Awww, just look at this cute pair. I love this wedding. It’s just so fun-filled and happy and Bride Becca’s report is a joy to read.
That beautiful red rose bouquet you can see is actually made from paper. I know!! Paper?? Becca made it herself and I have to say, it really is something to be proud of.
And not only did Becca make the bouquets, but all of the button holes too. AND she designed ALL of the stationery. One very talented and dedicated Bride.
Becca also has lots of sound advice when it comes to the dress too – as you’ll see. But I think you’ll agree that she looks gorgeous and you wouldn’t think for a second that the dress was anything but perfect.
This wedding also contains one of the sweetest first dance song choices I’ve ever come across. Seriously, it’s a story that will make your heart melt…
Becca The Bride: We knew before we got engaged that we wanted a Christmas wedding, we also wanted somewhere in the city centre so that it would be easy for our guests to get there if December threw us some bad weather. We came across Aspire totally by chance – they don’t focus on advertising, but rely on word of mouth and despite living in Leeds all my life, I’d never heard of them.
They were brilliant – the building used to be the old Yorkshire Penny Bank which was a nice nod to our Yorkshire roots, and has been restored to include a mezzanine floor in the old banking hall which makes for a really versatile space. Sarah and Giles were so helpful and made the day run like clockwork and we had nothing but compliments about the venue.
I would describe myself as a make-up junkie… I absolutely love the stuff. I spent a lot of time researching long lasting make-up prior to the wedding and then stocked up when we went to New York in the summer. My sister Grace did my make-up and she did an amazing job. I’d really recommend a good primer – I used Smash Box Photo Finish Light and it makes a massive difference to how your make-up looks.
As well as being lucky enough to have my make-up artist as part of Team Bridesmaid, I also had my hairdresser – one of my bridesmaid’s Sam keeps my hair in check and so she did my hair on the day. Again, it was just a more dramatic version of my everyday look. She added some extensions though, as I wasn’t blessed with the thickest of hair, and then pinned it off my face. It was perfect!
From before we got engaged I had a clear vision for my dress. I didn’t want any lace, satin, taffeta, sequins, diamantes, crystals, beading or a strapless dress – which rules out 99% of wedding dresses. I went to a couple of Bridal houses – including one where the lady told me that the style I wanted would make me look ‘terribly dumpy’ and so I decided to go down the bespoke route and designed my gown myself. I had consultation after consultation and fitting after fitting to get my dress exactly how I wanted – my Mum even sourced the fabric, and we left the final fitting gleaming about how it looked. Sadly, the dress shop didn’t send the back part of my underskirt and once we discovered it wasn’t missing, we couldn’t get in touch with anyone to be able to get it sent to the venue, which in light of how long it had taken (18 months) to get it perfect was devastating.
My advice to anyone would be check you have all elements of your dress in good time. We collected the day before the wedding and as I could feel the hoop of the underskirt in the bag I assumed it was all there – big mistake. Make no assumptions and double check everything.
I thought all along that I would go for minimal accessories – I didn’t want anything in my hair other than my veil, and I wasn’t fussed about jewellery either. Then I saw a piece on RMW where the bride went for a statement J Crew necklace…WOW! A quick Google search brought up a different J Crew necklace and I was in love. I asked Team Bridesmaid their thoughts, and Sam said it reminded her of snowflakes. SOLD! I bought it on impulse but I am so glad I did and it will be something I can wear over and over again. I wore Vivienne Westwood Nano Orb earrings which Ash had bought me a few years ago, and a simple bracelet made of hearts from eBay.
I think the dress parts of our wedding were doomed – I’d also gone down the bespoke route with the bridesmaid dresses but when they arrived at the beginning of December, it was clear I had made a mistake. My super Mum came to the rescue again and sourced replacement dresses from Lindy Bop. I wanted each of the girls in the same dress but in a different colour and picked colours that I liked and that would suit each of them. In the end, we could only get dresses in 5 colours, so we put my sisters in the same colour, which actually worked really well.
Despite all the stress and panic to find new dresses, I’m a big believer that everything happens for a reason – sadly my Gran was too poorly to be able to attend our wedding and passed away a couple of days after. The replacement dresses were called the Audrey dress, which we thought was a nice silent tribute to my wonderful Gran.
Ash picked the suits, ties, pocket squares and shoes. I was only allowed to see the groomsmen’s suits before the wedding and Ash’s outfit was a total surprise which was lovely and something I would recommend to future brides. You get to keep your dress a secret, let your man do the same! I bought Ash a vintage pocket watch as a wedding gift, and had it engraved with 21st December 2013 – It’s About Time (we’ve been together for 7½ years and I’d been waiting for a proposal from the minute we met!)
I knew I wanted red roses as both my Gran and my Grams had red flowers in their wedding bouquets and I wanted the bridesmaids to have cream roses, as that is what we had for my Sister’s wedding. But the cost was eye-watering! I just couldn’t justify spending hundreds of pounds on something which would be dead by the following day. I considered buying fresh flowers myself and making the bouquets up in the morning, but as our ceremony was at 12 o’clock there just wouldn’t have been time. So I ended up making my flowers from a special crepe paper called Doublette from the Homecrafts website. I couldn’t get cream paper so went for peach but discovered with the mock-ups that I made that the paper quickly faded to cream which was perfect. I also made all of the buttonholes. The flowers were a labour of love, but I had so many compliments on them. Plus, they will last forever. All in all I think they cost me about £60 for 8 bouquets and 15 buttonholes.
We had a fairly simple ceremony and had two friends do readings – Wedding Song and Make You Feel My Love both by Bob Dylan. My Pops plays in a band who do a lot of Bob Dylan covers and we have grown up with his music so it was important to me to have some Dylan included at some point during the day. We saw our ceremony as another way of including some of more our closest friends, so we asked 4 friends who weren’t part of the immediate bridal party to step in so that they also played an important part in our day.
Our song has always been Always Love by Nada Surf. I wasn’t sure if it was right for our first dance however, so we spent time debating over alternatives. Then the week of the wedding, Ash said that he had found an alternative version and maybe we could have that. I was so busy sorting last minute bits out that I said OK without even asking to hear it – it could have been awful for all I knew but I trusted his judgement. What started up when we took to the dance floor was an acoustic version that Ash had sung himself. He’d worked for months with his friend who he plays in a band with to produce the track – Ben even recorded the orchestral parts! Hands down the most romantic thing anyone has ever done for me and I was totally overwhelmed. After our first dance, Ash handed me back to dance with my Pops. He chose White Christmas by Bing Crosby, one of my all-time favourites, and a nod to my Gramps Ralph.
My degree is in graphics and I love illustration and all things craft, and so it was important to me to make as much of our stationery as possible. I specialise in hand drawn illustration so I did need to call on a friend to do the techy side of things, but I designed everything. I was originally going to order a print for the table plan but it worked out too expensive so in the end I drew all the typography by hand. Incredibly time consuming but worth it in my opinion. I really wanted to show people that I had taken the time to make as much as possible to give a really personal touch and I think that we managed to achieve it.
I’d recommend spending the time and money to find a photographer you love. We found Chris through Rock My Wedding and were immediately taken with his style and his use of colour. We had an engagement shoot which I cannot recommend enough – if like us you’re not particularly comfortable in front of the camera then it really does help you relax and I think you can see it in our photos. We are so happy with our pictures and cannot recommend Chris enough.