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city centre elopement: a secret wedding in manchester – grainne & justin

May 10th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson

A Secret Wedding In Manchester (c) Maddie Farris Photography (38)

Grainne and Justin chose to rip up the rulebook when it came to their big day and, together with just two witnesses and one photographer, enjoyed a ‘home elopement’ with a festive feel.

We love the fact that, after exchanging vows at Manchester’s Town Hall, they strolled the festive Christmas markets, enjoying Glühwein and gathering well wishes from cheery passers-by as they soaked up the warm and twinkling atmosphere. They even picked up a keepsake at one of the stalls to display on their Christmas tree year after year to remind them of the romantic day they became husband and wife.

With cocktails and nibbles – plus a six-course tasting menu at swanky The French – to follow, Grainne and Justin ensured their elopement had all the right ingredients. Tell us more Grainne…

With images by Maddie Farris Photography.

A Secret Wedding In Manchester (c) Maddie Farris Photography (32)

grainne says: We got engaged in Edinburgh in September 2016. We wanted to take in the city views from the top of Arthur’s Seat, but little did I know Justin also had other plans when we reached the top. After finding a quiet spot, he got down on one knee and popped the question. He had come prepared for a ‘yes’ with champagne in his rucksack and, after a toast to celebrate, we made our way down to explore the city and enjoy afternoon tea at the Signet Library. The following day, to escape the hustle and bustle, we headed for the shores of Loch Lomond.

A Secret Wedding In Manchester (c) Maddie Farris Photography (28)

We got married on 14th December 2017 at Manchester Town Hall in the Ante Room, followed by a Glühwein at the Christmas markets, cocktails and nibbles at Mr Cooper’s House & Garden and a six-course tasting menu at The French.

A Secret Wedding In Manchester (c) Maddie Farris Photography (43)

My dress was from Ivy & Oak, my belt was from Monsoon and my jacket was from Ted Baker.

I didn’t want a full-length traditional wedding dress. I wanted to feel comfortable following the service and be able to enjoy the celebrations we had planned. As it was a city centre elopement, I was aiming for more of a subtle bridal look that was practical for the setting, celebrations and the season but which still had a hint of romance. I felt the mid-length skirt combined with the lace offered this and the belt added some sparkle for Christmas. My jacket was a surprise gift from my mum; she wanted to make sure I stayed warm on the day and I think she got it just right.

In the morning I had my hair done at Ash Heaton Moor and Sophia Georgiou did my makeup. Justin went to Cutthroat Jacks in Stockport.

A Secret Wedding In Manchester (c) Maddie Farris Photography (40)

Justin wore a navy wool suit from Next, with a burgundy tie, decorative pocket square and double cuffed shirt from TM Lewin. His trusty brown brogue boots finished the look.

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