Over the past 12 months, we’ve been completely blown away by couples’ resilience to make their wedding day happen despite the ever-changing restrictions posed by the pandemic. And the determined duo taking to the blog spotlight today provide yet another shining example of this can-do attitude.
Yorkshire couple Paul and Samantha, had originally planned for a relatively small wedding but had to scale back their guest numbers even further, to just 15, in order for their December 2020 wedding to go ahead.
Putting their original plans aside and focusing on the core reasons for getting married resulted in a “perfect day”, that the couple now say they would do all over again, even with the restrictions in place!
Hearing the details of their nuptials from Sam, we can totally understand why. The couple still married in their venue of choice with their nearest and dearest present, and additional guests that couldn’t be there in person turning up via Zoom. There was live music, cool transport and a bottle of bubbly for the newlyweds who then continued their celebrations at home. We’ll let Sam fill us in on all the emotive details now, but we have to say the image of them having their first dance under the stars made us teary. So, so special!
With images by Weddings with Brendan
Samantha says: We got engaged in Chester on 14th December 2019. We went to a Christmas market for the weekend, and unbeknown to me Paul was planning to ask me to marry him. He had hoped to do it under the Christmas tree in the city centre, but he said when we got there it looked disappointing so he panicked and didn’t know where to do it. We ended up outside the cathedral where there was a big lit-up star; he asked if I had a Christmas wish and then got down on one knee!
Our wedding date was 19th December 2020. We wanted a Christmas wedding. This date was also my late grandad’s birthday, so it felt right to choose it when it was available at our chosen venue – 99 Mary Street, in Sheffield.
We were planning a relatively small wedding despite Covid, but we wanted something a little different, and we just fell in love with the décor of Mary Street – urban industrial yet magical all in one.
Getting the guest list down to 15 for the day was quite a challenge, especially as I’m a triplet and have a younger brother too.
Our reception is booked for the weekend of our first wedding anniversary, later this year.
We were very relaxed about it all though there were some personal touches. Paul is from Sheffield so Henderson’s Relish was a feature in our décor for the day. He’s also a Sheffield United football fan whilst I’m a Barnsley FC season ticket holder. As such, I walked down the aisle to Annie’s Song by John Denver, which is well known by the Bramall Lane faithful supporters (SUFC) albeit a much nicer version of the song!
We didn’t have a set colour scheme but picked grey for the bridesmaid dresses, which is one of our favourite colours. We tried to keep everything in harmony with the venue and let our stylist, UNVEILED Network Member Mae Dae Weddings & Events, take charge of that.
I had two dresses! My original for the ceremony was from a local dress designer, Angel Couture by Kay Heeley, who was just amazing! The design was a beautiful sheer bodice with floral lace, soft tulle and layers of petticoats delicately embroidered with lace motifs. I also wore a pair of beautiful Valentino ‘Rockstud’ heels – my dream shoes!
Kay also gifted me a beautiful gown for when we got home so I could be more relaxed but still feel like a bride! It was a crepe halter neck fitted gown, very Meghan Markle evening party style! I’ll wear my dresses again at our blessing and reception later this year.
Paul wore an oatmeal suit with a Burberry tie and belt accessories.
Both bridesmaids wore beautiful gowns from Angel Couture.
Our hair was taken care of by Wedding Hair by Rachel, from West Yorkshire, and makeup was by Jo Crookes Makeup Artist (a family friend who doesn’t usually cover weddings!).
Our transport was a California VW camper van from Mae Dae Weddings & Events, based in Barnsley.
Brendan Clayton, of Weddings with Brendan, was both our photographer and videographer. He was great, very relaxed and captured the magic of our day perfectly. He took the time before the wedding to understand our needs and know what photography style we like and were comfortable with.
Mae Dae Weddings & Events did my flowers and the venue styling. I carried a simple bouquet of white roses and carnations with soft green tones. A winter bouquet – “elegant” was my request!
Styling-wise, we asked for a mix of candles and flowers to match the feel of the venue and again left this to Mae Day. Soft colours and a warm glow to create an intimate and magical ambience was what we wanted to achieve.
Our favours were facemasks! We had our wedding invitation design – a crest – printed on to them so that everyone was matching!
Our original wedding cake should have been pork pie and cheese, but due to the reception restrictions, we couldn’t have it.
We’d also originally booked Kelly’s Cakes & Cupcakes in Oughtibridge, to make cupcakes boxed as favours for our guests, so instead, she turned this into a beautiful semi-naked lemon cake for us with layers of lemon curd and cream. It had our own personalised wooden cake topper and a sprig of holly for decoration!
Again, due to the restrictions, we couldn’t have a wedding breakfast. Instead, we had a bottle of champagne in the VW Camper in between photos after the guests had left. Then, later in the day, we had a beautiful three-course meal delivered by The Bionic Chef to our home. They even sent a bottle of wine and a wedding card to us, which was very sweet!
A friend of ours also collected a ‘North Pole’ afternoon tea treat box for the children to enjoy from a lovely little tea room called The Twisted Teapot in Barnsley. Finally, in the evening, a local bar/restaurant sent a mixologist to deliver cocktails for us to enjoy.
Originally we had a range of local musicians booked to play at various parts of the day, but this had to change. However, Georgie Harrison was still able to perform at our ceremony, which was just beautiful. She sang me down the aisle as well as for the signing of the register and then back up the aisle.
In the evening, Jake Woodhams, a local performer set up outside our house to perform our first dance song acoustically – it was a perfect end to the day! Neighbours stood outside with a glass of fizz, and we danced under the moonlight (well, floodlights too!).
Given the restrictions, we tried to focus on the positives of becoming husband and wife! We couldn’t have our original day, but in many ways, it was simply perfect.
For our ceremony, we had our guests who couldn’t be there on Zoom so that they could watch and still feel part of it. Also, my sister had put together a video of messages, which they had put up after the ceremony on a big screen for us to watch – it was quite emotional and captured on video too!
We would absolutely recommend 99 Mary Street to other couples! The most amazing, relaxed and stunning venue! Nik and Jon, the owners, were brilliant, so chilled yet so accommodating and worked with us through plan A to plan Z, with all of the changes due to Covid! We can’t wait to return for our party this year!
The pandemic has hit everyone hard, but all our suppliers went above and beyond to make sure our day happened and was special. We cannot thank everyone enough for making it happen – it honestly felt perfect.
I loved it all, but I think spending quality time with each other after we became husband and wife was something to treasure.
We had originally booked to go to Barbados, but that was cancelled due to Covid. We then booked a cliffside stay in Cornwall as a minimoon, but again that was cancelled due to restrictions on travel and tier systems.
As soon as the restrictions ease, we plan to go on a minimoon and then honeymoon after our reception later this year.
Focus on the reason for getting married. As soon as we let go of the plans, we had originally and focused on becoming husband and wife, it became a perfect day, and we loved every minute. We wouldn’t hesitate in doing it all over again, even with the restrictions we had!
During the planning of our wedding, I loved reading the real wedding and inspiration posts on Brides Up North, which gave me ideas for my dress and flowers!