It’s out with formalities and in with personalities as we celebrate Vicki and Tom’s fabulous city-based big day on the blog!
This real wedding is a true lesson in individuality and doing things in your own personal style as a couple. This cool duo tied the knot slap bang in the centre of Liverpool, surrounded by inspiring and iconic landmarks to make sure no one could forget it!
We’re crushing hard on Vicki’s stunning Catherine Deane two piece with beading galore, and love that she’s teamed it with a traditional veil AND a less-traditional, amazing white faux leather jacket!
Follow us from the intimate ceremony at The Royal Liver Building to that gorgeous rooftop terrace at the reception venue, and fall in love with the extra jazzy touches of handmade neon lights and the sparklers for evening guests to celebrate the happy couple as they begin their own ‘happily ever after’…
With photography by Lisa Howard Photography
Vicky says: We got engaged in Florence two years ago, on my 30th Birthday. We had booked a weekend break to celebrate and were staying in a fabulously Italian AirBnB, with a balcony overlooking the famous domes. We were out on the balcony enjoying pre-dinner drinks, and just as we were about to leave, Tom got down on one knee and popped the question. He used a family ring, which had three diamonds in a row, apparently a way to express ‘I love you’.
We picked 14th March 2020. We knew we wanted to get married in spring and it was the first available Saturday of the season. The ceremony was held at The Venue at The Royal Liver Building, Liverpool. The Liver Building is so iconic so we jumped at the chance to have our ceremony there, in the majestic setting with panoramic views over the Mersey. We arranged a finger buffet for the 40 guests and had family group photos taken here. There was also the traditional confetti shot in the foyer, with personalised confetti boxes handed to all the guests, as well as a couple of confetti cannons.
Then we moved onto the reception at Oh Me Oh My in Liverpool. I have always loved this venue, and was a regular at their ‘secret’ events and afternoon teas. We wanted an event space that was classy but informal and one where we could have fun adding our own touches. It was perfect! Also, it’s just across the road from the Liver Building, so it seemed an obvious choice. We walked to the reception, stopping to have some outdoor photos with Liverpool Landmarks along the way. We also really liked the idea of the informal mezzanine balcony for chilling out, and the amazing roof bar and terrace which gives a great view of the Liver Building, the river and The Strand. We had a big bucket of sparklers for our guests to play about with and take photos, and everybody seemed to enjoy that and have fun up there.
We tried not to have too much of a formal theme. We just wanted to be true to our eclectic tastes, to choose decorations and adornments that we liked. We were so happy with how the venue turned out. The bright florals against the gold charger plates and fairy lights gave the space a warm, romantic feel, and there were also a few vintage touches.
We wanted it to be very colourful with splashes of gold. We love colour and I asked for yellow, bright pink and peach in my bouquet. We then made sure these colours were reflected in all our decorations, wedding stationery, table plan, individual menus, photo backdrops etc to tie everything together.
I chose an ivory pearl top and crepe skirt both from the Catherine Deane bridal collection, London, I am known for my love of pearls, and the top was very me. I chose the Les skirt to compliment it but had a split put in the side to it to give it some edge. I hadn’t felt comfortable in any traditional dresses so I was thrilled to find a skirt and top combination I loved.. I was introduced to the Catherine Deane collection at Flamingo Boulevard. If you want something a bit different – boho, vintage, modern – I would highly recommend a visit,
I added a Y.A.S croc effect leather jacket from ASOS to complete the look and give a bit of protection against the elements for the outside shots. This, together with a veil from the Catherine Deane collection, gave a variety of different looks for the photos.
As Tom is 6ft 7in he struggles to find well-fitting suits off the peg. As such, he treated himself to a bespoke, made to measure three piece suit, blue with grey waistcoat, from Suitsupply, London. They even embroided the date of the wedding on the inside of the collar. His tie and pocket square were from Hawes & Curtis and his shoes from Barker. He didn’t mind spending a bit more for the wedding as he can wear it all again!!
The two groomsmen wore their own navy suits and tan shoes. We got them the same tie and cufflinks to match Tom’s.
My little sister, Briony, was my bridesmaid/maid of honour, She wore a very flattering emerald green bardot pleated maxi dress from Silk Fred.
Nicola Joyce Hair and Makeup. She was amazing and completely smashed the brief. My mum and sister were also thrilled with how she transformed them. She enhanced all our best features whilst keeping it all natural looking. She had tried various hair styles in my trial session and did it perfectly on the day.
My dad drove me over from the Wirral. In keeping with the ‘informal’ theme, I didn’t book official cars as I wanted to keep the morning relaxed and just leave when I was ready! Dad dropped me off at the famous Beatle statue on the Liverpool waterfront where Tom and I had arranged to meet for the first ‘reveal’ photo. I had never wanted to do a traditional walk down the aisle, so it was nice to capture the moment away from any crowds. Thanks to Lisa for suggesting it.
Lisa Howard took our photographs. Lisa regularly shoots weddings in Liverpool and her experience showed. All the wedding photos we had seen and liked online were taken by her, so we hunted her down to book her. Lisa had her daughter assist on the day and together they were a dream team, capturing all the special moments and small details of the day without us really noticing that they were there snapping away. I couldn’t recommend her highly enough.
I absolutely LOVED my bouquet, especially the billy balls, which I am now obsessed with! I always wanted colourful flowers and they were just perfect. From a few Pinterest images, Angela and Jenna, from Flourish Flowers, were able to put together exactly what I had envisioned. I only wish I had pressed some to preserve the memory.
For the reception we had a mixture of round tables and long wooden rustic tables. On the round tables, we had central goblets of flowers, and on the long tables, and top table we had jars of flowers in a mixture of clear and teal glass bottles, with the addition of a chiffon table runner and a eucalyptus garland on the top table. We used the flowers from the top table at both venues.
We loved the idea of having a neon sign at the wedding and this became Tom’s wedding project! He made a copper frame, and we had a “Happily Ever After” sign made up to hang from it. My mum and her friend then added some floral decorations to complete the look. The sign is now hung above the fireplace in our bedroom. It was the backdrop for the ceremony and then was taken across the road and put behind us at the top table for the reception.
The addition of gold charger plates to the place settings was a last minute decision, and totally transformed the space. We visited a wedding fair at the venue with two weeks to go and as soon as I saw them, I knew I had to have them. I was able to hire some from an eBay seller and buy some more from a seller on Facebook Marketplace. They looked fantastic on the day, and really enriched the table settings.
We made the table numbers ourselves, finding some lovely gold feather circular frames at Primark, we put some pretty vintage paper in the frames and stuck on the gold wooden numbers on top of the glass. Very effective, we thought, for such little cost.
The venue came ready set with huge swathes of fairy lights, which were lovely. To complete the decorations, my mum made us 40 metres of bunting with a ‘botanical’ theme, from fabrics sourced from Spoonflower, incorporating the colours from my flowers, and this was draped across the balcony, down the spiral staircase banister, and between some of the pillars.
As there was an additional set of guests for the reception, on top of the family we had at the ceremony, we decided we needed somewhere to set up informal group photos with a few props. We decided to have our own bespoke photo backdrop printed onto vinyl using the flower colours and stating our names and the date of the wedding, in gold letters.
We also ordered an Instagram style frame that could be passed around during the evening to capture portraits with friends and family.
Hawthorne & Ivory did our wedding stationery, personalised menu cards, and seating plan in ‘Summer Floral’ design. They also did our thank you cards with a personalised portrait.
Prop-Me-Pretty provided giant tasselled orb balloons. We chose a pair of white balloons with tassel tails in blush pink, matte gold, ivory, white and burgundy. These were great photo props for both venues and we also took them outside for some street photos.
I always love looking at photos from real weddings on the Brides Up North site, as the emotion in everyone’s faces is so genuine. It is good to read all the details about what the bride chooses, and why, and where everything is from.
Our favours were single Lindt chocolate truffle hearts in Lindt favour boxes. Simple but effective, and unsurprisingly not many left behind at all when the tables were cleared!
My mum made the three-tier cake and my dad made the cake stand. My mum is a great baker so I was ecstatic when she offered to make our cake. It was a traditional rich fruit cake, baked in December and marinated with brandy several times as it matured, before being iced with marzipan and royal icing. The floral adornment was by Flourish Flowers to match the bouquet. We had personalised cake boxes for guests to take away and there was still plenty left for us to take home, where we are still eating it now!
My Dad made the cake stand/exhibition frame. He bent copper wire into a hexagon shape, sprayed it gold, and mounted it into a 4” larch slice. Mum decorated the stand with a eucalyptus garland and bought a bespoke metal heart cake topper from Etsy with our initials on it, and also decorated with eucalyptus.
We decided to opt for the sharing menu, as we loved the idea that guests could fill their plates with exactly what they wanted, as little or as much as they fancied! Dietary requirements were catered for separately.
We served a Greek mezze and English platters, followed by Moroccan spiced lamb shoulder with mint yoghurt, slow roast pork belly with apple compote, honey roasted root vegetables, parsley and herb buttered potatoes. Then dessert was dark chocolate brownies and salted caramel choux buns.
For the informal evening food we chose fish and chips and vegetarian curry.
We had an acoustic singer “a Guy called Greg” who did three sets throughout the day. One during the drinks reception, one during the meal, and a final upbeat set to welcome the evening guests. Tom approached him after we first saw him live and we knew we had to book him!
We had a DJ for the evening – Kevin from Bear Hug Events.
Absolutely Oh Me Oh My. It’s such a beautiful and impressive space, and it definitely has the wow factor, without being formal or over fancy. Our wedding coordinator, Danielle, was superb and the team did an amazing job of dressing the venue with all our bits and bobs on the day! They really know what they are doing. The food was delicious, plentiful, and raved about by all the guests.
Surprisingly, some of our favourite parts of the day were the parts with the formalities that we thought we would enjoy the least, namely the wedding ceremony and the first dance, which may sound odd. I had originally wanted a very private ceremony, as I am not one for being the centre of attention. The list of close family who we needed to invite ended up being quite large but the registrar did a really fabulous job of making the ceremony fun and relaxed, and I didn’t even notice anybody else was there!
At the reception, I wasn’t keen on doing a formal first dance, again because I don’t relish the attention. However, as we knew there would be no escape, we chose the classic Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong version of Cheek to Cheek and our 18 month old little boy, Jasper joined us for the second half of the song. It really was a special moment.
We had booked into Dormy House for a luxurious spa weekend ‘mini moon’ but, with the sudden government travel restrictions, unfortunately we had to postpone because of the Coronavirus crisis! Luckily we hadn’t booked our main honeymoon. Once the restrictions are lifted, we are looking forward to planning a luxury holiday to an exotic destination together with our son Jasper.
My advice would be not to stress about everything being perfect. Don’t worry about the weather, it can never be guaranteed. Get a trendy coat and fancy umbrellas, and if it rains you’ll rock it. Check out Facebook Marketplace for some bargains and have a go at making stuff yourself! Remember to have fun!