Brides Up North

a rustic romance. a wedding in rural northumberland – rachel & james

September 18th, 2014 | Julia Braime

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

Rachel and James’s lovely wedding in the heart of the Northumberland works with the natural landscape around it to create a beautiful day that just fits.  A setting that means something, allowed to shine.  And a big dash of countryside glam.

It’s a breath of fresh air for a Thursday afternoon.

With images by Jamie Penfold Photography.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

Rachel says: James and I met at a mutual friend wedding in Newcastle, but he lived in Bath and I lived in Northumberland. We spent hours on the phone and we quickly arranged a first date weekend in Bath. After collecting me from the early flight down, we went for breakfast at a cafe under Baths beautiful Pultney bridge, and knew at that point that we were both smitten. 8 years later, we both live in Bath and totally unexpectedly, James proposed under this bridge with a surprise audience of friends watching over and with a ring from a jewellers on Pultney bridge! It was an amazing moment.

We got married on June 27th 2014 in my family church in Northumberland, literally just over the hill from my family home. It’s beautiful countryside and a special place for both of us now so there was no question about it. My 94 year old grandfather drove us over the steep hill from church where we stopped for fizz and photos and we had a the reception back in the garden at the farm. It was my dream wedding.

The Northumberland countryside and my family garden already has so much character and natural beauty, I wanted a theme to work with that but I’m artistic at heart, so wanted to do tradition with a rustic/ vintage twist to compliment the old farm and house. The theme just evolved sticking to using props from the farm such as hessian sacks, old doors, an old Singer table, vintage mirrors… I got carried away with rustic vintage but loved the simple and yet effective finish.

The colour scheme was simple muted white and beige of the crisp white cloths and the beige of the hessian, combined with fresh green and white on the groomsmen and flowers. My bridesmaids were dresses in coral and white lace- which worked well with my dress and the soft flowers.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

I love my dress! I chose it from Bella B in Berwick where I have shopped for years for other people’s outfits and where they had made bridesmaid dresses to fit me. Their Friday section is fantastic and I chose my dress easily and they made me a bespoke jacket to cover my shoulders and arms. Like a lot of brides, I had a thing about my arms and as a bit of a traditionalist wanted my shoulders covered in church. I had the best of both works to be able to remove the jacket at night. The dress has beautiful lace and diamond detail, a beautiful train and I matched it up with a few sparkles and a veil. The lace trimmed veil was the finishing touch that made me feel fabulously bridal (and hid a few happy tears going into the church!)

Our flowers  were done by a friend but professional based in Northumberland, Sandra Dickenson. I wanted simple and light, so I swayed totally to baby’s breath… everything! Except for my bouquet where I included some peonies. Sandra is so talented and went the extra mile to accommodate my weird and wonderful requests.

James wore traditional tails for a traditional wedding. The button holes matched the hessian and baby’s breath of my bouquet and we had the ties made in a green and blue liberty pattern which was a soft but summery finish. He had a massive 10 ushers all dressed the same with a buff waistcoat to work with the hessian. With this amount of ushers it was far cheaper to make ties and to get enough for 10 and in a design to suit. I’d really recommend it.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

Our photographer (Jamie Penfold Photography) was fantastic. Before the big day he came down to Bath to shoot us where we got engaged which was a great way to get to know him so that we were relaxed with him and the camera on the day. It also gave him the chance to get to know us as a couple and the type of photography we were hoping for. Not only did we do all this, but we also got some great shots of us in Bath which was an added bonus! We are so pleased with the shots of the big day, he has captured the whole feel of the day perfectly, our emotions, our guests reactions, the scenery and the wedding detail you are proud of. Most of our guests didn’t know we had a photographer- that’s a sign of a good one I think!

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

Instead of a traditional cake we went for cheese from The Northumberland Cheese Company. They were brilliant to work with: we tasted some amazing cheeses, it was hard to decide what to go for. The cake itself was assembled by the florist and the whole thing was demolished on the night! My theory is that people want savoury more than sweet after a few glasses of fizz and wine… and it appears they certainly did!

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

In the evening we had a band, Groove All Stars - they were brilliant! Offered a wide range of music playing as a duo for the reception and as a 7 piece in the evening. We pulled together our own dance to Madonna’s ‘Like A Prayer’. The band learned the music especially for the dance and were very happy about me getting behind the mic to start the song (which was planned I might add!)

They were a lovely bunch of people, very willing to bend over backwards to make you happy. That they definitely did – the dance floor was never empty!

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

I have two favourite moments from the day… walking into our beautiful little church on my proud dad’s arm and seeing James’s face at the end of the aisle – priceless and a lifelong memory of an amazing emotion.

Then, walking into the reception with my nephew leading us into a tunnel crowd of all our guests cheering. It was at that moment that it dawned on us- they are all here for us, all our most treasured friends and family are all around us  and we’ve done it, we’re married and it feels amazing.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

We set off tomorrow for Crete – I can’t wait. I’ll let you know on our return if we’d recommend it!

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

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Best Military Blues. Jimmy Choos & Cymbeline For An Elegant Real Wedding At Sandhurst – Hannah & Joel

January 13th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Yes I know.  Last time I checked, Sandhurst Military Academy wasn’t in the North either.  However, I still wanted to share this classy and beautiful Real Wedding with you this frosty Monday morning, because (as well as a wedding at this usually private establishment being really rather cool) Northern bride Hannah – despite getting married out of the area – still sourced most of her fabulous wedding day suppliers Up North.  And isn’t showing what we can do what Brides Up North is all about?

With images by friend of the wedding blog Lissa Alexandra Photography, Hannah and Joel’s big day is a study in elegance.  Be inspired. 

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Hannah says:  We got engaged on 1st March 2012 whilst on holiday in South Africa (Joel had just returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan). Joel proposed on a secluded beach when visiting the Cape of Good Hope.

Lissa Alexandra Photography

We were married on 2nd March 2013 at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst.  We met just before Joel went off to Sandhurst, and we formed many good memories and friendships whilst he was there. As a result, wanted to share this otherwise inaccessible venue with friends and family.

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

My favourite colour is blue and our colour scheme it all took its lead from my engagement ring, which is a sapphire. As luck would have it, Joel’s uniform is also blue!  The  bridesmaids were in blue and our best-man and usher’s suits were blue, with a pale blue shirt and a mustard colour tie.

Our flowers were a fresh palette of greens and creams/whites using unusual flowers. Family wore mint green carnations.

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

I chose a  lacy dress (‘Femea’) with a vintage feel from the French designer Cymbeline.  I got this from a little boutique in Harrogate called The Bridal Collection.

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

LAP-Copyright-079-vintage

Lissa Alexandra Photography

Lissa Alexandra Photography

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That’ll Be The Day! A Real Wedding In York – Lindsay & Matt

November 29th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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York Wedding by Hayley Baxter Photography

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We first met Yorkshire couple Lindsay and Matt when they shared their sweet York engagement shoot and love story on these pages a few weeks back, and this afternoon they are back on the same streets to recap their very vintage, deliciously DIY, rock and rolling 1950’s influenced wedding. 

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Strike up the jukebox!  With images by Hayley Baxter Photography

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Wedding in York by Hayley Baxter Photography

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Lindsay says:  We got engaged in December 2011 at the La Rosa Boutique Hotel in Whitby. I had been wanting to stay at the hotel for ages due to its cool quirkiness and ‘vintage-ness’. It was a surprise, Matt had wanted to propose on the balcony overlooking the harbour but when we arrived there wasn’t a balcony!

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Hayley Baxter Photography

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We were married on Saturday September 1st 2012 at  York Registry Office with a reception at St Williams College, York.  We had been there previously for a Vintage Fair and had seen how beautiful the building was. From a practical point of view it was also ideal, being right in the centre of York. The amount of space meant we could do a variety of things in the different rooms and private courtyard.  We opted for a vintage theme. 

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Hayley Baxter Photography

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I chose a 50’s style Vivien of Holloway halter neck dress with a navy petticoat, navy shoes and navy ribbon belt. I also had a little birdcage veil which was from www.lilybella.co.uk. I knew from the start I wanted a birdcage veil but found it really difficult finding one that I liked. 

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My hair was put up at The Lounge in York by my usual hairdresser Lou. Matt couldn’t believe how many hairgrips came out of my hair at the end of the night, but it certainly stood up amazingly well throughout the day.

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I carried a bouquet of cool water and avalanche roses with eucalyptus, tied with an ivory ribbon and pearl detail – all from Dutch Nurseries in Haxby, York.

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Hayley Baxter Photography

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The bridesmaids wore long navy dresses from M&S (one of the bridesmaids was pregnant so the dresses needed to be practical as well as elegant). Matt wore a navy suit with waistcoat from Slaters. He also had a pocket watch which he was very proud of!

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Hayley Baxter Photography

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Rather than a wedding car, I arrived at the registry office in a rickshaw provided by The Green Cab Man. Given the traffic on a Saturday in York is awful, it was also the quickest way to travel! It was one of my highlights when the registrar said it was the first time they had a bride turn up in a rickshaw.

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Hayley Baxter Photography

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Hayley Baxter Photography

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Hayley Baxter Photography

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Hayley Baxter Photography

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Hayley Baxter Photography

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Hayley Baxter Photography

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Hayley Baxter Photography

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Before the wedding we set up a wedding website using www.gettingmarried.co.uk. It was free and would recommend it as you are able to put more details than you can on an invite. We had lots of people from out of York so it was good to be able to put hotels details up and directions. You could also use the site for your wedding list.

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Hayley Baxter Photography   Hayley Baxter Photography

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Hayley Baxter Photography

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Hayley Baxter Photography

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Hayley Baxter was our photographer and did an amazing job. She has this great ability to organise people without coming across as being bossy, she manages to make people feel at ease in order to get the best photos. She even managed to pull in a character from one of the York guided Walks to pose with us for a picture!

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Hayley Baxter Photography

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Hayley Baxter Photography

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Hayley Baxter Photography

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Hayley Baxter Photography

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Hayley Baxter Photography

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Hayley Baxter Photography

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Hayley Baxter Photography

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Morwen, the manager at St William’s College, was our wedding planner, and did a fantastic job organising and setting up our wedding. There wasn’t anything we wanted to do that she and her team couldn’t accommodate. Bradshaws of York were our caterers and again were excellent. They work in partnership with the College and you could tell they had a wealth of experience catering for weddings.

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Hayley Baxter Photography

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Hayley Baxter Photography

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We made our own wedding favours in the form of gift bags on the tables. Each female received a vintage brooch, whilst the men had football pin badges according to the team they support – the boys pins went down way better than I thought they would and everyone seemed to be touched by the thought and effort which went into them. In the bags we also put in bubbles, fortune fish and a lottery ticket. We went a bit crazy on the favours but it was really worth it! We spent a full Saturday lining all the bags with navy organza and decorating the personalised tags, they also doubled as the table place names.

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Hayley Baxter Photography

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For the wine glasses on the tables I made individual wine glass bead charms and I also decorated the napkins with ribbon and beads.  We also used my 50’s Babycham glasses for the toast and Cherry B glasses for the welcome drinks, just to add to the vintage feel! It took forever to collect them but was so much fun, we are now trying to work out what to do with them all.

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Hayley Baxter Photography

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The table centres were different vintage themes which were then named after records. The top table was “Toys in the Attic” which had lots of old toys on, one of which was Matt’s dad’s old teddy bear called big ted (he is actually not that big). One had a singer sewing machine, another a typewriter and one was travel themed.

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For a card box we used an old suitcase lined with ivory fabric and and Lexicon cards for the sign. The suitcase had originally belonged to Matts great great granddad and had his initials on it, it was really special to be able to use things which had been in the family for so long.

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For decoration we spent weeks and weeks going to car boot sales and collecting little cut glass bud vases which we had roses in. We also collected lots of old wood candle stick holders which we had as part of the table centres and around the room.

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I did originally contemplate making the bunting but the room was so big and I knew it would take forever so instead we bought some cut paper bunting and I was pleased with how good it looked.

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Hayley Baxter Photography   Hayley Baxter Photography

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It took two big cars jam packed full to take all the stuff to the venue, Morwen the manager said we had far more bits and pieces than most of her brides and grooms but never complained.

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One of the things I enjoyed the most was thinking of all the details but I have to admit it would never of happened if Matt was not involved. I’m good at the ideas but not always so good at the practical things like making them happen!

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Hayley Baxter Photography   Hayley Baxter Photography

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In the other room which I nicknamed the Pink Flamingo room we had a sweetie bar, little card tables which we had put vintage games on and Hayley had her photo booth set up in there. The sweetie bar was another excuse for to go to car boot sales and collect things as we used pretty cut glass bowls.

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In the room with the bar we put up two photo posters, one with lots of pictures of Matt when he was little and all his family and one for me and my family. They were really good conversation starters. In the bar room we also had little leaflets with hangover cures one which also had a picture of Matt’s granddad with his old cure of the hare of the dog!

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Hayley Baxter Photography

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We had a cheese wedding cake from The Cheese Shop on Gillygate in York. It was made up of five different cheeses.

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Hayley Baxter Photography

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We had a jukebox so guests could choose the music. It came from Speciality Music in Wyke. The jukebox was delivered and collected and was very reasonably priced. There also wasn’t a song we requested that couldn’t be provided. We also had a limbo contest on the dance floor which went down a storm! It was amazing how good everyone was at organising themselves and most of the guests got involved in either competing or at least clapping on others. In the smaller room Hayley set up a photo booth, complete with fancy dress items and props. This was probably the biggest success as all the guests got involved and had a great time!

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For our first dance we did a rock and roll dance. We had had lessons the year before and worked really well with my 50’s dress.

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Hayley Baxter Photography

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Hayley Baxter Photography

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After the wedding we honeymooned in California, flying into San Francisco and then driving to Napa, Los Angeles and, finally, Las Vegas!

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Hayley Baxter Photography

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be that you don’t have to spend a fortune to have a unique wedding. Thinking outside the box can make it more unique and special, and cut down on the cost.

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Hayley Baxter Photography

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Congratulations Lindsay & Matt!

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Contact Brides Up North to see your own Real Wedding featured on these swirly silver pages!

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  – Images © 2012 Hayley Baxter Photography

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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The House By The Sea: A Real Wedding In The North East – Melanie & Jon

May 27th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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A Real Wedding at Newton Hall by Topher McGrillis

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Today I’m off to a BBQ with friends, family and Mr Pinot and Mr Grigio too (I’ll thank you for sticking around if you please sunshine!) to celebrate my darling Dad reaching the ripe old age of 60!  Happy Birthday Dad!  I love you x

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In the meantime, I’ll leave you all with another glorious celebration – the first ever wedding to be held at a brand new wedding venue on the Northumberland coast, Newton Hall, with images by Topher McGrillis.

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Just lovely!

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A Real Wedding at Newton Hall by Topher McGrillis   A Real Wedding at Newton Hall by Topher McGrillis

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Melanie says: We got engaged in Edinburgh, July 2011 on a short break are tied the knot on 21st April 2012 at Newton Hall, Newton on the Sea, Northumberland. 

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A Real Wedding at Newton Hall by Topher McGrillis

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We chose Newton Hall for it’s location on the coast in beautiful countryside, the team’s less formal style and their flexibility.  Knowing the quirkiness/ character they inject into their bars & restaurants in Newcastle we trusted that it would be a lovely place (it hadn’t been built when we first signed up!) Also, we needed somewhere large enough for 150 guests plus more for the evening and a wanted a civil ceremony which was charismatic, not bland.

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A Real Wedding at Newton Hall by Topher McGrillis

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We didn’t go for a theme as such but the details were designed all to get the guests mingling including handmade crackers as favours, antipasti sharing style boards and lots of lawn games and photos.

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As my engagement ring was a sapphire with diamonds (passed down through the family from Jon’s great grandmother) we decided on a dark/ navy blue colour scheme. We then chose lots of bright colours like yellows, oranges and pinks to contrast against this.

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A Real Wedding at Newton Hall by Topher McGrillis

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My dress was Benjamin Roberts – 2228 in ivory with an ivory sash and ivory silk jacket. I love dresses with lace detailing, long trains and mermaid shape and this was all summed up in this dress.

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My bridesmaids wore long French navy strapless dresses from Coast at Debenhams (Tanya maxi dress) with ivory shawls

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A Real Wedding at Newton Hall by Topher McGrillis

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Flower-wise, I wanted a lot of colour so had a loose tied posy mixture of burnt orange cymbidium orchid, orange and a little red ranunculus, yellow craspedia, mint, little blue delphinium and rosemary. 

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The bridesmaids carried loose natural posies including the white anemone with the black centre,blue delphinium, orange ranunculus, yellow craspedia and rosemary.

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Jon had a burnt orange orchid as his buttonhole.

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The flowers were all outstanding!  The florist (Lavender’s Blue) had said my taste were somewhat ‘eclectic’ but I knew she would bring it all together and do an amazing job! The venue could take a lot of colour and different styles of arrangements and it all looked beautiful.

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Some of the arrangements were designed in small boxes wrapped in paper and raffia so that guests could take some of them home easily.

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A Real Wedding at Newton Hall by Topher McGrillis   A Real Wedding at Newton Hall by Topher McGrillis

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I loved getting ready with all the girls and the chaos of the morning coming together. The hair and makeup girls (Makeup – Steph Birchall, Hair – Jo from Sherlocks in Durham) were amazing.

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A Real Wedding at Newton Hall by Topher McGrillis

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A Real Wedding at Newton Hall by Topher McGrillis

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A Real Wedding at Newton Hall by Topher McGrillis   A Real Wedding at Newton Hall by Topher McGrillis

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I didn’t need to travel as stayed at the venue all weekend but Dad had lent Jon his old Porsche which also luckily fitted well with the dark blue theme so Jon and the the best man Dave took that for a drive along the coast on the way to the venue. Jon and Dave had stayed the night before in a cottage next to the pub in the village.

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A Real Wedding at Newton Hall by Topher McGrillis

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A Real Wedding at Newton Hall by Topher McGrillis

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A Real Wedding at Newton Hall by Topher McGrillis

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A Real Wedding at Newton Hall by Topher McGrillis

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A Real Wedding at Newton Hall by Topher McGrillis

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A Real Wedding at Newton Hall by Topher McGrillis

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A Real Wedding at Newton Hall by Topher McGrillis

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The ceremony was perfect the readings were fantastic – some friends had surprised us and written a poem about us, the registrar was lovely and hilarious.

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A Real Wedding at Newton Hall by Topher McGrillis

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A Real Wedding at Newton Hall by Topher McGrillis

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The venue and the staff were outstanding, I hadn’t seen the place complete before and was amazed at how beautiful it all looked. Nothing was too much trouble for the staff who created the most relaxed environment keeping the hotel bar open late and still looking fresh when serving breakfast in the morning. I even got hugs and kisses from some of the builders in the pub before and after the day!

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A Real Wedding at Newton Hall by Topher McGrillis

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A Real Wedding at Newton Hall by Topher McGrillis

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A Real Wedding at Newton Hall by Topher McGrillis

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We spent a long time making and decorating crackers and put stick on moustaches and bubbles and joke engagement rings in them for the guests on the tables. We made a weekend of it and had drinks in the local pub on Friday night before the wedding and a pub lunch with rounders and a walk on the beach on the Sunday.

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A Real Wedding at Newton Hall by Topher McGrillis

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A Real Wedding at Newton Hall by Topher McGrillis

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A Real Wedding at Newton Hall by Topher McGrillis

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We chose a cake of cheeses from Deli Around The Corner, Tynemouth. We also had a large square of fruit cake as I love fruit cake with cheese and it suited the more traditional guests. We had chutneys, fruit and crackers to complement it and it was left out with the evening sandwiches and snacks. (Somerset Brie, Cornish Yarg, Northumberland Smoked, Baby Colston, Bassett Stilton  and topped with a Coeur de Neufchatel (heart shaped brie)). 

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A Real Wedding at Newton Hall by Topher McGrillis   A Real Wedding at Newton Hall by Topher McGrillis

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We had a brilliant band in the evening – Grace under Pressure from AMV Live Music in Newcastle. The lead singer and guitarist played in the afternoon to entertain guest after the ceremony as well whilst prosecco and canapés were served.

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A Real Wedding at Newton Hall by Topher McGrillis

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A Real Wedding at Newton Hall by Topher McGrillis

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A Real Wedding at Newton Hall by Topher McGrillis

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After the wedding, we spent Sunday night at Newton Hall finishing off the cheese from the wedding cake and prosecco with remaining friends and family then Dad had lent us his old Porsche so we drove down for a night in the Cotswolds at Lower Slaughter Manor which was lovely. Then we flew to Vietnam for 12 days, we travelled from the North to the South, stopping in Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hue, Danang and the last few days were at an incredible spa resort called the Princess D’Annam. We finished the trip with a night in Bangkok at The Banyan Tree on the way home. Friends and family contributed towards the trip as our main present.

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A Real Wedding at Newton Hall by Topher McGrillis

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to relax and enjoy it! Try and be as organised as you can and delegate as much as possible. If you pick suppliers with good reputations then trust them they will all want to help give you a fabulous day – all our suppliers were incredible.

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Congratulations Melanie & Jon!

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See you in the next week Brides Up North!

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  – Images © 2012 Topher McGrillis

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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