These vintage-loving newlyweds chose a fun railway wedding venue for their big day. Our WED2B Real Weddings feature reveals more…

Hannah and Karl standing together on the railway platform with the steam train visible next to them

Hannah and Karl first met at work and initially were just good friends. “We then gradually became closer,” says Hannah. “We never really had a first date, unless you count a trip to the Harvester in our lunch hour!”

Hannah in the vintage campervan on the morning of her wedding with her dad
Hannah smiling and laughing with her dad in the vintage campervan on the morning of her wedding

Pies and a proposal

The couple had been together for a couple of years when Karl proposed. “He took me to a local pub called the Windmill Inn on 10th September 2020,” says Hannah.

“We both had pies for our meal and there was a guitarist playing a song near the door. I was busy watching him play, turned round and Karl was on one knee! It was totally unexpected. He had bought me the most beautiful opal and diamond engagement ring, which I still adore now.”

A back view of Hannah and her dad in the vintage campervan with vintage items in the back of the vehicle
Hannah and Karl's vinatage suitcases visible in the back on the campervan

Shopping for the dress

“I visited the WED2B store in Hinckley, where my parents live,” says Hannah. “I had been to other stores locally but had no luck with my hunt for a tea-length wedding dress. At WED2B I was impressed with the variety of dresses available in my size. The shop assistant was really helpful too, showing me how to get into the dresses and doing them up for me. I loved the beautiful accessories, too. I also bought a belt, hanger, dress box and dressing gown, in addition to my dress.”

Hannah arriving at her railway wedding venue on the morning of her big day holding her wedding bouquet with sunflowers
Hannah arriving at her wedding venue with her wed2b vintage lace wedding dress and a unique bird cage head piece

Hannah chose the Ida dress.

“It had a perfect vintage feel, which I adore,” she says. “It's also practical, as we got married at a heritage railway station. I didn't particularly want to drag a long dress round the dusty floor! It fitted beautifully and was a perfect length for a hot September day. I got (and still get) so many compliments about my dress.

For similar styles take a look at Sofia, Jolene and Yvette.

Hannah waiting outside her railway wedding venue to walk down the aisle to meet Karl

A railway wedding venue

“Our railway wedding venue was the Great Central Railway in Loughborough,” says Hannah. “We had our ceremony at Loughborough Station and our evening reception at Quorn and Woodhouse Station in the goods yard. We’ve visited many heritage railways over the years and have always thought it would be perfect to get married at one."

Hannah walking arm in arm with her dad  down the aisle to meet Karl her future husband

"Living in NW Leicestershire, Great Central is local to us, so it was the ideal venue. We approached the railway, and they told us they were currently going through the process of gaining their wedding licence."

" It was as if it was fate! We got married on the 18th September 2021, and we were the first ever couple to get married at the railway wedding venue. Everybody was absolutely amazed with how fantastic it was, and the staff were brilliant throughout the whole process.”

Hannah and Karl standing facing one another while smiiling during their wedding ceremony

The big day

“The day started very early for us,” says Hannah. “I got ready at home with my mum and bridesmaids (sister-in-law and niece). Then my dad arrived later on to travel with us to the ceremony. Karl got ready at his parents' house.” 

Hannah and Karl holding hands and walkign down the stairs after their wedding ceremony with guests throwing confetti at them both

“We were picked up by two Volkswagen vans,” says Hannah. “I travelled with my dad in one, and the bridesmaids and my mum travelled in the second. The groom drove himself and his two sons to the venue in his Volkswagen T4. The wedding party arrived at Quorn and Woodhouse station and travelled to the venue via train.”

Hannah and Karl sitting in their vintage campervan after their wedding ceremony
Front image of Hannah and Karl smiling whilst sitting in their wedding transport after their wedding ceremony
Hannah and Karl sitting in their wedding campervan with Karl placing a kiss on Hannahs cheek

“We got married at 12pm in a room called The Gallery, which is opposite the booking office,” says Hannah. “I walked down the aisle with my dad to Elvis’s ‘Can't Help Falling In Love’. The ceremony was brief, as we are non-religious, and we signed the register to one of our favourite bands, the Arctic Monkeys. We then left to the sound of Morecambe and Wise singing ‘Bring Me Sunshine’ because who doesn't need a good smile to that song!"

Hannah and Karl posing outside the railway wedding venue with their wedding camper van visible on either side of them

"My favourite part of the ceremony was just afterwards, where we walked down the stairs to the platform, and everybody threw confetti at us in our wedding colours of yellow and green (I had made this myself from tissue paper and a heart-shaped cutter).”

Hannah and Karl's railway wedding venue
Hannah and Karl's unique wedding venue with a steam train about to arrive at the platform

All aboard!

“Straight after the ceremony Karl and I went for photos with the wedding vehicles, whilst the wedding party headed down to the platform for Bucks Fizz before boarding the train,” says Hannah.

Hannah and Karl posing on the railway platform with the steam train arriving to picking passengers up

“We were on the 1pm dining service, which travels from Loughborough to Leicester North and back again, stopping at the reservoir for a brief period, which was the perfect opportunity for photos. On the train we had a beautiful four-course meal and the use of the Veranda carriage to ourselves. The engine itself had a headboard with ‘Wedding Belle’ on, which I have since had replicated as an anniversary gift for my husband.”

Hannah and Karl dancing on the steam trains veranda carriage
Hannah and Karl having a little dance by themselves on the steam trains veranda carriage

A fun surprise for guests…

“After we arrived back in Loughborough, we had some group shots taken and then boarded another train back to Quorn for the evening reception.,” says Hannah. “We alighted the train and waited on the platform for it to pull away before we crossed the tracks to the evening venue."

Hannah and Karl faceing one another with their noses touching on the platform of their wedding venue
Hannah on the veranda of their steam train looking at the local scenery

"As the train pulled away, our wedding party got their first sight of the Steam Carousel we had hired (it had been covered up, out of sight, until this point. As we approached, the carousel began playing ‘Congratulations’. Everybody was amazed by the carousel and everybody had several goes on the beautiful horses.”

Hannah and Karl having their wedding breakfast on the steam train with their wedding guests
Hannah getting off the vintage steam train onto the platform with their wedding guests looking to exit

Let’s party!

“The evening reception began at 6pm, we had a DJ and a pie and mash van serving a variety of delicious pies and puddings,” says Hannah. “Our first dance song was ‘Everlong’ by the Foo Fighters. It started off with the acoustic version and then halfway through it switched to the normal version because we really aren't slow dance kind of people!"

Hannah and Karl's wedding guests walking on the platform with trains stationed next to them
Hannah and Karl posing with some of their wedding guests at their raliway wedding venue
Hannah and Karl posing with family on the platform of their wedding venue

"We then cut our cake, which was a two-tier lemon and Victoria sponge, with ivory icing, lace and green pearls to match the theme. Our cake topper was a Polaroid picture and wire bent into both of our names.”

Hannah and Karl's wedding reception with their unique wedding cake and wedding card postal box
Karl's personalised wedding tie with an image of their dogs who sadly recently passed away

A vintage railway theme

“Our theme was vintage and, of course, railways!” says Hannah. “We chose our two favourite colours (green and yellow) and rolled with it. Our evening venue had London Underground stations as table names and tables were scattered with small wooden camper vans with our names and wedding date on.”

Hannah and Karl's unique and unexpected wedding carousel for all their guests to enjoy
Hannah and Karl's steam carousel for them and their wedding guests to enjoy

“Each table also had three balloons, yellow, green and blue, and a vase with sunflowers and gypsophila. We picked 130 sunflowers the Thursday before the wedding and made the table vases and bouquets ourselves. My bouquet also had blue irises and blue freesias and the buttonholes were made from artificial flowers, with both sunflowers and gypsophila.”

Hannah and Karl climbing on board their wedding carousel
Hannah riding on a horse on their carousel

The personal touch…

“We also made favours for everyone, including homemade candles, sunflower seeds for everyone to plant, chocolate and whiskey,” says Hannah. “The children had a wedding colouring book, a personalised teddy bear and some stickers. My parents bought us a wedding gift of a suitcase with ‘Just Married' painted on, which was absolutely fantastic for photos at the station.”

Hannah and Karl posing on the railway platform with Karl holding a suitcase with 'just married'

“I got Karl a few personalised items to wear on the day. He had a green tie and I gave him a patch to sew onto the back with a picture of our two dogs on it, who we had unfortunately lost the year before."

Hannah and Karl walking hand in hand along the platform
Close up image of Hannah and Karl walking happily on the platform of their railway wedding venue

"He also had a beautiful tie pin, made to match his tie, which had hair enclosed from our two dogs who had passed away and our puppy who was six months old at the time (he also attended the wedding for a few photos, but was too bouncy to remain the whole day!)"

Hannah and Karl full of smiles while walking along the platform at their wedding venue
Hannah and Karl moments from a kiss while standing on the platform of their wedding venue

The best bits…

“The most memorable moment for me was seeing everybody's faces when the train pulled away from the platform and revealed the steam carousel!” says Hannah. “Everybody was in shock, as we had kept it a secret until that point. It still puts a big smile on my face now."

Hannah and Karl crouching down to hold onto their dog during their wedding reception

"Karl's most memorable moment was spinning me out on the veranda of the carriage. My Ida dress was absolutely perfect for doing this and the photos look absolutely fabulous!”

Hannah and Karl smiling at the camera while holding hands

My top tips… 

“Don't forget your flowers!” says Hannah.

“I can laugh now, but I was close to tears halfway to the venue as I realised I had left them behind. Thankfully we were running early and the second camper van went back to get them. The flowers meant a lot to me, as they had pictures of my grandfather and my husband's two grandfathers and gran who are no longer with us, plus both our dogs. Another tip (a really important one) make time to have fun!”

close up image of a 'just married' suitcase held by Hannah and Karl

Hannah and Karl’s Dream Team 

Photographer: Ellie Rhodes at EKR Pictures

Railway wedding venue: Great Central Railway 

Wedding dresses Hinckley: WED2B

Bride’s Stockings: UK Tights

Bride’s Shoes: Ruby Shoo

Caterer: Hamiltons Catering

Cake: Bethy's Cakes

Stationery: Poppy Forrest Kraft

Makeup: Katie Morley

Steam Carousel: Howards Amusements

Camper vans: Old Camper Co

Groomsmen’s suits: Harry Brown London

Sunflowers: Poplars Farm

Tie Pin: Pru's Shoes

Tie Patch: Memory Thread Co

Chocolates for favours: Carways Candy

If you would like us to feature your big day, like this big day and its railway wedding venue, then please click here to share your story and photos with us and we’ll be in touch. Your nearest WED2B is closer than you think, click here for your nearest store and here for what to expect when you visit.