Creative & Hand Crafted Wow Wedding in a Swimming Pool

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A wedding with the wow factor is what WWW readers Danielle and Ben hoped to create. I can confirm they certainly achieved that as I for one was bowled over by their creative and unique day.

They chose to hold their ceremony and party in the Victoria Baths Manchester, the most beautiful building which provided the perfect backdrop to their hand crafted décor and details. And boy were there a lot of those, there were pinwheels, table runners and hanging lampshades to name a few.

Danielle wore the romantic “Beth” by Johanna Hehir with the sweetest yellow cardigan, while Ben donned converse, braces and a bow tie to awesome effect.

Thanks so very much to the amazing Emma Boileau Photography for sharing these photographs today.

 

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THE PROPOSAL | It was in April 2011 and was completely unplanned. We were at a gig (The King Blues) and whilst I was pulling some questionable dance moves, Ben asked me to marry him. It was then followed up by a Haribo engagement ring, drinking champagne from plastic cups and a robot-style dance off with Ben and my younger brother.

THE VISION | We didn’t really have a vision as such but we both knew from the go that we didn’t want anything formal or frilly. We both agreed that the day had to be as relaxed as possible, in a setting that made us go ‘wow’ and had to be a day where all of our close friends and family could let their hair down!

THE PLANNING PROCESS |  We made the most of ‘planning’ time by getting out of the house and going for coffee or breakfast which was great but I only really ever thought about wedding things during half-term holidays, which meant it was a long process. It was probably a good job we started in 2012! Despite my huge ideas, lack of DIY skills and massive indecisiveness the whole thing came together quite easily, and Ben’s input was brilliant. Although, I often needed him to reel me in, especially after a Pinterest frenzy or two!

BUDGET |  Just under £11,000.

THE VENUE |  “A swimming pool?” Was often the response when I told people where we were getting married but Victoria Baths well and truly made the wedding. It is quite honestly one of the most beautiful buildings I have ever seen. Having considered The Death Institute but not being 100% I went on a big internet search to find Victorian or Edwardian buildings in Manchester and came across the baths. We went to visit and both instantly knew it had to be there. The staff were great and even put on a tour for the guests; it also provided plenty of humorous picture opportunities as the evening went on!

THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES  | Beth from the Johanna Hehir Mae collection purchased from The Case of the Curious Bride, Shoes were from Irregular Choice, Ampersand necklace a present from Ben from Lily Charmed and a Jenny Packham Dentelle headpiece.

FINDING THE DRESS | I am not a dress person and would much rather wear jeans. The whole process was hilarious and my mum had me in stitches throughout. The 4th Shop we visited was Case of the Curious Bride and both Mel and Jane were fantastic: they made me feel at ease and completely understood what I was after. I chose Beth because I felt relaxed in it. It was lightweight, simple at the front, with cap sleeves and a beautiful lace detailed open back. My mum couldn’t stop talking about it, so I knew it was the one!

GROOM’S ATTIRE | Ben originally wanted a tweed suit but after a long, unsuccessful day rummaging through vintage shops at Camden Markets he had a big rethink. In the end we went for what colours he likes and for something he may get use out of again. He wore a jacket from Next, a shirt from Fred Perry, braces from Next, Trousers from Topman and Converse.

THE READINGS & MUSIC | We found choosing music really tricky as we both love music and couldn’t narrow down our favourites so only decided a few weeks before the wedding. I walked down to an acoustic version of Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Hysteric, we had The Beatles – I want to hold your hand during the signing of the register and our exit was Foo Fighters – Times like these.

Ben’s sister Katie and her fiancé Tim read Edward Monkton’s – A lovely love story. My friend Georgia was to read a modified version of Pam Ayre’s – He never leaves the seat up, but she was stuck in traffic so Ben’s lovely friend Craig stepped in. We wrote our own vows, which made everything a little more personal.

For our first dance we chose a cover by the Arctic Monkeys – Baby I’m yours which then faded into another Arctic Monkeys song – I bet you look good on the dance floor.

Our guests requested songs via their RSVP postcards so the night was full of a range of music but everybody was up dancing, which is what we were aiming for.

BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS |  I couldn’t have asked for two better bridesmaids. My sister Sinead was brilliant from day one and gave up so much of her time to help. Both her and Ben’s sister, Alana, were fantastic the night before and during the morning of the wedding: they had my mum twerking and were throwing some shapes to Salt n Pepa and Mc Hammer in the Campervan on the way to the ceremony. I wanted them to both wear something they could wear again so we chose (with their say so) a navy and polka dot Fred Perry dress with sandals from Topshop.

THE FLOWERS |  Jill and Susan at wedding flowers are us did the flowers for the day: 3 bouquets and 65 food jars full to the brim! Ben knows them through work and they were wonderful. As soon as we met, they knew exactly what we wanted and we left them to it. I wanted Daisies and a very natural, wildflower look, which I think they did perfectly. The difference the flowers made to the room was amazing. Guests took lots of the flowers home at the end so they doubled up as favours too!

THE CAKE | We didn’t have one cake, we had lots of cakes! We are both big fans of The Great British Bake Off and it initially started as a joke about 12 months before the wedding. My brothers are very competitive and the eldest is a fantastic baker so we thought it would just be them that entered, but almost all of our guests baked a cake which was unbelievably cool of them! I baked a 3 tier, Victoria Sponge the day before the wedding and left Ben to decorate it on the morning of the wedding … needless to say, it didn’t win the bake off!

YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | We chose the amazing Emma Boileau. After finding her online and meeting her, we knew she was the perfect lady for the job. Her style was just what we wanted and she made us and all of our guests feel at ease.

The photos are beyond our expectations and she has caught some hilarious moments. Everyone who has seen our photo gallery is in awe and have said the loveliest things.

THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | To keep costs down I wanted to make things ourselves and we were so fortunate to have family that went above and beyond for us. The pool in which we got married had floral hoops with giant yellow ribbons, which was a very last minute decision. The sports hall where we held the reception had a multitude of hand-made items: striped runners, hand dyed lampshades, wooden tea-light stands, heart shaped confetti made from and old book, lampshades covered in artificial flowers, hand painted B and D letters and bunting made from paper doilies. The table plan was made using an old picture frame and had our engagement pictures as the background. We named the five tables after important years and gave a little anecdote to match.

All of the food was served on anti-pasti boards and in grey vintage-style fruit crates which Ben made, although he did leave my sister and me to sand and paint them all!

Setting up the day before was a mammoth task and taking it down the day after was even worse, but we had the help of some wonderful friends and family and it was most definitely worth it.

THE HONEYMOON | We are yet to have one as we bought a house and moved 6 days after getting married. We did have a mini-moon to Leeds festival, but that was hardly romantic! We are hoping to do a lot of travelling once we finish working on the house, so I guess we’ll just make up for it then.

MEMORABLE MOMENTS | There are just too many to mention. The whole day was full of good feelings, lots of love and happiness. It’s been great hearing about everybody else’s moments, though we are still trying to work out who is dancing with a mop to Whitney Houston in a video a friend took.

ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES |  Do what you want, not what others want you to do. Don’t sweat the small stuff, on the day it won’t even matter (even if your venue has a leaky roof, you lose 2 nails on the way to the ceremony and your dress is covered in chocolate cake), just enjoy it.

CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |

Reception Venue | Victoria Baths Manchester  

Photography | Emma Boileau Photography

Flowers | Wedding Flowers Are Us 

Dress | Beth from the Mae Collection by Johanna Hehir purchased from The Case of the Curious Bride

Suit | Next, Fred Perry, Topman

Music | Richard Renda

 

Oh wow, what a fun day!

Thanks so very much to Danielle and Ben for sharing their brilliant story with us XOXO Lou

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