TNWC Real Brides: Emma’s been booking urban wedding venues that have that natural ‘oh my!’ factor
A warm welcome back to TNWC Real Bride Emma this week – she’s talking venues today, and I’m pretty stoked to hear all about the places they have booked for the ‘natural wedding in the city’. We share lots of lovely countryside weddings here on the blog, so it’s exciting to hear from a bride-to-be planning a natural wedding in urban spaces.
Over to Emma…
Love On Hope Street
Finding a venue that works for you as a couple is key to any wedding, and doubly so if you’re doing all the planning long distance: we live in Vancouver but are marrying in Liverpool. I wasn’t sure how much time I would have to decorate venues, so I knew I wanted something that would only need a few personal touches to make it feel like “ours”.
Having a good relationship with your venue organisers is also vital, and the friendly advice and timely email correspondence I had from our chosen venues definitely sealed the deal. As we’re marrying in our home town, we knew we would have lots of beautiful spaces to choose from, Liverpool has so many!
I was even able to visit some of them before I came to be with Shane in Canada. This was really helpful in the decision-making process: I ruled one out straight away when I saw the state of the bathrooms our guests would have to share with the bar next door!
Flexibility was also another important criteria for me: I didn’t like being given a rigid list of suppliers that we had to work with, and I discounted any venue that imposed a minimum spend.
I also knew I was looking for something that would have meaning for us, so I focused my search on the city spaces that were part of our courtship: falling in love with Shane is inextricably tied in my memory with running around the sun-splashed summer streets to meet him for our dates at cafés, bars, galleries, and theatres in the heart of the city.
Rooftops + Secret Spaces – Oh My!
Because Liverpool has so many beautiful spaces, it was difficult to choose just one. So we chose two! Our ceremony will be held in Liverpool’s Georgian Quarter, on the fifth floor of the boutique Hope Street Hotel, all exposed brickwork and natural wood.
It has floor to ceiling windows with views across the city’s rooftops to the River Mersey, like a silver ribbon on the horizon, and a terrace nestled between the domes and spires of two cathedrals and St. Luke’s “bombed out” church. It is a small, intimate venue full of light; although we’re indoors, I like to think of it as a rooftop wedding!
The place holds a lot of special memories for us because we stayed there together before Shane emigrated and a lot of our first dates were in the immediate locale — you can see some of the sites from the spot we’ll say “I do!”
Afterwards, we’re throwing a wedding party at Oh Me Oh My in the historic West Africa House (1920), tucked behind Liverpool’s iconic skyline at the waterfront. I love the idea of transitioning from rooftop to river! I booked with them when they had no flooring down and a makeshift bar in the corner because they were so friendly and their vision for the place was so inspiring!
It paid off as we were able to visit it again on a trip home at Christmas and they have done wonders with the space, and it has been lovely to watch it evolve as they have brought a neglected treasure back to life. Their style is vintage all the way, exactly what I was looking for, and we’re having a picnic-style reception with an amazing menu.
I took a bit of a risk as Shane had never been there, and although I showed him photographs, nothing compares to being in a space to help you imagine it on your wedding day. Luckily, when we had lunch there together at Christmas he absolutely loved it! In fact, showing Shane both of our venues is a really happy memory for me, as he was suddenly able to envision the day and had lots of questions and ideas that I hadn’t even thought about myself!
I’m so happy with our venues, which are beautiful in their own right, and I have some little handmade projects planned for the decor to put our own spin on them, inspired by our home in beautiful British Columbia — but that is the stuff of another post! Happy venue hunting, brides and grooms to be!