Old Library Wedding | Birmingham | Jo & Tom

Old Library Wedding | Birmingham | Jo & Tom

Oh god this wedding was just AMAZING. When Jo and Tom enquired asking me to shooting their Old Library wedding and said they were planning on a mega party, with a curry feast, all adorned in sequins, I literally wanted to scream back down my email YES PLEASE PICK ME. But you can’t shout down an email, and it might have looked a bit weird. So I responded like a normal human and reserved my jubilation for when they did actually book me. So here’s my take on their epic wedding. It was colourful, and sparkly and joyful right to the end. Keep scrolling to read how Jo and Tom planned this extravaganza and see the story gallery. 

How did you get started planning your Birmingham wedding?

When I casually floated the idea of a wedding in the future, to keep up the pretence of being a mega-chill-babe, I referred to it as a big party. ‘If we ever had a big party, do you think you’d want a live band?’ just to seed the idea. When we started planning it, we kept that vibe – it’s just a big party. I think the first thing we did was make a list of people, then when you are looking at a supplier/idea/etc, you can sort of hold it up and see if it fits the audience. We focused on guests and things fell into place around that really. A party place, where we can bring vegan caterers, child friendly, central for travelling people, etc.

After the venue, the next thing we booked was you [the photographer], I think. It kind of helped us imagine what we wanted it to look like.

Inside the old library wedding digbeth - set up for a wedding with pink and blue giant balloons and gold chairs

Why did you choose to get married at The Old Library in Digbeth?

We were almost booked up with another venue, when Tom had his work xmas do at the old library. ‘Oh, that would be my dream wedding venue’ I said. Tom was like, well why aren’t we getting married there!? I’d thought it would be very expensive with limited food choices, but for a £500 fee you can take your own caterers which was perfect! I loved the light, the location, Michelle the wedding planner, I loved how many weddings they have there, so they are just super expert at it. Easy going but professional.

I do think Birmingham is lacking in really great venues. I’d love to see a few more with a DIY industrial vibe, I don’t know why there aren’t more in Digbeth? There are lots of units. [I quite agree!]

bride wearing pink sequin dress walking down digbeth street with friends all holding umbrellas outside the old library wedding

How did you find planning your informal wedding?

I loved it! What I hated was moving house, which should have all been done the year before, but ended up being January before getting married in August. We couldn’t really start the wedding in earnest until the move was done, which was frustrating. So we started booking things in January. Would have been a problem if we’d have had a Saturday wedding, but as it was Friday, it was fine.

the old library wedding - simple table centre piece with ivy and ornament

Doing some of the design bits was my favourite. The menus, website, etc. I’m pleased we now have essentially a house style guide. Ampersands, single spaces, railroad gothic font, with house colours! Insane what tom can be particular about – his key role was dicking around with the kerning on various printed items.

I booked a make up artist very late, after having read your blog, and thinking yeah, I don’t wanna dick around with eyelashes on the morning. Luckily for me, my make up artist Sarah Russell was great. I wanted crazy pink all round my eyes and cheeks, Space Geisha was my vaguely appropriative vibe.

friend congratulates bride at the old library wedding

We didn’t really have a colour scheme. We’d asked guests to wear ‘vibrant’ clothes (with a caveat for the goths, don’t worry dudes, you don’t have to wear lime green) and then we just kept ordering things until it all came together. Really the guests were vibrant but our colours were all quite pastel, but I still loved it all together. I was going to have white balloons, then coral, then sea green, and in the end just clicked order on something that wasn’t any of those. In a big white space like The Old Library, anything looks good.

bride and groom dance in the rain outside the old library wedding

How did you bring your individual personalities and your values to the day?

Tom likes to make things more fun and more expensive, I like to clamp down on frivolities and save money so we balanced out pretty well!

We both love our friends and family and are pretty emosh people, plus being obsessed with death as I am now I’m turning 40, the opportunity to tell and show people that I loved them was a siren call I couldn’t resist. After saying our vows, the speeches were my favourite bit, I bloody love a captive audience, and love telling people that I love them! Kel, the best woman’s speech has stayed with my since and I’ll still tear up if I think about it for too long. People say such big, dramatic stuff at funerals, and i wanted to say it all before then because, yeah, i’m batshit.

mother of the groom gives speech at the old library wedding

We love feminism and hate toxic masculinity and that did inform our day. Posies for all the brides-kids cos boys love flowers too, best man was a woman, Tom’s taking my surname, mom made a speech, I made a speech cos I love to wang on, I walked myself down the aisle cos although I love my dad, I’m not getting given from one person to another! Yuck!

flower girls and flower boy walk down the aisle at the old library wedding

What is your advice to other couples planning a wedding?

People say think about what you want, but we thought about what friends and family would want (Ie, lots of our friends have young kids, and we didn’t want anyone left out, so we made it very child friendly, but some people had flown in and we felt we wanted to give them a big party. Loads of vegan/vegetarians, so wanted food to be inclusive) and I am really pleased with that as a starting point.

bride in pink sequin wedding dress dances with friends at the old library wedding

Don’t overwhelm yourself with input – find one or two blogs that fit your vibe and stick with them.

What would I do differently? Not order 40 portions of chips from the shop around the corner for 9pm – no one ate them! Oh, and I wouldn’t buy paper floofers (paper pom poms)!

So, I was always of the Caitlyn Moran school of thought – if you think your wedding was the best day of your life, you haven’t taken MDMA in the middle of a field listening to your favourite band. HOWEVER. I think it was the best day of my life?? I mean, urgh, what next, putting WIFE in my insta bio?!?! Christ.

bride wearing pink floral headdress embraces with groom wearing blue waistcoat

How did you budget for your wedding?

We had a really strict budget spreadsheet, which we regularly updated. I was determined not to exceed what is really an enormous amount for one day’s fun. I was happy with the money we spent, but even if I’d have had a bigger budget, it would have felt wasteful to me to spend much more. Kids are starving, folks.

wedding guests wipe away tears at the old library wedding

We bought an A0 wall planner, and stuck it up, along with handwritten lists with tick boxes. Even though Tom, as a digital product person, loves an app. In this instance, visible, obvious lists and plans were the most useful for us.

What was it like to work with me?

Awesome. Honestly delightful. Aside from all the other stuff, I didn’t feel like a dickhead in front of the camera. In person, [you were] great with kids, magically everywhere at once, and so much fun. You just felt like a guest with a very big statement necklace!

a group of children huddle in to lady to pose for a fun wedding photo

The Old Library Birmingham Wedding Suppliers

Jo’s look: Dress by The Couture Company, Orchid Headpiece by GGs Pin Up Couture, Make up by Sarah Russell, Shoes by Converse

Tom’s look: Suit by Slaters Menswear, Shoes by ASOS

Venue: The Old Library, Digbeth

Neon signs: Glowfi

Caterer: Full of Chaat

Artificial flower bouquets: Country Baskets

Entertainment: The Best Men



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Click here to see the story of photos from this wedding at The Old Library in Digbeth

DIY Home Garden Wedding | Erica & James

DIY Home Garden Wedding | Erica & James

Home garden weddings are growing in popularity like a lush green lawn after a summer of rain. And it’s no surprise when you consider that there are some serious cost savings to be made. Plus – if you have a raft of unusual wedding guests that you want to include, why not? That’s exactly what Erica and James did when they got married. Scroll down to read all about their DIY home garden wedding. 

How did you start planning your wedding?

My cousin got engaged a year and a half before we got married and it made us think..uhhm we should probably get a move on! But we first started planning by organising the church stuff, then marquee then my mum helped ALOT.

How did you find planning your wedding?

My mum did a lot of the planning, I just kind of okay-ed and didn’t okay things. The things I did organise I found okay. The most difficult thing I found was the family politics of planning a wedding, which was STRESSFUL!

How did you bring your individual personalities and your values in to your wedding day?

I’m a dog walker and we love our dog so naturally he was the ring bearer! We also had alpacas – we love animals quite obviously!! We wanted to have the wedding reception at home so we could include all of our pets – 1 dog, 2 cats, several ducks and a rabbit!

Which venues did you choose and why?

We got married at the church where family members had previously been married at. The church was also next to the cemetery where my late father is buried. We chose to have our reception at home because we wanted lots of people and used the marquee and field at the back of our house. It was cheaper than hiring a venue.

What is your advice to other couples getting married? What would you do differently?

Do what you want, try not to be too dictated by family members. Write a detailed list of who you want to thank so you don’t forget anyone. Don’t tell anyone where they are going to be sat on the seating plan in advance or just don’t have one. And have music playing constantly, it gives a good flow!

What was it like to work with me?


DIY Garden Wedding Photos

DIY Garden Wedding Suppliers

Entertainment: PopGun, The Roving Artist and Charnwood Forest Alpacas

Venues: Temple Balsall Church

Catering: Gourmet Foods


Not sure which awesome wedding photographer to choose to shoot your wedding? Leave your email below to get my free and impartial guide on how to choose your wedding photographer

Want to know more about me? I'm Rowan, AKA Parrot & Pineapple Wedding Photography

Read what previous clients say about working with me

Check out my wedding photography prices

Find out who I am

Get cracking advice and see real weddings on my blog

Contact me here

Ikon Gallery Wedding | Birmingham | Charlotte & Ken

Ikon Gallery Wedding | Birmingham | Charlotte & Ken

When Charlotte sent me her enquiry and mentioned she was in Ibiza, I instantly knew I wanted to shoot her wedding. As a retired raver I do love a wedding that’s be planned with the intention of having a massive party at the end. I’m in my happy place on the dance floor, so shooting an Ikon Gallery wedding with all the colour and creativity that brings was a flippin’ dream. Charlotte and Ken got the best of both worlds with their wedding, a small intimate ceremony and delicious lunch surrounded by loved ones, followed by a big rave up with their wider circle. Read on to find out how they planned it:

How did you first meet?

We met on the first day of our last year at Medical school – I walked into the first lecture late and scruffy (dressed in cycling gear) and sat on the nearest empty seat which then broke! Not the discreet entrance I had hoped for! The broken seat happened to be next to Keni! We got chatting at the end of lectures, bonded over our common love for underground electronic music, Keni woo-ed me by teaching me how to DJ and I won him over with my homemade peach crumble!

Bride in coast dress at Birmingham Registry office wedding

What was the proposal like?

In Ibiza! At our favourite beach side restaurant and the ring came out with a pineapple tarte tatin! We had lots of sparkly wine to celebrate then went to Pacha. Sadly I was promptly thrown out of Pacha (I blame the sparkly wine) so Keni took me home then went back out and partied until 6am alone! The engagement story made him lots of party friends though! definitely our most memorable and special trip to Ibiza 🙂

How did you find planning your wedding?

Not too bad! I didn’t want a big wedding and had lots of friends who helped out so apart from the last few weeks it was all quite chilled and stress free!

What venues did you choose and why?

We chose Birmingham because it’s and where we met and spent the first year of our relationship and we have got a lot of happy/funny/ridiculous memories! We had the ceremony at Birmingham register office then went to Bistro Pierre for lunch with our immediate family, best man and maid of honour. In the evening we had a big party at the Ikon – an art Gallery just off the canal in Brindley Place. We chose the Ikon as we wanted an urban wedding and Ken loves art. We picked the date based on the exhibition at the gallery – Polly Apfelbaum Waiting For the UFOs – it was spacey, colourful and amazing!

What did you both wear? Why did you choose those outfits?

I wore a bargain dress from Coast – £99 in the sale! As we were having quite an informal and low-key ceremony I didn’t want a full-length gown and fell in love with my dress as soon as I tried it on! Keni wore a gorgeous suit from Paul Smith complete with waistcoat and tie.

What sort of theme did you go for with decor and styling?

As the exhibition at the Ikon only opened a few days before our wedding we didn’t know what it was going to look like so I suppose the theme was “surprise!”! So everything was a bit random and colourful and exactly what we fancied rather than sticking to a theme. My friend did the flowers and did an amazing job – the remit was modern and architectural with a pom-pom hydrangea bouquet and that’s exactly what she did with colourful gladioli and kalanchoes. My auntie made the cake which was decorated with my favourite flowers – daisies, sunflowers and hydrangeas.

Ikon gallery wedding by Parrot & Pineapple Wedding Photography

What was your ceremony like?

The ceremony was short and simple which is just as we wanted it – I was so nervous even though it was only our immediate family!

What was your plan for the reception?

For the evening reception we wanted a great big party with a free bar, great music and a full dance floor until the very end! We started off with welcome drinks and canapés made by my lovely friend; then we had speeches with fizz; a caricature artist to capture some guests; live music then a DJ until 2am! The speeches and the first dance were my favourite bits – everybody all together laughing and having a great time!

Ikon gallery wedding by Parrot & Pineapple Wedding Photography

What was your first dance song and why?

Earth wind and fire – September. We absolutely LOVE this song, we got married in September, and we knew it would make everybody want to dance!

Did you have any special entertainment? If so what was it?

Keni’s oldest friend Vicky Sun travelled all the way from Taiwan and performed the most AMAZING song that she wrote just for the day – it was about a cat a tree and it was perfect!

Ikon gallery wedding by Parrot & Pineapple Wedding Photography

What is your advice to other couples getting married? What would you do differently?

Biggest piece of advice is get a good photographer and I recommend Rowan! We almost didn’t have a photographer because of budget constraints but I am so glad we did – getting the photos after the wedding is so exciting, you get to see loads things you probably missed on the day and get to see all your guests having fun! Rowan’s pictures have captured exactly how the day felt and when I look at them I feel like I’m reliving the day which is priceless. Second biggest piece of advice is don’t stress too much about the little things ! There will be hiccups on the day and things that don’t go to plan – for us it was a forgotten ring pillow made by a family friend, smashed jars of pick and mix and some lighting that kept tripping out all the electric – BUT nobody noticed! Everybody was too busy having a good time!

What was it like working with me?

A joy! Rowan is relaxed and fun and loads of my guests even said they want to be her friend! If you need anything on the day or before Rowan is happy to help and is a fountain of wedding knowledge.

Intimate Birmingham Wedding Photos

Ikon Gallery Wedding Suppliers

Ceremony Venue : Birmingham Registry Office

Wedding Lunch Venue: Bistrot Pierre

Reception: Ikon Gallery

Catering : Paella Inc

Are your own planning Birmingham Wedding?

If you’re looking for a wedding photographer that’s not going to make you do the boring and cheesy stuff then I’d love to hear from you! As you can see I love a party and I’m more than happy to get right involved to capture your wedding rave up. You can see my packages here, read what other people think about working with mw here and finally if you want to say hello click here.

Love the details of this wedding and want to pin it to your own wedding planning boards? Brill! Go right ahead. You can also follow me on Pinterest too for more inspiration.