Morning WWWers :-) Lets start the week with a happy and loved up celebration shall we?
Sam and Jim tied the knot on the 27th April 2013, holding their reception at the striking Victoria Baths, Manchester. They wanted their day to be a DIY affair with personal touches and no set colour scheme.
Sam looked gorgeous in a custom made lace dress, while Jim went for a stylish bow tie with a burgundy suit. There were 7 pretty maids in blush dresses, fun sunflowers and an array of scrummy cakes.
Thanks goes to the brilliant Mr Sleeve for sharing his imagery with us today.
The Proposal… We met at work back in Sep 2007, and got together a few months after that. We got engaged on my 30th birthday, on Jan 15th 2011, in Berlin where Jim got down on one knee in a packed restaurant, in front of our friends! He proposed with a really cute ring with a red rose on it which he’d bought out there. It was a total surprise that I hadn’t seen coming AT ALL! It took us a while to settle into the engagement and didn’t start planning anything until a year later making our engagement 2 years and 4 months.
The Planning Process… The theme to our wedding was ‘DIY’! With help from Sam Prendergast – our wonderful wedding planner/decorator we were able to make Victoria Baths our perfect wedding venue. I like orange so we started to incorporate this into little things like the sweet bags we gave out as favours. We also wanted to draw on some of the more prominent colours in the Baths so Sam had the amazing, but crazy idea of finding the right coloured wrapping paper and making bunting out of it – which she did, and it looked gorgeous!. As well as bunting we wanted hanging lanterns which would glow at night – the effect was really lovely and, with the bunting, gave the hall a magical touch. Our wedding didn’t really have a colour scheme. Victoria Baths has such interesting interior and is already full of wonderful colours – stain glass windows and original tiles – that we didn’t want to over complicate it.
We did a lot of other things ourselves – we had a wishing tree for messages which we dug up! We also spent hours making over 9m of hessian table runners and printing over 60 Polaroid pictures for our table plan. Ebay was a life saver throughout, supplying us with chalkboards, sweet bags and various stationery. Jim and I also love antique and second hand shopping so we enjoyed many hours looking for vintage cake stands, tablecloths and crockery.
The Venue… We chose venues which were in or around Manchester City Centre as it’s where we live and we absolutely love it, and we wanted our friends and family to experience Manchester too! We got married at St Ann’s Church in the centre, with our Reception at Victoria Baths, which is just on the outskirts. The church is beautiful inside and has a really intimate and homely feel to it. Whilst Victoria Baths is a vast, wonderfully quirky old building, full of character which suited our desire for a fun alternative wedding day.
The Dress + Accessories… I did visit some bridal shops, but I actually found the experience really daunting – I knew what I didn’t want, but not what I did want! I always had lace in mind for the material but the style and design was a bit of a mystery! In the end, I found a style I liked and got a dressmaker I found on ebay to make it. We had a limited budget for our wedding so this not only suited that, but I also knew of an excellent local lady who could make the necessary tweaks to the dress to make it fit perfectly and also add a couple of accessories to make it more bespoke to me.
I wore vintage lace shoes from the Rainbow range. My bridesmaid’s all wore their own shoes.
I also wore a lace appliqué hair-piece made by the lady who did my dress alterations. My bridesmaids wore vintage hair clips which i found on Ebay.
I spent a lot of time shopping around to get the best price on shoes and jewellery. I wanted something that would suit the vintage look and would be simple and elegant. I chose pearls as it’s my favourite jewel and some ivory lace peep-toe shoes which I got from the Rainbow range – they were so comfortable and went perfectly with my dress.
I wanted my hair and make-up to have a vintage feel to it, without being overly styled. My hair is really fine so my hairdresser did a fantastic job styling it and getting it exactly like the picture I gave her! My dress was made of organza lace and, by chance, the lady who did my dress alterations found a similar piece of appliqué material in her shop which we pinned in my hair – it was a really simple and cheap substitute for a veil or hair piece.
Both of our rings were hand made and bought from independent jewellers in the Manchester Arts & Crafts Centre (Oak Street N.Qtr).
Groom’s Attire… Jim wore a maroon/burgundy coloured Patrick Cox suite with a dickie-bow. For the groomsmen, we didn’t want a ‘matchy’ feel to their outfits, so they wore their own suits and we gave them a matching sunflower each.
The Readings + Music… We had a string trio playing Manchester music as the guests arrived and Bob Dylan’s Lay, Lady Lay as I walked down the aisle.
As we were married in a church we had one religious reading – Song of Solomon and the other was a reading called Union by Robert Fulgham which we chose as it pretty much summed up our feelings without being too sentimental or overly romantic.
Our first dance was to Nina Simone’s To Love Somebody. We chose this quite early on as the words seemed really pertinent and it’s not a slow song. It also led nicely into our theme for the disco which was soul music – in particular Northern Soul which originates from Manchester and tied in nicely with our celebration of all things Manc!
Beautiful Bridesmaids… I chose neutral tones for my bridesmaids and flower girls and we got the dresses from the high street – it was the easiest option as I had 7 in total, all with different figures and fashion sense!
The Flowers… Sam Prendergast is also a very talented florist and did all of our flower arrangements. It was Jim who actually chose sunflowers – and I’m really glad I agreed with him! They looked absolutely amazing and were one of my favourite bits about the day. They looked so vibrant and pretty and by adding some white daisies and gypsophila, they really tied in with our relaxed vintage theme. As St Ann’s Church is already so beautiful inside, it needed little decorating so we just added a sunflower to the end of every other pew. At the Baths, we chose simple bottle and jar table arrangements which suited our relaxed picnic table lay out and flooded the hall with a mass of bright yellow and orange.
The Cake… We’re lucky enough to know some culinary geniuses so we roped them into making a variety of cakes and desserts including scones, trifles, cupcakes and a cheeseboard. My sister made our wedding cake which was a delicious combination of chocolate and orange sponge and decorated with butter icing and sugar sunflowers.
Your Photographer…. As soon as we saw Steve’s work we knew he would be an excellent fit for the style of wedding photography we wanted, and we liked that his portfolio didn’t just include weddings. Steve’s passion for taking pictures and picking out the finer details are obvious in all his pictures – and this was exactly what we wanted from someone tasked with providing a record of our day. We spent so much time planning every detail and making our perfect wedding day that it was so important to us that those details be captured. Steve absolutely understood this from our first meeting, and on the day, was an absolute star to work with! I’m not great at having my picture taken but Steve made the whole process really fun, relaxed and most of all enjoyable. We only asked Steve to take pictures until just before we sat down to eat as we wanted to keep the rest of the day for ourselves and our guests.
When we got the pictures back, they were everything we had hoped for! Steve had not only captured some beautiful shots of the two us, but there were some lovely natural shots of our guests as well as all the details and themes we had put so much time and effort into creating. The photos truly summed up our wedding day – from the colours and decoration to the beautiful St Ann’s Church and Victoria Baths, Steve, in his own unique style had translated it into pictures beautifully!
The Details + Decor… Jim’s talented illustrator cousin designed our wedding invitations (based on The Beatles Sgt Pepper album cover) and we had them printed at Marc the Printer (a very reasonably priced ethical printers in Manchester’s Northern Quarter). We then did all the other stationery ourselves – the table plan was a collage of polaroid pictures we made of our guests and the name settings were little chalkboards that I hand wrote.
Memorable Moments… The whole day was absolutely amazing but if I had to choose a favourite part it would be the evening, post the first dance. Everyone had had a few drinks, eaten some fantastic food and the atmosphere was just totally relaxed and informal. We had a supper of wood-fired pizza to look forward to and some Northern Soul music and dancing ahead and everyone was really enjoying themselves.
Advice for Other Couples… We managed to achieve the wedding we both wanted on a tight budget, largely due to shopping around for the best suppliers we could find. Don’t be put off by taking a chance on suppliers who don’t have masses of wedding experience or the sales patter and prices to match – we weren’t and managed to stumble across some fantastic, talented people. Also, enjoy every minute of the day and don’t be disappointed if certain things don’t go to plan. I can guarantee your guests won’t even notice and when you finally get to bed at the end of the night, you will only remember how happy you both were and how much fun you had with all of your friends and family.
Credit Where Credit is Due…
Venue | St Ann’s Church, Manchester
Venue | Victoria Baths
Photographer | Mr Sleeve
Printers | Marc The Printers
Jewellers | Manchester Arts and Crafts Centre
Oh such a wonderful venue, amazing.
Thanks so very much to Sam and Jim for sharing their super beautiful wedding day with us here at WWW XOXO Lou