Gregg & Dan had a really heart-felt wedding full of intimate detail. They got ready in the same hotel room, dressing each other and picking each other’s ties before marrying in the grand surroundings of Leeds Town Hall.
I love the photos taken after the wedding, as Gregg and Dan took a little time out to wander the city before the party. And what a party it was…
Gregg: Dan and I met back in 1998 in Norwich and apart from a 4 year break have been together ever since. I got a job up north in 2004 and since then Dan and I have moved up to Leeds and bought our first house together. We decided it was time to tie the knot, and although there is equality of marriage now at first we were a little nervous of having to be the centre of attention and whether to do small and intimate but we finally decided to do a grand day to celebrate all those years together and people we have made friends with over our 16 years together. One theme of those years has been a love for music and clubbing! So we decided to host a grand party, with some classy touches such as the venue, but with an emphasis on the party and keeping the dancefloor alive (including a limbo competition!).
The day was so wonderful having 4 generations of our families together and friends from over the years. I am really proud that in 2014 we are able to have a wedding that so many guests and even the venue said was one of the best. One of the great things about our wedding was that we could pick and choose the bits we wanted. Who was having a best man: both of us (Dan had a best woman). Who’s Dad was going to be father of the bride: neither (but Dan’s dad gave a speech as did Gregg’s sister to represent that side of the family). We felt no pressure to conform to the norms but we loved including many of them such as the cake, favours and the first dance as we are proud that this was a wedding and we wanted our guests to enjoy as many of those classic wedding moments as possible.
We loved hosting our Night On The Tiles and hope other couples will get some inspiration from our day.
Fashion & accessories
We wanted to stand out from the other well-dressed gents, 50% of whom we expected to turn up in blue suits, and neither of us were prepared to wear a white dress (!) so we decided to have suits specially made for the day. We used Reiss Personal Tailoring in the ‘Mens Shop’ in the Victoria Quarter in Leeds who offer a made to measure service. We chose the fabrics, linings and style of suit. Some of the details differed for each suit but we chose the same fabric and cut. The choice of fabrics was overwhelming. The staff in the Leeds store were great and gave the suits a very slim and modern profile and we couldn’t be happier with the final results. The suit jackets even have our wedding date and ‘A Night On The Tiles’ stitched in to the lining.
Choosing ties was a long process – originally we were going for bows ties but when the suits arrived we decided that slim ties would match the profile of the suit better. We also disagreed for weeks on the tie colour: burgundy or silver, until we realised we could wear one of each! And it was a great decision as it added more individuality to the suits.
We preferred a city centre wedding and a characterful venue. The Tiled Hall, part of Leeds Art Gallery, really surprised us when we arrived. Stepping in there for our first visit we began to imagine the potential to create a grand wedding. Emma from Fresh Hospitality was really friendly and helpful which also gave us a great feeling about the Tiled Hall. It only took us a few days to end our search and decide on the Tiled Hall and get it booked in. The venue is right next door to the Town Hall for the ceremony and the Radisson hotel where we could lay our heads after the partying so it was so convenient for our guests as well as being a very impressive location for the day.
Colour Scheme & Décor
Once we had chosen our venue our theme came pretty quickly – Tiles! The Tiled Hall has intricate tile patterns on the walls and the ceilings and we both liked the idea of the geometric tile patterns becoming the theme to our wedding. We came up with the name ‘A Night On The Tiles’ to reflect the tiles plus our desire to host the best party we could for our guests. The other part of the theme was the picture frames of the Art Gallery.
Our theming started from the wonderful invitations that our friend Thomas Lawrie-Clarke helped us with including some beautiful tile patterns and picture frames that continued throughout the wedding place holders, table plan and numbers, menu cards, audio visuals and the thank you cards. We designed all of these in PowerPoint and got our local Hobbs Reprographics to print on various papers, cards, and they mounted the A1 table plan which looked so professional.
We wanted our theme colours to be equally bold like the tiles and match our suits so a pallete of navy blues, red, cerise, gold and cream was used throughout our stationery and the subsequent choice of wedding outfits and flowers.
Our friends Thomas and Andy are good friends with florist Denise Miller who had a lot of experience preparing arrangements for weddings which was good as we are both novices in this area. We wanted bold primary colours particularly blue and reds to go with our suits. We did research a number of button hole arrangements and we really liked the combination of hypericium and gyp and Denise did a great job recreating them. On each table we had a centre piece containing purple lizi, white roses, cerise spray roses, hypericium, gyp and cerise carnations, placed on glass cake stands. Each table also had 4 mini vases with hypericium and gyp to match the button holes, plus 4 beautiful glass candle holders with LED candles.
The Wedding Party Fashion
The best man and woman dressed in blue to match our suits. The gents had button holes to match ours and the lady’s included a cerise spray rose rather than hypericium. Sam (Dan’s best woman) and Emmie (Gregg’s 6 year old niece) each had a bouquet to match the flowers in the table arrangements.
The ceremony was in the Albert Room in Leeds Town Hall which blended quite well with the flowers and our suits. We both have a love for trance music so Gregg created a beautiful melodic trance prelude. One highlight of the ceremony was using the Star Trek Voyager Main Title theme as the processional music. Dan is obsessed (me not so much) but the music is so stirring that I was really excited to use it too and it created a few laughs but at the same time set an emotional start to the ceremony.
Our friend Paul Moore created a reading from the film The Wedding Singer ‘I want to grow old with you’. Dan and I met 16 years ago so we practically have grown old together and the lyrics were really appropriate. We did struggle to get a suitable reading particularly to have no religious elements as required for a gay wedding but we were really pleased when we found this one.
Finally we signed the register and after that we started to up the tempo with Lola’s Theme by The Shapeshifters and ‘I’m a different person’ ringing in our ears and minds.
For reception drinks we used the Henry Moore Room at the gallery where we projected a humorous presentation to welcome the guests (‘Exhibitionists’) to ‘A Night On The Tiles’ – finishing with a short video of the stag weekend comprising both of us and our friends dancing in semi-naked bear outfits in the nightclubs of Sitges in Spain.
One of the most important elements of the day for us was to have great music. We have been clubbing all over the country with many of the guests and wanted the sound and lighting to be excellent to fill the Tiled Hall. The venue recommended Doub7e Seven Events and we went for an enhanced DJ package including uplighters for the pillars of the Tiled Hall and many other lighting effects including a multi-coloured glitter ball! The soundtrack of favourites through our years included a few club classics and trips back to the eighties. this got everybody dancing all night long.
We asked the amazing Zoe’s Fancy Cakes to create our wedding cake after meeting her at the gay wedding fair in Leeds earlier in the year and the results were absolutely stunning. We researched some images of tiled cakes to match our tile theme and decided on a simple design of the tiered square cakes with tiles around the edges, but the final results were way beyond our expectation. We asked Zoe to add some flowers to the cake and the cerise roses she created were so beautiful. The layers were Victoria sponge and chocolate. Unfortunately not everyone got cake on the night so I really suggest people make sure their cake gets cut-up to distribute early – though some lucky people in Leeds got giant wedges as a result!
We also asked Zoe if she could create gingerbread tile favours. She created two tiles per person: the first had our initials D&G imprinted as navy blue letters on white icing, the second was a mid-blue tile with while tile patterning on. Both the favours and the cake tasted and looked so special and really reminded people of the amazing Tiled Hall setting of our wedding.
We found our photographers James and Lianne whilst researching weddings at the Tiled Hall on Twitter and from the moment we found their website they stood out so much with their incredible cinematic style. We were so excited when we contacted them and they were available on our wedding date. James and Lianne are both extremely creative and fitted in amongst our guests during the whole day. When the photos arrived we were amazed at quality – there were so many wonderful surprises and different styles of shots that looked like they have been lifted out of a glossy magazine. Our photos are our lasting memory of the day and we are so proud of the photos that James and Lianne captured.
Words Of Wisdom
Try to plan that all the tasks are completed the day before the wedding at least if possible – there is always the chance that something unexpected will turn up. We were almost complete but re-writing parts of the speeches on the morning of the wedding was cutting it fine. The whole wedding weekend is about seeing all those people who have come together so make sure you leave enough time to enjoy the whole weekend.
We designed all the stationery together with our friend Thomas Lawrie-Clarke which made for a great personal touch and it was a lot easier than expected, it can take some time to get right but it’s worth the effort. Always talk to your printers and check the file at every stage to make sure everything is exactly as you intended.
With regard to music it was so great to pick a selection of tracks that meant something to those important people attending. I had a few tears of joy from my Nanna and even my Dad when they heard their track played out. But make sure the music is not too obscure, you want everyone to enjoy the disco – we put many requests in but hired a great DJ to select the tracks for the evening and read what the crowd were enjoying.