Jack and Catherine’s wedding shone from my inbox – their images are so fabulously vibrant, and their day is full of joy, laughter and love. I adore Catherine’s bespoke dress, the floral styling and the ambience of the day which makes me smile every time I look at their photographs. This is amazing and I hope you love it as much as I do!
Our wedding flowers were arranged by Sian and the team at The Flower Lounge, Didsbury. We really cannot recommend them enough, their creations are absolutely stunning and they surpassed any expectations we had. We were overwhelmed by how beautiful the bouquets and table centre pieces looked.
We created a “draw your own self portrait”, inviting guests to draw a little doodle of themselves on a giant gold framed easel, as an alternative to a guest book. We sprayed jam jars gold to hold tea lights and flowers. We hung gold frames from trees so guests could pose behind them for selfies and filled a three tier garden planter with nibbles and treats to keep the guests going throughout the day. They went down really well and we enjoyed creating all the homemade elements of our wedding. Also, with it being late September we knew it could get a little chilly, so provided a basket of blankets to keep our guests warm and cosy.
Wedding photographer’s website:
We looked at lots of wedding blogs and photographers who had previously shot at our wedding venue and came across ZT Photography. We looked further at their website, through their online portfolio and loved their work and unique style. We’re so happy we chose them! Not only are the photographs stunning and better than we could have hoped for but Zo & Liam were also amazing on the day. They were extremely chilled and nothing was too much trouble. They managed to capture all the emotions of the day and just how happy we were, which was so important to us. The images are beautiful and vibrant with a stunning depth of colour.
We first got a 24 snap shot of the photographs when we were on honeymoon in Sri Lanka, which we loved and made us incredibly excited to see more. Then when we got the full set through we were blown away. There was so much laughter and happiness, and they’d caught beautiful moments and details, which we can now keep forever. The photographs perfectly captured the best day of our lives.
Do check out ZT Photography – they’re all kinds of amazing and come very highly recommended by Catherine & Jack!
Ceremony – Didsbury House Hotel
Reception – Eleven Didsbury Park
Both are part of the Eclectic Hotel Collection Manchester.
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
Intimate, relaxed, garden party with family, friends and good food.
Your wedding style or theme:
Rustic Garden Party – lots of foliage and gold highlights.
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
We searched for local suppliers to the venue as it’s a very close knit community. The suppliers we chose had experience working with the venue and a great depth of knowledge, which made the planning so much easier. We felt in very safe hands.
What’s your top tip for saving money?
We got a great package with the venue. We were able to have the ceremony, reception and accommodation all within the two sister hotels.
If you can, avoid getting married on a Saturday. We chose to get married on a Sunday in the off-peak season, which saved us a lot of money.
It’s important to track your spending. We had a very tight budget, so set up an excel spreadsheet and listed out all the different costs. It also helped us look at the spend logically and think about what was really important to us.
Another huge saving for us was not having a DJ. We set up our own playlist and tailored it to exactly what we wanted.
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
Very last minute we decided to pay for chair hire, which we’re really happy we did. It made a huge difference to the look of the ceremony and the staff kindly moved them to the reception for us, where they also looked stunning.
We upped our budget for flowers, which were incredibly beautiful and brought our vision to life.
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
We’re both very creative so knew we’d create the stationery ourselves. We spent our time designing all the elements, from save the dates, invites to the thank you cards, even creating our own little logo. We then had them professionally printed and were really pleased with how they looked.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
I fell in love with two dresses but unfortunately as our budget was so tight, I couldn’t justify spending that amount of money on one dress (although trust me I did try!).
We’re very lucky that Jack’s mum and her friend, who have worked within the fashion industry for many years, were able to design and make my dress at a fraction of the cost. I was so pleased with the outcome, and it was lovely that Jack’s mum had such an important part in the wedding.
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
Although my dress was tailor made, I took lots of inspiration from designers such as Charlie Brear and Kate Halfpenny. I love the soft beautiful lace and the luxurious satin slips, very elegant and feminine.
Although I didn’t end up buying a dress, I did have an appointment at The White Closet in West Didsbury. The staff were so helpful and the store is stunning. Their collections are out of this world, so if you have a healthy dress budget I would definitely recommend paying them a visit.
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
At the time of the wedding I worked for Monsoon, so naturally shopped here for my shoes and accessories. I wanted the focus on the dress, so didn’t choose anything too blingy, just simple and elegant.
And what did the groom wear?
Jack is a menswear designer, so he designed the suit himself and had it made at work. The fabric he chose was a subtle navy Prince of Wales check from the British fabric mill Alfred Brown and he paired it with a crisp white pin collar shirt, grey knitted tie and oxblood brogues.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
The bridesmaids dresses were from Asos. Again, we were restricted by budget and we were really impressed with the affordable range Asos had to offer. We chose dusty pink dresses, which could be worn in a variety of ways. My flower girl wore a beautiful Monsoon Children’s dress in soft grey with ivory lace pattern detail, she felt like a little princess.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
My hair and make up was done by Louise Pennington (Penny), who I contacted through Jodie A Smith Makeup & Hair Styling. Penny was so lovely and very calm and professional on the day. I was really pleased with my hair and make up and it stayed put all day with no re-touches! perfect!
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
Both venues are old Victorian town houses, which have been beautifully renovated into boutique hotels, so they are stunning as they are. However, we wanted to add our own personality and extra little details to make it our own. Lots of little glass jars with flowers and candles, foliage centre pieces, hessian bunting and table runners. For the ceremony we hired lanterns from The Flower Lounge, which were placed down the aisle and surrounded by scattered rose petals.
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
We went for a simple naked Victoria Sponge wedding cake with fresh berries. It fitted in really well with the style of the venue and theme of the wedding.
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
We created our own bespoke music playlist to suit our tastes and to really get the party going in the evening. On our RSVP’s we asked the guests to request a song, which we added to the playlist… just to make sure they hit the dance floor.
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
It’s hard… but try not to stress. No matter what your wedding will be one of the best days of your lives.
What’s the best thing about being married?
Being able to call the person I love my husband.
Favourite supplier web links for other brides and grooms:
Chair Hire: http://aureumevents.co.uk/index.html
Hair & Makeup: http://jodiemakeup.co.uk/team/penny/