November 23rd, 2015 | Julia Braime
Buckets and spades at the ready guys, as this morning we’re heading to the North East coastline to relive Amanda and Beth’s beach wedding big day!
Picking a fabulous setting for their chilled-out ceremony – a lighthouse, no less – Amanda and Beth pulled together their seaside scheme with ease using the likes of seashells, rope and net for decor.
We loved the ultra-relaxed vibe to their wedding day and adore how their photographer has captured their personalities and love for one another perfectly.
With images by JPRShah Photography.
amanda says: We got engaged on 26th July 2014, in Australia. We were out there for almost 3three months over summer whilst Beth was on placement but managed to travel quite a lot. Beth had already got the ‘okay’ from my mam before we jetted off; mam was so excited and happy for us but kept it secret from me.
Beth and I had always wanted to visit Whitsunday Islands, the beaches there are among the best in the world so we thought it would be absolute bliss to visit. Beth had booked a hotel on Hamilton Island, and it was bliss. One morning we got up to watch sunrise. Beth drove us (in our hired golf-buggy, the only way to get around on the island) up to a view point called ‘One Tree Hill’ (which is also a fav TV show of mine too). She insisted we got out and sat on the grass but it looked too dewy for my liking so I said I’d stay in the golf buggy. To my absolute surprise she got down on one knee (on the gravely ground) and asked me to marry her…over the moon was an under-statement.
October 19th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
This afternoon on the blog we’re excited to introduce you to another dream venue in the north (aren’t we fortunate to have such fabulous choice up here in the top half of the UK!)
Today it’s the turn of Lumley Castle – a unique fairytale setting located in the North East, County Durham to be precise.
Brimming with character and charm, the 14th century castle is the perfect choice for those who plan to be a real princess on their big day, as well as those who simply crave a more unusual ‘something old’.
So let’s find out from the venue what lies within its thick stone walls…
Where is Lumley Castle Hotel located?
Lumley Castle stands proud within nine acres of grounds and has dominated the County Durham landscape for more than six centuries. Surrounded by beautiful parklands, the castle provides a truly stunning backdrop for couples’ big days.
Tell Brides Up North about the venue, what is its history?
The 14th century castle has a fascinating history which began when it was inherited by Sir Ralph Lumley in 1389. Then a relatively modest manor house, Sir Lumley set about remodelling the building into the impressive castle that stands today.
Unfortunately, Sir Ralph barely had time to enjoy his castle before he and his son Thomas, were imprisoned for their part in a plot to overthrow Henry IV and replace him with Richard II. In 1400, they were stripped of their titles and then executed.
From that point the castle’s occupancy was unsettled as it changed hands on several occasions, being governed by various Earls and courageous soldiers, before being returned to and remaining with its original owners, the Lumley family, for 400 years.
Now part of the No Ordinary Hotels Group, the exquisite building has become a popular wedding venue. Though developed and extended over the centuries, Lumley Castle has never lost its unique charm and today offers brides and grooms the perfect blend of ancient history and modern luxury.
What facilities does it have?
The castle houses 73 bedrooms and a choice of stunning function rooms. Meanwhile outdoors, its nine acres of grounds provide the perfect setting for welcome drinks, fireworks and photographs. All wedding catering is handled by the castle’s team of talented chefs at its renowned Black Knight Restaurant.
Does Lumley Castle cater for weddings?
Yes, it is one of the best loved wedding venues in the North East with a range of exquisite function rooms. These include the Garter Suite, a light, airy and elegant room, accommodating up to 180 evening guests and the Barons Hall, which features wood panelling and a minstrels’ gallery, and can also cater for up to 180 evening guests.
For more intimate weddings there is the Scarbrough Suite, a romantic, ivory painted room with deep blue damask curtains; the Northumbria Suite, with feature fireplace, ornate ceiling and tall windows; The Gilt, a small but beautifully formed room at the heart of the castle and the Sceptre another equally gorgeous space for smaller wedding parties.
There is also the option for smaller, less formal celebrations to take place in the castle’s Black Knight Restaurant – famous throughout the North East for its superb food served in the most intimate and welcoming setting.
Is Lumley Castle licensed for civil ceremonies?
Yes. Ceremonies can be held in either the Scarbrough Room – one of the largest state rooms overlooking the grounds with a maximum capacity of 80 ceremony guests – or in the Garter Room, which boasts exquisite Georgian plasterwork and can hold up to 132 guests.
What makes Lumley Castle a special wedding venue and sets you apart from others?
With its enchanting turrets and towers, Lumley Castle could have stepped straight from the pages of a story book. In reflection of its long history, its opulent interior reflects the styles of several centuries – from the medieval grandeur of its Barons Hall, to the exquisite elegance of its Georgian Garter Suite. Its stone flagged floors and log fires make for wonderfully atmospheric winter weddings, while its light and airy, high ceilinged and chandeliered State Rooms, overlooking the grounds, are ideal for spring and summer celebrations.
What sort of bride would be a Lumley Castle bride?
Lumley Castle appeals to all sorts of brides for all sorts of reasons. Some fall in love with its Gothic grandeur while others see it as the perfect storybook setting for their own particular fairytale. Lumley Castle is, and can be, all things to all people – and that is what makes it so special.
How can your staff help to make the planning process easier and the big day amazing?
Couples will be provided with their own personal wedding coordinator who is their point of contact from the moment of booking up until the wedding day. On the big day itself, our dedicated operations wedding coordinator will make sure proceedings run smoothly, taking the stress away from the couple so that they can enjoy themselves.
Lumley Castle also works with some of the North East’s best wedding suppliers, who are familiar with both the castle and the staff, and therefore help to ensure the very best for our brides and grooms.
Can guests stay over at your venue?
Yes. We have 53 bedrooms in the castle itself and located in the converted stables in the courtyard.
Tell us about your catering services?
Our award winning head chef has worked hard to create a variety of wedding menus. A lot of the produce is locally bought and seasonal. At Lumley Castle we can accommodate for all dietary requirements. Our duty manager has a wealth of experience and has created a superb wine list to complement our menus.
Can you give Brides Up North an idea on price or let us know about any special packages available?
As Lumley Castle Hotel is a fairytale wedding venue, we have created a fitting ‘Fairytale Wedding Package’ at a magical price of just £2,500 for up to 40 guests.
Any really memorable weddings at the venue?
We have recently had a Snow White themed wedding. The groom, a gallant prince, arrived by his trusty steed (a white helicopter) to his awaiting guests who were sipping on Verve Cliquet champagne. The bride had stayed in our King James Suite the night before and wore a Alfred Angelo wedding dress.
The ceremony took place in the beautiful Garter Suite and the bride walked down the aisle to a string quartet playing.
Cherry blossom was the choice of flowers and the guests enjoyed a three course meal of duck and pancetta taurine, a fillet of local beef wellington with dauphinoise potato and a dessert of baked chocolate tart and Horlicks and Malteaser ice cream. Throughout the wedding breakfast famous Disney songs played, which really amused the wedding guests.
The evening entertainment kicked off with fireworks display set to music and our resident DJ playing a variety of oldie and modern day songs. The bride and groom’s first dance was to a Tale as Old as Time from Beauty and the Beast.
Do you have any bridal events or open days coming up shortly that our readers should know about?
We have wedding a Wedding Showcase on 10th January 2016 and a Wedding Fayre on 13th March 2016.
Where can readers get more information or contact the venue?
September 30th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
We love pink, we adore peonies and we’ve always got room for cake – these are just a few reasons why we fell head over heels for this morning’s real wedding (as we’re sure you will too) when it landed in our inbox.
Bride Caitlin wanted an elegant shabby chic feel to her big day and so teamed cute homemade decorative items with her favourite pastel tones of lemon and dusky pink.
The result is just beautiful and it’s not just the setting that looks stunning, for the wedding party themselves are pushing the bar high in the style stakes. We love the maids’ girly full-length dresses, the guys’ smart suits and of course Caitlin’s gorgeous Mori Lee lace dress, complete with a pretty bespoke belt.
With images by the fabulous Helen Russell Photography.
caitlin says: We got engaged at home, in our cosy little bungalow! Matthew decided to wine and dine me with a Chinese box from the supermarket (good job I love things like that!) and surrounded by candles he got down on one knee and popped the question! Matthew is not the type to make a scene in front of people in a posh restaurant, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
We set the date for Friday 10th July 2015. We were hoping it would be a perfect sunny day and luckily enough, it was!
Wynyard Hall was our chosen venue. I just loved the stately home, picturesque feel it had. The terrace out of the back had amazing views of the lake and it just felt perfect. The first time I visited I was with my mam and she loved it just as much as I did (good job Matthew liked it too!)
The theme I had in mind was a vintage, rustic, shabby chic theme. I love all things like this and we decided to make/source as many of the decorations we could ourselves. We recycled glass jars for months on end and decorated everyone differently! I made all of the save the dates, invitations, order of services and loved every minute! Not only did this keep costs down, but it also made things feel extra special.
Our colour scheme was pale lemon and dusty pink. I loved these pastel colours as I thought they were summery but classy!
I was lucky enough to find my amazing Mori Lee dress in a lovely little family run boutique called Dobinsons of Darlington. It was a beautiful mermaid style with lace detail throughout. Initially the dress had straps and I thought it didn’t suit me, however with a few changes to make it a sweetheart neckline, it was perfect! A friend of mine made my wedding belt and I wore Kurt Geiger sandals to complete my look.
Matthew wore a Paul Costello charcoal grey suit with faint checks from Slaters in Newcastle. He wanted a three piece suit with a waistcoat and wore a dusty pink tie, pocket watch and tan Ted Baker shoes!
All six of our bridesmaids wore gorgeous, floaty, one-shouldered, pale lemon dresses from Coast and the groomsmen wore charcoal suits, also from Slaters in Newcastle, with pale lemon ties and hessian flower shaped button holes.
Helen Russell was our photographer. Helen was absolutely amazing, she was the best photographer we could have asked for and made everyone feel so comfortable on the day. We loved the natural photographs Helen takes and we would 100 per cent recommend her to anyone. We had our pre wedding shoot the month before which made us so relaxed and excited for the day and are over the moon with all of our photographs!
When it came to the flowers, I carried dusty pink peonies with pale lemon roses and the bridesmaids and flower girl carried the same in smaller bouquets.
We wanted to keep with the peony theme in the décor and so used the same flowers in jugs placed on pieces of wood for the centrepieces along with rustic jars and candles. We also had single peonies and carnations in jars along the aisle and on the fireplaces at Wynyard. My family helped so much with sourcing the jars and centrepieces and made the day extra special.
For the reception we also hired chiavari chairs from The Finishing Touch Company, which made the rooms look perfect!
As favours we gave small jam jars filled with pink alcohol for the adults and filled with sweeties for the children. Also a chocolate truffle heart for an extra treat!
Our guests were also treated to an amazing cake table, made by Bernadette from Dreamworld Cakes in Newcastle. Our wedding cake had four tiers, two being Belgian chocolate and the other two being white chocolate and raspberry, it was then decorated with rustic theme in mind with peonies and raffia. We also had Baileys chocolate and Victoria sponge mini cakes, lemon and passion fruit cupcakes, cake pops and strawberry and pistachio macaroons!
For the entertainment we decided to hire wedding pianists, Daniel Ackerley and Martin Dack, who played throughout the ceremony and right through the wedding breakfast. We also had Paul Lytton who was a fantastic magician and The Ultimate Wedding DJ for the disco. As an extra special touch we also hired large ‘C & M’ letters from Coco Luminaire and a vintage photo booth from Snaparazzi.
I would recommend all of ours suppliers and also our venue to other couples. Our wedding coordinator Emily made the day go as smooth as possible and I felt confident everything would go to plan! Wynyard made our rooms look amazing and all the staff were friendly and helpful. We couldn’t have asked for a better venue!
It’s difficult to pick a favourite part of the wedding as the whole day was amazing, but I think it would be walking in to the conservatory being announced as Mr & Mrs Summerbell ready to cut the cake and have our first dance!
For our honeymoon we went to El Dorado Casitas Royale in Riveria Maya, Mexico! This place was heaven and we were so lucky so spend our honeymoon in such luxury! The restaurants were all a la carte and on the beach front, it was so relaxing and we would definitely revisit on our anniversary – one day! We are now expecting our first baby. After unexpectedly finding out on our honeymoon, we are so shocked but so excited and can’t wait for the future!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be not to stress too much about all the tiny details leading up to the wedding, and for the groom I’d say try and help take some of this stress away from the bride! I was so worried about the room looking how I imagined however the staff at the venue were so good they made it look better than I ever could have. Brides and grooms should also try to take in as much of the day as possible as it goes so fast, enjoy every minute.
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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!
August 18th, 2015 | Julia Braime
This afternoon we meet husband and wife-to-be Amanei and Erik, as they share with us their love story and the results of their stunning engagement shoot. The Alnwick Garden provides a beautiful backdrop for the shoot and will also be the setting for Amanei and Erik’s impending big day.
So let’s join them on a stroll around the grounds as we find out the all-important how, when and where’s.
With images by Julie Barron Photography.
amanei says: Erik proposed just before midnight on 25th October 2014. We were at the Oblix Restaurant at The Shard, during an amazing weekend away in London. As a surprise he’d also arranged for some of my family to be there the following day for a meal together to celebrate before travelling home. It was all a surprise, however as he’d had the ring since August, I knew it was on the cards!
We chose to set the date for 22nd November 2015 as we really wanted a winter wedding, but didn’t want it to be too close to Christmas (no Santa at our reception please).
Our ceremony is to be held at our local and gorgeous parish church and after a lot of searching we found the perfect winter reception venue, The Alnwick Garden.
We first met in the office at work. Erik was my (not so secret) Santa shortly after he moved to the same department I was working in (he bought me knitted slipper socks that were three sizes too big!) He is insistent however that for the first months after meeting him, I completely ignored him! After a number of ‘espresso coffee’ dates at work, our first official date was at the intimate Dacantus restaurant in Newcastle in spring last year. We still sometimes go in for a sneaky glass of wine when we’re passing Grey Street and reminisce about how perfect it was!
I suppose it’s true what they say, that when you meet ‘the one’ you know instantly, because that’s definitely what happened in our case – the choice is I suppose, made for you! Erik is my absolute rock and that’s why I love him so much. I know that he will support me, and our relationship, through thick and thin and whatever married life may throw at us. He’ll be an amazing husband.
Erik says that he knew from the beginning, when we first used to go for coffee together that I was that ‘one’ special person. He proposed very quickly but says that’s because he doesn’t have any doubts about us.
We both have our little downfalls though. No matter how often I tell Erik not to, he always feeds our Chihuahua Miles, some of his dinner, and Erik says I can be a bit of a control freak – he wishes I would just relax a little bit more.
Our biggest wish for married life is to have a solid, stable, supportive home and to make each other happy, that’s all we can ever wish for – anything else is a bonus!
Our wedding photographer Julie was recommended to us by a friend and as we had never worked with her before we took her up on the offer of an engagement shoot. We want very natural, unobtrusive and relaxed photography to capture our day and were confident that Julie was the right choice, but the engagement shoot concreted that for us. Phew!
We were definitely nervous beforehand, however Julie really put us at ease and we really enjoyed the session, but most importantly we now know that on the day we’ll feel comfortable while Julie is photographing us – which is so important.
The timing of the engagement shoot was also perfect as we’ve just moved into our beautiful new house, so we’re planning on framing some of the stunning pictures to make it feel like more of a home – it’s just a little difficult to decide on those select few, as we love so many!
I love Brides Up North because I find the amount of local contacts, suppliers and events featured are really useful in preparing all of those little details for the day! For us being able to contact suppliers who are local enough to meet up with and discuss ideas face to face is really important. We hope to return to share our big day on the blog.
August 6th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Though today’s couple remained in the north of the UK to tie the knot, they looked to the dreamy country of Italy to provide romantic influences to help set the scene for their big day.
A soft colour palette of pink and white reflected through Rachel’s choice of bridesmaid dresses and blooms created an elegant feel which was further enhanced with pretty lace additions in the bride’s dress, the stationery and décor.
When the big day came to an end, Rachel and Jonathan continued their love affair with Italy by jetting off to Venice on a five-day honeymoon. Oh, and the lucky little things have a second honeymoon to Mexico all lined up too. Jealous much?
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Stan Seaton Photography.
rachel says: We initially met very briefly at a bar in Darlington. Two weeks later we bumped into one another whilst out with friends in Yarm – the rest, as they say, is history! We had been together for five years when Jonathan proposed whilst we were on holiday on the island of Thassos in Greece, back in August 2013. He popped the question to me whilst we were sipping cocktails in a little bar overlooking the sea. I of course said ‘yes’ and we spent the rest of the evening drinking champagne and celebrating our news with the locals. I couldn’t have asked for a more stunning and amazing setting.
We got married on 4th May 2015. We both love every season for its uniqueness but chose May for our wedding month as we thought that the scenery at the chosen venue would be beautiful at that time of year. Unfortunately we didn’t realise that the 4th May is also known as ‘Star Wars Day’ to its fans. Luckily all guests dressed suitably and there was not a fancy dress costume in sight!
We got married at Eshott Hall in Northumberland. We found the venue from an article I was reading in a magazine. The article detailed how Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin had visited the hall for his brother’s wedding and had stayed in the Crow’s Nest, a luxury self-contained apartment. We were amazed by the pictures of Eshott. We both fell in love with the stain glass window and staircase in the main part of the hall. We arranged an appointment to visit straight away.
Our theme was Italian romance as we wanted the day to be very elegant. To complement the theme we had a blush pink and white colour scheme with touches of lace, which emphasised the soft romantic feel we were looking for.
I had a few ideas of the type of dress I wanted and visited a number of bridal boutiques before going back to one of the first dresses I tried on at Dobinsons of Darlington. The dress was very ‘me’. It was a lace design with a sweetheart neckline by Stella York. I always knew I wanted lace and something figure hugging due to my petite frame. I decided to add a unique feature to the dress to make it my own and so Dobinson’s stitched a diamante belt into the gown. This finished it off perfectly and when the long veil went on, I was totally in love!
On the wedding day I used Paul David Hairdressers in Darlington to style my hair, and Make-up by Jo to do the beauty side of things. My makeup stayed fresh all day, and Jo gave such a professional service.
Jonathan wore a three piece blue suit hired from Affleck and Moffat in Darlington.
The bridesmaids dresses were purchased from Poppy Bridal in Darlington. Again to add some uniqueness to the dresses we purchased embellishments for the dresses and Poppy’s added these for us. We all agreed they looked perfect.
Stan and Jane of Stan Seaton Photography took our wedding day photos. We knew from day one that they would be our perfect choice as they were the photographers at my sister’s wedding some nine years earlier. We both love Stan and Jane’s work and knew they would capture our very special moments. The experiences, from the pre wedding shoot, to the big day and then seeing our wedding pictures presented to us on a big screen, were all amazing. We felt that both Stan and Jane put in a lot of effort getting to know us. On the day they both made us feel at ease and felt like one of our friends. Having received our photos we would highly recommend Stan Seaton Photography. The photographs captured both myself and Jonathan’s personality and also special candid moments. We wanted the images to be elegant and romantic and we both feel that Stand and Jane instinctively understood this.
Due to our ceremony being held in the chapel, which was within the grounds of the venue, we did not have a need for transportation, however I was taken to the chapel in my father’s car which was beautifully decorated with wedding bows.
Our invitations were made by Polina Perri, who specialise in luxury/ vintage wedding invitations. They were beautifully presented and featured an antique brooch and lace.
Our flowers were provided by Eliza Bloom in Darlington. My bouquet was made up of pink and white roses. In the reading room/ chapel we had a tall candelabra with an arrangement on the register table and outside we had an arch decorated with flowers. In the wedding breakfast we had eight table candelabras with candles and flowers and an arrangement at the top table. The room looked so elegant and beautiful. When you see all the little touches coming together it really does take your breath away.
We gave our guests ‘his and hers’ favours in the form of alcohol miniatures; Baileys for the ladies and a selection for the men. For the children we had a chocolate pot from Hotel Chocolat.
Our cake was a work of art created by Burnett 4 Cakes and had a different flavour in each of the four tiers: chocolate orange, chocolate, lemon drizzle and sponge.
We choose the Chameleon Band to provide our entertainment. We researched a lot of bands but these came highly recommended and they were worth it, they even asked us for a list of ‘special songs’ for them to learn which they then played on the night. We also had a pianist playing at the reception, which was beautiful.
Following our wedding I would highly recommend Eshott Hall to other couples. It not only blew us away, but our guests can’t stop talking about it!
Our favourite part of the wedding had to be seeing each other for the first time on the day. We had spent so long preparing for our wedding day, that when the moment came and we finally saw each other we both got very emotional, as did the congregation.
When it came to the honeymoon we were spoilt and booked two! We went on a five night break to Venice, straight after the wedding. We loved it, we transferred to and from Venice in a private speedboat and stayed in an amazing hotel Carlton on the Grand. Our room there overlooked the Grand Canal – it was truly amazing, we felt like royalty. We had some fantastic experiences in a variety of excellent restaurants, a trip we will never forget!
We now look forward to heading to Mexico for two weeks, where our days will be filled lounging on the golden sands by the beautiful sea and then on an evening we will be spoilt with some amazing food in some fabulous restaurants sipping cocktails at the Excellence Riviera Hotel as husband and wife!
My top tip to other Brides Up North would simply be to savour every moment as the day goes by so quickly.
affleck and moffat, brides up north featured supplier, burnett 4 cakes, carlton on the grand, chameleon band, dobinsons of darlington, eliza bloom, eshott hall, excellence riviera hotel, hotel chocolat, make up by jo, north east wedding, paul david hairdressers, polina perri, poppy bridal, real wedding, stan seaton photography, uk wedding blog, wedding photographer
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