Real Weddings

A Red Wedding Dress for a Romantic December Wedding at Ashton Memorial – Suzy and Alex

24th February 2021 | Alexis Forsyth

Today on the blog we’re sharing a beautiful intimate winter’s wedding featuring just 11 guests and showing you that it is possible to arrange a gorgeous wedding in a matter of days, without losing those beautiful, sentimental touches.

Tying the knot at Ashton Memorial in Lancaster, Suzy and Alex had to rearrange their wedding due to covid, shifting their bonfire extravaganza to a wintry December date. They managed to arrange everything in just one week and we can’t fully express just how impressed we are by this feat. But as we’ve all learned throughout this pandemic, sometimes time is of the essence!

It may have been a swift planning process but the couple didn’t compromise one bit. As wedding photographers themselves, the couple knew exactly what they wanted for their special day – and breaking from tradition, Suzy swapped classic white for a fabulous red dress paired with a cosy shrug and sparkly black socks! We’ve never seen anything quite so daring and utterly unique to grace a wedding aisle. It was perfect.

Fancy seeing all the photos for yourself? Let’s hand the blog over to Suzy for all the wonderful deets!

With images by Madison Picture

Proposal

Suzy says: We were witnesses for our friends’ small legal ceremony before their big wedding celebration in France last year. In the car on the way home, we had the windows rolled down, sunshine blaring in and music up loud. We were chatting about how lovely it was that our best friends had just got married and it sparked the conversation “shall we go for it and set a date?”. That was it! We’d been together for nine years at this point.

Setting

Our wedding took place at Ashton Memorial, situated in Williamson Park. Alex and I met at Lancaster University and we went on one of our first dates at Williamson Park, so the location was very special to us. It boasts gorgeous views across Lancaster and out towards the sea and the Lake District.

We had originally planned to tie the knot on 7th November 2020 as this was bonfire weekend and Ashton Memorial has the perfect view of Lancaster’s fireworks display. Unfortunately, due to covid, the fireworks were cancelled and then two days before our wedding, that had to be cancelled too due to Lockdown 2.0.

During the second lockdown, we were waiting to hear about the tiered systems and then got in touch with the venue and registrars 10 days before our new wedding date – 5th December 2020. It was all systems go and we planned the whole thing in just over a week!

We were lucky to have sunshine all day and as there was such a clear sky; you could see snow on the hills in the distance.

Theme

We wanted an autumnal theme because our wedding was going to be in early November. When it was postponed to December, we kept the autumnal bouquet and buttonholes.

I had no idea that our wedding plans would change so drastically.

Dress

My dress was red! We are wedding photographers and so have been to over 250 weddings. I’ve seen so many white wedding dresses and decided a long time ago that I would want to wear something different for my own wedding.

I bought it from a prom dress shop in Culcheth in February, before the first lockdown, and after trying on three red dresses, I chose the second one. It was the first dress shop I went to!

I wore sparkly high heels from New Look with sparkly black socks to keep my feet warm. I combined this with a warm shrug that my Mum had bought from Amazon.

Groom

Alex wore trousers from Suitsupply, paired with a shirt from Private White VC, a Hugo Boss suit and Timberland shoes.

Beauty

I did my own hair and makeup on the day.

Transport

We had to travel here, there and everywhere! Our wedding venue was in Tier 3 so all the hotels were closed. We decided to stay the night before in Cumbria which was Tier 2 and then after the ceremony and drinks outside (we weren’t allowed to eat or drink inside due to Tier 3 restrictions), we all drove to Yorkshire for a meal at The Royal Hotel in Kirkby Lonsdale. We booked separate tables and didn’t tell them we were there for a wedding. But they soon found out and were so lovely, letting us take some photos next to the Christmas tree and then giving me and Alex a bottle of fizz as we were leaving.

Photographer

Madison Picture captured our day. We met Paul and Nick at another wedding we were working at a few years ago. Like myself and Alex, Madison are both photographers and musicians!

On the day, they were beyond amazing – so professional and relaxed, capturing everything so beautifully. They were really fun to hang out with, and during our ‘wedding meal’, they edited some previews for us to take a peek at. That very evening, they released 30 previews – we LOVED them all and it made our wedding day extra special to sit, all cosy by the fire in our mini moon cottage, and look through the amazing sneak peeks.

Nick edited our wedding photos in less than a week. The video of our ceremony was an added extra which we are so happy with, as we were able to send it to family and friends who couldn’t be there on the day due to Covid-19.

There was one photo I had dreamed of since we photographed a wedding at the Ashton Memorial back in 2014 – a shot of the whole building with us standing on the steps. Nick and Paul took the shot and then showed us the back of the camera there and then – I was so happy! The photo was better than I had imagined, and we’re going to get a huge print of that shot to put on our wall.

In the lead up to our wedding, with so much uncertainty about whether it would even go ahead, Nick was brilliant at keeping in touch and reassuring us that he would be there on the day. We had a great phone call with him a few days before the wedding and it felt like we had known him for ages.

Shooting the wedding of two wedding photographers must be a little daunting, but these guys absolutely smashed it and we couldn’t be happier with the photos!

Videographer

Madison Picture set up a camera on a tripod and recorded the ceremony for us, too.

Styling

Charlotte from The Flower Shop in Clitheroe provided our flowers.

Favours

We gave Christmas tree robin decorations to each of our 11 guests, from John Lewis.

We also gave everyone a goodie bag on the day which included snacks, drinks and hand warmers!

Special touch

As a special touch, we got a red bow for our dog Sydney which was made by the seamstress who altered my wedding dress, from A C Fashion World in Olney, as it was far too long!

Best bit

The ceremony was my personal highlight. We forgot everything covid related and we were just there in the moment. It was very emotional!

Honeymoon

My Mum surprised us with a mystery cottage for our honeymoon which was our wedding present. We found out where it was the evening before our wedding – she presented it to us in a golden envelope. We stayed in Cotterdale, in the Yorkshire Dales in a gorgeous cottage with a log burner. It was perfect.

Advice

You can plan a wedding in one week! As long as you’ve got something to wear and the rings have arrived, the rest is easy.

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