Before the days of Tinder there was Plenty of Fish, and this is where Jonathan and Jay first met. “It took months for us to have a first date as we had so many holidays booked,” Jonathan laughs. “We finally locked in a date for 4th June, 2013, and we agreed to meet in Soho Square.” Thank goodness they did get a date in the diary, because after a successful bar crawl across Soho the pair were inseparable.

Fast forward to March 2018, and the pair are on a trip to an incredible safari hotel in Rathambore National Park, India, where Jonathan popped the all-important question. Of course, Jay said “yes,” and on returning home the couple started planning their dream wedding.

As commercial director of a premium boutique catering company, Food Show, Jay has seen countless venues across London, and the Tower of London has always stood out. Luckily for Jonathan and Jay, it was about to get its marriage licence just two weeks before their wedding date on 24th January, 2020. We caught up with Jonathan to find out more…

Intimate wedding breakfast It was a dream come true for Jonathan and Jay to be able to host their special day at the Tower of London. "We wanted something beautiful and classy, with stunning food and drink," Jonathan tells us. "Our guest list consisted of just 12 very close friends and family, so it was important that the space felt intimate."

Crown Jewels The pair opted for the vaulted Wakefield Tower for their ceremony, which was conducted by Grainne Nixon from Tower Hamlets council. "We had some beautiful Chandelle armchairs and a mirrored Venetian writing desk," Jonathan says. "Ski-lodge style fur blankets and soft amber-coloured lighting from Event Concept finished off the cosy feel."

Vaulted ceiling

The talented florist Veevers Carter created an exquisite hanging arrangement, which hung from the original cast-iron chandelier, along with 5ft tall stands covered in church candles. "The flowers were deep purples and reds with gold accents," Jonathan says. "Our florist requested samples of our suits to ensure it coordinated perfectly."

Candle

For a truly memorable event, guests were treated to a private tour of the Crown Jewels before being seated for the ceremony. After the I dos, they enjoyed a sumptuous dinner in Martin Tower. Jonathan says, "Jay's dad served in the army alongside the Tower's new chief gaoler, Jim Duncan. He was able to join us on the evening, making it even more special."

Newlyweds toast Jonathan and Jay wore matching Reiss tuxedos, with teal velvet jackets and shiny patent shoes. "We had matching buttonholes featuring ranunculi from the wonderful Veevers Carter team," Jonathan explains. "They chose a deep purple to contrast beautifully with our teal jackets. Our two groomsmen decided that as it was such a special day, they would wear their own wedding suits – almost stealing our thunder!"

Flowers

The newlyweds hosted a drinks and canapé reception in St Thomas' Tower in King Edward I's bedchamber. "We toasted with magnums of Coates & Seely Brut Rosé English sparkling wine – our favourite!" Jonathan says.

Catering

"The incredible team at Food Show prepared beautifully intricate canapés based on our favourite dishes: steak frites and béarnaise sauce, truffle barley arancini and ham hock terrine."

Couple The party then moved to the Martin Tower for a showstopping feast, including Cheltenham beetroot with pistachio, creamy burrata and fromage truffle cigar to start, Lake District fillet of beef with potato glass wafer for the main course and a mouth-watering trio of desserts, including vegan sticky toffee pudding and a passionfruit crème brûlée dome. "This was all followed by a delicious cheeseboard," Jonathan says. "It featured nine cheeses and was built live at the dining table on an antique oak trunk. For an extra-special touch, we hired exquisite china, cutlery and glassware."

Chaircovers
Canapes

Newlyweds outside venue On reflection, how do the couple feel about their day? "There is absolutely nothing we would change," Jonathan says. "It was the perfect ceremony and evening for us and our loved ones. Everybody felt like royalty after being treated to a private tour of the Crown Jewels and being led by the famous Yeomen Warders, who told us about the history and secrets of the Tower. Everything combined to create the perfect atmosphere on a dark and mysterious January evening."

Jonathan and Jay's contact book

Grooms' shirts

Grooms' suits

Photographer

Production, lighting, music, decor

Tableware and props

Venue

Tower of London
www.hrp.org.uk
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