So you may have noticed it’s been a bit quiet around here recently, well it’s all been for a good reason. Over the last few months me and mrs N have bought and renovated our new house as well as putting together a marvellous DIY wedding at Victoria baths in Manchester. Things are settling down again now so expect more updates, but I thought now was a good time to collect my thoughts and share some of our planning.
*Update – I’ve added a new post all about Victoria Baths over here if you want to see the venue in it’s full glory.
Let’s start at the beginning, finding the venue, well this was certainly the hardest and most stressful part of the planning for us. The goal was to find somewhere that would let us have enough control for decorating and styling the venue but also enough character to speak for itself. The travelling began, venue after venue, Barnaby Barn in the east, East Riddlesden hall, and Taitlands out west, Camp and Furnace in liverpool, then the wonderful Kirkstall Abbey and Cross Keys closer to home (yep the North Bar sister venue have a great space upstairs called the James Watts room).
All stunning venues with plenty of character that ticked all the boxes, but how do you decide? well un/luckily for us we sold our house so put the wedding on hold so we could find somewhere to live, it was during this time we went to the Indy Man Beer Convention at Victoria Baths, on arrival at the beer festival we knew straight away this was the venue for us. It was stylish but with a classic charm, plenty of space to explore and use in different ways, and a bit of a selling point for us it that it was all indoors (it is Manchester after all) but with the glass roofs allowing plenty of natural light in and soaking the pools throughout the day it was a done deal! We booked the registrars for a bright and early ceremony and the planning began. Having a ceremony early has it’s advantages, it meant that we had plenty of time for group photos and portraits during the day without any rushing meaning plenty of time to explore and try different things for the pictures as well as having fun with our nearest and dearest.
A major selling point for us was the flexibility to pick the suppliers we loved and had a god relationship with. For our catering, after plenty of looking around we ended up chatting to Ben at Thyme Out Deli (based in West Didsbury) who worked with us to refine our menu, making fresh and interesting suggestions along the way, and most importantly the food was lovely when we tested it, and even better on the wedding day. The flowers for the day came from FROG (based not too far away in the Northern Quarter). One look at the flowers David had been doing recently had us sold, along with his excitement for what he was doing. We ended up with loads of vintage styled spring garden flowers in tea pots and potion bottles for the tables and soft coloured peonies in the button holes and bouquets.
Going for a relaxed vintage / mismatch theme we collected plenty of cups, saucers, teapots, frames, crates and knick knacks in the run up also wanting to use as much from the wedding in our new home. Luckily Victoria baths had a great selection of mismatched chairs around the venue which we brought together along with some old doors awaiting refurbishment for the ceremony room, and then a single long table for the meal.
With us both being creatives we wanted to do something a bit special for the stationary so working together we designed, and screen printed our invites, RSVP’s, as well as menus, favours including some single colour posters all ready for the guests to take home and enjoy in the future. Having both screen printed before it wasn’t too much of a challenge but even if you’ve never done it, we would certainly recommend it. For those in Leeds Inc Workshop offer courses for beginners as well as just hiring space out for everyone else.
Of course i can’t forget the photography. Victoria Baths is a stunning location for photography, plenty of different options for shooting. The glass ceilings and large windows allow tons of light in. Every photographer has their own style, and I knew how I would have shot our wedding, the challenge was to find someone who’s vision matched mine and Rebecca’s but was totally their own as well. I shoot in a very natural way helping the bride and grooms enjoy the day, still covering portraits at different times, along side this I aim to capture the details & the elements that the Bride & Groom have spent a lot of time making but is often missed on the day. With this in mind we went straight to Sam Docker who shoots in this way but in his own wonderfully distinctive style. We knew we could just let him get on with doing his job and enjoy ourselves without thinking at all about photography. I couldn’t Let the day go by without taking a few frames so took along my old Polaroid spectra and where the moment appeared captured a few frames.
We couldn’t have pulled together such a DIY wedding without the help from our friends and family with the set up and taking down of the venue so an endless thank you goes out to them. It’s a lot of hard work and energy that goes into the planning but at the end of the day it’s a celebration of two peoples love with those most important to them. Whatever happens on the day go with it, have fun, enjoy yourselves and treasure the little moments.