Amy & Ben’s Cosy, Winter-warming Sheffield Wedding. By Jess Petrie

Happy Monday everyone, I do hope you had a good weekend, what did you get up to? Mine was pretty chilled, mainly house and baby stuff. I have some lovely weddings for this week, starting with this winter wedding from my good friend Jess Petrie. It’s a gorgeous winter wedding set in my home town of Sheffield, with lots of lovely Sheffield suppliers. Amy and Ben chose rich tones, winter colours and metallics for their decoration. They also took time out for their stunning portrait shots, something that I recommend every couple should do. Mixed in with a photo booth and sweetie table this wedding is the perfect mix of classic and fun, captured perfectly by Jess Petrie

A perfect day celebrated with friends and family. Love, laughter and a sprinkle of Christmas magic.

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Superstitious for some, but not for Amy and Ben, who were married on Friday 13th December at Whitley Hall Hotel in Sheffield. “Amy’s mum and dad had stayed at Whitley many times and Amy’s dad had always said that he would love to see one of his two daughters get married there so that was a major consideration but apart from this it is a stunning venue; a 16th century former mansion that is now a boutique hotel, steeped in history with lots of charm and character. Combined with the cosy log fires it was the perfect venue for our winter wedding and it was convenient for most of our guests to get there. We had 70 guests for the day and 125 guests for the evening reception. We began planning the wedding in the November the year before, so it took just over twelve months to organise.”

Sheffield wedding photography

Sheffield wedding photography

How they met
Ben and I actually worked at the same company many years ago but had only seen each other during that time once at a nightclub. We have mutual friends who still worked at the company and in 2012 we tagged along to the works Christmas party as their guests. I thought Ben was so handsome so when he asked if he could buy me a drink I said yes and followed it up by dragging him onto the dance floor. (Apple Sourz has a lot to answer for!) Six weeks after that night, we officially became an item and have been together ever since.

The proposal
Ben proposed on the eve of my thirtieth birthday. We had gone to Leeds to eat at Jamie’s Italian with it being a special occasion. I had absolutely no idea what he had planned. There had a been a few moments in the past where I thought he was going to propose and it hadn’t happened so I had resigned myself to knowing it would happen but perhaps not for a while. After the first course, Ben said he had an early birthday present for me and placed a box in front of me. I opened it up and there was my ring; a beautiful white gold diamond from the Ring Shop (a small jewellers in Rotherham where I had always said I wanted my engagement ring from). In front of the entire restaurant, Ben got down on bended knee and proposed. It took me a few seconds to register what was happening so I actually forgot to say ‘yes’! It was a fantastic birthday present although I was that excited I lost my appetite for the remainder of the meal.

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How did you allocate your budget?
We based the budget on what savings we had and contributions from both families although it quickly became clear that we couldn’t have everything we wanted so we listed what was most important to us and ensured that we chose the best for those items. We also enlisted the help of family to assist with certain elements like the invitations (made by my mum) and the favours (hand sewn Christmas decorations) made by Ben’s mum. I remember Ben’s mum advising to ‘spend enough so we enjoyed the day but not so much we were landed in ridiculous debt’

Why did you choose your photographer?
Jess Petrie Photography was the first wedding photographer we came across when we began searching. I fell in love with a couple of shots she had taken of a winter wedding and immediately knew I wanted our photos to look like that. At first, we didn’t think we had enough in the budget; I was determined to have Jess so decided to give up my Manolo Blahniks and use the money towards the photography instead; Ben was stunned that I was willing to forego my dream shoes but Jess was worth it and now we have the most amazing photographs to look back on forever.

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The dress and accessories
My dress was bespoke, made by a family friend called Rebecca Cartwright. It was a fairy-tale gown, pure ivory silk and completely hand stitched. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the dress wasn’t actually ‘finished’ until ten minutes before the ceremony, but everyone (including the hair and makeup artists assistant) pulled together and Rebecca did an amazing job; she’s one to watch in the future.
My shoes were my ‘something blue’ and were purchased on sale from Aruna Seth. My garter was by Florrie Mitton and my headpiece was by an amazing designer called Sheena Holland. She specialises in taking antique and vintage jewellery and re-working it into these fabulous creations; my mum wore a Sheena Holland design also.
I wore pearls that had once been Ben’s nana’s and borrowed earrings from my mum.
I also have to mention Jenn Edwards MUA; such a talented makeup artist and a lovely lady too. My hair was amazing; everyone commented on it and it lasted so well that I wore it to our pies, peas and Prosecco after party the following evening.

The suit and the bridesmaids
The groomsmen and father of the bride suits were made by the Sheffield tailor Barney Goodman and the bridesmaid dresses were from the Colour by Kenneth Winston range. Ben’s ushers were his god-sisters so instead of them wearing a suit, they wore the same dresses as the bridesmaids but in the colour of the groomsmen’s ties. We thought the ladies look stunning, so elegant but with a touch of glamour with the cowl backs; these were highlighted by crystal lariat necklaces.

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The theme
With it being winter we wanted colours that were deep and rich; this also worked well with the venue. We decided on shades of purples and reds, with metallic touches here and there such as the bridesmaid’s hair accessories and centrepieces; the bridesmaids wore a raspberry colour, whilst the groomsmen ties and handkerchiefs were plum as were the usher’s dresses. Ben’s favourite colour is orange so there were also few dashes here and there; his boiler suit that he wore on the motorbike on the way to the venue and his socks (these were one of his presents from me. I left them wrapped up with a note reading ‘in case you get cold feet’)

The flowers
Tracey Campbell of Campbells Flower’s did an amazing job with the flowers.
I had noticed that Tracey and Jess often worked together and their styles seemed to complement each other. I loved the wild, just picked look, using seasonal flowers that Tracey specialises in; unique to many of the other florists I had come across. From the very moment I met Tracey I trusted her implicitly and other than some photos and colour swatches I left everything up to her.
My bouquet consisted of astrantia roma, hypericum berries, rose hips, ‘Pauline Violet’ ranunculus, red sedum, white gypsophilia and tree ivy. The bridesmaids had a similar style bouquet to me although they had more cream to offset against their dresses. The groomsmen and immediate family also had buttonholes made of hypericum; the men’s were finished with a plum bow whereas the ladies were tied with a piece of lace to make them more feminine. The centrepieces consisted of flowers similar to those in my bouquet but were displayed in tarnished gold chalices and the top table had vines of ivy that trailed along the front of the table, interspersed with more flowers and berries to match those in my bouquet. Each place setting also had a sprig of gypsophillia tied with a bow. The flowers lasted ages and I still had some of the centrepieces on Christmas Eve.

The decoration
As well as the flowers, we used brass figurines and wicker ornaments that were lit with fairy lights on the tables; these displayed the table names which were tied onto them with rustic twine. The tables had tea lights along the centre and the windows were also used to display lanterns that again had candles burning within, creating a warm cosy glow in the room that offset against the dark winter evening outside.

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The food and wedding cake
With it being winter we wanted a rich, classic meal that all the guests would enjoy; Starter was a giant Yorkshire pudding with red wine gravy. The main course was pork loin with a mustard seed jus and dessert was Yorkshire treacle tart with vanilla ice cream.
The evening reception was a cold buffet with a variety of dishes. We also served half of the wedding cake.
During the evening, we had a sweet table and my sister surprised us with a giant chocolate fountain.
The reception drinks were winter Pimms with red and white wine supplied with the meal and champagne for the toasts.
The wedding cake was made by my very talented aunty. It was 4 tiers; the bottom tier was traditional fruit cake made with cherry brandy, the second tier was sponge with strawberry jam, the third tier was chocolate cake and the top-tier was white Christmas cake made with orange and pecans.

The entertainment
My sister and Ben’s dad provided readings during the ceremony. My sister read an extract from the Velveteen Rabbit and Ben’s dad read ‘Oh the Places You’’ Go’ by Dr Seuss. This made the ceremony last a little longer as they can be over so quickly and it’s the most important part!
During the meal we had a screen that flicked through photos of me and Ben ranging from us as a couple to some rather embarrassing ones of us as children (this had been arranged by both sets of parents) Following the meal we had a photo booth provided by Jess Petrie which was lots of fun and in the evening we had a DJ for the evening reception. I have to say the dance floor was never empty.

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Buy or DIY your stationery?
My mum makes cards as a hobby and very kindly offered to make the wedding invites. Each one was individual with no two being the same.

Any personal or handmade touches?
– We both wrote our own vows; promises that were meaningful to us and what we understood marriage as being about.
– The ceremonial music was very personal. I walked up the aisle to a piano version of Lana Del Rey’s ‘Young and Beautiful’; we had both watch the Great Gatsby and fell in love with the song. The exit music was ‘Bad Things’ by Jace Everett as we had watched the True Blood series together in the early part of our relationship and it is now one of ‘our songs’. The first dance was to Uncle Kracker’s ‘Follow Me’ which has a message that is very personal to me and Ben.
– We had a table with photos of our grandparents on their wedding day; apart from my maternal grandparents, the others passed away many years ago but we thought it was special touch to remember our heritage and I know it meant a lot to both sets of parents.
– We also had ceramic rabbits and a stag head as an alternative to our ‘guest book’. People signed the ornaments with black and gold paint markers and these are now in our home as reminders of the day.
– My wedding ring was Ben’s nana’s and hopefully will continue to be passed through the generations.
– The table plan was Ben’s project. One of his favourite authors is Terry Pratchett; the tables were named after places in the Discworld novels and each table had a card explaining what the country was renowned for. The table plan was mounted on a map of Discworld and it was certainly nothing like I’ve seen before.
– Each place setting had a cream box tied with a satin bow in the wedding colours and inside was the handmade fabric decoration made by Ben’s mum; we hope that people will hang them on their tree each year as a reminder of our special day.
– We also had a basket of flip-flops so that any guests that wanted to party the night away could do so in comfort. That was my mum’s idea and it went down especially well with the ladies who had been in their heels all day.

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Special moments
We loved every moment of the day so trying to pick just one is a difficult task; hearing Ben arriving on his uncles’ vintage motorbike, putting my dress on, walking down the aisle with my dad , saying our vows, having a quiet moment together just before the wedding breakfast. But the thing I remember most vividly is sitting at the top table holding hands with my husband looking at everyone laughing and talking, clinking their glasses with big smiles on their faces. The candles were glowing and there was such a magical atmosphere in the room. Everyone seemed so happy and having a good time. I felt so complete, so content that I’ll remember that moment forever.

Advice for other couples
Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! During the last week building up to the wedding I was so stressed and Ben said to me ‘ as long as you and me are there all the rest is fluff’ which is so true. The small touches are lovely but ultimately if you as a couple are having an amazing time, nothing else matters.

Biggest surprise
That it all came together in end and it was, for us such a perfect day; there were circumstances beyond our control that happened during the course of the day but our friends and family gave their hearts and ultimately everyone had an amazing time.
My photographer, florist and MUA were known to me as the ‘Dream Team ’. Anyone who has the opportunity to work with these very talented ladies will not be disappointed. I would recommend them in a heartbeat J xxx

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