April 11th, 2018 | Laura McDonagh
Grown-up glamour was the dress code for Victoria and Paul’s Manchester city wedding, so expect to be wowed by the bride’s custom-made Suzanne Neville gown – not to mention the sterling black tie effort from their stylish guests.
Their glamorous details – the bottomless gin bar, the nine-piece swing band – are impressive enough on their own, but when you consider that this couple’s original venue cancelled their wedding a mere five months before the big day, you really start to appreciate the scale of this determined duo’s accomplishment. Married life should be a doddle in comparison!
Our favourite picks? The fact that they walked back up the aisle to I Predict a Riot and that infamous red sofa pic – the very same spot where our editor in chief Julia, has sat for a live national broadcast all things weddings – no biggie!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Slice of Pie Photography.
victoria says: The proposal happened in a local restaurant we’ve visited for the last few years. We decided to spend Christmas Day there in 2015, and Paul had told all the staff about his plans. He ordered champagne and got down on one knee before lunch – of course, I said yes!
However, before this starts to sound terribly romantic, full disclosure: Paul’s brother was annoyed because he was starving and had to wait for his lunch because we were busy ringing our family – and then our six-month-old daughter promptly threw up all over my dress! Gotta love kids for bringing you back down to earth with a bump!
Our wedding date was 4th August 2017 – we met in August and love that time of year so that’s why we chose it.
Our venue was a private members’ club in Media City called On The 7th. We’d booked another venue in Manchester city centre, but we had a phone call in March to say they were closing down and our wedding was cancelled – total nightmare! Within 24 hours, though, I’d found our new venue and rearranged all of our suppliers. I knew about On The 7th as I used to be a member there and it’s such a cool, versatile place.
Theme-wise, we just wanted glamour! We love dressing up and make any excuse to do so. Our guests did not disappoint! Our colour scheme was black and white with silver accents; we like simple, monochrome palettes.
I had a custom-made Suzanne Neville gown designed and fitted by Suzanne and paired it with crystal-encrusted, ostrich feather Kurt Geigers. Suzanne travelled up from London to her Wilmslow studio for my fittings. She’s a real idol of mine, so I was thrilled she agreed to do it!
Paul wore a black three-piece tuxedo with black velvet bowtie and the groomsmen wore black Swarovski crystal bow ties – they were from M&S!
We had nine flower girls all in black and two bridesmaids also in black floor-length gowns.
Our photographers were Slice of Pie and they were amazing! Mark and Laura are a husband and wife team and they made us feel so comfortable and well looked after. The day ran so smoothly, and it was mainly due to them!
My bouquet was white gypsophila, and my bridesmaids had matching ones. We also had white gypsophila in tall vases on the tables and white roses on the top tables. We dressed our tables with incredible silver sequin table cloths provided by Cheshire Venue Dressing and Lighting – we got the idea from Brides Up North!
Instead of favours, we donated money to a charity I work very closely called Together Trust. We gave Together Trust teddy bears to the children and keyrings to the adults. The charity can do much more with the money than our guests could do with some sugared almonds!
We’re not the biggest fans of cake so we had cheese instead from Booths, along with crackers and chutneys; we even had vegan cheese and gluten free crackers for our guests with dietary needs.
Our wedding breakfast menu was stunning. For canapes we had smoked cheese filo bites, mini ham hock terrine and tempura prawns. The main was seared scallops served with celeriac and truffle puree or corn-fed chicken with sweet potato and baby leeks. For dessert we served flourless chocolate cake and Bailey’s ice cream.
In the evening we had mini lamb pittas, mini fish and chips, courgette and goat’s cheese quiche and a selection of pizzas. And for our drinks, we had Prosecco, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and an unlimited gin bar for all of our guests with five of our favourite gins. We adore food and drink, so these were all big decisions for us!
For our entertainment, we had swing singer Daniel East perform during the wedding breakfast and Northern Soul and Mowtown DJ Dave Hulston, for after the ceremony. Pastiche Events arranged the rest, which included a photo room, a sweet cart for the kids, a close-up magician, a nine-piece swing band and casino tables and croupiers. And did we mention the gin bar?! Along with Slice of Pie, Pastiche Events made our day. We couldn’t have done it without them!
We selected our music choices or the ceremony carefully too. Dad and I walked down the aisle to The Kinks Waterloo Sunset. It’s my dad’s favourite song and when I lived in London him I’d meet him in Waterloo each week for dinner, so it seemed very for my dad to give me away to that. We walked back up the aisle to Kaiser Chiefs I Predict a Riot, which also felt apt!
Following our wedding, we would definitely recommend it to others – it was superb. It’s different, it was exclusively ours and the staff were incredible. The food was amazing, and they looked after us so well.
Looking back, we loved every minute of our day but perhaps one of the highlights was sitting in the BBC Breakfast Studio to have a photo taken! Media City is a very cool location for a photoshoot. And, of course, we loved having all our friends and family around us as we live so far from my side so it was amazing to have them there!
Our honeymoon took us to Casablanca in Morocco. We saw the film Casablanca on our second date and it’s always been a favourite of ours. We decided that it would be a cool place to go and it looked beautiful. However, it turns out that the film was made on set in LA – dammit!
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be – relax and enjoy it! The planning can be stressful but don’t let it get to you. What’s the worst that can happen? Our venue cancelled and it still worked out fine!
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Laura is a true Northophile: she married Adam in Durham in 2011 accompanied by 200 Northumbrian lamb shanks and a Mackem 1950s tribute band who did a rockabilly cover version of Celine Dion's My Heart Will Go On. They honeymooned in Northumberland in a 1972 MG convertible, went surfing in Alnmouth and made it to the Edinburgh Fringe (let's ignore the fact that it rained all week). Her big mantra is 'no regrets'...but if she could travel back in time and wear a wedding dress with a Peter Pan collar and pockets, she'd pretty much die happy.
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