the central London WED2B were a great mix that meant everyone was happy and confident. The staff also gave my bridesmaids the time and space to try on all of the navy bridesmaid dresses in different combinations. We took our time to decide the right dress for each bridesmaid, in a mix that worked as a group. This was a really special experience and we had so much fun."

Vashti walking down the aisle with her parents

A historical Georgian venue

The couple married at the Trafalgar Tavern, in Greenwich. “It’s a beautiful regency ballroom set above a pub next to the Thames, Greenwich Park and the Royal Naval College,” says Vashti. “It was the first venue we visited and we both loved it, but we felt we shouldn’t book the first venue we saw. However, after visiting a couple more nothing else came close. Dan rowed at college, so loved the balconies overlooking the water. I grew up in South London and had beautiful memories of visiting Greenwich park. Our original wedding date, 31 July 2021, was postponed and we eventually got married on 6 August 2022. It was well worth the wait to have all of our loved ones with us for the most amazing day.”

Vashti adn Daniel repeating their wedding vows

The big day

“I got ready at The Admiral Hardy, a cute Georgian hotel next to our venue,” says Vashti. “The sun was shining and it was a gorgeous day. After all the stress and worry in the lead up to the wedding (guests falling ill with Covid, Dan’s brother and best man getting stuck in California fighting the terrible wildfires) the day was finally here and I was much more relaxed.”

Vashti and her bridesmaids throwing a bridal bouquet

“Dan is of Jewish heritage, so wanted his mum and dad to walk him down the aisle,” says Vashti. “I also asked my mum and dad to both walk me down the aisle, which was really special as it meant none of parents were left out. We had a string quartet for the ceremony and reception and they played Canon in D Major by Pachelbel.”

Vashti and Daniel at their city wedding

“While we were signing the register, the quartet played ‘What a Wonderful World’, which was a special song that reminded Dan’s family of his grandfather,” says Vashti. “His mum said afterwards it made them feel like he was here with us for the wedding. The readings were from novels, to fit with our theme, and were an extract from ‘The Portrait of a Lady’ by Henry James and ‘The Amber Spyglass’ by Philip Pullman. They were read by Dan’s aunty and my sister. Dan and I also read personal vows, which was terrifying. I’m not really a public speaker, but I’m so glad we did them.”

Vashti and Danel walking the city streets

Eat, drink and be merry

After the ceremony, there was a drinks reception with champagne and Pimms. “There were games to act as ice breakers, and as a nod to a board game and escape room obsession we share with friends from work,” says Vashti. “My bridesmaids also surprised us by presenting a painting of us (in the style of Quentin Blake) in our wedding clothes, with our beloved labradoodle Tilly and with our venue in the background. Guests could add their thumbprints as ‘balloons’ on the image. Our first dance was to ‘Today I Met the Boy I’m Gonna Marry’ by Darlene Love, which Daniel suggested.”

Vashti and Daniel's wedding venue

A literary theme

“Our theme was literature, with blue, red and white colours inspired by the UK and US flags, and gold splashed for some glamour,” says Vashti. “I studied 18th Century literature for my masters degree, originally trained as a librarian and adore reading and collecting books. I wanted our wedding to celebrate literature and the coming together of two families from across the Atlantic. Everything was inspired by literature, from the readings in the ceremony, to the games in the drinks reception, to the cake topper and the centre pieces. My bridesmaid Loa created a three-tiered, red velvet wedding cake topped with marzipan books embossed with our names and the date of the wedding.”

Vashti and Daniel now husband and wife

Books and meaningful quotes

“I spent three years curating the most beautiful collection of hardbound books with gold and silver guilt lettering for our centre pieces, including titles with the names of our entire wedding party for the top table (finding Loa and Ryan proved the most difficult!). All of the books and vases were sourced from charity shops and we invited our guests to take home the cut-glass vases, flowers and books decorating the tables as wedding favours, so they were also recycled again.”

"Our tables were named after our favourite British and American authors. Each table had a framed quote from a novel by that author, in blue and gold calligraphy all by amazing sister, Tasha. This matched the table plan and place cards, all made by my sister.”

Daniel embracing Vashti while the wedding speeches take place

Treasure hunt fun

“During the dinner we had a scavenger hunt, which was printed on the back of the menu,” says Vashti. “Guests had to race to be the first to photograph themselves doing 10 of the activities on the list. Meanwhile, our young guests had a Harry Potter-themed scavenger hunt to keep them entertained.”

Vashti embracing a wedding guest

“Their table had a beautiful gold frame hung with flying feathered keys, a locked chest and numerous glass bottles filled with magical ingredients. Each of their plates had a letter addressed to them inviting them to join Hogwarts. Their first task was to collect a magic wand from the top table and it was the start of a magic adventure, ending with them following instructions to brew a love potion in a heart-shaped bottle. They then had to serve it to the groom to break the curse and save the wedding day!”

“I spent months collecting items, writing clues and tying gold winged keys onto fishing wire, and the kids loved it,” says Vashti. “The flying keys and glass potions also looked epic above their book centrepieces.”

Vashti and Daniel cutting their wedding cake

“After the dinner and speeches, our 80s rock band played three amazing sets,” says Vashti. “Our guests were blown away by them. The band were another element we added when we started saving during lockdowns because we couldn’t go out at all. We also had a magic mirror photo booth for the evening party, which was another fun addition that guests enjoyed.”

Vashti and Daniel wiping their faces from wedding cake

The best bits…

“The most memorable moments were walking into the ceremony and seeing the room packed with our friends and family, after waiting so long for this party. And seeing Dan looking so happy and excited,” says Vashti. “I was shaking with nerves but so happy. Also, the moment we walked out after the ceremony and were handed a drink, turned to each other and it hit us - we are finally married!"

“Our best man’s speech, was sweet but hilarious. It was also incredible given that he stepped up to the role the week of our wedding because Dan’s firefighter brother was stuck in California due to the terrible wildfires. Finally, absolutely everyone dancing their hearts out to ‘The Final Countdown’ in the band’s final set!”

Wedding photo of the london thames

Top tips…

“My top tip would be to get a live band,” says Vashti. “It lifted the evening and got the party started. I’d also say try not to worry too much about the little things. I was obsessing over the smallest details because I spent so many years planning it.”

"I was starting to dictate the smallest details which didn't really matter on the day. The main thing is that you are marrying your best friend surrounded by your favourite people. That's all that really matters in the end.”

Vashti and Daniel’s Dream Team

Photographer: MBH Wedding Photography

Rehearsal dinner venue: The Admiral Hardy

Wedding Venue: Trafalgar Tavern

Wedding dresses London: WED2B 

Bridesmaid dresses: WED2B

Makeup / Hair: Rosie Scott

Suits: Moss Bros

Photo booth: Lux

String Quartet: Juniper Strings

Band: The 80s Zone

Invitations, menus and programmes: Vista Print

Table plan, centrepiece quotes and place cards: Natasha Trenchard-Turner

Wedding Cake: Loa Wamsler-Lynch

Flowers: Natasha Trenchard-Turner & Luky Trenchard

If you would like us to feature your big day, like this elegant wedding with navy bridesmaid dresses, then please click here to share your story and photos with us and we’ll be in touch. Your nearest WED2B is closer than you think, click here for more details about WED2B’s bridal shops London