This Wednesday you get not one but two lovely brides. Sam and Sara were married at in the mirror room at Sheffield Town Hall with a reception at Kelham Island Museum. There is a Marchesa AND a Monsoon gown, both as beautiful as each other in my humble opinion.
There are Laboutins and Jimmy Choos, some immense lace bridesmaids gowns, jewel tones, bargain blooms and an awesome juke box. There is really useful planning advice from both ladies, three best men and a generous dose of industrial chic.
But most of all? Most of all there is L.O.V.E
We had a humanist ceremony at Sheffield Town Hall. We both love the building and always wanted to get married there, so were delighted to do so in the Mirror Room. After the ceremony, we had a drinks reception, then made our way (via vintage bus) to Kelham Island Museum.
We had initially booked another reception venue but they then made some changes which we weren’t happy with; coming across Kelham Island Museum was a godsend. We both love Sheffield and, as the city’s industrial heritage museum, Kelham was perfect for us. We fell in love with the cool, industrial space available and Richard, their events manager, was brilliant.
Sara: We are both girly girls so loved being pampered. Our hair was done by the fabulous Sarah at Pinup. I wanted an updo and was inspired by the timeless styles of the 1940s. Sam wanted hair as glam as her Marchesa dress. Sarah instantly “got” us and we were thrilled with the end results.
Sam: The immensely talented and lovely Jenn Edwards did our makeup. She’s a Bobbi Brown pro and our looks lasted until the wee small hours. Washing our makeup off was so sad! We found Jenn via the invaluable Married in Sheffield site. My wedding perfume was “Manifesto” by YSL, a gift from Sara the month before the wedding.
Sara: We normally shop together and share lots of clothes- but wanted our dresses to be a surprise for each other until the big day. I had a few false starts but finally found a dress I loved with just weeks to go- at good old Monsoon!
Sam: I found it really hard choosing a dress without talking to Sara about it, as we talk about clothes a lot. Initially I had my eye on quite a princessy number, but then couldn’t imagine myself actually wearing it. Then I spotted my Marchesa dress on The Outnet, and fell in love with it.
Jewels And DIY
Sara: I was all about the shoes! I bought my Louboutins before I’d even considered dresses. I have wide size 8 feet and normally hate shoe shopping. But an evening trip to Selfridges with one of my bridesmaids paid off. I wept with joy. My hair accessory was “Diana” by DC Bouquets; I loved it!
I wore my Mum’s wedding day pearls; this meant so much to me, as Mum died in 2007 and it was special to have this piece of her with me. I also wore her emerald earrings which she left me, which match my engagement ring.
Sam: Selfridges came up trumps for my shoes as well! I was having a birthday browse and saw a gorgeous pair of Jimmy Choo wedges and knew they’d be my perfect wedding shoes.
My jewellery was from one of my favourite stores, ASOS. I made the veil myself after struggling to find one I liked. With the help of my trusty glue gun and some ASOS hairclips, I was able to fashion a blusher veil I loved for less than £10!
Nine Of The Best
We had three bridesmaids each, whose dresses were another great ASOS find. We didn’t have a specific colour in mind, but thought they were gorgeous. We bought them earrings to wear on the day, as a thank you present; these were a mixture of Etsy and ASOS.
Our three handsome best men wore suits hired from Moss, as did Team Dad. Our nephew Joshua wore a cute outfit from M&S and some Converse-style trainers from Sainsbury’s. Jessica, our flower girl, looked beautiful in a dress from John Rocha at Debenhams.
What We Like
Our over arching theme was “stuff we like”, which tended to fall into blues/purples/greens ranging from rich jewel-toned glassware to softer tones in our stationery and other décor.
We felt that both our venues were pretty characterful without filling them with blooms, so we kept the flowers to a minimum and instead went quirky with paper pinwheels on the ceremony chairs and reception centrepieces based on vintage alarm clocks, glass cloches and tiny London landmarks.
Sam’s Mum Ruth very generously arranged our flowers for us. We visited the wholesale flower market and, despite it feeling like a different world where everyone spoke in code, we ended up with a beautiful array of seasonal blooms for less than £200. This got us our bouquets, the bridesmaids’ six bouquets, Jessica’s posy and buttonholes for all the men in the wedding party, as well as for Ruth, and the reception flowers.
In the morning, we did the legal bit at the register office with just our parents. In the afternoon, a family friend led our humanist ceremony and he was brilliant. We each wrote our own vows which we heard for the first time at the wedding. We then had a handfasting, where we literally tied the knot. The six ribbons for this were each brought up to the front by couples who we are very close to.
We had two readings: “Love” by Roy Croft and an excerpt from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.
A pet peeve of both of ours is people being so distracted by gadgets trying to capture the moment that they miss out on actually enjoying it and taking it in, so we had an “unplugged” ceremony. Our guests left their cameras off and just shared the moment with us.
For our reception, we hired a jukebox from Jukebox 45s. This went down a storm and kept the dancefloor full. We had lots of fun with our guests in the photobooth area, awesomely operated by Jon at S6 Photography and David McNeil.
Our first dance was to L.O.V.E. by Nat King Cole. It’s special to us as it features in one of our favourite films, Lars and the Real Girl. It’s also a classic, so we won’t be embarrassed about it in years to come!
Food was one of our top priorities and PJ Taste really hit the mark. All our food was served family-style, with sharing boards of meats, breads and cheeses to start; wonderful tagines with couscous for main course; and wedding cake for dessert. It was all very delicious.
Our cake was based on a Martha Stewart design, brought to life by Sam’s wonderfully talented Mum. It had three layers: lemon, Victoria sponge and the all-important chocolate. We provided a free bar- as well as a hangover kit for the next morning, containing snacks, water and paracetamol. The place settings each had a Lindt chocolate bunny and a badge featuring two brides and our names (another Etsy gem). It was great seeing everyone wearing these all night! We also had a sweetie bar, which was popular with all our guests!
Like A Girl
With the wedding billed as “the biggest craft project of our lives”, stationery was really important to us. We made everything ourselves, from the Save the Dates down to the place name settings. We had a great time stamping name tags, making invitations and creating the orders of ceremony. Our tableplan was written on a mirror. Our orders of service each had an envelope of confetti on them, which we had stamped with sayings such as “gone with the wind” and “you throw like a girl”.
Our table names were times; these were shown in the centre of each table on a vintage alarm clock, inside a glass cloche.
Come Rain Or Shine
We planned for everything except the weather. The freakish late-March snow took us by surprise. Amazingly, all our guests still made it for the day. We lost our harpist, but sourced a violinist (via Twitter!) with just over an hour until showtime. And it all turned out just fine.
Changing reception venues with just six months to go felt a bit crazy but we are glad we went with our gut. Kelham Island Museum was just perfect and so “Sheffield”, the city we love most in the world.
We initially hadn’t budgeted for videography but realised partway through our planning that it was very important to us, so made some room for it. One of the best decisions we made about the wedding was booking First Sight.
We were glad to have time to shop around. We had some amazing finds on Etsy and had the time to ship purchases over from Canada and the USA.
Having a long engagement (of just over two years) meant we had a long time to make decisions, and a long time to second guess them! However, the only decision we never questioned from the time of booking him in August 2011, was our awesome photographer Jon Dennis at S6 Photography. Not only was he a great photographer, he was amazing to have around on the day and was a very patient source of advice in the run-up to the wedding, sharing his little black book with us as we went. He pretty much slid downhill through the snow from S6 HQ to the wedding in his Range Rover to make sure he didn’t miss a moment.
We were very fortunate to end up having two fabulous photographers on the day. David McNeil, a friend of Jon’s and photographer extraordinaire, wanted to tag team a wedding with Jon to try out some new techniques. He was a complete pleasure to have around on the wedding day and his photos are pretty cool too.
Most importantly, make sure your decisions are based on what you really want, and not what you think you should have, or what people expect from a wedding.
Ceremony Venue – Sheffield Town Hall
Reception Venue – Kelham Island Museum
Hair – Sara at Pin Up Creative
Make-up – Jenn Edwards
Brides Gowns – Monsoon and Marchesa at The Outnet
Headpiece – (Sara) DC Bouquets
Bridesmaids Dresses – ASOS
Entertainment – Jukebox 45’s
Catering – PJ Taste
Photography – Jon at S6 Photography
Photography 2nd Shooter – David McNeil
An unplugged ceremony, I know this wouldn’t work for all but I like the idea very much indeed.
And the theme “stuff we liked” ? possibly the best theme there is.
Big Sheffield Love