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Today’s wedding is a beautiful collection of urban meets country, as Sarah and Matthew choose two completely different venues to hold their ceremony and reception. The couple were looking for a ceremony location that was different from the norm, and fell in love instantly with the Stockport Plaza. It offered them and their 50 guests a unique wedding experience, which was then followed by a reception at the Roman Lakes. It was very much a hands on wedding with so many of their friends and family helping out with the wedding preparations. Matt’s old band reformed for the occasion, Sarah’s step-mum made all the amazing looking deserts, Sarah created all the stationery, all the signs and the photobooth were hand made. This really is a wedding where everyone chipped in and lent a hand and the results are a quirky, love filled day of two halves, with a Manchester bee theme. Big thanks to Emma Boileau for the lovely images.
Sarah and Matthew were married on 5th August 2017 at the Plaza, Stockport (a restored 1930s super cinema/theatre) and the Roman Lakes, Marple – a lovely tea rooms hidden in a beautiful valley. ‘We knew we didn’t want to get married in a church but we weren’t keen on any of the local registry offices. We both instantly fell in love with the Plaza. It’s so beautiful and grand, and I love the idea that the money we paid is going directly to its restoration. I wanted a reception venue with more greenery, and the Roman Lakes was perfect. It’s such a lovely venue in stunning grounds and we were given so much freedom about what we wanted to do and which suppliers we wanted to use. We had 50 guests and it took 2 years to plan.’
How they met
We met at an underground club in Newcastle on Halloween nine years ago – Matthew was a ghost buster and I was a vampire.
It was perfectly tailored to my love of animals. Matthew arranged for us to stay over at Whipsnade Zoo. We had an evening tour of the zoo and got to feed some of the animals. After dinner, we walked back to our lodge, watching the wolves’ eyes shining in our torch light. Our lodge was filled with fairy lights and there was champagne waiting for us. Matthew played me a song on his ukulele and then got down on one knee. After, we lay on the hills, discussing our plans and looking up at the stars, surrounded by the sounds of rhinos and reindeer’s!
How did you allocate your budget?
After buying our house, we were very lucky to have help from our parents to pay for the wedding. We knew we wanted to try and keep our budget fairly low so we had some left for our amazing honeymoon in Bali.
Where did you splurge and where did you save?
We splurged on a photographer and my make up artist and hairdresser, but saved by choosing things we loved as opposed to what is traditional, like going for a fancy hotdog van rather than an expensive sit down dinner, and by making a lot ourselves. For example, I did a calligraphy course before making the signs out of an old tray and an antique wooden ironing board and Matthew made playlists to soundtrack the various parts of the day. We also had a lot of help, my stepmother made our fantastic desserts, my friend made jewellery for my bridesmaids, my brother was our chauffeur for the day, the best men played in the band, my Dad brought over all the champagne from France… Having their help made our day even more special.
How did you choose your photographer?
We wanted a photographer who could shoot sensational photos in both rural and urban settings. We trawled through the internet and considered loads, but Emma was the only person that we wanted to meet. Her photos are honest and exquisite and she is a dream to have with you on your wedding day.
My dress is Penelope from Love Marley by Watters. I loved the Watters dresses that I tried on, but found it to possible to let myself spend all that money just on one dress! Luckily, I saw it for sale, brand new with tags on, on Preloved. It fitted perfectly and didn’t need any altering at all! My Charlotte Mills shoes were also a second hand buy from EBay, and my pearl necklace and earrings were my 21st birthday present from my parents. My veil was made especially for me by Dream Veils. I didn’t take it off until 10pm though, I loved it!
The suit and bridesmaids
Matthew had a Limehaus suit and the bridesmaid dresses were from Chi Chi London.
Theme or colour scheme
We knew that we didn’t want a traditional wedding. It was very much a wedding themed on all of the things that we love! The one thing which held it altogether was the Manchester worker bee symbol. We had a beehive on the curtain of the Plaza, served honeycomb ice cream during the film, our dog had bees on her collar and we even renamed the beer to “Absolutely Buzzing”!
We had beautiful bunches of wild flowers from the shop belonging to the grandmother of one of my old pupils – Jenni-Fleurs.
We had an amazing retro cinema light box sign and lots of lovely vintagey bits and pieces belonging to the Roman Lakes, they made it look sensational!
We had fancy hot dogs – chorizo with guacamole and pork and beef dogs with maple bacon and Jack cheese. They were delicious and I loved having a food van, it was so laid back and informal!
My stepmother made the most incredible individual desserts and presented them so beautifully. They tasted amazing!
Matthew’s band reformed especially for the day. They were all living together when I met him and gigged quite a lot back then but life had got in the way and they hadn’t played together in years. It was amazing to watch them again, I felt like a groupie at my own wedding!
Who supplied the stationery?
I designed it all myself, I love that kind of thing too much to let someone else to do it!
We did a lot ourselves; designing the stationary, writing the signs for the order of the day, making the photobooth, a pick your own confetti bar, putting together a themed playlists for the different parts of the day and Matthew’s band playing.
Hearing each other’s vows was really moving. We got caught up in the moment and accidentally shared an emotional kiss straight after. I was really worried that we’d messed up the ceremony by having the first kiss too early!
Our dog walker dropped our black labrador puppy off for an hour and it was so lovely to have her with us. She was there when the confetti was thrown as we arrived at the Roman Lakes and spent most of the speeches asleep on my veil.
Advice for other couples
We did a lot of the work ourselves and hadn’t realised just how much there would be to do the day before. It was a very long and stressful day with far more jobs than we’d realised, I’m so grateful to my Mum for keeping me sane!
The weather! After weather watching like crazy and resigning myself to the predicted storm, we had a beautiful, sunny day.