The Street Where I Live

British by birth, New Yorker by nature.

Lucy Kenyon-Jones

Wedding Advice From The TSWYL Girls

Love and MarriageAlexandra kingComment

This weekend, Isaac and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary, and over the last few weeks I've been reminiscing about just how busy this time last year was. Wedding planning is, in turn, so thrilling and so agonising- I remember both sensations very well, and can now laugh about the time I had to go to the bathroom to primal scream because I ordered the wrong sized table cloths (WHO WAS I in that moment?). Anyway, as summer wedding season slowly draws to a close for this year, I thought I'd quiz five of The Street Where You Live girls, who all had wonderfully inspiring, beautiful and individual weddings, on how to have a beautiful day and not lose your goddam mind in the process. Scroll down for very many wise words and some seriously stunning brides.

Kira Cook

Kira and Tyler Cook

Who? Tyler Cook, one of Hollywood's most in-demand editors

Where? The Holding Co. in Silverlake, Los Angeles for both ceremony and reception. It was a 1920s auto body shop that's recently been converted to a courtyard/loft/warehouse space. 

What did you wear? I bought a 1960s vintage lace dress from Gossamer vintage, then I bought a seafoam bridesmaids dress from BHLDN and had my friend Tashina, who custom-designs wedding gowns, whip the two into an entirely new dress o' my dreams. Trying on dresses, I fell in love with many but all were insanely-priced, and the vintage ones I found weren't quite perfect, but I knew I wanted an element of antiquity and I knew I wanted some color, as well. I lived and breathed ideas about the perfect dress (I am BONKERS FOR DRESSES in my daily sartorial-scape), even woke up in sweats one night because I told Tashina the wrong idea for a dress. Luckily, in my panicked 6am email, she said not to worry, she never made changes until 3 days after appointments with brides because of this very reason. It ended up being, just, the most beautiful dress I could imagine, honestly. The peter-pan collar and the button-up back lace top combined with a cascade of lace applique down the seafoam tulle was romantic and whimsical, two things I look for most in a dress. And, the top came off so it became a strapless dress to dance in all night! 

What was your favourite part of the day?

There is no feeling like holding onto both parents' arms and walking into a sea of people who you love most in the world to a song that's made you cry for months in anticipation of the wedding and ending up in front of a person whose crystal-blue eyes are shining and weeping and waiting for you to make life-long promises to him. It was really stunning, I was utterly overcome with emotion - so much so that all photos of me walking up the aisle are utterly UNUSABLE because my face is contorted into RIDICULOUS-looking sobs.  

That moment, as well as climbing aboard a turquoise schoolbus we rented at 3:30 in the morning with 30 of our loved ones who managed to stay awake the whole night and driving to Pomona's campus to see the sunrise light show at the James Turrell skyspace "Dividing the Light." That was a truly epic, unforgettable way to usher in our first sunrise as a married couple. 

What's your number one piece of advice for someone else planning their wedding? Don't spend an insane amount on flowers!!!!!!! I read that it can be three to ten thousand dollars to spend on flowers and we definitely didn't have that. My aunt, mom, and I went downtown to the LA Flower District and bought car-loads of flowers for a grand sum of $360, and arranged all the bouquets and vases ourselves, with the help of our family. It was a beautiful way to spend time with everyone the day before the wedding. 

ALSO: this is probably obvious to every sane, sophisticated, adult woman out there but DO NOT CUT YOUR OWN BANGS THREE DAYS BEFORE THE WEDDING because you don't "have enough time" to get them professionally done. I wince at the desperate bang-job I gave myself and can see how uneven it is in all the photos. What a dope!!! 

ALSO: buy comfortable shoes to dance in! I rolled my eyes at every blog's suggestion to buy two pairs of shoes for the wedding (absurd and excessive!) and insisted on finding a comfortable pair I could wear all night that went with my dress. By god did I look high and LOW for that perfect pair, to no avail. I ended up buying a beautiful and moderately comfortable pair for the ceremony and fun flat (FANCY for Chrissakes, not FLIP-FLOPS) sandals to dance in, which meant that I actually danced for hours.
 

Decca Lang

Who? Alex Head, a dashing scientist and motor bike rider.

Where? The Home Farm, Somerset, England. My childhood home


What did you wear? A handmade silk tulle dress made by my friend and drama teacher from school Meryl Smart. A true piece of craftsmanship. Concealed corsets and silk skirts and lots of champagne tulle which is like sewing sand! 


What was your favourite part of the day?  Towards the end of the church ceremony, as we stepped up to the alter for the final blessing, the skies cleared and the October sun streamed through the main stain glasses window in the beautiful ancient church where we got married.  It was pretty amazing. We then turned around to walk out and saw everyone we cared about in the world beaming back at us. Loved the whole thing and just the fact we had the best party with everyone we loved. 


What's your number one piece of advice for someone else planning their wedding?  Elope! Joking....ish?! Try not to let 'wedmin' become all consuming - if you have a long engagement then you'll feel like you never talk/think about anything else for months on end. Have a couple of days a month when you bosh out some stuff and don't worry about it the rest of the time.  Details are all important but don't lose perspective. Will anyone really notice if your tablecloth isn't the same length as the runner? Or if the cutlery doesn't all match because the caterers got it wrong? Whilst your wedding is obviously about you and your new husband - try to remember why your doing it the way you're doing it: To have your favourite people share your day and make it as fun and joyful as possible. Weddings that ask a lot from their guests become a drag. If your guests are happy then so will you be and your day will be a genuine love in.

Lucy Kenyon-Jones

Lucy Kenyon-Jones and Adam Hoefel

Who? Adam Hoefel, a dapper Canadian and hot-shot immigration lawyer

Where?  Camden Town Hall, a beautiful Victorian registry office opposite St. Pancras station. It's a hidden gem filled with sweeping marble staircases and wood panelled chambers. Our wedding reception was held at Brunswick House in Vauxhall, an old Georgian mansion house transformed into Lassco's rambling antiques salvage yard. 


What did you wear? I wore a one-shoulder draped Grecian gown made of claret velvet. I found it online (cheap as chips) and had it posted to the UK from Nordstrom. My mum, a glorious seamstress, sewed layers of frayed claret chiffon into the hem of the dress to create a bit of a bohemian train. She also made me a pair of rough cut garnet and gold earrings - one of my most special possessions. My belt and shoes were from & Other Stories


What was your favourite part of the day? There were so many! Glimpsing Adam outside the registry office as my taxi drew up (my girls had to bundle me down into the car so that I wasn't seen) - I swear my heart skipped a beat. When one of my sisters broke down crying whilst reading our favourite John Cooper Clarke poem and my other sister (her twin) valiantly stepped in and finished it. Our first married kiss. The speeches!! But if I'm totally honest, it was having almost 100 people throw the handmade confetti I'd spent HOURS making over my head. That was a totally joyous moment. 


What's your number one piece of advice for someone else planning their wedding? Don't give a shit what others think. If you don't want to wear white, then don't! Celebrate your mismatched bridesmaids (two of mine wore black, and damn they looked chic!). Walk out of your wedding to the Rolling Stones if you want to, and don't spend money on stuff you can't eat or take home. Also, let your friends help you. From my invites, to my hair, make-up, cake, lighting and venue, my friends joined in and helped build the day with me. 

Thank you wonderful girls. Your words, as ever, inspire. Do you have any top wedding tips? Advice on how to deal with the stress of the big day? I'd love to hear! 

 


The Street Where You Live: Lucy Kenyon-Jones, Kentish Town, London

The Street Where You LiveAlexandra king5 Comments
Lucy Kenyon-Jones, TSWIL

This week in The Street Where You Live you're meeting Lucy Kenyon-Jones, PR girl, flogger of luxurious goods, and glamorous North London denizen, living in the cute and cool London neighborhood of Kentish Town.

In addition to being stomach achingly hilarious, smart as a whip, looking a bit like a much hipper K-Middy and cooking a mean steak, full disclosure, Lulu happens to be my oldest and dearest friend. We first met and fell in love on her first day of Year 8, where our alphabetically aligned last names meant we were assigned to sit next to each other, first in school then in life. Not much has changed since, apart from the chairs now having a big old ocean in between. 

Lu has an amazing ability to fill everyday life with style, heart and soul, and her charming flat is my second home when I journey back to the motherland. Now scroll down and walk with her, on the street where she lives.

Lucy Kenyon-Jones, TSWIL
Lucy Kenyon-Jones, TSWIL

On her street, Leighton Road:

I love Leighton Road. It’s a real mix – we have beautiful Victorian houses painted in ice creamy colours (they sell for £1m+ a piece), council flats, an ace NHS doctor’s surgery and some trendy graphic-designery office spaces. It’s definitely a more beatnik community – lots of journalists, a few actors (Charles Dance lives 3 doors down from me!), heaps of people who look just like me and Adam (it’s freaky), a smattering of students and my gorgeous sister Beatrice (she lives a street away). It’s a classically beautiful North London street in my opinion. Glorious Victorian architecture, pretty trees and there’s the loveliest pub opposite my flat (The Rose and Crown). P.S. I always spot really hot beardy men in there on Friday nights…just sayin’.

Lucy Kenyon-Jones TSWIL

On her favourite thing about her street:

There’s a fig tree in my neighbour’s front garden – at night, when I walk home from work, the smell it gives off reminds me of being on a Greek Island (how niche is that!?). There’s a great family-run corner shop opposite my front door – Susan’s Mini Market – I feel terrible because I call the man who runs it Susan. His name is clearly not Susan.  People might assume that Kentish Town is just your average North London neighbourhood, but it’s a community with a very distinctive spirit, sense of pride and local love. We have our own paper, The Kentish Tower, we fight fiercely to protect local businesses and always refer to our hood at ‘KT’…mainly because we’re North London knobs.  

Lucy Kenyon-Jones, TSWIL

Leighton Road in five words:

Quiet, leafy, fig-scented, anti-suburban, poopy

Lucy Kenyon Jones, TSWIL

On one of the world’s most idyllic commutes:

I’m an Associate Director at a consultancy where we work with major companies, charities and brands to protect and grow their reputations. Yep, it sounds pretty corporate (it is), but it’s fascinating work and I absolutely love it. I sit on the digital team and work across a range of different industries – fashion, healthcare, charities, oil & gas to name a few. My office is in London Bridge in a bustling spot right next to the Shard, but I’ve managed to engineer a commute that partly involves a 20 minute walk along the Thames each morning. Come rain or shine, I stroll past the Tate Modern, St Paul’s Cathedral, The Globe Theatre and a Sir Francis Drake’s galleon (‘The Golden Hinde’) each day and it never gets old.

Lucy Kenyon-Jones, TSWIL

On trying lots of things while figuring out what you want to do:

I started out in fashion PR, much to the disappointment of my university tutor. I mean, he edited The Penguin Book of Renaissance Verse, so he was never going to be an easy one to please. Fashion didn’t totally float my boat, although working on a few London Fashion Weeks was fun, so I switched into luxury brand PR – think Rolls Royces, Swiss watches and cognac. From there I moved into working with big global brands and specialised in digital comms. I pitched doing a digital course to the board of my old agency, got them to cover the costs, did lectures, coursework and exams around a full-time job, and used those skills to leapfrog into a role working with some of the world’s most interesting brands. Specialising in a specific area really helped me push forward at work – having niche knowledge is always, always a useful asset.

Lucy Kenyon-Jones, TSWIL

On finding her apartment:

We live in a one bedroom, second floor flat. It’s mini but I adore it. The sun pours into our sitting room each morning, I can see the BT Tower from my window even when I’m sitting on my sofa and red London double decker buses trundle past our kitchen, but it still feels quiet and homely.

We only went to look at the flat because the estate agent showed us a floor plan for a place with an office. ‘Oh, how lovely, a home office!’ we thought. We got to the flat and quickly realised he’d fobbed us off with the wrong floor plan – a London estate agent classique move – but we kind of didn’t care. We moved in a few weeks later.

I love our flat because it’s full to the brim of beautiful ‘stuff’ – our mantelpiece is covered in momentos, our shelves are packed with books and our kitchen is brimming with bits and pieces. It’s not messy, it’s just filled with mine and Adam’s life together, and I love it that way. It makes a rented flat feel much more personal to me.

Lucy Kenyon Jones, TSWIL

On her beloved room mate:

I live with Adam - he’s a debonair Canadian (what an oxymoron), a complete Anglophile and a mean Negroni-maker. We’ve been a couple for seven years, living together for six and married for one.

Adam is (luckily) the most easy-going, lovely person to live with. I’ve managed to bag a chap who cooks, makes glorious coffee at the weekend, Aperol Spritzes when I get home from work and hot water bottles when I’m under the weather. He also puts the toilet seat down – score! The only things I’ve had to make room for have been his four guitars (he sometimes holds them like babies), his huge Fender amp and ensuing flight case, his slightly queenie tendencies in the kitchen and an obsession with watching Rosemary’s Baby, The Shining and Don’t Look Know as often as possible. Make of that what you will!

Lucy Kenyon-Jones, TSWIL

On the joys of neighbours

Our downstairs neighbours’ bedroom is directly below ours, which means I am subjected to an eclectic mix of shrieky sex noises, video game rumblings and horrendous rows, depending on who’s living there at the time. We have a mouse, although I’ve grown fond of her. The street can be a bit dog poopy…so getting to the tube in the morning can sometimes be a bit like doing hopscotch

Lucy Kenyon-Jones, TSWIL

When you walk down your street, what do you feel in your heart?

I feel like I belong, but at the same time I feel a sense of mourning that I’ll never be able to buy a property on my street, which is sad.

Lucy Kenyon Jones TSWIL

On seeing London through new eyes

I’ve always been a fan of London, but in all truthfulness falling in love with a ‘foreigner’ seven years ago made me appreciate the city in new ways. Adam’s passion for London has made me fall deeply in love with the city all over again. He’s the one who has shown me the best dive bars, the secret passageways and the most glorious churches. He knows more about London than any Londoner, fact, and sometimes you need to remind yourself to love the city you live in rather than letting it grind you down. He’s also taught me to look up and appreciate the beauty of London’s hotch potch architecture, instead of always staring at the pavement. Give it a go – you’ll see the most amazing things.

Lucy Kenyon-Jones, TSWIL

On the perfect Sunday in Kentish Town

A run through of my ideal Sunday in Kentish Town goes a little like this – grab a coffee from Bean About Town, a cute coffee cart near the tube, and wander up to Hampstead Heath for heart-swelling views across London and glimpses at the coolest dogs being walked by their eclectic owners. From there, a pitstop Bloody Mary at the Bull & Last, one of the best pubs in London ever ever ever. Maybe a scotch egg too. If I’m feeling athletic, I’ll then walk down through Camden and Regent’s Park into a more central neighbourhood like Marylebone. If I’m lazy I’ll jump on a tube and be in Soho in 20 minutes. After mooching about and probably touching all the pretty things at Liberty, I’ll jump on a C2 bus and go for dinner with Adam at Pizza East, a Soho House-run gaff just round the corner from us. We might have a quick chaser at the Rose & Crown, and a nosey at the hot beardy men, and them home we’d go.

Lucy Kenyon-Jones TSWIL

Thank you my darling Lu. I miss you so very much.

 If you need more LKJ in your life, and who doesn't, you can follow her here on instagram