Having your wedding in a disused swimming pool might not be the obvious choice of venue for most couples, but for Natalie and Liam it was the most perfect setting for their day.
The venue was Victoria Baths in Manchester, a grade two listed building that opened in 1906 and has since been restored. “We had a non-religious ceremony in the Pineapple Room (so named because of the pineapple in the stained glass – it originally housed the Male 1st Class wash baths)”, began the bride. “From there we had a drinks reception in the Turkish restrooms before our wedding breakfast and reception in the Male 2nd Class pool which now has a dance floor!”
Natalie found her unique bridal gown at The Mews in Notting Hill. “I spent over a year trying on dresses that weren’t quite right”, she said, “but as soon as I walked in to The Mews, I knew ‘the one’ was there – and it was. The dress was Flemming by Rime Arodaky.”
The inspiration for Nick and Laura’s summer wedding came from their love of the outdoors. “We wanted to have a relaxed, informal day”, Laura said. “I couldn’t really pick out one theme, it was a mish-mash of everything we love.”
The ceremony was held at The Underwood Centre at Arnos Vale Cemetery in Bristol. “Our ceremony location was a beautiful little open sided barn in the middle of a beautiful big cemetery. To be honest it was all over in a blur, thankfully we have so many beautiful photos to remind us of what happened!”
Lauren and Mike spent just £2500 on their gorgeous wedding. They were inspired by two things – the movies and lavender. “We had lots of references to the movies”, the bride said. “We are both massive film geeks and we couldn’t not have that represented on our big day. We had little hints scattered all over the place, including our Star Wars photo booth, movie quotes and movie poster illustrations around the venue, marvel confetti cones, and Mendl’s boxes for wedding favours from The Grand Budapest Hotel.”
“Our guest book was inspired by Disney’s Up Adventure Book, our hot dog stand was called Dog Years (the hot dog restaurant from American Pie) and we also made a playlist of all our favourite songs from our favourite movies including Scottie Doesn’t Know from Euro Trip. We also managed to include our favourite TV programme, Game of Thrones, with our cake toppers that were Pop Vinyl Daenerys and Khal Drogo figures. One of readings during the ceremony also came from the Game of Thrones book.”
Natalie and Patrick had a fairly traditional church ceremony but that’s definitely where the the tradition ended! Their wedding reception was one of the most authentic carnival/ circus themes I’ve ever seen! They changed outfits, had lots of performers and plenty of food truck options for their 500 (!) guests… Oh and they arrived on an elephant. NBD…
“The reception was at Texas Stunt Ranch”, Natalie said. “We chose it because we knew we were planning on having a circus complete with performers and an elephant and we knew there would be few if any venues that would be ‘elephant friendly’. So when they were not only willing but excited about our plan, we signed with them right away.”
“Our entertainment was provided by The Vampire Circus and it was the absolute most amazing show I have ever seen….That ANYONE had ever seen! They were an absolute pleasure to work with and handled all the snags in the road with grace. If you have not seen them perform do yourself a favour and go. It was an incredible show, performed by the most skilled and astounding artists. They dazzled 500 people, and every single one of them told me it was the best show they had ever seen. They left the crowd awe-struck. I can’t begin to thank these guys enough. They had a pizzaz that made you not able to take your eyes off of them!!!”
I’m always so impressed when I hear that a bride made her own wedding dress, I mean damn girl, that’s some skill! When Tess married James she knew she wanted to have a go at making it herself so she’d have something completely one-of-a-kind to wear.
“Practically every part of our wedding was done by us”, said Tess. “Making my own dress was probably the scariest decision but I’m so glad I did it. It was the biggest DIY project of the wedding, a ridiculous idea in itself, but I was also pregnant for most of the planning and raising a new born for the latter part of it! It really was a mad thing to even attempt. Having said that, I’m so pleased with the way it turned out and that it was completely unique.”
Their wedding theme was a country fete, vintage tea party. “We really just focused on family, children and fun”, she continued. “We didn’t do a receiving line, table plan or sit down dinner as that just isn’t us. We tried to include a lot of quirky and fun details throughout and everything was personal reflected us. I’m a country girl so having hay bales as seating was a necessity and the wooden cable reel drums as tables was James’ inspired idea!”
A second-hand dress, a felt flower bouquet and henna on her hands, Kate looked every bit the Rock n Roll princess when she married Nathan in September. “We both love vintage and historical things, so that influenced a lot of our decisions”, she said. “I’m also really passionate about reusing and upcycling things and we both love animals, especially our little dog, Mustard.”
“Nothing about our wedding was particularly traditional. From the way we set the invitations out, to my charity shop wedding dress. A lot of people I know have involved their pets in their wedding, but most of the venues we spoke to only allowed them to be around for the ceremony. It was really important to us that Mustard was with us for the whole day and she was a big part of it all – we used a big poster of her for guests to sign instead of a book, and she featured on our invitations and signs! I also always wanted to have henna done for my wedding – even though it’s not traditional in our culture. The designs are beautiful and I love all the symbolism.”