An Alternative Gothic Wedding at Hundred House- Nik Bryant Photography

Are you ready for the cutest story of childhood sweethearts, the most incredible bridal boots and hooded cape, and gorgeous gothic styling? I’m not sure you are, but I’m socking it to you anyway! Today we have the gorgeous wedding of George and Maisie at Hundred House Hotel, Telford, with gorgeous photos by Nik Bryant Photography. So with no further ado, I’ll hand you over to the groom, to tell you all about it!

How we met…

Maisie and I met in school, a Year 10 Chemistry Class, where I was forced to sit on the table next to her as my group of friends had planted the 5 of us on a 4 man table and I pulled the short straw. However I was insanely happy about it in the end. Being 14 year olds, we didn’t really know where the relationship was going until one day the both of us looked up and sort of knew we’d made the right pick!We struggled through the long distance relationship that was our uni years until Maisie found a job in London, whilst I had to repeat a year (note an even longer distance relationship 500 miles round trip). During this time I wanted to show Maisie that whatever distance between us I’d still be hers and wasn’t about to leave because the distance was too big. So I bought her a ring with money I had saved up from a summer job. I took my time proposing, waiting till she was moving from the centre of London out to the suburbs where her parents had bought a house that she was going to move into. I arrived the night before she did, set up a pedestal in what was going to be our bedroom, and covered it in fairy lights. The romantic nature of the proposal was completely ruined by my knees popping as I got down on one knee and by me having to ask her mother (who I knew to be hiding on the stairs) which finger to put the ring on!! But Maisie still said “Go on then”. (Direct Quote).

At this point we agreed that while we were engaged, we weren’t going to think about the wedding for a while as I was still a student and London was expensive. Fortunately, 6 months after the proposal her work asked her if she wanted to be one of the founding members of an office in Birmingham. With us both being from Shropshire it was a no brainer for us to move back up to the Midlands. After this, we said we’d wait until we had a house before starting to look at weddings, and a year later we had a house, so the next big project was the wedding!

Planning the wedding

The biggest thing for the both of us was family. We didn’t want it to be a big grand thing, we wanted it to be us, the people we loved and some music. We didn’t really have a theme but Maisie’s favourite colours are black and red and everything she and her mother touches tends to end up halloween-y! Another thing in the back of Maisie’s mind was a slight fairy tale feel but not princess-y. The biggest thing I had in mind for the wedding was intimate, the rest I wasn’t really fussed about as long as I could look round the room and be able to name everyone, I was happy.

The Venue

Our venue was recommended to us by Maisie’s auntie who was looking at places with her daughter. It just so happened that on the day that Maisie and I went there to have a look around she and her daughter had been there the day before which led to an interesting conversation with the wedding planner. Us – “We’re looking for somewhere that can do vegan food.” Gemma the wedding planner – “oh we had a couple in yesterday that wanted to do vegan food” Us – “Interesting where were they from?” G – “Market Drayton” Us – “Were they called Megan and Daniel?” G – “yes how did you know?” Us – “That’s Maisie’s Cousin”! After we got back we had a chat with Megan over facebook and she told us that she had loved it too for pretty much all the same reasons we had, and we came to the decision that the two weddings would be different enough from each other that we didn’t mind sharing a venue. As hers was 3 weeks before ours, we got to see what it would look like and she was going to give us any things she would have changed, but when we talked she said the day had gone brilliantly and there’s nothing she would change at all, which made us all the more desperate for the day to come for us.
From this first day we were blown away by Hundred House and their staff; massive props to Gemma who was our contact through it all. We loved how intimate it was, how flexible they were with the food, how beautiful the barn was and how they were up for slightly bonkers things such as us asking to sing during my wedding speech.

Finding our suppliers…

Because almost everything was done at Hundred House the rest our planning journey was relatively simple. Maisie’s dress and cloak were provided by Wedding World, and when I say provided the cloak, they made that from scratch. Maisie had mentioned to them when booking to try on dresses that she wanted a hooded cloak. They said yes from the get go and were very excited about it, especially when Maisie brought the fabric for the cloak in and they saw she’d chosen deep red for the outer layer and black with skulls and roses for the inner lining. The leftovers from the lining weren’t just chucked in a bin either. My mother-in-law saved them and made myself, my father in law and the ring bear ties and pocket squares. Speaking of the ring bear (an important role played by Maisie’s 7 year old brother who looked really cute with his bear ears and nose!

It was really important to us that family was involved in the wedding as much as possible, which is why we had Charis (Maisie’s sister) play the piano for Maisie down the aisle, my sister Harriet and Maisie’s sister Loralei were bridesmaids, Maisie’s sister Addy was a flower girl, and my other sister Danielle was my best man. We had readings from Maisie’s mother and Maisie’s other sister Emily. So family was very important and we loved that they were there to share this with us.

When we were first thinking of our wedding, I got really scared of doing a dance in front of my family, so I got it in my head that it would be easier to sing in front of them. Maisie and her sister’s sing together all the time, so it only seemed natural that we do it at the wedding too. We then started taking ballroom dance lessons and decided that a dance would be good as well. We sort of forgot about the song until a month before and at that time it was a bit of a rush to arrange the song, but we pulled it off – even if I was out of key (but I don’t think any amount of practice would have helped that anyway). We knew we wanted to do a waltz for our first dance, so we started practicing it months and months in advance. Our wedding was in Feburary and we went to our first private lesson in July. It really paid off – the dance was amazing my sister said she was crying after the first bar. It was made even more amazing by the fact that the song was played by our sisters instead of just using a track.

Lessons learned…

The biggest problem we had was finding a wedding cake supplier that did vegan cake. It wasn’t until 3 months before the wedding that we managed to find someone. There was almost an issue with our flowers too as the original owner of the shop had to unexpectedly retire early, and our order was almost lost. They were very understanding though and threw in a free delivery to make up for the confusion, so all was sorted in time. I’d definitely recommend checking in with your suppliers regularly to make sure everything is on track, and there are no nasty surprises. In terms of advice for the day – you should make your wedding unique to you. For our wedding, we had a cloak, a family clan dagger brooch, a “first song”, a best woman, a ring bear, an a capella reading (the finale song from Nightmare Before Christmas), tables named after Disney villains, hand made crochet button hole flowers for all the guests, and a waltz. All were things that made the day feel like a real celebration of us, not just a generic wedding. The bits of the wedding that represent you stand out in your memory, and for the people who attend. Also, make time in the day to spend together. The day goes by so quickly no matter how much you try to hold onto it. So if you do get some time alone with your partner cherish it. We were lucky enough to be able to steal 15-30 minutes in order to practice our dance a couple of times, but then it was back to being in the swing of things and celebrating with everyone.

The Suppliers

Venue – Hundred House Hotel – as I said before, Hundred House was the perfect place for us, and would absolutely recommend it as a venue. The people there were fantastic and so friendly, they made the whole process so easy.

Photographer – Nik Bryant – we met Nik at a wedding fair, and pretty much decided we wanted him to do the photos of our wedding when my mother in law asked him what he would wear to the wedding, and he answered “speedos”. Our kind of humour! His photos are amazing, and he put us at ease both during our pre-wedding photo shoot where we got to know him a bit, and during the whole wedding day.

Flowers – The Ladybird Florist – Maisie didn’t really have much thought about flowers, so we chose this place because it was closest. The bouquet was beautiful though, and they were very helpful when we realised there was a mistake with the order.
Cake – Avenue Bakes – the only person to be excited about the idea of making a traditional 3-tiered, fully iced vegan wedding cake. Was lovely, and the cake was so good. It was huge and good value for money, and everyone was excited about getting to take some home – it was shared far and wide!
Car Hire – Sports car Hire– really good service, very accommodating with a good selection of cars for a decent price. (They don’t mind about you speeding as long as you take care of the car!)
Dress and Cloak – Wedding World – was recommended to my wife by my mother as this was where my aunt got her wedding dress from. Absolutely would recommend brides check out this place – they were so friendly, and the cloak they made was incredible. Maisie looked absolutely beautiful in her dress and the Cloak really pulled it all together, could not ask for anything more.
Suit – Moss Bros – A good suit at a decent price. I was looking for something a little quirky and when I saw the grey check suit I was just like, yes! This is different but still doesn’t look out of place at a wedding! I got everything I needed on one day.
Make up – Relax and Glam by Leah – Another recommendation from Maisie’s aunt because Leah is local, and happens to be vegan. She is a lovely lady, who made Maisie (someone who knows nothing about hair or make up) feel very comfortable. She was very excited about us being vegan too! The bridesmaids, flower girl and my mother in law all looked beautiful. Maisie looked gorgeous. She wasn’t heavily made up, she had a very natural look to her that just highlighted her own beauty.