A Quirky Industrial Museum Wedding

industrial wedding sheffield



Steven and Helen wanted a day full of their family and friends with a Ceilidh to entertain them at the reception. So they chose to marry at the town hall followed by a reception at the industrial backdrop of Kelham Island Museum, Sheffield.  They kept to a £6000 budget by taking on much of the planning themselves, with family helping to arrange the flowers and bake the cakes.

They had an ale theme at their reception with bottles for the flowers and the tables named after different beers. I so love Helen’s tea length dress she found in Coast, which she teamed with the sweetest homemade accessories. While Steven donned traditional tails with Lego cuff links. Amazing.

Thanks so much to the brilliant Vivid Impact Photography for sharing their photographs with us today.



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The Proposal… Steven: Having bought some jewellery and asked Helen’s Dad for permission to marry her, I was just waiting for the opportune moment to propose. Two days later it snowed and after going out for a nice early morning snow walk I came back and wrote “Will you marry me?” in the snow in our back garden. Helen luckily put her wellies on and went and added “Yes”

The Vision for the Day… What was most important for us was to have all of our friends and family there to celebrate our marriage. We also really wanted a ceilidh so needed a large enough venue for all of the guests to dance.

We legally married at the town hall but followed this up an hour or so later with a personalised ceremony at the museum, conducted by one of our closest friends.

The Planning Process… As were are both qualified project managers we had joked that if we didn’t pull this off then our reputations were at stake! Within hours of the proposal an almighty spreadsheet was already starting to take shape.

Because Helen was going back to university we got the larger things such as venue and photography sorted early with the smaller details to follow.

Budget…  As we mentioned earlier the wedding was all about getting as many people as possible to share our day and not about having a big fancy wedding with all the trimmings. By doing a lot of the organisation and decoration our selves, really making the ushers work hard and pulling in many favours that we’ve built up over the years our wedding came in just under £6,000

The Venue… Kelham Island Museum, Sheffield: Originally we looked at the venue because we knew it had a large room in which we’d been to ceilidhs in the past. However when we started to look into this more we found out that they were developing as a wedding venue and we could use the whole museum not just the upper gallery.

This turned out to be a fantastic venue giving a real interest point for people during the drinks reception and a fantastic place for photos. There was also a great children’s play area which proved very popular.

The Dress + Accessories… Helen: Having decided to have a ceilidh, and loving the 50’s style of dress, I decided that a short tea length dress would be perfect. I contemplated making the dress myself since I like to sew my own clothes but luckily I found a dress that I loved in Coast, which saved a huge amount of work given that I had gone back to university to study by this point.

Having found a 50’s style dress, I decided to stick with the theme and go all out classic 50’s. I made a white cape using a 50’s dress pattern and also made a birdcage veil to go with it. I found some original 1950’s hair combs on Etsy, which matched the colour scheme of yellow and blue and decided to go with blue shoes so I could wear them again.

Finding the Dress… Having thought about making it, I was lucky enough to find a dress I liked in Coast which I knew would be perfect. I found the dress about 2 months after Steven proposed so had to wait another 12 months before I could actually wear it again. Every time I went home to my parents, I would get it out and look at it again and again! Sad I know, but I just really loved it.

Groom’s Attire… Steven: I was determined to have Top hat and Tails. However Helen thought I looked ridiculous in a top hat so that was vetoed by Her sharpish (annoyingly). So I had to stick with just the tailcoat.

The Readings + Music… Helen: Being from Worcester I couldn’t have anything else other than Edward Elgar as entry and exit music (Salut d’amour and Nimrod). The readings we chose were: “A lovely love story” by Edward Monkton and “The art of a good marriage” by Wilfred Arlan Peterson. I especially loved the Lovely Love Story reading – it made me smile every time I read it.

As we had created a non-religious church style wedding at the museum we needed a non-religious song to sing in place of a hymn . We chose “When I’m 64” by The Beatles. Entertainingly, the more we looked at the lyrics, the more we realised it summed us up as a couple really well.

Beautiful Bridesmaids… Helen: I asked my sister to be my bridesmaid and witness. After trying on what felt like hundreds of dresses, we found the perfect bridesmaid dress for her which matched the 50’s  style of my dress really well. She also organised a wonderful hen do at The Vintage Salon in The Custard Factory in Birmingham (http://www.lekeuxevents.co.uk/index.html), which included a Charleston lesson and vintage cocktail lesson.

The Flowers… Helen: Having done an absolutely stunning job with Steven’s sister’s wedding 6 months earlier, Steven’s other sister kindly offered to do all of our flowers for us, including tables, button holes and bouquet. She bought a selection of yellow and white flowers from a local florist to use for everything and yet again she made an amazing display. I couldn’t have been happier with how they turned out.

The Cake… Helen: My mum made the cakes for us but they were decorated by an old school friend of mine who owns Lottie’s Cakes (http://lotties-cakes.co.uk/). Charlotte decorated the cakes absolutely beautifully and it was such a lovely surprise to see them all decorated and finished the day before we got married. We found a great Lego cake topper on Ebay to go on top of the cake as well.

Your Photographer… We chose Rhys after meeting him at Steven’s sister’s wedding 6 months earlier. We really loved the style of his photography and his way of dealing with the bride, groom and guests through the day. We thought that his photographic style would work really well in an industrial setting like the one at Kelham island and we haven’t been disappointed! We’ve had all the photos back now and our only regret is that we couldn’t afford to have him for longer during the day.

The Details + Decor… We’re both CAMRA members and we love our real ale so Helen came up with the suggestion that we could use beer bottles for both the table centres and the table names (one brewery per table). Steven’s sister arranged  the flowers in these bottles and we had great fun drinking our way through beers from 20 – 30 different independent breweries.

Having worked in the entertainments industry for a number of years, Steven was able to pull in various favours in order to decorate the venue. We did all the decoration ourselves with the help of many willing volunteers, the day before the wedding  and there’s no way we would have been able to do it all without the help from all our friends and family.

Catering was a traditional Yorkshire pie and pea supper provided by W&M Wright who also provided an amazing selection of deserts. So many people have commented since the day, on how amazing the pies were.

The Honeymoon… Yet to come! We had a mini-moon in Edinburgh just after the wedding, but we’re off to Kenya for a Safari in August and can’t wait.

Memorable Moments… Going on the dodgems in Sheffield city centre after our Town Hall ceremony – it definitely caused a few stirs! Having the reception in the main museum – this worked so well, and all our guests lovely being able to look round whilst having a drink.

Advice for Other Couples… Don’t be afraid to do what you want to  – it’s your wedding after all! The most important thing is that you and your guests have a good time, not that every tiny detail is perfect. Make sure that you budget within your means.

Credit Where Credit is Due…

Hen do at The Vintage Salon: http://www.lekeuxevents.co.uk/index.html

Cake decorated by Lottie’s Cakes: http://lotties-cakes.co.uk/

Catering: W & M Wright Catering: http://www.wrightscaterers.co.uk/

Bar and supplementary catering by Little Mester’s Cafe at Kelham Island: http://www.littlemesterssheffield.com/

Band: The Outlandish Knights: http://www.theoutlandishknights.co.uk/

Venue: Kelham Island Museum: http://www.simt.co.uk/kelham-island-museum/

Photography: Vivid Impact: http://vividimpactphotography.com/

So fun, so modern, so unique. I love that Steven and Helen’s personalities really shine through their wedding. Thanks so much to Steven and Helen for sharing their wedding with us today XOXO Lou

4 thoughts on “A Quirky Industrial Museum Wedding

Amazing, love the character shining through in all the details and location! The museum looks stunning, so many great photo opportunities :) and the Lego cuff links – ace!

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