The Rock n Roll Bride Venue Guide – Manchester

Following the popularity of the first The Rock n Roll Bride Venue Guide, written by wedding planner and stylist Mary Herrington of Forever & Ever Events, I was keen to ask her if she’d be willing to do a bit of travelling for us and do some venue guides for the rest of the country. This month, Mary visited Manchester to bring you her reviews of the most kick ass venues for your Rock n Roll wedding!

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Following the great response to my first venue post on London’s Rock n Roll reception venues, I now take you up north to Manchester, where the city and surrounding areas offer a truly eclectic mix of inspiring venues for a Rock n Roll wedding.  As I did in my London venues post, my approach here is to recommend a variety of venues across the spectrum of budgets and aesthetics, from very cool historical architecture to vintage modern interior design to contemporary and modern dance halls.  Remember that no matter where you have your wedding, if you put your personal stamp on it, the venue will come alive.

So here are 10 Rock n Roll venues in Manchester that I highly suggest you check out:

1. The Deaf Institute

Any Mancunian with an interest in live music will already know of The Deaf Institute.  What they may not know is that this music hall and café can be hired for a wedding reception and that the summer months – when most couples are wanting to get married – are the slower months for this music venue and therefore the time when they have greater availability for weekend hire!  This isn’t some smoky dive pit of a music venue – rather, The Deaf Institute is known for its extremely stylish interior: damask and Dolly Parton wallpaper, cuckoo clocks, parrot-patterned walls, velvet seats, chandeliers and vintage modern furniture.  The Music Hall has a huge disco ball, its own bar, stage, sound equipment, glass balcony, and theatre seating area. The Basement Bar is great for more intimate weddings and can also be hired out for private parties – great for hen night karaoke or a private cocktail bartending class.  Prices vary depending on the date, but you can either hire out individual rooms (from about £1,000 for weeknights to about £2,000 for weekends) or hire out the entire venue at about £2,850 and host up to 600 guests!  And being fans of Rock n Roll Bride themselves, they will offer a free meal to couples interested in booking their wedding reception – simply email info@foreverandeverevents.com for more information.

The Deaf Institute, 135 Grosvenor Street, Manchester M1 7HE, 0161 276 9350.

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Sheila & Austin’s Small & Intimate Peacock Themed Destination Wedding

Mis-matched jewel tones and a peacock theme were the order of the day for Sheila & Austin’s small and intimate wedding. The couple  found the planning of their destination wedding in St. Petersburg difficult and enlisted the help of the bride’s Mother with all the organisations but really put their hearts and souls into creating the prefect wedding.

There were mishaps and hilarious moments but at the end of the day Sheila told me that none of that mattered as they were just so pleased to be getting married. “Don’t sweat the small stuff when it gets close to the wedding,” she told me. “That being said if you have the time customize your wedding, for me it was a great creative outlet. We handmade everything except for the food really. The hardest being we hand made our beach reed, peacock centerpiece wreaths. Luckily I only needed 6! As far as centerpiece tools I got the peacock feathers from eBay and reeds from TJMAX. Just dismantled other decorative house pieces. And my menu holders were picture frames. Really look everywhere for inspiration!”

“Basically we did things our way. We had non-traditional readings, video game music for ceremony music (Final Fantasy VII Piano Collection), sneakers for the grooms, a blue prom dress as a wedding dress, only 56 people attending (did an earlier dance for all our other friends), DJed it ourselves, had a honeymoon registry, had people RSVP via online (greener and cheaper!), designed everything ourselves & honestly didn’t give a care what people thought! But everyone loved it because it was us, and they were here to support us. And we were so happy to have done it.”

“Really as I see my other friends in their wedding processes, and it was a piece of advice someone gave me, all I have to say is this is the one party that you throw that is about you and your husband not everyone else. Have fun, don’t feel ashamed for your tastes & just have a blast!”

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Photography Friday – Kat & Gareth = ♥

This is a bit of a cheat on my part this week as I didn’t actually take this photo myself. My friend Emma Case came to visit us this week and while she was here we did an impromptu photo shoot in our garden and bedroom. I can’t wait to see and share the rest, but to whet your appetite, here’s a sneak peek of what’s to come really soon!

How sexy is my husband?!?

Photography Credit: Emma Case Photography

Lauren & Tim’s DIY, Budget-Friendly Seaside Wedding

“We both decided that although we wanted our wedding to be amazing, we weren’t going to spend a stupid amount of money on it,” explained bride Lauren when I asked her about her big day. “We weren’t prepared to pay more just because it was labelled as a “wedding product”.  Plus, most of the wedding-related stuff that’s available isn’t really “us”.  I bypassed the usual wedding dress shops and went straight to the high street, and found everything exactly as I wanted at a price I was willing to pay.  Tim wore a suit he already had from Next because none of the hire places had slim fitting suits.  We wanted invitations with skulls and studs and splattery writing but didn’t want to pay a professional to design and make them for us, so I did it.”

“Neither of us wanted to do something just because it was expected.  I didn’t want bridesmaids (ALL of my friends are awesome, not just those wearing matching dresses), we got married on a Thursday (much cheaper!), my Mum walked me down the aisle as I don’t know my Father, we had a unity candle (which is something our registrar had never heard of…?), we didn’t have a receiving line…  We kept the traditions that we liked, or that family requested, and ignored everything else. We didn’t get caught up in the idea of the day being perfect, and of me being a pretty princess for the day, and prepared ourselves for the fact that in life, things go wrong, and weddings aren’t any different.  When things went wrong (venue closing down with five months to go, registrar taking ill on the morning of the wedding and the replacement not having copies of our readings, etc) we took it in our stride.”

“It didn’t occur to us to change the way we look for the wedding.  There was no way I was going to dye my hair, take out my lip ring or get contact lenses (no disrespect to anyone who does this – each to their own), and Tim wanted to wear all black despite it not being a “traditional” way for a groom to look.  We wanted to feel like us, and for the day to reflect us and our tastes.  I guess we’re just naturally Rock n Roll!”

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Thursday Treats – 11th November 2010

Photography Credit: Jonas Peterson. He is incredible. Fact.

Christy + Kyle’s gorgeous yellow wedding
♥ Renee + Randy’s Fashionable Wedding
♥ Halloween Goth Wedding – thanks for the mention La Carmina!
Loc & Cassie
Pink Flamingos + Yellow Candy Anthony Dress
A Ra-Ra Skirt Wedding Dress for an 80’s Loving Bride
Memphis Bonding
Seeking Rainbows
How To Throw A Surprise Wedding
Beau + Alex married!

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Zack & Alene’s Nerdy Board Game Wedding

Zack & Alene wanted a casual, fun and nerdy wedding – something that was perfect for them. “We knew all along that we didn’t want to do a traditional dinner and dancing wedding, and there was never a chance of there being a church ceremony (neither of us has ever attended a church service outside of weddings and funerals),” the couple explained. “We settled on an afternoon of games and hors d’oeuvres because we’re both nerdy, think appetizers are exciting, and I like to go to bed early.  It’s not our proudest tradition, but Zack and I go to my parents’ house most Saturday evenings and play games with them – it’s one of the highlights of my week, and we always have fun, so we decided to extend that feeling to our guests.  The reception space was filled with couches and ottomans, and then we had a few little tables brought in – it was laidback and jolly, and the games gave even people who didn’t know anyone else something to talk about and bond over.”

They didn’t want to conform to what anyone expectaed a wedding to be so they opted for an afternoon and achohol-free reception at Overture Center for the Arts, a performing arts centre. “We don’t drink and we didn’t want to blow our wedding budget on booze, so we had a non-alcoholic bar.  Two bartenders were there to mix up non-alcoholic cocktails and make espresso drinks.  Since it was the afternoon, no one really minded the lack of alcohol – and they got to try some new things. My specific request had been elderflower syrup, and we had a good time drinking elderflower sodas and lemonades.”

“A couple of time people asked me if I was growing out my hair for the wedding (NO), if I was going to start tanning (NO), and what I was planning to do to cover up my tattoos (NOTHING),” the bride continued. “I didn’t want to look like someone else on my wedding day – I’m a short-haired, alarmingly pale, tattooed woman, so why would I want to hide that?  I don’t look like everyone else most of the time, and I didn’t want to look like every other bride.  When I told some coworkers that my shoes made me way taller than Zack, they freaked out.  I felt like a rock star, though, and Zack’s used to my ridiculous heels, so it was a non-deal.”

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