One pretty fail-safe way to guarantee that you'll always remember your wedding anniversary (and, for that matter, ensure that you'll always have friends up for a celebration) is to get married on New Years Eve. Anna & Nick did precisely that, with what can only be described as an absolutely epic party in the heart of London, at the very cool Hixter Bankside restaurant, just down the road from the Shard. As if that wasn't enough in itself, this also happened to be the very first wedding ever to be held there, the restaurant having gone out and secured the licence especially for the occasion! And it was very cool indeed...
Bridal preparation took place in Dulwich, an area I'm getting to know pretty well now after several weddings where some or all of the day has happened there, and then it was straight into the centre for the wedding itself. The ceremony was scheduled for late in the afternoon, so dusk was falling as I crept across town. (One thing I've learned about New Year's Eve weddings in London: allow plenty of time for travel. The roads are busy enough anyway, but as you get closer to the centre you also have road closures to contend with!). No problems reaching the restaurant though, and it was looking fantastic as I entered, all set up and ready for our bride and groom.
Nick was already on site, greeting the guests as they arrived and very quickly started to fill the corridor and bar area. We successfully grabbed a few moments downstairs with best man and ushers for a couple of photos, but with Anna not far behind me (in a huge limo, no less) we were soon back upstairs and taking our positions ready for the first ever bride to walk down the Hixter aisle!
There's no other way to describe it - Anna looked stunning, in what I guess I would call a half-wedding-half-cocktail dress. I've certainly never seen one like it, and a quick glance in Nick's direction confirmed that he was pretty floored by it! And so to the marriage...
And then it was on to the party. Trust me, this is a couple which knows how to put on a celebration! And this is where Hixter Bankside really came into its own - what an absolutely superb space for an all-out wedding reception and New Years bash. Downstairs, a very cool cocktail bar, with drinks and canapes flying everywhere (try the chicken popcorn!), and upstairs a large modern restaurant, with stunning and very eye-catching modern art scattered around pretty much everywhere you look. Seriously, this place has got 'party'written all over it!
And the food. Oh my, the food! It turns out that Anna & Nick are very much into the culinary arts, and this had been a huge part of their decision-making process as they were planning the wedding. (Those who know me will attest to the fact that I'm rather into all things edible myself). The wedding breakfast was a meat-lovers paradise (I'm sure there were some vegetarian options too) with a couple of the restaurant's signature dishes forming the backbone: whole stuffed chickens sat perched on a bed of fries, and huge, beautifully rare bone-in rib steaks, all served family-style and in enormous quantities. Oh, and yorkshire puddings the size of footballs to get things started. The word feast is entirely appropriate in this blog post!
Meal and speeches concluded, there was still a party to be had, and a New Year to see in. Also, a few group and family photos, which we set up quickly back downstairs in the bar while the rest of the wedding guests stayed upstairs filling up any spare room with marshmallows, churros and chocolate fondu. And then things really got going - the band kicked in (excellent band, by the way!), the cocktails flowed, the dancing grew wilder and wilder, and midnight suddenly arrived with a bang! And as the party continued on into the early hours of 2016, I was able to sweep our bride and groom out onto the now largely-deserted streets of central London, with the iconic Shard building looking in the background, for a final couple of portraits before returning them to the buzz of one of the greatest celebrations I've ever seen. Way to get married, Anna & Nick! You did this one in serious style!
The photos above are just a small selection from the day. Friends and family can view the complete set in Anna & Nick's private gallery, but you'll have to ask them for the password first.
If you are planning your wedding at Hixter Bankside and would like to know more about my wedding photography services, packages and prices, please don't hesitate to contact me to discuss your plans and ask me any questions you might have. I'm only too happy to help however I can.
Hope you enjoyed the photos, and thanks - as ever - for reading!
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