The Greatest Thing You’ll Ever Learn


All the way back in May, I was privileged to be part of something very special – the marriage of two people I love very much, my friends Antoine and Martin. It was a wonderfully intimate celebration and it had as its backdrop the most beautiful city in the world. I am, of course, talking about London.

Rather than simply sit us all in a room with a few bottles of champagne, Antoine and Martin decided to share with us the city they both fell in love with enough to move here and where they fell in love with each other. And although she’s no stranger to me, seeing London like a tourist is a genuinely gleeful experience, especially if you live or work there regularly. Which is why I took more than 600 photos that day (don’t worry, I haven’t put them all in here – just a few of my favourites).

I was lucky enough to have someone pretty awesome as my date for the occasion …

Miss France all dressed up for Antoine and Martin's wedding in London

Miss France all dressed up for Antoine and Martin's wedding in London

… who helpfully obliged in taking photos of me.

pinkschmink makeup look for Antoine and Martin's wedding in London

I’m no makeup pro, but in case you’re interested, I’m wearing Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation in shade 4 over a base of Bare Minerals Prime Time Brightening Foundation Primer (I LOVE that stuff) and a touch of Benefit Coralista on my cheeks. I used the Makeup Revolution Redemption Palette in Romantic Smoked on my eyes, with a few lashings of my favourite Benefit They’re Real! mascara, and on my lips is the L’Oréal Paris Color Riche Collection Privée Lipstick in Julianne’s Nude.

The wedding ceremony took place in the Brydon Room at Chelsea Old Town Hall, a truly iconic setting that has played host to many a celebrity wedding over the years.

Brydon Room at Chelsea Old Town Hall, London

It was a beautiful setting, but as I was so nervous about opening the ceremony with my reading, much of the rest passed me by in a bit of a blur.

pinkschmink going to make a reading at the wedding of Antoine and Martin in London

pinkschmink passes the groom and groom after reading Nature Boy at their wedding in London

Perhaps you can tell from this picture that I was trying not to cry: I made the fatal mistake of looking over at Antoine while I was reading to find that he was a little watery-eyed, and I almost completely lost it myself …

Antoine and Martin exchange rings at their wedding in London

Antoine and Martin sign the register at their wedding in London

Antoine and Martin emerge from Chelsea Old Town Hall after their wedding ceremony in London

Antoine and Martin kiss on the steps of Chelsea Old Town Hall after their wedding ceremony

With the rings exchanged, the register signed and kisses bestowed, there was only one thing left to do. So we made our way to the river, where our venue for the evening’s celebrations awaited …

Antoine and Martin with wedding guests at Cadogan Pier, London

… pausing for a group photo on Cadogan Pier (which is where the Queen sailed from for her Jubilee River Pageant, don’t you know) …

Antoine smiling with a glass of champagne aboard the MV Edwardian, London

… before being welcomed aboard the MV Edwardian with a much-appreciated glass of the good stuff.

We waved goodbye to the shore, and set off on a cruise through the heart of our beloved capital.

Waving goodbye as we set sail from Cadogan Pier aboard the MV Edwardian on the Thames, London

Friends aboard the MV Edwardian celebrating Antoine and Martin's wedding in London

View of Albert Bridge and Battersea from the Thames aboard the MV Edwardian, London

We couldn’t have asked for better weather (though admittedly it was a little chilly once the boat began gliding along the river).

pinkschmink aboard the MV Edwardian on the Thames, London

Outfit details: my dress is by Rare London (and is now in the sale!), and my jacket is from New Look but seems to be sold out – it’s similar to this one or there are alternatives here and here. The feathery sandals are from Aldo a million years ago, but Topshop has some similar ones in the sale. The necklace is a vintage faux-pearl necklace I found in a charity shop, and the Dior-alike earrings came from Sainsbury’s (!) but I also love this Accessorize pair.

As we talked and chatted and sipped champagne and posed for photos, we were already passing some of London’s greatest hits.

Antoine and Martin pose for photos in front of their old apartment building at Chelsea Bridge Wharf, London

Battersea Power Station without its iconic chimneys, London

A toast to the newly-married groom Antoine

Admiring the view of Vauxhall from the back of the MV Edwardian, London

View of the Houses of Parliament from the Thames, London

View of the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and Westminster Bridge with red buses from the Thames

It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve seen the Houses of Parliament, seeing it from a boat on the Thames turns everyone into a tourist.

Not to mention County Hall and the London Eye …

View of the London Eye and County Hall from the MV Edwardian on the Thames, London

The London Eye and County Hall seen from the MV Edwardian on the Thames, London

It seemed hardly any time at all had passed and we were sailing past the Square Mile …

The Gherkin, the Walkie-Talkie and the Cheese Grater buildings in the City of London seen from the Thames

… and under Tower Bridge …

Tower Bridge seen from the deck of the MV Edwardian on the Thames, London

Wedding guests aboard the MV Edwardian with a backdrop of the Thames and Tower Bridge, London

… and before we knew it, it was time to take our places for dinner.

Wedding table setting aboard the MV Edwardian, London

Diptyque Mimosa candle on the table for Antoine and Martin's wedding reception in London

Handwritten wedding reception place card featuring the London skyline

By this time we were all ravenous, so I’m afraid I tucked in to our feast without taking a photo … We enjoyed a selection of classic dishes from the grooms’ respective countries: rich boeuf bourgignon and dauphinoise potatoes from Antoine’s native France, and melt-in-the-mouth slow-cooked Persian lamb and spiced chicken skewers reflecting Martin’s Iranian roots. My tummy is rumbling now at the memory of it all.

Between courses, Antoine and I inspected the cake …

Antoine with his wedding cake aboard the MV Edwardian, London

… and dashed outside to snap a quick photo with his new apartment building in the background. (He counts Liam Payne of One Direction as a neighbour. NBD.)

Antoine posing with Canary Wharf and Pan Peninsula in the background aboard the MV Edwardian on the Thames, London

A few minutes later, the MV Edwardian was turning around and making her way back towards Chelsea, and the sky behind us was beginning to turn pink and purple.

Clouds at dusk over the Thames at Greenwich, London

At this point, a great deal of wine had been consumed, and I don’t think anyone would thank me for sharing scenes from the traditional Persian knife dance with you … Thankfully, no-one was injured and the cutting of the cake went off without a hitch (not that you’d know it from Antoine’s face).

Antoine and Martin cut their wedding cake

This wasn’t just any cake, by the way. It was three different-flavoured layers (I think I managed to polish off two different slices, and I can confirm they were both delicious).

While the others danced between the tables, a few of us snuck outside to capture London looking absolutely beautiful in the twilight.

A wedding guest takes a photo of Chelsea Bridge lut up at night from the MV Edwardian, London

Chelsea Bridge at nights reflected in the Thames from the MV Edwardian, London

pinkschmink and Antoine on the rear deck of the MV Edwardian on the Thames, London

Antoine and Martin look out over the Thames at night from the MV Edwardian, London

And just like that, we were back at Cadogan Pier and it was over too soon. But we’d made enough magical memories to last our hosts a lifetime. Here’s to a long and happy one.

As Nat King Cole said: “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love, and be loved in return …”

Albert Bridge at night, Chelsea, London