A stunning Garden theme Wedding at The Asylum Chapel in London with a pretty peach and black palette

Today I am thrilled to share this stunning Garden theme Wedding at The Asylum Chapel in London with a pretty peach and black palette.

Images were captured by Helen Abraham Photography.

garden theme wedding


Helen Abraham is a a London Wedding Photographer, also specialising in event photography and portrait photography.

She has been on her amazing photography adventure for nearly ten years; travelling all over the world to capture amazing stories in beautiful locations, from intimate elopements to grand three day parties making connections all around the globe.


Bride Nancy says of the couple and their gorgeous Garden theme wedding….


As a life-long learner, an avid gardener and fan of early American history, I had embarked upon a trip to follow up the research I had done on the plant exchange between Philadelphia and London in the 18th century, and a botanist named Peter Collinson who had lived at that time in Peckham.

Journeying to London, to visit a long-time friend, as I had done many times in the past, I made contact with people who suggested I get in touch with Derek, as he had written an article about Collinson.

Eventually Derek and I met up, talked endlessly about Collinson, research, and other things.

Back in California, we exchanged many emails and when I was next in London we met up again, and as time transpired, spent more and more time together.


Derek and I are an older couple, he being in his late 80s and I am in my late 70s.

Having been happily single for 40 years, I was never expecting a marriage proposal. But it did happen…

We were working on some research in Derek’s office when he suddenly asked if I would marry him.

I was so taken aback I wasn’t sure what to say. I live in California, have a home and family in California, have family in Indiana. Derek lives in London, and doesn’t plan to move.

How in the world would this work? So I said, Maybe; a definite maybe, but maybe.

It was a good three months before I asked him to ask the question again, this time in a telephone conversation, and this time I said, Yes.


Because I am a Californian, and marrying a Brit, I needed first to secure a fiancée visa before we could get married.

This meant securing a solicitor in London, and then an unimaginable amount of fees and paperwork for the Home Office… proof of this, proof of that, letters from friends and family, personal statements and so on.

In order to obtain this visa, I had to be in California for four months before the wedding, so most of the planning was done online and through emails and transatlantic phone calls.

And the timing had to be just right if we wanted to get married in November.

Then, having secured the visa, I flew to London just weeks before the wedding.


Our ceremony took place at the Asylum Chapel in London. .

I have always loved flowers and gardens, and because Derek and I are so involved in 18th century and especially garden history and research, it only made sense to have

a garden wedding theme.

I wanted the flowers of the day to be a peach/pink/apricot colour scheme, and I knew they would add a punch of colour alongside  the black outfit I planned to wear, also co-ordinating with the colours of the inside of the Chapel.

I knew the first time I met with Anya, our florist that she would be the perfect one to design the flowers for the wedding.

Because of our background, I wanted the Chapel to look like a garden.

Rather than have typical flower arrangements, Anya turned Asylum Chapel into an amazing and magical garden, with plots of garden here and there and a path through the garden to the altar. Even the staff said they had never seen the Chapel look so wonderful.

The black skirt I wore came from Alexia Maria in San Diego, CA whilst my wedding coat from: Yvonne Chu of Kimera Design, Brooklyn, NY.

After searching and searching in stores and online, and not finding a dress I liked, I did an online search for a Georgian Coat.

Up popped Kimera Design and just the coat I was looking for. I was in California and Yvonne was in New York, so there were telephone calls and emails aplenty.

Yvonne sent me a sample coat which I took to my dressmaker, who pinned and tucked and made comments which my daughter recorded.

The sample coat, pins, tucks, and notes, went back to New York where Yvonne had found wonderful fabric… the pattern contained poppies, and fit so perfectly with my ‘garden’ plans.

Because the finished coat could not be sent to London, it went to California and my daughter brought it with her just a few days before the wedding.

Derek’s suit was made by Threadneedleman Tailors. A neighbour and good friend of Derek’s had mentioned a wonderful tailor to me, someone who was originally from Peckham, whom she thought Derek would really relate to.

George was so outstanding; he and Derek had great conversations about the old times in Peckham.

Derek had never had a suit made for him so this was all new to him, and I suspect a bit overwhelming. He was so handsome at the wedding in his bespoke three piece suit, graciously receiving compliments from all.

Our stationery was from an absolutely fabulous old-fashioned letterpress company in Los Angeles, they rescued me at the last minute when the London company I had picked could not do the job.

Brooke took on the job and created the most elegant invitations for the wedding.

My hairstylist Jeff Wacker has been ‘doing’ my hair for more than forty years, and has really become one of the family.

When I told him I was getting married… in London… he said, And I’m coming to London to do your hair. I wouldn’t miss it for the world, and he really took care of me on the day.


It was so wonderful to have my daughter and son and their families come to London and be a part of the wedding, with another  highlight being having special friends deliver our readings.

My daughter Melissa, and Derek’s friend David were to share a reading of All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.

They had never practiced together, had never met, introducing themselves as they walked up to the front of the chapel, and then so beautifully recited the poem it brought tears and laughter to all.

Following our ceremony there was a reception immediately following by Cocotte Catering.

Anna and Fi who were wonderful, using our garden theme, they added edible flowers to some of the canapés.

The Wedding breakfast then took place at Brunswick House, London.


There were a few glitches on the day as there always are…

I lost one of my shoes… my son, who was bring the orders of service to the ceremony, and being an American, took the bus in the wrong direction and was late arriving… but there was nothing I would change ever about the experience..

If I was to give a pearl of wedded wisdom to other couples getting married it would be.. “It’s important not to be just partners or a couple, but to also be friends.”


Thank you so much to Helen for sharing her beautiful images of this exquisite garden theme wedding, and to Nancy and Derek for sharing a little of their lives and their beautiful day.

Love can touch us at any point in our lives.

People meet as kids, grow up together and fall in love, some in their youth, some a little later.

Sometimes love can pass us by, or sometimes we have it, and lose it and think we will never feel it again.

Nancy and Derek show us in their story that love is a funny thing and can come along just when we don’t expect it.

It is a force that is powerful and when we have it we should cherish it and should never let it go.


Wedding Suppliers

Photographer: Helen Abraham Photography

Ceremony Venue: Asylum Chapel – Caroline Garden – London

Wedding Breakfast Venue: Brunswick House

Black Wedding Skirt:  Alexia Maria – San Diego – CA

Wedding coat from: Yvonne Chu of Kimera Design – Brooklyn – NY

Suit:  Threadneedleman Tailors

Florist: Anya Cluer from Bloom East

Drinks Reception catering: Cocotte Catering.

Rings: 77 Diamonds 

Stationery: Aardvark Letterpress – Los Angeles – CA

Hair stylist: Jeff Wacker of Salon Platinum – Aliso Viejo – CA


UK Wedding Blogger with an eclectic style based in Glasgow

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