Now here is a wedding which really ticks all of the fun boxes. Multi coloured hues, check. Quirky alternative venue, check. Cooler than cool wedding party outfits, check.
YES it’s time for WWW readers Ben and Laura’s rad wedding held on the 2nd June 2017 at the Victoria Baths in Manchester. City chic all the way with this relaxed, informal wedding with a meaningful humanist ceremony in the deep end. It was the perfect setting to their day, all finished off with colourful lanterns, which glowed come evening and a floral backdrop to their vows. I am loving the awesome groomsmen decked out in bow ties and braces not to mention the mismatched white bridesmaid frocks. The bride and groom looked just stunning, with Laura in pretty lace and Ben a dapper blue suit.
Colourful blooms were used everywhere and they really did pop. Then there was the cake table baked by friends, with a brownie tower centrepiece. I am sure that got demolished pretty swiftly, it looked scrumptious. The dancefloor was rammed packed thanks to the band and brilliant set list, with all the moments captured superbly by the fantastic Bridgwood Wedding Photography, thanks so much Steve.
THE PROPOSAL | We’d been together for over 10 years when we decided to get married. Whilst in London for my birthday we went to Hatton Garden and picked out a design for my engagement ring. The ring took a while to make so we kept it a secret and decided to make the engagement official on a holiday to Japan later that year, telling our friends and family the good news when we got back.
THE VISION | The most important thing for us was to have an informal, relaxed wedding where everyone can, eat, drink, dance and, most importantly, have fun. As the ceremony was such an important part of the day we wanted it to be personal to us and we quickly decided on a humanist wedding. Hannah was our celebrant and she delivered a ceremony that was so personal and celebrated our time together.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | Six months after getting engaged we set the date and then had a year to plan. We organised the ceremony, caterer, photographer, and band pretty much straight away. After getting the main things booked in we had a six month break from planning before we started looking for outfits, flowers, and decorations. I used Pinterest and wedding blogs to search for ideas.
BUDGET | £21,000
THE VENUE | We knew pretty much straight away that we wanted to get married at Victoria Baths in Manchester, an old swimming pool that is currently undergoing restoration. We love old buildings and this one has lots of character. We got married in the main gala pool and there were loads of other rooms that we managed to use throughout the day including the old Turkish baths for the drinks reception, and parts of an old flat and boiler room that created unusual backdrops for our photos. We had the whole building to ourselves and guests could wonder around and some even went on a tour to learn about the history of the building.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | The dress was from Savannah Miller’s Nine range. My shoes were Mimosa from Rachel Simpson. I had a handbag in a matching colour from Cambridge Satchel Company that was engraved with my new initials. Hair and makeup were done by Laura Mayers from The Bridal Make-Up Team.
FINDING THE DRESS | I found the dress online and after trying it on I decided that I really liked it but felt like the high neck/back and long sleeves were too much for a summer wedding. I contacted Laura at Just Sew Perfect and she did a number of alterations including taking the dress in for a better fit, changing the back and shortening the sleeves.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Ben’s suit was from Reiss and his shoes from Dune. I made the tie and pocket square from floral fabric. Ailsa, one of my bridesmaids, and I made matching bow ties for the ushers and best men. We didn’t want formal suits for the groomsmen and so they wore trousers and braces from Next.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We had two readings in the ceremony. The first, read by Olly, was ‘Once in a Lifetime’ by Bob Marley and the second, Wendy Cope’s ‘The Vow’ was read by Kev just before we made our vows to each other. We had an amazing band called Sister Spin who played an acoustic version of Justin Timberlake’s ‘My Love’ as we walked in together at the start of the ceremony, a song that reminds us of when we first got together. In the evening they played some 90s classics that got everyone up on the dance floor.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My maid of honour was my sister Sarah, and my other bridesmaids were my now sister-in-law Emma and my friends Ailsa, Cahley, Clare and Carly. They all wore white but each had a different dress, which they picked out themselves from various high street stores. They had matching gold sequin bags from Accessorize.
THE FLOWERS | We didn’t want a specific colour scheme so decided to go for a range of bold bright colours for the flowers. Alison from The Flower Studio Manchester was brilliant; she spent so much time discussing my ideas. The bouquet was tied with leftover fabric from the ties. She also put together an arch for us, covered in foliage, which made a great focal point for the ceremony.
THE CAKE | Our amazing friends baked cakes for our dessert table. It was so lovely to have such a wonderful selection of homemade cakes, everyone went to a lot of effort to show off their baking skills. Our caterer put together a huge chocolate brownie tower, which worked really well as a centrepiece for the dessert table.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Our photographer was Steve Bridgwood from Bridgwood Wedding Photography. We loved the photos on Steve’s website, his alternative style was exactly what we were looking for; we didn’t want traditional wedding photos and were looking for something a bit different. We met up with him for a chat and knew that he would be perfect for our wedding, we’re not the best at having our photos taken but he was really laid back and made us feel relaxed.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Our ceremony was in the main gala pool and we got married in the deep end! We used some green and white bunting that had previously been donated to the baths and we hung this over the pool. The reception was held in a different pool that had been covered over. We chose Thyme Out Deli as our caterer as they were local, were used to working at the venue and the type of food they served was exactly what we were looking for; sharing food served to the middle of the tables for the wedding breakfast and in the evening they set up a pizza oven outside. We hired festoon lights, with coloured lanterns hanging over the dance floor. The bright colours complemented the flowers and I loved how the lanterns lit up in the evening. We utilised various chalk boards at the venue to write signs and seating plans on. One of the old poolside changing rooms worked really well as a makeshift photo booth.
THE HONEYMOON | We went on our mini moon to Madeira the week after the wedding and we’re looking forward to our honeymoon in Vietnam later this year.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | It’s hard to pick out specific points of the day as it was all so memorable, having all of our family and friends together in the same place was amazing.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | As soon as you have your venue booked and the date set, get the big things booked in quickly (photographer, caterer etc) while they are still available, then you can sit back and relax before it’s time to start thinking about decorations etc! Our other advice would be to think about how long it will take to set up the venue the day before. We were quite organised however we still underestimated how long it would take. Luckily we had lots of friends and family on hand who helped us out, we couldn’t have done it without them!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Bridgwood Wedding Photography
Venue | Victoria Baths, Manchester
Humanist Celebrant | Hannah Wroe Gill, Your Three Days
Caterer | Thyme Out Deli
Flowers | Alison, The Flower Studio Manchester
Band | Sister Spin
Hair and make up | Laura Mayers, The Bridal Make-Up Team
Dress alterations | Laura, Just Sew Perfect
Festoon Lights and Lanterns | Cinemattag Productions
Thanks ever so much to Ben and Laura for sharing their stunning wedding story with us xo Lou