September 22nd, 2017 | Julia Braime
If you’re in search of a brand-new venue that’s as cool as it is unique, then you just might be about to love us forever. As this afternoon, we have details of an a-maz-ing (!!) North East venue, set to open its doors to couples in April 2018, offering stylish celebrations like no other!
Set on a 150-acre estate in the heart of Northumberland coastal countryside, Charlton Hall is currently undergoing a huge renovation that will see elements of its heritage mixed with quirky and contemporary touches, resulting in a grand entertaining space made up of show-stopping function rooms, fabulous entertaining areas and incredible bedrooms.
Brought to you by the same people as those behind popular venue Doxford Barns, couples marrying at Charlton can be sure of first-class service, food and drink as standard.
Keen to remain up-to-the-minute with its progress, we’ve invited the team from Charlton Hall to take over the blog with the latest details of seriously stylish venue…
Where is Charlton Hall located?
charlton hall say: Charlton Hall is based just off the A1 at Chathill, eight miles north of Alnwick and is set within a private 150-acre estate overlooking the coast towards Beadnell Bay.
Can you tell us about its history?
Charlton Hall is a Grade II listed Georgian hall by William Newton and formerly the family home of the late Reginald William Tudor Thorp, MBE of Alnwick – Alnwick’s oldest solicitor before he died in 2003.
Charlton Hall was acquired by Richard Shell in May 2017 and included in the sale were many original artefacts from the Hall, including auction notices from 1878, newspaper articles from 1935 and turn of the century antiques (desks, grandfather clocks, chairs) as well as other delightful memoirs, including a school sports trophy dating back to 1890!
We intend to incorporate as many of these artefacts into our upgrade of Charlton Hall to mix tradition with modern twists and eccentric interior design.
What is the building currently like and how will it be transformed?
The building itself is currently under renovation as we upgrade the Hall whilst preserving its heritage and original Georgian features. To balance tradition with modernity, our lead designer Josephine Aynsley is introducing an eclectic mix of bold furniture, fabrics, tapestries and accessories to add even more character to the venue.
The renovation plans include enchanting function and entertaining rooms, a large formal drawing room with marble fireplace and dining room with floor-to-ceiling sash windows that look out towards the coast; our vision here is intended to make the venue ideal for intimate wedding breakfasts.
On the lower ground floor, Charlton Hall has a rare and unique assortment of intimate underground lounges and our plans here are to use the space for a dedicated whisky bar with booths for the after-party.
The menagerie of furniture included with the sale of Charlton Hall has heavily influenced our design team’s interior scheme, by re-claiming many of those pieces to create an authentic yet eclectic interior. Mixed with re-production pieces, the finished look aims to excite and inspire with our indulgent, luxurious and downright decadent taste!
What type of feel will Charlton Hall have and what will its interior styling be like?
At every turn, the unique vision of Charlton Hall is a masterclass in interior design. The decor is adorned with soft furnishings, fabrics and accessories that are intriguingly mismatched, along with vibrant-coloured walls, antique pieces, playful artefacts, a mix of art and decorative lighting fixtures and yesteryear pictures that offer anatomical insights.
As you enter the grounds of Charlton Hall, its long private driveway is enshrouded by luscious English orchards and secret walled gardens to reveal the traditional exterior of Charlton Hall’s Georgian building. Inside, guests are greeted and led to the vibrant inner sanctum of either the drawing room or library, constructed around the central staircase.
Once inside, be prepared for bold interiors, decadent features and daring design as Charlton Hall’s tongue-in-cheek personality takes over with is provocative interiors and flamboyant colour scheme, heavily influenced by creatives – Tim Walker, Tom Dixon, Andrew Martin, Matthew Williamson, House of Hackney and Emma Shipley.
Light installations will cover the hallway including Tom Dixon Pendants, neon signs and flying cherubs levitating down the grand staircase to the hallway. Wallpapers by Pierre Frey and Harlequin feature prominently here.
The Breakfast Room takes inspiration from photographer Tim Walker with its accumulation of shadows and detail. Here the design team brings Harlequin Sumi wallpaper to life by cascading from the ceiling and down to the base of the original hand-painted floor boards. Andrew Martin’s sheers drape the windows to drench the room with sunlight that reflects off the opposing wall of mirrors.
The Library shies away from the “standard” library look by following the Hall’s level of opulence with bespoke accessories, large-scale chandeliers and bright colours. Our love for House of Hackney starts in the Study and climbs the staircase through fabrics, wallpapers and accessories. Having followed the inspirational artist Emma J Shipley for a number of years, we have also included many of her exquisite cushion designs throughout Charlton Hall to complement Josephine Aynsley’s bespoke cushions to suit each room.
At some point throughout your jaunt of the Hall, you will visit our toilets. Eyebrow-raising urinals combined with bespoke designed graffiti from our amazing artist Lynsey Jean Henderson juxtapose with the Pink Powder room for Foxy Ladies.
Throughout Charlton Hall our bespoke crafted bars will be backlit with changeable coloured LEDs and Tom Dixon fade pendants featuring prominently in our function and designated bar rooms.
Taking our handmade and specially hand dyed grand staircase runner upstairs, guests can indulge in the decadence of oversized mirrors that reflect our shimmering chandeliers, sit delicately on our leather conversation sofas in a little hideaway decorated with House of Hackney’s naughty monkey wallpaper, complete with specially designed rugs.
Delving downstairs into our underground vaults, you will find Charlton Hall’s after-hours playground of debauchery, cigars, drinking and where cards are dealt. Our in-house speakeasy plays host to this whisky and card room or if you fancy a dance, you’ll have to mind your head in our den that even Gatsby couldn’t imagine. Rich with silks, velvets, leather and laced with a decadent choice of beverages – who wouldn’t want to finish the night in such style?
August 24th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
There’s very little introduction required for the real wedding we’re featuring today, as these gorgeous photographs speak for themselves. There’s embellished Enzoani for the dress divas, pink peonies for the flower fans and stunningly intimate sunset kisses for the romance addicts – so that’ll be, err, everyone?? The theme of this particular County Durham wedding was ‘simply elegant’ and the details, from bespoke stationery to limoncello shots, are first-rate.
Oh, and speaking of details, have you thought about a wedding day gift for your beloved yet? We’ve seen it all here at Brides Up North – a vintage tie pin, a bottle of his favourite whiskey, a rare record to add to his collection. But today’s bride Charlotte sets the bar even higher, ladies – her wedding day gift to new husband Jonathan was a full-on dance troupe: her and her #bridesquad performing to Beyonce’s popwhopper Love on Top. No pressure, then…!
Over to Charlotte to tell us more…
With images by Duncan McCall Photography
charlotte says: We’d planned a trip to Edinburgh between Christmas and New Year to see some friends and Jonathan told me afterwards that he’d decided exactly when and where he was going to propose. However, that didn’t go to plan. On Saturday 21st December 2013, he says he woke up and just knew he had to do it. We live in County Durham, and one of our favourite places to visit is the Cathedral. With it being Christmas time, we were greeted by the beautiful sound of a choir singing carols as we walked in that day. He led me outside into the courtyard and sat me down, got down on one knee and popped the question. It really took me by surprise and, of course, I said yes!
Our wedding date was 1st July 2017. We’d always wanted a summer wedding and it just so happened that the first Saturday in July had a memorable date: 1/7/17.
We got married at St Brandon’s Church in Brancepeth, just outside of Durham. The church building was rebuilt after a devastating fire in 1998 and the renovations are beautiful. It’s is very modern with individual chairs instead of pews, and features a beautiful stained-glass window and stone from the old building on the wall. We fell in love with St Brandon’s as soon as we stepped inside; plus, we love that every time we step outside our back door, we can see the church in the distance.
We held our wedding reception at Headlam Hall Hotel and Spa. We’d looked at so many different venues, but none of them felt right until we came across Headlam. We loved the beautiful gardens and terrace and could see just how lovely it would be to have our guests there and to enjoy the views. We also loved how the function suite was set aside from the hotel – it created a real sense of exclusivity. Headlam Hall’s function suite had recently been renovated and looked really elegant; we loved it so much, we booked two years in advance.
‘Simply elegant’ was the theme for our wedding, with a colour scheme of navy blue, blush pink, creams and golden colours. We also included peonies, which were incorporated into the bouquets, centrepieces and all stationery.
I chose a fishtail, embroidered Enzoani gown, to which I added a crystal belt, some delicate thin crystal straps and a cathedral-length veil with lace detailing, all purchased at the Blue Bow Bridal Company, based in Durham. The ladies there were truly amazing; as soon as we stepped in we were greeted by two lovely women who handed me a basket of pegs and told me to peg away onto any dresses I liked. I tried on some beautiful gowns, but I didn’t love any of them. At this point, Cheryl the assistant asked me to describe my dream dress and then picked out my beautiful Enzoani gown. I couldn’t wait to try it on and, once I saw myself in it, I definitely had the moment you dream about.
August 21st, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
After getting engaged at a Courteeners gig, today’s featured couple, Katie and Liam were married in Gibside Chapel and moved onto Eslington Villa to get the celebrations underway. Katie loved visiting Gibside as a little girl and instinctively knew it would be the ideal place to say “I do”. We’ve got to say that we wholeheartedly agree: the stately polished wood and colonnaded interior is breath-taking, and perfect for their formal religious ceremony.
But this Real Wedding has so much more going for it than just the pretty setting, believe us. Kate’s Martina Liana gown is just exquisite – an absolute showstopper of lace and embellishment topped off with the ultimate cathedral-length, heavy lace-edged statement veil. If you’re looking for classic Grace Kelly vibes with a V-neck, look no further.
Add in some sequinned table-runners, all-white bouquets and the proudest, smiliest little pageboy we ever did see and what do you get? A whole lotta heart-eyes.
With photography by Danny Birrell Photography.
kate says: Lima and I got engaged on 5th June 2015 at a Courteeners gig – they’re my favourite band! It was at Heaton Park in Manchester.
We got to into the venue, headed straight to the bar and, as we were waiting for everything to start, Liam said, “Can you hold my pint in your right hand?” The next thing I knew he was down on one knee! It was a huge shock: our friends were standing not too far away from us and all I could hear was my sister Charlotte screaming, crying and shouting, “Oh my God!” It was amazing – I couldn’t think of anywhere better for it to have happened. We were also mentioned in the NME magazine after the gig!
We wanted something a little different; I’m personally not keen on big stately home weddings and wanted to create something that was relevant to me and Liam. I used to go to Gibside as a child and we liked how Eslington Villa was just a quirky little restaurant and that we had exclusive use of it.
Our décor theme was ‘a little bit of everything’ – candles in geo votives, succulents and sequinned table runners. I loved how everything wasn’t too streamlined.
I saw my dress at a wedding fair; it was a Martina Liana gown from Mia Sposa bridal at Newcastle. I just fell completely in love as soon as I saw it. I loved the long train, the sleeves, the lace – just everything!
For my shoes I went for a pair of Christian Louboutins – I’d wanted a pair for years! They were nude patent Pigalles.
August 7th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Creativity lies at the heart of today’s captivating bridal shoot, showcasing what it really means to take a blank canvas of a venue and make it your own on your contemporary wedding day.
Led by wedding planner Faye Darcy of Faye Darcy Events, the shoot takes place at arts and cultural space, the Thought Foundation, located in Gateshead – and as Faye and her team of suppliers beautifully demonstrate – the possibilities are endless!
Gorgeous props (look out for the peacock chair and mirror ball heart), atmospheric pendant lighting, colourful balloons and copper decorations set the scene, offering up a kitsch-come-industrial edge to the styling.
We’ll now hand the blog over to Faye to tell us more about this alluring backdrop and all the fabulous details behind her stunning concept for the shoot. Enjoy!
With images from Gavin Forster Photography.
faye says: The Thought Foundation is fairly new venue – a creative space and a blank canvas with core values of being a community interest space. I was so excited when I first heard that this venue was in the process of being renovated. I just love open spaces that allow me to use my creativity to its greatest potential and which enable couples to choose a style that truly reflects them and their personalities, rather than being restricted by a venue’s décor.
From the first time I entered the venue my face lit up and my mind went into overdrive imagining all of the possibilities. The husband and wife team behind Thought Foundation held their own wedding celebrations in the venue last year and decided they would love couples to be able to share and create happy memories in their space too, the way they did with their loved ones. I was so inspired by their story, values and aspirations for the space that I immediately knew I would love to work alongside the venue.
The main reason for the shoot was to showcase the venue as a wedding space, and not just for workshops and art exhibitions, and to be creative with an alternative wedding style, stepping away from tradition to showcase my own and other local suppliers’ fabulous work.
Being a creative myself, I can walk in to an empty room and get excited, imagining ways in which it can be styled. For some couples searching for their perfect venue, this may not be the case. Often, they can’t see the potential unless it is furnished already or set up for a wedding. I wanted to create something fun and colourful to contrast against the white brick walls and encourage couples to use their imagination rather than sticking to the ‘norms’ of wedding styling.
I gain a lot of my inspiration from current interior trends. I love to travel and pull together elements from different places and cultures too. Having previously worked in the Australian wedding industry, I still draw most of my inspiration from there and the creatives I worked alongside from the beginning of my wedding planner career. I love their laid-back style and their current wedding and interior trends; there’s always something so much fresher and creative than the likes of standard chair covers and sashes, although these still work great for traditional styles.
Trends I was seeing over there two years ago are slowly appearing here in the UK and it’s great to finally see a shift in the industry. Couples are becoming much more creative and going with themes that reflect them and their personalities.
I went for a relaxed bridal style with a gorgeous floor length, blush tulle skirt, coupled with an ivory sequin crop top which suited the style of our model Phoebe beautifully, both of which were high street brands. We have been seeing more and more two-piece bridal sets over the past couple of years; they are so versatile and allow brides to choose something that’s slightly more modern and relaxed rather than a traditional gown.
July 10th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Fern and Andrew’s glorious barn wedding in the Northumberland countryside has us reaching for our sunnies – and maybe a glass (or two) of Pimm’s.
Healey Barn is an incredible backdrop to this couple’s laidback rustic day, with its vaulted ceilings and exposed stone decked out in fairy lights and flowers. Think ‘country chic’ and you’ve got it: tweed jackets, bunting, flower petal confetti and photographs featuring woodland walks and hay bales. Gotta love a hay bale!
With photography by Chocolate Chip Photography.
fern says: I managed to ruin the first proposal attempt by Andrew – he had put the engagement ring on our cat’s collar thinking when the cat jumped up on me I’d see it. Needless to say I didn’t, and let the cat outside with the engagement ring around her neck. I didn’t know anything about this until the second proposal!
Jump forward to the evening of 1st January 2012, when Andrew thought it’d be easier (and less likely to give him a heart attack) if he just came downstairs and got down on one knee.
We got married on 29th July 2016. We thought it would be best to get married on a Friday as a few of our guests needed to travel down from Scotland and up from Milton Keynes and we figured they’d have a longer weekend if they didn’t have to travel home the day after the wedding.
Our venue was Healey Barn, Riding Mill, Northumberland. We chose it quite simply because we thought it was absolutely stunning. We also felt it would be great to have a barn wedding and it fitted our style quite well – very ‘relaxed rustic’.
Theme-wise, we just wanted a relaxed atmosphere. This was the main drive behind everything, including the choice of our two major suppliers – the venue, Healey Barn, and our photographers, Chocolate Chip Photography. We felt they could both offer the stress-free approach we love.
Our colour scheme was green and purple: it’s all about me! They’re my favourite colours.
I purchased my dress from I Do Bridal in Bill Quay, Gateshead. I couldn’t rate them highly enough: the staff were amazing and the alternations service was superb. It was a tea-length dress; I loved the style plus I’m super-clumsy, so no long flowing dresses. My wonderful shoes were from Ruby Shoo.
July 7th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Today on the blog, we’re enjoying the fresh sea air and all the romanticism of the North East coast as we head to the ever so pretty village of Tynemouth, for Kerry and Pete’s special day.
Throwing superstitions out the window, they tied the knot on Friday the 13th, exchanging vows in a church close to their hearts before celebrating with loved ones at the stunning Grand Hotel, which overlooks the award-winning Longsands beach.
Like many couples, they didn’t have a theme in mind initially, but one soon emerged of the tea party variety! Cue some rather lovely teapot centrepieces and some quaint tea bag favours. Other highlights include a stunning naked wedding cake and a quirky vintage style moon booth. And did we mention the picture perfect photography by the sea?
With images by The Twins.
kerry says: We got engaged in October 2014 at the Griffith Observatory in L.A. We were doing a road trip from San Francisco to Las Vegas and stayed in L.A for a week. One evening at sunset we drove up to the Observatory and Pete proposed on the roof!
We waited until May 2015 to start wedding planning. We knew we wanted to get married in May as the weather starts to get nicer by this time. Cherry blossoms begin flowering around then too and the rapeseed fields also turn yellow, and we wanted to incorporate these elements into our photos.
The wedding was actually on Friday the 13th – unlucky for some but not for us; it’s actually my lucky number! When we visited the venue we said we wanted a Friday in May and when they came back and said the 13th was available it was a no brainer – we had to say yes to this date!
We got married at Holy Trinity Church in Seghill. This is where Pete’s grandparents were married. The church is really beautiful and has lovely surroundings.
We chose The Grand Hotel in Tynemouth as our reception venue. We didn’t want to have our wedding too far from where we lived as we wanted somewhere that we had a connection to, and that we could visit time and time again. One visit to The Grand and we were completely sold – we didn’t even look at any other venue!
We didn’t set out to have a theme, we just wanted to have things we liked. However, a tea party theme did emerge thanks to all the teapots we had as our centrepieces. We used a lot of natural wood for the centrepieces and a local man hand turned some mushrooms which had the guests’ name cards attached.
Pete made the seating plan, which was a map of the world and the tables were based on cities we had visited together. I guess you could say the main theme was that we made everything. Pete spent many weekends hand making invites, menu cards, name cards, table signs, table runners, seating plans, confetti cones and so much more – we have contemplated starting our own business!
There was no colour scheme, but if I had to narrow it down I would say it was natural wood and hessian.
We strive to represent the very best in our industry, but Brides Up North cannot be held liable for the products/ services of our sponsors. Any bookings are made at your own risk. Terms & Conditions.
All images © Brides Up North/ original author. Images should not be reproduced without written permission. Terms & Conditions.