February 4th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Yes, that really is today’s bride and groom’s married name – Mr & Mrs Perfect. Don’t you love it. No pressure or anything..! Anyway, it turns out that their gorgeous Real Wedding in Manchester was pretty much that – a chic and simple and prettily perfect winter city wedding.
With images by Stella Photography.
Gemma says: Nigel asked me to marry him on 1st December 2012, on Llanmadoc beach in Wales, on a weekend away. It was a beautiful isolated beach on a lovely crisp winter’s day.
We were married on 23rd November 2013. We had the ceremony at Manchester Town Hall, and the reception at The Place Apartment Hotel, a converted cotton warehouse in central Manchester.
We wanted everything to be indoors, firstly because it is Manchester, so it was more than likely to rain, and secondly because of the time of year. We had looked at country locations, but decided that as we had so many guests coming not only from over this country but also from abroad, the city centre would be best for travel from the airport, train or the motorway. Also, we live very close to the city centre, so going in to see our wedding coordinator at the venue, and meeting local suppliers was so much easier than if we had picked somewhere far away. Manchester Town Hall is a stunning old building, with high stained glass windows so we felt it added to the occasion. The Place is beautifully restored, maintaining many original features such as red brick walls and steel columns.
Our theme was simplicity. The venue for the reception made it seem urban chic and we also teamed this with a vintage feel with the flower displays – very natural, in small glass bottles and jars – and hand-tied favours with luggage tag labels.
The wedding was mainly white and ivory, however my husband had decided that he wanted to wear his kilt, in the family tradition, so I picked a dark forest green for the bridesmaids to match this.
My dress was from The Staite Rooms in Huddersfield. It was a Maggie Sottero gown (Geneva), fitted to the waist and slightly over the hips, and had a long train. The top layer was a delicate lace with floral adornments, and a a band in light mocha under the bust, which made it look quite different to any I had seen before. I loved my long train! The dress was strapless which I didn’t think I would like when trying on dresses, but it fit beautifully with a lace-up back.
My bridesmaids wore full length forest green chiffon dresses from Fairytale Occasions in Bury. The groomsmen wore kilts in a similar style to my husband, our fathers wore black suits to match the kilt jackets. These were all hired from Slaters.
I had a fantastic hair & makeup artist come to make up myself, my bridesmaids, my mother and mother-in-law at the hotel, Jodie Smith, also based in Manchester.
I had a large naturally tied bouquet of white and ivory flowers along with natural foliage from Hearts & Flowers, Denton.
Our photographers were Seb & Zuzi from Stella Photography who just made our day perfect, they were like extra friends there to help us celebrate, and did a fantastic job.
The guests travelled in style to and from the ceremony in a vintage double-decker bus dressed up for the wedding from Belle-Vue in Manchester.
Our wedding breakfast tables and flowers were expertly put together by Vicki and her team at Hearts and Flowers.
My mum made us a three tier traditional fruit cake, which was delicious.
As my husband’s family is Scottish, and we met at a ceilidh, we had a ceilidh with a live ceilidh band until around 10.30, then a DJ after until 1am. We picked all the music for the DJ to play, as music is very important to us.
We provided sweep-stake kits for the guests to make their own bets on the wedding speeches, and to liven up the evening dancing I provided lots of glow-sticks which everyone enjoyed. The photographers also brought photobooth props along, which everyone loved and has given us some amazing pictures.
I absolutely loved the whole day! The ceremony and photos afterwards were very exciting – I couldn’t stop smiling the whole time; the food at the wedding breakfast was incredible and it was so lovely to look around and see all our friends and family together. Finally, the dancing afterwards was so much fun.
After the wedding we honeymooned in Mauritius, for a lovely relaxing break.
My top tip for other Brides Up North is that when planning, prioritise what is most important to you, and spend more time and money on these decisions (we had picked photographers, music, food and location). Split up the jobs – I had some things to research and book, so did my husband. Try and meet everyone involved at least once – the florist, the staff at the venue(s), your photographer, your hair and makeup artist – it definitely makes the day run smoother if you know who is going to be there. One thing I was really pleased we did was have Vicki from Hearts & Flowers dress the tables – I didn’t have to worry about having friends/family help to set things up – along with staff at the hotel she did everything and it looked amazing.
Congratulations Gemma & Nigel!
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Former lawyer and bride to be Julia founded Brides Up North in 2010 with a chip on her shoulder. Frustrated by the poor Northern presence in glossy bridal magazines and online, she decided to do something about it herself. Astounded by the rapid growth of her blog and brand, Julia now manages Brides Up North’s online content alongside their busy wedding exhibition season, industry events and related commissions. And she’s always, always, got a new project on the go…