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The Didsbury Wedding Event – Explained…

June 28, 2012

We’ve been getting a few new followers on the Didsbury Wedding Event twitter account since we started tweeting, albeit tentatively, about this year’s event & so we feel the time is right now to explain what it’s all about.

The Didsbury Wedding Event is run by Didsbury Life. At Didsbury Life, we work with independent businesses. And these businesses are pretty special. So, we wanted to do something a little bit more with these businesses, who pay us to promote and support and market them. Looking at all of these creative, unique, individual businesses we were working with, we saw an additional opportunity to showcase not only what they were doing, but also the area we love.

We wanted to show that you could largely source everything you needed for a wedding from Didsbury – but the criteria for being included is that you have to be a part of Didsbury Life. Because we’re a community. And communities work together and try very hard to do the very best for each other.

A provisional date has been set – Sunday 16th September 2o12 – at The Albert Club, so watch this space…

The Didsbury Wedding Event

The Didsbury Wedding Event

The “Secret” Wedding Unveiled – Part 7 : Flowers, Fish & Fizz

June 27, 2011
West Didsbury Flowers, Fish & Fizz

West Didsbury Flowers, Fish & Fizz

So, final part of the evening was a really lovely event courtesy of Frankie’s Fish Bar and Reserve Wines. The weather was still absolutely glorious and so everyone was able to mingle outside these two Burton Road institutions, chat and enjoy mini cones of the most succculent, and perfect, fish & chips, accompanied by Reserve’s English Champagne. Both businesses, like all others who’d been involved in this really unique event, showcased their real individuality and generosity of spirit.

Frankies Fish Bar, West Didsbury - Catering Service

Frankies Fish Bar, West Didsbury - Catering Service

Frankies Fish Bar, West Didsbury

Frankies Fish Bar, West Didsbury

English Champagne, courtesy of Reserve Wines, West Didsbury

English Champagne, courtesy of Reserve Wines, West Didsbury

Little too young for Reserve's English Champagne but Frankie's Fish & Chip Cones going down well...

Little too young for Reserve's English Champagne but Frankie's Fish & Chip Cones going down well...

Alex & Lisa, fish, chips & English champagne - a great combination

Alex & Lisa, fish, chips & English champagne - a great combination

And what about the flowers? Sian, of Didsbury’s Flower Lounge came up absolute trumps with Lisa’s bouquet, Alex’s buttonhole and a number of really exquisitely fragranced floral arrangements. The essentially English country feel was carried through Sian’s choice of flowers – peonies & Sweet William, mixed with flowering herbs. Gorgeous!

Flowers courtesy of The Flower Lounge, Didsbury

Flowers courtesy of The Flower Lounge, Didsbury

Flower Lounge, Didsbury

Flower Lounge, Didsbury

So, thanks again to yet more of the WestDidsbury businesses who embraced this potentially madcap idea, and turned it into a really memorable event…

The end of the West Didsbury Wedding Event...

The end of the West Didsbury Wedding Event...

The “Secret” Wedding Unveiled : Part 6 – The Party

June 19, 2011
The West Didsbury Wedding - The Party

The West Didsbury Wedding - The Party

So, “ceremony” and reception over, the wedding party headed across Burton Road to be greeted by Joe and his team at Pinchjos. The weather had decided to do us a favour and it was still very warm and sunny – perfect conditions for Pimms and pinchos…

Pimms at Pinchjos, West Didsbury

Pimms at Pinchjos, West Didsbury

Pinchos at Pinchjos, West Didsbury

Pinchos at Pinchjos, West Didsbury

The main man, Joe, looking after his wedding guests

The main man, Joe, looking after his wedding guests

West Side Wedding - Pinchjos, West Didsbury

West Side Wedding - Pinchjos, West Didsbury

Love2Eat Food Boutique, next door to Pinchjos, also joined in the festivities, with non-alocoholic cocktails for the drivers and younger guests and delicious strawberries and ice-cream. Guests played Connect 4 and Giant Jenga and generally had a very jolly time –

Congratulations from Love2Eat, West Didsbury

Congratulations from Love2Eat, West Didsbury

Connect 4 at Love 2 Eat, West Didsbury

Connect 4 at Love 2 Eat, West Didsbury

Love2Eat, West Didsbury

Love2Eat, West Didsbury

Love 2 Eat & Pinchjos, West Didsbury

Love 2 Eat & Pinchjos, West Didsbury

Next, and final, stop off for the wedding party was to be Frankies Fish Bar, where Alex and his team had worked with Kate from Reserve, for a final surprise for Lisa and Alex. More in Part 7…

Lisa, our West Didsbury bride...

Lisa, our West Didsbury bride...

The “Secret” Wedding – Unveiled : Part 5 – The Reception

June 16, 2011
The Secret Wedding

The Secret Wedding

So, to re-cap – Lisa’s dress was sourced from The White Closet, thanks to designer Charlotte Balbier. The venue was sorted, thanks to The Metropolitan. We had someone to officiate – Jim Gregory from Grosvenor Media. Flowers were supplied by Didsbury’s Flower Lounge and very regal candelabras by Frog Furniture – more of these two lovely businesses in a later blog.

Back to The White Closet and the morning of the wedding. Lisa’s make-up was done by bridal make-up artist, Emma Draper (wife of photographer, Jonny) and her hand-made vintage fascinator was supplied by Nicola at Silver Sixpence In her Shoe.

The West Didsbury Secret Wedding

The West Didsbury Secret Wedding

We’d also arranged with Cavendish Primary School to bring over some of the nursery and reception children to be confetti throwers – and they came armed with their own confetti cones which they’d made themselves. Some of them were a little bit over-awed by the occasion, but thanks to Ms Marland and Ms Powell for co-ordinating the children at such notice…

The Cavendish Children

The Cavendish Children

The Cavendish Children

The Cavendish Children

So, “wedding” over, confetti thrown, it was time to head off for the reception at Rhubarb Restaurant, on Burton Road, West Didsbury. Lisa and the team had done an amazing job of transforming the restaurant into a wedding reception venue – and, if you’re thinking of doing a wedding locally, this is a  great place for a reception.  We were really lucky with the weather and so were also able to use the outside terrace – later afternoon being a perfect time as it’s directly in the sun. Rhubarb joined forces with Nells Lane’s Thyme Out Delicatessen to showcase their wide selection canapes – another fabulous example of businessses working together!

Rhubarb Restaurant, West Didsbury - the venue for the reception

Rhubarb Restaurant, West Didsbury - the venue for the reception

Canapes by Rhubarb Restaurant and Thyme Out Delicatessen

Canapes by Rhubarb Restaurant and Thyme Out Delicatessen

Canapes by Rhubarb Restaurant and Thyme Out Delicatessen

Canapes by Rhubarb Restaurant and Thyme Out Delicatessen

Another local West Didsbury business who also contributed to the day was And The Dish Ran Away With The Spoon who had made the most delicious Victoria Sponge, surrounded by mini heart shaped sponges filled with fresh cream and strawberry jam. It was quite difficult to get a photograph of the cake as the bite-sized heart shaped cakes were a little too difficult for guests to resist!

Wedding Cake by And The Dish Ran Away With The Spoon

Wedding Cake by And The Dish Ran Away With The Spoon

We are also once again able to secure the services of the fabulous Zoe Chiotis, an acoustic singer with just a guitar, who really is the most perfect accompaniment to an occasion such as this –

Zoe Chiotis

Zoe Chiotis

Huge thanks also to Reserve Wines of West Didsbury who supplied the wines to accompany the canapes, and again, Didsbury Flower Lounge who ensured that Rhubarb was festooned with the most fragrant English flowers – more of their contributions in a later blog. So, a really lovely way to spend what turned out to be a hot and sunny June afternoon…

Next instalment will feature the businesses who helped to get the early evening event going.

Canapes by Rhubarb Restaurant and Thyme Out Delicatessen

Canapes by Rhubarb Restaurant and Thyme Out Delicatessen

The “Secret” Wedding – Unveiled : Part 4 – The Dress

June 14, 2011
The Metropolitan - West Didsbury - photograph by Jonny Draper

The Metropolitan - West Didsbury - photograph by Jonny Draper

So, we had our venue – The Metropolitan in West Didsbury. This was secured quite late in the arrangements, so re-wind right back to the beginning of what seems a mad-cap plan. We (Didsbury Life) had met with Alex and his friend, Eliot for a business meeting. Meeting over, the whole wedding idea unfolded. Alex and Eliot left, probably thinking it would go no further than a good idea.

Charlotte Balbier

Charlotte Balbier

Cue a phone call to Jonny Draper, with the instruction that we just had to meet up. A meeting ensued at Silver Apples  – and the ball was rolling…

Jonny works closely with Nikki at The White Closet and was able to speak to to one of the boutique’s designers – Charlotte Balbier. Charlotte immediately saw the bigger picture and was delighted to be involved, and she offered one of her designer wedding dresses, to be worn by the bride, Lisa, on the day. So, dress secured, we had to set up a fitting. The story was that, as a favour, we’d arranged with The White Closet for Lisa to go in for a “fitting” on the pretext that she might need her “measurements” when travelling…

She fell for it, and arrived at The White Closet to be measured.  Girly chats happened, and through these, she gave away that she loved the Charlotte Balbier dress – “Tabitha” – phew! It was strange as well that Jonny Draper, just *happened* to be in The White Closet, when Lisa was there, doing a bit of a moochy-around kind of photo shoot. Not of course, that it had all been set up in advance!

Wedding Dress Fitting, The White Closet

Wedding Dress Fitting, The White Closet

Tape measure away, The White Closet swung into action. Seamstress was booked in. Alterations were done. All that was left was for Lisa to be brought to The White Closet and be dressed in the dream gown, on the morning of the wedding. Nikki at The White Closet was joined by Emma Draper (make-up) and Silver Sixpence In Her Shoe (accessories). More of whom in the next blog. So, over to Nikki and her gorgeous boutique – and huge thanks to the amazing Charlotte!

The White Closet, West Didsbury

The White Closet, West Didsbury

"Tabitha" Wedding Gown - Charlotte Balbier

"Tabitha" Wedding Gown - Charlotte Balbier

"Tabitha" Wedding Gown - Charlotte Balbier

"Tabitha" Wedding Gown - Charlotte Balbier

More news in next instalment, but you can follow Lisa and Alex via their blog and on Twitter

The “Secret” Wedding – Unveiled : Part 3 – The Venue

June 13, 2011

So, hopefully by now, you’ve got an idea of what the “wedding” was about. People have different views, but for all involved it was a fabulous occasion. Alex & Lisa are now embarking on the first phase of their quest to find alternative, unique and ultimately romantic places to tie the knot. They’re currently in Canada, starting to investigate North American Indian & Inuit traditions – and good on them!

From our point of view, we wanted the day to be perfect for Alex & Lisa – and we think it was. But what we also wanted was for people to see that in West  Didsbury we have a whole host of, quite frankly, amazing businesses who can help you to pull off the perfect wedding.

So, here we go…

You’ve decided you’re getting hitched. But, where? Well, if you want a traditional or a religious service, then we have churches and religious buildings a-plenty around Didsbury. But what if you wanted to opt for something a bit unexpected? This was the task with which we were challenged at Didsbury Life. A venue in the vicinity, that was a bit different. Somewhere not usually associated with a wedding. But, with a bit of a dramatic backdrop…

Hmm…

Perhaps The Metropolitan might like to be involved? Before we knew it, they’d said YES (ironically, they said yes, before Lisa did!) and the wheels whirred into motion. And, before we knew it, Jonny Draper was shooting these images and Pearls and Lace were filming the “ceremony”. More of Pearls & Lace in a subsequent blog – just enjoy Jonny’s photos of the ceremony, in West Didsbury’s flagship “pub” – The Metropolitan…

Jonny Draper Photography, West Didsbury Secret Wedding

Jonny Draper Photography, West Didsbury Secret Wedding

Jonny Draper Photography, West Didsbury Secret Wedding

Jonny Draper Photography, West Didsbury Secret Wedding

Jonny Draper Photography, West Didsbury Secret Wedding

Jonny Draper Photography, West Didsbury Secret Wedding

Jonny Draper Photography, West Didsbury Secret Wedding

Jonny Draper Photography, West Didsbury Secret Wedding

Jonny Draper Photography, West Didsbury Secret Wedding

Jonny Draper Photography, West Didsbury Secret Wedding

Jonny Draper Photography, West Didsbury Secret Wedding

Jonny Draper Photography, West Didsbury Secret Wedding

Jonny Draper Photography, West Didsbury Secret Wedding

Jonny Draper Photography, West Didsbury Secret Wedding

Next instalment, coming very soon, featuring more of our West Didsbury favourites…

The Secret Wedding – “Unveiled” – Part 2

June 12, 2011

So, nearly a week has passed since the not-so secret wedding. Alex & Lisa are now in Toronto, but there’s been a fair amount of press coverage about the wedding. It was covered on East Yorkshire’s regional news programme “Calendar News”, the Daily Mail online, The Manchester Evening News and The South Manchester Reporter. Vanessa Feltz has picked up on it & Alex and Lisa have done an interview for her Channel 5 programme, and an Australian TV channel wants to cover the story. You can follow Alex & Lisa’s story on their website.

Press coverage - West Didsbury "Secret" Wedding

Press coverage - West Didsbury "Secret" Wedding

As ever, there were some discrepancies with the reporting in our local newspaper. Lisa’s dress wasn’t dropped off at the house. She spent the morning at The White Closet, being fitted. They didn’t go off on a pub crawl around Didsbury before the reception. And, perhaps most galling for Lisa, Alex and the businesses involved – there was absolutely no mention of the collaborative community spirit that enabled this event to happen. Here at Didsbury Life, we’re not surprised that the reporting of the event wasn’t totally accurate – but it’s a real shame that people reading The South Manchester Reporter or The Manchester Evening News, who didn’t really know the ins & outs of the event, didn’t get the full picture.

So, from us, Alex & Lisa – a HUGE thank you to the very forward think West Didsbury businesses who were part of this event. There were others who offered help etc but because of the time scale, their involvement just wasn’t pratical – so thankyou to Silver Apples, MacleodBradley & Steranko. Although we’re sure that the event would still have happened, it wouldn’t have been the same without these amazing businesses – The Metropolitan, Rhubarb Restaurant, The White Closet, Jonny Draper, Emma Draper, Charlotte Balbier, Frog Furniture, Flower Lounge, Reserve Wines, Pinchjos, And The Dish Ran Away With The Spoon, Pearls and Lace Films, Frankie’s Fish Bar, Thyme Out Delicatessen, Love2Eat Deli, Silver Sixpence in Her Shoe, Zoe Chiotis and King & Jones. Huge thanks as well, to our wonderful local primary school, Cavendish – confetti makers and throwers extraordinaire! And this time, we’ll blow our own trumpet – Didsbury Life, as we co-ordinated it all.

Each business contributed in their own unique way – subsequent blogs will reveal what they did. And, hopefully, it will all build that bigger picture of what we know about our local independent businesses. When called upon – they can put on a show and a half!

The "Secret" West Didsbury Wedding

The "Secret" West Didsbury Wedding