A Film Themed Wedding in Manchester

Film Themed Wedding

Afternoon WWWers… i hope you are having a great Thursday so far :-) anyway enough chit chat, let me introduce you to today’s couple.

Tim and Heather were married back in September at the The Lowry Art and Entertainment Centre, Manchester.

They decided on a film themed wedding with a splash of Scottish heritage to represent their backgrounds and love of film.

With a movie inspired cake, film poster table names, an Oscar for the winners of the film quiz and the super fun photo booth, their wedding packed a film inspired punch. I just adore this couple.

Thanks so much to the ever brilliant Viva Wedding Photography for sharing his photographs with us today.


Names…. Tim & Heather

Wedding Date…. 17th September 2011

The Proposal…. We had a busy weekend ahead and so had decided Thursday evening would be that week’s date night. I (Heather) had got home from work and was watching Friends (the one where Chandler buys Monica’s engagement ring). Tim came home and the episode prompted a discussion about carats of diamond and were they different to carats of gold. Tim was keen to eat so off we went.

After dinner at a local restaurant we went home to enjoy a bottle of Champagne I had won playing poker at a friend’s wedding earlier in the year. I put on some music – One Day Like This by Elbow. Tim had changed into his PJs and it was a random Thursday evening so I wasn’t expecting any surprises (even though unbeknown to Tim I had discovered the ring several days earlier in a drawer, our anniversary was two weeks away so I expected it to be then).

Tim knelt (on two knees) in front of me sitting on the sofa “I love you” he said. I responded as I always do with “How much?” He replied as he always does with “Millions.” So, given our earlier discussion I asked “How many carats is that?” As if from nowhere he produced a beautiful princess cut, gold diamond ring, responded “This many!” and asked me to marry him. My first words were “I’m not going to remember this I’m too drunk!” But thankfully I do and of course I said yes.

The Vision for the day…. My mum is Scottish, her surname is McKay and our family is very proud of our Scottish heritage so we wanted a Scottish feel to the church service. However, Tim and I share a great passion for films and were in no doubt that we wanted a film themed reception. The vision was classic film star glamour, a taste of Hollywood but classy not tacky.

The Planning process…. 13 months, a to-do list and lots of help from family and friends.

Budget…. £12000

The Venue… The ceremony was held at the church in which Heather grew up in: The Avenue Methodist Church, Sale. The wedding reception was held at The Lowry Arts & Entertainment Centre, Salford Quays. This was the perfect venue for a film themed reception, set in an arts centre, with the BBC and amazing Imperial War Museum across the water and stunning views of the city of Manchester from the large, 4th floor, circular suite with floor to ceiling windows all the way round. Both venues were architecturally impressive which added to the cinematic feel of the day.

The Dress + Accessories….. I wanted to look like a 1940s film star and fell in love with a Victoria Jane by Ronald Joyce design called Naiara 16018. I knew that Tim really likes backless dresses so when I tried this one on I had to have it.

Finding the dress…. I was shopping with my chief bride’s maid (something non wedding related), I had just got engaged and we passed a bridal shop, Bridal Wear by Esmé in The Millgate Shopping Centre, Bury. We decided to pop in. I knew I wanted something fairly fitted and had the image of a 1940s film star in my mind but I didn’t know if such a thing existed and certainly wasn’t expecting to find my dress on this impromptu visit, we just wanted some ideas. I tried on lots of dresses and the sales assistant picked out one with a lot of detail around the neck and down the back. I wasn’t sure but agreed to try it on.  When I stepped out of the fitting room and looked in the mirror I didn’t want to take it off – we had found THE dress. I asked how much it was and to my delight it was half price – a bargain at just over £400.

Groom’s attire… The groom, ushers and fathers wore grey Prince Edward, three piece suits. The groom had an ivory tie and handkerchief while the ushers and fathers had McKay tartan ties and handkerchiefs.

The Readings + Music…. Although we were having a church ceremony we really wanted it to feel inclusive for everybody of all faiths and backgrounds. The Minister was my Godfather so we talked with him about wanting the wedding to be a celebration of our relationship that recognised love in all its forms and did not exclude those who chose not to marry or who are not religious. We chose two bible readings that focused on love rather than some of the more old fashioned readings about man and wife. These were: Song of songs 2 v11-14 and 1 John 4 v7-12. We also had a non-religious reading from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis De Bernieres – a beautiful passage about two people joined together like roots of a tree. This also linked nicely to our film theme as the book is also a film.

Tim and I both love music. I walked down the aisle to Crown Imperial by William Walton (apt as I was about to become Mrs Walton) and we walked out to Widor’s Toccata. I sing with a wonderful choir, Serenade and they sang Laudate Pueri Dominum by Mendelssohn after I walked in, Will Ye Go Lassie Go – a Scottish folk song – and A Nightingale Sang in Berkley Square, as we signed the register. My brother is also an excellent singer and he also sang while we signed the register – Some Enchanted Evening from South Pacific. We also had my two favourite congregational hymns: Be Thou My Vision and Seek Ye First The Kingdom Of God.

For the drinks reception we made a CD of bands we’ve been to see together and during dinner, guests listened to film music. We had great fun choosing the music for both.

The evening reception was where we all got a real treat. We both love swing music and agreed it has a real Hollywood feel to it, so thought it would be perfect for our reception. We hired ‘All That Swing’, a duo led by Simon Fletcher. They sang all the swing classics and on our request opened with a number from Guys and Dolls, which was the name of our top table. I cannot praise these entertainers enough! They are amazing singers and incredible show men. They got everyone up and dancing. After an hour and a half of them performing live, they ran a fantastic disco.

Our first dance was to One Day Like This by Elbow (a band from Bury where Heather works and a song that Tim put on an old-fashioned mixtape when they first started dating). This was followed by an entertaining dance to the Glee version of Proud Mary by all the girls from my hen weekend and me. We learned the routine on the hen weekend as part of a Glee dance workshop and couldn’t help performing it for all our wedding guests too!

Beautiful bridesmaids….. The colour scheme was taken from the McKay tartan. The tartan is navy and green so we chose navy for the bride’s maids. 4 grown up bride’s maids wore Coast Elise Maxi dresses. The one shoulder detail was elegant and the embroidered roses gave them a 1940s style that matched my dress. My 13 year old sister wore a simple knee length Coast dress in the same fabric.

The Flowers… In keeping with the Scottish theme, and to match the ushers, all the bouquets were tied with McKay tartan ribbon. The bride’s maids had ivory roses. I had ivory roses with blue thistles. The button holes for the groom, fathers and ushers had white heather with blue thistles and the mums had two white roses. These were all provided by Array of Blossom in Prestwich.
The church provided beautiful floral arrangements with a variety of ivory flowers and blue thistles.

The Cake… We had two cakes both made by friends of ours. The first was a fruit cake shaped like a clapper board and the second an amazing Hollywood style sponge cake with film reel and popcorn. We decided on the clapper board design but the second cake was a wonderful surprise on the day, as a wedding gift to us both. Who knew we had such amazingly talented friends!? Neither cake was made by professional bakers!

Your Photographer…. We asked Adam Bronkhorst of Viva Wedding Photography to capture our day for us as they had been highly recommended by a good friend. They were amazing and really threw themselves into the film theme with the shots and set up an amazing cinema- themed photobooth for the guests at the reception. We had an awful lot of fun with the photographers on the day and are thrilled with the results. They took time to get everything perfect, particularly the lighting and capturing the day just as we remember it.

The Details + Decor… One of the hardest jobs we had was to decide on the names of our tables. We knew that we wanted each table to be a different film but choosing our 11 favourite films was not easy! We eventually picked 11 films and each table had an A5 film poster on it instead of a number. We made the table plan with help from our friends to look like a cinema. In the centre of each table was a mirror with a lantern that had stars on it. Our favours were coasters with film reel around the edge which guests could put their own photos in. The tables were splashed with confetti in the shape of clapper boards, cameras and stars. All the place cards had stars on them which tied in with the lanterns and confetti. We also had a quiz on all the tables with some film themed questions and some questions about Tim and me. The answers were revealed after the speeches and the winning table got an Oscar. We also put sticky stars on the tables with film stars written on them so guests who wanted to could stick them to their forehead and guess who they are. The games might sound daft but they were enjoyed by all and were great icebreakers for tables with a mixture of guests who didn’t all know each other.

The compass room in The Lowry is incredible. We had fairy lights hanging above us twinkling in the mirrors on the tables and reflected in the floor to ceiling windows. There is a balcony all the way round the windows so no need to go downstairs to go outside. The large room has its own bar so everyone is all together which is lovely. The food and service was exquisite – could not praise the venue enough!

The Honeymoon…. When Tim proposed we had just finished watching all 6 seasons of LOST back to back so there was only one place we wanted to visit – Hawaii (where it was all filmed). After a Hollywood wedding Hawaii seemed like the perfect setting for our honeymoon as so any film have been shot there. We had an amazing time drinking cocktails, enjoying the local cuisine (we went on a food tour of the island!) and exploring the beautiful island of Oahu – including the LOST tour of course!

Memorable moments… In the church service we both thought the minister had finished speaking and went in for the kiss – he hadn’t and asked us to stop. Everyone laughed hysterically. Our photographers captured this moment brilliantly. This really set the mood for the day as everyone was laughing and having fun, the whole day was really good fun! Walking out of the church to a sea of people smiling and throwing confetti – magical! Seeing the amazing cake!

Advice for other couples… Take some time out just the two of you. After we arrived at the reception our photographers took us off while everyone enjoyed a drink. As well as getting some amazing photos of the two of us, it gave us chance to have a few moments away from the crowd. At some point in the evening just take a moment to stop and take in the day. It’s wonderful looking around and seeing all the people you care about in one room. Some of our favourite photos are from the photo booth our photographers set up in the evening; they’re fun and less formal than the traditional ones, so we’d recommend others doing the same.

Credit where credit is due…

Viva Wedding Photography http://www.vivaweddingphotography.com/
The Avenue Methodist Church, Sale, Cheshire, M33 4PL http://avenuemethodistsale.org.uk/
The Lowry Art and Entertainment Centre http://www.thelowry.com/landing-pages/weddings-and-civil-partnerships/
All That Swing http://allthatswing.com/index.htm
Serenade http://serenadechoir.webs.com/
Array of Blossom http://www.arrayofblossom.co.uk/
Broadoak Cars http://www.broad-oak.net/
Bridal Wear by Esmé http://www.bridalwear-by-esme.co.uk/
Coast http://www.coast-stores.com
Scots Connection (for tartan accessories) http://www.scotsconnection.com/


Thanks so very much to Tim and Heather for sharing their awesome wedding with us today. Are you planning a film inspired do? Id love to hear from you below :-) XOXO Lou

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