A Colour Pop Festival Style Wedding…
A huge thank you to Diana and Alex for sharing their colourful, outdoor wedding held at Thwaite Mill Leeds. We love a couple whose top priorities are colour, great food, lots of booze and plenty of fun!
With cool festival details, a canal barge ride, Asian inspired street food and live outside music; it really was a glorious day captured by Paul Joseph Photography
Diana + Alex…
How did you meet?
After working with each other for a couple of years as teachers at a school in Leeds, we were on the same duty every Friday for a year and realised that we were more interested in talking to each other than the students. We were at y11 Prom and our mutual friend, Charlie (who officiated for us on the day) said, “Mr. Bentley fancies you.” After some drinks and dancing, we ending up shamelessly flirting at Smokestack in Leeds. That was it – from that moment, we’ve been together.
How did you get engaged?
Before we went on holiday to Thailand (where my mum lives), Alex said that he though we should buy a ring. Obviously, I had to contain my excitement and as we were walking through a shopping centre in Bangkok, we saw THE ring and went back to buy it a few days later. The day after we bought the ring, we went on holiday to Pattaya and as soon as we arrived in the hotel room, I said to Alex, “I think I would like my ring now.” He opened the box and said, “Will you be my Lady?”
Was there an overall theme to your day?
We were really adamant from day one that we didn’t want to have a specific theme or concept apart from the fact that we wanted loads of colour, loads of alcohol, really great food and fun all day.
How would you describe your day?
Entirely overwhelming and exactly us. We were worried about the weather as we had planned for much of the day to be outside and had little contingencies but as soon as the bridal party stepped onto the canal barge, the sun started shining – it was quite clearly meant to be. There wasn’t a single moment which wasn’t filled with laughter and joy. Also I’m not sure there was a single moment, where I wasn’t pretty tipsy.
How long were you planning it for, and what was the best bit?
The big wedding was 11 months in the planning. We can’t really pick a best bit just that we were surprised that it all went to plan seeing as there were so many elements being supplied by different vendors. Everyone had a great time – the gelato van and the glitter station seemed to be a big hit with the guests. Also, the dancefloor was never empty which was a testament to the bar and the band.
For me (Diana), I have two favourite parts: (i) arriving with the bridal party on the barge singing You’re the Voice by John Farnham really quite loudly and all the guests peered over the wall to see us arriving, and (ii) Alex’s vows which had us all in tear-filled stitches and contained lines such as: “I will marry you on a boat, I will marry you with a goat.”
How was your day unique to you?
We didn’t compromise on the aspects that were important to us: food, colour, drinks and fun. The Asian street food was actually like eating food in Thailand which was what we wanted. So many people helped with things such as the table names and place settings. We named tables after 90s wrestlers, My Little Pony characters and drew the posters ourselves with our friends.
If you could relive one part of the day all over again, which part would it be?
The vows were so special alongside the readings our friends chose additional to the fact that our friend flew over from Kenya to officiate. The entire day was a party and we wish that could have gone on for much longer, even though no one’s liver would withstand it.
What are your favourite details of the day?
Arriving on canal barges is definitely something we would recommend – having 45 minutes to relax after getting ready and walking down the aisle made it less frantic. Undoubtedly, the star of the show was Roxy, our friend’s daughter, who glittered everyone and adorned them with the word, “poo.” The best man found a unicorn head and spent most of the evening in that – that was pretty unexpected. Mostly, the fact that so many people who have been important to us for many reasons coming together and spending time with each other.
How did you find your suppliers, and why did you decide on them?
From the moment, we got engaged, I looked on so many wedding blogs and searched Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook. We just decided on people and companies who seemed to understand us and what we wanted. For example, Rachel at Simply Vintage Events, followed my Pinterest boards in order to come up with ideas for our wedding. We found our caterer on Instagram and after contacting him, we was doing a pop up at one of our favourite pubs down the road – we went and the food was incredible. Additionally, after Alex was drinking in Major Toms, another of our favourite haunts in Harrogate, he picked up their flyer for their mobile bar. They were incredibly helpful and accommodating – we couldn’t have done it without them.
Tell us about your wedding outfits, and why you picked them.
Alex wanted the theme of the wedding to be Riviera Casual after a conversation with a friend about odd dress codes and decided that he wanted a double breasted jacket with gold buttons. We found a vintage Burberry double breasted blazer in Blue Rinse in Leeds for £20. He wore light tan chinos from Cos and the Mother of the Bride chose his shirt from Jaspal in Bangkok. He also accessorised with honky glasses from South Korea for pure vanity as he doesn’t need glasses.
Diana – I thought that I would want a really embellished, boho, floaty dress with beading which would have fit in really well with the venue but I ended up choosing the exact opposite. The dress is by Essence of Australia from Ava Rose Hamilton in Silsden and I chose it for its simplicity and classic shape – also the pockets. Not being of a standard size, I was convinced that I wouldn’t be happy with the way I looked on my wedding day unless I lost loads of weight but this dress made me feel differently. It made me feel amazing! I had bought some beautiful Rachel Simpson shoes which I had worn at out registry office wedding, but I decided to wear my most comfortable pair of heels – a pair of silver, platform sandals from Dorothy Perkins. The veil was from Ava Rose Hamilton and I just wore a simple necklace and earrings from Lovett & Co. My Maid of Honour and I had matching necklaces.
What was your budget?
Initially, it was £15,000 but the truer figure is closer to £24,000.
Do you have any advice for couples currently planning their wedding, for either the planning or the lead-up?
Remember that it’s your day and not anyone else’s and make your choices based on that fact. Saying that, do consider your guests: plan your timings carefully – you don’t want to keep guests hungry or thirsty or conversely, feed them too much so that they’re tired and don’t want to party. Decide very early on what your priorities as a couple are: ours were food, drink, photography and fun.
The biggest thing that everyone said to us and we still didn’t manage enough was to spend as much time as possible with each other – it is YOUR wedding after all. It’s so easy to get distracted by friends and family who you haven’t seen for ages. Paul and Kel, our photographers were great at knowing the perfect time for us to go to have our photos taken; we definitely needed some time on our own by then.
Venue: Thwaite Mill Leeds
Marquee + Furniture: Marston Moor Marquees
Photography: Paul Joseph Photography
Venue Styling: Simply Vintage Events
Florist: Stems Design
Hay Bales: www.whitakersanimalfeeds.co.uk
Deckchairs: Sophie Likes
Crockery and cutlery: The Vintage Tea Chest
Catering: Street Cleaver
Lighting: Typical Type
Wedding Cake: PollieAnn Bakes
Brownies and Flapjacks: Little Breads