February 16th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
If a bucket load of quirkiness is your thing, then you’re going to love this afternoon’s third installment of gorgeous – one beauty of a real wedding, set in Newcastle Upon Tyne.
Jess and Stephen tied the knot at As You Like It in Jesmond last year, transforming the intimate city venue into a hullabaloo of rainbow-bright colours, gorgeous flowers, fairy lights, flamingoes and even Prosecco gummy bears!
We don’t want to spoil it for you though, so scroll down for all the oh-so-pretty pictures and wonderful details…
With images by Bennett Media
jess says: We got engaged in Italy. We were at Marina Grande in Sorrento, which is a local fishing harbour where Sophia Loren starred in Italian cinema. The local fishermen bring in their catch of the day and take it straight to the restaurants to dish up on your plate. Stephen drank lots and lots of Chianti and proposed, down on one knee, on the beach by the harbour. It was a complete surprise…
“Jess my darling on this Italian night
I hope that you will think it’s right,
To take this ring a gift for life
To honour me and be my wife”
I jumped up and down in the sand screaming yes then it was off for Champagne and gelato.
We got married on 12th August 2016. Summer is our favourite time of year as everyone is in good spirits because it’s the best chance of sunshine and, luckily for us, the sun had his hat on that day!
We only ever looked at one venue – As You Like It in Jesmond, Newcastle. It’s cool, quirky and has fairy lights – what more could anyone want? It suited us and our vibe, and we are both big cocktail fans (well, one of us more than the other!).
There was no religious element to our wedding, just tears of laughter, joy and happiness. It really was the best day of our lives.
The style was vintage meets quirky, weird, wacky and wonderful. My mum and me collected all sorts of quirky weird wonderfulness ranging from pink flamingoes to gold parrots. We had a full vintage tea set, old records, black and white postcards, hibiscus flowers for the Prosecco, along with Prosecco gummy bears. There were cocktails, magicians and a whole tropical rainforest – it was the best vintage mish mash ever!
My colour scheme was every colour under the rainbow! (Seriously, it was!)
The bridesmaids were in pastels, meanwhile the groom was in burgundy red tweed, and the ushers and best man wore dogtooth tweed and burgundy braces with vintage badges.
My flowers were breathtaking – boho gypsy style with lots of peonies. Some of the flowers were even imported especially; they were so unusual.
My hair was like Rapunzel and plaited with flowers and gold feathers. I wanted to look like Downton Abbey meets boho bride, so I went with a dress from The Wedding Dress Company in Corbridge. It was ivory lace over cafe latte silk encrusted with old-fashioned antique jewels. It was divine! Stella York made it and I got Alexander McQueen shoes to match, and finished off the look with a Swarovski veil.
Stephen wore a burgundy tweed skinny fit suit from Next along with a shirt and cravat from Woven in Durham paired with brown brogues. The groomsmen wore summer tweed from Woven in Durham and the bridesmaids wore pastel 1950’s style dresses with petticoats from ASOS.
We hired old-fashioned London cabs – one black and one cream – decorated with burgundy ribbon, from Lanchester Cars.
To capture our day, we booked Alice and Michael from Bennett Media. Their cool collective quirky personas and relaxed vibe is truly admirable and fascinating. The pair oozes talent and I didn’t get the chance to tell them this in person on the day, which is really what they deserved. The reputation the two of them has is flawless. They made my wedding and gave me memories to treasure forever! The film they also made was incredible and set chins wagging all over the local area. Their work is phenomenal and I am still getting stopped now about my photos and film. They were like the peas to our pod because they matched our quirky vibe and ideas and brought it to life. Not to mention the little clip Michael and Alice managed to add in of my Nanna who could not be there on the day as she has dementia; there was not a dry eye in the house.
Sue from Newcastle-based Cosmic Flower Shop supplied the flowers for my bouquet. This included hare’s tales, wild leaves, wild flowers, locus flower, birds of paradise, baby’s breath, cerise amaranthus and peonies.
For the venue, we had an array of magical flowers with a boho theme – we had wild flowers and cactus pot plants, even moss running along the centre of the tables with pansies and buttercups and gypsophila, cornrows and birds of paradise. You name the flower – we had it!
For our favours – it was Red Stripe Jamaican beer for the men and Mazet Confiseur French chocolate and Prosecco for the women, with old vintage soaps wrapped in brown paper and tied up with antique lace.
We had a gold foil cake, supplied by Sara’s Kitchen in Consett. The cake consisted of a layer of salted caramel sponge, lemon and blueberry, and red velvet covered with shiny gold foil icing and gold ivy leaves surrounding it.
On the day, we enjoyed sweet potato soup with a dash of chili and lime creme fraiche, followed by a feather blade of beef with buttery vegetables, and then sticky toffee pudding for dessert. We rounded off the meal with coffee and Ferrero Roche.
We booked Hip Operation for our entertainment – a six-piece band that were mind-blowingly good. They had an incredible reputation and came with trumpets and trombones and wore red suits; they were just totally wonderful, and even danced around the room and provided a DJ for later.
As for other special touches on the day, we also had tropical rainforest flowers, a photo booth and light up letters from Coco Luminaire, as well as a glitter box and huge unicorn balloons topped with fairy lights. We also had a magician; one for the day and one for the nighttime – Paul Lytton and Ryan Phelps, they were both fabulous!
Silver Birch Designs from Consett did our bows and table plan. It’s three businesses under the same roof, so you can get your bows/table decorations, stationery and cake all at the same time (and you get some tea and cake while you decide…)
As You Like It were fantastic and we would definitely recommend them because you get a wedding planner who is unbelievably good! The food is delicious and the staff do everything – and more. I felt like a celebrity – no task was unachievable with them. They were so kind, friendly and passionate about their venue and their job. The venue oozes quirkiness and fun. They also have amazing cocktails and a beautiful secret garden to chill outside.
My favourite part of the day was the speeches and going round the Ouseburn for photographs. And, of course, walking down the aisle to my future hot husband! Seeing the ones you love talk about you from the heart and hearing how other people see and view you is a truly incredible feeling and one I will never forget. I will carry that day with me forever.
For our honeymoon, we hired a beautiful chateau in the Old Town of Nice with trips to Monaco and Cannes. It was incredibly romantic and we loved every minute of our stay. We spent our evenings wandering around the old town, drinking wine, beer, Aperol and sampling French cuisine. Then we travelled on to Paris for three nights, to the luxury of Hotel Le Six in the Montparnasse area of the city on the left bank of the river Seine. We made full use of our time in Paris at Jardin du Luxembourg, Crazy Horse Cabaret, a river cruise, glasses of red wine and delicious ice cream on the Île St. Louis.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be, don’t forget to breathe and take the time to look in on your own wedding and appreciate such an amazing occasion. The chances are that there will be a couple of little hiccups during the day but just relax, smile and embrace it… it’ll be here and gone very quickly so just enjoy it and make sure you get what you want from your day!
In my dad’s speech he said: “With all the pressures of modern day life it is easy to forget what is really important. So I urge you both to make time for each other and time for your marriage. It is bigger than both of you and at the end of the day it’s the only thing that matters. Happily ever after here they come… I give you Mr and Mrs Morris!”
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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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