Helping hands

17 Mar 2014

Helping hands

From the veil to the cake, the decorations to the singing, Simon and Stephanie’s friends and family gave their all

Simon Richards and Stephanie Broadhurst

Where: Ceremony at St James’ Church, Muswell Hill, followed by reception at Stationers’ Hall, London

Photography: Sophia Hanbury

I knew I wanted to get married in North London as I grew up in Muswell Hill and we live in London. We wanted people to be able to get there easily and for our vicars from St Peter’s Church in Fulham to be able to marry us.

It was very much a family affair. My mum, Janet, was brilliant at doing most of the organisation, from the flowers to the decorations, to finding Stationers’ Hall. As my family are South African, most of the decorations were hand made there for us, as were the bridesmaid and flower girl dresses which were beautiful.

My sister Jessica made the most amazing cake with three different layers of chocolate, fruit cake and sponge. My wonderful aunt, Caroline Broadhurst, and my mum made my veil, which was very special and two of my bridesmaids, Emma Pascall and Daz Chae, helped to do the last-minute decorations, which did all prove rather stressful! We chose raspberry pink as the colour for the day to en sure it was bright. I think it looked brilliant in contrast to my dress.

I didn’t really feel nervous at all, until we ended up being 20 minutes late for the church due to the nine bridesmaids and three flower girls all having hair and make-up done.

It was amazing to see so many friends as I walked up the aisle in the church. I was touched that so many people travelled from so far, including from Hong Kong and South Africa, for our day. The service was such a joy as we had amazing musicians, all friends of ours, who played beautifully. David and Zoe Tubbs led the music with David on keyboard and Zoe singing. Max, Tom, Henry and Isabel Davidson played as well as Pete Doyle on the drums. Rosie Burgering sang and Chisato Kusunoki played the piano while we signed the register. We had photographs on Hampstead Heath on the way to the reception and arrived through the garden entrance, where everyone was having drinks.

We all sat down for the wedding breakfast in the Great Hall. We had light food – parma ham and melon to start and cold meats, salads and bread for the main as we had an afternoon tea straight after the service. I cannot speak highly enough of the caterers and the venue. I was so grateful that everything was in their hands so we could all relax.

Simon is a born orator so his speech was very funny. My dad, Geoff, gave a witty and touching speech and Simon’s brother, Nathan Reay, who was best man was also brilliant.

We didn’t organise a first dance, as we wanted to avoid a slow dance, but we ended up dancing to Moves Like Jagger, while the dance floor cleared of our friends. We had a DJ who played for the rest of the evening and almost everyone was dancing, which was one of my favourite parts of the day.


Photography: Sophia Hanbury, London,

Venue: Stationers’ Hall, London, 020 7246 0999,

Dress: Mirror Mirror, Crouch End, 020 7713 9022,

Accessories: Family members

Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Hand made in South Africa

Hair & make-up: Ana Ramos-Thornton and Marijke Cantillon, 07852 735896/07557 372973,

Groom’s outfit: Black Tie (Coventry) Limited,

Stationery: Made by bride and groom

Flowers: Janet Broadhurst (bride’s mother)

Cake: Jessica Broadhurst (bride’s sister)

Catering: Chester Boyd, London, 020 7236 1507,

Venue Dresser: Chester Boyd, as above

Entertainment: Venue DJ

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