Claire & Scott: Lantern Theatre, Sheffield Wedding

Every time I come to blog a wedding I find myself starting with, “One of our favourite weddings…” and Claire and Scott’s is definitely one of those. From the moment we met them at their pre-wedding shoot, where they totally embraced the downpour we found ourselves caught in (without umbrellas!) and allowed me to capture what will always be some of my favourite images, I knew their wedding was going to be special. Oh, and if you don’t know the love story of how it all began, you must read the post. Seriously. This is the stuff films are made out of!

If possible, the proposal just adds to the romance of it all, and in Claire’s words: “In May of last year, Scott and I went to Spain with my parents. Once we’d got there he pulled out a story from his bag and told me that he’d written it for me to read by the pool. It was a mock fairy story in which I was a princess and he was a scribe and all our friends and family members had amusing roles and titles. It was loosely based on reality and ended with our first kiss. It was funny and beautifully written and by the last page he had me crying on my sun lounger. The next day he took me for a walk on the beach. He seemed a bit anxious and he asked me if I’d enjoyed the story. I said I had and he said there was another, secret chapter I had yet to read. He sat me down on a mound of sand on the water’s edge, pulled this ream of paper from his bag and began to read. The story was set in Spain, on the beach, and Scott’s character was telling my character how much he loved her. All very postmodern. At this point, to my surprise, Scott began to cry. He asked me to carry on reading it aloud. By this point, I was a bit confused, but I took the story from him and began to read. In the story, Scott’s narrator was telling my character how much he loved her before adding that he wanted to say something else. Four more words in fact. At this point I realised what was happening and my head began to swim but I carried on reading. ‘What he wanted to say was…’ I turned the page and heard Scott say aloud the words I was reading. ‘Will you marry me?’ I turned to look at him. He was smiling and holding a ring.”

Claire and Scott chose The Lantern Theatre for their ceremony, an old 84-seat Victorian theatre with anaglyph wallpaper and red velvet seats; it was perfect. And the details of the day were unconsciously designed around the two important aspects of the couples personality. “Literature and music have always been important to us and during the planning it soon became apparent that though we hadn’t intended to have a theme for the wedding words and music were a recurring motif. Our invites were designed to look like classic orange and white vintage Penguin paperbacks, with library tickets inside for the RSVP (we’d stamped the wallet in which the library ticket sat with the key dates of our relationship). We used a Smiths’ song title (There Is a Light That Never Goes Out) as the title of the paperback/invite. Our place settings followed the Penguin theme, with the guests’ names replacing the author’s and a lyric we’d individually chosen for each guest replacing the title. Inside the place settings were CDs with the key songs from the wedding day. The orders of service that were handed out at the theatre were designed to look like vintage Penguin Plays paperbacks, with the title on the cover taken from a Velvet Underground song. Our readings were taken from books, except for one, which was the lyrics of the Pulp song, Something Changed. During the service, we exchanged copies of our favourite books, around which the rings were tied on a ribbon. Even the confetti followed the literary theme. Using a heart-shaped holepunch, we punched confetti from the pages of our favourite books.”

For me, the soundtrack to Claire and Scott’s day really stands out, and I have to admit I have listened to my CD (from the place setting) many times over and certain tunes take me right back to the theatre. “We put a lot of thought into how the day was soundtracked and I think the choices we made added a lot to the atmosphere, especially at the key moments such as when the guests walked into the theatre (Danny Elfman – Theme from Edward Scissorhands) and when Claire and I walked back down the aisle (Arcade Fire – Wake Up). The moment I most loved though, was when Claire walked in. I had to bite my lip. She floated into the theatre like a fifties filmstar. Clair de Lune was playing, the glitterball was casting out shimmers of light and just as she came through the doors a quote from the Princess Bride (‘This is true love. Do you think it happens every day?’) played over the music. It was a beautiful moment; without doubt the best moment of my life.”

“When we have champagne we often have oysters and we thought that there was no reason not to continue with this at the wedding. They’re not to everyone’s taste, however, and we were worried that we’d be left with a platter of uneaten shellfish. In the event, they went quicker than either of us had anticipated. A lot of the guests had them for the first time and there was lots of laughter around the oyster table. In retrospect we’d have ordered a couple of dozen more.”