Conway Hall Library Wedding | Simon and Ilora’s Joyous Intimate Wedding with Laure de Sagazan Dress

20 May, 2024

Simon and Ilora’s Conway Hall library wedding was magical for a number of reasons. Not only did it take place during the summer of 2021, when things were still only just opening up again (and seeing actual, real life people in the flesh still felt like a wonderful dream!), but it was also a day bursting from the seams with love and joy. It’s the perfect inspiration if you’re considering an intimate or micro wedding celebration, or looking for a way to pay homage to different cultures on your wedding day.

Emotional Conway Hall library wedding ceremony

Simon and Ilora’s wedding is also great inspiration if you’re looking for an alternative venue in London that you (and your guests) might not have seen before, because they chose to get married at Conway Hall.

Conway Hall is a stunning Grade II listed building tucked away in an unsuspecting square in central London. The main events space there is the Main Hall, a room which has played host to everyone from jazz concerts to The Cure, but Simon and Ilora’s wedding took place in the extra-special library upstairs.

As the home of the Conway Hall Ethical Society, the oldest surviving freethought organisation in the world, the library and its specialist collection is the beating heart of the building. Ilora’s dad had some historical connections to the venue, which made the location – and in particular, the decision to have a Conway Hall library wedding – extra poignant for them. 

As such, their ceremony was super emotional – Ilora’s mum did a really beautiful reading, and Simon & Ilora have such a wonderful connection that was really lovely to witness!

As well as feeling it, Simon and Ilora’s Conway Hall library wedding also looked epic. Tall wooden shelves stacked with historic books line all four walls, so the room feels both grand and intimate. The spines of the books provided pops of colour throughout that matched Simon and Ilora’s flowers, bright, blousy Star Flower bouquets tied to the chairs that lined the aisle. At the top, their signing table was framed by two more epic floral plinth arrangements, and placed in front of the beautiful arched balcony doors, which gave everything a romantic, airy feel.

Bloomsbury portrait session

After their Conway Hall library wedding ceremony, Simon and Ilora celebrated with drinks, speeches and canapés in the building’s ornate reception. We also used this time to get some group portraits in front of the stunning period doors. Then, it was time for our couple’s portrait session!

We started in the library, which was now clear of furniture and perfect for us to roam around: on the balcony, the fireplace, and in front of those delicious feature walls. After this, we bid their guests a temporary farewell before hopping in the wedding car and driving a short while to Bloomsbury to take some photos in the streets.

It was really important to Simon and Ilora that they had photos of just the two of them together around Bloomsbury, as it’s their favourite part of the city. It’s such an idyllic slice of London life – the wide open roads, the gorgeous architecture, and the perfect amount of hustle and bustle too.

Outfit changes for the evening reception 

Speaking of perfection – let’s talk about Simon and Ilora’s outfits. For their Conway Hall library wedding ceremony and photos, Simon and Ilora brought all the contemporary, vintage-inspired wedding vibes, with Simon in a blue Boggi suit and a retro floral tie, and Ilora in a Laure de Sagazan silk skirt and lace top with a high ruff style collar.  

In advance of their evening reception at Chutney Mary in St James’s Park, both Simon and Ilora changed into more traditional Indian wedding clothing. Back at the hotel – where their family were watching the Wales-Denmark Euros quarter final – Simon changed into a crisp white and gold sherwani and embellished turban, whilst Ilora changed into a stunning red and gold sari. 

Again, not only were they aesthetically kicking ass, but they had extra special meaning too: the sari Ilora wore was actually her mum’s from her wedding day. I love the drama of a wedding outfit change anyway, but especially when it’s a way of incorporating even more meaning, connection, and cultural traditions into your day.

Chutney Mary had definitely received the golden memo too, as the room was embellished with elegant statues, artwork, and light fixings (which gave the room the same grand-but-intimate feeling that their ceremony had.) To accompany their delicious Indian meal, they also had a simple two-tier cake from Wild Goose Bakery, finished with foliage and huge blooming peonies.

Alternative, relaxed wedding photography

I had the best time shooting Simon and Ilora’s Conway Hall Library wedding day – a day full of SO MUCH LOVE and laughter and all the good stuff, as you can see from the photos. But you don’t have to take my word for it – here’s what Simon and Ilora had to say about having me there on the day:

“We absolutely love the photos! The colours are wonderful and we really love the way that you have captured so many great expressions and moments. 

We had such a special day and we’re glad you had a good time too. Thank you for taking such beautiful photos but, more than that, for being such a brilliant, warm presence throughout the day. You really put us at ease and I think that is clear to see in the pictures.”

If you’re looking for fun and relaxed wedding photography for your wedding celebrations, I’d love to hear from you. Whether you’re planning a Conway Hall library wedding or somewhere else – I cover London, Manchester, the UK, and beyond. You can get in touch here – I can’t wait to get chatting! 


Venue: Conway Hall https://www.conwayhall.org.uk/ 

Evening venue: Chutney Mary  https://www.chutneymary.com/ 

Ilora’s Outfit: Laure de Sagazan https://www.lauredesagazan.fr/en/ 

Simon’s Outfits: Boggi (suit) https://www.boggi.com  / Mongas (sherwani) https://mongas.co.uk

Hair & Makeup: Lesley Vye https://www.lesleyvye.com/ 

Flowers: Star Flower https://www.star-flower.co.uk/ 

Cake: Wild Goose Bakery https://www.wildgoosebakery.com/ 

Catering: Hubbub Catering https://www.hubbubcatering.co.uk/ 

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