The most important thing for us on our wedding day was for it to be really good fun. We didn’t want any stuffiness or formality and we wanted our guests (and ourselves) to enjoy every second.
We met and got engaged in December (not at the same time) so it felt natural that we have a December wedding and make the occasion as festive as possible. 29th December was a perfect date as everyone was nice and relaxed and enjoying their time off work.
As soon as we walked into Owen House Wedding Barn it just felt like the right place for us. It was relaxed, welcoming, comfortable, modern but still had character. Dan made us feel instantly reassured and he didn’t hand over the wedding rule book and spiel of ‘this is how we do weddings’ like a lot of the other venues did. He just let us see the space and make up our own minds. Plus they had a very extensive gin selection, a prosecco truck, the perfect ceremony room and was set in the lovely Mobberley countryside. If only we were a few months later, we could have stayed in one of the barns they have converted into luxury boutique accommodation.
A trip to Agape in Altrincham (and Temperley Bridal in London) uncovered the most incredible Temperley dress that I have ever seen and which sparkled so beautifully in the Christmassy lights. Chloe at Agape is an absolute hero; she does all alterations for free and even brought me back from heart failure when I got blood on the dress in one of my fittings.
We didn’t feel comfortable with the standard format of not seeing each other beforehand plus I didn’t want to miss out on anything so we moved the drinks reception to the start of the day. This worked really well as it meant we could travel with the majority of our guests from The Mere Hotel to Owen House in a big 75-seater bus that we had provided. Chatting to everyone before the ceremony really put us both at ease and got all of our guests acquainted and into the wedding spirit, with the assistance of the prosecco truck. Owen House were really accommodating when we wanted to do things differently and gave some practical advice and ideas as to what they thought would work best for what we wanted.
During the reception and meal we had Silhouette Sarah cutting people’s silhouettes and giving them to the guests as their favours in a little card frame in the colours of our wedding. This sounds a bit random but everyone absolutely loved it! She was so good at it and it was actually baffling as to how she does it so quickly and so well. Even my dad was impressed and he is a man of little praise.
The guests and ourselves were instantly blown away by the room decoration by Mat from Red Floral. We had seen versions of what he can do before, but seeing how he transformed our ‘brief’ (a couple of Pinterest pictures and a couple of meetings with him) into an even better version of anything I could have imagined was awesome.
The ceremony room was particularly gorgeous as Mat had done it out with loads of candles and some illuminated wreathes as a nod to the time of year. The actual ceremony was much more fun than I thought it would be as I was quite nervous about it. I loved the Stevie Wonder, Oasis, Beatles and obviously The Pogues and Maria Carey covers played by Didsbury String Quartet before and after the ceremony.
After the ceremony we came back into the main room and Mat had lit all of the millions of candles on the tables, which was a really special moment when we walked back in with everyone cheering.
Every good wedding has a photo booth; ours from Vintage photo booth was great as the booth looked so much nicer than the usual big plastic box, plus the photos looked brilliant in black and white with all their props and the backdrop. I have made a collage of all the photos at home which makes me smile every time I walk past – if I could go back I would make sure everyone went in there as there are a few people who were having too much fun elsewhere that they didn’t get the chance which is a shame as it would have been nice to have them in my collage smiling back at me.
It was really nice to be able to include friends and family in our day and we were lucky as there were a few very useful people we could call upon:
Kate Hill Headdresses – my lovely and super talented step sister who also happens to make bespoke hats and headwear for weddings, races etc. She custom made a gorgeous piece of bling that matched my dress and she also made the bridesmaids head pieces to match their dresses, each one was different based on their own preferences. These were my presents to my bridesmaids, which was lovely as it was really personal. It was good to see a few of our guests also wearing some of her creations.
Shelley and Charlotte for hair and make-up – brilliant at what they do but also made the morning getting ready even more fun.
Nigel John for photography – we have had so many compliments from our photos from all over the place and they are stunning. He’s also totally lovely and the hardest working photographer out there, snapping away from breakfast right until the end of the last song which was brilliant as he has captured all of the lovely, funny, raucous and emotional moments from the entire day. This was great for us as we didn’t want to spend loads of time on all of the organised family shots although we did do some, we wanted real moments.
5 Key Choices
Room ambience – the sea of candles and flowers as provided and arranged by Mat was a massive contributing factor to the atmosphere in the room throughout the day. First impressions made people feel excited to be there and all the little details Mat includes so in our case things like pine cones and twigs and berries to accentuate our theme make all the difference. The candles in the evening transformed the room into something totally different and made it all feel so cosy and special – looking out into that room with all our family and friends in such a beautiful room was something that will make me happy forever.
Risk reward – the things I was worried about seeming a bit weird or random were the things that made us and our guests really happy. Like the silhouette favours and also a random reading which I liked, likening being married to owning a dog that I had chosen for one of my bridesmaids to read during the ceremony and got some good laughs!
No kids – we wanted our nieces and nephews but didn’t want it overrun with kids that take away their parents time and energy. We deliberated over this as didn’t want to offend anyone or make life difficult for people having to find childcare. We told family they could bring their kids but on the invite specified no kids and we actually got texts from people saying they were really pleased to have a day off – so it worked out well.
Photos and Photography – our photos are the things that will be on our wall forever so it’s worth giving this good thought and making sure you pick the right venue and photographer. We also invited people to dress ‘as festively fabulous’ as they liked which made for brilliant photos – there was a whole lot of sequins and sparkles!
Tell people what to do in advance – we gave ushers and bridesmaids really detailed instructions of everything they needed to deal with on the day along with an itinerary of how we wanted the day to go which seems a bit militant but that way we could totally sit back and relax on the day and not be bothered by logistics.
Venue – Owen House Wedding Barn: http://www.owenhouseweddingbarn.co.uk
Photographer – Nigel John: http://nigeljohn.com
Flowers and Décor – Red Floral: http://www.redfloral.co.uk
Dress – Agape: http://www.agapebridalboutique.com
Caterer – Barretts: http://www.barrettseventcaterers.com
Lighting – Luminate: http://www.luminate-events.co.uk