I have followed WWW for a number of years now, my Bridesmaid and Maid of Honour have both been featured on the real weddings and it’s been brilliant for inspiration for our own wedding. Since our own wedding, I’ve carried on following and reading the WWW real wedding features. I just love looking at how different everyone’s tastes are – no two weddings are the same.
Fiona and Chris
Indie Warehouse Wedding
Ahh thank you so much for such kind words, they really mean so much guys, what a way to begin a feature!
WWW readers Fiona and Chris tied the knot on the 14th September 2019 at Victoria Warehouse in Manchester. Their day was just the coolest with music at the heart of their celebrations. From their proposal to the live music in the evening and even the table names, they incorporated their love of gigs and great tunes. They achieved such a great fun, party atmosphere, I especially love their dice game for the bar. Ingenious.
The warehouse wedding venue really gave their day an industrial feel; to give contrast they added pretty blooms and romantic lighting all round. It looked really magical. Add in stylish outfits, a cute pup and meaningful touches and you have a very special day indeed.
Dan Hough Photo I cannot thank you enough for sharing your superb images with us.
Chris had met me after work in Leeds when we were going for food at Gino’s Restaurant, before going to see one of our favourite bands, Kasabian at Leeds FD Arena in December 2017. We had walked the ‘long way’ round to the restaurant and I was wondering why he was insistent I stood on his right side, we got to the restaurant and ate our food, Chris barely ate a thing…which was really unusual! He’s normally polishing off my leftovers, he then proposed at the end of the meal…obviously I said ‘yes’ through the tears (of joy!). I don’t know how he managed it but, thankfully, nobody really noticed! We both wouldn’t like anything public or imposing, so it was perfect to have our own little moment in the middle of the hustle and bustle of a busy restaurant.
We went outside, phoned our close family and friends to share our good news, then went on to celebrate dancing the night away at Kasabian. We go to see lots of live music together, so it was the perfect way to complete the proposal.
We wanted to create a relaxed day with our friends and family that was full of love, romance, laughter and music! Music is a massive part of our lives, it never fails to create the atmosphere that we were looking for so we wanted to this to be the ‘unofficial theme’ without it being a themed wedding (if that makes any sense!?).
We almost wanted to recreate a gig, without forgetting that this was still our wedding!! This translated into a colour palette of navy, gold and copper metallics with lots and lots of candles, flowers and fairy lights in an industrial venue.
The Planning Process
We booked our venue in February 2018, so with 18 months to plan it was nowhere near as stressful as people had told us. We were able to pick up bits of wedding planning and put it back down whenever we wanted. The devil is always in the detail, so we made sure we had plenty of time to get the details right for us.
The venue wedding co-ordinators were really helpful in providing suggestions and contact details so we ended up using some of the recommendations for photography and lighting. I had also seen Dan Hough featured on WWW before so I knew he was perfect to capture our day.
We were lucky to have family that helped massively towards the budget and, as we had 18 months, we had managed to save a little chunk ourselves.
We finished up spending approximately £21k.
Our ceremony and reception was in The Bays at Victoria Warehouse, Manchester.
The Bays were the perfect backdrop for our vision, we had visited a Wedding Open Day in January 2018 and we instantly fell in love with the industrial style. We were looking for a venue that had a relaxed atmosphere and reflected our personalities and passion for music, it was so different to any venue we’d seen and absolutely to our taste. After viewing only one other venue, we knew it didn’t compare and that Victoria Warehouse was the one for us.
The Readings & Music
We had three readings, the first was Lindsay and Sienna to read a poem called ‘For Auntie Fi & Uncle Chris’ – this was extra special as it was written by my MOH’s Mum, Maggie.
Our second reading was two of Chris’s good friends, Josh and Ryan, they read a poem called ‘A Realistic Wedding Poem’ by Ms Moem. We really liked it as it’s all about together being a cracking team.
Our third reading was our fabulous friend, Sarah. She read a beautiful reading called ‘The Bridge Across Forever’ by Richard Bach. This one is about being able to be your truest self with each other, and bringing out the best in one another.
Music was a massive part of the day, we had an acoustic singer called Liam Paul (booked through Last Minute Musicians) who sang at the ceremony, drinks reception and meal. Liam was absolutely incredible, his voice is so unique and our guests loved him. He asked if there were any special songs we would like including, so I walked in to ‘God Only Knows’ by The Beach Boys, we signed the register to ‘Just You & I’ by Tom Walker and we walked out to ‘Higher & Higher’ by Jackie Wilson. Liam had learned all three songs especially for us. On top of that, we used our favourite bands for our table names, Liam asked for the list of bands we had used and played as many of the bands songs as possible during the drinks reception and meal. Nothing was too much trouble for him!
The evening entertainment was a band called Sitting in Circles, which is four of Chris’s really good friends – (groomsman) Richard, Josh, Jimmy and Jack. Unfortunately they’re not available to book, and was their first official gig in 12 years, we’re very lucky they agreed to reform for our wedding celebrations! They had everyone on their feet, dancing and singing the night away. We even had three appearances from our guests. Lee performing an amazing rendition of his party piece – Rolling Stones ‘Brown Sugar’, Michael AKA Mike Diamond who brought the house down with ‘Sweet Caroline’ and Chris’s favourite band is Biffy Clyro so good friend James joined the Sitting in Circles line-up to perform Chris’s favourite song, ‘All The Way Down’. All three were incredible and so personal to us!
We were very lucky to have another talented friend, Danny Oliver, who has previously DJ’d at Leeds Festival, Beniccasim…even Glastonbury! So I was amazed when he agreed to add ‘wedding DJ’ to his CV. He certainly kept the party going into the early hours, and was anything but a traditional wedding DJ…thank you Daniel!!
Your Outfits & Accessories
My wedding dress was from The Aisle in Ilkley, where the lovely Katie was on hand to help me choose. I wanted to wear something that was comfortable and not too different to my usual style, so I opted for separates and wore ‘Samara’ lace top and ‘Ingrid’ floaty skirt, by Wendy Makin Bridal Designs. Katie was really helpful and didn’t pressure me into buying anything knowing herself what an important decision the dress is. I went to one other shop before going back to The Aisle and deciding on the separates.
I teamed the dress with some gorgeous shoes, ‘Michelle’ by I Am Florence…even though I’m notoriously bad for wearing heels and live my life in flat boots or trainers, they were actually very comfortable. However, knowing weddings are long days and I wanted to make sure I could remain on the dance floor, I also picked up some glitter sneakers by Keds x Kate Spade.
I also wore a Kate Spade silver and rose gold ‘bee’ bracelet that Chris had given to me as a gift (via his Brother and Best Man) which finished off the dress perfectly.
Chris wore a navy three-piece suit from Slater Menswear. He really wanted to match the rest of the Grooms Party, but I wanted something special and different for him to stand out as the Groom.
We got ties and pocket squares from Reiss for them all, so Chris got a lovely grey polka dot, whilst the rest got a navy polka dot, both complimented the suit perfectly.
We also got tan belts from Next to finish off the suit and make sure they all matched each other.
Chris never really treats himself to labels but had decided that he would for the wedding and invested in a really nice pair of shoes. Whilst shopping in York, he found some lovely classic brogues ‘McClean’ in tan leather and navy suede by Barker Shoes (which made me feel a little better at having two pairs of gorgeous shoes!!).
My hairdresser was Nicola Clare from NLS Hair Workshop, Bradford. She travelled over to Manchester for the day to do mine and my bridal party’s hair.
I wore my hair in a half up/half down style, with intricate detail by my talented hairdresser, Nicola, she also pinned in a handmade hair vine, made by my Mum. It included charms that had a personal meaning, for example – a blue ‘Forget-me-not’ flower was my ‘Something Blue’ and symbol for Alzheimer’s Society, in memory of my Nana; and a little Bee to symbolise Manchester.
Luckily for me, my Bridesmaid and Chris’s little sister, Emma, is a very talented make-up artist for Laura Mercier so it was an easy choice to ask her to do my make-up, she also ended up doing my other bridesmaids eye makeup and my Mother-in-law, so she was definitely busy all morning. Emma has done my make-up countless times before and always does an amazing job so had full faith in her work to beautify me on the day. Lots of people commented on how amazing my make-up was – it’s fair to say I’ll keep pestering her to paint my face in future (sorry Em!).
My nails were done by the lovely Vikki Moore at The Beauty Bank, Bradford. She helped me choose a colour and we picked a beautiful muted peach colour for my hands and a peach superfine glitter for my toes. I usually do my own UV Gel nails, and knowing I’d probably end up doing my own wedding nails, my Maid of Honour Kylie gave me a voucher and booked me in a couple of days before the wedding as a pamper treat. Lovely!
Lastly, I had my lashes done by Helen Maher, Bingley. I’ve had my lashes done for different occasions at a couple of different places, and never liked them as much as when Helen does them, she seems to know the perfect length for a perfect enhanced, but natural look.
My Bridesmaids are my three best friends, Kylie was my Maid of Honour and Jenny and Emma (also Chris’s sister) were my Bridesmaids. The dresses were actually a really easy find, I had said to the three of them that I’d like them to be in navy but if they ended up in mix and match dresses that was also fine, I just wanted them to be comfortable. After ordering and sending one dress back (it was a unanimous no), I saw another dress advertised on Facebook which was from Dorothy Perkins, I ordered these and all three of them loved it. The search was over and, unintentionally, they all wore the same, they all looked stunning. They also all wore personalised watches in slightly different colours from Kate Spade as my gift to them for being my beautiful maids and being there for me, not just for the wedding but every day.
We also had our gorgeous niece, Sienna and Jenny’s beautiful daughter, Ayda as my flower girls. They wore a cotton navy and white stripe top with sequin heart and navy tutu skirt, both from H&M, teamed with tiny Converse sneakers. They both looked incredibly cute and I wanted them to be relaxed and informal too.
My very lovely (and soon to be) sister in law, Lindsay was also my (adult) flower girl, who also wore a navy dress to match the rest of the bridal party. They all looked just beautiful.
The Groomsmen were Chris’s brother and best man, Andy; my brother, Rob and two of Chris’s best friends, Richard and James and Chris’s Dad and my Step-Dad, Miles and Mike.
They all wore the same three-piece navy suit from Slater Menswear, with airforce blue polka dot ties from Reiss, grey herringbone pocket squares from King & Priory, tan belts from Next and their own tan shoes.
Our little dog, Max can also be included in the grooms’ party. We found the perfect handmade tweed harness with bow tie and matching lead, from GrowleysUK Etsy shop. It was made to measure…pampered pooch!
We’re incredibly lucky that my Mum, before being a school teacher, was a florist. We went to The Flower Connection in Leeds a few months before the wedding for my Mum to do a few practice bouquets and centre pieces. They were absolutely incredible, and it was a bonus to have lots of fresh flowers in the house when she was practising!
For the day, the only instruction I gave my Mum was that I envisioned the room to be filled with lots of flowers and foliage everywhere. She really had her work cut-out as she spent almost a full week before hand, preparing bouquets, tall candelabra and large bowl centrepieces, buttonholes, jars, corsages, vines and garlands – she also made sure she incorporated my favourite flowers and matched my colour scheme using blue thistles and agapanthus, white hydrangeas and roses and plenty of green eucalyptus.
The venue is so industrial that we wanted to make sure we had plenty of flowers to create juxtaposition and frankly, make it pretty! I’m really proud when our guests commented on how beautiful the flowers were and even now when I show people our wedding photos and I get to say “My Mum did the flowers!”.
Dan Hough was just the most amazing photographer… he is just super lovely and genuinely felt like we had another friend at the wedding. We both love his relaxed and natural style of photography, without being too different which means the photographs will always be classic and never go out of fashion. From the minute we sent the enquiry, Dan was really responsive, professional, friendly, kind and attentive…he really made sure we had covered a plan of all the photos we wanted to capture, without taking too much time out for photos during the day. It was really important to both Chris and I that we spent as much time as possible with our guests but we also wanted some amazing photos to look back on – Dan delivered on both fronts! We were so so happy!! We also really loved that the package included an engagement shoot, originally we weren’t sold on the idea as we’re not overly keen on having our picture taken, but we trusted the professional when he said it’s a great opportunity to get to know each other and take the pressure/awkwardness off the wedding day if it’s something we’ve done before…he was absolutely right and we got some amazing photos as a couple in our home town of Saltaire (he even travelled to us…so kind!).
In short, I would highly recommend Dan to anyone, he was just amazing and our photos have captured perfectly our special day.
Tea for Two Films – film here. (Now The Smiths & Co.)
The Details & Décor
The décor and details were months and months in the making, we chose a colour scheme of navy and metallic coppers and golds and made sure everything complimented this scheme. My vision for the venue was a dark atmospheric room, filled with flowers, fairy lights and candles so we filled the jars, half with flowers and half with candles.
Chris’s Grandma spent months collecting and cleaning out jars for us to use – me and my MOH, Kylie spent a few Saturday afternoons gluing gold glitter on each jar to make them pretty and rustic. We were lucky that my MOH got married the year before and her talented Dad made some amazing metal pieces – two large metal frames, a card box and cake stand. Kylie very kindly loaned us these pieces – we used the two large metal frames, to hang table plan and one with a gold wooden cut-out with the lyrics ‘Love Can Last Forever’ from one of our favourite Biffy Clyro songs – Mountains. Both frames, the card box and cake stand also were decorated with fairy lights and flowers.
We spray painted wooden boxes from Hobbycraft a copper colour to make an ‘In Memory Of’ corner, we populated it with copper frames with photos of grandparents that sadly couldn’t be with us on the day and decorated with candles.
Our favours were also a nod to my Nana, she sadly suffered from Alzheimer’s and Dementia before she sadly passed away, so we decided to support the Alzheimer’s Society and bought all our guest a blue ‘forget-me-not’ pin badge. For the ladies, my Mum also made little plant pots containing a bag of compost and a small envelope of ‘forget-me-not’ seeds as an extra little favour.
We were very lucky that our venue also had a cinema room, so my very talented husband made a film to show on repeat. This gave our guests something to watch during the drinks reception. The film was a compilation of footage we had captured from the 18 months of planning, from the proposal to visiting the venues, snippets of the Hen and Stag Do’s to flower practising and picking up my dress… the film showed our guests our journey from proposal to big day!
Rather than giving drinks tokens or putting on more table wine, we decided we wanted a bit of fun for our guests so we set up a drinks game. We had dice on the bar and challenged our guests to roll a 6, the round was on us! (Of course they had to order their drinks first). We agreed a limit with the bar manager beforehand to make sure it was within budget and once it got to the limit, the dice was taken off. Surprisingly, even though it seemed a lot of guests ‘won’, the tab kept going late into the evening! It’s something quite small but created an extra bit of fun for our friends and family.
Our cake was made by a friend of a friend, Amanda. I’ve tasted her cakes before and knew it would be, just, awesome. It looked incredible and tasted even better!! We had three layers, decorated in navy, white and gold leaf, finished with gold ribbon round each layer.
The flavours were vanilla, lemon and salted caramel! Massive thank you to Amanda for going to so much effort making and delivering our wedding cake… I could eat it all over again, it was perfect and super tasty!
We jetted off the following evening to Kenya for 10 days, for a safari. We visited Amboseli National Park – famous for its herds of elephants with amazing views of Mt Kilimanjaro and visited a Massai Tribe.
We then drove onto Lake Naivasha and Lake Nakuru – where we were surrounded by wild Giraffe, Zebra, Monkeys and at night, Hippos as they roamed through the grounds of our lodge.
Finally, the Masai Mara – here we saw a Lioness chase a Wilderbeast (thankfully the wilderbeast got away!), and managed the tick of sightings of ‘The Big 5’ – Lion, Rhino, Elephant, Water Buffalo and even the elusive Leopard.
It was a once in a lifetime honeymoon, and truly unforgettable. We booked this through Virgin Holidays, the tour itself was provided by Rhino Safaris – we can highly recommend them! They were super professional, knowledgeable and friendly.
One of my favourite moments was walking in with my best friend and brother, Rob. It was such a proud moment for me. Another absolute favourite was seeing Chris’s face. I loved looking at him as I walked down and couldn’t believe it was finally time for us to be married.
We also loved spending time with our guests and hearing everyone’s reactions to the venue and decor that we had chosen, people really noticed the effort that had gone into the little details, which was lovely.
We absolutely loved that everyone flooded the dancefloor for the band, especially the guest appearances! Sweet Caroline in particular was like being at the Darts World Finals!… SO GOOD, SO GOOD, SO GOOD!
Advice For Other Couples
My advice for other couples would be to enjoy everything about the planning and lead up to your special day as much as you can. I really enjoyed the planning process and genuinely felt quite relaxed in the run up. I would mainly put this down to the fact that all of the bridal party were so supportive and keen to help, so make sure you surround yourself with the people that love you and want the best for you.
My advice for the day is to no different to most other couples, but you cannot hear it enough, enjoy the day, spend time together as newlyweds and take in as much as you can… you’ll likely not get the chance to have all of your loved ones in a room together again so take it all in and enjoy it!
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Dan Hough Photo
Grape and Grain
Ohh so perfect and what a honeymoon, it sounded just incredible.
Fiona and Chris, thank you ever so much for sharing your wedding story with us xo Lou