A Contemporary Birmingham Wedding with a Pop of Red

modern birmingham wedding


Mike and Hannah tied the knot at the beginning of the summer at Fazeley Studios in Birmingham. They wanted a fun filled party wedding that was unstuffy.

Hannah looked so gorgeous in her  House of Mooshki custom designed dress with her glam hair and make up by Elbie van Eeden. Mike found his classic suit in Moss Bros which he accessorised with a red tie and buttonhole.

I adore the anemone bouquet, the red heart balloons, the sweet brace wearing page boy and the modern feel throughout.

Thanks so much to the fabulous Emma Lucy for sharing her images with us today.


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The Proposal… Mike and I went out to New Zealand at the end of June 2012 for a holiday – and also for Mike to meet my family in person! Up til this point he’d only talked to them on Skype. I knew Mike was keen to ask my parents for their permission (lovely traditional man that he is!!) but had no idea what was to come. We went out for dinner one night with my Mum, Dad and their two best mates (Sue and Pete) and after much chat, a few wines and a bit of gentle teasing from Pete about getting engaged, Mike plucked up the courage to ask my parents if they would be happy to allow him to ask me to marry him!

They were delighted and of course said yes.  Everyone was celebrating and saying we were engaged but I told them that the deal was definitely not sealed until I had a proposal and ring!! Haha.

I expected that to be it on the trip and for Mike to propose some time back in the UK once a ring had been purchased but much to my surprise, the following night (after a day spent apart – me with my Mum having lunch and a lovely manicure and Mike apparently sight seeing with my Dad) Mike took me out for a drink and after saying some beautiful things to me produced a gorgeous ring that he’d got that day with a little organisation help from my Dad and sister, Rebekah!

It was amazing to be able to celebrate such wonderful news with my family while we were out there and I also understood why Mum was so keen for me to have my nails done that day!! haha.

The Vision for the Day… The vision for the day was definitely to have a party – relaxed, happy, unstuffy and most of all FUN!

The Planning Process… I’m a pretty organised person by nature and my day job is working as an Account Manager so I’m pretty used to getting jobs planned and executed! My friends all remarked how calm I seemed about it all but really, everything fell in to place really easily.

I think the key is to remember that it’s your day as a couple – do things how you want them, don’t bow to pressure of what should or shouldn’t be done. Every wedding should be a celebration of the individuals getting married, not just bog standard stuff that you feel obliged to include.

Budget… Our budget was £10k inclusive of our honeymoon to New Zealand and I’m happy to say we were within that. We had budgeted to be able to do a few extra things like put on a bar tab for all of our guests for the night and things like that. We wanted our guests to be able to come and have a great time and not worry too much about how much a glass of wine cost etc.

The Venue… We decided quite early on that we wanted an all-in-one venue and that we wanted to get married on a Saturday so our friends weren’t having to take annual leave from work so the first thing we started doing was researching various venues in the Birmingham area.

Any hotels or stately homes we saw just didn’t seem that personal to us, plus there was the issue that we’d possibly be sharing the venue with other people if it was at a hotel.

Since I moved to Birmingham, I was totally in love with the Custard Factory area. For me it reflects both Mike’s and my style plus we have had some super romantic, funny dates around there which always adds to the ‘special-ness’ of a place!!

I got in touch with Abbi Watson who is the venue co-ordinator for Fazeley Events about looking at the Old Library at the Custard Factory. After an initial look, Mike and I thought it was pretty but it was in the process of being re-decorated so we thought perhaps we needed to wait for a second look when it was finished. We met Abbi for our second visit at her offices in Fazeley Studios and as soon as we walked through the doors, we both knew this was the venue we wanted to get married in. It’s so incredibly light, beautiful and even better – the entire place would be ours for the day!

The staff at Fazeley were incredible – from planning through to the actual day, everyone involved was 100% helpful, relaxed and accommodating. They made the process so smooth that Mike and I were free to enjoy our day fully and not worry about any details. Everything was taken care of!

The Dress + Accessories… After an appalling visit to a local wedding dress shop where nothing fit and I felt like my hair was going to stand on end with all the static that was zooming around, I decided that having a dress made for me was definitely the way to go!

My gorgeous mate Emma (and my wedding photographer!!) put me on to House of Mooshki as she’d shot a wedding recently where the bride had got a custom made dress from them.

I emailed through and arranged a visit with Olivia to discuss what I was after and what kind of things I liked. We clicked pretty much immediately and I felt in very safe hands at the thought of her designing something for me to wear.

I got the initial designs through shortly after meeting and my heart skipped a beat when I saw them – it was like Olivia had jumped in to my brain and pulled out exactly what I wanted. That woman is a genius!!

I had three more visits to Olivia – one to measure, one to try on for the first time & make adjustments, then a final fitting 3 weeks before the big day. It was the smoothest, most stress-free process I’ve ever been through and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for their wedding dress!!

Accessories – I knew very early on that I didn’t want a veil, I thought I looked like a right berk in them and just couldn’t take myself seriously. I was contemplating having nothing in my hair but after much persuasion by my Mum and sister, I was convinced to find something. So two days before the wedding, Mum, Dad and I went shopping and found the feather hair clip in Accessorize which I thought looked great!

My necklace is also from Accessorize which was bought at the Liverpool St station store when I was travelling to see Olivia for a dress fitting and my earrings are from Claire’s Accessories because Accessorize didn’t have any to match the necklace. Couldn’t believe how spot on they were when we found them!

When it came to wedding shoes, I was 100% certain that I didn’t want to wear heels and I wanted to be comfortable and most of all “me”. The only option really was Converse trainers – I knew they’d be absolutely perfect and I went on to their website to order custom designed shoes – the correct colour scheme and even got my nickname of ‘Hanha’ stitched up the back of them! I adore those shoes and have worn them constantly since the wedding!

Hair and Makeup… Having short hair, I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do with it on the day and Emma helpfully suggested I chat to Elbie van Eeden who I’d spotted when I went to the Eclectic Wedding Extravaganza in Birmingham earlier in the year (www.allaboutewe.co.uk).

Elbie was amazing and had my hair looking funky and gorgeous within minutes of the trial session. She also did my make up for the day which I’m so pleased I went with – she made me feel super gorgeous and I think a professional make up job makes the photos look so much better as well.

Groom’s Attire… Mike was originally going to hire a suit for him and his best man, James, but he couldn’t find anything that he really loved when he went looking. I said to him if I was getting something beautiful made, then he deserved to have something he felt great in too!! It’s not all about me after all..haha.

Mike and James’s suits are from Moss Bros and the red ties were handmade by House of Mooshki who also made the bridesmaids wraps. This was absolutely genius – it meant all the colours matched fabulously and were that lovely bright zingy red!

The Readings + Music… The music was very important to us on the day, each piece having major significance for us as a couple.

I walked down the aisle to Perfidia by Xavier Cugat. It’s a track from the film In the Mood for Love which Mike and I both love and it’s also a song that I did a dance demonstration to years ago when I was a competitive Ballroom and Latin American dancer so that just added to it all.

When signing the register, we had an orchestral performance playing of Aspects of Love. I adore that musical and the songs are just beautiful.

Then after pronounced husband and wife, we walked back down the aisle to With this Ring by The Platters. I adore 50s and 60s music and got the choice on that one!

My best friend Jayne read something lovely in the ceremony… although in the planning both of us had forgotten she was doing it!! I hadn’t printed it out for her and she’d forgotten – it was only when the Registrar mentioned it that we both had our memories jogged!! Cue scramble for a print out, but it was all fine in the end.

Beautiful Bridesmaids… My sister, Rebekah, and Mike’s sister, Cathy, were bridesmaids for the day and my gorgeous nephew, Logan, was my page boy.

They did an amazing job and kudos has to go to Bek who was 7 months pregnant at the time!! Flying 12,000 miles is hard enough let alone doing it heavily pregnant and with a 2 year old toddler to look after! Luckily she had a lot of support from her wonderful husband, Glen, my parents and her best friends who also attended.

Both of the bridesmaids looked absolutely gorgeous in their dresses – I decided it was easier to do just a colour scheme rather than matching dresses. Pregnancy aside, when one bridesmaid lives in the UK and the other in New Zealand it can be hard to coordinate!

The Flowers… The flowers were very kindly done as a wedding gift to Mike and I by our friend Donna Loring. She did an absolutely awesome job, I was really pleased with how they looked. Really simple and gorgeous. I’d never seen anemones before so when Donna sent me through a picture of them, I was blown away by how perfect they were!

The Cake… The cake was supposed to be a combined effort of myself, my sister and my Mum but I think in reality that would’ve been too many cooks in my small kitchen!!! My  Mum and sister made an absolutely stunning chocolate mud cake and Rebekah’s best friend, Cherie, did a fabulous job of decorating it with chocolate, glitter and chocolate dipped strawberries.

I’ve said this a lot recently, but I really am a very lucky woman. My Mum and sister both tested the cake before coming to the UK (I believe my Dad has eaten the best part of 5 full cakes!!!) and they were so sorted with it, I was just left to observe and drink coffee – quite happy with that!!

Your Photographer… There was absolutely no question over who would be doing our wedding photography – just a question over what dates were free! I have known Emma for about five years now and am priviledged to call her a close friend of mine.

She has witnessed my relationship with Mike right from its inception so it just felt the most natural thing in the world that she should document the day. Quite apart from the fact I had to have my gorgeous buddy there to drink some yummy red wine and dance the night away with!!

I am absolutely ecstatic at the pictures and can’t stop being extremely self-indulgent and looking through them over and over again. I know we have got such a beautiful record of our day and will look back with fondness over the years at them. Plus, the woman makes me feel like a supermodel when she shoots me – that’s always a confidence boost!!!

The Details + Decor… I didn’t want a huge amount of decoration at the venue as Fazeley is naturally so gorgeous, I wanted it to speak for itself. The only concession to that was I was adamant I wanted heart-shaped balloons dotted around everywhere (which came in very handy with the photos!)

The idea for all of the table decorations was to combine NZ with the UK to give a flavour of both Mike’s and my backgrounds… and the fact that sometimes your soulmate can be born 12,000 miles away from you!

The tables had bowls of sweets for everyone to tuck in to – there were a mixture of New Zealand specific sweets and great British favourites for everyone to enjoy.

Each place setting had a little NZ flax bag (kete bag) with some bubble mixture and love heart sweets inside.

There were 10 kids in attendance on the day and I bought each of them some Moshi Monsters to play with in case they got bored when the speeches were on. Turned out to be a really great gift – they were all swapping Monsters with each other and having fun with them which was great!

The Honeymoon… Mike and I are going to New Zealand in August for our honeymoon plus an extra celebration that my parents are putting on for all my friends and family who couldn’t make it over. What’s not to love about that – I get to wear my dress again!!! Woo hoo!!

Memorable Moments… Walking down the aisle and not feeling slightly nervous, just everything falling away and seeing the man I was going to marry waiting at the end of the aisle for me.

Kissing Mike after being pronounced husband and wife only to literally cover him in red lipstick – thank goodness my Dad had a handkerchief handy!! Haha.

Having so much fun dancing with my mates, warbling loudly and very off key to some amazing 80s tracks that my friends Duncan and Alex worked in to their DJ sets.

Advice for Other Couples… Stick to what you want – it’s your day and you both need to walk away from it feeling totally satisfied that it was ‘you’.

Brides – I can’t recommend a make up artist highly enough. It made such a difference to the pictures and I felt absolutely beautiful on the day.

See what skills your friends have – I was blown away by how many really wanted to help out and how talented they were! My wedding invitations, table cards, menus and seating plan were all done by my fabulous friend Emma Cooke (www.stemdesign.co.uk) who couldn’t have got my style more right. I think we had 1 proof of everything to check details but visually, after seeing some of the things that I liked, Emma totally got it and came up with a concept very quickly that suited the day.

We bought an Instax camera for everyone to take polaroids of themselves throughout the night – I really recommend it, we ended up with some absolute stunners that make me laugh every time I see them!

Credit Where Credit is Due…

Photography – Emma Lucy Photography http://www.emmalucyphotography.com/

Hair and make up – Elbie van Eeden http://www.elbievaneeden.com/

Bride’s dress – House of Mooshki http://www.houseofmooshki.com/

Venue – Fazeley Studios http://www.fazeleyevents.co.uk/

Stationery – Emma Cooke www.stemdesign.co.uk


Amazing!! I adore how individual Mike and Hannah are. Thanks so much to Mike and Hannah for sharing their gorgeous wedding with us today XOXO Lou

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