May 28th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Today’s Real Wedding is just lovely.
Claire and John’s celebration was cute, stylish, personal and full of fun… with plenty of prosecco! Just the way we like ‘em around these parts.
With images by Andy Hudson Photography.
Claire says: We got engaged in November 2012 when we were on holiday at Clavell Tower in Kimmeridge, Dorset. Clavell Towell is an old observatory folly. It was restored by the Landmark Trust in 2006.
It’s a very special, atmospheric place especially as the tower is perched on the top of a high cliff and there were gale force winds and torrential rain for most of the time we were there! It was a perfect place to enjoy our special time together before sharing our news with family and friends.
We were married on Saturday 1st February 2014. We had our ceremony at St Charles RC Church, Gosforth which was followed by a party at The Biscuit Factory.
We wanted to get married in Newcastle because it is where our home is. Father O’Connor made us feel especially welcome into our local church. We love visiting The Biscuit Factory and it is one of our favourite places. We wanted to share it with our family and friends (especially the ones who do not live in Newcastle). We love eating and the Food Social restaurant had always impressed us. We liked the opportunity to design our own menu with all of our favourite things! We ate Tempura King Prawns, Rosemary and thyme marinated rump of lamb (with garlic mash) and sticky toffee pudding.
We did not have a theme although we did end up using a lot of brown Kraftcard! We stamped our guests names onto luggage labels and our invitations, order of service and menus were printed onto simple Kraftcard.
We wanted the day to be simple and relaxed and most of all fun.
Hilary Whitham did our make-up… she is amazing! My friend Sarah did our hair, which was lovely.
My dad actually recommended this shop to me because he has driven past and thought the window display looked very elegant!
I wasn’t even sure I wanted to wear a ‘wedding dress’ but knew I did not want a strapless dress. The Bronwyn Marie was made of exquisite lace, fitted me perfectly and was very comfortable. I loved the buttons all of the way up the back (and would like to thank my lovely friends Helen, Amy and Megan for helping me get into it on time… Helen can tell you exactly how many buttons there were!)
I did not feel ‘ready’ until I had all of my accessories on. I felt like they were a big part of my whole outfit. I had a clutch bag instead of a bouquet and I also had a long pearl necklace which I bought years ago when I was on holiday with my mum. The talented Kelly from Tantrums and Tiaras made a pearl brooch to match my necklace which I wore on the ribbon belt around my waist.
I usually wear glasses so was a bit nervous about not wearing them (people who always wear glasses will understand this). I felt much more confident with my beautiful cap/birdcage veil from Sasso and even though I had not planned to have any form of veil I felt like it complemented my outfit perfectly.
I also wore a faux fur jacket for getting too and from the church. This is something that I would never usually wear but I loved it.
John wore a three piece navy suit from Slaters in Newcastle. They altered it so it fitted him perfectly. He also had new shoes. He looked very handsome. His best man and ushers wore their own suits.
My sister and John’s sister were our bridesmaids (they are both called Helen which is a bit confusing). They chose their own dresses which were navy blue maxi dresses from Monsoon. We wanted them to feel comfortable on the day.
William our nephew was our page boy and was very trendy and Lily was our beautiful flower girl. Lily also chose her own outfit and even though her mum (our good friend Alex) wanted her to buy a blue bridesmaid dress we thought that Lily’s choice of a sparkly skirt and top with a furry shrug from Monsoon was perfect! She was very excited.
Our friends Carol and Dean gave me and my Dad a lift to the church in their posh white Landrover.
My favourite part of the day was seeing John for the first time (he said ‘wow’). We both also really loved the ceremony itself as Father O’Connor made it relaxed and personal. I enjoyed getting ready in the morning with my lovely friends and family. We loved seeing the Biscuit Factory all prepared for us, eating the amazing food and dancing… so all of it really.
Our photographer was the lovely Andy Hudson. We love the photos and felt that Andy made us and our guests feel very relaxed. We also loved our pre-wedding photos.
We had yummy prosecco in the church porch after the ceremony and a vintage route master bus (booked via Coach Direct Ltd) transported our lovely guests together with us to The Biscuit Factory.
We had lots of mojito cocktails, prosecco and local beer from Wylam Brewery when we arrived at the Biscuit Factory. We knew we were going to have a good party when The Biscuit Factory asked if the could replenish the cocktails within 30 minutes of arriving!
Our beautiful white tulips on the tables were designed and made up by our lovely talented friend Cheryl Ford as a wedding gift. We were utterly speechless when we saw the Biscuit Factory set up for us… it was so much better that we had ever imagined!
We had Polaroid cameras with silly props for people to have fun with and leave us with some very happy memories and we had hired J&C light up letters from Doris Loves and they really suited the industrial look of The Biscuit Factory.
We had a giant Colin the Caterpillar cake from Marks and Spencer!
The fantabulous Maverick Rejects were our chosen band. Their manager Sean was superb and made sure that everything ran smoothly. He even thought of things that we would have never even considered – like setting up during our church ceremony so they would not interrupt our celebrations.
The band were absolutely amazing and full of energy. They rocked the dance floor and were a big part of our day being so much fun.
For our honeymoon we went cross country and downhill skiing in Norway. It was very cold, very snowy and very beautiful. We loved it.
We booked our honeymoon through Ski Safari. Andy Hemingway was very helpful.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to relax… and enjoy having all of your favourite people being in the same place at the same time… just for you!
Congratulations Claire & John!
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Former lawyer and bride to be Julia founded Brides Up North in 2010 with a chip on her shoulder. Frustrated by the poor Northern presence in glossy bridal magazines and online, she decided to do something about it herself. Astounded by the rapid growth of her blog and brand, Julia now manages Brides Up North’s online content alongside their busy wedding exhibition season, industry events and related commissions. And she’s always, always, got a new project on the go…