Seraphina and Simon’s Grub wedding: an epic alternative Manchester wedding venue, huge sleeves, and a surprise brass band

07 November, 2023

a married couple hold hands and laugh together while standing in front of some colourful graffiti on the wall of Grub in Manchester

There are so many things I love about being a wedding photographer, and one of them is the plethora of alternative Manchester wedding venues that I get to shoot in. When Seraphina and Simon got in touch about their Grub wedding, I was excited – it’s best known for being a street food venue, so I was excited to see how they were going to put their celebratory spin on it. You can see for yourself just how they did it, with the help of wonderful Manchester-based wedding planner Grace In Spring, below.

Main character energy

Seraphina and Simon’s Grub wedding day started out at another alternative Manchester wedding venue, Ducie Street Warehouse. A converted warehouse in the Northern Quarter, as well as hosting a mini cini (cute) and a monthly disco brunch (iconic) it also houses serviced Native Place apartments, one of which Seraphina and her bridesmaids got ready in. 

In a Jean Jackson dress with embroidery detailing and huge bouncy ruffled sleeves, Seraphina radiated amazing Main Character Energy from every pore. She kept her hair up in a tousled bun finished with colourful dried flowers that matched those in her bridesmaids’ bouquets (who’d all chosen their outfits themselves). Once she was ready, her Dad joined them to get a first glimpse at Seraphina in her finery, which was a really lovely moment!

Simon was doing his bit for the style stakes too, with a blue and white gingham jacket over sand-coloured chinos and a brightly coloured buttonhole to match.

Dried flower decor

The next step of Seraphina and Simon’s Grub wedding day was the ceremony, which they held in a church just five minutes down the road from them. In keeping with those in the bouquets, buttonholes, and Seraphina’s hair, they decorated the stage with brightly coloured dried flowers in tall jars. These gave the space a cool meadow-like effect, bringing the outside in as if they were actually growing up from the ground. 

Confetti and cheers

As they stepped out of the venue, Seraphina and Simon’s guests lined up along the exit to shower them with colourful confetti, resulting in epic photos (Ok, as not only your resident alternative Manchester wedding venue guru but also your wedding bestie, I have a confession: confetti shots don’t just happen spontaneously. Instead, it involved Seraphina and Simon having a moment to themselves in the church – to let it soak in that they’d just become husband and wife – whilst I organised the guests outside into two rows, and made sure everyone had confetti. Then they were able to exit to the adoration of their loved ones!). 

To get from the ceremony to their Grub wedding reception, Seraphina and Simon had chartered a red double decker bus. Everyone loaded up with a beer or a glass of bubbly before boarding, and then set sail!

Grub wedding reception

As I’ve mentioned, Seraphina and Simon chose to celebrate with a Grub wedding, which is usually a venue that hosts a street food market. However, it also makes a perfect alternative Manchester wedding venue, with quirky artwork lining the walls, and 22 beers on tap. They utilised the latter for their welcome drinks, which were in the Basement Bar, and I used the former as the backdrop for their couples’ portraits. We also took some photos in front of some greenery, and I loved how Seraphina’s incredible dress worked so well for both: it looked super cool and city-chic in front of the artwork, while the ruffled sleeves took on a more ethereal quality in the trees.

Then, it was time for the crowning jewel of their Grub wedding reception: the food, of course! As well as the awesome space itself, another great thing about having a Grub wedding is that the team can help you find the street food vendors who can provide the food of your dreams. (Boring, dry wedding meals is SO over!) 

With this in mind, Seraphina and Simon settled on a BBQ grill from Luncheonette, which guests could fetch from outside before coming back to the hall to enjoy it. They followed this with ice cream from Ginger’s, an amazing ice cream bar which has a truck for events and has loads of delicious flavours (including tonnes of vegan ones and the bride and groom’s favourite: Cheeky Vimto, which is Blue WKD and Port!) For their evening food, they chose Oi Dumplings and Triple Bagels, and instead of having a cake they had decadent Gooey doughnuts.

After dinner and some beautifully moving speeches, I whisked Seraphina and Simon away for some golden hour portraits. I’m proud to say we managed it, despite it being the greyest bank holiday ever… I mean, just look at the sunset reflected in the buildings behind them, would you? Oof! 

As you might have already guessed from the photos, this Grub wedding had been high-energy all day, and the dancefloor didn’t disappoint. Seraphina and Simon chose an absolute banger for their first dance, Swoon by The Chemical Brothers, then surprised their guests with a set from the New York Brass Band, a New-Orleans inspired brass band who regularly play Glastonbury. (Casual!) As you can imagine, the vibes were immaculate, and Seraphina, Simon and their loved ones danced the night away.

Alternative Manchester wedding photography

It was such a pleasure to photograph Seraphina and Simon’s wedding – all that love, laughter and joy was so much fun to capture. If you’re planning a Grub wedding and are looking for a relaxed photographer who can match the high energy you want, then I’d love to hear from you. Or maybe you’re looking at an alternative Manchester wedding venue, or elsewhere in the country or world – wherever you’re looking, you can get in touch here. I can’t wait to hear what you’ve got up your sleeves (especially if they’re as incredible as Seraphina’s…)

It only seems fair that I let them close out this blog post, too, so here’s what the wonderful bride and groom had to say when they got their gallery:

“Thank you again! These are absolutely stunning. We love them! It has been a lovely emotional weekend looking through them all with our family and reliving those v special moments.”


Venue: Grub Manchester

Wedding planner: Grace In Spring Weddings

Dress: Jean Jackson Couture

Hair: Marcos Perez

Makeup: Ceri Jones

Flowers: Pretty Pricks

Doughnuts: Gooey

Catering: Luncheonette, OI dumplings, Triple B, Ginger’s Comfort

DJ: Love Unltd

Band: New York Brass Band

Bus: RM Buses Ltd

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