I’ll always love Manchester: it’s a unique city with a fabulously urban culture, and today’s stunning wedding embraces the edgy, fashion side of Manchester in the most beautiful way imaginable. Gorgeous bride Jenna married Kris at Victoria Warehouse in August and I’m thrilled to be able to share their day with you.
“We didn’t have a theme, as we didn’t want to restrict ourselves. We wanted it to be very natural and simple and only things we loved. We chose to have lots of greenery as a contrast to the industrial venue. We had pops of white and gold throughout with balloons, spray painted jam jars and signage. Through chance the bridesmaids chose to have pink dresses and Kris chose a pink tie, so in the end everything worked well together.
“We found our suppliers through recommendations and fluke. It is such a difficult process choosing people to work with for your wedding day, as there are so many suppliers out there. We mainly chose people who had been recommended or we met and got on well with. I was bought a few wedding magazines as a gift when we first were engaged, however I found they were filled with adverts and weddings that didn’t reflect our style or budget. Blogs were brilliant for inspiration and nosying at photographers work, also looking at weddings is a nice way to spend a lunch hour.
The breathtaking images are by lovely Kate McCarthy Photography, who gets an amazing review from the bride and groom!
How did you choose your photographer?
We spoke to many photographers and looked at what felt like thousands of blogs/photographs and nearly booked a few. However we always had concerns that they would struggle with the lack of lighting at our venue. I met Kate at a wedding fayre and found she had taken courses in dark light photography and had shot at our wedding venue, she was perfect for us and our wedding.
The wedding pictures are amazing, we couldnt be more pleased with the final result. Not only were the photographs beautiful, but Kate was fantastic and made us feel at ease from our first contact. She was efficient and blended into the background, organising everyone and lots of group photographs quickly so that we could spend as much time as possible with our guests.
The photographs arrived when Kris was out for the day and I very nearly cracked and looked at them without him, as I was so excited. I managed to refrain even though my Mum was being very persuasive about looking at them without him. We couldn’t believe how many photographs there were, and all so beautiful. Kate had captured so many lovely moments and we couldn’t have been more pleased.
After looking at a few venues we chose Victoria Warehouse, we loved the space and how beautiful it looked when lighting was used in the ceremony room. We felt it was more ‘us’ than most wedding venues, and it was a blank canvas for us to decorate. As we live in Manchester it meant most of our families and friends didn’t have to travel far, as we didn’t want to put anyone out. The majority of our guests commented on what an amazing venue it was, and how it had everything you could possibly need, including a cinema!
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
A laid back industrial city wedding with a big party.
What’s your top tip for saving money?
Be flexible on when you will get married, we were engaged and married within 8 months and so got a great deal on our venue, as they wanted the dates using up. Ask for help! We made our own invites, a bridesmaid made our signage, my Mum made our cake, the list of DIY goes on and on. We knew our budget and wanted to keep within it, so we made a list of each item/supplier we knew we needed and put a rough value of what we would be willing to spend next to it. Some things came under our guess and so for other items we could then splash out a little more. We also bought lower value items each month, and only the higher value things out of the wedding pot. As we were married quite quickly, it didn’t really allow much saving time, so we had to be clever with our budget.
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
Our photographer, the lovely Kate, although she did us a great deal and also got a second shooter. Photographs are one of the only things left once the day is over and we are so pleased we have the most amazing pictures to look back on. We knew we wanted a live band and so a chunk of the budget went on that, I am so glad that we did and that we stuck to our guns even when finding a band we liked available on our wedding date seemed to be impossible. They really were amazing, and everyone was up on the dance floor all night.
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
Kris worked in graphic design for years and Eleanor (one of my bridesmaids) is a designer, so together they made all of our stationary. Eleanor wrote our names and a few other required words in calligraphy and Kris then pulled them together and we had them printed online. We then bought brown envelopes and my Mum handwrote everyones address in white ink. They were perfect for us.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
I wouldn’t say I fell in love with my dress. I didn’t want to spend lots of time searching for the perfect dress, so I chose it in one day after visiting three Bridal boutiques. I wanted to feel comfortable and didn’t want to live in the gym to be able to fit into it, and so it was perfect for me. However, I didn’t have a moment where I knew the dress was the one, after speaking to a few friends they all agreed that might just happen in the movies. I did have a panic the week before the wedding and went and tried on other dresses, I also very nearly had a large split put in the front of it, but in the end decided that there just wasn’t enough time and maybe I just wasn’t a wedding dress kind of girl.
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
My dress was from WED2B, a discounted wedding dress shop that can be found around the UK.
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
My parents had a ring made for me that contained the diamonds from my Mums original wedding band and sapphires, this acted as my something new, something blue and something old. They also got me a set of sapphire earrings which they gave to me the morning of my wedding. They truly are the loveliest.
And what did the groom wear?
Kris and the groomsmen wore a navy woolen suit from Marks & Spencers and grey waistcoats from Next, with pink ties and pocket squares. They looked great, although I think they were a little warm in wool in August.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
I asked my bridesmaids to choose their own outfits for the day. I asked them to pick anything they like, skirt and top, jumpsuit, dress as long as it was grey. I wanted them to be comfortable and so suggested they could wear different outfits. They then went on a search of the internet and ended up with a pink dress from ASOS, that they all loved. They didn’t quite stick to my brief but they all looked beautiful. Once the adults outfits were arranged, I bought my goddaughter a dress from Marks and Spencers, that was a very similar colour and some gold Converse – she looked so sweet.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
Olivia Thompson styled our hair, she is one of my bridesmaids, Hannahs, sister and did our hair for Hannahs wedding. I trusted her completely and knew that she would be calm and fun to have around the morning of the wedding. She worked wonders and even after hours of dancing my hair was still up, very impressive.
Hannah Brooke (not the bridesmaid), who was recommended by Olivia, did our make up. She did such an amazing job and when I asked her to make me look like a cross between Rosie Huntington Whiteley and Sienna Miller, she didn’t laugh in my face, which was nice. They were both incredible and I couldn’t recommend them enough.
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
The wedding bouquets, hair pieces and button holes were made by the talented Eden Floral Styling, I sent them a few pictures and briefly explained what I would like and they turned up on the day with exactly what I imagined. I was rubbish at getting back to them and confirming things, they were very patient with me and I couldn’t thank them enough. To save some money my amazing friends came round the night before the wedding and helped me arranged lots of greenery from my parents garden and some white flowers I had bought into jam jars my Dad had sprayed gold. I absolutely adored the flowers and was incredibly jealous of my goddaughters floral crown!
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
As we couldn’t decorate the venue until the morning of the wedding, I created a very thorough list of jobs Kris and his friends would need to complete on the day. This included collecting balloons for our beer pong sign, hanging our DIY photo booth and gold curtain, inflating lots of balloons and using fairy lights to tie them up and putting the jam jars of flowers around the venue. They did an amazing job. We had fairy lights installed on pillars in the ceremony room, which made it look so beautiful, especially with the candle lit aisle and greenery strewn around the pillars. I hired furniture for the bar area as I didn’t like what was in the room, and although it was an extra expense I am so glad we did, as it just helped bring the room together. I loved our venue and think it looked perfect with everything we had chosen and made.
Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?
We (with the help of others) made lots of things for the wedding, from the stationary, signage, sprayed jam jars, DIY photo booth and much more. My amazing parents made us a large floral wreath for the end of the aisle, which we loved and looked amazing in our photographs. I created gift bags for each child to help keep them entertained throughout the day. Rather than place names we had polaroids made of each guest, which looked amazing and was a great conversation starter. We tried to use a picture of either myself or Kris with the guest, and choosing ones with family from our childhoods was so much fun.
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
My lovely Mum made our cake, she is a very talented baker so we had utter faith in her making something perfect for us. We asked for naked cake and left the rest to her. She decorated it with a ‘Yay’ sign she had made for it, as it is something I say a lot. Alongside the naked cake, which was vanilla and chocolate sponge she also made a fruit cake and a tower of cheese cake. Mum goes over and above with everything she does, we are very lucky to have her.
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
We really struggled to find a band within our budget, that we liked and who were available on our wedding date. My sister-in-law recommended one to us, a few months before the wedding which as we were looking into a friend messaged my brother saying he was in a pub watching an amazing band, they were both talking about the same band. As soon as we heard them we knew they were the ones for us, and even put up with me changing our first dance song they had learnt a few weeks before the wedding. They had everyone up on the dancefloor, including my grandparents and we couldn’t have been happier with them. So many people commented on how amazing they were. I had asked my one of my bridesmaids, Eleanor, to do a speech as I wanted her to say a few words alongside the best man. On the day she surprised us, as instead of a traditional speech she had made us the most incredible video, of friends and family talking about memories of us, clips of me as a child and videos of our nephew. It was the most amazing surprise and topped off an incredible day. We bought confetti cannons for our first dance and Kate, passed them out amongst friends for our first dance. The cannons going off and our friends rushing the dance floor was one of my favorite parts of the day. Rather than favours we made a donation to Cancer Research UK, this is something which is very close to us and ur loved ones. This was appreciated by our guests and they were so pleased we had thought of those who were no longer with us on our wedding day. Due to being unable to get a registrar for our chosen wedding date, we actually got married on the Wednesday prior to the wedding and had a humanist ceremony for our family and friends at Victoria Warehouse. This enabled us to have a ceremony which was personalised to us, including having my Goddaughter do a reading and our friend Ellen, who had written for us. The service was conducted by Kate Clarkson, who not only was fantastic but donates all proceeds to charity!
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
Relax, enjoy the day and have an amazing time with your family and friends. Being in a room with all of your favorite people rarely happens, make the most of it. Don’t worry about getting your dress dirty, or taking your shoes off to dance the night away. We loved every minute of our day and that was down to us just being so happy to be there with each other and those we love. Also hire a videographer, I am so glad we got one, as everything goes by in such a blur and the video makes me so happy to look back on, my Dad watches it on repeat.
What’s the best thing about being married?
No longer having to plan a wedding! One of the reasons we got married so quickly is that we didn’t want to spend our time planning a wedding, so we are very happy our normal life has resumed. Also having no one ask us when we will get married, having been together for 8 years, people were starting to get impatient and that was a main topic at family events.
Favourite supplier web links for other brides and grooms:
Photographer – https://www.katemccarthyphotography.co.uk/
Videographer – https://vimeo.com/230346639
Florist – http://www.edenfloralstyling.com/
Make Up – http://www.hannahbrookebridal.com/about.html
Band – http://www.thefrequencyband.co.uk/
Humanist – http://humanist.org.uk/kateclarkson/
Hair – https://www.facebook.com/createshair/
Venue – http://victoriawarehouse.com/