Today on the blog we’re heading to the beautiful North East coast for a wedding celebration at The View in Tynemouth. Newlyweds Sarah and Ollie admit they weren’t keen on adopting a theme for their big day, instead it was all about making it personal and, boy, did they showcase some really lovely touches!
Swapping a traditional wedding cake for doughnuts, and even having personalised fortune cookies made – the couple also plumped for a gorgeous mix of lights, jars and terrariums for their venue decorations. Simply beautiful!
As for the bride’s wedding gown – she first spotted this on Instagram and when she finally managed to track it down and try it on, she instantly knew it was the one. And we can see why. Just wait until you scroll down to the stunning beach shots of the couple, and you’ll see this fabulously pretty gown in all its wedding day glory.
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Lloyd Clarke Photography.
sarah says: After getting engaged in April 2016, we set the date of the wedding for August 2018. We were hoping to show off beautiful Northumberland to our family and friends from further afield so opted for a summer date and hoped for good weather! In the end we were so lucky as it was a beautiful summer’s day.
We got married at our local village church as it holds a lot of special memories for my family. We had our reception at The View in Tynemouth, which sold us with its spectacular sea views!
I’m not typically a ‘theme’ sort of person, and usually avoid anything that matches in the traditional sense. It was important the event represented us both; we started from the principle of us wanting a wedding that was personal to us so that our guests felt all of the individual touches and not a carbon copy of others they may have been to.
My wedding dress really influenced the other colours we chose for the rest of the wedding. Ollie knew he wanted a navy suit so that gave us direction too. I really don’t like colour schemes as a rule, so went with tones and colours that complemented each other as well as the venues we had chosen.
I had struggled to find a dress that was ‘me’. I knew exactly how I wanted to feel on the day and the types of style that would suit my shape, but after trawling Pinterest I was left uninspired. I spotted a photo on Instagram one day and the dress was just exactly what I wanted. I finally tracked the dress down to Coco + Kate Boutique; the Stevie in nude by Made with Love Bridal mixed modern and classic and was the perfect shape for my frame. It was the first dress I tried on, and although I looked at others, none of them could match it. Since the wedding, everyone has said how they’d never seen a dress like it, which was exactly what I wanted. My shoes – Ginger by Rachel Simpson – were really incredible. I danced all night and never felt a thing!
Josephine Birkett was my makeup artist and she was fabulous from start to finish. She is a talented makeup artist but more importantly she was so friendly that it felt like having an extra friend there in the morning getting ready. Shaun Routledge did my hair; as my hairdresser for the last decade I didn’t trust anyone else to do it and he captured the low-key look I was after perfectly.
The bridesmaids’ dresses were all different. My maid of honour wore a navy dress from Hobbs and my bridesmaids wore a cornflower blue dress from Chi Chi London. I scoured high street websites for hours on end to get something that suited all my bridesmaids’ styles and personalities. My youngest bridesmaid wore the most beautiful white dress from Roco Clothing – the dress was named Violet which is my grandma’s name, so that was a sign!
We hired a VW beetle convertible and camper van for our transport. We used Brooklands Wedding Cars and they were wonderful. I wanted something a bit out of the ordinary, and something that could fit all my bridesmaids in!
Bethany Lloyd-Clarke was our photographer and she was a dream. We were both concerned about the prospect of having forced and posed photographs and so looked really hard to find someone like Bethany. She does journalistic style photography and captured the mood and atmosphere of day so perfectly. We both commented on how we barely noticed she was there throughout the whole event, yet she managed to capture the most beautiful, natural photos of not only us, but our family and friends. I’d recommend her in an instant.
I wanted a bouquet that complemented the countryside location of the church. There was a lot of greenery and foliage, beautiful vendela roses (matching these to the nude of my dress) and some sea holly to introduce blues into it. I used Cynthia at FH Hardy who was so knowledgeable and did the most beautiful job, especially due to the unbelievably hot summer, which meant that certain fresh flowers were difficult to get a hold of.
We did the decorations for the venue ourselves; and rather than colours and flowers we had lights, jars and terrariums to complement the venue’s decor.
The church was decorated by family friends who were incredible. We decided to use silk flowers which were a blessing as it was so hot and it meant we didn’t need to worry about any wilting! The church is so beautiful and we wanted to just bring a little of the countryside inside but I stayed clear of any traditional or structured arrangements. We had a beautiful wisteria archway for the church entrance which was one of my favourite parts.
We had personalised fortune cookies made as favours, as Ollie’s grandfather is from the Far East. Each cookie had one of five phrases inside, all witty quotes from famous people on marriage.
Neither of us are huge cake eaters but we used to eat our way through many-a-box of Krispy Kremes during university, and so we had these for guests to help themselves to. They went down really well, and the odd guest left at the end of the night with an extra one or two!
We chose a mixed hot buffet featuring all the different food we love, and loosely Mediterranean in style. Ollie really enjoys ales so the venue had bottles of various popular ales from a local brewery brought in.
The venue provided a DJ and she played a playlist of songs that we’d asked our guests to request on their RSVPs. People old and young were up dancing all night!
We used Rothbury Motors to bus our guests between venues and then back home at the end of the night. I’d recommend them straight away as they were helpful and flexible and everything ran without a hitch.
We would absolutely recommend our venue too. We really clearly, from the outset, decided we wanted our wedding to be informal and personal. If that is what you’re looking for, The View is amazing. Everything was adaptable, and they went out of their way to make us relaxed; on the day I wasn’t asked a single question, everything ran so smoothly which meant we were just able to have a great time.
I don’t think we could choose just one part of the day as a highlight. The service was a very special and emotional experience and the evening was really great fun. We both look back at the whole day in its entirety and just had the most amazing day. It’s not that often that all the people you love – and that love you – come together like that, so it was truly special.
We took a minimoon to the Lake District straight after the wedding. We stayed at the Gilpin Lodge near Windermere, and dined at their Michelin star HRiSHi restaurant. It was an impeccable stay, and if we’re lucky enough, we’ll go back each year for our anniversary!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be, without a shadow of a doubt, do what you both want. Weddings can become about other people’s requests or what people think ‘should’ happen. Design a day that suits you both and don’t feel pressured to have something for the sake of it. Secondly, set a budget at the beginning and stick to it. We were pretty good with deciding from the outset what were essentials and what we didn’t actually want or need, but it is still easy to get caught up in the spending once you get going!