Grand Town Hall Real Wedding With Art Deco Style Dress, Mint Green Bridal Shoes & Converse
Loving this gorgeous real wedding I’m sharing on the blog today! Amy and Patrick married in the grand ole’ setting of Manchester Town Hall and gorgeous Amy wore a stunning art deco inspired gown by Sabina Motasem. Amy & Patrick are another prime example of the perfect WTW wedding. They totally did things their way and created a beautiful and memorable day…
We met in the first year of university (Warwick) in 2004 where we lived in the same halls. Patrick proposed a mere 8 years later in Budapest. To be honest, I had given up hope and even my father had said to us, “You don’t have to be married nowadays before you have children.” Typically, we were both a bit tipsy after a big meal out to celebrate Patrick’s birthday and he proposed whilst I was lying in the hotel bed reading Heat magazine. This proposal embodies everything that is Patrick and I!
Initially I bought 2 pairs of wedding shoes from Rachel Simpson. However, when I tried them on they just didn’t seem very me despite being absolutely beautiful. It all just seemed a little ‘bridal’ and I wanted some colour. In my dreams I would have had the blue Manolo Blahnik shoes that Carrie wears to marry Mr Big but my budget would never have stretched to that! Luckily, I came across a pair of mint green shoes whilst reading the Guardian weekend magazine and fell in love with them.
Patrick and all his groomsmen wore custom made Converse with the wedding date on. They even had a pink lining to match the bridesmaid dresses.
Patrick wanted a suit he could wear again and one that would fit in with the tone of the wedding.
There were two best men, Paul and Ziggy, who Patrick met at university. My brother, Danny, also acted as an usher to help deal with the Chinese members of my family.
As Patrick wasn’t wearing a traditional morning suit he had told all the groomsmen to wear their own grey suits which we would tie together with matching navy ties and the Converses. However, men being typical men, there was a failure in communication which resulted in the best men turning up on the Thursday before the wedding with grey morning suits! The look on Patrick’s face was priceless, and whilst we can all laugh about it now, it resulted in a mad dash around the shops on Friday. Luckily it all turned out alright in the end.
I wanted the wedding to reflect us and the things that we liked. I just hoped it would all come together!
For example, in the drinks reception we served Prosecco (my favourite drink) and real ale (one from Cornwall and one from Norfolk: two places where Patrick grew up) for Patrick.
It was really important to us that everyone had a really good time and despite the grandeur of the setting, we wanted everyone to feel relaxed.
For place settings we had found a funny picture of every guest which provided a lot of laughs and we had also created a wedding quiz complete with a celebrity wedding picture round and a music round.
Being from Manchester and living there now, I always knew I wanted to get married in the city. Neither Paddy nor I are particularly ‘country people’ so we wanted a wedding that would reflect us. I’ve passed the Town Hall so many times but it wasn’t until I went in on a staff training day that I knew it would be the perfect venue. I love the sense of history that it encapsulates and the WOW factor. For most people, when you say ‘Town Hall’ they envisage something different and I couldn’t wait for them to turn up on the day and be completely blown away.
Being quite petite I just knew that a traditional strapless meringue dress wouldn’t suit my body shape or my style. I wanted something in a vintage style, although at the time I wasn’t entirely sure what that meant. I tried on a lot of lace dresses that were really in fashion (I blame Kate Middleton) and as beautiful as they were, they just didn’t seem very ‘me’.
As soon as I tried on the Josephine dress by Sabina Motasem it felt like something special. I loved the luxurious feel of the silk, the puddle train (my appalling clumsiness wouldn’t allow for a big train) and how it hung on me. I also loved the simplicity of the dress whilst the low back gave it a glamorous feel. When I saw myself on the wedding day I felt like I was having an out of body experience; I just didn’t look like me! I felt so elegant and stylish and ultimately that was down to the perfect dress.
When I tried on my wedding dress I commented the one thing that would make it perfect would be a belt. Sabina sourced some stunning belts from Olive and Langstone and I chose a slim art deco style belt that provided a bit of subtle bling to the dress. Prior to the wedding the wedding shop where I bought my dress and belt from folded and there were issues with payment. I cannot thank Kate from Olive and Langstone enough as she ended up giving me a sample belt.
With a rather extravagant headdress and belt, the only other accessory I wore were some pearl studs that had belonged to my mum who had died when I was a teenager. It was my something old and kept my mum’s presence close to me throughout the day.
I didn’t want my bridesmaids wearing a traditional long bridesmaid dress as it wasn’t a particularly traditional wedding. I also wanted something they would be able to wear again. Their dresses were from Warehouse and suited all my bridesmaids (even my pregnant Maid of Honour who had to have her dress altered a couple of weeks before the wedding!)
Our wedding rings were bought after a recommendation from friends- thank you Jennie and Pierre! I chose a vintage diamond studded band. I loved the idea that it was a ring with a history behind it (hopefully not a bitter divorce!) and the diamonds were in an unusual set. Patrick, having never worn any form of jewellery before, chose a simple palladium band.
I tried on a couple of veils and despite my initial reluctance, actually really liked the look of a veil. However, as my dress had a low back I wanted to show it off. I knew a bird cage veil would suit the style of dress and Fran from the wedding shop where I bought my dress (it’s now closed down) recommended Ann at Eleventh Heaven.
I visited Ann and chose a beautiful art deco style headpiece that perfectly suited the dress. I wanted something quite extravagant as my dress was so simple and I knew I could be a bit more adventurous with my accessories. Ann attached it to a black velvet headband and I asked for a detachable veil.
I wanted my hair up and out of the way to show off the back of my dress. I didn’t want traditional bridal make up as I wanted to look like myself on a normal night out, red lippy and black eyeliner, but just more glammed up.
A lady called Caroline did my fake eyelashes and Helen did my nails which were painted red. I had blue nail varnish on my toes as my something blue!
Whilst I have been blessed with no musical ability, Patrick is extremely musical, so the music at the wedding was very important to him. We found a string quartet based in Manchester who specialised in modern and contemporary music which is exactly what we wanted.
They played throughout the ceremony providing our guests which much entertainment whilst I fulfilled the bridal tradition of being late, and throughout the drinks reception. They were truly superb and specially arranged a number of songs for us. In the evening we had a DJ.
On our wedding invitation we had asked our guests to request 3 songs that they wanted to dance to.
We knew just how important it was to get the right photographer and we spent many hours researching. We met a few photographers but Steve stood out straight away. We liked how relaxed he made us feel and his style of photography was just so good at picking out all the little detail.
Neither Patrick nor I are particularly comfortable in front of the camera and on the day itself Steve was brilliant at making himself hidden and capturing un-posed moments. We had deliberately specified that we wanted a minimum number of posed and group shots as we wanted to spend time with our guests and that gave Steve free rein to photograph whatever he wanted.
I wanted a really vibrant and textured bouquet because my dress was so simple; I felt like I could make a real statement with my flowers. Ashlyn was amazing and what she made in the end was so much better than I had imagined. She included all my favourite flowers: roses, hydrangeas and peonies. I also asked her to include some lilies as they were my mother’s favourite flowers.
My bridesmaids had a simple bouquet of white hydrangeas, although we did end up leaving my maid of honour’s bouquet in the hotel room! That’s another story though…
I didn’t really want favours as in my experience, they usually get left behind on the table and we didn’t have the budget for something really fancy. Instead, we donated the money we would have spent to Cancer Research in memory of my mother and provided a Cancer Research pin for every guest.
Even before I knew where I was going to get married or what I was going to wear, I knew I was going to have a cheese cake! Both Patrick and I are serious cheese fans, the stinkier the better, and a wedding cake was just out of the question.
We used a local deli where Charlie helped us put together a perfect cheese cake featuring 8 different cheeses! He even sourced my favourite cheese: a blue cheese called Colston Basset.
Alongside it we served some home-made green tomato chutney (made from our own home grown tomatoes) and foolishly, I decided to make all the crackers. Safe to say by Thursday evening, after spending all day in the kitchen, I was at breaking point and will never make another cheese cracker in my life.
For ages we ummed and ahhed about whether we would actually have a first dance as the thought of slow dancing in front of 100 people was utterly mortifying. One of our favourite songs is ‘Into the Mystic’ by Van Morrison but we decided it would all be a bit too cringey for us. We did actually use the song to walk back up the aisle to at the end of the ceremony but in the end we chose an upbeat song which is much more ‘us’.
We chose ‘You Make My Dreams Come True’ by Hall and Oates not just because of the lyrics but because it’s a song that we always dance around the kitchen to and generally allows us to make fools of ourselves. It’s also a song that gets everyone onto the dance floor. We wanted to start the night as we meant to go on and in fact, some of our guests continued the party until 4am at a nightclub round the corner which is exactly what we hoped for!
If you could impart any words of wisdom to a Bride to Be planning her marriage and wedding day, what would they be?
Do what YOU and your partner want, not what is expected of you. If you don’t want to do something then don’t do it. After all, it’s your day.
Also, try to relax! Things will go wrong (for example, you may be 40 mins late, your maid of honour may have to walk down the aisle without her flowers, someone may spill an entire cup of coffee over your dress…) but in the end the most important thing is that you’re married.
What was your most memorable moment of the day / evening?
One of my favourite moments was when my father walked into the hotel room to take me to the Town Hall. Since my mother died we’ve had a rather unsteady relationship at times, but at that moment I could see how happy he was and I really wished my mother could have been there. It was at that point that all my emotions came to the surface and the tears didn’t stop until after the ceremony.
The other really memorable moment was when Patrick started singing during the drinks reception. This was a surprise to everyone with even his mother commenting that she didn’t know he could sing so well! He had asked the Dotted Crochets to arrange a version of the Lumineers ‘Hey Ho’ accompanied Patrick on his acoustic guitar. Paul, his best man, strummed along on a ukulele and Ziggy, held up ‘Hey Ho’ signs (albeit at the wrong times!).
Doesn’t Amy look absolutely knock-out?! Congratulations guys, and thanks so much for sharing your lovely day with the WTW blog. Ladies and gents, please leave the happy couple some love.
wedding credits | photographer: steve longbottom mr sleeve | venue: manchester town hall | wedding dress: sabina motasem | veil: eleventh heaven | belt: olive and langstone | bridesmaid dresses: warehouse | grooms suit: king and allen | florist: blossom flowers | wedding cheese cake: hickson and blacks | rings: jenny jones jewellery | entertainment: the dotted crotchets | dj: nick campbell