Today I am thrilled to share a gorgeous Morecambe Wedding with a Romantica of Devon Dress, bright florals and Lego, and possibly a wee glug of Irn Bru.
Images of the day were captured by Bean Photography.
Jonathan Bean is a retro-loving, snap-happy photo geek, but not the techno kind of geek, it’s all about the pictures for him, the feel, the fun, the moment, the emotion, the lasting memories.
He lives in Lancaster with his wife, his two great boys, a rescue mutt called Toby, and two cats Mojo and Tallulah-Mae!
He says of his work and the couple…
“I come from a Fine Art Photography background, and worked as an Arts administrator for many years, so I guess I’m a bit ‘arty’ and I like clients who are the same.”
“I work mostly in Lancashire/Cumbria, but I’m happy to travel.”
“I like to work in what I refer to as a semi-documentary style, quietly and naturally for a lot of the day, but I’m a people person and I can’t stop getting involved in the day so I’ll often chirp in with suggestions of things we can try, places we can go etc.”
“My usual enquiries from clients are little more than an “are you free, what are your prices?” email, but Verity was different from the off.”
“She had clearly read the ‘about me’ section of my website and decided to reply in kind with a full description of her and Martyn, the kind of people they are and the different kind of wedding they wanted.”
“I knew straight away I wanted to be their photographer.”
“We met for a chat at The Dukes Cinema in Lancaster, and hit it off immediately.”
“This is a BIG thing for me, as I truly believe the single greatest asset you can have in creating great wedding photos is a genuine connection between photographer and couple.”
“I was of course very chuffed when they emailed later to say they would love me to shoot their wedding.”
“We shared emails along the way, discussed options for the private getaway, and knowing their mutual love of comic books I planned ways in which I could bring
this into the day.”
“At first I thought I would make up some plain white speech bubbles for people to carry, but soon realised this would distract from the semi-documentary style I like to work in.”
“Then it came to me, shooting a wedding is all about telling a story, and a comic book is a way of communicating astory, so why not tell their story as a comic book?”
“In the end it was quite a lot of work, but it was a lot of fun, and worth it when the surprise comic was revealed to them both!”
“I think they were also surprised when a few days later I posted a charming little Lomokino’ movie of them onto Facebook that I’d shot quietly on the day. ‘Lomokino’
movies are shot on a cheap, hand-cranked 35mm film camera, to produce very lo-fi,retro-looking, silent movies.”
“A roll of film only produces about 30 seconds of footage, so films are very short, but very sweet. I added my favourite wedding song “4thand Vine” by Sinead O’Connor as it fitted perfectly.”
“The whole day was a lot of fun for me, and I had to remember to stop enjoying myself and take pictures!”
“I loved the ring-warming, and multiple waistcoats, and the trip to the ‘Brief Encounter’ Tea Rooms while the guests headed to the Hotel was genius.”
“I often find that I will only get around 10 minutes for couple shots, but Verity and Martyn had really thought about this and we had loads of time for some great shots.”
“In the evening I suggested we take a sunset stroll along Morecambe Promenade to see the Eric Morecambe statue, and again, they were just up for it, a phenomenal day!”
I hand over to gorgeous Bride Verity…..
How did you meet?
“The exact time and date of when we met is a bit of a mystery as we’ve spent our early childhood attending the same folk festival in Fleetwood.”
“As we grew up Martyn was the really weird kid who followed us around and mysister and I cringed about.”
“We lost touch when I stopped going to the festival but reconnected in 2007 when I went back.”
“Martyn was completely the same but had somehow grown into his eccentric personality and it suited him much better now he was older!”
“We got together on the last night of the festival but then went our separate ways having exchanged emails.”
“M warned me that he wouldn’t be home or near his email for over a week but it turned out I didn’t have to wait that long as he emailed me the very next day from his mum’s house!”
“We exchanged emails daily and 6 weeks later I went to visit M in Edinburgh.”
“We have always been friends and because our relationship developed slowly and through emails and phone calls we have a very strong foundation of being able to talk and listen to one another.”
When did you get engaged?
“I (the bride) proposed to Martyn on leap year day 2012! We had moved in together just before the previous leap day in 2008 and my sister had joked that if M hadn’t proposed by the next one I should just do it myself!”
“So I always had it in mind that I would do.”
“I’d tried to discuss and gauge how M would feel about me proposing and had been told that he was worried he might feel like he missed out if he didn’t do the proposing.”
“I was really unsure whether I should do it so I decided to approach it as I’d hope he would if he was doing it, which meant getting the blessing of the people important to us.”
“I bought a pocket watch with my January instalment of my student loan and deliberated right up until the day before.”
“I went through so many different, elaborate proposal ideas and very nearly chickened out because I couldn’t settle on ‘the best way’.”
“In the end I decided it would be too long to wait until the next leap day, so I either had to go for it or wait for M to get his act together.”
“I was studying and living in Leeds at the time and M and I usually texted or talked on the phone each day.”
“That morning I talked vaguely –not lying or claiming I was doing anything in particular, but also trying desperately not to tell him I was driving north to surprise him!”
“I got to Edinburgh later than hoped so quickly lit every candle I could find and filled the front room with them, and put a specially selected track on the CD player (Four Strong Walls by folk singer Karine Polwart).
“I put a wee note on the door for him saying “I’m sorry, I know you said you wanted to do this but I couldn’t let today pass”
“Of course when he finally got home, he completely missed the note and waded straight in, distracted with his bike.”
“By the time he eventually saw me he got a huge shock. I got done on one knee and asked him to marry him. He, thankfully, said yes. Phew!”
“We set the date giving me time to graduate without being distracted by wedding planning, but that meant there was two and a bit years to wait!”
Tell us about your wedding planning journey
“In the initial stages of the wedding planning , we didn’t want a one-design-fits-all wedding that a variation of could and would be done again for the next wedding, so we researched suppliers (A LOT) and prioritised the things that were most important to us.”
“I, Verity, desperately wanted to elope and escape the craziness and expense of a ‘bigday’ because I didn’t want to lose our special day to looking after other people and missing out on the celebrating.”
“Martyn however really wanted a big lavish affair with all our friends and family.”
“As a compromise, we structured the day a little differently to build in time for just us.”
“We had an earlier ceremony (11.30am) then escaped and had a couple of hours on our own before meeting everyone at the Midland for the reception at 2.30pm.”
“In this break we went to the refreshment room at Carnforth Station, with our photographer. We ‘breakfasted’ on cinnamon toast and a pot of tea.”
“It was perfect to just have a bit of calm in a busy, full day.”
“We had a ‘ring warming’ station at the church where the guests could hold our wedding rings in their hand and warm them with their love, prayers and positive thoughts.”
“We had hearts on sticks lining the entrance path to the church.”
“One of the readings we picked was The Lovely Dinosaur by Edward Monkton, which amused our vicar greatly.”
“It was read by the best man’s daughter Caitlin (10yrs old), who was the first person to advise me that Martyn was “not to be trusted” when she was just 4 years old.”
“I found the Midland hotel after seeing photos of a different wedding there on Facebook. The Midland came up at the top of every google search we did but I ignored and discounted it every time because it was further out than we wanted, is a big hotel and part of a chain.”
“I was looking at photos of another wedding on Facebook and suddenly realised that the stunning venue the wedding was in, was the Midland!I then went back and looked through every website with photos of the Midland that I could find.”
“It was so beautiful, I had to show Martyn. We went for a walk-round and met with Vicky, the wedding coordinator, and knew we had found the perfect place.”
“Vicky was ace in everything and I can’t recommend her, and the Midland, highly enough.”
“I found Johnny Bean of Bean Photo through his website and blog. I loved his style, and I really connected with the fact that he is an artist rather than a conveyor-belt-style wedding photographer.”
“I emailed him with an introduction to us and after we met, he agreed to shoot our wedding.”
“In the few weeks running up to the wedding we had a few special guests suddenly discover they couldn’t attend for whatever reason.”
“It was particularly heart-breaking that a family friend wasn’t able to fly over from the States, and that one of my best friends from the South of England also couldn’t travel due to health issues but my sister was amazing and offered to help share the day using Skype on her phone.”
“It was so special to be able to speak with them and to know they were joining in even though they couldn’t be there.”
“After our secret detour, we went back to the Midland where everyone was waiting for us.”
“We’d arranged to have a ‘Pimp your Prosecco’ bar for our drinks reception: guests could have a simple glass of chilled Prosecco or add peach puree, crème cassis or orange juice to it to make their drink of choice (an idea I found on Pinterest!).”
“We tried so hard to incorporate details of our personalities into the day.”
“Martyn has small badges on his denim jacket, so I made little name badges for every guest.”
“These were clipped to a card which also had an equation on, the answer to which was their table number (a nod to Martyn’s love of Maths).”
“The place settings at the table were a name card with a Lego brick. I printed the menu onto silver backed paper and then folded it into a heart shape.”
“Every guest had a menu of their own, and took their individual allergies into consideration.”
“It was very important to us both that those with allergies didn’t get a second rate option, and the Midland really did us proud.
“Each of our ‘allergy’ guests have commented and complimented on how good their food was and how special it was to feel like their food was equal to everyone else’s.”
“We served afternoon tea for what was our wedding second breakfast (Always good to get a LOTR reference in!) because we, but especially I, love afternoon tea and we have an ongoing challenge to find the best afternoon teas in the UK. Lemme tell you, this one is definitely in the top ten!”
“Of course we HAD to include Irn Bru….I think there would have been a mutiny amongst our Scottish contingency if we hadn’t, but also because it connects to our life in Edinburgh.”
“My brother Kester made the wedding cake for us as our wedding present. He’s a chef and has made a few wedding cakes in his time so I knew he would do a good job.”
“The difficulty came in with the design Martyn wanted. He’d seen a photo of a pyramid cake, with each layer separated by balls, years ago and so Kester was tasked with that as our design.”
“I discovered a trend for decorating cakes with 100s & 1000s on Pinterest so set about trying to find enough to cover a 4 tier cake.”
“During my research I found a cake decorating website that sold them in individual colours.”
“The artist in me couldn’t resist seeing if I could make a mix that incorporated our wedding colours so this is what I did – I ordered them in their individual colours and then mixed them myself.”
“It worked out excellent and I loved that whenever you looked at the cake you saw a different colour.”
“We also had a second cake – one made of cheese! – which formed the centrepiece of our evening buffet.”
“We decided to have Lego on the tables because we both love it, in fact we don’t know anyone who doesn’t, and because it’s a great entertainer – we didn’t have any whiny bored children (or adults for that matter) because they were busy making things.”
“We encouraged people to take their creations home but we’ve still come away with a HUGE collection of Lego to start our legacy collection with!”
“Once we’d chosen to have Lego we then used that to inspire our colours – we had grey, white and silver, accented with the main Lego colours of red, blue, green, yellow and also purple.”
“This colourful palette then inspired the flowers and the bridesmaids each had a colour as their own to accessorise their pewter grey and sparkly dresses.”
“Martyn’s very talented mum Gillian made the four adult bridesmaid dresses.”
“It was important to me that each lady have a dress that suited them individually that they would wear again, and although she had some initialreservations, Gillian really came through and made some great dresses. I think she understands now why it was worth all the extra effort!”
“I am so grateful to Gillian, because she did such a lot to help make our day special and as we wanted it even when she couldn’t quite envision it.”
“My sister made the flower girl dress and page boy waistcoats.”
“I made the page boy bowties and little clutch bags for the bridesmaids and filled them with wedding day essentials like a vodka miniature, lip gloss, tissues, nail varnish, nail file and some aspirin!”
“We hired the most amazing BIG LOVE light up letters from Typical Type to decorate the Midland with.”
By the end of the evening friends of ours had doctored them to spell VOLE!
“We gave seedlings as favours – strawberries, coriander, marigolds, honesty, cherry tomatoes, and dill.”
“We have a very talented friend who is a silhouette artist and he very kindly agreed to cut every one of our guests a silhouette.”
“One of which was given to them as a memento of the day, and the other was put into a book for us and the guests could then write a message to us too.”
“In the evening we had a very talented band the Tipitinas, who play New Orleans-style jazz. We searched long and hard for evening entertainment that reflected us, but was a bit unusual.”
“We went to New Orleans for my 30th and really liked the atmosphere so it felt like a perfect fit when we found Tipitinas.”
“We also had lots of board games available for guests that didn’t want to dance, because we love board games.”
“We had fireworks in the evening, though these were limited due to restrictions placed on us by the council. It was still great to have them though as we both work occasionally at 21cc fireworks.”
“We also had sparklers because fireworks and sparklers are a natural combination!”
“At the end of the evening, and the next morning at breakfast, we gave our female guests our smaller flower arrangements.”
“The larger ones were taken to our respective grandmothers’ care homes to brighten up their rooms.”
“Martyn is known amongst his friends as Hatter, as he does wear a lot of hats.”
“The one he wore for the wedding was a top hat that we bought in New Orleans on our trip there for my 30th birthday.”
“Martyn is also known for wearing a lot of waistcoats, especially at weddings when he wears several over the course of the event. Our wedding was no exception!His mum produced 7 new ones especially for the wedding, and in total he wore 11!”
“Our best man and his partner created a ‘how well do you know the bride and groom?’ quiz, to help get our guests talking during the afternoon tea reception, though I never did find out who won!”
“I made a lot of things for the wedding– I created the invitations based on a ‘never-ending’ card style (inspired by a card given to us by the best man and his partner for our engagement).”
“I printed and folded the menus, and made the ring warming station, the name badges, place setting name card, order of service, seedling pots and labels, hearts on sticks, the pageboy bowties, clutch handbags for the bridesmaids, and Lego table numbers.”
“Another surprise on the day was that our friends and family had clubbed together and arranged a last-minute honeymoon for us to the Isle of Man.”
“We’d sent off for new passports well in advance of the wedding but they still hadn’t returned and the passport offices were thoroughly unhelpful, so on the Thursday before the wedding on the Saturday we took the difficult decision to postpone the honeymoon M had secretly arranged and booked (he’d even spoken with my doctor to arrange getting the appropriate vaccinations!)”
“It was an extra stress we really didn’t need but we were determined not to let it ruin everything.”
“Our amazing friends and family arranged a substitute honeymoon within just two days, and clubbed together to pay for it.”
“I’m still overwhelmed by their generosity. It was actually the perfect relaxing break for us and we’d definitely recommend a ‘mini-moon’ to other couples.”
When did you get married?
“We married on 14th June 2014. I like that this wasn’t our original ‘getting together’ or ‘first date’ date because now we get to have a number of anniversary celebrations through the year!”
What was the best bit of your day?
“For Verity: giggling together as we sung ‘One More Step Along The World I Go’ during the ceremony. We had our backs to our guests so we didn’t realise that some had seen us goofing around.”
“It felt for a moment that we were completely separate from the craziness of the preparations, and all the tensions of the day.”
“Another special moment for me was later when we were shown the reception room before everyone went in, and seeing it in all its decorated splendour.”
“Even though we researched over two years, there were many times when I second-guessed every decision I/we had made to the point where I was just had to trust blindly that everything would work together.”
“For Martyn: having cinnamon toast during our escape to Carnforth Train Station between the ceremony and reception.”
“Having a short break from ‘hosting’ and enjoying our first few moments together as man andwife (albeit also with Johnny, our photographer!) was a great way to ‘catch our breath’.”
“It was also very special to be complimented on our wedding by so many of our suppliers and hotel staff working at the wedding.”
We were even approached by two of the hotel team in the supermarket the next day because they wanted to say how much they (and their colleagues) had enjoyed working at our wedding, how special they thought it was because it was so personalised/different to other weddings, and how nice all our friends and family were.
“It was so lovely to know that it had all worked smoothly and it had been enjoyed by the people working it as well as the people attending it.”
What advice would you give to other couples getting married?
“In the hectic days running up to the big day, learn to trust in your subconscious: if something is important to you, it will get done or you will have made arrangements for someone else to sort it for you.
“If it doesn’t get done then it wasn’t important and worrying about it just wastes your energies.”
“Research is your friend. Let yourself look at those magazines if they are helpful to you, follow those blogs and websites if you like them, utilise Pinterest!”
“And, when you’ve found one amazing supplier, ask them for recommendations for other elements you’re looking for.”
“We found our amazing florist this way, as our venue wedding coordinator and our photographer both recommended them, and they were absolutely right.”
“Don’t settle for the first supplier you find. Look for someone you like and who you trust to value your day as much as you do.”
“And once you’ve found that supplier, trust them to do their job! Communicate with them so they know what is important to you but then let them do their thing.”
“You’ll get much better results, and not having micromanaged each element will mean that there are some surprises for you on the day, or in the weeks after.”
“Everyone will love how personalised the day is if they can identify it as ‘you’, and let’s be honest: who wants a cookie-cutter, one-style-fits-all kind of wedding?!”
Thank you so much to Jonathon for sharing this outstanding Morecambe Wedding.
This big day bursts out in colourful style with such personal and inspiring detailing.
I love the huge letters, I love vibrant use of colour, and of course you know I am a huge fan of Lego.
Such a brilliant story and a really well thought out celebration with such consideration taken for the guests while the Wedding day remains first and foremost the essence of the couple.
Here is the couples Lomokito film produced by Johnny…
Wedding Reception: The Midland Hotel, Morecambe
Photographer: Bean Photography
Cake: Kester Marsh (bride’s brother who is a chef) & 100s & 1000s for the cake: Cupcake Style
Flowers: Jane and her amazing team at Flower Design, St Annes, Lancs.
Bride’s Shoes: Dune
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Gillian Turner (the groom’s mother)
Groom’s suit: Suitopia
Groom (and FOB)’s bowties: Mrs Bowtie
Groom’s shoes: Ted Baker
Groom’s Hat: Meyer the Hatter, New Orleans.
Vintage China Hire: Itsy Bitsy Vintage
Silhouette cuts by Steve Abbott – Cutting Image Art
Fireworks: 21cc Group
BIG LOVE light letters ( and silver initials on the top table ): Typical Type
Live music by Tipitinas, booked through Big Bear Music
Postbox: Lancashire Party Postboxes
Make-up: Lucy Small (bridesmaid’s friend)
Bride’s hair: Louise at Lou-b-Lou’s in Windermere
Cake of Cheese supplied (at very short notice): The Cheese Larder
Car: A gorgeous green 1953 Chevy Bel Air (nicknamed Bella) driven by Rupert Fox of Fox Weddings
Bride’s Ring: Element Jewellery in Hebden Bridge
Groom’s Ring: Wedding Rings Direct
To Contact Bean Photo
To close I share Johnny’s Comic Book interpretation of the couples day….