One of our favourite northern cities, Sheffield, provides the chic industrial backdrop to today’s real wedding and we think you’re going to be crushing on it as much as we are!
Say hello to Amy and Matthew who tied the knot last November, celebrating in style at the fabulous Trafalgar Warehouse.
Bringing those magical wintery vibes to life, the couple injected lots of charm into their day with foliage on the tables, gold and white glittery branches dotted around the venue and gold sparkly bridesmaid dresses. All very glam!
Then there’s the most eclectic entertainment we’ve ever seen – after dinner cocktails and jazz music offset by a surprise Les Miserables flash mob (the couple’s favourite musical, in case you’re wondering) and a special Irish dance performance, featuring a friend who starred in Riverdance no less!
With images by Ellie Grace Photography
Amy says: We got engaged on New Year’s Eve 2016 in Sydney, Australia. We were visiting Matthew’s sister Rachael and her now husband Joe who live out there. Matt had planned to take me to a beautiful viewpoint and propose at sunset but New Year’s Eve in Sydney is full of people in high vis jackets demanding tickets for anywhere with a view so that plan was thwarted! He ended up doing it on a little beach where we were having a picnic, it still had a reasonable view of the bridge and the Opera House! He did it just before the fireworks, it was so lovely and we got to spend the evening with Rachael and Joe with lots of food and wine to celebrate the new year as well as the engagement!
We got married on 17th November 2018. We wanted a winter wedding and thought it would be good to do it before the festive season kicked in, so November was the perfect month. We had decided to give ourselves plenty of time to plan it in a very relaxed way which is why we went for 2018.
We got married at St Marie’s Cathedral in Sheffield and the reception was at Trafalgar Warehouse, also in Sheffield. We liked the idea of a city centre wedding and we met at Sheffield University in 2009 so loved the thought of getting married there! We live in Manchester and did look there but couldn’t find anything quite right so this just seemed like the perfect option.
We liked that Trafalgar was industrial and had its own character but that there was scope to add our own touches.
Matthew’s family are Catholic which is why we chose the cathedral. We were married by two of their family friends which made it very personal and extra special. Their names are Canon Paul Bridle and Canon Michael Cleary.
We styled the wedding loosely on ‘winter in the woods’ (because our new joint surname is Woods and the wedding was in the winter!) and we wanted to bring the outdoors in.
My dad made us 16 hanging planter boxes that our florist Tracey from Campbell’s Flowers, filled with foliage and white flowers and we topped this off with fairy lights. My dad and brother-in-law spent hours the day before the wedding hanging all the boxes from the ceiling at the warehouse!
We had lots of foliage on the tables, gold and white glittery branches around and my bridesmaids wore gold sparkly dresses, which added to the magical winter feel.
We lined the corridor with lots of church candles and lanterns and some ivy. I really wanted the corridor to look amazing when people first walked in from the street.
Our caterers had their street food van in the warehouse and where they were heating up the food there was a tiny bit of smoke above the crowd and I remember thinking it looked almost misty when I first walked in which looked amazing with the twinkly lights we had.
There wasn’t really one colour scheme but golds, greens and whites all featured heavily.
I bought my dress from Isaac Charles outlet store in Cheshire and the designer was David Tutera. I liked that the dress had a big satin skirt and a little bit of sparkle on the body without being too much. I didn’t feel like it was over the top, but I definitely felt like a bride and I loved the size of the skirt as I don’t have many reasons to wear something of that size!
Matt and his groomsmen wore three-piece tweed suits by Mark Darcy and their ties were by William Morris. Both were bought from Tweed and Groom in Elsecar near Barnsley, who were fantastic. Matt went over a couple of times with his dad and then the groomsmen to try on the suits and he has nothing but praise for them. The suits are such fantastic quality and around the same price as a basic suit hire so we bought them for the groomsmen as a thank you present.
The bridesmaids all wore gold sequin dresses from boutique.com.
For our hair and makeup I booked Jenn Edwards and Co, based in Sheffield. The team are so lovely, and it was great fun to go for my trial and have them there on the morning. I had nine bridesmaids so they had their hands full!
We travelled in a VW Camper van from VW Big Day. We hired a camper van a few years ago and drove it along the Great Ocean Road in Australia and loved it, so we thought this was fitting!
We had Ellie Grace Photography and we would absolutely recommend her. She is so lovely, when we saw her website we knew she was the one for us. She was wonderful to have around on the day and she even got stuck in helping the groomsmen with their ties in the morning. She made the photo shoot so relaxed and enjoyable and even came and found us throughout the evening for a couple of extra posed shots she’d thought of. We adore all the pictures – and her!
We had Pat from Quaint Weddings and absolutely love the videos – we would totally recommend him too. He really captured the spirit of the day and put all the shots together so beautifully. Again, he was so lovely but after the time he spent with us when we were getting ready, we didn’t really notice him again until he came and said goodbye which was great (no offence to Pat of course).
I knew I definitely only wanted white flowers but with lots of green and foliage and Tracey from Campbell’s did such an amazing job with the bouquets. We met a few times and had lots of contact over email and she really listened to our ideas and the outcome of the decoration and bouquets was beautiful.
For the styling we also had lots of help from family; dad and brother-in-law, who did the hanging boxes and my sister and mum helped me pick up little sparkly bits to finish the decoration off. We also worked with Inner City Weddings who provided and set up the amazing tables and mixed vintage chairs, they worked so well in the space. The team at Inner City also finished setting up for us on the morning of the wedding and helped the team at Trafalgar on the day.
One of my friends is a graphic designer and she designed the invites, table plan and menus. She used a silhouette of me and Matthew in a wintry setting. We absolutely loved it; it was so personal.
We got lottery favours from East Cheshire Hospice, they also provided the place settings. They used the design from our invites so they looked great and everyone loved the lottery ticket although sadly I don’t think anyone won anything. The charity is close to my heart, so it was nice to know the money went to helping them run the hospice as they don’t get a lot of government funding and rely so heavily on supporter fundraising.
We had a cake from The Depot Bakery in Sheffield and it was delicious (although we forgot to cut it on the night!). It had two vanilla sponge layers and one orange and cardamom, all with vanilla icing.
We had seen Mr and Mrs pinecones cake toppers on Pinterest but we decided we could make our own so we ordered a big box of pinecones online and we picked out two for the cake topper and used the rest to scatter on the dessert table. We bought a little black hat from eBay and used a tiny black bow for Matthew and I used an old ring I had and a tiny piece of my wedding dress underskirt as a veil to make me. They’re so adorable that we’re going to display them in our house somewhere!
We used Smokin Blues for our food and it was incredible. Morgan and Kate who run it are so lovely and the staff they brought on the day were wonderful.
For canapés we had pressed pork cheeks, gin cured salmon, mac and cheese balls, seared steak, mushroom tostada and jerk chicken tostada. We decided against a starter because our main was so hearty and filling! We had barbecue sharing platters that included Texas beef brisket, garlic and thyme boneless chicken thighs and pulled pork and we had sides of chipotle and coriander ‘slaw, Mexican green bean salad, skin on fries and mac n cheese.
Neither of us got to eat as much as we wanted on the day but we’ve had so many compliments on the food and luckily we’d been able to try most of it before the day (we didn’t try it all before but from what we had tried we knew anything they did would be fabulous!).
Then for dessert we had brownies made by my little brother and people claim they are the best brownies they’ve ever tasted, so he was pleased with that! We also got some macaroons from Costco and had tea, coffee and biscuits supplied by Mrs Potts Tea and Coffee service.
We also did after dinner cocktails which went down very well! We had an Espresso Martini and a Bourbon Brittle which the bar team at Trafalgar Warehouse did a great job of making up for us.
We travelled over to France to get our wines through Majestic Wine, they have a warehouse near the port in Calais and the wines are a little cheaper there so we made a weekend of it, we borrowed Matt’s mum’s car, got the Eurotunnel and returned with a car full of wine and prosecco!
For evening food we just got a three tiered pork pie from Marks & Spencer and lots of incredible cheese from Sheffield Cheesemasters and some nice crusty bread, crackers and chutneys. We had some leftover, so we happily munched on that for the week after. The team at Sheffield Cheesemasters were so friendly, they invite couples to their shop to do a tour and tasting before ordering which was a lot of fun.
We had an amazing jazz couple for the reception called Jelly Sours and then a two-piece band called The Live Lounge Duo. We saw both of them playing live in bars in Manchester and loved them both. The Live Lounge Duo do the most amazing covers, they have so many in their portfolio and know how to keep the crowd on their feet throughout their sets. We also used their recommended DJ who filled the slots between their sets and played until the end of the night, again he knew how to keep the crowd up and dancing all night long!
We both absolutely love the musical Les Miserables and so do a lot of our friends. We’d looked into hiring a professional flash mob when we first got engaged but it was so expensive. We have a couple of friends who are very good singers so as a surprise for Matt we organised a flash mob of the song One Day More, I’m a terrible singer so I didn’t give myself a part I just joined the chorus at the end and waved a giant French flag! The whole performance was incredible.
Pat at Quaint did a separate video for us just of this and the looks on the faces around the room are brilliant and I think everyone loved it, including Matt!
Also, Matt used to Irish dance when he was younger, so I also asked his two sisters Rachael and Siobhan, who also used to dance and their family friend Sean, to put something together as another surprise! They were all amazing, Sean used to be in Riverdance so it was great to have him involved and they got me and Matt to join in so that was a lot of fun! I’m terrible but Matt can still manage a pretty high kick (see the pictures for evidence!). Everyone involved in the flash mob and the dancing put so much effort into rehearsing and coordinating, we felt truly honoured that they cared so much, and both performances really made the day extra special.
Trafalgar Warehouse is a great space; you can leave it quite bare and utilise the industrial feel, or you can fill it with decoration to get your desired theme. The bar team at Trafalgar were great, they made us some delicious cocktails and people commented on how friendly they were on the night.
We both absolutely loved the flash mob and Irish dancing, so I think I’d have to say those! Closely followed by the fact we got married, of course!
We really spoilt ourselves with a year-long travelling honeymoon! We started in Columbia in December 2018 and we worked our way through South America finishing in Argentina in May 2019. We’re then home for a couple of months for one of Matt’s groomsmen’s wedding and we’ve got some stag and hen dos then we’re flying to South Korea in July and plan to visit Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia and The Philippines and finish up visiting Rachael and Joe again in Australia!
We really enjoyed the relaxed approach we took to the wedding so that would be my top tip to other Brides Up North – even if you have less time than we did, still make sure you relax and enjoy the planning process.
During the planning I used the Brides Up North website to look at real wedding features and I went to the wedding fair at Capesthorne Hall, too which was a great day out!