February 10th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Amy and Joel wanted their wedding to be a true celebration of their love and their feelings for each other certainly shone brightly during their big day in Sheffield.
As well as love their wedding was full of laughter, happiness and simple yet stunning styling. All in all the couple achieved their goals for a relaxed celebration full of romance as documented here.
With images by Ever Thine Photography.
amy says: We got engaged in September 2012, in Sheffield where we live. I had been in Manchester for a family birthday and drove back on a Saturday, unintentionally hitting the road to Sheffield on the same day that thousands of University first years were moving into their halls. So I had a nightmare journey and was back to Sheffield a couple of hours after Joel had planned for us to go for a walk together, in a terrible stressed mood. When I saw him I said “Please cheer me up” and he replied “I think I can do that”.
He took me on a walk to a meadow where we had also ended up on one of our first dates. It was a beautiful sunny day and nobody was around. We had a lovely picnic that Joel had packed, but before we ate anything he got down on one knee! Then when I said yes (through happy sobs) he uncorked the bubbly he’d hidden in a cool-bag. Joel had also arranged a surprise engagement party with our friends in Sheffield that evening, and a celebratory lunch with my family the following day! He really did himself proud – and he definitely cheered me up!
We got married the following August 9th. I had always wanted to get married in summer and Joel was training to be a doctor so only had a few weeks in August where he would be on holiday and available for wedding/honeymooning. So with various other things going on that month, the 9th it was.
We got married in Sheffield in a church, which was important to us and our families. Straight after the ceremony we had a mini afternoon tea reception at the church, which people appreciated as it kept them fed and watered. Our reception venue was Whitley Hall – a great 16th century mansion with loads of character. We loved the fact that it had beautiful grounds so we could spend lots of time outside, but it also had a few different rooms inside with cosy armchairs and soft lighting. It’s a lovely venue and we really enjoyed our day there.
We didn’t choose a particular theme – style-wise I knew I wanted everything to be quite classic and soft, romantic. But we really wanted the day to be about love and our marriage. We had lots of quotes/poems around love and we had a lot of touches that were personal to us. I spent a lot of time hand-making things in intense wedding craft sessions with my wonderful helpful family! Luckily my sister Katy is trained in graphic design so she was able to really personalise our wedding and help give us unique special touches – she designed our ‘logo’, wedding invitations and all our other design and print.
The colours we chose was a really soft palette of ivory, champagne, creams, blush and gold/sparkling details because I’m a bit of a magpie.
My dress was a lace design by Lusan Mandongus that I bought from Amy Louise Bridal in Nantwich, Cheshire. I loved a sort of flowing mermaid shape with a train, soft and romantic but figure-flattering at the same time. I was pretty sure I wanted lace and straps before I tried on dresses, but hadn’t found the dress I had imagined after trying on about 50 in a few different shops. I was actually going to Amy Louise to try on a different dress for the second time when the lovely consultant Kirsten pulled out the dress, saying that it had just come into the shop and she’d thought of me… I tried it on and felt lovely in it, my mum and sisters loved it, and I could completely imagine walking up the aisle to Joel in it. I felt great in the dress in the day – I love the soft lace straps, the hint of sparkle and the gorgeous deep back with covered buttons going down it. I was sad to take it off! I also loved my sparkly shoes, I felt like they were my little secret ‘princess’ touch!
Joel wore a suit from River Island, which was kind of a bright/French navy, with a champagne coloured tie. I went with him when he picked the suit and had tears when he came out trying it on – he looked so good and I felt so lucky! I thought he looked so gorgeous on our wedding day.
The bridesmaids wore dresses that I found in an online shop Goddiva – I wanted blush ones, and I loved the flowing Grecian style of these with a little bit of sparkly detail on the shoulder. They were a really good deal too. The groomsmen wore the same suit as Joel, with blue ties (except Joel’s brother Josh the best man wore a champagne one like Joel), and the detail that Josh provided which was socks to match the champagne colour of our ties.
A dream of mine since I was a young teenager has been to own a classic VW campervan. My parents surprised me on the day of the wedding by booking a cream campervan that we all went to the church in. Joel and I also travelled to the reception in it – it was so much fun and so thoughtful of my parents.
Our wedding was shot by Lucy Aspray of Ever Thine Photography. She was so relaxed but professional, and because Lucy loves weddings herself she appreciates and captures the details you put effort into. We were really lucky in that the lovely folk at Ever Thine were dear friends of ours before we even got engaged, so we were so happy to be able to have them do our photos. However I would definitely recommend them to others even if we hadn’t know them – I think that Lucy’s style is to really put you at ease and have fun with you, but she’s also really unobtrusive with lots of natural shots and has the instinct for catching moments at the perfect time – which is really important on your wedding day when you don’t want to feel awkward and like you’re being bossed around by a photographer, but do want plenty of beautiful pics.
I carried a bouquet of ivory/cream flowers with trailing flowers and vines to look flowing and romantic like my dress and the general vibe I was going for. Anna at Swallows & Damsons in Sheffield did the bouquet – she is an absolute sweetheart and really helpful and knowledgeable, her style is beautifully modern and natural.
We didn’t go mad on flowers at the wedding reception, but put stems of blush roses and cream hydrangeas (which Swallows & Damsons provided us with) in lots of antique vases and glassware that my mum and I foraged for in Sheffield’s Antiques Quarter. I customised tea light holders with gold glitter, and we put candles in these and in some antique glass candlesticks on the tables in with other cut glass pieces – the effect was quite classic, vintage and a little bit glam, and the light really bounced off all that cut glass making it sparkle.
The main favour I did also doubled up as a place name – I bulk bought wine glasses, ‘glitterised’ the bases and wrote people’s names on them in a calligraphy style font. We also did wedding CDs with music from the ceremony, first dance, father daughter dance and other love songs we like. My sister made paper cases for these with the logo she’d designed. Lastly we had a sweetie bar in the evening for people to help themselves!
Rather than a proper cake we cut a cheesecake. We were having cheesecake for dessert anyway (it’s both mine and Joel’s favourite) and we asked Whitley Hall to dress a big cheesecake up for us a bit, which they did. The food was delicious, my favourite thing being little canapés that we had when everyone arrived at the reception venue. A lot of brides say they couldn’t eat anything on their wedding day but I ate loads!
For our entertainment we had a string duet during the day, Citron Pressè – I honestly partly chose them because I liked their name!! I really liked their laid-back music; it added a lovely special feeling.
In the evening we had an in-house DJ who was just what we needed – he played all our requests and the dance floor was packed for hours!
We added lots of special touches to the day. I put quotes about love from favourite books, poems etc in picture frames and scattered them around the place. I also handmade our guestbook – every page had different creative ways for people to leave us a message. It took me hours to do the different pages and stick loads of photos of Joel and I throughout but people loved it and it’s a keepsake we’ll treasure. We also had lawn games and I bought some floral picnic blankets and spread them on the lawn for people to sit on. My mum found this amazing old golden empty picture frame on eBay, and we used that during the day as a prop for people to take pictures in! We had a competition at dinner where tables which was fun and got people talking to each other.
I loved the whole day, just the fact that we got married and spent an amazing day with each other and everyone we loved, but a few particular moments stand out.
The best man’s speech was hands down the best I have ever heard. We laughed hysterically (mainly at Joel) and we cried. People still talk about it.
I surprised my Dad with a father-daughter dance to a song that he used to sing to me when I was tiny. It was lovely, he was so touched and everybody had a little weep
Seeing Joel’s face when he turned around as I walked up the aisle. Favourite memory of my whole life probably.
We went to Crete for our honeymoon and were so blessed that some family friends paid for us to go all-inclusive at a lovely resort – I’m ashamed to say it was less a cultural trip soaking in Crete’s history and more a trip where we soaked up the sun and cocktails and just chilled to the max.
Everyone always says it’s your day and make sure you do exactly what you want without bowing to pressure from other people but my advice to other wedding couples would be it is your day, but it’s also your other half’s so plan a day you both will love. Also it’s a day about the two of you – your love and the fact you’re committing to each other in marriage, which is an amazing beautiful thing. Even though ultimately decisions are up to you, if your family and friends are everything to you take them into account and treat them to a time they will enjoy, especially if they have travelled far to be there for your special day or assisted in the wedding somehow.
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Rachel joined the Brides Up North editorial team as Features Editor in February 2015. Rachel draws on her news reporting background, experience in features, bridal & lifestyle editing for previous regional titles and time spent working for Yorkshire’s most successful PR agencies. Yet to tie the knot herself, Rachel's own wedding looks set to be very, very pretty...
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