Real railway wedding: DIY and dogs at Buckinghamshire Railway Centre

Infront of brake van with carriages and venue in background

I’m super-excited to be able to share another real railway wedding with you – Jude and Paul, who got married at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre in April last year after nine years together. Hope you enjoy their story as much as I did!

 

Self-confessed train geeks Jude and Paul have a long history with the railways. “Paul had a model railway as a child – and has one now too! He’s always loved trains,” says Jude. “My family visited steam railways on holiday throughout my childhood. I always enjoyed the train rides but as I’ve got older I’ve grown to love the architecture of railway stations too.” Their love of trains has been a feature of their relationship too: “In the 10 years we’ve been together pretty much every holiday we’ve been on has involved a trip to a steam railway or railway centre,” she adds.

Kiss in front of Beattie

It’s no surprise then that this train-crazy couple would choose to get married at a railway. “We’re not religious so we knew we didn’t want to marry in a church,” says Jude. “We started talking about options and a railway venue seemed perfect.” The only question then was, which one?

“We had to have a steam train running on the day and I was looking for a lovely station building,” says Jude. “Ideally we also wanted somewhere we could have the whole day – ceremony and reception – so it would be easy for guests.”

View of front inside of venue
Buckinghamshire Railway Centre wedding venue

After searching online, they found a venue that ticked all their boxes – the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre. And not only did it have everything they wanted, they later discovered that there was a nice link to Jude’s past. “We found out that I had visited the centre as a child with my family,” says Jude. “They showed me photos, one of which my brother and I recreated on my wedding day 30 years after the original was taken!”

Jude and her brother Steve at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre,1982
Jude and her brother Steve at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre, 1982
Jude and her brother Steve at Buckinghamshire Railway Centre, 2012
Jude and her brother Steve at Buckinghamshire Railway Centre, 2012

Jude and Paul really made the most of the venue’s flexibility on the big day. “We used the main station building for the ceremony and reception,” says Jude. “It’s a lovely big open plan space over two levels; we had the ceremony in the lower level area and the wedding breakfast on the higher level area, which is set out as a platform with an engine and carriages either side. We also used the smaller Oxford room within the same building for our bar area.”

Platform: top level of Buckinghamshire Railway Centre
Platform: top level of Buckinghamshire Railway Centre

The couple also had the use of a steam train for the day, part of which was a brake van that they had renovated in the six months leading up to their wedding – with a little help from their family and friends.

Jude and Paul on the renovated brake van with all those who helped them do it
Jude and Paul on the renovated brake van with all those who helped them do it

And that wasn’t all they did themselves. They also designed their own gorgeous vintage train-themed wedding stationery, including invitations, seating plan and table names. “The invite design was based on the architecture of the station building and the other stationery was all in railway signage style,” says Jude.

Train-themed wedding invitation and Edmondson ticket
Train-themed wedding invitation and Edmondson ticket

“We also thought it would be really fun to include traditional Edmondson tickets in the wedding invites and Paul found a supplier who could personalise them for us. They turned out brilliantly and some people even brought them along on the day, so Paul and I went through the train carriage asking for tickets for a laugh!”

Al the ring bearer!
Al the doggie ring bearer!

There are so many other details like this that I love about this wedding that I can’t possibly fit them all in but just a few extra snippets: they had an informal, fun hot dog and chips evening buffet; their dog, a Corgi/Jack Russell cross called Al, was their ring-bearer; the favours were mini ‘fire’ buckets of retro sweets; and their wedding cake, made by Jude’s aunt, was decorated with icing representations of Al the dog, their five guinea pigs and, of course, a train – so cute!

Wedding cake complete with dogs, guinea pigs and train!
Wedding cake complete with dogs, guinea pigs and train!
Mini fire buckets filled with retro sweets for wedding favours
Mini fire buckets filled with retro sweets for wedding favours

It really does sound like a fabulous day that totally made the most of the vintage railway wedding theme. And, in keeping with the train theme that’s been a feature of their relationship since the start, this year they spent their first wedding anniversary in the St Pancras Renaissance, the recently refurbished historic railway hotel in London – a perfect place for them to celebrate 10 years together. We wish Jude and Paul a very happy journey together and hope that their marriage will always stay on track!