Real Weddings

Quirky London Lighthouse Wedding – Kyrie & Ashley

Kyrie and Ashley got married in style last summer in an unusual London wedding venue on the river Thames. The crazy changeable weather didn't put a dampener on their big day and the resulting photos are incredible! This wedding was full of inspirational DIY and Kyrie has been kind enough to share all her tips and resources with us...

Kyrie, a Teacher of the Deaf and Ashley, a Digital Operations Manager got married in summer 2018 at the Chainstore on the river Thames. They loved the quirky venue which is a blank canvas and can be styled however you like. With the help of friends and family they created a truly unique day with lots of love and laughter. Tom Beynon was there to capture all the real moments…

three quarter length wedding dress at the Chainstore London wedding

How did you guys meet?

We met online on Plenty of Fish in September 2013. Our first date was a pub crawl around Soho which ended with eating a Wok2Walk on the kerb (classy). Ash asked me to marry him on Christmas Day 2016 so we were engaged for a year and eight months before tying the knot.

unusual london wedding

Where did you get married and why did you choose your venue?

We got married at Trinity Buoy Wharf (The Chainstore). It’s in London, which was important to us as we’re both from here, and the fact it’s on the Thames was nice as I’m from East and Ash is from South, so we kinda got married in the middle. We also liked that it was an unusual building (with a lighthouse!) in a little area with awesome views across the water. You wouldn’t usually stumble across this unusual London wedding venue unless you were really looking for it!

Who was your photographer and how did you choose them?

Tom Beynon – Ashley knew Tom from a football forum they both use and suggested him when we were thinking about photographers. We really liked his documentary style and when we met him to talk about the wedding he was great, really knowledgeable and professional and walked us through how he worked on the day etc. On the day he was like a photo ninja – he had two different cameras slung around him and he seemed to be everywhere, capturing everything, without being intrusive. I genuinely don’t know how he did it! The photos are brilliant and natural (and the nighttime ones are hilarious.) They came pretty quickly and it’s been nice seeing them on his blog and instagram posts – little reminders of what a fun day it was! We also loved the little teaser film he sent us before the whole album was ready for download, great touch.

What did you DIY?

  • We made our save the date cards by stamping Kraft paper with a personalised stamp.
  • We got our invites from Vistaprint – so much cheaper than some of the stationery options out there!
  • Our table plan was an Etsy digital download, which we then printed. It was simple and matched the invites – white with some kind of green sprig thing going on.
  • Menu, mirror with order of the day and place names designed by my friend Annette who has a passion for calligraphy – they were white writing on Kraft coloured paper to match the venue and colour scheme of sage, white and rose gold (and rustic colours).
  • My sister’s friend Megan designs cards, so I asked her to design some usherette cards when I asked people to be my usherettes with a picture of Usher’s face on. She didn’t disappoint.

quirky london wedding

How did you decorate the venue?

Lights were by the venue as it’s a listed building – barrels and tables etc from caterer, olive trees and flowers from florist. Other things we bought/borrowed – borrowed a massive easel from a friend of a friend who worked in an art department of a school, as well as Hobbycraft easels from a recently married couple. Borrowed hessian runners from another couple. Confetti in green, gold and white which was left over and used for decoration, personalised card crate, photo props from eBay, green blow up chairs from Tiger for kids, toiletry baskets from good old Poundland (as were the items within), mirror from Dunelm, pens etc for calligraphy from Hobbycraft.

Strawberry, lemon and blueberry wedding cheesecake

Did you have a wedding cake?

We didn’t have a traditional cake – instead our caterers made a delicious cheesecake which was then the dessert for our sharing style dinner.

How did you pick your stunning flowers?

I’m terrible at flower names. I think there were some roses, dahlias, eucalyptus, thistles- Faye basically sorted it out to go with the white/sage/rose gold theme.

Faye and Gemma also helped to decorate the venue with olive trees with fairy lights, providing sprigs of greenery to form part of our table settings, flowers for around the venue, flowers for me, my mum, my sister and flower girls and bouquets for the mums to give during the speeches.

Did you have wedding favours?

Scratch off personalised drinks tokens from The Laughing Sloth on Etsy

Tell me about your hair and makeup

Heather Chilvers (friend) did my hair as a wedding gift. Thanks Hevs!

Laura Hunt via Makeup by Jodie for make up. the by Jodie website is great as you can see which artists are available on the date and area you need and have a look at their portfolios. Laura came round to do a test run and she was funny, friendly and professional and she knew her make up onions! On the day she was just as brilliant and me, mum and Robyn (sister) loved what she did. I still don’t know how she made my bags disappear after not sleeping the night before! Thanks Laura!

What about your catering. Was it done in-house or did you bring outside caterers in?

Jimmy’s are one of the caterers that Trinity Buoy Wharf work with and we are so glad we chose them. The team were so helpful throughout the planning process and especially on the day, as they set up and cleared down pretty much everything on the day (we did hire our furniture etc from them). The menu tasting and creation was enjoyable and Hannah was a wonder woman organiser and set-upper extraordinaire on the day. The food was delicious – we had some canapés during the post-ceremony drinks reception, followed by a barbecue style sharing feast at the tables, including chimichurri steak, heritage tomato salad, tuna nicoise, corn salsa, chorizo and chicken and vegetable skewers, padron peppers and some other deliciousness. Then came the cheesecake and, later in the evening, cheese was put out and fish finger sandwiches were brought round the dancefloor.

What song played as you walked down the aisle?

All of the lights interlude (Kanye West). We just really liked it (without Kanye and RiRi shouting about lights all over it, hence the interlude rather than the actual track).

Who walked you down the aisle?

My tiny weeny mum, Jackie. She’s GREAT. Honestly.

What was your first dance song?

Chateau Lobby #4 by Father John Misty because… we don’t really have a song, we both like it and it’s about a wedding!

How did you get everyone up on the dancefloor?

Ash made a Spotify playlist which was his pride and joy and did exactly what we wanted it to – made everybody get up and jump around! He made sure it was a mix of styles but ensured everybody would know the songs, so there’d be no excuse not to dance.

unusual london wedding venue - Trinity Buoy Wharf

How did you keep it real/do things differently?

  • The venue itself, with its lighthouse and little museum and location was unusual and we loved that we could work with our caterers and florist to make it look how we wanted. The backdrop of London was a big help!
  • I had usherettes rather than lots of bridesmaids, because I am bad at making decisions/I collect friends from different places and keep them and wanted them all to be part of the day. They just needed to wear a bit of green or gold to go with the theme and learn the Candy- Cameo dance. We also ensured our ceremony was short so we could get on with the important bits- drinking, dancing (to Ashley’s painstakingly created Spotify playlist) and eating all of the food. We had a competition where people had to guess how long we’d been together in days in return for a bottle of prosecco, which ended in a tense draw and game of rock paper scissors.
  • We weren’t fussed about cars, as everything happened in the same venue, so we used Wheely, which was far cheaper and still felt fancy (fancier than the bus, anyway!).
  • Our clothes were also a bit different to usual wedding garb – not that different, my dress was just shorter and Ash didn’t wear a suit, but a bit different I guess.

REAL Moments

  • We had friends fly over from India, USA, Uganda, Mexico, France, Luxembourg to be there, which really meant a lot to us.
  • We had a British Sign Language interpreter for most of the day and Ashley signed part of his speech, as his parents are deaf, which made a few people tear up!
  • My sister Robyn also gave a speech (after smashing her prosecco glass, girl power) and my usherettes helped fill the dancefloor after the first dance with the dance to Candy by Cameo.
  • The weather was INSANE on the day- absolutely peeing it down up until just before the ceremony (to the point where two ushers had to spend 45 minutes topless with their shirts under the hand dryer in the loo), then the sun came out as we got married, allowed us to have some outside drinks, chucked it down again then the sun was back out in time for our couples photos and the rest of the evening- there was even a rainbow at one point.
  • People discovered the weird little Michael Faraday museum in the lighthouse (the only lighthouse in London I think) at some point in the evening and had fun in there. Ashley and I also got to go up to the top of the lighthouse for photos, which is not usually open to the public- the views were amazing, although squashing through a tiny Victorian half door in a wedding dress with heels and wedding hair was… Interesting.

quirky london wedding

Any tips for saving money?

All mentioned in other parts above – cars were a big saving, toiletries and favours, friends helping us out with calligraphy, hair, lending us bits, shopping around online for invites and table plan etc.

Would you do anything differently?

No – we loved the whole day, although it went far too quickly! Can we do it all over again? But without paying for it? Thanks.


Join our Facebook group and chat to other like-minded REAL brides.

unusual london wedding

Anyone you want to thank for helping you to create your awesome REAL wedding?

  • Annette – as above for all the calligraphy help despite being super pregnant! Thanks to her all our wedding stationery stuff looked beautiful.
  • Rahmat and kids- where do we start? Rahmat made it his mission to find us a big easel to support the mirror, helped lug everything to the venue on the day, Isabella helped by being super boss queen when we were stuffing little envelopes with confetti… they were just awesome. And Rahmat was a witness. Even though they spelt his name wrong on the certificate. Soz guy.
  • My Mum (Jackie), Mike (stepdad) – as well as being part of the Isabella controlled confetti stuffing/place name chopping/ photo prop creating sweatshop, my family were really supportive throughout the process in so many ways. They helped towards my dress, were great sounding boards and kept me sane. Love you guys! Also, special shout out to Mike for the great speeches and Mum for walking me down the aisle.
  • Joyce and Owen (Ash’s parents)- as above! They also helped us out carting stuff to and from the venue and helped Ashley set things up in the morning, which was such a big help – we love you guys!
  • Robyn (Maid of Honour and my sister) – Robyn was also the best maid of honour I could ever have hoped for – she planned two perfect hen dos, volunteered to do a girl power speech so I didn’t have to, looked stunning on the day and made sure I was as chilled and spoiled as possible the night before. I’m gonna hire her out.
  • Aubrey (Ashley’s brother and best man) for a great speech, an awesome Scottish stag and basically being a best best man!
  • All the ushers, usherettes, Natalie (sister in law and witness) and flower girls for being fantastic humans and getting the party started (and sustained)
  • Alice and Mat for lending us the hessian – merci!
  • Heather for the amazing wedding gift of doing our hair- we all loved it and I’m sorry my family have such big fat hair!
  • Melissa, Mario, Sarah, Hannah – for helping the florists tidy up their bits after the event, making sure the Tiger chairs were taken away and that the big mirror and easel was taken away and kept safe after confusion with the venue staff. Melissa and Mario also helped Joyce and Owen get a taxi at the end of the night, which we are really grateful for.
  • Sheena for being drinks token queen extraordinaire for the evening guests and for looking after our cats before and after the wedding- she was also involved in the clean up operations mentioned above
  • Taryn for learning her reading (I wanna be yours by John Cooper Clarke) BY HEART and performing it like a boss during the ceremony. And matching her baby’s outfit to her wife’s.

REAL Suppliers

Photographer: Tom Beynon | Bride’s dress: Rita Mae | Bridal Stockist: Brenda Lorraine | Shoes: Oasis | Hair accessories: Beauty Wedding Design | Earrings: Earrings from Dream Island Jewellery | Maid of Honour Dress: Lipsy | Flower girls: M&S, shoes: Gap hair bows: Flower girls’ hair bows: Little Sparkles Btique | Page boy/ushers outfits: Next, Clarks, eBay | Bridesman: own suit | Florist: That Wild Bunch| Hair: Family friend | Make up: Laura Hunt via Makeup by Jodie | Grooms suit: ASOS | Ushers: ASOS | Catering & Cake: Jimmy’s | Transport: Wheely


Gaia Hudson

Written by gaia_bkir

Founder of Brides Keeping it Real and mum of two little ones, Leon & Ada. Passionate about providing a supportive online community for brides and grooms who want an achievable, uncomplicated wedding planning experience.