Sound the Thrash Metal Bells!

Wedding bells with a thrash metal twist rang at Helen and Tom’s spring wedding at The Bowdon Rooms… when this bride arrived for the ceremony, traditional peals were replaced by the sound of Metallica’s 1984 track “For Whom the Bell Tolls”. No string quartet here!

We caught up with Helen and Tom to chat all about their thrashingly wonderful wedding experience at The Bowdon Rooms. Photography of Helen and Tom’s wedding was captured by Christian Thompson at

Helen and Tom knew The Bowdon Rooms was the perfect venue for them after their very first visit. Recommended to them by a friend who knew they needed a big room and a large stage, they couldn’t imagine that anywhere else could top it. “We knew we didn’t want a stately home do,” said Helen. “The Bowdon Rooms was the first and last venue we saw.”

Music was the beating heart of their special day. As our expert sound-man Steve said to Helen in the run-up to the day: “You’re basically having a gig with a wedding in the middle of it!” Top of their wish-list was a “laid-back knees-up with good music and plenty of booze”. And that’s exactly what they got.

Helen said: “When Steve likened our wedding to a gig, at that point I knew he got it! I come from a huge musical family and most of our mates are musos or in bands. I really appreciated that the team understood the importance of music and sound quality on the big day.

“Steve the Bowdon Rooms sound-man was amazing. I can’t begin to explain how helpful and knowledgeable he was. My family played in the ceremony and he sorted everything out for this. I was quite specific about how I wanted to make my thrash metal entrance and he just made it happen. I couldn’t have dreamed it better.”

As Metallica rang out, Helen took centre stage at the ceremony in a stunning fishtail gown with a strapless embroidered bodice while her five bridesmaids rocked their black and white leopard print dresses.

After they’d said their I dos, Helen and Tom shared a tapas feast with their 130 guests, carefully created by The Bowdon Room’s exceptional chef. Tables were decorated with gorgeous roses and lush green foliage by, set off by glowing candles and silver buckets of prosecco – with champagne on the top table, of course.

Helen admits to not being the kind of bride to stay up late making decorations and loved that the lights and chandeliers made a strong enough design statement by themselves.

Helen added: “The food was amazing. Your chef totally went with our tapas idea and created the most perfect menu. Our friends and family gave it plenty of great reviews, along with the delicious baked cheesecake. “We really went big on the booze order too and that got a lot of love.”

Indeed, it flowed into the night as nine-piece folk/rock band Ofay inspired the wedding party to throw some wild shapes on our sprung dancefloor. The guests didn’t take much persuading!

The couple really appreciated the personal guidance they got from our dedicated wedding planning team during the planning stages. As Helen said “I hadn’t got married before, ha ha, so I had no idea what I needed to do. I felt like I really clicked with Karen and she understood my vision. She made my mum a brew and I was sold!”

“I also enjoyed meeting the owner and understanding the vibe of the venue. I needed to be sure that they understood what we wanted to create and that it would be possible.

“I just can’t recommend The Bowdon Rooms enough. It’s one of a kind. It was the best day of my life, I can’t imagine anything topping it. We’ve been to five weddings this year and I have loved every one but ours was just amazing! Karen and Taz were just ace. No request was too small or too mad! I felt looked after at every visit and really appreciated Karen’s counselling and support in the run-up to the big day.”

And Helen and Tom’s star of the day? Soundman Steve of course! “We got him some beers to say thanks,” added Helen, “But I don’t think that was enough to thank him!”

Cheers Helen and Tom!