Alastair and Olivia's modern industrial wedding The Paintworks, Bristol

Monday, January 4, 2021

Mr + Mrs Reader 
14 March 2020︱The Paintworks, Bristol 
Instagram: @olivia.n.reader + @ajreaderPhotos: Lewis Membery
Alastair and Olivia got married on their 6 year anniversary, just before lockdown. They opted for an industrial vibe with big white blooms, lots of foliage and fairy lights. The bride couldn't decide between a princess dress and a gorgeous tea length dress, so her mum and sister bought her the tea length dress for the evening - how sweet! Olivia tells us all about their day, from their choreographed first dance to their sparkler send off... 
Tell us about your love story...
We met on Plenty of Fish in early 2014 and by our second date had organised a rap battle. This led to every anniversary being celebrated with another rap battle. On our fifth anniversary, Alastair knocked it out of the park with the greatest rap proposal of all time in our flat. It had laughter, tears and was everything I could have hoped for.  
What was your… 
  • Something Old – my dad’s wedding ring was laced into the back of my dress 
  • Something New – a photo of my dad in enamel into my bouquet 
  • Something Borrowed – pins from my dad’s Harley jacket were in the lining of my dress 
  • Something Blue – a sapphire ring (also borrowed from my sister) 
My dad passed away four years ago, so I didn’t have him there to walk me down the aisle. Although he couldn’t be there, I included him wherever I could.  
Did you make any wedding DIYs?
We did our flowers ourselves. We used a flower wholesaler, and had the flowers couriered to us, and then made the bouquets, button holes and all the arrangements. It was challenging but saved us a fortune!    
Tell us about the ceremony...
Our ceremony was performed by the registrar at our venue. Our readings were ‘Marry Your Best Friend’ and ‘On Your Wedding Day’.
Did you have anything unusual at your wedding? 
We didn’t kiss on our first date, and instead ended up shaking hands at the end! In a nod to this, before our first kiss as husband and wife, we shook hands.  
Song you walked down the aisle to: 
  • Needtobreathe – Forever On Your Side  
Ceremony songs : 
  • Just You and I – Tom Walker, 
  • Til the Day I Die – The Wandering Hearts 
  • Back Home - Andy Grammer
  • Wasn’t Expecting That – Jamie Lawson
  • All of Me – John Legend 
  • Better Together - Jack Johnson
  • RuthAnne – The Vow  
Song for walking back up the aisle as a married couple: 
  • George Ezra - Paradise 
Who was your favourite wedding supplier?
Our photographer, Lewis Membery, was next level. He made every aspect of the lead up and the day so comfortable and came up with so many great ideas. We didn’t want to do lots of staged photos, so our family photos lasted about 10 minutes, then we had about 15 minutes of couple photos and the rest of the day was just beautiful candid photos. He captured so many cherished moments, which showed so much joy on our faces!
Tell us about dress shopping...
I bought (both) my dresses from Wed2B in Bristol. I had not tried on any dresses before and wasn’t intending to buy anything, as this was May 2019 and our wedding was March 2020. I hadn’t realised how that shop model worked, in that if something is in stock, you have to buy it or potentially you could lose it, and you couldn’t order online (at that time – it may have changed now). It came down to two dresses, completely different, a tea length ivory dress with pockets (winner) or a blush sparkly princess dress. 
As closing time approached and we couldn’t reach a decision, my mum and sister decided to buy the tea length dress for me to have as my evening dress, and I bought the more traditional dress as my day dress. It felt very extravagant to have two dresses, but I was so glad I did. I felt beautiful in my day dress, but by the evening I was so glad to have something lighter and easier to dance in (with bonus pockets for my lipstick)!
What was the worst wedding planning moment?
The table plan! We were the week before lockdown and had a lot of people self isolating, and were changing the seating plan at 2am on the morning of the wedding.  
What was your favourite wedding purchase?
We ordered a cake topper from Etsy which came from Hong Kong which was made in our likeness, wearing our wedding outfits! It was definitely the most ‘out there’ purchase to go on the wedding spreadsheet, but we loved it! Because my dress was a surprise, our venue put it out for us during the ceremony.  
Tell us about your wedding favours...
Our wedding favours were wildflower seeds, and then for the ladies 6 O'Clock Gin, from Bristol, and for the men Peaky Blinders Whiskey, from Birmingham. Alastair is from Birmingham and I consider myself an honorary Bristolian.  
What was the most emotional moment of the day?
Speeches for sure! My mum gave me away, and gave a speech that was equal parts funny and emotional. Instead of gifts, we fund raised for Cancer Research UK in memory in my dad, so I also gave a speech which was quite hard to get through, but we were so overwhelmed by everyone’s generosity.  
Wedding Breakfast
  • Starter: Spicy Butternut Squash, Chill and Lemongrass Soup finished with coconut milk 
  • Main: Pieminister Moo Steak and Ale Pie with Creamy Mash, Market Vegetables and Gravy (Kevin Pie for Vegan/Veggies) 
  • Dessert: Sticky Toffee Pudding with Toffee Sauce and Crème Fraiche Ice Cream  (V Chocolate Vegan Brownie with Peanut Butter and Fresh Berries)  
Evening Food
Mini brioche cheeseburgers (V Beetroot falafel, hummus & roasted squash, spinach & sweet chilli wraps). All of our food was incredible
Tell us about your first dance...
Our first dance was to Nathaniel Rateliff – Need Never Get Old. It’s more of a rockabilly song than your classic first dance, but as our favourite band it was a no-brainer for us. We choreographed and practiced our dance, as it had a lift. The day of the wedding was the only time we ever did it perfectly from start to finish! If ever there was a time to pull it out of the bag!  
What was your Wedding Budget – and did you stick to it? 
Our original budget was £17,500. Our final spend was £18,771. 
Top money saving tip: Alastair didn’t want to spend a lot on his wedding ring, and ended up getting his sterling silver ring from for £11.30.  
What was your favourite part of the day?
Instead of a sparkler tunnel, we had everyone out in the courtyard with the sparklers, and it led to an impromptu Queen singalong. 
Venue: The Paintworks, Bristol 
Photographer: Lewis Membery 
Stationery: Vistaprint / Ourselves  
Florist: The Flowermonger
Cake: Marks & Spencer  
Hair + Makeup: Emily Williams 
Dress: Wed2B 
Shoes: Pink by Paradox London at Debenhams  
Bridesmaids Dresses: Debenhams + ASOS
Suits: Empire Outlet  
Rings: Fraser Hart (Bride) + Jewellery Box (Groom)
Band: Technicolour
From Brides, With Love xo

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