We don’t usually repeat posts here on the blog, but (like we reminded you earlier on today!) we’re hosting A POP-UP Mini Wedding Festival at The Bowdon Rooms next Sunday 26th February from 11am till 3pm, and we’re so excited that we wanted to remind you exactly how fabulous this versatile venue can be!
For any brides out there considering a vintage dress for your big day, today’s real wedding is likely to seal the idea as part of your plans. Just looking at today’s bride Anna in her unique vintage gown makes us go weak at the knees as she radiates such flawless beauty and elegance.
In line with her choice of attire, Anna’s wedding to beau Dan followed a vintage festival route with the ‘I dos’ and party taking place at one-of-a-kind venue, The Bowdon Rooms in Cheshire, with homemade décor to match.
Now, on with the pretty…
With images by Eclection Photography.
anna says: We got engaged in 2013 on a beach in Kefalonia. We’d spent the day sailing over to Ithaca on a little boat and then made a picnic to take down to our local beach. I had no idea it was on the cards until Dan suggested getting some fizz, and then I had an inkling!
We got married on 23rd August 2014. We chose the date because it was a bank holiday weekend and we wanted get the most out of our celebrations with a day-after party at my mum’s house.
Our wedding took place at The Bowdon Rooms in Cheshire. We chose it because it’s in the area I grew up, close to my mum’s house, old school and teenage drinking haunts! We really wanted a local feel to our wedding and The Bowdon Rooms really provided that. We actually made the decision to book it when we popped into the Brides Up North wedding fair there and saw how lovely the space could look. The fact we could decorate and personalise the space as much as we wanted was a big deciding factor and the team at The Bowdon Rooms really accommodated this – especially when helping us hang hundreds of paper pom poms!
We didn’t really have a theme but we knew we wanted to go colourful, instead of traditional white/cream. We also wanted to have seasonal wild flowers on the tables with a vintage, DIY kind of look so I guess that defined our theme. Our wedding invitation also lent itself to this as we worked with an illustrator called Ryn Frank, who specialises in flora and fauna designs, and designed us a beautiful illustrated wedding wreath for our invites.
We were really lucky to have lots of talented people who helped us with the flowers, place settings and decorations to make the venue look as we wanted it. We couldn’t have been happier with how it all turned out!
We went for a colourful scheme because we wanted something fun and summery that would get people in the party spirit!
For my wedding day attire, I chose a vintage 1930s dress, which I bought from a stylist called Clare Frith who’s based in Brighton at Songbird Vintage Wedding Dresses. I’d been looking for a vintage dress because I loved the idea of having something unique and this one fitted like it had been made for me! Clare was also absolutely great, really relaxed and with a great eye. I would highly recommend getting in touch with her if you’re looking for a vintage piece.
The groom and best men wore classic navy suits from Aquascutum . There is a have a great outlet store in Hackney where we live and the suits were an absolute steal!
My sister Rosie wore a blue/green dress from Ghost, which looked stunning (the dress was recently worn by the Bond girl in Spectre). My 13-year-old cousin Lydia wore a cream dress from Debenhams’ bridesmaids section. They both looked lovely and their dresses complemented mine perfectly.
On the wedding day some family friends provided the transport for us. They put ribbons on their cars and even wore chauffeur’s caps!
Heather Shuker of Eclection Photography was our photographer. We chose her because a photographer friend recommended her and we loved her documentary style. She was great on the day and captured some really beautiful images of our wedding.
The bouquets for me and my bridesmaids were done by Barkers Florist, recommended by The Bowdon Rooms. We went for a vintage, hand tied look to fit the rest of the theme. The table flowers and floral decorations were done by our mums and their friends.
One of Dan’s family friends kindly made our cake for us. It was a traditional fruit cake decorated with real flowers.
For our wedding breakfast we had a starter of tricolore salad (tomato, mozzarella and avocado), then we had chicken and leek pie with vegetables for the main and a fresh fruit and meringue dessert. The food was delicious and the service was really great – we got so many compliments on it. The wine was recommended by The Bowdon Rooms and went perfectly with the meal.
When it came to organising the wedding entertainment, my sister had recommended one of her friend’s bands to us, Taylor and the Mason, who we booked. They were amazing and got everyone on the dance floor! Earlier in the day we also had a drinks reception up at Denzell Gardens, where we had a string quartet to play.
After our wedding, we would highly recommend The Bowdon Rooms to couples looking for a venue that they can really make their own. The team there are totally accommodating and so helpful, whatever you want to do they will help you make it happen. The food was also delicious and very hearty – lots of people said it was the best food they’d had at a wedding!
The highlight of the day for us was getting back from having our photographs taken, being announced as Mr and Mrs Southern and then seeing the room all laid out and everyone sitting down to eat. We had long banquet tables, lit by candles with fresh flowers that my mum had arranged, amazing handmade decorations by Dan’s mum and beautiful place settings designed by my sister. It really was beautiful and all the more special because of how personal it all was.
The day after the wedding my mum hosted a ‘hangover party’ complete with hot dog stand from the Farmer’s Wife.
After the celebrations we went on a minimoon to The Lakes for a few nights and stayed in a beautiful little cottage. Then over the Christmas and New Year break, we went on honeymoon to Vietnam and travelled from the north to the south of the country over three weeks. It was an incredible trip to round off our fabulous wedding experience.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be – try not to get overwhelmed by choice, just think about what you really want and be decisive!