Y’know when sometimes you see a wedding and it just makes you smile. As in really, really, beam? Amanda and Sim’s fun and fabulous wedding at Brighton Registry Office and after-party (with pom-pom fight; yep, you did read that right!) at the Old Ship Hotel, on the seafront, is infectious!
The Hove-based couple, who are originally from ‘up north’, met whilst swing dancing and based their big day on which venue had the biggest dance floor – we just love their style.
Over to Amanda to talk half an hour hen dos, pom-pom making and that all-important first dance…
Sim proposed on New Year’s Day on the beach in Hove. It was a really windy and rainy day we were both wearing huge parka coats with hoods up, I could hardly hear what he was saying due to the noise of the sea, it was pretty dramatic!
Hen & Stag Dos
We both felt a bit too old for the traditional stag and hen dos, so Sim opted for a meal at his favourite restaurant, with his friends, followed by the obligatory skinny dip in the sea!
I had a few small and impromptu hen parties including a half hour hen night with my family the night before the wedding, where all the girls went to Be at One for cocktails…. we were on a strict half hour time frame as I don’t drink very often and knew any longer would result in a horrible hangover!
We wanted our family and friend to see the place we now call home
We are both northerners now living in Hove, we wanted our family and friends to visit Brighton and see the place we now call home. We have lots of friends here who had offered to help with the wedding, so it was easier for us to arrange everything here and we wanted people to see how nice Brighton is, in the hope that they will visit us again in the future. It worked and we’ve already had an increase in visitors since the wedding!
I work as a swing dancer in Brighton, so was already aware of many of the function spaces as I’d had jobs there in the past, so we picked the one with the biggest and best dance floor as dancing was a big part of our day. Apart from the hotel, a lot of other things we either made ourselves or friends did for us, we were really lucky to have a talented bunch of friends helping us out.
We didn’t really have a theme, if we liked it we had it!
We had a huge pom-pom fight…
We had pom-poms instead of flowers; the bouquet, button holes and table decoration were all handmade pom-poms, towards the end of the evening, the pom-poms all got cut loose and we had a huge pom-pom fight on the dance floor…I guess that was a bit different!
We didn’t have a cake either, we asked guests to bring one if they felt like baking, we were really amazed at the amount and variety of cake everyone brought along!
We also had a tea drinking ceremony! Instead of cutting the cake, we poured each other a cup of tea as a symbol of promising to take care of each other in the future. During the ceremony we had our friends The Close Shaves singing, they are a close harmony A cappella trio and sounded so sweet!
My top tips for other brides to be are…
Relax and just do what you want! Don’t worry about what you should or shouldn’t be doing, it’s your day after all. I decided not to change my name and I was pretty surprised that this was questioned by so many people…but it’s what I wanted and Sim didn’t mind, so we stuck with it!
Also, don’t be pressured into being traditional if you don’t want to. We also wanted a really non-traditional no-fuss kind of wedding, but found that the more we tried to organise things ourselves, the more complicated and fuss it actually was, so in the end we went for a hotel wedding as they did everything for you and in the long-run it meant less hassle for us.
Also you can arrange a wedding pretty quickly if you want, we didn’t wanted to spend ages planning the wedding so we set a target to be married before the summer. Sim proposed on New Year’s Day and we got married on 29th March, three months to organise everything it was plenty of time.
My mum made my pom-pom bouquet, it was perfect. We also had our mums as witnesses on our wedding day as we wanted them to be named on our wedding certificate. I also wore my grandma’s wedding ring which obviously has a lot of sentimental value.
What we enjoyed most about planning our wedding was…
Booking the band! On my first trip to Brighton, I saw The Swing Ninjas play and have been a fan ever since. We now regularly work with them as a swing dancers and they have been a big part of our Brighton life. I was really pleased when they said they could play on our wedding day. We knew they would be professional, reliable and play some excellent music for dancing and they didn’t disappoint!
My least favourite part of wedding planning was…
Buying the dress! I really couldn’t find what I wanted. I really wanted a tea length dress so I could dance in it, but I found my choice pretty limited…and they were so expensive, I didn’t want to pay so much money on something that wasn’t quite right.
In the end Facebook came to the rescue, when an old school friend posted that she ran Elizabeth Todd Bridal in Marylebone, London. She offered to make me a bespoke dress which was absolutely perfect and it was great to catch up with an old school friend that I’d not seen in years.
The most WOW part of our wedding day was…
Our first dance! It was the bit we were looking forward to the most, we met on the dance floor and this is where we feel most comfortable, we hadn’t planned anything it was just our time to freestyle some lindy hop and spend a few moment with each other.
Honeymoon hotspot: The Scarlet Hotel and Eco Spa, Cornwall
So, are you smiling at your screen too?! Wasn’t Amanda and Sim’s Brighton wedding completely cool? They planned it in just three months, had a tea ceremony, everyone bought cake and lindy-hopped the night away. Sounds pretty much like perfection to us!
Thank you so much Amanda, for nattering with us (you looked completely gorge, by the way – that dress was divine!) and MASSIVE WOW love to the couple’s super-fabulous photographer Neil W Shaw, for sharing these photos with us.