With so many of you still feeling the after-effects of Covid, we know this week’s real wedding will resonate – and, although it might not have been the sunny Cypriot celebration Anne-Marie and Wez had originally planned, it’s still turned out to be a picture-perfect day.
From Cyprus to Manchester, today’s happy couple have really made the most out of their change of plans and location, opting for a laid back day that suited their personalities, while still keeping some of their super summery attire and vibes aplenty.
Speaking of attire, Anne-Marie looked every inch the beautiful bride in her stunning Justin Alexander Sincerity Bridal gown of dreams. We’re in love with the intricate detailing, and it complemented their pretty, soft and romantic colour scheme, adding the perfect touch.
Let’s hear all about the process of planning, how it all came together and their retrospective best bits from the newlyweds themselves…
We got engaged in front of the Eiffel tower, at the end of a family holiday to Disney in August 2019. Wez had carried the engagement ring around in his bag the whole trip waiting for the best opportunity, which never really came. So he had to bite the bullet on the last day and get down on one knee. He asked one of our kids to take a picture of it, which worked out pretty well!
Our original wedding date was June 4th 2021 in Cyprus, which was booked and paid for before the pandemic hit. All looked pretty clear until the week before flying out, when Boris put Cyprus on the red travel list, so we had to cancel and plan a whole new wedding! This time our date was September 3rd, which we thought would be a safe date after all the covid restriction release dates were announced.
We eventually got married at the AJ Bell stadium. We are both massive rugby fans, and our family are season ticket holders for Sale Sharks, so it made sense.
The reception was at the Trafford Metrovicks. We viewed a number of locations and not only was the venue ideal for what we were looking for, but the host, Sara, was just the loveliest person we met and we genuinely wanted to give her our business over anyone else. We have had other functions at this venue since, purely based on just how amazing the team are there.
Our colour scheme was white with pastel green and pink, because we thought they would look really nice on the beach, especially with the beige suits. Also Wez is South African and their national flower is a Protea that is pink and green, so I had always planned to put this in the bouquet.
Theme-wise, we are both nerdy and very into ice hockey (we actually met at an ice hockey game!) and I’m a big lover of all things Disney, so with the help of my dad, we made our own ice hockey and Disney centrepieces, with nerdy touches to the cake and tables.
I wasn’t looking for a specific style, designer or fit but, when I saw the one I ended up choosing, I fell in love. The designer was Sincerity Bridal and was bought at Dress the Bride in Stockport. I loved it because it was lacy and the detail on the back was exquisite. The neckline and shape of the dress was flattering to my body shape.
With it being a supposed Cyprus beach wedding we had gone all linen, with shorts as he wears shorts all the time where he can. We then didn’t want to change it for the UK wedding, as the outfit was so him. The waistcoat and shorts were from ASOS. And a lime green Ralph Lauren shirt in line with the colour scheme. The groomsmen wore the same outfit as the groom, shorts and all, except with a white linen shirt to go with the wedding theme.
I booked Absolutely Flawless hair and makeup. The makeup artist was Nimra, and the hair stylist was Lauren. I met with both of them before the day and they both understood my vision and nailed it on the day.
My husband surprised me with an Audi limo, as I have a thing for Audis. It was hired from Platinum Limousines.
We had Nik Bryant Photography and he was the best. We’ve met and seen other wedding photographers in the past and at other weddings that we have been a part of, but Nik was amazing with everyone. He had such patience and amazing vision that we think we have the best wedding pictures we could’ve asked for.
I made the bouquets myself, with the Maid of Honour, on a girls night. Flowers were purchased from Country Baskets, and were made up of rustic style roses, peonies and a Protea.
We had balloons to go with the centrepieces we made, and a balloon arch over the top table. We used a local company called One Stop Party. They took care of everything including chair covers and tablecloths.
Vogue Venue Styling did our slushie machine, which went down a treat, and JRB designs did our table designs and wedding invitations. Elite Party and Event Hire provided our picture mirror and sweetie cart.
We gave out scratch cards to all of the adults, and sweets and activity sheets to the kids. As well as personalised Lego figurines for everyone. These acted as name card holders too
We used Mel’s Cakes in Preston as we have used her previously for other occasions and always been incredibly satisfied with her amazing work. We had three cakes, to cater for our vegan and gluten free guests. The main cake was a three tier cake with all things nerdy integrated into the design. She also made an edible us for the cake topper, with Wez in his hockey kit.
The food was tough with so many dietary requirements, but Thyme and Season absolutely nailed it and made it so easy for us in the end.
The options for our guests were leek and potato soup, four cheese tartlets with Roquefort, smoked Wensleydale, mozzarella and parmesan with mango compote. Mains were a choice of roasted chicken herb crusted chicken breast served with a smoked bacon and mushroom velouté sauce or a grilled tagine grilled aubergines, cooked with lemon, coriander and toasted flaked almonds and bound in a tomato pepper sauce. Desserts were apple crumble, creme brulee, berries and melon fruit salad.
Then KK Catering were our kebab van for our evening guests. They were amazing and just lovely people.
We had made friends with Tom Hardwick, a DJ that played one of our regular nights out so he was already aware of what kind of music we liked. When we saw he also did weddings and parties as well, it was a no-brainer. The feedback we got from all of our guests about the music and how much fun they had just backed up that we hired the right person!
We also had a great magician called Paul Grundle that we had met at a previous wedding and kept his card for years just in case we could ever use him. A very funny guy as well as a talented magician!
And finally, we had to have some stuff to keep the kids entertained, so we had a bouncy castle, sweetie cart, slushie machine (with alcoholic and non-alcoholic slushies) and a photo mirror!
The team at Trafford Metrovick. Sara took care of everything and was a joy to work with, and on the day they just looked after us so much. She really made the whole experience an enjoyable one. We’ve used them since for other functions and it has been the same each time.
Nik Bryant Photography was amazing and really captured the day perfectly. Tom Hardwick, our DJ, catered for everyone, whilst making sure we had the party we really wanted. Thyme and Season were brilliant to work with and the food was incredible.
I think after the ceremony, food and formal side was done and the evening guests had arrived, we could really enjoy just being with the people we love the most and have a great time with everyone. That was only really made possible with all the vendors we chose being so amazing that we didn’t have to think about anything other than enjoying ourselves.
We had a lot of friends in the US that couldn’t come over for the day, with the difficulties in travelling at the time, so we went to see them for our honeymoon. We spent five days in New York at Christmas time, which was totally magical, and fitted in a day in Detroit to catch some hockey, of course!
Our piece of advice is one that we were given so it’s nice to be able to pass it on; don’t plan your day around satisfying others. It is your special day, so treat it like that. You will never be able to please everyone, so please yourselves and make it one to remember.