A suitably celebratory civil ceremony in London

14 Oct 2021

Ahead of their 2022 wedding in Italy, Temaloh Tempest-Roe and Tommy Pulling invited 26 guests to celebrate their civil ceremony at Chelsea Old Town Hall in London

How did you meet?

We matched on a dating app nearly seven years ago. I was jet-lagged after a trip to Asia, and Tommy gets up super early for work, so we were chatting away at 5-6am for the first part of our dating story. Our first date was a long walk along the river and we ended up going for lunch and then dinner at two different pubs on the way. It was the perfect date. 

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Tell us about the proposal

Tommy schemed with my sister to make me believe I was just getting a manicure with her (something we usually do together, so I didn’t think anything of it). While I was away, he covered the flat in flowers in a pathway that led to the outside area. I got back suspecting nothing until I entered the room and could smell the flowers in the air. Einaudi was playing in the background, and Tommy was waiting for me on the patio surrounded by flowers.

After he proposed, our family bundled in for champers and sushi. They had been watching me cross the park and come through the front door from their secret hiding place around the corner. 

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How was your wedding affected by Covid-19?

We had planned a big wedding in Puglia, Italy, and waited in hope until the very last minute. Just two weeks before, Italy had introduced a new law to make UK visitors quarantine for five days on arrival so we had to defer the big wedding to 2022.

We had a couple of scares in the lead up to the civil ceremony, one of which was very close to cancelling a couple of days prior, but luckily it went ahead as planned on 9th July 2021. 

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What was the theme for the day, and did you have a colour scheme?

Tommy and I met in London, and our first dates took place not far from where we live now. So the idea behind everything was to bring the city vibes, with local suppliers, a local venue and a chic city feel. The classic bridal white theme was reflected in the choice of flowers, complemented by wild sophisticated greenery. I wanted the scheme to feel sophisticated and classic yet modern.

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What venue did you choose and why did you choose it?

The Cadogan Suite at Chelsea Old Town Hall was the perfect choice for a city wedding, and it provided the ultimate London backdrop for the day. We wanted to keep everything as local as possible; after all, why not pick venues in the heart of the area that saw our relationship blossom? 

As one of our favourite local pubs, The Fox and Pheasant was a no-brainer when it came to choosing our reception venue. Think old school pub, nestled in the heart of the city, complete with wood panelling and subtle country references. Stepping into this pub transports you to another place and another time… and the best was yet to come. The beautiful conservatory located around the back is Fulham’s best kept secret - a light and airy greenhouse, hidden behind the façade of an old pub. Our guests were delighted at the discovery of this new space, as we asked them to turn the corner. The olive tree in the centre of the room was adorned with floating roses, encased within glass baubles, which beautifully complemented the garlands and flower placeholders on the tables.

Wild Décor, a local florist provided the wild-style bouquet, buttonhole and beautiful decoration at the venue, which all featured gypsophilia, lisanthus and roses, complemented by eucalyptus and other delicate greenery. 

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How did you find your wedding outfit?

I came across Rime Arodaky while doing some online research and knew she was the designer that would perfectly match the style I was going for: city chic. I love every one of her designs. Her style is so refreshing and modern.

I saw the jumpsuit and fell in love with it immediately. I didn’t even need to try it on and I didn’t even look anywhere else, my mind was made up! I sent my measurements and placed the order with the online boutique soon after we got engaged. When it arrived, I took it to my favourite local seamstress, Irma Selin in Fulham, who tailored it to my exact fit. She’s fabulous at making outfits look made for you. Complete with capri pants and a bridal skirt, it was the comfiest outfit I could have picked, and I felt gorgeous in it – what a bonus!

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Who were the bridesmaids?

I chose not to have bridesmaids for the civil ceremony, as it was so intimate. My sister was maid of honour and gave a reading during the ceremony. 

Where did you find your suits?

My husband’s suit was from Suit Supply, complete with the date of our wedding and my initials embroidered underneath the collar.

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How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?

The six weeks leading up to the wedding were certainly some of the most stressful weeks I’ve ever encountered. With an Italian wedding, and also a London wedding on the line, there were multiple times where we were prompted to think about cancelling suppliers, venues and travel plans – not only the devastation of not going ahead, but also the potential financial loss were all factors hanging above my head. Not to mention actually catching Covid and the risk to our guests and older members of the family. In the end, my parents couldn’t take the risk, so dialled in to watch the ceremony from Norfolk.

My hen do abroad was also cancelled and then two of the girls didn’t make it to the back up hen in Sussex because they caught Covid too. 

However, all that stress completely melted away as soon as I saw Tommy at the end of the aisle. I couldn’t take my eyes off him, and for the first ten minutes it was only me and him in the room (before realising I hadn’t actually turned around to acknowledge everyone else). Pure happiness and love is how I would describe the feeling in my heart that echoed in the room.

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How did you make the ceremony personal to you?

I walked down the aisle to Can't Help Falling in Love – an Elvis Presley cover by Hayley Reinheart. It’s the song we were going to have playing live in Italy, so we thought why not play it at the civil ceremony too if we have to wait another year for the live version?! My sister read the Apache wedding blessing, and we walked out to Marvin Gaye’s Ain't No Mountain High Enough. After so many moments of near-cancellation, we enjoyed our triumphant exit. 

There were still some seating and mask restrictions in place at the time, so we placed 'T&T' branded white masks on our guests' seats at Chelsea Old Town Hall.

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What was your most memorable moment?

Tommy finally turning around (he froze for a bit!) and seeing how happy he was to see me.

What was the most important investment for you?

An open bar was an absolute must for us and plenty of food; we served nibbles throughout the reception before dinner. Ruinart Blanc de Blancs is my favourite champagne and I love a Provence rosé and a Gavi di Gavi white, so we served these through the reception too. The food at the Fox and The Pheasant is fantastic, so we knew the menu would go down a treat and, of course, it did.

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Did you have any evening entertainment?

We hadn’t planned a big after party because we’re planning to have this in Italy, but we celebrated even harder by ramping the music up, dancing and singing.  

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Tell us about your wedding cake

The cake was two tiers of raspberry and white chocolate, and made by a local pastry chef, Daniel Svensson, who we both befriended at our local gym. I should have taken more cake with me on my way out; it was so delicious, and the slice I ate for breakfast the next morning was heavenly. 

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Did anything go wrong on the day?

We were a bit short for time after all the girls were done with hair and make-up, but luckily there was no traffic so I still made it on time. 

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Where did you go on honeymoon?

We’re saving the honeymoon for after our big celebration next year. However, we spent a few nights in the Mandarin Oriental in London, relaxing to our hearts content in each other’s company (and eating our way through the Harrods food hall).

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Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages?

I’d say confirm a date really early. With the deferred Covid weddings, venues are running very low on availability. We found it difficult securing a new date for the main event in Italy.

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Steal their style:

Photography: David Christopher Photography 
Ceremony venue: Cadogan Suite at Chelsea Old Town Hall
Reception venue: Fox and The Pheasant 
Bridal jumpsuit: Rime Arodaky 
Shoes: Jimmy Choo 
Groom's suit: Suit Supply 
Hair & make-up: Lauren Irwin 
Flowers: Wild Decor 
Cake: Tall Pastry Dan 

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