Today’s beautiful wedding sees us jet of to the sun drenched shores of New Jersey...
Todays wedding is a bright, modern day full of fun, laughter and a fab Pixar theme. Claire and Stuart held their modern Manchester wedding at Great John Street as it held the blank canvas they were looking for and they really went to town on the details and decoration. Choosing a Pixar theme they were able to incorporate lots of bright, colourful DIY projects into their day. From the quite amazing wedding cake and dessert table to the ribbon backdrop. I just love this wedding, the gorgeous pops of colour look wonderful against the modern venue and Claire and Stuart have done a great job of bringing their wedding vision to life. Big thanks to Lottie Elizabeth Photography for the stunning photos.
Claire and Stuart were married on 28th February 2016 at Great John Street, Eclectic Hotel, Manchester City Centre. ‘Being a wedding photographer I (Claire) had seen a lot of different variations of wedding venues and had an idea of the relaxed feel I wanted our day to have, luckily Stuart had the same idea and he came across Great John Street, we both immediately fell in love with the atmosphere and décor of the venue, we could see the overall feel our wedding would have from the first visit. We had a total of 62 guests. We were engaged on the 31st July 2015 and Married the 28th February, after the initial excitement of being engaged we had 6 months to plan our day.’
How they met
We met at university, I was just starting and Stuart was in his final year, by the time we got married we had been together just over 8 years.
We had a week’s holiday down south at the end of July, one of our day’s out was a walk along the White Cliffs of Dover with our dog, Sulley. It was also my mum’s birthday, I lost my mum a few years back so I bought some flowers to leave on top of the cliff for her. Just after I had laid the flowers down at a picturesque spot I turned to hug Stuart, it was then that suddenly he got down on one knee and ask me to marry him…I don’t think I gave him an answer for a while as I was a blubbering mess. I eventually said yes and we sat down to have our sandwiches and crisps on such a gorgeous sunny clifftop spot. I honestly had no idea that that was going to happen, I was oblivious, but for him to have planned it on my mum’s birthday as such a beautiful location, and with only my father apparently knowing; the boy did good.
How did you allocate your budget
The majority of our budget went on the venue. We knew that having the right venue would get the guests in the right mood for the rest of the day. We were so ridiculously lucky and fortunate to then have such amazing contacts within the wedding Industry who all helped us keep our budget low. Sonara Parker and her team did an amazing job making me and my bridesmaids look beautiful on the day, not only is she an award winning makeup artist but also a friend sometimes no money can buy you the experience that a friend can bring to the morning of your day.
Where did your splurge and where did you save
Not only did I have such amazing photographers capturing the day but we also had the ridiculously talented Jon Bird to capture a video of our day for us, this was truly amazing I can’t stop watching the video over and over again. If any couple ever asked me the importance of photography of videography on your day I would wholeheartedly say that if you want something great to look back on and remember your day by then make these areas a priority. We saved by the amazing generosity of family and friends, also because we are so hands on and creative ourselves we undertook a lot of the prep work from invites to table and venue décor, to seating plans and wedding cakes and flowers, we researched a lot and gained a lot of help and advice from creatives within the wedding industry who all helped us do a lot ourselves, my dad being so handy and a baker came in very helpful too.
How did you choose your photographer
I had met Lottie on a Jonny Draper workshop, we had such a laugh and I immediately noticed her natural eye and skill. I wanted a photographer who had a unique style and someone who I knew adored the candid moments as much as I did. I knew Lottie would just get on and mingle throughout the day, she wasn’t just our photographer but became a friend with a camera, and I wholeheartedly believe that is what you need from your photographer for those natural relaxed moments.
I bought my dress from an Etsy store, unfortunately this was a bad experience, it arrived 2 sizes too small, I eventually got Aga from Stitches in Manchester to alter it and she did an amazing job!
My colbalt blue shoes were from Asos, I stuck a silver sixpence from my mother in law in them too and my evening converse where I stitched MRS WABY in the back; My bracelet was a something blue gift from my bridesmaids and my earrings and garter were my mothers.
The Suit and Bridesmaids
Stuart + the groomsmen suits were from M&S with his ties, pocket squares and tiepins from Etsy
The girls all had the same skirt from Asos and then I asked them to all chose a white top that they felt comfortable in, with the two maid of honours going for coast sequin tops to stand apart slightly. I wanted the girls to have something that they could easily wear again, either to another wedding, a day or evening out. I adored their relaxed look, they definitely looked like girls at a rooftop wedding.
Theme or Colour Scheme
Our theme was Pixar, we LOVE pixar, especially UP how can you not be a ball of mess in the first 10 minutes? Our colour scheme was soft splashes of colour, primarily focusing on pinks, we wanted the pixar theme to be colourful but not childish.
I did the flowers myself with my bridesmaids doing the buttonholes and helping with the table décor. I bought Roses from Aldi and then went to a wholesaler for freesia’s, treeferns, eucalyptus baby blue, coco casino, wax flower and carnations. I wanted a bouquet full of texture and different flowers.
Stuart made a ribbon backdrop for the ceremony and meal, with aisle crates being made up by myself using milk crates, oasis and test tubes. My dad then built wooden crates for the table centrepieces with flowers around the outside and pixar items in the middle. We named the tables not after films but instead after places in those films.
i.e Monsters Inc was called Monstropolis and it had boo’s door and Mike in the center. Cars was called Radiator Springs and had a wooden ‘welcome to radiator springs’ sign. Toy Story – Andy’s Room and had green army men, wooden ABC blocks and a mini Buzz.
Throughout the venue we just had areas of décor, from the cake table, to the card basket with mini up balloons and the friends wooden pinned frames, the venue was so perfect the start with we wanted our décor to just sit beside it instead of decorating over it.
Great John Street had an amazing BBQ meal offer, we love BBQ’s and thought this was another nice an informal nod towards the feel we wanted.
My dad made the wedding cake, We had black forest gateau layer, lemon drizzle layer and 2 x Victoria sponge layers, all finished off in an Up inspired design. My dad also made the paper house as the topper. He also baked a lot of extra smaller treats like cloud shaped shortbread, loaf cakes, cupcakes and Stuart mum baked some lemon drizzle and chocolate cakes too to help us create a large Cake table for people to pick at throughout the evening.
We built our own Photobooth which created the strip booth images for people to save as a momento of the day then for the evening’s entertainment we had the talented Andy Murphy DJ who kept the dancefloor and bromancing alive; he read our friends perfectly and it was brilliant to have such a wonderful DJ work our wedding.
We did our own stationary, with Stuart designing the Schedule of the Day and Seating Plan.
Personal or Handmade Touches
I would genuinely say the whole wedding was a DIY wedding. We were hands on throughout the entire process, and even on the morning of the wedding, I was upstairs on the rooftop building the backdrop and finishing off the decorations. I prefer keeping busy I don’t think I would have liked a slow start to the day just sat doing nothing. My friend and the amazing talented award winning Make-up Artist Sonara Parker had to keep shouting for me to come and actually get my make-up done.
I don’t think there was one special moment, the whole day genuinely was perfect. The sun shone and we had a beautiful Manchester February Rooftop wedding. Everyone seemed so settled and relaxed and all our guests just seemed to embrace the day from start to finish we had a ball. I personally enjoyed heading to Fred Aldous in Manchester to get a proper photobooth image to keep and treasure forever.
Advice to other couples
Keep the day true to you, people who want to be there will be there. If you focus on keeping the wedding true to you; your individual and combined loves then your friends and family will see and appreciate that on the day. If you get caught up in all the details then you forget what the day is truly about, you and your partner getting married. The rest is an added bonus. I wrote a blog about my views on short engagements.
How giddy at the ceremony I was and how relaxed and at ease Stuart was, I honestly expected it to be the other way around. But I was a giggling mess, in a good way. I couldn’t believe we had gotten to that point.