Keeley & Kara
Keeley & Kara's Wedding
at The Chancellors Collection
Keeley and I got together in 2010 in Hull. We first met at Fuel (the only gay club in Hull!) and Keeley spotted me straight away because she has a weakness for redheads (I can get away with writing that since she's not here at the moment ). We got engaged a year later, in 2011. In 2013 I finished my degree and got a job at the University of Manchester, so we both moved across the Pennines. Keeley is a qualified chef and is now the manager of a small cafe/delicatessen in Manchester City Centre. I am currently doing my PhD in microbiology at UoM and that is where we got the venue idea.
Christie's Bistro was advertised as a wedding venue as part of the University's Chancellors Collection and we fell in love with it straight away. We both love books so the fact that it is still a functioning library very much appealed to us and the medical science textbooks just topped it off for me (I am a science geek through and through).
We knew it was going to be a reasonably low budget wedding so pulled in all the favours we could; the bunting, table numbers, wedding cake and kransekake (Norwegian celebration cake) were all made by friends and family. Another good friend, Deniz Sabanci, made all our amazing stationery and she is now doing the stationery for one of our bridesmaids' wedding this year.
We found our photographer, Joe Smith (www.joeolismith.com) , on Gumtree. We'd left it a little late and were looking for someone in the startup phase who wouldn't charge an arm and a leg for the pictures. Joe was amazing, he spent the full day with us and took fantastic photos which were edited and given to us only a couple of weeks after the wedding.
While I'm bragging I also want to mention Rebecca and the rest of the team at Christie's, who went above and beyond to make it a perfect day for us. They had everything under control so that we didn't have to! We had so many questions and queries and they were incredibly patient with us
We spent about 15 months planning the wedding, and despite us both being quite laid back, the expectations were very high when we woke up that morning. I spent the night at a hotel with my family who had flown over from Norway and Keeley was at our flat with her parents and their dog, TJ. We got married at the Register Office and it was a very sweet and informal ceremony. Even Keeley enjoyed herself and she hates having to speak in front of crowds! We walked down the aisle (Keeley with her dad followed by me with my mum and dad) to Marry You by Bruno Mars and we signed the register/walked out to Happy by Pharrell Williams. We then spent the rest of the day and night at Christie's Bistro.
Drinks and canapes on arrival were followed by a quick photo session with our closest family members. We then had speeches from my dad, myself, my brother (also my best man), Keeley's brother (her best man) and Keeley's dad. This bit lasted quite a while, but we both thought all the speeches were amazing and everyone had a good laugh. The speeches were followed by a delicious carvery dinner and yummy cakes. We danced our first dance to Ho Hey by The Lumineers (swaying only, Keeley refused my attempts at choreographing anything), and immediately followed it up with our second dance - the YMCA! We felt it would really get the party started and it certainly did. The dancefloor was full for the rest of the night and seeing everyone dancing was one of the absolute highlights of the day (my 10 year old little sister and my 85 year old grandma stole the show). Our DJ, Emma (http://emmaclair.webs.com/), was great and she kept the party going right until the end of the night!
It's a cliche, but our wedding day was, hands down, the best day of our lives! We still talk about it all the time and our friends and family are probably sick and tired of hearing about it (we love it when we bump into people we haven't seen since the wedding as it means we can discuss it all again!). It was fun and relaxed and very laid back and it perfectly encapsulated us as a couple. All we wanted was a big party with all the people we love and everything went exactly to plan. The entire day was so exciting and so much fun! Though both mums and dads and aunties and uncles cried, neither Keeley nor I shed any tears. We thought we would, but the overwhelming feeling that day was pure excitement and joy and no tears were needed to show how happy we were.