North East Wedding

pretty rustic. ellis bridals for a personal wedding at hexham winter gardens – sian & travers

09th September 2016 | Rachel Hirst

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We love to see couples making their weddings their own, whether it be coming up with a totally alternative big day, or including subtle nods to their personalities and backgrounds.

Today’s real wedding is a lovely example of the latter, with Travers and Siân adding little personal touches in favours, entertainment and music choices, to reflect their African and Welsh roots.

There’s a whole lot of pretty to the big day too with standout elements including beautiful blousy blooms, classic car transport and Siân’s stunning fishtail gown.

With images by Matt Penberthy Photography.


siân says: We got engaged at Druridge Bay in Morpeth, on 25th January 2015. The bay is special to both of us as it’s the place where we had our first date. When Travers popped the question I was a little speechless at first, but of course, said yes!

We ended up setting the date for 26th September 2015. We initially wanted to get married in the middle of summer, however we had vastly underestimated how much preparation was required so we pushed the date back to September. We first started going out on the 27th September so it all worked out great.


We got married at Heaton Baptist Church and then had the reception at Hexham Winter Gardens in Northumberland. We chose Heaton Baptist Church as it was where we had met and then chose Hexham Winter Gardens as we felt we could create our ideal wedding at the venue, unlike many other venues where we would have been fixed in to pre-selected options. Having a DIY wedding did mean there were more elements to organise, but we wouldn’t have had it any other way.

The wedding theme was rustic as I love the look (and Travers has learnt to agree with me!) The colour scheme meanwhile was soft pinks, blues and whites, and I chose vibrant flowers for my bouquet.


My dress was a strapless, fishtail Ellis Bridals design in ivory, which I wore with cathedral-length veil that was detailed with little diamantes. I chose it at New Beginnings Bridal in Whitley Bay. I’d tried various other dresses and styles previously, but this dress instantly made me feel like a bride.

Travers and the groomsmen wore grey three-piece suits with tails, with a light blue cravats, hired from Slaters.

The bridesmaid dresses were soft pink maxi dresses from F&F occasion wear at Tesco Direct.


As transport for Travers and I on the wedding day we hired an Essex Super Six classic car from Merlin Wedding Cars. In addition we hired an old London red double decker bus from Henry Cooper, to take our guests from the church to the reception.


We had Matt Penberthy to photograph our day. We would definitely recommend him as he made us feel very comfortable and relaxed. The quality of the pictures was outstanding; very natural and didn’t look too posed, which was exactly what we were looking for.


My bouquet was provided by Katherine’s Florist. It was very large, vibrant and blousy, and featured silk peach peony roses and fresh ivory, soft pink and orange roses and white antirrhinums, enhanced with eucalyptus and gypsophila.

For the venue décor we ordered white gypsophila in bulk from a stall in Grainger Market. We then used leftover flowers from displays at the church bought from wholesale and put them into glass jars, which were wrapped in brown string. We also wrapped ivy and flowers around the venue’s pillars, all of which was arranged with the help of family and friends.


As favours we gave each guest Welsh cakes, which were presented in a plastic pocket wrapped with ribbon and bearing a wooden ‘name plate’, as well as a matching African animal drinks coaster. This was to reflect my Welsh roots and Travers’s African roots. Along the same lines, we had friends and family to sing/play at the church during the ceremony in Welsh and, to keep things balanced, we walked out of the church to Toto Africa!

Our wedding cake was an elegant ivory four-tiered design. It had matching ivory flower detail and each layer was decorated with a different pattern. A friend of mine from work made the cake and we were delighted with it.


When it came to selecting which wines to serve at the wedding we had a cheese and wine evening with a few close friends prior to the big day and tasted a selection. We scored each wine and went with the favourite white, rose and red.

In terms of food, we had canapés upon arrival at the reception followed by roasted meats and vegetables and served desserts from an artisan bakery. During the meal we had a pianist to play which set a lovely ambience. Later in the evening to fuel guests we had a hog roast and served up our wedding cake.

We hired crockery, cutlery, napkins, chairs and glasses from used Crosby’s, who were really friendly, efficient and very professional. Having searched everywhere for wooden top trestle tables we eventually found that the owner of Northern Props had just the tables we were looking for, which were perfect for both the venue and our theme.



For the evening entertainment we hired a band called The Cartells. I had seen the band perform at a venue before and thought they would be perfect for our evening reception. On the night they were excellent and managed to get almost everyone on the dancefloor throwing a few shapes! We also played our own selection of music between sets. A friend of ours song our first dance song (Ellie Goulding’s How Long Will I Love You?), accompanied by piano.

At the reception we also had a guest video diary and a fun photo frame board for guests to take pictures with.


We found Hexham Winter Gardens to be an amazing venue and would certainly recommend it to other couples. There is so much that you can do to make it your wedding. We’re very glad we chose this place for our special day.


Looking back it’s difficult to say which our favourite parts of the day were as there were so many things that made the day so great. We both really loved seeing all of our friends and family, and even though we didn’t have much time to talk, just having everyone together was really special. We also really liked the journey from the ceremony to the reception where we got some time to relax and take everything in. There’s not much time to relax on the big day and having that opportunity was great.


For our honeymoon we went to the Maldives for a week followed by a stay in Sri-Lanka. We would highly recommend both places. The Maldives was particularly good as we had been so busy up to the wedding so having a week to just chill was excellent.

the big picture

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