A Relaxed Art-inspired Lancashire Wedding: William Hughes and Saoirse Cowley
11 Jan 2016
For music-lovers William and Saoirse, a northern wedding with bright ribbons, pie and peas, record favours, teacups filled with flowers and a black forest gateau helped style their special day at a Lancashire art gallery
From the vintage 1960s dress to that wedding hat, William and Saoirse pulled out all the stops for a quirky wedding that demonstrated their unique style. They took the time to arrange a day that hinted at their love of music, literature, poetry and crafts. And we think the result was as eclectic as them.
Tell us about the proposal.
We had chatted about getting married and Will had promised to propose but wanted to keep it a surprise as to when it would happen. I ruined the first planned surprised proposal by saying, “I hope you don’t plan to do anything cheesy like propose on Christmas day.” Oops. By February I told Will I couldn’t wait any longer – the suspense was killing me so we went out ring shopping and found the perfect vintage ring.
What was the theme for the day, and did you have a colour scheme?
We didn’t have a theme. We wanted something relaxed and colourful and a little bit eclectic. We wanted a day that reflected us so there were nods to our love of music, literature, poetry and crafts.
When did you know when you’d found your dress?
I went to a lovely little shop – Vintage Lane, Bridal Boutique in Bolton – and fell in love with the first dress I tried on: an original 1960s dress. It was so light and flattering and I loved the attached train and lace sleeves.
Where did you find your suits?
Will chose a bespoke suit from Savile Row.
Tell us about your floral arrangements.
We chose Rachel from Garlands Florist. She understood what we wanted straight away and created a gorgeous bouquet for me with lots of ribbons and colour. At the venue we decorated the tables with vases, jam jars and teacups filled with flowers.
Tell us about the details of the day.
Our favours were individual records for each guest. We had designed our invitation in the style of a CD cover because we are big music lovers and we wanted the favours to fit in.
How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?
What was your most memorable moment?
Will and I decided to have a ‘first look’. We met behind the art gallery before the ceremony and had a few minutes together before we saw our guests. It was brilliant to see each other and it took away those nerves.
What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?
We organised it in under eight months, while living in London. It was challenging to organise a wedding at a distance. We only had a few weekends we were available to come up north and we had to make the most of the time when we did.
What was the most important investment for you? Food, drink, honeymoon?
Food was really important. We had a lovely retro/northern-inspired meal of prawn cocktail, pie and peas and black forest gateau.
Tell us about your wedding cake.
The cake was designed and made by a friend of the family.
Was there anything you wish you’d known before?
Decide on the things that are really important to you and let yourself go over budget on those things. If you’re not bothered about something don’t worry about having it. You’ll only begrudge paying for it.
Where did you go on honeymoon?
We had a mini-moon in Whitby just after the wedding and our proper honeymoon in Texas a year later.
If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?
Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages?
Make the day your own. Don't worry too much about tradition. Do what feels right for you.
Steal their style:
Photography: Rachel Joyce, www.racheljoycephotography.co.uk
Ceremony and reception venues: The Haworth Art Gallery, Accrington, Lancashire, www.hyndburnbc.gov.uk/hag: Barley Village Hall, Barley Village, Pendle, Lancashire, www.barleyvillagehall.org
Dress: Vintage Lane Bridal Boutique, Bromley Cross, Bolton, www.vintagelanebridal.com
Flowers: Garlands Florist, Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, www.garlands-florist.co.uk
To see more wonderful Lancashire weddings order your copy of Cheshire and Lancashire Bride on Buyamag here.