When photographer Rachel Ryan sent me over Olivia and James wedding day, the first thing that struck me was that Olivia is most possibly the smiliest bride I have ever seen! She is beaming and laughing in every image, her total love and joy to be marrying her man, with those she cares about most around her, is just apparent in every image.
I was really sad to learn then that Olivia had lost her mum just eleven months before the wedding. Olivia’s mum helped her choose her wedding dress and also to choose Rachel as their photographer. On the wedding day, Rachel took Olivia and James, in her words ‘to the grubbiest of fire exits’ a slightly random unplanned location for some shots. There on the ground Olivia found a little Polish coin. Her mum was an avid collector of foreign coins and ever since loosing her mum, Olivia has been finding them. Now the three of them really had no business being on that fire escape that day, nor did that little Polish coin, yet there they were. A beautiful little sign from the universe.
So I am so, so delighted to present to you the newly weds, Olivia and James and their love story, as I hand you over to the bride;
We got engaged in April 2013, back in Leeds which is where we met. James took me on a tour of all the places we used to hang out as students, then stopped outside the house where he’d lived and told me that was where he was when he knew he loved me! Then he got down on one knee. It was very romantic, despite being next to a wheelie bin! Then we had the most fun day ring shopping!
We were married on the 8th August and wanted to go on honeymoon straight afterwards (We went on an amazing three week adventure around Japan arranged by the fabulous Inside Japan Tours). As I’m a teacher, it had to be early August! Plus my birthday is 8th March so I wanted the 8th really!
We got married at Bishop Eton, my childhood parish church, in Liverpool. We loved our church ceremony because we were lucky enough to know our priests really well and we felt the service was very personal to us. I had chosen my favourite hymns which I enjoyed belting out! It was a wonderful feeling to say our vows in a beautiful setting, which was important to us, in front of all our favourite people.
We were lucky enough to have the brilliantly talented and incredibly lovely Rachel Ryan as our photographer. We couldn’t have wished for anything more from our photographer. She was perfect. Neither of us particularly like having our photo taken so finding someone who put us at ease, and was so incredible at their job, was fantastic. We are delighted with our photos and would recommend Rachel to everyone. In fact one of my best friends has just booked her for her wedding! We are so excited we get to see her again!
Style wise, I wasn’t a ‘theme’ sort of girl. Whenever anyone asked I’d just say the theme was a wedding! Just a traditional wedding. Then at a wedding fair my bridesmaids and I saw gorgeous navy blue dresses from Coast on the catwalk show and knew we wanted them! So the colour scheme was decided there and then! The dresses were the first thing we got and I could picture the whole day from then.
I got my dress from Brides of Chester while I was having a girly day out with my mum and bridesmaids. I asked everyone to choose one each for me to try on. Of course, mum picked the winner as mums know best! I hadn’t liked it on the hanger but knew it was for me when I tried it on. My sister cried so I knew it must’ve been ok!
We hired suits from Moss as James wears a suit for work so wanted tails in order to feel more special. We chose the UnexpecTed Ted Baker at Moss Bros suit in grey as it was so classically smart and James looked super handsome in it! We got a dark navy blue tie and grey and dark navy handkerchiefs which matched the bridesmaids dresses perfectly.
The groomsmen wore the same as James and the bridesmaids were in the stunning Lily Anna dress from Coast. It was tea length which suited my gorgeously tall bridesmaid Jo and my gorgeously petite maid of honour Alex! I was thrilled to find a dress that suited all four of the girls.
We hired navy and cream classic cars from Heritage Motors. We had to hire the one which had a roof that came down as James banged his head on the ceiling of the other one! It worked out brilliantly though as it was such a sunny day we could have some photos with the top down. I wasn’t brave enough to travel with it down though in case I ruined my hair or lost my veil!
We had bubbles instead of confetti outside church, I absolutely loved them! It was so fun coming outside into a sea of them, I think the guests had fun blowing them too! The photos look brilliant as it was such a sunny day.
We booked coaches for our guests through Napier Point and they were lovely, even letting us choose our favourite route into the city centre so we could show off our city’s gorgeous docks to our guests!
We had our reception at The Raquet Club. We wanted a city centre venue and as soon as we met Sue we knew we wanted her and her amazing team to look after us. The building itself was gorgeous and we’d heard great things about the food…which was very important to us!
I was so thrilled with my flowers, which were white roses and freesias. Karen McGrath Flowers, another wonderfully talented woman, was our florist who came recommended from a friend. The bridesmaids had small bouquets of white roses and the groom, dads and ushers had gorgeous buttonholes of a white rose. Karen added a small white freesia to James’s to make his more special. Karen is so creative and such a good listener, she knew exactly what would work and made even more beautiful arrangements than I could have imagined.
We booked a band who we had danced to at our friends’ wedding the previous year called Harlequin. We had loved them so much we booked them before they left the venue! We loved their mix of music and they are such a talented group.
We had a photo booth for our guests in the evening which has provided us with a hilarious guest book! Our favours were photo keyrings for our guests to use in the photo booth.
My advice to other brides is, wear converse trainers. It was the best decision I made. My dress was long so you couldn’t see my shoes anyway, and I had comfortable feet all day and all night. To couples, the both of you, enjoy yourselves! Don’t get stressed out planning it all, it’s not worth missing out on all the fun! Keep it easy and do it your way. We loved every minute!
Thank you so much Olivia and James for sharing your wonderful day with us, wishing you both the happiest of futures together. Thanks too go to Rachel Ryan for these brilliant images.
To end, I wanted to mention something else that Rachel told me, Olivia’s lovely daddy (an incredibly talented artist, former photography teacher and one half of some seriously tear jerking photographs) said to Rachel on the wedding morning and it really is a wonderful piece of advice;
“The more you allow your photographer in the better photographs you get.”
This couldn’t be more true.
Venue – The Raquet Club | Photography – Rachel Ryan | Brides Dress – Brides of Chester | Bridesmaids Dresses – Coast | Make up – Louise Bradney | Hair – Becky Throw | Groom and Grooms men’s Attire – UnexpecTed Ted Baker at Moss Bros | Floristry – Karen McGrath Flowers | Vintage Cars- Heritage Motors | Transport – Napier Point | Entertainment – Harlequin | Wedding Cake – Marks and Spencer | Cheese Cake – Liverpool Cheese Company | Honeymoon – Japan |