Charlotte Balbier

lucky in love. a seaside wedding at the grand hotel tynemouth – kerry & pete

July 7th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

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Today on the blog, we’re enjoying the fresh sea air and all the romanticism of the North East coast as we head to the ever so pretty village of Tynemouth, for Kerry and Pete’s special day.

Throwing superstitions out the window, they tied the knot on Friday the 13th, exchanging vows in a church close to their hearts before celebrating with loved ones at the stunning Grand Hotel, which overlooks the award-winning Longsands beach.

Like many couples, they didn’t have a theme in mind initially, but one soon emerged of the tea party variety! Cue some rather lovely teapot centrepieces and some quaint tea bag favours. Other highlights include a stunning naked wedding cake and a quirky vintage style moon booth. And did we mention the picture perfect photography by the sea?

With images by The Twins.

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kerry says: We got engaged in October 2014 at the Griffith Observatory in L.A. We were doing a road trip from San Francisco to Las Vegas and stayed in L.A for a week. One evening at sunset we drove up to the Observatory and Pete proposed on the roof!

We waited until May 2015 to start wedding planning. We knew we wanted to get married in May as the weather starts to get nicer by this time. Cherry blossoms begin flowering around then too and the rapeseed fields also turn yellow, and we wanted to incorporate these elements into our photos.

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The wedding was actually on Friday the 13th – unlucky for some but not for us; it’s actually my lucky number! When we visited the venue we said we wanted a Friday in May and when they came back and said the 13th was available it was a no brainer – we had to say yes to this date!

We got married at Holy Trinity Church in Seghill. This is where Pete’s grandparents were married. The church is really beautiful and has lovely surroundings.

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We chose The Grand Hotel in Tynemouth as our reception venue. We didn’t want to have our wedding too far from where we lived as we wanted somewhere that we had a connection to, and that we could visit time and time again. One visit to The Grand and we were completely sold – we didn’t even look at any other venue!

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We didn’t set out to have a theme, we just wanted to have things we liked. However, a tea party theme did emerge thanks to all the teapots we had as our centrepieces. We used a lot of natural wood for the centrepieces and a local man hand turned some mushrooms which had the guests’ name cards attached.

Pete made the seating plan, which was a map of the world and the tables were based on cities we had visited together. I guess you could say the main theme was that we made everything. Pete spent many weekends hand making invites, menu cards, name cards, table signs, table runners, seating plans, confetti cones and so much more – we have contemplated starting our own business!

There was no colour scheme, but if I had to narrow it down I would say it was natural wood and hessian.

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When it came to picking my dress, I tried on a lot of different designs but I eventually bought my gown from I Do… Wedding Specialists in Gateshead. It was a Maggie Sottero Francine dress. It was the first one I tried on in the shop, I loved the colour which was a light gold with ivory lace on top. It was the first dress that suited my pale skin colour. The detail on the back of the dress was just beautiful. My shoes were from Vivienne Westwood.

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Pete wore a blue Vivienne Westwood suit with a Vivienne Westwood shirt. He wore a maroon polka dot cravat instead of a tie as a nod to his late granddad. His shoes were also maroon, purchased from River Island.

My flower girl (my cousin) wore a dusty pink dress from Monsoon with Vivienne Westwood shoes. My sister, who was my bridesmaid, wore a light pink dress from Warehouse, also with Vivienne Westwood shoes.

Once Upon a Time Makeup Artistry did my make up on the day, meanwhile Von Tassel Hair did mine and the bridesmaid’s hair.

The groomsmen wore different suits – each a slightly different shade of blue from Slaters Menswear, and Pete’s dad wore Hugo Boss. They also had matching maroon shoes from River Island.

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For the wedding transport, Pete tracked down the owner of a classic Mustang, who lived in Cramlington, and he agreed to take the boys to the church. I had a more traditional grey Bentley that we travelled back to the venue in afterwards, supplied by ATW Wedding Cars North East.

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Our photographers were The Twins. We didn’t want traditional wedding photos because we didn’t feel comfortable posing for images. The style that The Twins have is very unique and there is the added bonus of having two photographers at your wedding so every moment is captured. They had some great ideas of places to have photos taken such as in the disused pool on Tynemouth beach.

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Julia of Jules Fleur Flowers – who has a stall on Tynemouth market at the weekend – supplied our flowers. We had seen her flower arrangements a few times at the market and noticed her quirky sense of style which really appealed to us.

My flowers incorporated a large protea in the centre surrounded by chamomile, eucalyptus leaves, white astilbe and pheasant feathers. My sister had a similar arrangement.

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Julia also provided the flowers for our venue. We had some pretty different ideas and Julia was crazy enough to go along with them! We wanted teapots for our centrepieces with flowers sprouting out of them like steam and also like tea pouring into a cup.

For our top table, we had a huge moss-covered runner with holes for the flowers. Pete made this himself with guidance and help from the florist. In addition, Pete’s grandma made the flower cones that hung on the pews in the church and Gray Starling Designs made our programme fans.

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In terms of other decorative touches at the venue, The Whole Sch-Bang provided our beautiful chair covers and giant balloons, and we hired a heart sign for the dance floor from Coco Luminaire.

As there was a bit of a tea party theme, we decided to give out tea as our favours. We bought a blend of tea and made our own teabags using muslin bags. We then printed our own personalised tags and attached them, along with a small spoon, which Pete had stamped ‘P&K’ on to.

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We had a naked wedding cake from The Great British Cupcakery in Newcastle. Each layer was a different flavour – the bottom tier was Victoria sponge, the middle was lemon with lemon curd and the top was lime with passionfruit curd. A protea flower featured on the top of the cake and it was decorated with fruit, meringue kisses and raspberry drips.

Our menu was basically all of our favourite things! For starters, we had ham hock terrine. This was followed by roast beef, with panna cotta for dessert.

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For the evening, we hired a pop-up studio called the Moon Booth. Our guests had never seen a photo booth like it before and the photos were hilarious! Our flower girl must have had her photo taken at least 50 times on the night – she loved it.

One of the most important special touches on the day was to incorporate something to remember all the people who couldn’t share our special day with us. I had lost my dad, grandma and uncle in the last couple of years and my grandpa broke his hip a week before the wedding. In my bouquet, I had small photos of them tied into the string that bound the flowers together.

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Following our wedding, we would recommend our choice of venue to other couples. The staff at The Grand were amazing and so helpful both in the run up to and on the day itself. The venue has a lot of history and is in a great location close to the beach. It’s nice to have the opportunity to go back to the venue time and time again and think about the amazing day we had there – I don’t think you get that with many venues these days.

Our favourite part of the day was spending time together on the beach while the photographers took some photos. It’s hard to get some time away as a couple so it was nice to get away for a bit.

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For our honeymoon, we drove Route 66 across America! We started in Chicago and stopped in several cities along the way, detouring to Las Vegas and ending in L.A. It took three weeks in total, we went to ten states and travelled 4,500 miles – it was a once in a lifetime trip!

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Our one tip for other Brides Up North would be to get a good photographer, and allocate a decent budget for photos because it’s the only thing you have afterwards as a reminder of the day.

the big picture

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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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