Real Weddings

Bee mine. Morilee for a super pretty wedding at Bowburn Hall Hotel – Catherine & Adam

03rd December 2018 | Alexis Forsyth

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Bowburn Hall Hotel is an exquisite wedding venue close to the city of Durham and it’s where today’s gorgeous couple tied the knot back in August. Falling in love with its beautiful landscaped grounds and homely ambience, the setting was everything Catherine and Adam could have wished for.

With the pair going for a relaxed, rustic theme and a summery pastel colour palette, we think you’re going to be smitten with their styling and décor, which features everything from a vintage mirror and silver candelabras to light up ‘love’ letters on the dancefloor. They also treated their guests to jars of honey adorned with a ‘Meant to bee’ label – so sweet!

Of course, it’s the personal and often sentimental touches that really shine through on a wedding day. And with Catherine using her late grandma’s special tea set the morning of the wedding for her fruit, croissants and tea – we couldn’t think of a more perfect way to start such a special day.

With images by Carn Patrick

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Catherine says: We got engaged last summer on 7th June 2017, after being together for six years. Adam’s proposal couldn’t have been more perfect; we were on a family holiday to Florida, where he’d secretly bought my ring whilst shopping. He got down on one knee in front of the Epcot fireworks while we were sitting in the English pub, Rose and Crown. It was beautiful and so emotional. Everyone was cheering. I was so shocked and not expecting it at all, he done so well keeping it a secret and hiding it through the park security checks.


We got married on 10th August 2018. I currently work in a school and wanted a summer wedding, so the school holidays narrowed it down for us. We also wanted our honeymoon to be soon after and so it brought us to the beginning of August, which was perfect timing.

We chose to get married at Hart Church in Hart Village. We loved the old traditional look of the church and it has a perfect landscape set back from the small village, so it was lovely, quiet and personal.

Our venue was Bowburn Hall Hotel, approximately a 20 minutes’ drive from Hart village. We fell in love with the venue straight away – it was homely and felt very personal as it’s not too big. It only hosts one wedding a day, so we knew our wedding would be the top priority. The beautiful gardens meant our guests had the freedom to explore and relax throughout the day too.


We loved the rustic feel of Bowburn Hall Hotel and we added our own personal touches to this theme. For example, we had a large wooden pallet in the garden featuring the order of the day and a vintage mirror table plan. My flowers also had lots of foilage and I kept it neutral with dusty pink roses.

I love pastel colours and wanted to keep the colours very neural to complement the wedding theme. We chose pale grey for the bridesmaids’ dresses; they were very classy with a hint of pearl detailing to the top.

Dusty pink roses, and cream and white flowers with pale green foilage complemented and stood out in front of the bridesmaids’ dresses and my bridal dress. These colours also featured in our wedding stationery and cake.


My dress was by Morilee, purchased from the Bridal Factory Outlet, Northallerton. It was ivory with lace in an A-line style with a boat neckline. I had no idea what style I wanted, however after trying on a range of styles I knew this was the one, it had that ‘wow’ factor but was still classy and timeless.


The groom and groomsmen wore a black dinner suit with a bow tie and black shoes. All of the suits were purchased from Next and looked amazing.


Our two bridesmaids wore a dove grey floor-length maxi style dress with pearl detailing to the top. The dresses were from Debenhams in the Little Mistress collection. Our two flower girls wore ‘mini me’ dresses from Debenhams, they had a beautiful lace detail and bow to the back, they complemented my dress perfectly with similar detailing.


Pampered Perfections hair and beauty styled my hair and Emeli Smith did my make up on the day.

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We hired a Badsworth Launderette 1930s in black and cream, from Exclusive Wedding Cars in Wingate.


Our wedding photographer was Carn Patrick. He was just amazing from start to finish and we couldn’t recommend him highly enough. Looking through our wedding photos, he captured our day beautifully. He was so professional, kind and talented, we admire his work and will continue to be friends and keep in touch.


Our videographer was a family friend who was kind enough to film our day for us. It’s so amazing to re-live our wedding day on film.


Our florist was Flowers with Fleur by Amy. Her flowers are so beautiful and she was so helpful in giving her advice on what flowers complemented our colour scheme. I adored my wedding flowers and wanted them to last forever. My bouquet was made up of sweet avalanche roses, gypsophila, sedum, senecio, astilbe and populus eucalyptus.

Our wedding decorations were provided by Ben at Party Forever in Coxhoe. He was so helpful at organising everything and we were so in love with how it all came together. This included our ‘love’ lights, which looked beautiful on the dancefloor.

The centrepieces on our tables consisted of silver candelabras with my bouquet style flowers loosely sitting on top, which my florist styled and created for the day. We also had loose flowers scattered around the top table together with a gorgeous centrepiece.

Our photobooth and props were included in our package deal, and the operator was very helpful in encouraging our guests to take their turn. We were given a lovely guest book filled with all the photos from our night alongside messages from our guests, which is such a lovely – and funny – keepsake.

Our stationery was created by Paper Roses Boutique who helped me bring the theme together, adding rustic style menus, my table plan on a vintage wooden mirror and small printed frames with prints for the guestbook and social media links.

For our wedding favours, we gave our guests honey jars with hessian lids and mini wooden honey drizzlers. We attached personalised bee labels with our names and ‘Meant To Bee’.

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We chose a four-tiered cake with different flavours; Victoria sponge, chocolate, carrot and fruit. Paper Rose Boutique designed and made our cake, and it complemented our theme perfectly with the same colours and flowers. It looked and tasted amazing too.


We had a selection of canapés for our guests on arrival. Our wedding breakfast then included garlic mushrooms, chicken and sage with vegetables and potatoes, and homemade cheesecake, rounded off by tea, coffee and mints. Guests also enjoyed a selection of wine with their meals.


Pek and Wanley played before our wedding breakfast and also during our party. They’re a unique band playing acoustic covers with their own edge and they had everybody up dancing – everyone commented on how good they were.

Special touches

As a special touch, we used my late grandma’s special tea set the morning of our wedding for fruit, croissants and tea. We thought this would be a nice touch and she would be included in the day. I also wore my mum’s pearl earrings.

Thanks to

We would definitely recommend Bowburn Hall. We loved the venue as it was the perfect size – not too big or small – and the space was ours all day and night, so it felt very personal and intimate. The fact it only has one wedding a day was a relief and the staff were so helpful and organised on the run up to the day. The gardens surrounding the venue are gorgeous and were perfect for our photographs and for our wedding guests to relax outside in the sunshine. We loved the homely and rustic feel, which went with our wedding theme perfectly.

Best bit

Our favourite part of the day was our church service and saying ‘I do’ in front of our family and friends. Walking down the aisle with my dad and seeing Adam waiting there was so emotional and amazing; after a year of planning it was finally real!


For our honeymoon we travelled the west coast of America. We began in Vegas and travelled by car to LA, through California to the many beaches including Hermosa Beach, Venice Beach, Santa Monica, Santa Barbra, then onto Morro Bay, The Big Sur, Santa Cruz, and up to San Francisco and Lake Tahoe. It was so much fun. We had planned the trip since booking the wedding and we were so excited to see it all. We booked the many motels and hotels we stayed in on the go, which was such a thrill. We loved Pier 39 in San Francisco with the sea lions and also enjoyed visiting Alcatraz.


Our top tip for other Brides Up North would be; enjoy every minute of the planning process, no matter how stressful it is at the time, as it really is worth it in the end. Although it’s hard – try not to worry about silly things that might happen on the day, you really won’t care and nobody will notice little details anyway.

And, finally, enjoy and savour every minute as it goes by so quickly, and make sure you spend time with each other as everyone will want your attention and the day will fly by.

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