WWW readers Rachel and Seán tied the knot in a riot of colour on the 12th May 2018 at WWW fave venue The Wellbeing Farm in Lancashire. They wanted the day to be fun, quirky, informal and colourful, and boy did they deliver! These nuptials were chock full of other WWW suppliers as Rachel chose Irregular Choice for her daytime heels and Deckheds took care of the evening entertainment, it sounds like they absolutely smashed it!
Relaxed vibes and fun were the order of the day and even the planning process sounds like it was smooth and enjoyable, barring a small hiccup with the bridesmaids dresses!
There are a lot of gorgeous touches to take in here, I’m loving the bright ribbons tied to the back of the chairs and the bunting and paper lanterns really brighten up the ceiling. The colourful flowers are really next level, the arrangement in a log is super cute and the florals adorning the tables are just perfect.
Rachel and Seán were delighted with their photographs by Fairclough Studios and it’s easy to see why. Thanks for sharing these amazing with us today Katie and James!
I knew it was coming, and having just bought a house it would have been difficult for the proposal to be a surprise as something would have been amiss financially. That just meant I got to help pick my beautiful engagement ring, and Seán still managed to catch me by surprise as the ring arrived about two weeks earlier than I was expecting.
We went for dinner at our favourite Italian restaurant in Manchester, which was nearly a disaster as they hadn’t written down our reservation! As it turned out, we ended up sat at a beautiful table in the conservatory with a lovely atmosphere and fairy lights twinkling above us, and he asked me there. He didn’t go down on one knee, because I’d have been mortified!
Afterwards, we went up to Cloud 23 in the Hilton, where we had a great table overlooking the whole of Manchester and had some gorgeous cocktails.
A fun, informal wedding that incorporated our favourite things, great food and great music, with our favourite people.
The Planning Process
We both have busy jobs, so early organisation was key to getting things done. A few people suggested a wedding planner but I hated the idea of that, it felt too impersonal. We booked the wedding with 12 months and the majority of the planning, such as sending Save the Dates, ordering invites, booking florist/hairdressers/make-up artists etc was done in the first two months.
The Wellbeing Farm was top of our list straight from the beginning. We did price up other venues too, but after visiting we knew it was the place for us. We are also vegetarian and it was a priority that we picked somewhere that did amazing vegetarian food rather than the usual stuffed pepper or giant mushroom we’re used to! As it turned out, the venue had amazing veggie options, so we ended up flipping the usual balance and having all vegetarian food with a single meat option!
We also found an amazing B&B near the venue, Meadowcroft Farm, that specialised in wedding packages, it felt like a lovely home away from home to spending such an important weekend in.
Your Outfits & Accessories
I accidentally left dress shopping longer than I should have, thinking 9 months was plenty I soon realised it was cutting it a bit fine. Thankfully, I found my dress the first and only day we went dress shopping.
I didn’t have that magic moment of knowing the dress was the one, but I found that every other dress I tried on I kept comparing to it. It was the exact opposite of what I thought I’d go for, very big and lots of tulle! But I felt amazing in it.
Seán wanted something a bit different than the usual wedding suit, so we went with a lovely dark blue suit from Next and added some pops of colour with the tie and handkerchief.
Bridesmaids were the only thing that nearly went wrong! I had four bridesmaids, three friends; Olivia, Beth and Emily; and my little sister, Isabella. I didn’t choose a maid of honour, as I couldn’t have done it without any of them.
With one pregnant bridesmaid, one living in London and another with as busy a schedule as me, plus a mini bridesmaid, I was really pleased to managed to get everyone together and find multiway dresses that looked great and suited everyone. They were also one size 8-18 so covered every eventuality, and they did a kid’s range too. However, disaster struck when two weeks later the shop called me and very apologetically informed me the company had ceased to trade in the UK so they were unable to place my order.
Panic set in, and I managed to find replacements that turned out to be stocked in the same shop my dress came from. However, I couldn’t get everyone back together and had no idea what sizes would fit them so had to totally wing it when ordering them and hoping they would all be okay! They also didn’t do child sizes, so I had to order the smallest adult dress for my sister and hope they could make something of it.
They were then also late to arrive, leaving only two weeks till the wedding and a variety of adjustments being made, but thanks to the amazing Joanne at Amelia’s, it was all sorted perfectly for the wedding!
As we weren’t getting married overly close to home, I decided not to ask my own hairdresser for wedding hair, as I knew it would limit me to staying at home the night before the wedding. After lots of research, I found a company that provided wedding hair and make-up wherever you wanted them and their reviews were great.
Initially, one of my bridesmaids was going to do my wedding make-up as she’s got a natural talent for it, however, as it turned out she ended up having a 4 week old baby at the wedding so we all ended up with full hair and make-up by the same company.
We didn’t have groomsmen, as we felt it was too formal for what we wanted. However, Seán’s best man wore a matching suit from Next, with an equally jazzy tie!
The Readings & Music
Chapter One of One Thousand, by O.J. Preston
For two people this dawn brought a magical day
Now husband and wife they head on their way
As a boat setting sail may their journey begin
With calmest of waters, most helpful of wind
And if they should stumble upon turbulent sea
May it pass them unharming – leave them be.
For here are two people whom love has well bitten
Here opens their book with has yet to be written
As the first page unfolds and their life inks its path
May it write a true story where forever love lasts
Let their journey be happy till death do they part
Of one thousand chapters may this be the start,
Excerpt from the Native American Marriage Ceremony
Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be the shelter for the other,
Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be the warmth to the other,
Now there is no more loneliness, for each of you will be the companion to the other.
May the sun bring you new energies by day; may the moon softly restore you by night,
May the rain wash away any worries you may have and the breeze blow new strength into your being,
And in all the days of your life, may you walk gently through the world and know its beauty.
Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before you,
Go now to your dwelling place, to enter into the days of your togetherness,
And may your days be long and good upon the earth
Seán is a longtime lover of the world of photography and a keen amateur himself. He spent a lot of time narrowing down some of the best photographers in the north west. He didn’t want to take over completely however, so I got the final choice over a (very) short-list!
I fell in love with the Fairclough’s husband and wife amazing double-act. They have a wonderful photojournalistic style with less emphasis on the traditional posed shots. I loved that there were two of them meaning that they could catch different aspects of what was going on, both in the preparation leading up to the wedding, and at the venue itself.
Seán really liked their more artistic side, and certainly having seen the results now he’s over the moon. Their editing brought out the beautiful vivid colours, and was clearly bespoke to our wedding rather than being a one-size-fits-all template.
Having spent a lot of time with them at our included engagement shoot we liked that each had their own preferences and strengths, and they worked wonderfully together to put us at ease – we had been very apprehensive about being in front of the lens as we aren’t really about PDA!
The pair had wonderful people skills, and everyone commented on how lovely they had been. Katie’s love of natural light shone through with our beautiful sunset photographs, and James’ strobe/flash/light design led to a couple of wonderland-esque shots in both the engagement shoot and the wedding itself.
What we really loved about James and Katie was the great balance they struck between being good friends and being incredibly professional. They took on our vision for a colourful boutique event, and captured all the details we’d spent so much time on in a truly stunning way.
I don’t think I need to say just how happy we are with the results, all the pictures shown here (and hundreds more) demonstrate just how fabulous these two are. I can certainly understand why they’re so in demand!
The Details & Décor
From the beginning, we knew we wanted colour to feature heavily in our wedding. I’ve never been one for everything needing to match so it gave us the flexibility to add details as we went along! The main reason this came off so well was the flowers, but we tried to include lots of other details that were bright and colourful, such as the paper balls and chair sashes.
Our flowers were done by the absolutely amazing Jo of Harrison’s Flowers . She came recommended from a friend and from the moment I contacted her she was just fantastic. She put so much time into various designs and ideas before I’d even confirmed I was hiring her, her enthusiasm made me even more excited for the wedding! I couldn’t recommend her enough because as you can see the flowers were astonishingly beautiful!
We had no intention of having a wedding cake, I felt they were a huge expense that wasn’t really necessary given the amount of amazing food we planned to have at the wedding. That was until we walked into the Yorkshire Soap Company… their ‘soap wedding cakes’ were quirky, reasonably priced and customisable. The staff couldn’t do enough to help me in the Hebden Bridge branch when ordering and collecting and everybody loved the cake and the subsequent slices of soap they took home as favours!
We spent a few days in Berlin following the wedding, enjoying German beer and amazing food as well as checking out the sights. Later in the year we are looking forward to our ‘proper’ honeymoon to Orlando.
Hands down my favourite thing about the whole day was our amazing DJ, Karl, from Deckheds. He DJ’s in indie/alternative nightclubs that I (Rachel) frequented when I was younger and specialises in the sort of music that we love. He gave us so much control over what we did and didn’t want playing and getting to dance together to some of our favourite songs on our wedding night was just amazing.
Advice For Other Couples
Be realistic about what you can manage alongside work. We worked to quite a tight timescale of 12 months, but even being incredibly organised those last few weeks were so stressful. There were things we intended on making, such as the table names, that ended up being scrapped as it was just too much to manage.
Also, allow a buffer in your budget. We came in almost exactly what we’d planned, but the bridesmaids dresses and all the alterations were considerably more expensive than we’d budgeted.
Most of all, have fun! All the hard work is only worth it if you can sit back at your wedding and enjoy it.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Children’s Teepees & Activity Packs
Chair Sashes Table Runners & LOVE Letters
Love Rosie Venue Decor
Soap Wedding Cake
Yorkshire Soap Company
The Sweet Cellar
Oh My Mirror
Rebecca Ingram from Amelia’s
Kelsey Rose from Amelia’s
Bridal Party Hair & Make-up
Becky from Manchester Bridal Artists
Beauty by Laura Jane
Groom & Best Man’s Attire
Last Drop Village
What a fabulous, colourful day Rachel and Seán, it certainly looks like a lot of fun. Thanks for sharing! Rachel x