It’s a real treat to be starting the week with a bang today courtesy of Jo and Ben and their Great John Street Hotel wedding in Manchester on the 12th October 2019. They knew straight away that they wanted an industrial vibe city wedding with a boutique feel. I have to say that their day was nothing short of fabulous! From the location and styling, to the outfits and the flowers, it was Autumnal wedding dreams you guys.
I love the different colour tones used in their wedding day style; navy, teal, pops of orange and leopard print, as well as copper and gold, all worked in perfect harmony. The flowers were just glorious, I adore the bouquets, staircase arrangement and the hexagon flower arch, it all looked so lush and dramatic. All the autumn vibes.
About Today Photography thank you so much for sharing these magnificent images with us, I have a feeling you are going to be totally inspired today folks.
September 2018. On the balcony of our Air Bnb in Chania, Crete – we toasted with Radlers we’d bought from the corner shop!
We knew we wanted a city centre wedding almost immediately. I wanted those industrial gritty photos with a boutique feel. After only viewing two venues everything came together really quickly and we decided on Autumn as it’s a season we both love and also gave us pretty much a year to plan and save.
The Planning Process
I used the Bridebook App which was really helpful in ticking off the list and letting me know when I should be doing what. I booked the big three first – venue, photographer and florist to secure my date. The rest of the planning process I really enjoyed but I hated those long in between bits where nothing happens!
We did the cardinal sin of not really having a budget but we kept track of all our spending and knew exactly what we had to save per month to afford it.
Great John Street Hotel, Manchester – we used all the spaces Great John Street had to offer as everything happened in the one building, we wanted to create zones and spaces for different activities to break it up a bit. Drinks on the rooftop, wedding breakfast in the Oyster Bar etc.
Your Outfits & Accessories
Bride: Ronald Joyce Jodie dress from Cheshire Bridal Lounge. Having never considered what dress I would want to get married in, I was surprised by how many styles and fits I actually loved. This dress was the clear winner because it had pockets which were the biggest selling point! I adored the whole process of trying on dresses with my mum and bridesmaids. It was so fun!
Because the dress is quite classic I wanted to incorporate a bit of “me” and break away from the traditional accessories. I chose the leopard print shoes from Lost Ink which were a bargain at £40 and I have worn them so many times since! I also got my nails painted in a lovely copper colour with a leopard print ring finger.
Groom: Ben chose his Ocean Blue suit from Whitfield and Ward in Wilmslow – it has a cheesy name that makes you immediately think of the 80’s but is actually a gorgeous deep blue. Again we came to the decision on which colour to go with quite quickly. In order to keep with the Autumnal theme, he chose a copper tie from Cad and Dandy and a pocket square from Turnbull & Asser.
Hair was by my long standing hairdresser and friend Hannah Raynes – we started the prep early with colour and cut – she added copper tones throughout and then created an up do for me. I also got a custom made hair piece from Peacock and Pearl who totally got my vision of the copper leaf vibe.
Makeup was by Amy Curran who I also have known for years. Hannah and Amy are actually best friends so it was lovely to have that dynamic in the room together.
The Readings & Music
I walked down the Aisle to Kina Grannis’ cover of Can’t Help Falling in Love by Elvis. It had a classical feel which I loved! We chose some songs that meant a lot to us for signing the register including a tribute to Jo’s late Dad and we walked back down the aisle to Just Like Heaven by The Cure. Our first dance was to Lionel Ritchie – Dancing on the ceiling which was reworked by our fab band The Cassettes so the first section was slow and then it ramped up into the classic version so everyone could invade the dancefloor.
We had one reading by our sister in law – Soulmates by Lang Leav as it really resonated with our story.
The groomsmen were in matching suits to Ben’s – minus the waistcoat in order for him to stand out slightly. We colour matched the ties to the bridesmaid dresses – Whitfield and Ward kindly sourced these for us.
The Details & Décor
Because Great John Street was a boutique hotel I didn’t feel the need to overdress the venue as the style was very in-keeping with our vision. Being a stylist myself it was really hard to let go of the fact I wouldn’t be able to dress the tables myself but I found the next best thing in Kate from Florence & Vera. Kate sourced various bits for dressing the tables after seeing my pinterest saves and we did a styling session together which was a lovely activity if you are into that kind of thing.
I got bespoke wedding invitations from Frain and Grain who do beautiful illustrations of North West wedding venues. This also tied into the seating plan which I had a very clear visions about and Mark brought it all to life.
I love the invitations so much I have had one framed which is a fab way to remember the day.
Other little details included Autumn leaf place names made by Lucky Nibs and charger plates from White House Crockery which I actually won in a last minute Instagram competition! We also hired some festoon lights to wrap around the balcony area which came to life at the evening reception.
I loved the dark teal green Coast dresses the moment I saw them online so I bought them on an impulse in a few different sizes. The off the shoulder detail also matched my dress and the girls looked amazing in them. One of my bridesmaids also got pregnant after we bought them but we were able to source another one and it also flattered the bump perfectly.
I knew immediately that I wanted my favourite local florist – Sian from the Flower Lounge to do my flowers. She is award winning at what she does and created arrangements beyond my wildest dreams. My bouquet was a mixture of local and European grown flowers, all seasonal to create the Autumnal style and we added some quirky feathers there too.
I did a lot of research into photographers as I was so scared of making the wrong choice. I discovered Zoe and Tom from About Today on Instagram and really like their fun quirky style along with the how they add a lot of mood and contrast into their shots. The photos turned out better than I ever dreamed of and we had SO many good ones to choose from! It’s been hard narrowing them down to make books and prints with.
I wasn’t sure about hiring a videographer but it was one of the best impulse decisions we made along the way. Amy Louise captured the day beautifully and the highlights reel is the perfect length to treasure forever.
Our cake was where we didn’t splurge and opted for a classic M&S wedding cake which we decorated with a wedding topper bought from Etsy and some left over flowers from the venue dressing.
Jo hates flying and was very sceptical about going long haul having never done it before. After considering Morocco, it was the travel agent who persuaded us to go further afield. We are not really sit and sunbathe for two weeks kind of people so we researched twin centre holidays. It was a total splurge to go on Safari but the best thing we’ve ever spent money on! Having researched hotels and destinations, I got in touch with Charlie from Paperplane Travel who organised the whole thing for us. We did South Africa twinned with Mauritius and it was beyond our wildest dreams.
The whole day was just amazing and I am so sad it’s all over – post wedding blues is definitely a thing! The run up of the final two weeks was really enjoyable – the hen and stag dos were so much fun. Taking my nana to pick up the dress and making a day of it was a really special memory too. Having our little flower girl and flower boy walk down the aisle with their “here comes the bride” balloons was a real crowd pleaser – they did so well! Just being with our friends and family together in one room was so special and we had the best time!
Advice For Other Couples
Enjoy it the planning! It’s a cliché but you have to take a step back and remember what you are doing this for. It should be about you two as a couple and not about anyone else. If you don’t like a tradition then you don’t have to follow it, make it your own day and people will love it because it truly represents you as a couple. Also look for suppliers in places you might not look in – social media is a great way to source local people who might be cheaper than you think!
Credit Where Credit Is Due
About Today Photography
Great John Street Hotel
Peacock & Pearl
Amy Louise Photo
The Flower Lounge
What a total dream. Don’t you just love an Autumn wedding?! I know I certainly do.
Jo and Ben thank you ever so much for sharing with us your super special wedding story xo Lou