Unique wedding venues can be hard to come across in the UK, but Fiona & Jonny weren’t going to take that lying down. They knew they wanted a memorable space for their union and so selected Victoria Baths in Manchester. “Victoria Baths is an Edwardian swimming baths (which is no longer used as baths, now a restoration project and arts/community venue)”, wrote Fiona. “It was originally three big pools. Two of them remain and are empty – we got married in the deep end of the biggest one and had our reception on top of the other! It was boarded over with a sprung dance floor in the fifties (my granddad used to teach ballroom dancing in that room). The remaining smaller pool and the rest of building, which is pretty vast, was left for people to wander around and explore.”
“The venue played a huge part in our thinking. We found Victoria Baths quite quickly. We knew straight away we didn’t want the ‘Bronze package’ at a conveyor belt wedding venue so we looked at locations used for other stuff – filming, fashion, music, fairs etc – places with a bit of character or history and where we wouldn’t be restricted or forced to use ‘their people’ for our food, bar and so on. Neither of us wanted to blow stupid money either. Lots of our friends have had wonderful, really personal and brilliantly happy DIY-style weddings so we were definitely inspired by them too.”
Before I even saw these photographs I knew I wanted to blog this wedding. Wedding photographer, Adam Lowe, described the event to me as ‘a mega super awesome gay punk dude wedding’ and I instantly knew it would be amazing… and oh boy how right I was!
Josh & Scott were married in October at 400 West Rich, a 100,000 sq foot warehouse in Columbus, Ohio. They did pretty much everything themselves and spent just $3000 making their wedding perfect. “We met through a gay social networking and just got to talking”, they began. “About three months later we were taking turns visiting each other and three months after that Josh moved to Columbus. Josh is a huge Disney fan and we planned a trip to Disney and Scotty ordered an engagement ring. He proposed to Josh in front of Cinderella’s Castle.”
“We wanted a very organically flowing wedding. The ceremony was short but personal with personal vows”, they continued. “The space we used for our wedding was an old factory that is being converted into artist studios. Being so DIY minded, it just made sense to use it and create a warm welcoming environment on our own. Being vegans and experiencing some bad catered vegan food options at weddings we knew we did not want to depend on a caterer to make the food. Instead we did it all ourselves with help of friends. We are talking 400 tamales, 100 ‘chicken’ wings, 300 cake pops… We also had the majority of our friends and wedding party involved in doing something to help out. We know people in bands, people who are DJs and bartenders. Everyone volunteered their time and took turns helping out and partying!”
Throwing out as many wedding traditions as they could, Dano & Holly planned their wedding with one golden rule – to have nothing cookie cutter. “I have strong aversions to anything cookie cutter, so we threw out a lot of wedding traditions,” the bride began. “We wanted our wedding to be a party that we would never forget. Our theme was something along the lines of ‘vintage, woodsy & DIY’. I wore green. We cut the pie (no cake) with a machete. Our friends built the biggest bonfire that any of us had ever seen and we danced in the rain under the stars.”
“We got engaged about a week after I was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer. I knew that Dano had the ring, but he was dragging his feet because he was nervous about asking my dad. I finally put my foot down. I was recovering from the surgery to remove the tumor, and I told him that I wanted the ring on my finger before my staples came out!! Needless to say, we were officially engaged a few days later. Having a wedding to plan and dream about made chemotherapy a little bit more tolerable!”
“My favourite part of our wedding was the ceremony”, she continued. “We took a lot of wording from the handfasting ceremony, and I was a blubbering mess through most of it. Dano’s brother Jeffrey (the officiant) was probably more nervous than either of us. At the very end, Jeffrey closed his book (which was actually a dictionary that we picked up at a thrift store the day before!) and he said, ‘I now introduce to you… MRS. and MRS. Nylund!’ We were all in stitches…and we’ll never forget that moment!”