Beth and Gerald opted for an atmospheric warehouse wedding in the heart of Sheffield
Paris was the backdrop to this couple’s proposal, and it came as something of a surprise to the bride. “Gez isn’t known for his romantic gestures, but when he proposed it was perfect. He asked me to marry him in a park close to the Eiffel Tower on Bastille Day. It started to rain but we danced away to the music being played and then warmed up with hot chocolates back at the hotel,” Beth recalls.
“When it came to the dress, I was quite relaxed but I had no idea what I wanted to start with.”
Like many brides, Beth was thrown in at the deep end when it came to wedding dress shopping. “I was quite relaxed but I had no idea what I wanted to start with. Karen at The White Room was so patient and helped me choose designs to try on. When I put on my Sassi Holford dress, I felt so glamorous! I knew I wanted a showstopper.” The design featured Italian lace sleeves, an ivory satin waistband and a pretty crepe skirt.
“I loved the back of the dress, so initially I didn’t want to wear a veil that would cover it up. But everything changed when I tried on a veil at my first fitting – I just fell in love! In the end I chose a full-length veil and my grandma kindly gifted me some pearl earrings to wear on the day, too.”
The groom looked dapper in a navy blue, three-piece Ted Baker suit. “He looked amazing,” Beth recalls. “I felt so content seeing him on the day. He’d have been happy to keep things small and marry at a registry office, but I was so proud that he stood up in front of everyone at our wedding for me.”
The bride asked her good friend Adele, who also happens to be her new husband’s brother’s partner, to be her bridesmaid. “She is a huge part of our lives and the most organised woman I know. Adele wore a blush-coloured dress from Coast and my flowergirls wore dresses from Next.” Tina from The Style Bar in Sheffield stepped in to take care of the bride’s make-up, while her usual go-to hairdresser from Conrad Blandford styled her up-do.
“Gez surprised me by saying he’d like to write his own vows, so we both did.”
The couple tied the knot in a Unitarian ceremony at Fulwood Old Chapel. “The minister allowed us to make the ceremony completely unique to us, taking parts out and adding new bits in. My sisters-in-law gave readings from Bob Marley’s He’s Not Perfect and Johnny Cash’s I Love You Because. When we discussed the service with the minister, Gez surprised me by saying he’d like to write his own vows, so we both did. I’m so pleased we did it because it made our ceremony even more personal.”
In tune with their relaxed wedding, Beth and Gez opted for tables laden with dishes that formed a menu fit for a feast, rather than set courses. “It felt like all 50 of us were sitting around a family table sharing a meal and everyone exclaimed at how brilliant the food was. Three desserts to finish was a highlight,” Beth laughs.
“I wanted a traditional wedding while Gez preferred something more casual and intimate. Getting married at Fulwood Old Chapel fit the bill for a romantic setting to start with. Then, after the ceremony, we jumped into a VW Camper and drove to The Chimney House, a restored factory space in the city, for our reception.
“We did very little to decorate The Chimney House except to add lots of flowers”
“We did very little to decorate The Chimney House – it’s filled with quirky, mid-century furniture, mural walls and exposed brickwork. We did add lots of flowers though – a wreath, concrete planters filled with blooms on the long tables and single stems dotted around.” The florist worked to a ‘midsummer’s night’ theme, including ranunculus, amnesia roses, lisianthus, scabiosa seed heads and poppy seeds in the bouquet.
Oh Sugar! By Rachel Edwards created the couple’s semi-naked cake, fulfilling the groom’s wish to avoid fondant icing. “My mum and dad helped choose the flavours, which were chocolate ganache, lemon and Victoria sandwich, and a friend baked cupcakes for our younger guests, too.”
“We ended up having two first dances”
Enhancing the laidback vibe, an acoustic guitarist played after dinner, setting the tone for guests to dance the night away. “We ended up having two first dances,” the newlyweds reveal. “We had planned to dance to a recorded version of Etta James’ At Last, which we did, and then the guitarist played Oasis’ Wonderwall, so that became our second.”
Having planned their wedding in just four months, Beth and Gez left honeymoon hunting until after the big day. “Instead, we jetted off to Spain with Gez’s brother and Adele for a few days’ holiday post-wedding. We had a brilliant time.
“Just go with the flow on the day and you’ll have the most fun. I would do nothing differently; our wedding was our perfect day despite the fact I forgot my bouquet (the chauffeur kindly collected it for me after the ceremony!), which actually became a positive – I had some lovely photos that showed my dress off,” recalls the bride.
Their wedding contacts…
CEREMONY VENUE Fulwood Old Chapel
RECEPTION VENUE The Chimney House
PHOTOGRAPHY May Tree Photography
DRESS Sassi Holford at The White Room Bridal Boutique
BRIDESMAIDS’ DRESSES Coast; Next
GROOM Ted Baker at John Lewis
HAIR Conrad Blandford
MAKE-UP The Style Bar
STATIONERY The Vow
FLOWERS Swallows & Damsons
CAKE Oh Sugar! By Rachel Edwards