Well if it wasn’t before, Izzie and Jonny’s wedding sealed the deal.
As an alternative wedding photographer in London, I get to go to a lot of cool, unique weddings. But just when I thought I’d seen it all, Izzie and Jonny’s wedding came along and slapped me around the face. I mean, their Clapton Country Club wedding was just bloody perfect.
Because it had this amazing balance to it. Timeless, but modern and stylish. Industrial but boho. Laid-back and chilled, but with an energy to it that threatened a crazy party kicking off at any minute.
If you’re looking for a cool London wedding venue, Clapton Country Club is a paradise of industrial chic. If you’re looking for styling inspiration, we’ve got it in spades. Basically this is the perfect London wedding.
Coffee + makeup vs ties + Glenfiddich.
The morning started off nice and chilled. Izzie found a really cool Airbnb, with hardwood floors and loads of industrial touches and quirky details. It really flowed with the style of the venue too (but we’ll get to that later).
Booking an Airbnb is always a great idea if you’re sleeping over the night before and getting ready together in the morning. It’s more homely and relaxed than a hotel, there’s tons more space and options for photos. And from a photography point of view, it kicks the arse of a shitty Premier Inn.
A few hundred yards away, Jonny was getting ready with all of his groomsmen at their flat round the corner. While the girls did their hair and makeup and drank coffee, the boys faffed about with their ties and drank whisky from mismatched tumblers. All in all a super relaxed start to what would be a truly epic day.
My shameless love letter to Clapton Country Club.
Of all the cool wedding venues in London, Clapton Country Club is the dog’s bollocks. The creme de la creme. The uncontested champion of cool.
Staying true to its heritage as a tram shed in the heart of East London, the venue is blessed with a gritty industrial aesthetic that can’t be faked. Crumbling brickwork, black metal beams and pipework and the glow of the venue’s neon sign as it bounces off the cobbled streets give you so many cool backdrops for photos.
And hell, when I see corrugated iron, exposed brickwork and a gunmetal sky, I know it’s gonna be my kinda wedding!
Sing-along humanist ceremony at Clapton Country Club.
The inside Clapton Country Club is like if Hackney did a barn venue. Ivy and dried hops hang from the exposed wooden beams, softening the inherently industrial aesthetic. And wreaths of ivy and impossibly small wild flowers hang from the wooden chairs lining the altar. A super cool mix of industrial and rustic. And absolutely spot on for Izzie and Jonny’s stripped-back-boho styling.
Izzie wore the classically stylish Olsen by Constellation Ame. The ivory silk wrap top dress is actually very similar to what Kate Middleton wore on the evening of her wedding. Yeah, that kind of classy! It was cool, understated and insanely elegant. Her unstructured bouquet of wildflowers and grasses and her delicate flower crown completed the ethereal boho look. She looked out-of-this-world stunning.
Izzie and Jonny had a Humanist ceremony led by their friend from their church. Really personal and romantic and just bags of fun. They had a stripped-down acoustic band play covers of church songs with a really cool sing-along kinda vibe. And everyone was well into it, too. I even had a little sing myself (quietly though, I didn’t wanna ruin the wedding).
Group shots and cocktails on confetti-covered cobbles.
Now if I do say so myself, this was one epic confetti shot! What I love most about though it is that with the cobbled streets, timelessly elegant dress and classic suit, it could just as easily have been a shot from the 1940’s. Combine this kind of styling with this kind of venue, and you’ve got wedding photography that will never age.
After the final piece of confetti had fluttered to the ground and settled, everyone chatted away and had drinks and nibbles on confetti covered cobbles.
I’m not usually a great fan of group photos (they’re not much fun, are they?!) But I’ve always been a sucker for any kind of cool urban group shot! And there are so many cool backdrops around Clapton Country Club, I figured it’d be a shame to waste them! We did a few group shots by the black shutter (I love me a black shutter). And a really cool shot with their wedding party outside the Tram Store coffee shop as well.
Basically give me a gritty backdrop and a suave-looking group and let’s make an album cover for your future family band!
Couples portraits in Clapton.
While the guests were making their way through the cocktails, I took a walk with Izzie and Jonny through the park and down to the black metal bridge overlooking the Hackney Cut.
Walking through Clapton hand in hand, the autumn leaves carpeted the Hackney streets beneath their feet. And the streets were quiet. As though the hustle and bustle of the city had been put on pause for a while so they could have some time alone together as husband and wife. There’s a certain kind of magic to London in Autumn.
We strolled back up to the Tram Shed, with its cool typeface with patchy brickwork in every shade of grey and white. I went back to my favourite black shutter (I told you I love a black shutter!) and finished off with some outside “The Department of Life”.
One of the best things about getting married in London is the endless expanse of photo opportunities right on the doorstep of any venue. If you’re up for an adventure, we can take a few minutes away from the crowds so you can spend some time alone together and get some cool, sexy shots. And Clapton is the epitome of grungey cool.
Reception at Clapton Country Club.
OK, so back to the party. Holy shit the speeches were emotional. Izzie’s parents did a speech, Jonny’s mum did a speech. There were loads of toasts to loved ones that couldn’t be there. Jonny even toasted about his step-dad who cut his tendon off his little finger and we all did a toast to him with 3 fingers! Weirdly this really got me going!
As edgy and cool as their styling was, these speeches just brought a whole new level of emotion to the day. I was totally welling up behind my camera!
After their first dance, Jonny’s brother sang a song with the other groomsman playing guitar and then Izzie’s church friend Ellie sang a song. And then- just as I’d always known it would- the party kicked off.
They danced the night away and their evening guests all brought cakes as well, so there was a massive table of extra cakes and brownies. It was epic.
Flash! Ahh-ahhh! Why I’ll never stop experimenting as a wedding photographer.
When I was looking at the photos from the Met Gala, I saw loads of photos with direct flash and I thought it looked super classy and insanely cool. So when I saw Izzie and Jonny looking awesome and spotted some rusty stairs, I figured it was time to get my flash on! This was my first time using direct flash in the dark. And I’m obsessed with the unique effect combined with the urban look of the rusty stairs. Completely different from daytime shots and a total vibe.
As an alternative wedding photographer, I’m always experimenting with different techniques and styles. Because the weddings I shoot are always so different and unique. And I want to give my couples wedding photography that does their day justice. Plus it’s fun.
If you love my work and would like me to capture your wedding day, I’d love to get involved. Get in touch today and let’s chat.
Venue - @claptoncountryclub
Florist - @lilyandliz
Dress - @constellationame
Band - @_thommusic
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