A beautiful Leeds wedding venue, a Mexican feast and their dog, Chester, were all part of Sarah and Tom’s perfect big day. Our WED2B Real Weddings feature reveals more:

Sarah and Tom first met at university in Preston in 2009. “We lived together in halls but didn’t actually get together until our second year,” says Sarah. “We were friends first, so we knew we got on well. Then we went on a ‘first date’ to a local pub. It was cheap and cheerful and the rest is history!”

Sarah and Tom with their dog at their Leeds wedding venue

The big question

“It was a fairly quick proposal,” says Sarah. “Tom asked for both my Mum and Dad’s permission. Then he bought the ring and we went on our holiday to Lake Garda, all in the space of three weeks! Once he’d decided, there was no stopping him. We’ve always talked about marriage, but we’d been together seven years so I always thought it was something we’d decide together. So this was the biggest surprise I’d ever had!”

A beautiful setting

“We’d gone for a long walk around Sirmione in Lake Garda and we stopped for a drink along the way,” says Sarah. “Then we carried on up what felt like the longest, steepest hill to a beautiful olive garden overlooking the lake. We looked out to admire the view and the next minute, he was on one knee, ring in hand asking if I would marry him. It was the most beautiful setting; perfectly quiet, no one around and the lake right in front of us. I said yes, of course!”

Sarah and Tom leaving their Leeds wedding venue

Dream dress shopping

“I bought my dress in WED2B’s Bolton store on 27th October 2017, exactly one year before our wedding,” says Sarah. “The staff were amazing and made me feel so comfortable. The atmosphere was much more relaxed than in the bridal boutiques I’d been to before. There was no pressure and you could take as much time as you needed. They made you feel comfortable and didn’t force sales. The staff understood that buying a wedding dress is a huge decision!"

The perfect design

“I chose WED2B’s Summer dress and it fitted like a glove, only needing a few alterations,” says Sarah. “It was so comfortable too. It was the only dress I’d tried on that I kept thinking about and I had butterflies when I went back to try it on again. I bought my dress exactly one year before the wedding, so it was definitely meant to be.”

The back of Sarah wearing Summer outside her Leeds wedding venue

A stylish Leeds wedding venue

“It was important to us to have a venue that was fun, relaxed and flexible but that it was also in Leeds City Centre,” says Sarah. “The Faversham, a Leeds wedding venue, was stunning and so accommodating, it was a no brainer! We both went to see it and it was also the beer selection that won us over! We’re all about good food, good drink and a good time. We knew everyone else would love our Leeds wedding venue too.”

The big day

The couple married on 27th October 2018. “My Dad walked me down the aisle to ‘I Want You’ by Cee Lo Green,” says Sarah. “Cee Lo was our first ever gig together. We knew we didn’t want a slow or instrumental song but equally, it had to be romantic and meaningful. I remember Tom stayed facing the front with his feet glued to the spot while I walked down. I had to shake him when I met him and we both burst out laughing!”

Sarah and Tom holding hands outside their Leeds wedding venue

Let’s party!

The ceremony was followed by drinks and nibbles. “We also had the Didsbury String Quartet playing movie themes and Disney songs, which was a huge surprise for everyone,” says Sarah. “Our dog Chester showed up for some of the photographs too. He stole the show, and a few hearts as well!”

Pretty and homemade

“We didn’t have a theme, we simply picked things that we liked and enjoyed,” says Sarah. “It was a bit of a gamble, but everything looked stunning! I made a lot of my decorations, including the Order of the Day board and copper bottles. We also had the help of a venue dresser and our wedding coordinator, who decorated the venue amazingly. We had dried flowers too, instead of fresh, which meant we could use them to decorate elsewhere in the venue. The bouquets and buttonholes also doubled up as gifts.”

Sarah and Tom with their guests celebrating outside their Leeds wedding venue

A feast of fun

A dinner of Mexican sharing platters was served from 4pm at long feasting-style tables. “Everyone loved how informal it was,” says Sarah. “We also had our wedding cake for dessert, which was made by our good friend Fearne. It was cherry Bakewell, English toffee and chocolate orange flavours. Everyone is still talking about how amazing the cake was! In the evening we had a DJ playing, a hog roast and a cheese tower. We also had a portrait artist instead of a photo booth, which went down a treat. People got to take these away as little favours too.”

My top tips…

“Don’t stress, although I know it's hard not to!” says Sarah. “On the day it won’t matter. Whatever will be, will be and you’ll have an amazing day regardless. Enjoy the build-up too, because it goes so quickly!"

Sarah’s Dream Team:

Photographer: Folega Photography (folegaphotography.co.uk)

Leeds Wedding Venue: The Faversham (thefaversham.com)

Florist: Florence and Flowers (facebook.com/florenceandflowers)

Catering: The Hog and Apple (thehogandapple.co.uk); Celebration Cheeses (celebrationcheeses.com)

Cake: Fearne’s Cakes (facebook.com/FearnesCakes)

Entertainment: The Didsbury String Quartet (didsburystringquartet.co.uk); The Hi-Life (thehi-life.co.uk)

Transport: Liberty Campers (libertycampers.co.uk)

Décor: Shindig Event Styling (shindigeventstyling.co.uk)

Lighting: Light Up Letters Hire (lightuplettershire.com)

Portrait Artist: Molly Pukes (instagram.com/mollypukes/?hl=en)

Makeup artist: By Marci (bymarci.com)

If you would like your big day to be one of our real weddings please click here to share your story and photos with us and we’ll be in touch.