There’s nothing better for firing up your wedding planning juices than a real wedding blog, and boy have we got a stunning wedding for you! Sam and Ruth planned the most fabulous Club Tropicana vibe for their wedding at Sefton Park Palm House- we chatted to them to discover how they did it, their top tips and their supplier list! Read on for some fun and sunshine vibes…
Ruth & Sam’s Club Tropicana wedding at Sefton Park Palm House
Please tell us a little about the two of you and your proposal !
A ginger Scouser and a slightly quieter Southerner who met in New Zealand in 2012.
We got engaged in April 2022 in Barcelona. It was hardly a secret given that we had chosen our engagement rings together a few months prior, but I (Ruth) popped the question on the balcony of our hotel room overlooking this super quiet courtyard in the Gothic Quarter. No big gestures, no gimmicks, just a moment for the two of us.
Where do you live?
How did you meet?
We met in 2012 at a ski resort in New Zealand sharing a love for being in the mountains. We travelled together for another two years before returning to the UK in 2014 where we’ve since lived in Suffolk, Essex, London and now in Manchester.
What do you both do for work?
Sam is a Director of Client Services & Operations at a Tech Saas company (I have no idea what this actually means) and I am a Programme Coordinator at a climate change charity.
Wedding Planning – Please tell us a little bit about the wedding planning!
So, we’re a very relaxed couple and took the planning of the wedding at quite a slow pace … until we realised that time was running out! Ha! That being said, we always had quite a clear vision of what we wanted our wedding to look and feel like, so it was simply a case of finding the right people to collaborate with to make it happen.
Why did you choose Sefton Park Palm House for your wedding?
A number of reasons! Sam used to come to Sefton Park with her grandparents as a child, feeding the ducks and getting a hot Ribena at the kiosk so there are a lot of memories here for her – it’s a sentimental place. For me, I had always envisioned an outdoor wedding surrounded by a lot of greenery but also had reservations about relying on the weather for the day (it was an added stress that I didn’t really want to have). I think I was searching for wedding bits on Pinterest and a photo of the Palm House appeared. It was an absolute light bulb moment, the best of both worlds, bringing the outside inside. We booked a viewing at the next wedding open day and were completely sold from the get-go.
What is it that makes Sefton Park Palm House different to other wedding venues you looked at?
It sounds so cheesy but it’s just the vibe. It’s unbelievably cool and has that ‘wow’ factor when you walk in. We live in a city but love the outdoors and the Palm House feels like it encompasses these two elements – it’s like a tropical oasis in the middle of Liverpool.
What were you looking for in a wedding venue?
Something that matched our vision for our wedding day. When we first started to throw ideas around the words Club Tropicana, funky and fun were said a lot and that’s exactly what we got at the Palm House. We knew we wanted a venue team that were switched on but relaxed, provided guidance but gave us the freedom to bring our ideas to life and after meeting the team for the first time we knew we’d be in good hands.
How did you find Sefton Park Palm House? Tell us a bit about your search…
I believe I was searching for something like ‘botanical wedding venues’ on Pinterest and a gorgeous photo of the Palm House interior appeared. Prior to this, we had looked at a number of outdoor venues, but nothing had quite sparked our interest at that point. I’m a firm believer in going with your gut and, although the Palm House was only our third venue viewing, we knew it was the one straight away and we didn’t hesitate in getting a date booked in.
Where did you find your invitations?
We kept it digital and created online invitations and a wedding website which housed all of the relevant information (menu, running order, local accommodation options etc.). It was super easy to create and meant we could update / amend whenever we needed to.
Did you have a theme or style in mind?
Pop colours, disco and botanical was the brief. We wanted to create an informal atmosphere where people would feel relaxed but with enough energy to get people in the mood to party.
The cake – where was it from and what was it like?
Our lovely cake was from The Little Cakery in Liverpool, we kept it simple with vanilla and lemon sponges (our favourites) and matched the design to our colour theme of hot pink and orange.
Who styled the venue?
Our florist Olivia from Funk & Bloom styled the venue, taking what was in our heads and creating the most wonderful back drop for us to get married to.
Who did you choose to do your florals? Why? What did you have?
We found Olivia from Funk & Bloom on Instagram and just loved her branding initially. Strike one. We went on her website and saw the wording ‘expect bold, stylish floral designs inspired by nature, nightlife, and nostalgia.’ Strike two. The last piece of the puzzle was having a Zoom chat where we chatted through our initial ideas, and she gave us advice on flower choices that would suit the brief. A 30-minute consultation turned into an hour and a half chat about Liverpool, Pride, disco and our dogs. Strike three!
Olivia was such an important part of our day, and throughout the entire planning process, expertly bringing together bold dahlias, gerberas, roses and tropical blooms and foliage alongside disco balls and funky candles.
Pre Wedding Preparations –
Where did you get ready?
We rented a cute penthouse Air BnB in the Baltic Triangle, filled to the brim with character thanks to the mainly music-inspired artwork throughout the apartment, the exposed wooden beams and features such as a giant structural steel column in the middle of the kitchen. Much like how I feel about the Palm House … it was just ‘a vibe’ (I feel very millennial writing that).
Who did your Hair and make-up?
Our hair, alongside our bridesmaid’s and our flower girl’s hair was done by our good friends Jodie and Rachel who work with their mum at family-ran Anne Marie’s in Huyton. Anne and her family have been doing the hair of Sam’s family for decades (Anne still visits Sam’s Nan at her home for her regular perm) and we wouldn’t have wanted anyone else doing our hair that morning. Jodie has been our regular hairdresser for years now and she has become a close friend of ours. With Jodie also coming to the wedding day there was A LOT of hair to get through that morning but the vibes at the apartment were ideal: relaxed, fun, lots of laughter and Fleetwood Mac on the speakers.
Our make-up was done by the lovely Michelle at MH Beauty Academy. Much like our hairdressers she was such a vital part of the morning getting ready. Relaxed and chatty she listened and executed everyone’s make-up ideas to perfection!
The outfits – where were they from and how many did you try on?
My dress was from Rixo. I was looking for something relaxed but still elegant, I wanted to bring the disco which I got with the sequins, and I was looking for something with a 70s feel which I felt like I got with the bell sleeves. I went down to London for the weekend with my mum and sister and we visited the King’s Road store in Chelsea. The shop itself is unbelievably cool and the bridal area even more so. We walked into the area at the back of the store, behind a velvet curtain, and there was ABBA blasting out from the speakers. I knew I was in the right place. This was the one and only dress I tried on, when you know you know.
Sam’s outfit was from Catherine Deane, opting for a wide-leg trouser and a full lace bodice over a dress. Much like my dress, she had a clear vision of what she wanted, and it was just a case of finding it. Once she had done that it was a no-brainer.
Bridesmaids outfits- where were they from?
Our bridesmaid’s suits were all from Zara. We loved the dusky pink colour and felt like the feathered sleeves added a bit of Scouse drama to the outfit. Our bridesmaids chose their own tops, styled their hair how they wanted and wore their own shoes. Much like the vibe of the entire day, we wanted them to feel relaxed and be able to pull some serious shapes when the music started.
The Wedding Day!
The weather looked glorious on your pictures! Please include credit for photographer –
I want to give a special shout out to our photographer Vicki from Willow & Wilde. Meeting her at our friend’s wedding (one of our bridesmaids in fact) earlier that year, seeing how she worked and interacted with the bride and groom, and then seeing the finished photos, we knew she would be perfect for our day.
Based in Scotland but from Liverpool, she was such an important part of the day and much like our florist, she just ‘got it’. She was a super calming and fun presence throughout the day – the memory of the smoke flare shots and the chaos that followed will always be one I’ll cherish.
Date of your wedding?
22nd September 2023
Which menu did you choose?
We went for the Lace Grill menu, wanting to create an informal dining experience and definitely not wanting anyone to go hungry. We achieved both!
What drinks did you have for the reception?
Lager and cocktail tins on the table. Again, we wanted an informal, fun vibe with the drinks on the table. We wanted our guests to feel like they were out a boozy brunch with friends really.
What was the most treasured memory on the day?
There are two moments that stick in my mind, the speeches from two of our bridesmaids were unreal. Those girls know how to work a room! Tears, laughter, props … they had it all. Another memory was Sam and I sharing a tequila shot directly after the ceremony whilst the guests were still seated. It was waiting for us when we’d finished walking down the aisle and gave us a minute where we could celebrate just the two of us.
Which band or entertainment did you book?
The Big Gospel Choir started the party with a set of disco, soul and garage tunes. Special mention needs to go to the vocalist who hit all the key changes in Beyonce’s ‘Love On Top’ – not easy! The night was closed with DJ Tony Maloney bringing it home with the old school dance anthems.
Did you have any special transport?
We used this really exclusive transport company called Uber! Ha! To be fair, both drivers brought the party on the short journey from the apartment to the venue.
Post Wedding –
Would you recommend Dine to friends and family?
100%. I’ve mentioned it a few times but Mya at Dine just ‘got it’. She understood the atmosphere we were hoping to create with the food and drinks and executed it to perfection. The team on the day were incredible, so professional and fun.
Where did you go on honeymoon?
We went to Ibiza for our honeymoon, wanting a nice mix of relaxation around the pool and keeping the party going. A particular highlight was seeing Peggy Gou at Ushuaïa’s closing party. Unreal!
Any special advice you would give to future brides / couples planning their wedding?
Have fun! It can definitely be a stressful time planning it, I think that’s inevitable, but really try and take a moment if things get too much to remind yourself that you’re going to be marrying your best friend in front of your loved ones. I looked around at Sam and our friends and family on the wedding day and just thought, ‘how lucky am I right now?’
For help creating your perfect wedding day, contact our team today