Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

understated charm. a pared back wedding at the mill hotel – beci & paul

January 31st, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

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Today’s newlyweds, Beci and Paul, tied the knot in summer 2016, exchanging their vows in the magnificent Keele University Chapel.

Their celebrations took place in the nearby Mill Hotel in Stone, a former working mill that dates back to 1795 and offers heritage and charm in abundance.

We love the fact that the couple opted for simplicity throughout their special day, with a beautiful pastel wedding colour scheme; a yellow, red and white bouquet for the bride; and – a personal highlight – cupcakes for a cake!

With images by Ragdoll Photography

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beci says: We got engaged in Stone, by St Michael’s Church, on 12th July 2015. I had been nagging Paul for months to propose! That morning, I knew he had been ring shopping with my mum and quizzed him about it when he returned home. He said that he and my mum had disagreed about what ring I would like and therefore they didn’t get one. It turns out they had bought a ring after all and he proposed a few hours later!

We got married on 23rd July. Paul is a teacher and my mum is too, so the 23rd July was a week after his term finished and the day after my mum’s, so it meant we had the whole holiday break as newlyweds before getting back to ‘real life’.

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We tied the knot at the Keele University Chapel. This is where I currently study and both my sister and mum studied there, too. I will also be doing my Masters there next year, so it’s a place that’s central to our lives. Plus, we love the look of the building and how majestic it is!

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We wanted to keep things simple, as we are a very laid-back couple, so we didn’t really have a theme as such, but would describe our wedding style as a touch of vintage.

We chose pastel colours, mainly blue, as our colour scheme. We settled on blue in the end because that was the colour that best suited my maid of honour and so having bought her dress, it made sense to have the colour scheme to match.

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When it came to finding my dress, I felt like I had tried on every dress in every shop for miles! However, I soon found a style that fitted my shape best. I eventually decided on the first dress I tried on from Elle Louise Bridal in Newcastle-Under-Lyme.

Paul’s mum bought his suit in the Netherlands, as this is where he lived before getting married.

We had my maid of honour’s dress made to fit from Fairytales by Sherry, which is in Newcastle-Under-Lyme. The rest of the bridesmaids and groomsmen all wore their own suits and dresses to match our colour, as we wanted them to feel fully comfortable in what they were wearing.

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For our photography, we booked Rosie from Ragdoll Photography. She was brilliant, she made us both feel at ease straight away. Before our wedding day she visited both venues looking for great photo opportunities. This meant that, on the day, it didn’t feel like we were rushing around and everything ran smoothly. All of our guests couldn’t believe how amazing Rosie was; you didn’t see her, but sometimes you would hear a click and would know that she’d taken a wonderful photo. I would recommend her 100%!

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I carried a bouquet of yellow, red and white flowers. Yellow for friendship, red for love and white for purity. My maid of honour had a smaller bouquet of roses. Both were supplied by Parsley and Sage in Stoke-on-Trent.

At the wedding reception, we didn’t have any flowers as the room didn’t need them and we didn’t feel pressured to have any out of formality.

Our wedding favours – yellow roses – were also the table centrepieces. Everyone we had invited were very dear friends and as that’s what yellow roses stand for, it seemed to fit really well.

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Neither Paul nor myself are big wedding cake fans, but we do love cupcakes. Therefore our ‘wedding cake’ was 60 cupcakes (one for each guest) and a big cupcake on top that we cut. They were a mix of lemon and chocolate cakes and they tasted amazing! A woman that works with my mum made them, but you wouldn’t know they weren’t professionally done!

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Our reception venue – The Mill Hotel, in Stone – offered many different menus, including a traditional Portuguese paella, though in the end we chose a hog roast buffet. It suited us perfectly as it was very relaxed and everyone could eat their own preferred amount meaning no one was left hungry.

As a couple that doesn’t drink, we didn’t have any entertainment, just a playlist of music in the background. This meant that we could chat to all of our guests.

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My favourite part of the day was having time, after all the formalities of the day, to just hang out with friends. I tend to see my family at big birthdays and during holidays, but I might not see my far off friends that often.

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For our honeymoon, we went to Tenerife for ten days using Airbnb for our accommodation. We rented a car and explored the island at our own pace, finding hidden beaches along the way.

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be, do what you want to do! There can be a lot of pressure put on you by family and friends to do things a set way however it’s your day, not theirs. So do things your way.

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about the author

Alexis Forsyth
Originally from north of the border, Alexis has lived in the North East for the past 15 years and considers herself officially an adopted Geordie. A qualified journalist - Alexis took up the position of editor at the region’s longest running business publication in 2015 before moving into a marketing role for one of the UK’s largest independent arts and craft galleries. Alexis currently edits her own lifestyle blog, where you can find her latest musings on all things Newcastle-related, together with a smattering of her Instagram-worthy cocktail and foodie pics. Yet to find Mr Right herself, Alexis sees this as a mere formality when it comes to tying the knot, as she’s already picked out her dream wedding dress, theme and venue...

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