As soon as I saw this wedding I knew we had to feature it. Dan and Sorraya were together for seven years before they got married in this lavish London affair and as it turned out, the couple’s wedding venue ended up being almost beside where they met. We hear from Sorraya below on her and Dan’s story and wedding plan. They were delighted with their choice of venue and as you’ll see, it’s pretty amazing!

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The Engagement

It was on a Saturday morning. Dan and I were sitting in bed and talking about what we would do that evening. I was planning to cook dinner that night and I was asking him what he wanted to eat. He wasn’t really listening to me and I could see there was something on his mind and I kept asking him what was wrong. I wouldn’t let up in my questioning (I was obviously being quite annoying). He got up and walked over to the wardrobe and picked something up and then he got down on his knees by the bed and asked me to marry him and gave me the ring. It was actually really sweet and I like that he just asked at home when it was just the two of us. He’d only collected the ring on Friday afternoon and was planning to ask me at some point that weekend. He just hadn’t decided when, hence why he looked like he had something on his mind when I was asking him about dinner, he was thinking about when was the best time to ask.

Deciding on a Wedding Location

Neither of us had a set idea about what we wanted for a wedding. I’ve never had a dream wedding idea planned out in my head. I spent hours and hours looking at options online and we then went to look at 3 places. The last one we saw, The Painted Hall, was perfect for us and is such a stunning venue. Dan used to live in Greenwich and we have a lot of friends in the area, so we spend a lot of time there. We had walked through the grounds of the Royal Naval College so many times, but had never been into The Painted Hall.  It is such a classic venue that the ceremony and dinner did not need to be changed at all and looks so amazing in the evening with all the lights dimmed. It made for a wonderful dining experience. One funny note is that the bar where we first met is actually only a few hundred meters down the road!

I’m really glad we chose that location as it really is a special place. We are very much a London couple and really love our city. It was great to get married in the city we love and in an area which we know so well. We’re always going back to Greenwich and it’s really nice to walk past and remember the day. The staff at the Old Royal Naval College were really helpful and well organized.

Planning the Wedding

We didn’t use a wedding planner so all the organization was down to Dan and I. We booked the venue in January 2012 and the wedding day was 13th October 2012. Ten months was more than enough time to plan. It was a bit of a rush at the beginning as we needed to book the main things florist, band, DJ etc quite quickly, but once that was all done it was all quite easy. I used this company called Beautifully Music for the string musicians for the ceremony, jazz band for the drinks reception, funk band for the party and also the DJ. They were really good. They also provided lighting the after-dinner party and lounge furniture. Using one supplier to provide all of this actually took a lot of stress and worry away. 

After dinner, we had to move to another hall for the party. This gave me the biggest dilemma as I wanted to ensure that the party felt as special as the ceremony and dinner. The Painted Hall was so ornate and spectacular I didn’t want it to seem like an anti-climax when we moved downstairs to the party venue. I didn’t have a massive budget to spend on dressing the downstairs hall, but I think we managed to make it look atmospheric with some clever lighting, lounge furniture and lots of candles. I also found a company called Memories to Remember who supplied crystal globes for the tables which looked amazing with purple lights. I was really pleased with the overall look and also I hadn’t spent a hideous amount to achieve it! We put a big effort into choosing the right music and having a fabulous party afterwards which I think we really pulled off. The band was amazing and the DJ even better. Dan and I didn’t stop dancing all night! We hope everyone else enjoyed it too!

Memories, Regrets & Advice

Our most amazing memory from that day was just before dinner when all the guests were seated right at the end of the hall for dinner and Dan and I walked through the hall towards everyone. It was so atmospheric with the low lights and candlebra in The Painted Hall. Everyone stood and clapped and we really felt special and so happy. My only regret would be that I would have liked to have more time for the drinks reception to talk to everyone and enjoy the jazz singer (who I don’t think I actually heard sing at all unfortunately!) Ou advice would definitely be to enjoy the day, don’t stress and have fun!

What a stunning venue! Thanks so much to Sorraya for her and Dan’s story and to Sachin Khona for the photos and we hope to feature more work from Sachin here soon.

Photographer: Sachin Khona | Second Associate Shooter: Fran Chelico | Venue : The Painted Hall, Old Royal Naval College | Flowers: Karen Woolven | Cake by: Shereen Benzaina | Hair & Makeup: Kirsty McCall | Bride’s Dress: Mon Cheri from Aurora Bride | Bridesmaid Dresses: The Wedding Service | Groomsmen Tuxes: Ozwald Boateng | Wedding Co-ordinator: Jose Afonso | String Trio: Ondine String Trio | Evening Reception Party: The Queen Mary Undercroft | Reception Music Organisation: Patrick Heath at Beautifully Music | Reception Band: Kelly Dickson Jazz Band and Stylesonic | Evening DJ Matt D’Funk | Lighting & Modular Furniture: Beautifully Music | Crystal Globes and Candelabra in Queen Mary Undercroft: Memories to Remember

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