Charlotte Balbier

tale as old as time. lillian west for a wedding at the great john street hotel – sarah & stevie

April 13th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

Great John Street Manchester Wedding Photographer

Today’s real wedding is all about the magic of Disney – the enchanting Beauty and the Beast to be more precise.

Our couple, Sarah and Stevie, decided on a nod or three to their favourite family movie, with the film’s much-coveted teapot, clock and candlestick all making an appearance on their special day. Combine this with a few unconventional twists – such as serving popcorn and swapping a traditional wedding breakfast for a rooftop barbecue – and we think this is an informal take on wedded bliss at its best.

With images by Claire Basiuk.

Great John Street Manchester Wedding Photographer

sarah says: We got engaged on 15th September 2015, while in Tenerife. We were on the second night of a family holiday, staying in a lovely hotel at the top a hill. Stevie was calling our daughter Sophia over to the terrace to have a picture taken against the sunset. Sophia, however, was more interested in going dancing, so was reluctant. I eventually talked her over where Stevie then picked her up, got down on one knee and asked to marry me. My reaction was “are you being serious?” – anyone that knows us will know why; we had been together nearly 11 years, already had a beautiful two-year-old little girl and marriage had never been on the table. I’d even been discussing how I would never get married on a hen do only two days before! My answer was, of course, yes and I will never forget that beaming smile on Sophia’s face, it was as if she knew what it all meant. The evening was then spent dancing!

Great John Street Manchester Wedding Photographer

Our wedding date was 18th September 2016. I loved the idea of having a September wedding (maybe as my mum and dad got married then) and 18 is actually my lucky number so this worked out perfectly. We weren’t bothered about whether we did it one or two years after we got engaged but looking back now, it was lovely that it was almost a year to the day.

We wanted a venue that could accommodate both the ceremony and reception and chose Great John Street Hotel in Manchester. We had always wanted a venue that had something a bit different and had loved the idea of a barn style venue. I realised though that my main concern was guests being able to easily get to the venue, and barn style venues don’t really offer that.

Great John Street Manchester Wedding Photographer

We were looking for a relaxed and informal feel to our wedding day and Great John Street offered this. It was different to any other wedding venue we had visited, and we just loved the quirkiness, the décor, all the separate areas that guests could relax in and, of course, the roof terrace with city centre views.

From the outset, we both agreed that we wanted to do our wedding a little differently, as neither of us like being the centre of attention. For us, it was all about celebrating with our friends and family, so we exchanged our vows later in the day, and decided not to have a formal wedding breakfast with speeches. Instead we opted for a barbecue on the rooftop where the guests could choose what food they ate and where they sat. This allowed us to mix with everybody. There was no pressure on Stevie, my dad or the best man to give a speech, this was entirely their choice, and they did this in the early evening with everyone on the roof terrace.

Great John Street Manchester Wedding Photographer

I wanted to be a bit creative with the decoration aspect of the wedding, as opposed to having just a colour scheme. We have a love for Disney and chose a Beauty and the Beast theme. This is my favourite Disney movie; it was the first film song Sophia sang and danced to and it has become Stevie’s favourite, too. We also thought that Tale as Old as Time had quite a good meaning for us, having been together so long. We realised this could easily become cheesy but I wanted to incorporate classy and elegant details from the film. A lot of the decorations and flowers featured those classic Beauty and the Beast colours of blue, gold and red.

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