Top Four 'Don’t Make Me Sell My Kidney’ Wedding Necessities North London
Written by: E J Stedman
Getting married, as it transpires, is a massive pain. Just as you tick another seemingly pointless task off your endless checklist, another will leap out of nowhere and bite you on the arse. It may seem like all fun and games and first, but if you can come back to me six months before the Big Day without having had a nervy b, I will eat my aforementioned list.
That being said, as a charming and generous person I am more than happy to share the wisdom I have accrued thus far in the planning of my own hysterically expensive party. Especially considering I’m literally never going to use any of this information ever a-fucking-gain. At least, I hope not.
1. Give notice with Haringay or Islington
Wedding planning is full of surprises: none of them fun, all of them expensive. SURPRISE! You have to let your local council know you’re going to get married, for no other reason than Because-We-Said-So. SURPRISE! You have to do it in person. Both of you. I know. SURPRISE! You also need to give them £70 for the pleasure. SURPRISE! You need to do it at least 28 days in advance, and 70 days in advance if one of you is foreign (because apparently the council is racist or something).
SURPRISE! But you can’t do it more than a year in advance because reasons.
Fortunately, both the Haringay and Islington council websites make it super easy to book what day and what time you’d like to go in. SURPRISE! As long as it’s Monday – Friday, 9-5pm.
2. Go dress shopping on Fonthill Road
Oh man. What a treasure trove of excitement. If you are on a budget but want to look like a goddamn princess, Fonthill Road is the place for you. The street is bursting with bridal gowns, as well as mother of the bride outfits and bridesmaids dresses.
If you are looking to be pampered, you are in the wrong place. No prosecco, no coo-ing assistants, and no changing rooms. You heard it right – no changing rooms.
Get yo’ cheap ass over to some fancy stores, let them woo you and fill you full of booze, and find the right style of dress for you.
Once you’ve sobered up you can work your way down Fonthill Road with a dress in mind, haggle with the occasionally terrifying shop assistants and be safe in the knowledge that you’ve saved yourself many hundreds if not thousands of pounds.
3. Get married at Islington Town Hall
Let’s cut the crap. Finding a venue is probably the worst bit of the whole ordeal. It’s expensive and time consuming and emotional and I never ever want to do it again.
Plus to add some real fun into the mix, most of the cheaper venues won’t have a wedding license – that means you can’t have a legal ceremony there. Natch.
So you have to fork out ANOTHER load of cash to have the actual ceremony, and then transport everyone from venue to venue and the whole thing is a big load of balls.
OR! You can just cheekily have a fake-ceremony (blessing) at the reception venue; you can walk down the aisle (corridor, whatever), profess your undying love for each other and snog in front of your relatives without having to worry about how to transport 70 people – some of whom are super elderly – or paying through the nose for ceremony only venue or any of that bollocks.
Then get your beautiful, bargain behinds to Islington Town Hall, and in exchange for £120 you can get legally hitched in 20 minutes. That includes the registrar fee, the room hire and the certificate.
No walk-ins, no personalised vows, no nonsense. Save all that jazz for the blessing, and just think of it as a legal procedure for tax purposes.
4. Get the hell out of here
I mean the whole thing is a logistical nightmare. You may have noticed that I’m finding this wedding malarkey to be a massive faff – bearing in mind it is literally my job to organise shit for other people, I’m still finding it a complete ‘mare.
Once you’ve got some of the big stuff out the way (legal requirements organised, dress bought, venue booked) just get on a train and fuck off for a day or so.
The furthest you can get away directly from Finsbury Park is Peterborough or Cambridge. Go there, drink pints upon pints and let yourself forget about the enormous mess you got yourselves in by agreeing to legally bind yourselves to each other for. Really, think about it – no good reason at all.
Engagement photo courtesy of E J Stedman.
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By gum there are a lot of winter markets this year. Fueled by sickly sweet mulled wine and overpriced pulled pork sliders, we’ve managed to wade our way through the murky waters of winter markets and find some decent looking ones round this here part of town. Don’t let our Grinch-esq vibes put you off (I’m more of a Pancake Day person myself) because, if you’re into markets, you’ll probably like these. Read on, if you’re merrier than us.
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Next time you need a caffeine hit why not take it from a cup brewed from Jamaican beans grown under a canopy of rainforest-preserving trees, whilst eating a home made vegan banana bread as you sit among an array of sweetly scented blooms. Welcome to Mento, Finsbury Park.