“Life’s too short” is a phrase and thought responsible for bringing on, or speeding up, many a plan, whether it be booking that holiday of a lifetime, taking the plunge on a new business venture or simply agreeing to a spontaneous night out. For today’s featured couple however, it was that very thought that led to them getting hitched, after Kevin was taken seriously ill in hospital.
Fighting back strong, Kevin spent the next 18 months recovering while Amanda got the big day plans underway and together they achieved their goal of becoming Mr and Mrs, surrounded by family and friends at a stylish venue in the North West.
Working to a budget, creative Amanda kept costs down by doing her own wedding flowers and centrepieces, which looked gorgeous in shades of pink with pretty pearl detailing. We also love Amanda’s Bardot neckline dress, which has the perfect balance of fashion and fairytale.
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Robbie Venn Photography.
amanda says: We began planning our wedding after Kevin suffered three cardiac arrests in November 2015 – he was given 5% chance of survival. We realised life is too short so decided to get married. It was more a case of me actually saying: “I think after this I’ll marry you”, and it snowballed from there.
We set the date for 20th May 2017. We didn’t want to wait too long but it also gave Kevin enough time in his recovery.
Our chosen venue was On The 7th, The Landings at Media City, Salford. After looking at several venues we realised we didn’t want the usual white covered chairs style of venue. On The 7th is a modern venue, with stylish décor – we didn’t need to do anything to decorate it. The staff were also amazing, from the wedding coordinator to the master of ceremonies.
I didn’t have a colour in mind for the wedding initially but then I saw a bridesmaid dress style I liked, which was navy, so settled on a navy and pink colour scheme.
I wore a ball gown style dress with a sweetheart bodice, which was from Wed2Be, Bolton. I didn’t know what style would suit me at all, so went with Kevin’s mum try different styles on. Being a larger-chested girl, I had in my mind totally ruled out anything without straps. I tried several dresses on and the last one was the one I ended up choosing – the one with no straps! It felt amazing, I couldn’t believe how it made me feel, and how it didn’t make me look busty, surprisingly.
Kevin wore a navy blue suit from Next with a matching waistcoat and pink tie, pink button hole, and black shoes. The groomsmen’s suits were all from Next too.
The bridesmaid dresses were from Chi Chi London, which were also navy blue, 50’s sort of style. I didn’t want to go for a usual bridesmaid dress. Luckily the dresses suited all bridesmaids. The flowergirl’s dress was from Monsoon.
The bridal party arrived at the venue in a white campervan, from Posh Pampa Campa. I didn’t take in to account how old campervans were at the time of booking! It cut out at each set of traffic lights on the way to the venue, which made the journey all the more memorable. Kevin’s twin brother booked a limousine from bookerlimo.com, which was a surprise to Kevin.
Our day was captured by Robbie Venn Photography. Kevin’s mum knew of Robbie beforehand and suggested booking him. I would without a doubt recommend Robbie. He is so relaxed and listens to exactly what you want.
We had an engagement shoot with Robbie in August 2016. We felt awkward to start with but Robbie directed us and had done his research on the area we had our pictures taken (Castlefield Locks, Manchester). He had picked out some amazing areas. The pictures we got back were brilliant, there were so many we didn’t even realise he was taking that caught us so well.
At our meeting prior to the wedding Robbie asked what style of photography we wanted. I’m not a fan of staged photos at all, I wanted to capture the mood and people’s emotions, I especially love natural pictures of people laughing. I can honestly say he took this on board above and beyond my expectations. I have had so many people comment on out album that it made them smile when they looked through it, and they could feel the emotions and fun from the wedding just from a picture.
My bridesmaid bought me a beautiful charm to go on my bouquet with a picture of my mum who passed away in May 2015, and of Kevin’s dad who passed away several years ago. I also had a charm with a picture of my mum and dad on their wedding day.
I made all the table decorations myself too. I bought the centrepiece vases from The Range and all the flowers matched the bouquets.
As a DIY bride, I found both The Range and Country Baskets were brilliant places to get ideas and to buy things from.
We gave sweet treats of chocolate hearts and Love Hearts as favours.
We weren’t going to have a wedding cake but my mother-in-law bought one for us from a lady she works with. It was a three-tier sponge cake, with white icing with navy ribbon.
Ahead of the wedding, we went for a food tasting session at the venue and wanted it all! We managed to narrow it down to duck in a filo pastry to start, herby breaded lamb for main and a hot ginger cake with Baileys ice cream for dessert.
In terms of entertainment, we were originally having a DJ and saxophonist, but unfortunately, we only ended up having a DJ due to the car breaking down for the saxophonist. We didn’t want a live band due to the room size, and so chose the DJ from recommendations. We gave a list of 20 to 30 songs to start the evening.
Following our wedding, we would without a doubt recommend On The 7th to other couples. The staff were brilliant, which meant at no point did I turn in to bridezilla. Sarah Graham our wedding planner was fantastic and dealt with all my questions promptly, so I was very relaxed and totally confident in dealing with her. As soon as I went in to the venue I knew it was the right place, and dealing with Sarah confirmed this.
On reflections, I think my favourite part of the day was walking into the ceremony and seeing Kevin’s face – it’s the build-up of anticipation and all the planning that leads to that final walk before you get married. Robbie caught a picture of me walking up the aisle and you can see the excitement in my face which speaks a thousand words.
For our honeymoon, we went to Paphos in Cyprus for a week. We stayed in an all-inclusive hotel, booked a massage in the hotel spa and basically spent the week relaxing – which was much needed! The weather was fantastic all week!
My top tips to other Brides Up North are: be organised, shop around, make a list of what you genuinely need, and a separate list of what you like. Price things up, try to not let your heart take over your bank balance. Don’t stress, have fun, lots of it. Also, don’t feel pressured by anyone to do anything you don’t want to do or have the hard sell put on you. Remember it’s all out of your control if things go wrong on the day. Have another glass of bubbly and laugh it off, it just adds to the funny memories of the day.