This feature comes to you a little later as normal as we’re working hard behind the scenes here at Brides Up North HQ, right on deadline for issue #05 of our beautiful Unveiled Magazine. I always love this last push, bringing together everything that we’ve been working on for so long, and I’ve got my Editor’s hat firmly on. Anna Wintour, I salute you! The industry support for this issue has been phenomenal and we can’t wait to show you all what we’ve been up to for the past six months, so watch this space!
Now, everyone needs a little pretty on a Monday morning (us more than ever right now #sleepdeprived) and as such we’re sharing with you the wonderful wedding of Sami and Matt.
We love the simplicity of this relaxed big day which resulted in a beautiful and fun filled occasion, evident from the abundance of smiles in the images below.
It’s also a lovely tribute to her ‘Gramps’ that Sami built in so many little memories of a family member who was clearly very dear to her in a subtle yet moving way.
With images by Hayley Blackledge Photography.
sami says: We first got together on a night out on St Patrick’s Day, so seven years later in 2013, Matt took me to Dublin for St Patrick’s Day and proposed outside St Patrick’s Cathedral
We set the date for 12th September 2015, it was my Gramps birthday. He meant the world to me, but sadly died just before we got engaged.
Our ceremony was at Victoria Gallery and Museum (VGM) in Liverpool, and the reception was at Crosby Hall Educational Trust Centre (CHET). We choose these as they were both unique venues and different from each other. Neither of us are originally from Liverpool so we wanted to show off the amazing buildings and sights the city has to offer. The VGM is a very old building in the city centre, and CHET centre is a bit like a converted barn on the outskirts, five minutes from where we now live.
There was no particular theme to the wedding, though we made all the decorations. The table names were named after cities we’ve visited and we decorated the seating plan using bits that we’d picked up while we were in those cities.
We chose green as the colour scheme as it’s my favourite colour, and also the favourite colour of my Gramps.
My dress was a Maggie Sottero Couture design. It was very fitted to just under my bum and then big at the bottom – a lot bigger than I thought I’d ever have and I didn’t realise how big it was until I was carrying it round trying to dance later on! I wore it with Vivienne Westwood shoes with a blue bow (my something blue) and my head piece was custom made by Rocks for Frocks using my Mum and Grandma’s wedding veils and jewellery.
My wedding hair and makeup was done by Tiger Makeup & Capaldi Hair, who were such a massive help.
Matt wore a blue three piece suit from Slaters. His groomsmen wore matching suits with green cravats.
My bridesmaids wore gorgeous green gowns that I found online. They weren’t supposed to be bridesmaid dresses so were originally very low cut, so I had them altered to be a bit more modest! They wore silver heels and I bought them all individual silver clutch bags to use later on in the night, and filled them with bits they may need like tissues, lip balm and mints. My flower girl wore a gorgeous little dress from Monsoon, which co-ordinated perfectly with my dress!
On the day of the wedding me, the bridesmaids, flower girl and my mum travelled to the ceremony in a vintage VW camper van from Beetles About. He then took me and Matt onto the reception while our guests all got a vintage double decker bus.
Our photographer was Hayley Blackledge, who I would absolutely recommend – she was so professional, we barely noticed her there most of the time. Most importantly, she took time to get to know us so in the end she really understood who we were, what type of wedding it would be and what we wanted from her.
The wedding flowers were from Florettes Florist in Crosby. My bouquet was made up of gypsophila, yellow roses (which my Gramps and Grandma had at their wedding), pink carnations (my Mum’s favourite flower) and purple Veronica. The bridesmaids meanwhile had gypsophila and Veronica in their bouquets.
We had the same flowers from my bouquet dotted around the venue in decorated jam jars and on all the tables. We made all the decorations ourselves – I spent months collecting and decorating jam jars for the flowers and to hold tea lights! My Mum and her partner helped us make the signposts, which had the seating plans and menus on, and Matt’s mum and her partner made us personalised wine bottle holders.
As favours we gave our guests home-brewed beer or Elderflower cider – all with personalised labels on them.
Our cake was made by Cut Me Off a Slice, as I’m friends with one of the bakers. I told her my colours and some ideas and she came up with a cake table that suited perfectly and tasted delicious!
The wedding food was supplied by Tapas Tapas, they are a restaurant just round the corner from us who also do catering. We wanted tapas style food, so people could share and it would be a bit more social and fun than a traditional sit down wedding. We ended the meal with a trio of desserts and a shot of our favourite liqueur – Frangelico, served in a chocolate shot glass!
For our entertainment we had a local band called Ukebox play in the courtyard after the food was served. They are five lads who play a mix of songs on ukuleles. I first spotted them busking whilst I was out shopping with one of my bridesmaids and knew we had to have them! We also had an old fashioned ice cream cart, provided by Tilley Mint, which was absolutely delicious and Words To Glow provided our fantastic ‘love’ letters.
Other personalised elements including our special ‘wedding programmes’ rather than just an ordinary order of services, that included little anecdotes and stories about all the wedding party. Also, instead of traditional name cards on the tables we had photos of each of our guests, with one (or both) of us, from various different stages in our lives – there were some very embarrassing ones! Finally, as we weren’t getting married in a church, but didn’t want to miss out on the singing that comes with a wedding ceremony, we had out congregation sing It Must Be Love by Madness and Stand by Me by Ben E King, helped out by the fantastic SoSo Choir.
Following our wedding we would certainly recommend both our venues to other brides and grooms. The ceremony venue was stunning – such a beautiful building inside and out. And the reception venue is perfect for putting your own stamp on your day.
It’s hard to pick a favourite part of the wedding day, though if I had to, it would probably dancing around outside with my husband in the sun while Ukebox was playing.
After the wedding we waited a few months before going on our honeymoon. We went on a three-week trip to South Africa over Christmas and New Year, taking in Cape Town, the wine estates, the garden route and then finishing on safari. It was absolutely incredible, a real once in a lifetime adventure. We packed so much in to get the most of it, so we’re glad we didn’t do it straight after the wedding. We spent Christmas Day on the beach and on New Year’s Eve went shark diving and did a bungee jump – it was the perfect way to end the perfect year.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to give yourself time to plan. That way you will get exactly wat you wat, rather than settling for second best because you’ve run out of time.