Sinead and Matt had a fun filled wedding at Woodside in August, packed with games and a unique first dance! Read more about their special day...
Tell us your story (how did you meet, how did he/she propose?)
We met on the bus on the way to Germany for the 2004 school exchange that our schools joined up for. It was love at first sight for him, and he asked me out twice in the next 2 years, but I wasn’t interested! We stayed friends throughout school, lost touch when we went to university, then reconnected in 2009. Suddenly the chemistry was different and we got together not long after that. Our first date was to a student pub in Loughborough. It was never supposed to be a date, really just two old friends catching up. Matt proposed to me on our 6th anniversary in Paris. He did it on the steps outside the Sacré Coeur - the same spot we used to go to whenever he visited me when I was living out there. The proposal was pretty subtle because he was paranoid someone would steal the ring if he made a big show of it - it’s quite a touristy area and notorious for thieves!
What made you choose us as your wedding venue?
Woodside is elegant and traditional and also had bedrooms for all our guests. The price was very reasonable for what they offered and we were the only wedding there! This isn’t the case for most other venues in the area so we were extremely pleased with the service we received.
Which suppliers did you use?
St Marys Guildhall for ceremony, photos by Jay Emme Photography, wedding dress by Oleg Cassini bought from David’s Bridal London, accessories by Cotswold Bride and hair and make-up by Classic Hair and Beauty, Gavin Pickle Makeup Artist and Serious Style Salon. Wedding rings were from SP Green Birmingham, Bridesmaids’ dresses from Debenhams, Groom’s suit from Moss Bros, flowers by Nuleaf Florist Coventry and our dance teacher was Paul Neary from Swing Express.
On the day, what were the best bits & what made the day memorable?
Our wedding was traditional enough that everyone knew what to do and where to go and what was happening next, but personal enough that everyone who attended saw a bit more about who we are as a couple, what we like and our history together. The two main highlights had to be the games at dinner and our first dance. Although Matt’s idea to have games as centrepieces wasn’t particularly ‘elegant’, all our guests loved it! Eventually they were running around and swapping games with each other, turning them into drinking games and generally having a whale of a time. I have never heard so much laughter in a wedding breakfast in my life! Our first dance was so important to us, because it really showed us and everyone else how much we can achieve if we work hard together. We learned the dance in only 8 lessons and neither of us had really danced before. We were just lucky that the ceiling at Woodside was high enough for the backflip!
What was your vision/theme and how did you make it happen?
We wanted a day that not only represented us as a couple, but that was a fun and comfortable day for our guests. We made every decision with them in mind. We wanted everyone to have as much fun as possible, whilst also having as much elegance and class as possible. The key was starting early, dropping projects that weren't worth the time, and being unbelievably organised - I think we managed it!
How was the food on the day?
The food was excellent and we really appreciated the extra effort that the venue put in to create an entirely vegetarian and vegan menu for us and our guests.
What/who helped during the planning process?
My whole family helped so much, financially and also with little jobs. Huge thanks to my parents for their financial support, and also to my step mums for helping so much with the brooch bouquet, to my dad for helping with the backdrop and to my mum for helping me find and sort out my dress. Also to the other amazing men and women in my life for helping with cakes, transport and everything else. It's amazing how much people really come together to help, often without being asked. It was really humbling.
What's the best advice you can give a couple planning their wedding?
If you have big plans, start early. Don’t be afraid of over-organising and telling all the key people exactly what needs to be done. Being super-duper organised and sending everyone spreadsheets and timetables made me feel like a bit of a bridezilla, but to be honest it meant that everyone in the wedding knew exactly what was supposed to happen when. That meant that when things went off track, everybody knew where to pick up from.
What (if any) comments would you like to add about us and the staff involved in your big day?
The staff were brilliant. Andra helped us so much and most of the organisation of the day is down to her and her team. The decorations were perfect and the day ran as smoothly as it was on paper. The bar and waiting staff were fantastic, and massive credit to the late night staff who put up with loud, tipsy guests and forgetful groomsmen until about 3am!
“If we could go back and do it all again, there is literally nothing we would change. I don't think many people can say that!”
Photos by Jay Emme Photography