Today’s shoot is full of love, romance, Balloons & Sequins and fun! I was going...
I have a gorgeous wedding for you today from good friend and regular to the blog Nicola Thompson. The wedding takes part in Manchester Town Centre and is Modern, elegant with plenty of chic DIY details. Chris and Helen decided to hold an intimate wedding for 45 at the town hall which was then followed by a beautiful reception. I just love this wedding. Helen’s David Fielden dress is one of my favourites and all of the stylish DIY details designed by Chris are just lovely.
Helen and Chris were married on 2nd May 2104 at Manchester Town Hall and the reception was held at The Albert Square Chop House. ‘We both love the Town Hall, the architecture and its presence. We spend so much of our social time in Manchester it seemed only natural to get married in the city. We didn’t consider any other venue for our ceremony. Our reception venue was walking distance to our ceremony venue, it had a great city feel to it, and it felt unpretentious and relaxed without being too informal and they were happy to accommodate a smaller, more intimate wedding party. We had 45 guests in the daytime and 90 in the evening. It took 12 months to plan.’
How They Met
We met over drinks at a mutual friend’s Christmas party in December 2006. We’ve been together for 8 years.
Chris proposed one random Tuesday night in January 2013 a few days before Helen’s birthday. We’d spoken about whether we would ever get married but the conversation had never gone any further. The date isn’t significant in anyway, it was just the most unlikely day of the week you’d ever expect to get engaged.
He had put together a slide show with photos of places we’d been and things we’d done together. Chris put the images to a beautiful piece of music by British Sea Power. The last four shots said, ‘Will’ ‘You’ ‘Marry’ ‘Me’. Chris got down on one knee and asked again, complete with diamond ring. We went out for dinner to celebrate.
How did you allocate your budget
We had a modest budget and so we prioritised the things that were most important to us, namely our ceremony venue and great photography, although I did end up going over budget on my dress, but you only get married once hey.
How did you choose your photographer
The photography was one of the most important decisions for us. We researched lots of Manchester based photographers and shortlisted around four. Once we looked at them again Nicola’s work just stood out for us. This was confirmed when we initially met, she took lots of time to find out what we were looking for and what she could offer. We had so many compliments about Nicola on the day and after the wedding. Nicola slotted right into the day, she is massively personable and you kind of forget that she’s even shooting your wedding. Nicola has shot lots of weddings at the Town Hall so she really knows the venue well and is able to get beautiful shots of an amazing building. We had a family/engagement shoot with Nicola a couple of months before our wedding. It was a fantastic experience and it definitely helped us to feel more comfortable in front of the camera on the day.
Dress was from David Fielden (Wallis Simpson design) I tried on so many dresses I genuinely lost count, but in the end I fell in love with a David Fielden design after spotting it on a wedding blog, and trying it on was always going to be a bit of risk in case it didn’t suit me. I wouldn’t say that I had that feeling of ‘wow, this is the one’, it just felt very ‘me’ and I felt as comfortable as I did special in it.
I wore a beautiful 1920’s inspired head-piece made by Samantha of Isobel Hind Couture, she also made me a cuff to match. The accessories were made with dark gold crystals and platinum pearls.
Shoes were Lydia by Rainbow Club, they lace peep toes with a little bit of sparkle to give some contrast against the simplicity of the dress.
The Suits and Bridesmaids
A navy suit from John Lewis with a contrast waistcoat, tie and tan shoes by Ted Baker. Cufflinks and socks by Paul Smith. Chris had the suit altered to fit by a local tailor which we can really recommend for a good fit.
We didn’t have bridesmaids but it was really important for us to include our daughter Erin in the day and there was never ever question that we wouldn’t have her as our flower girl. Erin loved the run up to the wedding including the day itself and still talks about it now.
Theme or Colour Scheme
A city wedding, although there was no theme as such we just wanted to achieve a small, low key, informal wedding where all of our guests would enjoy the day and be comfortable
No predefined colour scheme but we ended up with differing shades of pink as a feature colour with hints of grey from the invitations.
A natural hand-tied bouquet combined with a spectrum of pinks: roses, astilbes, celosia, ranunculus, mixed with foliage and rosemary. Erin had a smaller version of this. We had buttonholes for Chris, our witnesses and our Dad’s, each was different with Chris’ being a little more special.
For our table arrangements Frog Flowers created small clusters of flowers displayed in glass cloches and different sized jam jars with clusters of Spring flowers, herbs, foliage and grass in each. The tables were finished with t-lights and petals scattered around the flower clusters.
Our reception room had a series of striking black and white portraits of key Northern people and needed very little in the way of décor. We kept it simple by hiring a set of illuminated LOVE letters that made a real impact in the room by the dance floor. Tea lights were arranged on tables and window ledges, we bought white H&C initials for the fireplace. The friends we had met through gave us a set of framed photos of us from the night we met and we put this up at the reception.
A three course wedding breakfast of fish cakes, beef in beer and lemon posset. We served bacon, sausage and chip butties for the evening.
We’re not massive fans of traditional wedding cake but we love Krispy Kremes. We pre-ordered doughnuts, bought an acrylic cake stand and our friend did a fantastic job of building the tower for us, we topped the tower with two heart shaped sparklers. We bought some striped paper bags in pink and grey so guests could take one home if they wanted.
A string quartet played while our guests were arriving and during the ceremony. We steered away from the usual classical music choosing popular music instead, a little nod to all the gigs we’ve been to together. We also asked them if they could play a new arrangement, the British Sea Power song that Chris had proposed with. They played this as we signed the register. We had a DJ for the evening reception.
Buy or DIY Stationery
Chris designed our stationery and we came up with the packaging together.
-The invitations, place settings and table plan were all designed by Chris and printed professionally, tied together with bakers twine.
-We printed a colouring book for the children and gave them crayons to occupy them during the meal, we also made up paper bags full of penny sweets for them, they went down a treat.
-We bought mini macaroons for our favours, boxed and tied by us with the same bakers twine we used for the invitations.
-We made up boxes for our rice and confetti and tied using bakers twine – can you spot the theme!
-For our guest book we bought an instant camera and a guest book for people to take photos and add a message.
Definitely taking our vows, the ceremony was the most important part of the day for us, really special and very emotional.
Advice to other couples
Wedding blogs and pinterest are great for inspiration and ideas,every wedding is different though so stay true to what the day is all about for you as a couple. Do what makes you happy, it’s a cliché but don’t sweat the small stuff, everyone is there to celebrate with you and it doesn’t matter if things don’t go completely to plan or turn out how you imagined.
We enjoyed the day so much more than we ever thought we would, as neither of us particularly enjoy being the centre of attention. We kept the day informal and that definitely helped us to relax and enjoy being with our family and friends.