Heather came to The White Room with a love for all things creative and a 5 month lead time from dress buying to wedding! Just, what we like – a challenge and a bride who is focused, doesn’t have months to worry about “the one”, a bride who goes with her gut, chooses what she loves and wears it as soon as it’s here for her fabulous wedding day! Even better, she chose an amazing photographer to capture the beauty of Sheffield, S6 Photography who did such an awesome job and getting the feel of Heather and Ben’s wedding SO right!!! Sit back and enjoy!
Heather says: “We got engaged at the top of a hill in the Yorkshire Sculpture park, in June 2014 – the day after my 30th birthday. Having both grown up in the city, we really wanted a ‘proper’ Sheffield wedding! So, the city centre it was – I’ve always loved The Crucible’s ambient lighting, crazy angles and view. The Adelphi Suite offered the modern, unfussy setting we wanted and was just the right size for our relatively small party. The view over Tudor Square is so iconic – you can even see Park Hill flats, the Town Hall and Fargate so it ticked all our Sheffield-centric boxes. “We wanted our big day to be wintery, but not Christmassy – we decided on forest green and copper as our ‘scheme’, though we maintain to this day that we didn’t really have one! After choosing my dress, I knew a 1920s look was on the cards, so kept that in mind with some of the styling”.
“The Leopold was an unexpected gem – we didn’t really want t a hotel but thought we’d go for a look. The function rooms were lovely, food fabulous and it had a great outlook over Leopold Square – another Sheffield icon! Ben was really keen that people didn’t either have to stay in an expensive country hotel, or wait hours for a taxi in the middle of nowhere – so a Sheffield centre wedding was a perfect solution, especially considering that should we have travelled out to the countryside it would have soon gone dark”
The Dress: “I’d heard good things about The White Room from friends who had got married, but – living in Sheffield – I’d always admired the window display. When we got engaged, and I’d determined my budget, it was a ‘must visit’. Initial contact was prompt and helpful – getting a weekend appointment was tricky so (especially with our five-and-a-half-month engagement in mind) I booked a day off work and went on a Friday. Overall impressions were fantastic – the staff ‘got me’ and selected a selection of dresses for me to try. They were friendly and considerate, and accommodated the small amount of guidance I gave them”!
The bridesmaids wore fabulous forest green gowns by Biba at House of Fraser, and the flower girls donned fairy-esque Monsoon dresses, in gold. The colours tied in beautifully with the pretty rose and heather bouquets.
I had no idea what I was looking for! A couple of flicks through bridal magazines convinced me that every dress was the same…
We did three shops in total, The White Room being our final stop. In the first, I tried on all sorts, but was put in lots of corseted, mermaid looks – this did lots for my curves, but I wasn’t especially comfortable ( perfected the bridal shuffle though). They were also highly embellished, which is when I decided I didn’t want this either. In the second shop, I decided that I liked a high neck and low back – as well as a column fit, with a train. When I got to The White Room, I passed on all this feedback but was aware that the collection is more refined, so made sure Georgia knew I was open to anything. When she pulled Kristene out, I knew I liked it (and I soon learned the difference between lace and embroidery). As soon as I had the dress on, it was so light, comfortable and characterful – I knew (and so did my mum…) that it was the one. I’d been waiting for ‘that’ feeling for around 20 dresses, so it was a huge relief! I could even do the Twist in it… a sure-fire winner”
Did you have a theme? “Not really, we just wanted an excellent, rock and roll party to celebrate us becoming husband and wife… I wanted a pretty dress to do it in, and also gorgeous flowers. All this had to be documented for everyone to remember so we chose a marvellous photographer too.I was keen for the look to be wintery, but not Christmassy – we struck a nice late-autumnal balance with the flowers. We’re not a very traditional couple, so went for lots of geometric, modern angles with our stationery, flowers, cake and first venue – the most ‘archaic’ aspect was probably my dress!We really like food and wine, so lots of the above was important – I was surprised and delighted by The Leopold’s quality of catering. Everyone was suitably fed and watered…”
What was your groom’s reaction to your gown? Did the guests love it and more importantly, did you feel amazing? I don’t think anyone had seen anything like Kristene, so there was lots of cooing about the dress! But genuinely amazing reactions from guests. Needless to say, Ben loved it. “We lost my father to cancer ten years ago, so it has long been the plan to ask David – my little brother – to walk me down the aisle. He was amazing – excited, funny and solid as a rock. Even if he did manage to get my veil in a tangle, he really knocked it out of the park with his speech! Proud just doesn’t cover it.”
“The ceremony was amazing, so emotional and personal – with glorious readings. Later, I was serenaded (with an audience) by Ben, who sang Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get it On (luckily my mum’s very forgiving) – this launched into the band’s two sets which were a huge highlight. My little brother knocked it out of the park with an incredible speech. I also had all my best girls at my mum’s for a preview before we left for The Crucible – I’d have had 10 bridesmaids if I hadn’t chosen the shortest aisle in Sheffield, so chatting, relaxing and backcombing (!) with them for an hour before we left was amazing”
How was the reception? “A mulled wine reception was the perfect antidote to rubbish weather, speeches had people in fits of tears and laughter, the food was wonderful, Ben and many of our musical friends worked hard to create two amazing sets of music which had everyone on the dancefloor. I didn’t anticipate my wedding ending in a human pile up following Zorba the Greek (including a bridesmaid that shall remain nameless!), but it did and it was wonderful. I smiled and laughed until my face literally ached – but at least my dress and shoes didn’t”!
What was your 1st dance song? Does this have special meaning to you both? Heather says: “Quite an obscure Motown number – You’ve Got What it Takes by Dinah Washington and Brook Benton, it’s from one of our favourite films and has a nice groove. Most of our very ‘meaningful’ songs were used throughout the ceremony – priorities for the first dance were that it was easy to spin to, and got everyone else involved too”!
Do you have any advice for brides to be? “Don’t get too obsessed with detail, make sure you relax and have fun. Only having a short engagement meant we had to make decisions (especially on suppliers) quickly, but this gave us focus. We literally didn’t have to compromise on anything! The time of year may have helped. Despite being a relatively relaxed bride, I made sure every member of the bridal party and close family had a schedule of the day so that if I wasn’t around, someone else knew what should be happening!”
We had a super time, and got the rock and roll party we always wanted! But most importantly, we’re married – never lose sight of this being the reason for every late night designing or fretting over seating plans, I get to call Ben my husband now! That’s the best bit… that, and my pretty dress.
Heather wore ‘Kristene’ by Claire Pettibone from The White Room, Sheffield, 0114 2722336
- Venue – The Crucible Theatre and The Leopold Hotel
- Florist – Glenda Bream Wedding Flowers
- Jon Dennis of S6 Photography totally made our day. We managed to nab one of his last weekend dates of the year, and we’re so pleased we did! He really captured some beautiful moments, and some less refined ones which sum up the party perfectly… Highly recommended – a total star.”
- Hair & Make Up – Katherine at JAM (also my sister in law!) did my hair in the morning, and I did my make up using The Body Shop (base, kohl liner), Chanel (blusher, lips, nails), MAC (eyeshadow, brushes), Laura Mercier (primer) and Benefit (liquid eyeliner)
- Styling/extras – Veil through The White Room, earrings were vintage from Etsy, floral headpiece (worn in the evening) was from Etsy, shoes by Rachel Simpson, cake by Claire Kemp, Ben’s suit was made to measure, bespoke by Ted Williams on London Road, Sheffield
- BM Dresses – Biba, at House of Fraser