Providing a beautiful end to a beautiful week of real weddings on the blog, we’re sharing the classic big day of newlyweds Jill and Thomas.
We absolutely love the elegance of this well-planned wedding, from the stunning venue to the bridal party’s gorgeous attire and the oh so pretty artificial blooms. Pure perfection!
With images by Katy Melling Photography.
jill says: We got engaged 6th September 2014, the week after my 30th birthday just and before Thomas left to go back to sea. It was a very private affair – I would have hated it if Thomas proposed to me in public, so it was just the two of us, which suited me fine.
We met back in March 2006 so we knew we wanted to get married in March, and 2016 marked our ten year anniversary so we decided upon 12th March 2016. We were a little apprehensive about what the weather may be like at this time of year but on the day we could not have asked for better – the sun was shining for us. It just goes to show that you never can predict the British weather, no matter what month you decide upon, so to other brides I say just go with when feels right for you and at a time of year that means something to you both.
We decided to get married at Eshott Hall in Northumberland. With Thomas working away I had to do a lot of the narrowing down myself (which I think Thomas was secretly pleased about!) I narrowed it down to two venues, which we viewed together when he was on leave. The second venue was Eshott Hall, and I definitely saved the best until last! When we arrived we just knew straight away that this is where we both wanted to get married. We loved everything about it, from the quaint little ‘reading room’ in the village, which still had that church feeling without the religious element which Thomas wasn’t too keen on, to the beautiful grounds which provided beautiful photo opportunities, and the hall itself which was just stunning. It really felt like an, albeit huge, home from home. We loved the fact that we could hire the entire hall and grounds and know that it was just our wedding party there, which made it such a special weekend. We travelled up on the Friday afternoon and held an evening meal and drinks with the guests staying over the night before. The guests really enjoyed making a weekend of it for the two nights. We stayed an extra night on the Sunday once all of our guests had left which gave us time to take it all in before leaving on the Monday morning. The staff at Eshott hall were all absolutely amazing especially Lindsey and Hannah who all made our wedding not just a day, but a weekend to remember.
We didn’t have too much of a theme but knew we wanted very elegant and classical, nothing that would date too much when looking back in years to come.
The colour scheme was vintage rose and creams, which suited the time of the year we were getting married.
I wore a Ronald Joyce gown from Wild Brides. It was an A-line dress with a low back, sheer sleeves and neckline, and stunning detailing. I knew I wanted something elegant and different to the norm and when I viewed the Ronald Joyce collection I fell in love with the designs. I felt like an absolute princess in my dress. I found the dress in the first shop that I went in, but like a total girl, went around most of the bridal shops in the North East to ensure there was nothing better before deciding that was ‘the one’. I picked a veil that wasn’t too long so that it didn’t detract from the detailing on the back of the dress.
My make-up was done by the extremely talented Irene Roozbayani of Irene MUA, and mine and my bridesmaids’ hair was done by Kara Scott Hairstyling. I cannot recommend these ladies highly enough, not only are they extremely talented at what they do, they are two of the nicest people you can meet. They made me feel completely at ease on my trials and on the morning of the wedding. I really wanted to have two hair styles and Kara styled my hair down for the day and came back on the evening to put it into a very elegant up do.
Thomas wore a three-piece mid-grey suit and black brogues from Most Suitable, with an ivory cravat and handkerchief to match my dress. He completed his look with a Tag Heuer watch and Mont Blanc cufflinks, which were a wedding present from me.
The groomsmen wore the same three piece suit as Thomas but with a pink handkerchief and cravat to match the bridesmaids who wore full length one-shoulder Dessy dresses in ‘Rose’ from First Glance Bridal. I spent a long time trying to find the perfect shade of pink. They all looked absolutely stunning.
We hired a beautiful silver 1950’s Rolls Royce from Fearon’s Wedding Car Hire, mainly for our photographs as the journey itself was extremely short, but no bride wants to walk on her wedding day – especially in the unpredictable March English weather!
Our wedding photographer for the day was Katy of Katy Melling Photography. We cannot recommend Katy highly enough. We were both a little apprehensive and nervous about our photos being taken but Katy is such a lovely person she made us both feel so at ease. Our wedding photos are just beautiful, we have lost count of the number of amazing comments we have received about our photos and we are still struggling to narrow them down for our album. Katy had managed to capture everything we had hoped for – and a whole lot more!
When it came to the flowers, I knew I wanted to use artificial wedding flowers for my bouquets as I suffer from bad hay fever (a bride with streaming eyes would not be very attractive) and I loved the fact myself and my bridesmaids could keep our bouquets after the wedding. I had my bouquet handmade by Lesley at Stem Ginger and it was a mix of various shades of pink roses, from very pale to vintage pink with a few ivory mixed in, as well as pearl and diamante embellishments. I had three mini Calla lilies placed among the roses to match in with Thomas’s buttonhole. The bouquet stem was wrapped in light ivory lace with small pearl teardrop detailing. I arranged for a special ‘toss bouquet’ to be made so that I didn’t have to throw my own bouquet on the evening, which was a mini version of my own.
The bridesmaid bouquets were mainly ivory to contrast with the dresses with hints of pink roses and a touch of gypsophila. The groomsmen buttonholes were large ivory roses with a foliage collar with Thomas wearing a Calla lily to tie in with my bouquet.
Stem Ginger also made our centrepieces for the reception, which were tall lily vases filled with a full display of ivory and pink flowers including roses, callas, open lillies, white lilac, hydrangeas and viburnum.
The arch that we had at the reading room was by Charlene at Wisteria Avenue. These were the only real flowers we had at our wedding. Cherlene worked closely with Lesley to ensure the flowers of the arch coordinated perfectly with the rest of our flowers and colour scheme. Both Lesley and Charlene’s attention to detail was second to none. They also offered to come up on the morning of the wedding to bring and set-up our centrepieces, which was so lovely of them.
We hired our chiavari chairs for the venue from the Finishing Touch Company. Our place cards and table names meanwhile were handmade by Crystal Couture Wedding Stationery, and matched our save the dates and wedding invitations.
We wanted favours that people could get use out of and not just to leave or take home to throw away, so what better way to ensure this then to provide free alcohol! We wanted it still to be personal to us so we gave all of the men Thomas’s favourite drink, Jack Daniels and coke, and all of the ladies my favourite drink, Bacardi and coke. With the wedding being just before Easter we gave the children wrapped mini Easter eggs and an activity book to keep them entertained.
Our wedding cake was made by Heather’s Taylor Made Cakes and was absolutely delicious! Heather is local to us and we had been recommended to her by one of our bridesmaids. Not only was the cake amazing to taste, it looked exactly as we had imagined it to and the cake topper was an added bit of fun. We had a three-tier sponge cake made up of three different flavours: chocolate, white chocolate and lemon drizzle, with handmade ivory flowers draped down the side.
For our canapes our guests were treated to: chilli and maple syrup glazed butcher’s sausages, baby toad in the hole and Northumbrian nettle cheese stuffed jacket potatoes.
We were extremely excited when it came to choosing the dishes for our wedding breakfast. Following the taster we decided on slow cooked tomato and red pepper soup to start (although I did opt for pea and ham to avoid any red splash incidents on my dress), daub of Northumbrian beef, pomme fondant, confit garlic and rosemary jus for our main, and sticky toffee pudding, butterscotch sauce with rum and sultana ice cream for dessert. It was so delicious.
For our evening entertainment we went with the DJ that we had for our engagement party, Ryan Morl of Versatile DJ. Ryan knows my passion for Take That and cheesy boy-band tunes and made sure we got a good mix of these whilst playing plenty of other music, including plenty of guest requests together with the odd Stereophonics and Oasis track thrown in to keep Thomas happy.
We used Creative Imagineering for our photo booth for the evening reception. At first we were a little unsure about whether or not to get a photo booth in case it was a little ‘overdone’ lately. However, we were so glad we decided to book one. Steve was fantastic with his brand new green screen booth which went down so well. He was very involved to help out with props and encourage people to join in and everyone loved it!
As a little treat we also set up a sweet stall in one of the dining rooms for guests to help themselves to during the evening. This went down well with both the kids and the adults.
Following our wedding, we would highly recommend Eshott Hall to other couples – the entire team were fantastic and made us feel so special for the entire weekend. We cannot wait to go back to stay again (hopefully on our anniversary if Thomas is home).
Looking back it’s hard to pick our favourite part of the day as the entire day was just magical. However, I will never forget the feeling of excitement and nerves I had whilst waiting to walk into the reading room to see Thomas for the first time. It is every little girl’s dream to walk down the aisle to marry the man she loves and I was so happy that my moment had finally came.
We had a mini-moon straight after the wedding in a villa in Lanzarote, which was a well-deserved rest after 18 months of wedding planning. Our main honeymoon is this August when we go to Australia and New Zealand. We are so excited and it has been nice having something else to look forward to after the wedding. I have even promised to climb to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, which I am petrified for but I know it will be an unforgettable experience.
The best tip I had before the wedding that I would pass on to other Brides Up North is to enjoy every minute of the day and to take it all in. I was determined to go in calm, collected and enjoy it all and I surprised myself at how composed and laid back I was on the day.