June 14th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
We love to see a bride and groom take a style that represents who they are and really run with it – like today’s real wedding couple Erin and Joel. In love with the 1950s, the post-war rock and roll era and a time of great social change, Erin and Joel went to town with their black and white polka dot and red theme. The bridesmaids in their polka dot dresses are accessorised with striking red pillbox hats and gloves, while Erin wears a bold red lip to add oomph to her classic vintage, detailed wedding gown and Joel sports a side parting hairstyle reminiscent of the era.
The bold colour scheme is carried throughout the whole day and bangs a buck at the wedding reception, where vibrant red rose centrepieces proudly sport black feathers to echo the popular feather-adorned hats of the time. With photographs on the tables of icons such as Audrey Hepburn, Erin and Joel made sure they used every opportunity to bring the 50s’ vibe to their big day. Guests were even treated to a CD compilation of 50s’ hits, so they could carry the rock and roll essence home with them at the end of the night.
With images by Ian MacMichael.
erin says: We got engaged on 29th May 2014. Joel got down on one knee at Haydock Races and proposed in front of my family. We were all dressed up and it was a lovely way to start the day.
We got married on 19th January 2018. It was the same date my parents got married in 1985, so they were 33 years married on our day.
We held our ceremony at St Margaret Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in my local and amazing parish. Our reception took place at the Isla Gladstone Conservatory, Liverpool – such a beautiful location. The venue was a blank space and we just fell in love with it as soon as we saw it. We loved the exclusivity and the coordinators were amazing throughout the whole process. The food was stunning; we got amazing feedback from guests. All the staff were friendly and helpful – nothing was too much trouble.
Our theme was 1950s for the whole day. We both adore this decade – we love the colours and the music, etc. For our colour scheme, we went for black and white polka dot with red, which fitted the 1950s theme perfectly. I love the bold colours.
My dress was a lace, fitted mermaid dress with sleeves. I also wore a two-tier, cathedral-length veil and a replica of Princess Diana’s tiara. I love the classic vintage bridal look. My hair was styled by Beauty Box Aesthetics – they are amazing girls. Two of my close friends – Jess Hardy and Ashlee Platt – did our make-up.
Joel wore black tails with a polka dot bow tie, which he got from GROOM at The Wedding House. Joel’s groomsmen wore the same.
The bridesmaids wore polka dot 1950s’ dresses accessorised with a red pillbox hat, red belt and gloves, and black shoes with a polka dot bow.
For the transport, we hired two cars from Barringtons Wedding Cars – an Imperial Viscount Landaulette and a Daimler DS limousine.
Our photographers were Ian MacMichael and his wife Hazel. We loved their relaxed wedding style and stories without words. We would definitely recommend them as our photos were stunning and we felt at such ease the whole day.
Our flowers were by a very dear friend, Ann Nicholas, who was like a nan to me. She was unbelievably talented. She sadly passed away on 22nd April 2018. I’m so blessed to have all the flowers to remember her by.
For the other decorations, such as the backdrop love sign and top table dressing, we used Nicci Lou’s Elegant Events. She also provided the centre pieces, which comprised red flowers in black feathers.
For the favours, we made 1950s CDs, which included our first dance and father/daughter dance.
Our cake was by Anita’s Wicked Cakes and comprised four tiers: lemon drizzle, salted caramel, red velvet, and chocolate and Nutella. The polka dot ribbon and flowers that decorated the cake were made by Ann.
For our wedding breakfast, we started with corned beef hashcake, followed by a chicken roast and cheesecake with crushed meringue. It was warm, hearty food for the time of year. We had red, white and rosé on each table, plus a Bucks Fizz welcome drink and a prosecco toast.
In terms of entertainment, we had a 1950s band called Alex Graham & The Concords, who provided a great atmosphere. We also had a disco and Jonny Sax, a saxophonist, from TK Entertainments . We also had a performance by the girls from Bolger Cunningham School of Irish Dancing. I used to Irish dance, so it was amazing having the girls there.
For other special touches on the day, we hired a 1950s red vintage bus and laid on a sweet table for our guests. We also had a special bride/groom cocktail.
My favourite part of our wedding day was actually getting married. Saying our vows to one another and committing our lives to each other was an experience I will never forget.
For our honeymoon we went to Malta for an all-inclusive two-week break. We did lots of tours, visited Gozo, walked on the beach, visited lots of churches and relaxed.
My top tip for other Brides Up North is – don’t lose sight of what the day is about. Remember that it’s yours and your partner’s day, so do what makes you happy. Also, we looked at all the real weddings on the Brides Up North blog a lot during the planning, as it’s great for ideas and we also attended a Brides Up North wedding fair in Cheshire.
We are now expecting our first child, due on 12th November!
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Aislinn has a background in journalism, having filled all manner of publishing roles from editor to copywriter to feature writer. She is a former wedding photographer who ran her own business with her husband Michael. Together, they have travelled as far as Australia to photograph a client’s wedding (and spent all their earnings on a campervan trip up the Aussie coast!). Aislinn left wedding photography behind to take on the biggest commitment of her life as mummy to her young son Tom. She has been a bride, bridesmaid and even best woman (she has the speech to prove it!), which is almost all angles covered!
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