June 2nd, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
To finish off your week in style, we’re sharing the big day of Anna and Ryan, which provides a fabulous example of how to carry off a beautiful wedding without the hefty price tag. Cue a few trips to Hobbycraft, some thrifty online shopping purchases and gorgeous floral displays courtesy of a local college and you’ll start to get an idea of just how savvy our couple was with their planning!
Newlyweds Anna and Ryan tied the knot at the gorgeous Newton Hall – a dreamy, contemporary venue set in Northumberland. As you’ll see, this was a picture-perfect backdrop that was beautifully transformed by the bride and groom.
We just love how much time and effort they poured into their special day. From their handmade photo booth and alternative cheese cake, to their caricaturist and special hangover kits – there’s lots of quirky ideas to inspire you on the blog today.
With images by Dru Dodd.
anna says: We got engaged on the beach, under the stars whilst eating lobster and drinking Moet in the Dominican Republic on New Year’s Eve. Ryan had always said marriage was a long way off so I was really surprised. Romantically, Ryan said he was nipping off to the toilet, but in fact was getting the ring from the room to propose, whilst I was sitting with my meal getting cold waiting for him to get back, keeping it real! He proposed at midnight UK time which was really special as I was able to call family and friends with the exciting news.
We got married on 19th March 2017. We chose this date as we really wanted to get married at Newton Hall but had a budget to stick to. For any brides completely ruling out venues based on cost, this is a great way to meet your budget. We got married on a Sunday in March and it was sunny and dry! I found out afterwards that both my parents and my grandparents got married on the 19th of the month, too, which was a special touch.
When we both first stepped into Newton Hall, we knew it was where we wanted to get married. One of our first dates was to Mr Lynch in Jesmond, which is a sister venue to Newton Hall. Ryan had also taken me on a date to Low Newton for a picnic, which is where the venue is situated.
We didn’t have a particular colour scheme or theme for our wedding. I wanted to bring in shades of copper, apricot, blue and blush. We’re a laidback, fun couple so we wanted to incorporate that into our day whilst also maintain the traditional wedding that I had always dreamt of.
I dressed the venue myself (with the help of my bridesmaids), and bought and made all of the decorations myself. We incorporated some fun ideas on the day, such as hangover kit wedding favours and baby pictures as table numbers. We had a craft night with all of my friends in the run up to the wedding, which was great fun.
When it came to my attire for the day, I knew that I wanted a fit and flare lace dress with a long veil that covered my face and ended up buying my gown from Wed2Be in Gateshead.
From the moment my mam and I stepped into Wed2Be, the service was fantastic. I tried on a dress and knew straightaway that it was the one. The fit and cut was just perfect. I also purchased my veil from Wed2Be as it was exactly what I had been looking for. My total outfit came to just £669. A special mention also goes to Kayleen the dressmaker for all of my subsequent alterations.
February 20th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Prepare yourself for some Monday afternoon swooning ladies, as this real wedding at Newton Hall has all the necessary elements to make you go completely weak at the knees.
From the picture-perfect venue, to the dreamy colour palette, and the bride’s show-stopping dress – we are 100% in love!
With images by Helen Russell Photography.
samantha says: We got engaged in November 2010. We had talked about getting engaged in the past and when we found out we were expecting our first child, Mark suggested we make it official and bought me a beautiful engagement ring.
We got married on Friday 4th November 2016 – we had been together for eight years to the date. We both wanted an autumn/winter wedding, something that didn’t rely on the weather being beautiful. However, we were lucky enough to be blessed with some gorgeous winter sunshine.
We got married at Newton Hall in Northumberland. The venue is quirky and beautifully decorated and offers exclusive hire, which was something that was particularly important to us. It has the perfect mix of luxury with an intimate, relaxed and friendly atmosphere. It was the first venue that we visited and we fell in love immediately, each room is decorated so elegantly. We did visit one other venue, but nothing compared; we already had made our minds up.
We didn’t have a theme as such, we just chose finishing touches that complemented the style of Newton Hall. We chose a mix of vintage and rustic accessories to add to the already quirky detail within the hall.
We chose a pale pink colour scheme as I wanted a soft colour which added to my vintage theme.
We booked our wedding back in June 2014 and I couldn’t wait to go dress shopping. I managed to hold off until one year before the wedding as I was afraid I would change my mind. I am quite an indecisive person, and couldn’t believe how easy I had been making decisions leading up to our wedding, surely my dress was going to be the most difficult decision yet.
I booked an appointment at The Wedding Dress Company in Corbridge, as they were holding a Stella York event and I had become really fond of the designer after scrolling through wedding dresses for a number of months. The ladies in the shop were extremely helpful. I explained that I wanted something with a detailed back which was a fit and flare style. With each dress I tried on, I found less things to dislike. Then they handed me ‘my’ dress, it was a Stella York fit and flare dress in champagne with ivory lace overlay. It had beautiful detail and had the most amazing illusion back; it fastened with beautiful buttons. Surely, I couldn’t buy my dress in the first shop I went to? But I did, and it was perfect!
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January 23rd, 2017 | Rachel Parry
It might be Monday morning but we have something super-pretty to brighten up your day, as we head to Northumberland to relive the beautiful wedding of Charlotte and Michael.
Taking place at the stunning Newton Hall, bride Charlotte was set on a relaxed and romantic big day that would stand the test of time – and looking at the images we’d say she certainly achieved her goal.
Stand out elements for us include Charlotte’s gorgeous mermaid style dress, the delicate blooms and the idyllic seaside setting #swoon!
With images by Melissa Beattie
Charlotte says: We got engaged while were on holiday in Spetses (a tiny and remote Greek island). We had hired a quadbike for a couple of days to explore and Michael suggested we take a picnic up to a remote viewpoint in order to watch the sunset over the sea. As the sun was setting Michael popped the question with a ring-shaped rock he’d found on the beach that day.
We set the date for 5th September 2016, rather unconventionally a Monday! We didn’t want a long engagement (little over a year) and so were limited by the availability of the venue we had fallen in love with. Getting married on a Monday also meant we could save on the venue hire and splurge on the food and drink for our guests.
Our chosen venue was Newton Hall, in rural Northumberland. It was the only venue we viewed but knew it was the one. It’s a beautiful Georgian country mansion within a few minutes’ walk of some of the most unspoilt and beautiful beaches in the UK. As Newton Hall only does weddings, we had the whole place to ourselves all day. As our guests were travelling from all over the country, we decided to make a weekend of it and have a pre-nuptial barbecue on the beach the evening before the big day. It meant we got to spend more time with everyone as well as making our wedding celebrations last that bit longer!
We didn’t particularly theme the wedding, it just a timeless and romantic English wedding with vintage touches. We wanted something relaxed but classy and fun.
Our colour scheme was grey and cream was with muted pastel shade flowers with silvery grey greenery.
I chose my wedding dress from Lisa Bilotti, a small, independent bridal boutique in Bedford (my home town). My friends had told me that all brides go to the bridal shop with an idea in mind and end up with something entirely different. I didn’t, I knew exactly what I wanted and that’s (luckily!) what suited my shape – a full lace vintage style mermaid number which I loved from the moment I tried it on. It actually looked like a pair of old lace curtains on the hanger so I very nearly dismissed it but Lisa listened to my description of my perfect dress and urged me to give it a try – I’m so glad I did!
August 3rd, 2016 | Julia Braime
Having often dreamt about weddings since being young, us girls can easily get carried away when it comes to planning our big day but it’s important that we respect our partner’s wishes too. Today’s bride goes as far as to say that without the groom’s input their wedding would not have been as special or as successful, as the two of them worked together to make planning their dream day from abroad possible.
Looking at the images below it’s fair to say that team work certainly made the dream work, as Ashlea and David enjoyed a beautifully elegant big day at the stunning Newton Hall complete with a pretty colour palette and sparkling pops of gold.
With images by Danny Birrell Photography.
ashlea says: We got engaged in Ottawa, Ontario, the capital of Canada, on 18th February 2014. Dave was visiting Canada for a year while I was finishing university and we decided to take a trip during my winter break. One of our favourite pastimes in the winter is skating and in Ottawa the canal freezes over to create more than three miles of rink. After spending the day touring around, and me suffering with the flu of the century, Dave convinced me to brave the -20C whether once more to go skating at dusk and watch the sun set. Once we were thoroughly frozen we decided to head back to the start but Dave stopped half way back, and began to tell me how much he loved me and where he saw our lives going. Before I knew it he was down on one knee on skates.
We set the date for 22nd June 2016, as we both felt it would be the best time of year for a wedding – not too hot and not too cold! It was also the perfect timing between Dave finishing his degree and his graduation.
We got married at Newton Hall in Northumberland. I started researching places shortly after we got engaged and being in another country meant everything was through Google. I instantly fell in love with the pictures and the whole idea behind Newton Hall. I think it just fit our quirky personalities and was something completely different to both of us. We had it booked from in May 2015 and Dave went to the open house by himself and called me in Canada at 6am telling me it was absolutely perfect! It wasn’t until three months before the wedding that I got to see the venue for myself – and I was just blown away by everything!
I’m an artist by trade and when we began planning our wedding I was really inspired by the vintage English look, but I think as time went on it began to evolve into something a little more personal, mixing in vintage with whimsical and a little bit of floral. I also took into consideration the look of the hall itself and picked things that would complement it.
Our colour scheme was dusty blue, gold, pastel pale pink, and ivory. I started with the colour of my dress which was ivory over light gold, and my bridesmaids dresses, which were dusty blue and then used a third colour, the pink, that I knew would complement them both. From there I used the colours in the little details like the bunting, flowers, and the cake.
December 9th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Today’s real wedding couple love nothing more than escaping to the beach with their daughter for some quality family time. It was little surprise then that when a wedding venue by the sea was suggested, they booked it straight away.
Taking inspiration from the season, Philip and Amanda’s wedding day featured elegant autumnal touches including some rather unusual white pumpkins that are apparently only available for a few days of the year. Shame, they would suit our office perfectly!
With images by Danny Birrell Photography.
amanda says: We got engaged on 7th December 2013, during a weekend away to York where we met at university (we now live in Whitley Bay). We went for a nice lunch and a few glasses of wine, and got all wrapped up to go for a walk around York. We were in the York Minster Gardens when Phil got down on one knee and popped the question, just as the minster bells began to chime. Everyone around us cheered and it was all very romantic. After seven years together of course I said yes.
We were married on Sunday 18th October 2015. We knew we wanted an autumnal wedding, in October, as that was the month we met nine years previously.
We went for a look around As You Like It in Jesmond, Newcastle, and had a chat with them about their venue. They mentioned a sister venue, Newton Hall in Northumberland, were having an open day soon after, so we went there for a look around, fell in love and reserved the date that day! Newton Hall had a formal, yet relaxed atmosphere that we just loved! All of the little eccentricities just added to the character of the venue, and when we walked into the garden suite, we just knew it was perfect. It was an added bonus it has its very own beach close by!
September 4th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Today’s real wedding has lots of lovely inspiration for crafty brides-to-be that are planning to hand make a lot of elements for their big day.
Having decided on a relaxed and pretty rose pink theme, bride Shona worked her magic on everything from the flowers and stationery, to the décor, and the results are nothing short of stunning.
So we’ll leave you to take note..
With images by Sue Pell and video by Top Table Films.
shona says: We got engaged at home in our front room on 10th December 2013, having already argued about the fact we were putting the tree up two days early. Little did I know Lee had more to think about than just putting up the decorations.
One of Lee’s family traditions is to close your eyes and make a wish when the lights of the tree are turned on. I was sat patiently with our Labrador Boulmer, waiting for the big light turn on when Lee told me to keep my eyes closed for a second longer. When I was allowed to open them he was down on one knee with a huge plastic flashing ring in front of me. Lee knows how picky I am so thankfully let me chose my own ring, which I had designed by a good friend of mine at a local jeweller. And in case you are wondering the wish I made (and had made every day up until that point) was that Lee would ask me to marry him!
We got married on 30th March 2015 at the amazing Newton Hall in Northumberland. I had already been to two of their open days with both of our mothers for a look around and I absolutely fell in love with the place. Years before we got engaged Lee had told me that we could only get married if I found a venue that could allow us to have a relaxed wedding, next to the beach or countryside and involving our dog – I actually think I couldn’t have found a better venue. I love the quirky styling and the fact that we could make the day exactly what we wanted.
By the power of Pinterest I had about a million themes/styles in my head to begin with and I did find it difficult to stop pinning and start planning! I knew the day needed to be informal to suit our personalities and I wanted to create many of the decorations myself. So I suppose you can say we had a relaxed homemade theme with lots of pretty details. I decorated lots of jam jars and glass bottles, painted some old books and folded some of them to create beautiful centrepieces. Lee cut me lots of wood slices which were perfect for adding some rustic detailing. We had lots of fairly lights and tea light candles to soften the look.
As the wedding was in March I wanted to look at some lovely pastel spring colours. I ordered some fabric swatches online of colours I liked and literally bought everything and anything that matched them so I could see it in a bigger form. I sat with my bridesmaids and went through greens, blues, corals, pinks until we found a light rose colour we all loved. It is such a romantic colour and suited the time of year perfectly.
As with most brides I had an idea of the type of dress I wanted and then went for the exact opposite! I only tried on about six or seven dresses and ended up finding mine by pure chance when visiting L’Amour Bridal Boutique in South Shields. The staff were really nice and helpful and helped narrow down my search very quickly. My mum began flicking through a Mori Lee catalogue and spotted ‘the one’ – Mori Lee Blu style 5108. By chance the store had it in stock, it was stunning and very figure hugging! We narrowed it down to a final two but when I came away all I could think about was the Mori Lee. In the end I didn’t actually buy it from L’Amour as my uncle picked the dress up in America for me – however the girls in the store were fantastic and I would definitely recommend them.
I had wanted Lee and the boys to wear grey as I thought it would match the rose colour theme well but he argued for navy and I’m very pleased he did too! Lee wore a tailored suit from Marks & Spencer and the boys were in a very similar one from Matalan. All in all I’d say they looked very smart, and it went perfectly with the rose of the bridesmaids.
The girls dresses I actually just picked up from the high street, I went on my own in my lunch hour and spotted them out the corner of my eye. They were exactly what I wanted and suited all the girls really well. I was worried the short length would mean they were a bit chilly so I matched it with a gorgeous grey cashmere pashmina and told them to brave the cold if they could!
Lee and I, along with six of our close friends, spent the night before the wedding at Newton Hall. We went for the last supper at The Joiners Arms and then had some drinks and treats back in our room. It made it so much easier being at the hall on the day! Waking up the morning of the wedding next to Lee was so exciting and much more special than being apart I think.
Lee got dressed at the cottage his family had hired down the road and made his grand entrance to Newton Hall on his beloved Mountain Bike with Boulmer trotting along by his side.
Our photographer was a very dear friend of mine Sue Pell. I actually work with Sue and she had long since retired from wedding photography when I met her. However before we met she photographed my cousin’s wedding six years ago which I was unable to attend. In my place I sent a life sized cardboard cut-out of myself and Sue could not believe it when we worked out the connection. She thought it was a sign and agreed to do our wedding photography as a gift to us! She is amazing, and we had a great connection on the day. I would recommend her to everyone although I’m not sure they would be able to persuade her back out of retirement now!
I knew from the start I wanted a lovely romantic bouquet which wasn’t too formed or structured. I love a challenge so I decided to do my own flowers! I ordered a mixture of Avalanche, Memory Lane and Amnesia roses as the colours matched the theme perfectly, then to add some texture and scent we included Freesia, Gypsophila and some gorgeous Silver Brunia. My auntie has been involved in the flowers for all of our family weddings over the years and was amazing at helping me tie them all up and get them looking just perfect. Because we had ordered the flowers from a wholesaler we had so many left over that the glass jam jars and bottles I had ready for decoration were filled with the same flowers as my bouquet.
I was concerned that favours wouldn’t work well as we didn’t have a table plan, however I did want the guests to have a little memento of the day. I packed up some wildflower seeds and let our guests take a pack from a basked we placed on the bar.
To save some money we decided to make our cake stand a little more special and buy our favourite Costco cakes! This way we got a little bit of variety and weren’t concerned if they didn’t get eaten. Lee cut some wooden discs as cake stands and we decorated the table with fairy lights and wicker hearts.
To continue with our relaxed wedding day theme we invited guests to meet us on the beach on the morning of the wedding. We had a lovely walk with all the dogs and our family and friends and then retreated to The Joiners Arms for a good old pub lunch. As our ceremony was later in the day we simply had a hot food buffet later in the evening once or night time guests had arrived. We decided on a Thai curry with sticky rice and some really good side dishes.
I was set on my chosen entertainment from the start. We booked the band Hip Operation as I had seen them several times before and they never fail to put on a performance. The mixture of music they perform was fantastic and they had everyone up dancing. They really get involved with the guests and even came out to join us on the dance floor a few times.
Five weeks before we got married we attended Lee’s sister’s wedding where she had booked a surprise caricaturist. He was so fantastic that Lee and I decided there and then that we wanted him too. Mike Giblin is such a fantastic artist and really mixed well with our guests.
As per Lee’s wedding day stipulations our Labrador Boulmer had to be by our sides all day and he really did make the day fantastic. Also, I think that so much of the wedding being handmade, from the stationery to the décor, really added to the day and made it so much more personal. It was a labour of love for me and I poured my heart and soul in to everything.
During my decoration research I spent a lot of time watching people’s wedding videos from Newton Hall but one really stuck with me. It was by Top Table Films and I realised we should have a video done. I called Jon and explained our unconventional dog walk and pub lunch and he was really enthusiastic. The final five minute preview video absolutely took my breath away. I love having it to look back on and it is by far the one thing I will recommend to every bride. We also got a full length DVD featuring all the speeches and the full ceremony, which I adore.
We would definitely recommend Newton Hall as it lets you be as unique or as traditional as you want. The styling of the venue means to really don’t have to add a lot to it to make it look special and the team that work there all wonderful. Jane was the manager on duty for the day and her organisation skills were fantastic. We had also specially requested John Parker to be our Master of Ceremony as he spent a lot of time talking to us at an open day and really put my mind at ease about doing things different.
Other than the ceremony I have to say my favourite part was getting ready with the girls. I don’t have any siblings and my best friends are like sisters to me. There was such a buzz in the bridal suite while we were getting ready and I didn’t want it to end. Lee’s speech was also a very special moment. It was really good, he made sure everyone was mentioned and thanked but also told some very special stories about the two of us. It was so sweet and I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room.
To avoid the school holidays we waited a few weeks after the wedding for the main honeymoon and so as a surprise for Lee I booked us a minimoon at Singdean B&B in Keilder. We later went on an all-inclusive honeymoon in Playa Del Carman in Mexico. It was two weeks of pure relaxation and indulgence.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to never settle for something you don’t want. There is always a way around it and if it doesn’t tick the right box for you then don’t do it. Also do not stress over the guest list! Talk to your partner and if you both aren’t completely happy then change it. When it comes down to it the only people that have to be there are you two!
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