Greg and Siren’s gorgeous Oakwell Hall wedding, with Stevie Jay Photography
Two things I love more than anything today: brides in red, and grooms doing wedding interviews. So boy am I happy to be sharing this beauty of an “East meets West” wedding full of gorgeousness and vibrant colours and fabulous florals… and I just know you’ll love it too! Siren is stunning in a traditional Chinese wedding dress (and her evening dress in a lush dark green is just fabulous) – and lovely husband Greg’s response to my “did you fall in love with your wedding dress” question [below] filled me with happy chuckling [he totally means yes btw!] Images are by English Wedding member and super Yorkshire wedding photographer Stevie Jay Photography. Have a wonderful Sunday everyone!
Wedding photographer’s website:
A friend of mine recommended Stevie to me while I was researching photographers in the run-up to the wedding. Both my wife and I really liked the way she was able to capture the atmosphere of moments in a natural way and found her style to be the best fit for what we wanted.
We were very pleased with Stevie’s work! I remember getting a few concerned comments from my mum in particular who said she “barely saw any pictures being taken”, but thankfully Siren and I had done enough research to know we didn’t need to worry on that front! She stealthily snapped away all day and took a wealth of great pictures. Another thing I was impressed by was the fact that even though she had a leg injury she persevered. She even supplied an assistant photographer so that we wouldn’t miss out on snaps in case she needed a moment or two to rest because of her leg. After Stevie’s contractual time obligations were over I asked if she’d mind staying behind for another 10 or so minutes to capture a few snaps of people on the dancefloor. She was happy to oblige, and luckily for me, people were up dancing straight away so we have some great snaps of people having fun on the dancefloor.
I was amazed when I saw our wedding photos for the first time! It was honestly like a portal back to the day itself. So many great moments were captured. I actually snuck a moment during my lunch break at work to look at the pictures because I didn’t want to wait. After I saw the first few pictures I decided to put on the music that my wife walked down the aisle to as I was looking at them. I’m so happy to know that we have such a beautiful set of photographs that we can return to again and again to relive our wedding day.
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
Fun, memorable, emotional, hilarious, beautiful, loving, sunny, touching, perfect
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
What’s your top tip for saving money?
Decide the things you absolutely cannot skimp on and factor their costs first. Other things can be adjusted according to your budget.
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
The band & the photographer
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
It was largely home-made
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
I loved my wife’s wedding dress – I’m more of a suit man myself!
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
Locally made by tailors in Beijing
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
All the accessories for the dress (called Tangzhuang in Chinese) come as part of a set. The shoes were silk flat shoes made alongside the dress, and a the headdress and earrings were also chosen at the same venue.
And what did the groom wear?
3 piece tailor-made suit (Principle M, Beijing) made with fabric from Huddersfield (my hometown).
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
Tailor-made light purple dresses. They were actually based off dresses we found in a shop in the UK that cost about £200 each. We just took plenty of photographs and the tailors in Beijing were able to make them for less than half the price.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
Hired a pro
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
We used a florist called Flowers From The Garden. The florist grows all of her own flowers so you have to place the order a fair while in advance! We wanted very minimalist Ikebana style flowers on the tables to add a bit of Asian flair, and the fact they were grown locally fit our East meets West theme perfectly.
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
We decorated it fairly minimally. Mainly red, white, and light brown (burlap sack type colour). The venue itself has a lot of beautiful features that we didn’t want to detract from by being too busy. We’re both also more fans of minimalist design.
Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?
The wedding favors were a bottle of my mum’s homemade sloe gin and a bottle of baijiu (a Chinese spirit). The bottle labels were home-made. It was a nice little gift to give out with a personal touch.
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
We had a 3-tier chocolate cake with buttercream icing. It was chocolate and stout, chocolate and hazelnut and chocolate and raspberry. Neither of us like fruitcakes so we decided to get a cake that’s more our style.
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
We had the band Sass & The Groove, who performed funk and motown hits all night. They were a great band really capable of getting people on the dancefloor. I think funk and motown is also perfect as it’s something the younger and older generations know and like to dance to.
We put on some musical entertainment in the prelude before the party and after the ceremony (my a cappella group did a couple of songs and then I sang a couple of songs on the guitar). I think it’s important to have a little something to fill that strange gap in time to some degree.
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
Your wedding is about you and your partner – make sure that above everything else, you are both happy with the wedding (yes, even during the planning stage it shouldn’t be a nightmare). It’s not supposed to be stressful, it’s supposed to be fun!
What’s the best thing about being married?
The solidarity you have. Knowing that you’re absolutely in it together.
Favourite supplier web links for other brides and grooms:
www.guestdining.co.uk/events/ – dining