Glamorous Vaudeville Wedding in Belfast

Bradley Henderson Photography

September 15, 2017

Kat and Dean began working together four years ago (she was his tattoo apprentice) and ended up falling in love after just a couple of months. They have worked and lived together ever since, and now own their own tattoo studio in Belfast. Their wedding theme, 1920s vaudeville glamour, was based on their love of the 20’s and on Kat’s dream wedding dress.

“We love the 20s, vaudeville era,” the bride began, “and wanted that style and glamour to the day and the party atmosphere a 1920s nightclub! My dress had a huge influence on the day as it was so decadent and heavily embellished and just felt so glamorous; we wanted the reception to feel that way too.”

Their wedding was held in The Empire Music Hall in Belfast. “The venue just made the day so special as it’s a live music venue, but was once a church, so the building inside is awesome. It has the old-style music stage, draped with red curtains and has a vaudeville look to the décor. It gave such a relaxed and intimate atmosphere to the day, total party vibes from start to finish. We had a local Belfast punk band play, which was off-theme but they really kick started the party and everyone (even the grandparents) were rocking out! The playlist ranged from 80s/ 90s dance to death metal and everyone loved it!”

Kat’s dad is a minster so he was able to marry Kat and Dean himself. “The ceremony was the most important part to me, as my dad is a minister so I have grown up knowing I wanted my dad to be the one to conduct the wedding and also walk me up the aisle! My uncle also took part in the service to help my dad. I was so relaxed when it came to the vows as my dad was doing them. The church is old and traditional with original stain glass windows and stone pillars. The flowers inside the church gave it vintage gothic look to match the architecture (but we added feathers and beading which we also used at the reception) Being the minister’s daughter meant a lot of the local parishioners came out to see me walk in which was lovely.”

Their favourite part of the wedding was their first dance together. “Our first dance was to Union City Blue by Blondie, one of our favourite songs. We didn’t want a slow soppy song, we love dancing like egits so thought let’s just dance like we would on a night out! Half way through the song we had our wedding party come and join us, then everyone else kind of joined in! it was a great moment, looking around and seeing everyone family and friends, dancing and laughing and having a ball! I was the last one to be kicked out at closing time, everyone said ‘aw you’ll not get drunk on your wedding day’ well I definitely proved that wrong!”

They did some DIY projects for their wedding, with help from family and Kat’s bridal party. “We designed the wedding invitations, hand made the women’s wedding favours (20s headbands), hand wrote all the name tags for the men’s favours (little whiskey bottles), put together our centrepieces, made the order of service and the boys decorated the venue in the morning in a 20s style with ostrich feathers, beading, pearl balloons and ornate fairy lights. We loved making everything and having total control over all the tiny details, but most definitely could not have done it without all the help from my bridesmaids and our families! They worked so hard to help get all the little things done.”

Their biggest expense was Kat’s Berta Bridal dress but they saved on their venue, invites and bridesmaid outfits. “My dress was a designer piece so I knew the expense but it was my dream dress and I knew it was the only dress I wanted to wear! I worked so hard for a year and paid for it myself (with a little help from Dean too) so that’s how I justified it! But the venue was a steal and the bridesmaid dresses were very reasonable too, high street and online stores have a great selection of wedding wear! All the shoes were bought online, and let’s face it all the high heels come off at some point of the night so I thought no point in spending hundreds on shoes that will be ditched. All the jewellery and head pieces were all from eBay and were great quality for a fraction of the price. I sourced most of the decorations online as well and making the invitations and order of service saved hundreds.”

“In retrospect, the only thing we would have done differently is maybe have the wedding earlier just to prolong the day, it flew by in a flash!” she concluded. “Oh, and eat more of the food and my cake! Our advice for future brides and grooms is during all the stress of planning definitely make time for each other, have date nights or just nights off from even mentioning the wedding! Enjoy the day, take time to look around at what you have achieved, and enjoy your food! Oh and lists!! Lists are the way forward!”