They wanted a vintage inspired day home made day with pops of blue and yellow throughout. There are so many things to love about their day, from the delightful flowers, to the atmospheric theatre setting and gorgeous décor. They injected some fun into their reception with a juggler to entertain guests, which looked brilliant.
Caroline looked super stunning in her Sharon Bowen dress with vintage inspired hair style, while the bridesmaids looked pretty in blue 1950s inspired frocks with yellow shawls. LOVE.
Huge thanks to S6 Photography for providing these incredible photographs today.
THE PROPOSAL | On the Orient Express. Shane had booked it as our third-year anniversary celebration, and we travelled down to London for the weekend. He’d already asked my dad before, and had the ring made in secret (designed specially by Steenson’s in Northern Ireland – where Shane is from). After a few hours he got down on one knee, while the train was moving(!), and proposed over the cheese course.
THE VISION | Vintage/Sheffield. And a lot of the things were related to our personalities and hobbies. We also wanted to have a lot of things handmade. We had a rough colour scheme: strong yellow and pale blue.
THE VENUE | Ceremony venue: The Lantern Theatre. Reception venue: Kelham Island Museum.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | I ordered the dress from a shop in Sheffield. Unfortunately, they went into administration two months before the wedding and despite the fact I’d paid a 100% deposit, they hadn’t paid the designer. So there was a bit of a scramble to get the dress finished, after I managed to claim on our wedding insurance. It was designed and made by Sharon Bowen, and the final alterations were done by Amie B. The dress was called a bespoke Audrey Hepburn dress, and it was an A-line, tea-length dress. It was a sweetheart neckline, and we added a satin belt and halterneck to give it a vintage feel.
My jewellery was a necklace Shane bought me in the first few months of our relationship (it was my something old), a pair of earrings my dad bought me (my something new and blue), and a silver bracelet belonging to my mum that she’d had since she was a teenager (something borrowed).
I bought my shoes online, and they were lace-covered, mid-heel with a ribbon bow.
I also had a faux fur cream/ivory bolero, bought from tigermilly.com
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Shane’s suit was a dark-grey Lingfield tailcoat hired from Moss Brothers, and his shoes were a pair of black Loakes. The cravat and pocket handkerchief were pale blue, and the waistcoat was cream.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We had a Humanist ceremony, performed by Kate Gee, on the actual day. And a civil ceremony at the Town Hall the day before with just our mothers as witnesses. Extracts from Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett, Yes I’ll Marry You My Dear by Pam Ayres and an extract from The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman.
Our first dance was First Day Of My Life by Bright Eyes. We chose it because Shane used to play it in his car when we first started dating. And it’s a beautiful song about finding the right person.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS |I had two bridesmaids, my sister Julia (my maid of honour) and my best friend since school, Lucy. I bought the dresses online, they were 1950s style blue Lindy Bop ‘Bella’ dresses. They both had white Hell Bunny underskirts as well. Both wore their own black shoes and I made them a necklace each with 3 small charms on that symbolized a good wedding: a heart (for love), a little knife, fork and spoon (good food) and a little mug of beer.
THE FLOWERS |Swallows and Damsons. The bride’s bouquet was a vintage style hand-tied posy bouquet in a wildflower style. In pale blue and yellow tones. It had smaller headed flowers, such as pale blue Muscari, yellow craspidia, daisies, yellow ranunculus, ivory veronica, scabioasa seed heads, fresh green vibernum snowball and ivory waxflower. It was mixed with spring green alchamilla mollis and talespy and tied with a simple grosgrain ribbon.
The bridesmaids’ bouquets were smaller versions of the bride’s bouquet, and so were the table centres. The buttonholes and corsages were a yellow ranunculus, pale blue mascari and a scabiosa seed head with sprigs of talespy.
THE CAKE | Our cake was provided by our caterer and was a cake made of wheels of different cheeses, decorated with ribbons in our colour scheme. This was an especially personal choice to us as we both love cheese, and Shane also proposed over the cheese course so it’s become a bit of a running joke. The personalised cake topper was made by Feats of Clay, and was a clay figurine of how we would both look on the wedding day.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER |Jon Dennis, S6 Photography.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | We had two very different venues. The theatre didn’t really need a lot of decoration, but we did buy quite a lot of lanterns (as it was The Lantern Theatre) and had these hanging around the back of the stage, around the venue and in the bar area. We also had a few coloured balloons and fairy lights.
At Kelham Island, we had the whole huge venue to ourselves so had to just concentrate on a few key areas. We had our welcome drinks at a cake table with homemade cakes made by the bride and the bride’s mother, and it was decorated with a knitted teddy bear’s picnic, vintage cake stands, and had a village fete feel to it. Then as the guests moved to the main hall we had flowers in beer bottles and lots of candles.
The main room was decorated with a ridiculous amount of fairy lights, and bunting around the walls. We also had candles in the windows and a bar area with coloured throws over benches. We’d also stuck up lots of photos of ourselves as children, and we’d also made a relationship tree (two lines of photos held together by ribbon showing ourselves at various ages before we met, and then a photo from our engagement shoot tying the two lines together).
The centrepieces were old leather books, piled up, and we had jam jars with lace around the bottoms holding tea lights. On the top we had a big bouquet of flowers in a Kilner jar. Instead of a guest book, we had a ‘guest tree’ with coloured luggage labels for the messages. Our card box was The Luggage, from Terry Pratchett. He was made by the bride.
The table plan was an old vegetable crate, lined with material with vegetables on it. We ran string through the box and pegged the table cards onto it. The table names were from famous computer developers or inventors, as Shane is a software developer. The invitations had knitted yellow hearts on the front, knitted by the bride, and we printed our own inserts. The stationery at the wedding was made using a rubber stamp to give it a rustic/old-fashioned look.
Our favours were provided by Cocoa Chocolate Wonderland in Sheffield, and were Turkish Delight pieces in a small bag, tied up by ribbon in the wedding colour scheme.
Mini Mansell, a friend, came to do a juggling act. Shane wasn’t aware that this would mean him juggling knives over Shane’s head. The second part of the act was to get Shane to lie on a bed of nails while Caroline stood on his chest. This was a surprise for the guests, and for the bride and groom as well!
The catering was provided by PJ Taste. To start, we had meat platters with chorizo, cured ham, Rivelin Valley beef, rocket, olives and soft cheese. Chargrilled vegetable plates with rocket, olives and soft cheese and Spanish-style tortilla made with Yorkshire Potatoes. This was then followed by glasses of gazpacho served chilled.
The main course was also a selection of sharing platters. We had Rivelin Valley beef meatballs in a piquant tomato sauce, local chicken roasted with a stuffing of potato, fennel and garlic with rosemary and olive, red peppers stuffed with goat’s cheese and served with a rich aubergine and olive sauce with pine nuts, and chilli & lime Whitby crab cakes with tartar sauce spiked with pickled wild garlic buds.
Dessert was an individual chocolate and espresso mousse with an olive oil biscuit. And then Sheffield roasted Fairtrade coffee or Café Direct teas, served with PJ Taste truffles. We also had an evening buffet of cheese from our cake, Sheffield scotch eggs, pork pie, chorizo bits and falafel.
THE HONEYMOON | We travelled across Canada for just over two weeks, flying into Vancouver and staying a few days, getting an overnight sleeper train to the Rockies, staying in a town called Jasper for a few nights, then getting the sleeper train to Toronto and staying there a few days.
We ate and drank lots! Visited local breweries and vineyards, crossed the Capilano suspension bridge, visited Niagara Falls, hiked and walked in the mountains and just explored the cities.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS |Walking down the aisle and catching a glimpse of all my friends and family, and Shane on the stage, and realizing that it was actually happening! Entering the reception with all our guests lined up blowing bubbles, and being announced as Mr and Mrs Bluemel. After the meal and the dancing, when we had a chance to just relax and chat to our guests and party!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Focus on the bits that are important to you and your relationship. Don’t be afraid of doing something different if it’s what you really want. Track all payments on a spreadsheet. It really helps to know what you have left to pay and what’s left in your budget. Get insurance. We thought we’d never have to claim on ours, but were so grateful for it when the dress shop went into administration. Enjoy yourself. This is the biggest (and probably most expensive) party you’ll ever throw. All your guests will enjoy themselves regardless, so don’t worry about anything.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | S6 Photography
Ceremony Venue | The Lantern Theatre
Reception Venue | Kelham Island Museum
Dress | Sharon Bowen
Alterations | Amie B
Hair & Make Up | Mirror Mirror Bridal
Flowers | Swallows and Damsons
Thanks so much to Caroline and Shane for sharing their brilliant wedding story with us here at WWW XOXO Lou