Phil and Sarah – Middleton Lodge

Phil and Sarah – Middleton Lodge Reading Time: 7 minutes

Sarah & Phil

Today we are featuring a beautiful vintage wedding sent in by Robin at 83 photography, whom we recently met at our Wedding Fayre at Worsall Village Hall.  Sarah and Phil also shared some of the really special details of their wedding, and I know you are going to love it..

Meet Sarah and  Phil. They were married in the beautiful St. Francis Xavier Church in Richmond with their reception at Middleton Lodge, and the day was perfectly captured for them by Robin Chamberlain from 83 photography

How long have you been together & where did you meet?

Well, we went to Primary School together (awww) and when we were 11 years old Phil bought me a make up bag (well his mum bought it for him) and asked me to the school disco…I ran off in embarrassment and left him hanging but took the make up bag with me – I’m not totally stupid! In 2001 I took the courage to ring him up on a date, he obviously wanted to get me back and declined my offer…leaving me hanging!  So we went on our merry separate ways and bumped into each other on a night out in beginning of 2006 and finally gave into each other!  I let him buy me a drink and we started dating; the rest is history!  We have been together for 7 years.

Why did you choose Middleton Lodge?

We heard about it from a friend who had got married there. On our initial visit we LOVED it but felt it was just a pipe dream.  We looked at other venues and nothing came close.  We loved that we could hire it for the weekend so would make the celebrations last even longer and also that it had a cellar bar.  We wanted somewhere different and unique and felt that Middleton Lodge could provide the perfect canvas for our vintage wedding.

Sarah-Phil-193Tell us a bit about the theme and how it came together?

I have always had a strong interest in vintage and could not picture myself and Phil having a traditional white wedding, it just didn’t suit us as people.  When I was imagining the wedding I could not visualise it UNTIL I started to think about us as individuals and the 1950’s vintage theme came to fruition.  The ideas then just started to flow, also being extremely lucky and having a creative and brave family we started to do it our way!  My Mum and Aunty made 350ft of bunting over weeks of Saturday nights. I gathered the table centres from various locations and also during the dark hours of the morning managed to locate a lady in London who made huge paper pom-poms. On the morning of the wedding I could not sleep so went for a walk at 4am and found my mum making the table centres, button holes and bridesmaids in the marquee! So we had a lovely quiet few hours together.    So basically we managed to get the vintage themed wedding we wanted by creating it all ourselves.

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Phil:  Most memorable moment of the day?

There were a number of memorable moments during the course of the day but the one that stands out involved Sarah’s dress and bouquet. Sarah had been to visit London a number of times with her mum to choose a wedding dress and I had heard a lot about it and some of the different possibilities they were considering but they were very secretive! Sarah had also been spending time collecting brooches from friends and families and working with her cousin to create her bouquet. I remember being very nervous sat in the church and my best man trying to calm me down and then having to stand, ready for Sarah’s arrival. I can remember her walking down the aisle and thinking how amazing she looked and that her dress and bouquet were stunning. It’s a memory that I will always remember!

 Sarah:  Most memorable moment of the day?

To say all of it is a cop out, so one of my favourite parts was the speeches.  They were ace! My best friend had moved to New Zealand so couldn’t be there, but she had sent a letter which was a lovely surprise. Simon, the best man read it out whilst I cried, and cried and cried some more.  We also played “Mr and Mrs” which was great fun and something a  bit different.  I really wanted people to feel an integral part of the wedding.  Also I loved our first dance which was provided by the band.  It was “All I Want Is You” by Barry Louis Polisar.  We had a friend choreograph a fun routine as again, I could not see us both doing the traditional smoochy first dance.  It was good fun and no one was expecting it.  Also the band did a dance lesson for us all, everyone joined in which was a nice surprise and we all learnt some typical 1950’s moves!

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Sarah:  What was you most favourite detail of the wedding and why?

My dress! I was soooooooo lucky to be able to wear such a fabulous dress and one I can also wear again!  That is the best thing about Candy Anthony dresses, you can take it apart and wear the individual parts again.  I am planning to wear the pink petticoat to my baby’s christening.

Tell us about your wedding dress and how you found it?

I did a internet search on 1950’s wedding dresses and came across Candy Anthony, again another pipe dream. Myself and Mum made a visit to the boutique in London with the intentions of getting a few ideas and making something ourselves, HOWEVER once you step in the store there is no going back!  I was extremely lucky and privileged that my parents bought me my wedding dress.  I spent the next 4 months deciding on whether I wanted polka dot or vintage lace, after asking everyone who would listen I finally decided on the lace.  I sourced vintage styled underwear too so the dress felt extra special as I had a vintage corset and stockings!    On the various trips to London for fittings me and mum would visit Portobello market and the surrounding areas to pick up the finishing touches for the wedding.

Phil:  What did you wear?

I wore a blue mohair tailored suit.  The band singer passed on the details of one of the only tailors around.  We travelled to Leeds and I was measured up. I chose a horseshoe style waistcoat to complete a 3 piece suit.  Half way through the process, very sadly, the tailor passed away.  His assistant very kindly finished the suit for me. When I went to collect the suit I popped to Leeds to do some final shopping.  The car was broken into, however the car thieves very kindly left the suit.  Therefore we both feel that the suit is not only one of a kind but extremely lucky having survived quite a few near misses!!

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Did you have bridesmaids and attendants?
Yes, I had 9 bridesmaids and Phil had 6 ushers.  They were a varied age range from 8 months to late thirties.
Special mentions for suppliers that you were really impressed with?

We were very, very lucky to have a lot of family and friends who could contribute towards the wedding which made it completely personal and unique.  So all of them I guess! The band were fabulous and made it totally vintage.

 Any sage advice you can offer to couples planning their wedding?

 Well, make sure it is YOUR wedding, not one to please everyone else.  Don’t get caught up in the family dramas that ensue throughout the planning process, it’s not worth it and really does not matter.  Everyone will tell you to make the most of the day as it goes so quick; really do make the most of the day because before you know it it’s all over!

Sarah arrived at the church in a classic VW Camper Van supplied by Lovedub Cars .
Friends and family chipped in and helped out with making of the cake, bunting, and table decorations. The bouquet was hand made from donated brooches gathered together from a Facebook status entitled “brooches needed!!”.
Designer Lyndsay McBean made cards and props for a post speech game in which funny facts were read out about both the Bride and Groom. Guests then had to guess which facts were about which of the newlyweds, by holding up the corresponding characature card for either Phil or Sarah as their answer.
The day was topped off with live music from Leeds based swing band TC and the Swingcats.
Robin adds “In all it was a great day with lots of fun and laughter, a lovely couple and a great bunch of guests. Phil and Sarah’s wedding also started my interest and continued work in Vintage Themed Weddings”.
Hope you enjoyed this as much as we did, if you would like to feature on this blog please email:


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