A quirky Manchester wedding where beautiful black and gold met urban chic

Today I am thrilled to share this quirky Manchester Wedding at Hope Mill Theatre where beautiful black and gold meets urban chic.

Images were captured by Rachel Joyce Photography.

quirky Manchester wedding , Rachel Joyce Photography

Rachel is a wedding photographer based in the North West with a speciality in very relaxed and natural photography – telling the different stories of the couples she meets.


She says of the couples quirky Manchester wedding…


Ruth and Steves plan for their day was for a really cool and relaxed wedding celebration.

That meant no bridal prep, no formalities and minimal fuss!

We planned to meet up prior to the ceremony at the venue for a first look and to get their couples portraits and group shots done. This meant they could go straight into the party after the ceremony was over!

Ruth rocked up looking FABULOUS in a bespoke gold sequin dress and a cracking pair of shoes and Steve was quite flabbergasted when he saw her for the first time.7

We then grabbed some portraits around the venue – Hope Mill Theatre.

Steve and Ruth tied the knot in front of their friends and family inside the theatre before everyone headed into the bar for chats.

Guests were then treated to an awesome pie and mash dinner which was then followed by the most glorious dessert table I’ve ever seen (and the best Manchester Tart I’ve ever eaten!)

A spot of guest karaoke got the party swinging in the evening and just before I left managed to sneak Ruth and Steve away for a couple more evening portraits.


I hand over to gorgeous Bride Ruth…


How did you meet?

Our eyes met across the hallowed sticky carpets of the Ruby Lounge in Manchester at their monthly Power Ballads night…! Or so I’m told!  It was quite a messy work night out.

My pal Gavin, at the time a new colleague, invited his friend Kat for Dutch courage, who in turn brought along a pal – Steve.

Even the cynic in me will admit that I guess it was meant to be!

Tell us about the Proposal…

Unbeknownst to me, Steve had planned to propose on my 30th birthday.

He booked a beautiful cabin at the Tranquil Otter retreat in Thurstonfield (near Carlisle).

After I unwittingly ruined his first attempt to pop the question, he proposed on the decking of our cabin overlooking the lake, before I had a chance to put my big foot in it again!

Tell us about your wedding planning journey…

Honestly, we knew more what we didn’t want than had a clear idea of what we did!

We aren’t particularly traditional, so weren’t set on a day that fit in the usual ‘big day’ aspects.

Previously married friends had advised we find a venue and a date, and go from there.

We knew we wanted an ‘urban’ venue, in city centre Manchester; somewhere easy for our guests to get to, find somewhere to stay, and somewhere that spoke of us and the love we have for our home city, and it’s industrial past.

Any special touches/DIY?

I did a lot of the stationery myself;  with invites from Vistaprint, and place cards, table plans that I painstakingly wrote out in front of the TV over a couple of evenings.

I made table numbers using glass domes I found in IKEA, and filled them with a bunch of fairy lights, which lit up the table numbers I wrote on the side.

With weddings often the little things can be pricey, and this all adds up! I used Pinterest for ideas, and then scoured Amazon, eBay, Hobbycraft etc. for the materials.

Our wedding organiser, Stef, also had a real treasure trove of wedding decorations and accessories that she was generous enough to let us borrow pieces from – tealight holders and log slices for table decorations.

She is a truly lovely person, and a wonderful wedding day wingwoman, ensuring the day runs smoothly! She put her absolute all into our day, and for that we will always be grateful.

What was the theme /colour palette of your Big Day?

Black and gold; our wedding was in the middle of a freezing Manchester February, and the darker hues suited the venue and the season well.

(It was also a bit of an inside joke – I will wear my signature colour black 365 days of the year!)

What was the best bit of your day?

When Steve and I saw each other for the first time.

We scheduled our day a little differently, and arrived at the venue before our guests; this way we could have a bit of quiet time together, and some photos taken, before we greeted our guests together.

It is such a crazy day, that for us it was a wonderful moment to laugh together about how nervous we were, and how surreal the day felt.

Is there anything you would do differently?

Take Rachel’s advice about having a bit of a first dance to get people on the dance floor!

We are as far from Fred and Ginger as you can get, and so decided to drop this wedding tradition.

Although, it is a really good way to get everyone dancing at the start of the night.

What advice would you give to other couples getting married?

Stop trying to please everyone!!

I became incredibly worried about what everyone would think of our choice of wine, decorations, cake…. whether or not to put tampons and chewing gum in the ladies loos!

At the end of the day, your loved ones are there to celebrate your special day, and not score you on your personal taste.

Nobody will even remember what the table favours were (or if they existed at all) in the excitement of the day.

Oh, and for God’s sake, wear in your shoes before the big day!!


Wedding Suppliers

Venue –  Hope Mill Theatre – Manchester

Photographer: Rachel Joyce Photography (Rachel Leatherbarrow)

Gold & Sequin Wedding Dress: Legend Bridal Designs (Rachel)

Tweed Suit: Moss Bros

Cake Maker: Dish & Spoon (Burton Road – Manchester)

Stylist / Wedding Planner / Florist: Alternative Weddings Manchester (Stef Fetterman)

Rings:  Wilbrahams Jewellers (Brides engagement ring & Grooms wedding ring. Also reshaping Brides late mother’s wedding band into a wedding ring for Bride)

Stationery: DIY

Make up: Ellen Green (a freelance MUA and beauty therapist) – Elegant Touch)

Hair: Donna – Macleod Bradley


To Contact Rachel Joyce Photography

Website: https://www.racheljoycephotography.co.uk/

Email: rachel@racheljoycephotography.co.uk

Phone: 07807 112608

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UK Wedding Blogger with an eclectic style based in Glasgow

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