Firstly what a weekend, the weather was absolutely glorious wasn't it, we hope you all had the best time with loved ones, and to continue the gloriousness we thought we'd share this colourful, eclectic wedding at the Victoria Baths in Manchester. Your eyes are instantly drawn to the vibrancy of the blooms, complimented beautifully by glittering gold bridesmaids dresses and finishing touches. Then your jaw will hit the floor when you see bride Charlotte's Charlie Brear gown, complete with tasseled skirt and Juliet cap veil. After you've poured over the images by Emma Case Photography, you should definitely make yourself comfortable and read groom Matt's report. Not only does he say romantic things about Charlotte, but he also has a wealth of advice.
The DressMatt the Groom: Charlotte found her perfect dress relatively close to home. After trawling the length of the country at numerous designer boutiques, The White Closet in Didsbury instantly stood out on Charlotte’s first visit. The friendly staff and extensive range immediately had her on side, and it was the first place that gave Charlotte that special feeling she always expected when wedding dress shopping. They were complimentary from the start and were the first shop to actually pin her into a dress. The original plan was to have fresh flowers in her hair, but she fell in love with a stunning Juliet Cap veil while dress shopping. It took the dress to the next level, made Charlotte feel like a bride and I was blown away as she came down the aisle. The fresh flowers still made an appearance as a large floral crown she wore for the evening reception.
The GroomNot wanting to be completely outshone by the beautiful bride, I treated myself to a Tailored Suit from Doherty, Evans & Stott. I was impressed by their suits I’d seen online and after a quick consultation with the guys in the shop I was convinced they’d have me dapper on my big day. More than likely the most expensive piece of clothing I’ll ever splash out on, it’ll be on my back at every wedding I attend until my gut no longer allows it.
The VenueAfter 8 years of fun together we knew the only way to celebrate our wedding was a giant party with friends & family, great music & great scran, and our personalities plastered all over it. First decision was the venue; we already had Victoria Baths in mind after attending a home fair and being blown away by the setting and freedom to explore every nook but once we’d met Martin at the Baths, and realised just how much flexibility we’d have to put our own stamp on the place, we knew we’d found the location.
Colour Scheme/DecorThe decor for the venue was “Colour. Loads of it. Oh, and a bunch of gold glitter”. Apart from the odd light and strip of bunting, we decorated the entire place ourselves with a massive amount of help from from our beautiful and talented friends & family. Charlotte runs a Book Club and the other members kindly donated lots of their previous reads which were labeled up as favours for the adults. Colouring packs and kinder eggs kept all the kids busy while we tucked into the Wedding Breakfast. No.1 tip folks - Accept every last bit of help offered! People want to help and there’s so much to do. We had ceremony entertainment, tablecloths, countless handmade decorations, invites, MC, cakes, and help decorating the venue, all at no (or very little) cost to ourselves.
FlowersWe were recommended the florist, Wild & Wondrous, by a friend and they were exactly what we wanted. Everything is locally sourced and in season, which keeps their carbon footprint low (we’re big hippies at heart), plus they immediately “got” what we were trying to do - despite a brief of not much more than “loads of bright colours?!?”. They were helpful on the day, managed to source some lighting we were struggling with and all-round a joy to deal with.
Wedding Party FashionOur bridesmaids wore custom made, gold sequin dresses from Etsy, with electric blue shoes from Primarni and flower crowns from Accessorize. Bridesmaid dresses are a challenge; we wanted dresses that the girls felt comfortable in but were also flattering. After trying lots, in various shops we took the risk of ordering online and thankfully it worked out. We’ve never been “all-matching” types, so the gents were told to wear what they wanted - but I’d be in blue, so don’t clash! - though me and the Groomsmen all wore coordinated ties.
The CeremonyNever the punctual type, Charlotte was 45 minutes late. I always knew she was going to turn-up but a giant sinkhole on Mancunian Way and an extremely cool, but extremely slow, Morris Minor had knocked the schedule right off. The poor registrars had to sprint from the venue at the end to get to their next appointment. The ceremony was stunning, Charlotte walked down the aisle to All I Want is You by Barry Louis Polisar, played by a couple of my bandmates. We had two readings, the lyrics from The Book of Love by The Magnetic Fields and Love Me When I’m Old by Bee Rawlinson, both read superbly by a couple of our friends. On your day, enjoy the ceremony, make it personal and take in every last word. It’s was the best part of the day, and will stay with us forever.
EntertainmentWe’re both massive music fans (read nerds) and we knew we wanted a live band, but the idea of scaring family members with a noisy garage punk band or droney, atonal electronica didn’t feel like a good move. As a compromise we opted for a local big band The Managers, who we knew were brilliant but absolutely blew the roof off. Almost 20 strong with a full brass line-up, they brought the house down, with all ages up shaking their hips from the first song. They’re the part of the day that has stuck with people long after the wedding. We were greedy and had three first dances, starting with the song I proposed to, You and Me by Penny & the Quarters, followed by That’s How Strong My Love Is by Otis Redding and to finish, a curve ball just to bring the noise slightly, I Wanna Be Your Dog by The Stooges.
FoodMore than a bit of luck had us stumble upon our food. We were out buying supplies for our Cheese & Wine themed engagement party when we happened upon Thyme Out Deli which we remembered was on the The Baths’ list of previous suppliers. We had lunch and a beer and it was spot on, so we spoke to them about catering the wedding. On the day, we hardly knew they were there - which was ideal - and the food was exceptional. They managed a vegetarian option, without a sniff of a goat’s cheese tart, and the evening buffet disappeared in minutes. Charlotte’s Mum runs a cake making business, which was handy! We had a couple of amazing cakes because we couldn’t decide what we wanted, plus we’re greedy, and a friend-of-a-friend made the cutest cake toppers.
PhotographersAwww Emma and Pete! Just adorable from the start. Charlotte had set her heart on Emma from the outset, and from our first emails back and forth they were an absolute pleasure. On the day, they both kept us calm, mingled with our friends and captured our day in such a natural and beautiful way. Their attention to detail, knowledge of the venue from previous visits and little things like the Polaroids and prints in little presentation box, really made the whole experience special. We can’t stress enough the importance of finding a photographer that understands you and wants to leave you with memories of the day that you’ll cherish forever.
AdviceYou know people say you can’t get drunk and the adrenaline will keep you sober? Lies! A big stinking pack of lies! Don’t worry about what people think or if you’re being ‘original’ enough. Create the day you want, the people there care and love you both, so it doesn’t matter if something goes wrong, or you cry a lot, or your stuffing cake in your face by 6pm. Just enjoy it. Have a Master of Ceremonies. Our friend Don stood in at the last minute, as it wasn’t something we’d even considered. It without doubt made the day run infinitely smoother than it would have without him - And he loved being in charge. We used the hashtag #acoupleofberrys on the day that people used to share pictures.
Dress Designer: Charlie Brear | Bridal Boutique: The White Closet | Veil: HM Veils | Jewellery: Si Vis Amari | Bridal Shoes: Topshop | Groom Suit: Doherty, Evans & Stott | Grooms Shoes: Ted Baker | Ties: Marks and Spencer | Venue: Victoria Baths | Florist: Wild & Wondrous | Catering: Thyme Out Deli | Cake: 2chefpassion | Stationery: Jim McDougall | Entertainment: The Managers Big Band | DJ Mof Gimmers | Transport: RM Busses | Classic Car Hire North