Claire The Bride:
I didn’t want to spend a fortune on a dress I would never wear again, and hated the thought of being fussed over in a bridal shop. Originally I ordered a vintage dress on Etsy but had a change of heart fairly last minute and ordered the Ghost
dress online without trying it on! I make most of my fashion choices this way so just went with what I know and it paid off. My shoes were from Topshop
- I needed something with a block heel so I didn’t sink into the (muddy, winter) grass. I did my own make up using Nars
cosmetics and one of the Lipstick Queen Velvet Matte lipsticks. My rings were from Catbird
in New York and my necklace from Alex Monroe
, I have worn the necklace every day for the last 5 years so didn’t want to change that for my wedding day.
David´s suit was from Reiss
and cost more than my dress, his shoes were Grenson and again cost more than mine!
As soon as we got engaged we knew we had to have our reception at The Chimney House
in Sheffield - it is an incredible space and feels really laid back which we both liked. Kirsteen coordinated our day and was incredible, she made planning everything really easy and stress-free. We then really struggled to find a place for the ceremony, but finally settled on the bandstand in Weston Park - we both went to university in Sheffield and had spent summers in the park so thought it was a great idea, however our wedding was in November! The venue had never done a wedding so late in the year due to the likelihood of bad weather, but reluctantly let us book. Everybody thought we were mad but we were VERY lucky with the weather; on the day it was warm(ish), bright and sunny. We followed our reception at The Chimney House
with an 'after party' at a pub run by our very good friend Miles, The Broadfield Ale House
The venues we used had so many original details and features, so we didn’t really add much other than flowers and candles - the thought of a 'colour theme' was really off putting to us (anything with crystals or chair covers is my worst nightmare) so we just went with things we liked and hoped it all tied together! Our friends designed the menu, beer bottle label (we brewed our own ale as our favour), and the hand written sign at our ceremony.
All of our flowers were by the lovely Anna at Swallows and Damsons
- her work is stunning and I wouldn’t have used anybody else. We decided to have a huge wreath made for our ceremony to use as a backdrop, and our friend made the scroll with our names and date in.
The Non Wedding Party
We decided not to have a wedding party, as just wanted people to enjoy the day without having a role to play. I also wanted people to wear whatever they wanted and didn't like the idea of dressing our lovely individual friends to a theme. My 91 year old Granddad walked me down the aisle in 'the suit he doesn’t wear at funerals'!
My best friend Yuriko performed a reading, 'How falling in love is like owning a dog' by Taylor Mali. We have a miniature dachshund named Earl who inspired the reading (the pale ale was also named in his honor - 'Devilish Dacsuhund'). We wrote our own vows but kept them short as didn’t want guests to freeze in the November Sheffield weather!
We didn’t have any hired entertainment, we used Spotify playlists at all venues to provide the music, and for a visual backdrop we played Wes Anderson films (on mute) at our reception, as nobody beats Wes's eye for colour and detail. It proved to be a good conversation starter during dinner, especially Gwyneth Paltrow's sex scene in The Royal Tenenbaums which we had forgotten to cut out.
At our ceremony we hired Motore Café
to provide coffee and doughnuts from his hand painted custom Piaggio Ape van. We served mulled cider on arrival at the venue and decided on a feast at the table served family-style, so people could just help themselves; we entertain like this at home and really wanted a relaxed atmosphere. The main courses were all winter favourites - goulash, pies, chilli served with sauteed cabbage, boulangere potatoes and wild rice. We followed this with rhubarb crumble and a cheese course. Our cake was made by a family friend, and was a simple tiered Victoria sponge with winter fruits on top, and jam made by my Granddad as the filling.
For us, the food and photography were the things we spent most money on; I've seen too many awful wedding photographs to take the risk cutting corners. We saw Lee's work online
and immediately clicked with his laid back style of shooting, we met for an engagement shoot and got on brilliantly with Lee. He was very easy to spend time with, and really professional, taking on board that we didn’t want lots of family portraits and overly posed photographs. He slotted into our day and felt like part of the party. Our photographs captured the day perfectly, and I'm so pleased we have them to look back on.