Gay Wedding

seashells & champagne. a beach wedding at st mary’s lighthouse – amanda & beth

23rd November 2015 | Julia Braime

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A Beach Wedding at St Mary's Lighthouse (c) JPRShah Photography (53)

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.

A Beach Wedding at St Mary's Lighthouse (c) JPRShah Photography (39)

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.

A Beach Wedding at St Mary's Lighthouse (c) JPRShah Photography (27)

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.

A Beach Wedding at St Mary's Lighthouse (c) JPRShah Photography (1)

We set the date for 17th October 2015. When arriving back from Australia the previous year we were delighted by the weather in September and October. We visited our wedding venue on a gloriously sunny day in October, checked availability and booked it there and then. It was also a good time as Beth’s ‘finals’ would be in May/June so earlier would have been chaotic.

We got married at St. Mary’s Lighthouse, Whitley Bay. It is such a quirky venue, very us! We love the coast and love the lighthouse, it just seemed perfect. It is rather rustic looking, which creates a much more laid back atmosphere. Our evening reception was held at Crusoes, Tynemouth.

A Beach Wedding at St Mary's Lighthouse (c) JPRShah Photography (9)

Since Beth and I have travelled a lot (both as individuals historically and together, since meeting) so we wanted to have a theme of travel and ‘beachy’. Anyone who knows us can vouch for us when we say the theme was absolutely fitting. We incorporated maps, shells, rope, nets etc.

We decided to go for a pastel colour scheme as we wanted it to be pretty and girly. We had a lot of coral and aqua colours, which reflected the seaside. We then used a lot of hessian, which was very sand-like in colour.

A Beach Wedding at St Mary's Lighthouse (c) JPRShah Photography (18)

We both chose wedding dresses that we each thought suited our body-shape. Beth instantly (first dress she tried) loved hers and put a deposit down that day. Beth’s dress is by designer Heidi Hudson and is named Mabel.

I took a few tries before I picked my dress. When I tried it on there were people in the waiting area who gave me lots of compliments on how I looked in it; this influenced my decision slightly but ultimately I just felt good in it. My dress was designed by Viva Bride and is named Motez. We both purchased our dresses from Wed 2 B next to the Metro Centre, which we’d highly recommend!

A Beach Wedding at St Mary's Lighthouse (c) JPRShah Photography (31)

We had one set of bridesmaids in coral and the other set in aqua colours. The dresses were the same design, just differing in colour, which our bridesmaids liked.

Our best man and main men all wore an aqua colour tie and grey suits.

A Beach Wedding at St Mary's Lighthouse (c) JPRShah Photography (50)

We organised our wedding day transport through Canny Campers – and what a great company they are! They couldn’t have been any more accommodating if they tried! Beth travelled with her bridesmaids in a VW Beetle, a beauty of a car. I travelled with my bridesmaids in a VW campervan (I enjoy a spot of surfing so this was fitting). Together, on our return journey we went back to our hotel in the campervan. It has been decorated inside and champers was provided! Our driver was ever so helpful and even opened our bottle of bubbly for us and popped it back into ice to stay cool.

A Beach Wedding at St Mary's Lighthouse (c) JPRShah Photography (57)

Our photographer was John Shahabeddin and his lovely wife Christina. John runs JPRShah Photography and his work is amazing (in my humble opinion). John and Christina went above and beyond to ensure they got every little detail. They visited our day and evening venues prior to our big day to examine places that would provide the perfect light etc. Their communication skills and ability to listen to our wants and needs was exceptional and resulted in simply breath-taking photos of our day. It is absolutely evident that John’s business means the world to him and that he genuinely loves his job.

A Beach Wedding at St Mary's Lighthouse (c) JPRShah Photography (65)

We created our own bouquets, combining fake and fresh flowers along with subtle touches of hessian. I like to be creative so this was fun!

The majority of our décor pretty much came out of a day trip to Scarborough. We picked up so many shells and seaside inspired items to decorate both of our venues. Despite the fact that we decorated mainly ourselves, we got some of the best compliments about how our venues looked. Our evening venue Crusoes, have a mismatch of chairs, a map on the wall and a general travel/beach feel, meaning we didn’t have to do a lot to bring the theme together.

A Beach Wedding at St Mary's Lighthouse (c) JPRShah Photography (64)

As favours we had candy rock ‘love hearts personalised with our names, date and thank you. We also made our very own ‘help yourself’ sweet table.

We went for a ‘naked’ wedding cake, with white chocolate and flowers to decorate. My friend Ashley Atkinson, makes incredible cakes by request. Not only do the cakes look outstanding, but they are among the best tasting too!

The wedding breakfast was buffet style food as we wanted a chilled out and relaxed vibe rather than a formal meal. There was such a selection, a mix of hot and cold delights. For the first toast we had a sangria fountain (provided by Crusoes). It was apparently very strong (neither Beth nor I got around to grabbing a glass!) There was also a large selection of wine flowing on the day as a casual ‘cupcakes and wine’ was available to guests.

A Beach Wedding at St Mary's Lighthouse (c) JPRShah Photography (63)

Again, for the entertainment we wanted a relaxed atmosphere with no one feeling obliged to sit through an act that they didn’t enjoy. Crusoes, Tynemouth have their very own DJ and compare. He was absolutely fab and allowed me to bring along my memory stick with songs of choice. This meant our guests could dance if they wished, or not. We also did sparklers on the beach around 10pm, which was a lot of fun.

A Beach Wedding at St Mary's Lighthouse (c) JPRShah Photography (71)

Both St. Mary’s Lighthouse and Crusoes were absolutely perfect for the laid back, different but funky kind of vibe we wanted. Our guests all said what amazing venues they were. I have a lot of friends who grew up far from the coast so they were delighted when our venues were actually on the beach!

We also hired Laurel House, which is part of The Grand Hotel Tynemouth, to accommodate our bridesmaids. It provided us with a great place to get ready within the same building but just on different floors. Our suite on the Saturday evening in The Grand was amazing!

A Beach Wedding at St Mary's Lighthouse (c) JPRShah Photography (82)

I loved everything about the wedding day and would not have changed a thing! It ran amazingly well and every person who attended had such an outstanding day/evening/both! We really did have the time of our lives!

We had an ‘early honeymoon’ in June to Thailand as we didn’t expect to be able to get time off later in the year. However, this turned out this was not the case and so we have just been on honeymoon (again) on a Mediterranean cruise!

A Beach Wedding at St Mary's Lighthouse (c) JPRShah Photography (83)

Our top tip to other Brides Up North would be to do it how you want it! Don’t go for a package deal that doesn’t suit you. Make it your own! I’d have hated to have gone for an uptight venue where guests are awkwardly sat next to people they don’t know/don’t want to know. We didn’t have a table plan, people sat where they wanted, which was fab and highly praised by guests. Planning doesn’t have to be stressful, have fun with it, it can be so exciting!

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