Imagine if you were to combine a shop full of weird and wonderful memorabilia and vintage items, with a sumptuous wedding in a Victorian hotel…well people, that’s exactly how I would describe Jemma and Lee’s big day.
The lovely pair used bits and bobs they had from home for the decor – bell jars, pearls, vintage keys, old books, phrenology heads, fortune telling hands AND pieces of taxidermy all make an appearance. I can only imagine how fun their house is to visit…
Go with it – because I promise you it WORKS. SO. WELL.
I would also go as far to say that Jemma’s winged eyeliner is probably the best I’ve ever seen. The bold look works perfectly behind her demure birdcage veil. And those stacks of vintage pearls work amazingly as a statement necklace.
Today’s wedding also makes me wonder why more Bridesmaids aren’t dressed in black…these ladies look so chic and you can never go wrong with an LBD. Especially a barginous one from the high street with pretty white lace detail!
Jemma The Bride:I always knew what I had in mind for my idea of the perfect wedding dress, however I didn’t expect to find it in the first shop that I looked in, which I did! I had been looking online for vintage wedding dress shops and came across Glory Days in York. The selection of dresses was beautiful but when I saw a 1950’s lace gown with long sleeves I knew it had to be mine. I tried it on and after wearing it around the shop for about an hour I bought it!
Although I thought my dress was gorgeous as it was, I wore several strings of pearls with it which were also vintage including a set which belonged to my Great Grandmother. The night before my wedding, my Mother presented me with a gift from my Grandfather, which was a beautiful cameo brooch handed down from my late Gran, I was in tears and so proud to wear something so beautiful that meant so much.
My make up artist Emma Worrall was fantastic and could not have done a better job with how I wanted to look on my big day. My make up literally didn’t budge from 11am to 12pm despite all the hugs and kisses! I stayed true to my day to day style and kept my heavy bold black eyeliner and decided on a natural lip.
My hair stylist Laura Dawson from Sailor Vie Hairstyling had her work cut out and curled my eight rows of hair extensions, and did an amazing job. I was completely relaxed while getting ready as I was in the best hands that I could possibly wish for.
The Groom knew exactly what he wanted and was inspired by the well dressed Gentleman from the 1920’s. He wanted a tailored fit 5 piece dark blue suit, tan brogues and a Dickie Bow tie. The suit was from Next and his pocket square was from Debenhams. He completed his outfit with a handmade feather boutonnière made by ‘The Salty Dog Company’ which he found on Etsy. Never in my life will I see a man that looks as handsome as my husband did on our wedding day.
We looked at a few venues close to our home in Leeds, as lovely as they were they weren’t quite right. We originally were looking for places pet friendly so we could bring our 3 dogs with us as we couldn’t bare the thought of us all being separated on such a special day, however we knew that if we wanted the perfect venue then something had to give…so our dogs had a holiday at the kennels! We came across Cedar Court Grand In York which is a 5* hotel and were completely taken with how gorgeous it was. We would have the whole section of the hotel to ourselves which we thought would make our wedding feel so tucked away and intimate. The room was was classic, with high ceilings, giant windows and wood panelled walls, it was just perfect and exactly what we wanted.
After meeting Evie Scaith the wedding coordinator we felt that we could finally relax and paid the deposit. The table service on the day was absolutely breathtaking and you had to be there to believe it. The staff were extremely efficient, kind and understanding and went miles out of their way to give us the perfect day.
Although to some people our decor may have ‘seemed’ themed, it was just things from our house and bits and bats that we’d collected that we knew we would use again. In fact most of it is back to where we took it from and is in use in our home! We used bell jars, pearls,vintage keys, old books, pearls and various other decorations for our table centrepieces.
We even used phrenology heads and fortune telling hands as well as pieces of taxidermy and fairy lights, it all came together and I think the reason it worked so well is because they were our personal belongings which didn’t take much effort to put together, but looked really wonderful and effective. We used ceramic apothecary jars and bottles to put our flowers in and dotted fairy lights around. There were a lot of other little bits and pieces too, a lot to recall in fact. We were so happy with the reactions and comments made by family and friends, especially with the table place cards which we individually hand stamped every single one. It took a long time but was really worth it and gave it that extra personal touch.
Our amazing wedding favours were beautiful handmade rose scented soaps for the ladies which were so generously gifted to us by Caroline Rose of Rose & Co. They were presented on heart shaped paper doilies which looked really cute, in fact I didn’t want to give them away! For the gentlemen we put together a small bag of mint humbugs tied up with string. These were a few of my favourite things!
Although I looked online and through various wedding magazines for decoration inspiration, I don’t think that I used a single idea that I’d seen. It just wasn’t really us and I wanted our wedding to be filled with things that we had created, and what we liked. It really paid off and the best piece of advice I could ever give is to rack your brains and stick to your guns, there is absolutely nothing wrong to be inspired by magazines and the like or recreate something that you’ve seen somewhere else, but put your mark on it and make it your own. It was extremely satisfying to know our special day was 100 per cent our creation.
The top table centrepiece, the Bridal bouquet and the Bridesmaids posies were all wonderfully put together by Janine from Ello Flower in York. I knew the colours that I wanted but as far as my knowledge of flowers went that’s all I did know! Janine was a mind reader though and when they were delivered on the day I though “yeah, she’s nailed it”.
We decided to have a short and sweet ceremony. We were worried that our guests would be bored if we had readings and to be honest we were petrified of speaking in front of everyone so chose to say our vows and that was it really! My father Jeff walked me down the aisle to ‘The Girl’ by City & Colour, and we decided we wanted our Mothers Janice and Andrea to be our witnesses so that we could include them a bit more in our wedding.
Our entertainment for the evening was Leeds City Stompers, an old time, Country Blues string band. They really did have everyone up dancing and were a huge hit, we knew they would be, in fact I think they made a few bookings with some of our guests for future jamborees! They really are fantastic and I would recommend them to absolutely everybody, whatever your style.
We searched for months and months for the perfect vintage wedding photographer that we felt could capture not only our style but our personality too and nobody felt right until we found Sarah-Jane Ethan. Speaking on the phone to SJ the night before the wedding I knew 100% we had chosen the perfect photographer. We chatted and laughed and I felt completely relaxed knowing that we were on the same page and my feelings were spot on, we were in the best hands. On the day, we were completely relaxed. After telling SJ that I was very camera shy, she guided us very discreetly to get the best of us but also got so many natural pictures and most of the time we barely knew she was there. Once the wedding had come and gone, the cake eaten and the dress packed away, we literally couldn’t wait to see the photos and relive our wedding again.
Lee and I were both completely blown away with the mood of the day and ambience that SJ managed to capture. They final result had our hearts pounding and I actually did a little cry! Sarah is the friendliest, loveliest girl and a complete professional. We really did hit lucky and we really will be recommending her to absolutely everyone we know getting married.
I knew I wanted the wedding day recorded as I wanted to be able to watch it time and time again, although Lee said he wasn’t bothered (men!). I also knew that I didn’t want a typical hazy filmed, drawn out four hour long tape either so I made it my personal project to find something special. I came across Matthew Modget who only filmed in Super 8 film, saw a snippet on his website and knew I wanted to hire him that minute. We emailed back and forth many times and booked him and his wonderful accomplice Ffion. When we got the tape back we laughed all the way through because it was absolutely magnificent, and even better than we ever thought it would be. The track that we chose to play over the film was “Dedicated to You” by Ella Fitzgerald which we also had playing during the ceremony.