October 16th, 2017 | Julia Braime
There is no finer way to begin your week than poring over this utterly divine real wedding that takes place at one of our very favourite Northern venues, the stunning Lartington Hall.
Bride and groom, Stephanie and Lee, equally fell for this utterly beautiful setting for their big day with wow-worthy interiors, gorgeous gardens and impressive entertaining spaces as standard.
Keen to complement rather than complicate, the couple decided to let the venue speak for itself and add simple décor using an elegant colour scheme of golds, creams and blush, with whimsical flowers and greenery to complete their classic vision.
Our heart is totally stolen by Stephanie’s pretty Pronovias gown, complete with cathedral-length veil and pointy Emmy shoes. Actual #stylinggoals!
stephanie says: We got engaged in New York on Christmas Eve 2015. I had no idea Lee was going to propose. We had always talked about getting married but always thought it would be in a few more years (even though we had already been together for eight years). We were just walking through Central Park on the morning of Christmas Eve and Lee asked me if I would like to marry him. There was no one else around and he had a little box hidden in his pocket with a note inside. He knows how particular I am so wanted to take me with him so we could choose a ring together. We then went to Tavern On The Green for lunch.
Our wedding date was May 13th 2017. At first, I was a bit dubious about choosing the 13th however we decided to ignore superstition and make 13 a lucky number for us. Plus, it meant all of our favourite suppliers were also available on that day as no one else wanted it!
We got married at Whitburn Parish Church and then went on to the beautiful Lartington Hall, Teesdale, for our reception.
From such a young age I always wanted to get married in my parish church so there was no doubt that the wedding ceremony was going to be there. As for the reception, we wanted a venue where none of our friends and family had been before. And me being me, wanted attention to detail and somewhere that had the wow factor.
We had heard of Lartington Hall but always thought it was a little bit too far (considering we were getting married in Whitburn) but after months of searching for the perfect place we decided to go and view it. We fell in love straight away!
We just wanted our wedding to be traditional, timeless and elegant and to reflect the beauty of Whitburn church and Lartington Hall. When choosing everything we pretty much did a full circle. We started off with very traditional ideas, moved to more rustic themes and then once the venue had been decided, we moved back to elegant and classic. I also wanted the flowers to be very whimsical and full of creams and greens.
For our stationery we chose Megan at Rosewood Co. We had seen Megan’s designs at a wedding fair so made an appointment so she could personalise something for us. Again, we went for very simple and elegant with a pearl ivory pocket fold wedding invitation tied with an ivory ribbon and name tag. The evening invitations had a hand drawn image of Lartington Hall on and the order of service had a hand drawn image of Whitburn Parish Church on. Our name place cards also had an image of Lartington Hall on and were finished with some dried flowers and ivory ribbon. Megan was extremely helpful and was in contact all of the time making sure it was exactly what we wanted. We again had some lovely comments from our guests about the stationery. It all turned out to be just what we wanted.
We went for very neutral colour scheme overall of golds, creams and blush. Again, we wanted the colours to be elegant and classic but also have a summery feel. I also thought about the colours that would suit my bridesmaids.
My wedding gown was a Pronovias design from Mia Sposa in Newcastle. Every time I looked at wedding dresses I searched ‘plain wedding dresses’ so knew I was going to go for something very simple and traditional. I also loved the Pronovias designs. My chosen dress was the first one I tried on. I did try a few other different styles on but knew that the first one was ‘the one’. I also feel that because it had a full skirt, it suited the grandeur of a church wedding.
With the dress being very simple, I decided to have a crystal and pearl vine hair piece in my hair and a single tier, chapel-length veil which was edged with lace, also from Mia Sposa.
I also wanted to treat myself to a special pair of shoes and knew that I always wanted pointy shoes rather than sandals or a peep toe. I saw a pair of Emmy shoes at a wedding fair and fell in love with them straight away.
For jewellery, I wore a pair of single pearl earrings that belonged to my nanna (something old) and a pearl bracelet to match.
It wasn’t too difficult for Lee to choose a suit either. He knew that he wanted to wear something a bit different as he ‘could wear a navy suit anytime,’ so he went for a tux. We hired his tux from Moss Bros. We also felt like this reflected the vintage/1920s feel of Lartington Hall. Many people said you don’t really wear tuxedos for church weddings but again we wanted to be a bit different so just went ahead with it. His shoes were from Kurt Geiger. The groomsmen wore the same as Lee.
The bridesmaid’s dresses were peach and were from Watters, which we bought from Laura Lea Boutique in Old Eldon Square, Newcastle. The girl there was so friendly and helpful and knew exactly what styles suited different body shapes.
The bridesmaids also wore matching heart shaped, crystal earrings and necklace from Swarovski – which we bought them as a gift.
Marie Scroggins at ND Makeup did our hair and makeup. Marie was so helpful and such a lovely girl to share the morning of the wedding with. I have known Marie a while and always knew I wanted her to do my wedding hair and makeup. She offered advice both at the trial and on the day but also listened to mine and the bridesmaid’s requests and ideas.
We hired cars from Elite Wedding Cars in Bishop Auckland. We had an ivory Rolls Royce as the bridal car and an ivory Austin Princess for the bridesmaids. Again, from the first meeting with the owner to the actual day. They were great to deal with. They even did a ‘recce’ to see where our house, the church and the venue were and which route was the best. This meant that it all went so smoothly on the day.
Our photographer was Lee Scullion. We had seen some of his work in magazines and online so knew he was the man we would like. We didn’t realise how many different styles of wedding photography there were until actually looking for one, but decided that we wanted to stick with our first choice and loved his relaxed, yet fashion/portrait kind of style. He also said that he loved a traditional church wedding so knew he would create something special.
Prior to the wedding, went to meet him at a wedding fayre and knew that his quirky personality would add to our day. The fact that he does a pre-wedding photo shoot was also a bonus as it was a great opportunity to get to know him and for him to get to know us.
We would definitely recommend Lee Scullion to other couples. He is very professional yet made us feel at ease the whole time. He made us feel like we were doing everything right and got some fantastic shots. Our guests also love him and are still talking about him now! The photos he created are amazing and we can’t stop watching the photo DVD he gave us. He told us we had ‘worked well’ on the day but to us it wasn’t work at all because he made it so easy for us.
Our day was filmed by videographer Silver Sixpence Films. Originally, we weren’t going to get a videographer but knew that we would regret it if we didn’t. We had seen some work from Silver Sixpence Films online and when looking at different venues, so again knew that we liked their style. We had also seen that they had been to Lartington Hall before so would know the venue well already. It was just what we wanted.
The video they created was bright and colourful and created a lovely contrast to the black and white photos from our photographer – capturing our day in a different way. Penny and Ed also made us feel at ease the whole time and we barely knew they were there. They were very professional and captured every special moment. There were little romantic gestures and moments captured that we didn’t even know we had done. This added such a beautiful touch to our video again savouring those special memories. Even the music that they chose for the highlights video was well suited to us and our wedding.
I had spoken to Penny on the phone the week before the wedding and knew that we had made the right choice just by the lovely conversation we had. Our video arrived in a beautifully packaged box with a wooden USB in its own wooden box – a lovely keepsake.
We couldn’t recommend them enough and want to show our video to the world. Our friends and family were also very complimentary about both our photos and video. We are so glad we decided to have a videographer as it brings our day back to life every time we watch it.
We got all of our flowers from Charlotte at The Finishing Touch Company. My bouquet was made up of cream peony roses, roses, astilbe, larkspur, ranunculus, eucalyptus and other greenery.
I wanted a whimsical feel to my flowers and had previously seen Charlotte’s beautiful bouquets. My bridesmaids had a smaller version of my bouquets with flowers in their hair. My flower girl carried a beautiful wand and wore a ringlet on her head finished with an ivory ribbon – again with all of the same flowers and colours.
I have become totally obsessed with flowers since my wedding because of the Charlotte’s beautiful work.
Charlotte also did our table decorations – we had creams and greens at our wedding reception – peony roses, roses, larkspur, hydrangeas, eucalyptus and other greenery.
We had a rotation of three different decorations on the tables. One was ‘grandma’ style glass jars with flowers in, one was a wine box/crate with flowers in and the other was a stone urn with flowers in. There were also gold tea lights to finish off each table display.
On the top table we had a long and low display, again with the same flowers in. There were also gold tea lights and crystal style vases for our bouquets.
Sam Green Calligraphy designed our table plan and welcome sign and she also added a few finishing touches around the venue. We stayed with the golds and blush colours and Sam and Sandie’s creativity provided us with a very elegant, grand and ornate design. We absolutely loved it and got to keep both items – adding part of our wedding to our home. I will definitely be going back to Sam for some more of her beautiful writing in the future. She has such a talent and is such a lovely person as well – I feel like I have known her forever.
The rest of the decor was that of the venue. We felt we didn’t need to add anything else as we didn’t want to overpower the beauty of Lartington Hall.
As favours for the ladies we had rose cupcake soaps from the Yorkshire Soap Company as I love to bake cupcakes, and for the men we had an Irish Lottery Ticket – something that Lee chose as it is something he likes to play every now and again. The few children that were there had a little treat bag with colouring, games and sweets in.
Sandy at The Cake Garden in Ellington made our cake. We chose Sandy because her cakes look and taste amazing. She also made my sister’s wedding cake and my niece’s christening cake.
With my dress being quite simple I wanted a cake with a little more fuss. Our cake had a layer of ivory ruffles, a layer with pearl swags and beading, a layer with gold luster and a layer with edible sequins, glitter and crystals. She also added a cascade of flowers that matched our wedding flowers. Our flavours were chocolate fudge, cherry Bakewell, fruit and strawberry and champagne. We also had a lemon drizzle cutting cake.
The food at Lartington Hall was delicious. To start we had ravioli of smoked ham hock, ham consomme, onion, broad beans and Lartington Hall wild garlic, main course wasb lade of beef with pomme puree, cavolo nero, carrot puree, and dessert was white chocolate mousse with rosewater jelly, blackcurrant and vanilla macaron and blackcurrant sorbet.
The evening food was street food, which consisted of mini American steak burgers, fish and chips, hotdogs and veggie burgers
The food was amazing on the day and our guests said it topped any other wedding they had been to.
In terms of entertainment, I arranged a surprise singer for the church ceremony – Graeme Smith (from Encore) – to come and sing All I Ask of You. He sat in the congregation and stood up midway through the service and started to sing. It was a lovely surprise for everyone but also a nice treat for us – Graeme’s voice is amazing!
During the drinks reception we had Stevie Tennet Jnr singing acoustically on the guitar. We had seen Stevie playing in a pub a few years back and always knew we wanted him to play at our wedding. We loved all of the songs he played so knew that our guests would too. He is also a great singer.
At the evening reception we had DJ Bride & Groove and a band called The Moobs (a local band from South Shields). We had seen Bride & Groove at our friend’s wedding and knew that they really personalised their playlist.
The Moobs are a band that we have seen around town for a few years now and we also know the drummer Adam so couldn’t resist asking them to play at our wedding. They played all the songs that people love to get up and dance to like Queen, the Killers, U2 and many more. The dance floor was literally never empty!
Following our wedding, we would without doubt recommend our choice of venue to other couples. From the moment we walked in to Lartington Hall we were made to feel welcome by both John and Shona. It is a very special place which will now hold lots of precious memories. Wish we could go and stay there all of the time and can’t wait to go to another wedding there as a guest. From the food to the decor, Lartington Hall is by far the best and most elegant venue I have seen. Our guest will all agree that it was such a brilliant day and the stunning venue paid a big part in that.
Looking back, it is so hard to pick a certain part of the day as our favourite because from the moment we woke up, to the moment we went to bed, it was amazing. We would say though that spending the whole day with each other and with all of our family and friends, is what made it special and without doubt the best day ever!
We went to Las Vegas on honeymoon. We love America and want to travel to every state so thought we would go to Vegas again before we have any children.
We stayed in the Vdara for ten nights – a quieter hotel for Vegas as it is a bit of a sanctuary to go back to. We did as much as we could while we were there and pretty much did everything you can do on a honeymoon from relaxing to sightseeing to partying. We went to see Michael Jackson One by Cirque du Soleil which was amazing, went on a sunset horseback ride in the desert, went to the Hoover Dam and West Rim of the Grand Canyon and also went to see Calvin Harris at Omnia. While we were there we also met up with some other friends who were on their honeymoon so had a few nights out with them – our favourite being at Top Golf and dancing in Freemont Street.
My top tip to other Brides Up North is – just relax and enjoy every moment as the day goes so fast. Try not to get too stressed when things don’t work out and remember it is your day and nobody else’s! I would also recommend getting a videographer as it keeps your day alive.
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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…
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