Lifestyle Magazine

An Individual, Eclectic and Etsy-filled Wedding at Highbury Hall

By Claire
Birmingham wedding photographer (15)

Isn’t Naomi gorgeous?!

The wed­ding venue is Birmingham’s High­bury Hall; the images are all by Midlands-based wed­ding pho­tog­ra­phers Rob and Sarah Gille­spie. I want to rush right in to Naomi and Elric’s wed­ding report — it’s one of very few I’ve ever had where the bride and groom have writ­ten their wed­ding story together — and so, it’s very special.

Enjoy!

Claire x

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The bride and groom

Naomi & Elric. Mr & Mrs Bell.

Who pro­posed, and how?

I asked Naomi. I took her out for a birth­day meal at Portofino, Colch­ester, where we were liv­ing at the time. It was a really nice evening, every­thing was so good, and I popped the ques­tion. I hadn’t planned to do it that evening, and I must have been really ner­vous as I can hardly remem­ber what hap­pened! If I could change one thing it would have been to have planned it — I don’t regret being spon­ta­neous but poor Naomi had to wait for an engage­ment ring.

Wed­ding venue: High­bury Hall, Birmingham

Wed­ding photographer:

Rob and Sarah Gille­spie www.robandsarahgillespie.co.uk

How would you describe your wed­ding style? Eclec­tic: Lots of 50’s influ­ences, with quite a tra­di­tional ‘Eng­lish Coun­try Gar­den’ feel. We wanted the day to be spe­cial and it was impor­tant to us that the major­ity of items were unique and hand-made. We’re both quite indi­vid­ual and hate being pigeon-holed, and we wanted the wed­ding to reflect that.

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The wed­ding ceremony

Reli­gious or civil? Civil. We had a fan­tas­tic reg­is­trar, Geoff, who I think missed his call­ing as a night­club com­pere. He was won­der­fully eccen­tric and made us feel so relaxed.

Which wed­ding read­ings did you choose?

Elric: Erm… we didn’t really go for roman­tic or tra­di­tional choices. I chose a short story about 2 dia­met­ri­cally opposed Dinosaurs who fall in love. Rep­tile romance.

Naomi: I chose ‘Yes I’ll Marry You’, by Pam Ayres. It’s a light-hearted warn­ing to men!

The wed­ding reception:

What were your highlights?

The won­der­ful, funny speeches from Paul (Naomi’s dad) and Damien (Elric’s brother / Best Man). Our incred­i­ble, fan­tas­ti­cal, Choc­cy­woc­cy­doo­dah cake — Naomi worked long and hard to pay for that!

Wed­ding venue styling and details:

We saw this amaz­ing grade 2 listed Man­sion (built 1878 for Joseph Cham­ber­lain) on our pho­tog­ra­phers’ web­site. It has bags of char­ac­ter and pres­ence, and so many inter­est­ing fea­tures that we felt too many details would detract from the venue. Along with the flo­ral arrange­ments for the tables, our florist pro­vided a few large can­de­labras draped with flow­ers and ivy which brought the ‘Coun­try Gar­den’ feel inside.

Music and entertainment:

Mike Gior­gia­rdes, a fan­tas­tic clas­si­cal gui­tarist, played for us through­out the day. Mir­ror Image Disco pro­vided the back drop for Elric’s dodgy ‘dad-dancing. There are some great pho­tos where you can see the bub­ble swirling all around us.

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What did you wear:

Naomi: I went for a ’50’s inspired out­fit in ivory with a mix­ture of coloured accents (pur­ples, pinks, blues gold, bur­gundy) : Bird-cage veil and fas­ci­na­tor, T-cut dress with a hand beaded bolero and a poofy pur­ple pet­ti­coat, sash and flo­ral pin, ivory wrist­let, ivory court shoes … which influ­enced Elric: I wore an ivory suit with bur­gundy accents and ivory coloured shoes. I’ve always imag­ined shin­ing on my wed­ding day!

Mem­o­rable wed­ding day moments:

Elric: See­ing Naomi come down the Aisle; I had no idea about her wed­ding out­fit and she looked absolutely beau­ti­ful. And yes, I did cry! Also step­ping out of the vin­tage Limo with my son Yukio wear­ing match­ing suits was a very proud moment for me.

Naomi: I was over­whelmed with pride when I first saw my son wear­ing his suit that matched Elric’s, and also was brought to tears walk­ing down the aisle like Elric! I think for us and every­one that attended, the speeches had also left a last­ing impres­sion from the won­der­ful heart-warming thoughts from my dad to the hilar­i­ous rib­bing Elric received from Damien!

Wed­ding day advice:

Don’t get stressed, over-do things and make sure to bud­get care­fully. Do things the way you want them. We had an atti­tude of “We’re only going to do this once”, and didn’t com­pro­mise on what we wanted, and it really was the hap­pi­est day of our lives. On that note, your face will hurt from smil­ing all day!

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Rec­om­mended wed­ding suppliers:

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