There’s always something so effortlessly cool about a city centre wedding, and Manchester is one of the very coolest (in my humble opinion!) with its grand Victorian architecture, and vibrant cultural and social scene.
I’m very happy then to be heading there with you today for the wedding of designers Bethan and Jacob, who were married on the 8 June 2019 in the neo-Gothic splendour of Manchester University’s Whitworth Building, followed by a reception at Fairfield Social Club, which has its home inside two Victorian railway arches.
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“We chose Manchester for our location as it’s my hometown (although we now live in London) and we’ve loved visiting the city over the years. We aimed for a relaxed city wedding with all our loved ones around us.”
Bethan’s beautiful two-piece bridal look came from The White Closet, where she chose an off-the-shoulder bustier top by Halfpenny London, and paired it with a glorious, 1920s inspired tiered fringe skirt (the ‘Isere’) by Charlie Brear. The two pieces look wonderful together, don’t they?!
“I had a great experience at this boutique. Millie and the team were patient, kind, and super helpful allowing me to try combinations until I found the perfect dress! They stock a great curated selection of designers; enough to give a good breadth of styles, but not too much to feel overwhelmed with choice.”
“My look was classy but fun – something that was easy to wear walking down the aisle, as well as comfortable enough to dance all night in.”
“Rachael was amazing, both in the run up to the wedding as well as on the day. She has incredible style and great advice. I would recommend her to anyone.”
Bethan wore a soft blusher veil from The White Closet, and accessorised with vintage earrings, and a pair of vintage heeled sandals by Burberry. She also carried a spectacular bouquet in peach, pink, orange and red hues by Frog. I especially love the addition of a striking anthurium flower – so lovely!
Wedding transport was a vintage red and white double-decker bus hired from Belle Vue, which made for a stylish arrival at the Whitworth Building, despite the rain!
Bethan was accompanied down the aisle by her dad, and chose Nick Cave’s Into My Arms as her entrance music, sung by her talented cousin, Louis Seaton-Kempson.
Jacob awaited Bethan’s arrival, and looking smart in a blue suit, with accessories by Paul Smith.
The couple held their ceremony in the Whitworth Building’s magnificent panelled council chamber, with guests looking on from the galleries above.
“We met whilst working at the same company, and we dated for 6 years before Jake took me on a surprise trip to New York, where he proposed to me on my 30th birthday. We got engaged in May 2018, and were married in June 2019.”
As they made their vows, Bethan and Jacob also gave each other rings to symbolise and solidify their commitment. Bethan wore her grandmother’s ring, and Jacob wore a ring made by his sister-in-law, Sian Green.
Whilst guests enjoyed drinks in Christie’s Bistro (the former science library of Owens College) Bethan and Jacob took some time with their photographer Coralie Monnet. These resulting images are some of my favourites from this collection, and perfectly sum up Coralie’s elegant, fine art style.
“We could not have been happier with our decision to ask Coralie to photograph our wedding. She captured the spirit of the day with wonderful kindness and grace.”
“Coralie has a very relaxed approach, which put both us and our guests instantly at ease. We met up a few days before the wedding and chatted over coffee. Coralie made sure she knew what kind of wedding we were hoping for and listened to exactly what we wanted.”
“We loved her natural, warm style, and we were blown away when we saw the images she had captured.”
Bethan, Jacob and their loved ones took the bus over to Fairfield Social Club, which had been decorated beautifully for their reception. Strings of fairylights looked fantastic against the weathered backdrop of the brick railway arches, and across the long dining tables, there were candles, old family photos, and colourful flowers inside old bottles.
The couple designed their own wedding stationery, and their place settings were menus and place cards in old typewriter script, adorned with sprigs of rosemary.
“We were over the moon with both the food and the service from The Otto-Men, and we loved getting to know the guys and planning the menu in the run up to the wedding. On the day everything went so well. Seeing everyone sharing the food was spectacular, we absolutely loved it.”
The feast was an amazing array of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean inspired dishes, including chicken flavoured with soft spices and sumac, roasted stuffed aubergine, roast squash with burnt onion, sun-dried peppers with a bean casserole, fried pickles, and fire-roasted and sun-dried Turkish peppers. To finish, there was a selection of cheeses, fruit, and sweet treats.
“The best part of the day for us was looking out over all our loved ones eating and drinking and enjoying themselves. It was so special to have everyone we love in one room together. We made sure we made the most of it!”
The venue looked so beautiful all lit up at night with glowing pillar candles and festoon lights, and after the speeches, Bethan and Jacob enjoyed their first married dance together to Never Too Much by Luther Vandross, which was followed by music from band Detroit Soul Collective.
Words of Wedded Wisdom
“The best advice I can give is to enjoy every moment of both the planning, and of the big day, as it will all go by in a flash! Try to find suppliers who love what they do, because their passion will come through on the day, and make it extra special.”
Bethan and Jacob, congratulations, and a huge thank you from me. It’s been delightful to share your sweet and intimate day, and you chose two beautiful venues. Many thanks to Coralie Monnet for the charming way she captured it all, too. You can see more of her work on our pages right here, too.