April 3rd, 2018 | Laura McDonagh
Chocolate hangover and intense back to work dread anyone? We hear you.
We know what you need: chilled festival vibes, rustic homespun details and bride on a zipwire! We’re picking up the blog after the Bank Holiday with a real wedding which ticks all the inspiration boxes.
Adele and Michele were married last summer at Northside Farm, Northumberland, home to a beautiful converted barn and some stunning rural views. The couple paid homage to Michele’s Italian heritage with live ‘pop-up’ accordion music sessions and a sumptuous menu featuring Parma ham, mozzarella and Prosecco (obvs). Food wasn’t the only priority, though – fun was also top of the agenda with an appearance from a magician, a table plan featuring cringeworthy snaps of guests and a photobooth guestbook.
Our favourite features, however, have to be Adele’s floaty boho-meets-Grecian-style lace dress, literally last-minute bouquet and showstopper of a flower crown, which result in a laidback earthy look with bags of originality. We likey – and we suspect you might, too!
With images by DPR Photography.
adele says: We got engaged on 13th May 2015, which was also our little boy’s first birthday. I was changing Enzo and discovered he was wearing a babygro saying “Daddy has something to ask you downstairs”. Even then I didn’t guess what was about to happen! When we came down, Michele was on one knee holding my ring with candles and rose petals on the floor. I had to walk back out the door and back in again, so he could actually ask the question because he was crying so much!
Our wedding date was Saturday 15th July 2017. We knew we wanted to get married on a Saturday in the summer, so we went ahead and booked the wedding – and found out afterwards that I was pregnant and my due date was 15th July 2016! Our little girl Alba arrived five days early but in the run-up we thought we might end up preparing for a wedding and a first birthday!
We got married at Northside Farm, Northumberland. We visited the barn when it was only a lot of bricks and a shell. We sat down with Ralph and Olivia and looked over their vision and instantly fell in love with the place. I always wanted a barn wedding and this place was a hidden gem. Ralph and Olivia tested it out themselves by getting married there first.
We had exclusive use of the venue and the wigwams for the whole weekend. Michele and his groomsmen stayed in the wigwams on the Friday and had a takeaway and drinks. We then had a barbecue on the Sunday after the wedding, which was so chilled. We absolutely loved the fact that we turned our celebrations into a weekend party rather than just one day.
Michele’s family are Italian so we wanted to add our own little Italian touches; not in-your-face-Italian but more of a subtle nod to his ancestry. We also wanted everyone to feel relaxed and enjoy themselves. Our guests were able to camp on site so we ended up with tents, campervans and teepees everywhere – exactly the vibe we wanted!
We didn’t have a colour scheme but we kept everything very rustic, using wildflowers and a lot of personal handmade touches throughout the venue. The venue décor was already very much to my taste so not a lot needed doing.
Dress-wise, I tried on a few different styles, but I just couldn’t find ‘the one’. However, I eventually came across Bex and her amazing shop Bexbrides, and I’m so glad I did. I knew I’d find my dress as soon as I walked in! I ended up going with Bex’s own design, which was an amazing white lace dress and we worked together on adding my own touches including a very long train. I was over the moon with the finished dress knowing it was completely bespoke and unique to me.
On the wedding day, a local makeup artist called Carla Donnan MUA did mine and my bridesmaids’ makeup; she arrived bright and early and fitted in effortlessly.
Tiffany V Hair did the bridesmaids’ hair and my older sister/bridesmaid created my wavy do. I didn’t want anything out of the ordinary and wanted my headpiece to take the attention instead.
March 19th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
It might be Monday (and still bloomin’ freezing!) but how could we be feeling blue with a gorgeous real wedding such as this to kick off the week? Bride and groom, Melanie and Rory, were one of the first couples to book their wedding at Le Petit Chateau – a truly gorgeous French-inspired country manor hotel in the heart of beautiful Northumberland; instantly falling in love with its summer holiday feels.
After getting engaged in the Big Apple, it seemed only fitting that there would be a subtle nod to this special location; and this came in the form of their table names. Keeping things simple though, no other theme was needed. But this doesn’t mean the wedding was lacking in personality or special touches – far from it!
As well as writing their own vows, Rory’s mum aka ‘Crafty Crofty’ stepped in to create some truly wonderful favours, table centrepieces, invitations and decorations for the couple, re-imagining their ideas and bringing them to life. She even baked their elegant white cake. (We’re wondering if we can steal her away for our special occasions too?) We’ll let Melanie tell us more about this quirky DIY approach though – prepare to soak up those Mediterranean vibes!
With images by Kristos Kabiotis Photography.
melanie says: We got engaged on 12th February 2015, in New York. We were in an extremely cold Central Park and Rory was attempting to get me to walk out onto one of the lakes, which had frozen over – I flat out refused as I was scared we’d both end up cracking it and falling through into the freezing water! Instead, we went to see the Alice in Wonderland statue and it was just along from here – on a bank called Cedar Hill – that he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.
I was completely taken by surprise and just to make the moment even more magical, it started to snow! He had managed to find possibly one of the few secluded spots in one of the busiest cities in the world where it felt like it was just the two of us. He later told me he wanted to propose on the frozen lake but I’d scuppered that plan!
We always wanted a summer wedding as we love going on holiday and our venue – Le Petit Chateau – definitely provided that Mediterranean vibe. We were one of the first couples to book the venue on its first open day, so were lucky enough to have our pick of the dates available. We ended up choosing a date almost a year from the day we booked!
I’d been interested in the venue since The Apartment Group announced the plans to build a new venue in Otterburn, and we fell in love with Le Petit Chateau the moment we saw its Belle Époque on the open day. We loved the idea of being in one venue for the entire day, so we wouldn’t have to travel between the ceremony and reception.
We had no specific theme for the day, but I loved the idea of naming the tables after places we’d visited on our trip to New York, where we got engaged. We used Central Park as the top table.
I knew I wanted to have a neutral/pastel colour scheme, which would contrast with the venue and its colourful gardens during the summer.
I searched for hours online looking at different wedding dress designers and visited around seven bridal shops trying on almost every style of dress, but nothing was exactly what I wanted. I eventually went to Wed2B at Gateshead, after it was recommended by a colleague and tried on even more dresses…until I found the one! It had everything I had envisioned, and I knew straight away that this was what I wanted to walk down the aisle in.
Rory didn’t want to go for something conventional and had his heart set on a dark tweed suit. We heard about Master Debonair in Boldon from a friend, so Rory and his dad (who was also his best man) went to try on some suits, along with my dad. The guys in the shop were great and allowed Rory, and both dads to try on several suits whilst enjoying a couple of beers (I arrived after work and was delighted to find a glass of prosecco on arrival). Rory eventually decided on a dark blue slim cut suit – he looked very dapper! Rory also selected a skeleton pocket watch and a champagne coloured tie and pocket square.
February 18th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
“Pick a seat, not a side; we’re all family when the knot is tied,” declared a sign at the marriage ceremony of today’s real wedding couple, Kathryn and Michael. It’s perhaps all the more poignant given the couple hail from opposite sides of the pond, with Michael coming from New York.
As a nod to their different heritages, the couple incorporated some special touches into their day, such as a sweetie table laden with British and American sweets for the guests, and traditional British lawn games set up outside, along with beer pong and corn hole. Not to mention the odd socks worn by the groom and groomsmen – one sporting a Union Jack and the other an American flag, of course!
With images by Melissa Beattie Photography.
kathryn says: We got engaged in October 2015. Michael is American and was living in New York at the time and I was over visiting on holiday. One evening after we had finished eating, Michael told me he had to show me something before we got back on the subway home. We then started walking up Fifth Avenue and Michael kept refusing to tell me what it was, even though I kept pestering him as I was tired and wanted to go home! We eventually got to Central Park, where Michael took me to the side of the lake with the New York skyline in the background and got down on one knee and popped the question! There was just the two of us in a serene Central Park and it was perfect.
We got married on 3rd September 2016. We wanted to get married fairly quickly so Michael could move to the UK, as we had been living apart in separate countries for so long. Michael’s sister and cousins were also getting married over the summer, so we wanted to space the weddings out so everyone had their moment to shine.
We had our ceremony at St John’s Methodist Church in Whitley Bay. This was my family and childhood church and also where my parents got married. We are good friends with Carla, the minister at the church, so it felt really special to be married by someone so close to our family.
We had our reception at Healey Barn – it’s such a beautiful and relaxed place. There’s nothing not to love! We would definitely recommend the venue – everything about the day was perfect. I wouldn’t change a thing about it, and that was down to the slick operation that they run at Healey Barn. The barn is beautiful, the countryside surrounding the barn is breath-taking, and our guests couldn’t stop talking about how amazing the food was!
The theme for the wedding was rustic. The barn itself was so beautiful that it didn’t need a lot of decorations, so I wanted everything to be homemade and to complement the rustic barn setting.
Our colour scheme was sage green and dusky pink. I always wanted quite a soft, romantic colour palette that complemented the natural colours of the countryside. We also used a lot of burlap and lace to complement the rustic barn theme.
November 15th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
We’ve been out on the road again all in the name of research to share with you our experiences of the North’s finest hotels, getaway retreats and spas, providing inspiration for pre- and post-wedding relaxation, and sometimes also a setting for the big day itself!
Cue our recent visit to Matfen Hall – a stunning stately home set in 300 acres of lush parkland in the Northumbrian countryside. The award-winning Hall houses fabulous function spaces, accommodation and spa and leisure facilities, making it an option for sophisticated hen dos, romantic getaways, such as a minimoon, plus a dream wedding venue too.
All images by Sean Elliott Photography.
Ahead of a super-exciting wedding refurbishment at Matfen, we were invited to view the current celebration spaces and to see what’s in store to take this already gorgeous venue to the next level. And my word, are couples saying ‘I do’ to Matfen in for a treat! Keen not to give away too much at this stage, we will be following up with a Dream Venue post soon that will detail the stylish refurbish plans in more depth.
Furthermore, on Sunday 4th March 2018, we will be holding a Luxury Wedding Fair at Matfen to reveal the results of the quarter-of-a-million-pound-refurbishment programme first-hand – so be sure to mark the date in your diaries!
But for today’s post, we return to our visit. During our blissful overnight stay, we experienced Matfen’s warm and welcoming hospitality, making use of its leisure facilities, restaurant and accommodation.
We began as any busy business ladies should, with a trip to the spa! Hotel guests can enjoy access to such facilities or there are a number of full and half-day ‘Escape’ packages to choose from, comprising different treatments, food and drink, so ladies (and gents) can pick which best suits their needs and wishes.
There is a 16-metre swimming pool and spa pool, plus thermal suites including an aromatherapy room, steam room, sauna, ice cold bucket shower, monsoon shower and ice fountain. We worked our way round, prioritising the warmer options, to relax and revive weary muscles, before indulging in a little chill time around the pool.
Matfen’s treatment choices cover off facial, body and massage therapies for men and women, as well as ‘Finishing Touch’ treatments such as nails, waxing and tinting.
Feeling in need of a radiance boost part-way through our autumn season of wedding fairs, we both opted for the Skin Specific Facial. Having been led to quiet, candle-lit treatment rooms, our knowledgeable therapists took time to enquire about our skin concerns before tailoring our facials to help combat such issues using heavenly Elemis products. We both emerged with hydrated, glowing complexions and super-soft skin (if only we could indulge one of these treatments every week!).
Leaving the spa feeling super-relaxed, it was time to freshen up (and wake-up!) before dinner. We were staying in one of Matfen’s stunning Principal Rooms in the original part of the Hall, that was spacious, comfortable and boasted gorgeous views of the garden.
October 12th, 2017 | Julia Braime
We’re rather excited about today’s real wedding as it takes place at a venue where we will be hosting a very special Luxury Wedding Fair alongside UNVEILED magazine, to reveal the results of an impressive refurbishment.
Already a gorgeous Northumberland venue, the developments will see Matfen Hall taken from stunning to super-stunning. But we can’t tell all just yet, you will have to join us there on Sunday 4th March 2018, to see for yourselves.
This morning’s featured couple, Rebecca and Robert, are equally as passionate about the venue as us, and knew instantly it would be the perfect place to stage their big day. Plus, the hall formed the setting for Robert’s incredibly well-thought-out and crazily-romantic proposal too – seriously, full fiancée marks!
There are many beautiful elements to this classic big day, including super-pretty blooms, décor and cake, plus a Ronald Joyce gown fit for a princess!
With images by David Lawson Photography.
rebecca says: We got engaged on Christmas Eve 2015. I used to be in a choir when I was in middle school and always said to Robert I would love to see a carol service on Christmas Eve. As I went to settle in for the night Robert said there was a carol service at Matfen Hall and we should go and see it.
The Great Hall that we were shown through to had a huge magical Christmas tree, a choir and chairs set up for the carol service but every chair in the audience was empty. As we took our seats I whispered to Robert that we must have got the wrong time.
No sooner had we sat down, the choir started singing. After three carols Robert stood up and took my hand (I was rather confused) he stood me next to the Christmas tree and handed me an envelope, inside was a card listing all the reasons he loved me (not expected from a rugby-playing farmer). Once I looked up from reading his beautiful words he was down on one knee. I don’t even think I gave him a chance to ask me ‘the’ question – I threw my arms around him and said “yes”, crying my eyes out!
Our wedding date was Friday the 14th July. We always wanted to get married at Corbridge St Andrew’s Church, this is our local village and the church just sits so idyllically in the market place.
We held our wedding reception at Matfen Hall (it is our favourite place and having got engaged there made it all the more fitting!) We had our wedding breakfast within the Great Hall, which is slightly different as normally the wedding breakfast is in the Terrace Room. We just felt the Great Hall is amazing and really wanted to make the most of such an amazing space. It is so dramatic when you walk through the entrance doors and see the huge fireplace and stained-glass window!
We wanted to keep the wedding as classic as possible so in ten years’ time we can look back at photographs and it won’t have dated too much.
We kept the colour scheme very simple and had blush and creams throughout. We had gorgeous blush sequin table runners and chair sashes. And the most amazing flowers, which were the focal point of the day.
When it came to picking my dress, I had no idea what I wanted. I just took my mum with me as I wanted to keep my dress a surprise for everyone (even the bridesmaids!) I decided to go to A J Bridal in Newburn, they had come highly recommended.
The ladies at A J were so welcoming and asked me to look through the dresses and pick ones I liked the look of, I was instantly drawn to a princess style dress so picked that along with a few assorted styles. I tried on the first dress I had be drawn to and that was it – love at first sight! I proceeded to try on a couple of other gowns just to make sure I was making the right decision but I was certain the first dress was ‘the one’ I almost felt regal in it. I picked a Ronald Joyce dress, it doesn’t have a lot of bling just around the waist and had a full bottom with lace. Robert and I go to dinner dances and I get the chance to wear some lovely ball dresses and this was the sort of dress I would only get the chance to wear on my wedding day and it made me feel like a real-life princess.
The ladies at A J suggested trying it with a cathedral-length veil and a gorgeous diamanté head piece which sat slightly to the side. Once I had these on I fell in love again!
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?
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.