British GQ's Insight & Strategy Editor Becky Lucas, 34, married Alex Ritman, 35, at Hornsey Town Hall Arts Centre in Crouch End, London, on 19th December 2015. She says:

I first saw Hornsey Town Hall in Crouch End, London, in 2011. At the time the building appeared derelict. Looking through the bars at the front door, Dad told me how glamorous it used to be when he was a kid. Fast-forward to early 2015 and Alex and I had just got engaged and were living in a flat we'd bought in neighbouring Harringay. We were keen on the idea of getting married in Crouch End and cycled over to Hornsey Town Hall, just on the off-chance. We found it open, hosting an art exhibition.

After a few nail-biting months waiting for them to get their marriage venue licence officially approved, we booked it as our venue. Not only had my nanna paid her bills there, my mum's dad had been to see jazz bands there in the 1940s. And Alex's late father, originally from Stoke Newington, had attended political meetings there back in the 1960s too.

HOW TO CHOOSE A WEDDING VENUE

Having tried on around 60 dresses in a range of styles, I chose a drop-waist Charlie Brear 1920s-style design because it's the sort of look I would normally wear for a special occasion. I customised my dress by adding a lace panel to the front because I wanted to make it unique, and added a back necklace too.

To decorate our ceremony room, we laid mistletoe across the table where we signed the register and marriage certificate. Three gold ribbon-wrapped hurricane lamps containing candles added the fishing touch. The mistletoe theme continued at dinner, with sprigs on each table in wine and beer bottles that myself and one of our guests (who is a props stylist, at chinahen.co.uk) spray-painted to match the wedding's blue, gold and silver colour scheme. Painted pine cones acted as the place setting name holders.

The retro sweets that we'd ordered to gift our friends and family as wedding favours didn't arrive until after our big day, so instead we put a gold or silver party popper on each place setting. But we decided to include the sweets with the thank you cards instead.

My top tip: Automate your thank you cards as much as you can. Writing a personal note for each guest is wonderfully thoughtful in theory, but will take time you probably don't have and can quickly become a weight on your newly-married mind!

Photography by: joeshortweddingphotography.com

REAL WEDDINGS TO INSPIRE YOUR OWN BIG DAY