A Colourful, Vintage Pavilion Wedding In Birmingham – Holly & Neal


Today’s wedding features all of my favourite things – a tattooed bride and groom, a vintage salon, lots of colour and lots of fun! Holly and Neal were married at Joseph & St Helen Catholic Church and later on celebrated at Rowheath Pavilion in Birmingham. Holly wore a gorgeous vintage dress and her hair and make up was done by the wonderful Le Keux Vintage Salon in The Custard Factory. And that’s not it.. There’s plenty more to hear about the wedding with photography from By Garazi.


We met in April 2003 when we started nurse training.  We met through another Student Nurse called Lee and we became a close little group (the three alternative students in our intake) who spent all our uni time together and would meet up ‘in town’ at the weekend. There was chemistry from the start, Lee was never allowed to sit in the middle and would tease us the ‘you could cut the sexual chemistry with a knife!’. We always denied that we fancied each other even though we obviously did, probably much to the annoyance of our actual partners!! Towards the end of my relationship, I (very naughtily) kissed him one night when we were out drinking. It was the best kiss I had ever had and, although I became single soon after that, it somehow just didn’t fit.  We (he) decided that we couldn’t be friends and we didn’t see or speak to each other for about 3 years.  That drunken kiss had placed Neil in the back of my mind and when other relationships failed I would always think about him and miss him and tried to figure out why it hadn’t worked out for us.

At some point about 3.5 years ago, we started talking via Facebook and kept planning to meet but he would keep cancelling on me last minute!  We were texting a lot and eventually when we did met up we were both single, a bit more grown up and it just fell into place.  I’ve never been happier.


The highlight of the day is hard to pinpoint because the whole day was fabulous!  But there was a special moment for me.  After I had got out of the car, walked up the Church steps into the back of the Church, I got a glimpse of Neil stood at the alter waiting for me and my nerves and stress melted away.  Everything that had lead up to that point I knew had been worth it and I just wanted to run down the aisle and be standing there with him.

I loved every minute of the Church service.  The Priest had us all laughing throughout the service and my family had arranged some live Irish music as a surprise.  I just loved it all and had lots of fun (which I hadn’t really expected to). Also, I am a Catholic and all of my Holy Sacraments had been at the Church.  I went to the school associated with the Church, I saw my mother marry there and I have said goodbye to loved ones there so to get married there was emotional. 


The thing that I treasure most from the wedding day are the photos. Garazi is unbelievably talented and has given us the most amazing photos, over 1,000!  There are so many that I still can’t pick a favourite!  Garazi also captured lots of intimate moments between Neil and I and she caught every single guest looking happy and having fun.   

I also really enjoyed the band and hardly left the dance floor once they started!


We chose a low key venue in a park and had a BBQ outside without a set menu or seating plan. We were very lucky on the day that the weather was fantastic so people spent a lot of time out on the patio drinking, eating and mingling while the kids ran around and played in the park.  It had the relaxed, fun and easy going atmosphere that we wanted and that represents how we are together. 


When we got engaged, I started having some of the older tattoos on my ankles and foot recoloured or completely redone because they were my least favourite.  My dress is an original 1950s prom dress which was far too big for me so I had it tailored to fit my body but left it at its original length so that those tattoos were less visible.

I started the shoulder piece as my wedding tattoo and had it designed to look finished even though it wasn’t at that point.. I will probably add to it in the future. I am also planning a new tattoo that will include elements from our wedding.  Neil had some of his recoloured/redone before the wedding.  We have talked about getting a couples’ tattoo and wanted to have a male/female animal tattoo each but still haven’t found the right animal or style that suits us both.


How gorgeous does Holly and Neal’s wedding look? I love how they were married in the church where everything happened in Holly’s family too. And Holly’s dress – isn’t it gorgeous? Thank you to them both and to By Garazi for sharing it with Marry Me Ink today. Be sure to leave them all some love!

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Photography – By Garazi
Wedding Reception – Rowheath Pavilion, Birmingham
Holly’s Dress – Abigail’s Vintage Bridal, Rutland
Neal & Groosmen’s suits – Slaters suits, neckerchiefs were purchased online
Bridesmaids’ dresses – Vivien of Holloway
Flowers and reception room decoration – Melanie Elizabeth Venues
Hair and Make up – Le Keux Vintage Salon
Wedding band – Sweet Nothin’s 
Food – Tommy’s Catering

3 responses to “A Colourful, Vintage Pavilion Wedding In Birmingham – Holly & Neal

  1. Awesome wedding, love the colours, love the sincerity of it all. Just awesome!

  2. Aw man I love this brides style! Awesome work.

  3. LOVE this! I really like seeing grooms not overdressing and going for a more relaxed look and feel. Ink is amazing too and the photos ooze with fun and emotion