It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 4th June 2018 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from the first half of the year so far.
Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.
If anything’s going to give you that Friday feeling it’s the awesome wedding of Russell and Kate that we’re sharing with you this morning.
All the weddings shared on our pages are special, but this one is extra special for not one, but two reasons. This beautiful and hilarious pair are some of mine and Andy’s best mates (see if you can spot us in the pics, Andy has somewhat of a lead role!) so we got to experience this super fun day first-hand. Furthermore, this weekend marks Russell and Kate’s first wedding anniversary, so we’re sending big love and congratulations their way by reliving their amazing celebrations.
Hand on heart the most fun we’ve ever had at a wedding – and perhaps down to Russell and Kate’s relaxed and carefree approach to both the planning and the big day itself. This resulted in a beautifully personal ceremony, complete with a sip of rum, a sun-drenched street party drinks reception (the weather sure was a whole lot different this time last year!) and one epic wedding reception at a cool warehouse venue.
You only have to look at these images to see how much fun, laughter and love filled the day – thankfully it was worth my two-day hangover and injured ankle – as Kate puts it “it was like the best night out – ever!”
So, let’s get the party started…
With images by Ellie Grace Photography.
kate says: We got engaged in Richmond Park, London, in May 2016. The park is famous for stags and it was fawn season, so we went to look at the little fellas. Russell was trying to get me to sit down, but I was larking around with branches pretending to be a stag and he was getting stroppy at me, which is unlike him, so I knew something was up. I eventually sat down and he proposed by asking “Do you want to make this forever” which is uncharacteristically romantic for Russell so I had to say yes!
Our wedding day was 25th March 2017. We picked this date because it was International weekend, which means Sheffield Wednesday were definitely not playing. We are both big football fans (as are the majority of our friends) so we couldn’t miss a match for something as trivial as our wedding.
We had our wedding ceremony at 99 Mary St. in Sheffield. We saw the venue on Instagram and just loved the exposed brick and hanging lighting. We had a humanist ceremony and made our vows really personal. It included readings from our friends and funny memories we both share. We wanted to make the day fun and not too sentimental and the ceremony was just perfect for that. We cannot recommend our celebrant Daniel Glastonbury enough, he wrote our service so perfectly. As part of the proceedings we also had a rum drinking ceremony, which was supposed to represent the bond we share, but really it was an excuse to get the party started!
We didn’t intentionally choose a theme but with the venues that we picked, a theme organically occurred as a kind of urban meets foliage mash up.
Overall, we just wanted the wedding to be relaxed and fun – not too over styled. With lots of greenery!
I know nothing about flowers but love the outdoors so decided to stick with foliage/green colour scheme mixed in with natural tones.
When it came to my dress, I didn’t go to any shops to try on as I’m not really that girly, so instead I bought my dress online from Monsoon. I didn’t want anything too big, or frilly, or heavy but knew I wanted a fitted long-sleeved dress because, let’s face it, Sheffield in March isn’t going to be that warm. It was the first and only dress I tried on and it fitted perfectly so I kept it!
Russell wore a tweed suit and waistcoat from Next. Again, this was the only suit he tried on and he bought it online. It did take him months however, to decide on what tie to wear. The biscuit tweed unintentionally really fit in with the venue styling! The groomsmen also went for the same Next suits but had different ties to mix it up a bit.
I wanted my bridesmaids to be comfortable more than anything (and warm) so I decided on long tulle skirts in sage green from BHLDN and cashmere jumpers. As one of my bridesmaids is 6ft and the other is 5ft 2 it would have been hard to find a dress that would have suited both of them.
For mine and my bridesmaids’ hair and makeup we hired Julia Jeckell, who came to our hotel in the morning to help us get ready. It was a really chilled out and fun morning and the hair and makeup was exactly how we imagined, if not better. My hair was my dream hair!
Once ready, my bridesmaid’s partner kindly took us to the ceremony venue and secretly contacted my florist to organise matching flowers to decorate the car, which was really sweet. We ended up 20 minutes late to the wedding thanks to the ridiculous road works and one-way diversions in Sheffield. We actually ended up back at the hotel 15 minutes after setting off!
To get between the ceremony and reception venues we hired a vintage bus from the South Yorkshire Transport Museum. Luckily the journey wasn’t that far, but there was enough time for a few football songs on the way!
Our photographer was Ellie Grace who we thoroughly recommend. She captured some excellent shots of everyone looking like they had the best day ever! I think we only hired Ellie up to the first dance, but we invited her to stay later and join in the party, to which she gladly obliged!
Our flowers were from Campbell’s Flowers. I had an unstructured asymmetric mainly foliage bouquet and the bridesmaids had similar but slightly smaller arrangements.
For the ceremony venue Campbell’s hung single large leaves/stems from the ceiling along with festoon lights which looked amazing. They also provided moss bowls and succulents for the ledges as well as candles and other decorative items.
We had a wedding planner for our day, so Flick at Inner City Weddings did all of the other decorating for us. She used local suppliers who handmade wooden and steel candle holders for us. Campbell’s Flowers and Wildwood Paper also collaborated to do some live wall art (leaf mural) in the warehouse too, which looked really cool!
We weren’t going to do favours, but then I had a brainwave of mini Jagers. Who doesn’t like mini Jagers?! I think they went down really well.
Russell’s mum kindly volunteered to make our wedding cake. She made a three-tiered naked cake with a chocolate, citrus, and Victoria sponge layers decorated with strawberries, blueberries and figures. It looked so much better than we ever expected. Thank you Russell’s mum!
We also got a crate of doughnuts from Upshot Espresso so there was enough dessert to go around. We opted for two flavours; rhubarb and custard and triple chocolate. Because double chocolate is never enough.
For the main meal, we went for a Tuscan menu by caterers Homemade by Thelma’s. There were sharing plates of breads and cheese and salads to start and a Tuscan bake for main. We had lots of nice comments from guests who really enjoyed the food. It wasn’t too heavy, so nobody had an excuse for not dancing!
Entertainment-wise, we booked a band from Leeds called The Empire States for the drinks reception after the ceremony. They have a banjo and do awesome covers of pop songs. Luckily (and rarely) the sun was shining on the day, so they were able to set up outside in the sun and we had an impromptu street party!
The evening entertainment was provided by DJ, Mark Hepworth, of Hi-Life Entertainment. He was recommended through a friend and was brilliant. We completed an in-depth questionnaire before the day and he built an amazing indie playlist around that, resulting in a full dancefloor all night!
After our wedding, we would definitely recommend both our chosen venues to other couples. Jon and Nick at 99 Mary St. were a pleasure to deal with and made the whole planning process really smooth. The warehouse is the perfect party venue (as we’d hoped) with plenty of space for crazy dance moves!
There were so many highlights to our day, where to start! We know it sounds cheesy but just being surrounded by all our friends and family and dancing the night away was the best bit. From the first dance to the last, the dancefloor was never empty. It was like the best night out ever!
We went to Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand for our honeymoon the Monday after the wedding. We had an amazing time exploring the countries and eating all the food we could. We crammed in as much as possible, so it wasn’t the most relaxing break ever! The people are so friendly, and the landscapes are beautiful. We fell in love with that part of the world. Take us back!
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to get a wedding planner! We live in London so with having a wedding in Sheffield it made sense to get a planner. We used Flick at Inner City Weddings who has loads of amazing local contacts, so all of our suppliers were local, and we definitely made the most of the Sheffield creative talent pool. Organising a wedding is supposed to be the most stressful period of life, but honestly it was a breeze! Flick did everything. It was kind of fun!