Real Weddings

Black Tie Baes. Pronovias for a pretty autumn wedding at Middleton Lodge – Annelies & Richard

08th February 2019 | Alexis Forsyth

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Saying ‘I do’ on the blog today are the lovely Annelies and Richard, who live in Dubai but decided to tie the knot here in the UK at the rather stunning Middleton Lodge – a Georgian retreat in North Yorkshire. Cue lots of Insta-worthy photographs chock full of wedding day prettiness with an autumnal twist.

Going for a sophisticated black-tie theme – this was complemented by an uber stylish white and pastel pink colour palette, not to mention some positively dreamy touches to the venue, including super cute gypsophila pomanders, a pink cherry blossom tree and even a lavish flower wall for those all-important guest photos!

There’s no shortfall of personal, sentimental touches throughout the couple’s special day, and we just love how bride Annelies had a photo of her nana on her garter, with her blue sapphire ring sewn on to it too as her something old and something blue. Here’s Annelies to tell us all the details…

With images by Charlotte White Film and Photography


Annelies says: We got engaged at Bar 101 in the One&Only The Palm, Dubai. Richard and I live in Dubai and we met there working at the same company. The restaurant is out in the middle of the water, which overlooks the skyline of Dubai Marina, so it’s pretty special.


We got married on Saturday 13th October 2018. We chose October as we really wanted to have an autumn wedding.

The ceremony was held at Durham School Chapel, this is where I went to school. I always wanted to have a church wedding and the chapel was the perfect fit. It has beautiful views of Durham Cathedral.

We hosted our reception at Middleton Lodge estate – we hired the venue from the Friday morning right through until Sunday morning which was amazing. It felt like our own home for the weekend.

We hosted a pre-wedding dinner on the Friday night with close family and friends which was a great way to start the celebrations. Guests met at Middleton before the ceremony for drinks and all travelled to the chapel in the coaches we hired. We had reception drinks in the main house after the service followed by the wedding breakfast in the marquee. From midnight to 2am we carried on in the Cellar Bar.

We chose Middleton not only because it’s an amazing venue, but it is also one of the few places which can accommodate a wedding breakfast of 160 guests, which is the number we had.

The dress code was black-tie – strictly black bow tie for the men. It’s rare for everyone to have an occasion to dress up for these days and we wanted everyone to look the part.

For our colour scheme, we chose white and pastel pinks. We thought this suited the black-tie theme and wanted everything to look clean and elegant.

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I chose my dress from Pronovias in the flagship store in London. The dress is called Drizana, and the headband I wore was also from the Pronovias store.

Since the wedding was in October, keeping the weather in mind and getting married in a chapel – I wanted a more classical dress which had sleeves, but which was still modern and let me feel my age.

I tried on eight dresses and it was the second dress that I tried on. I only had one major fitting and picked up the dress the week before the wedding.


Richard and all the groomsmen wore tailor-made tuxedos from Dubai.


The bridesmaids wore dresses from ASOS, which were £65 – since I had six bridesmaids, I wanted to find something within budget. The dress was gorgeous as they also had lace sleeves to match mine. The colour was a warm champagne pink which was perfect for autumn.

My four flower girls wore dresses from John Lewis with gypsophila halos, and shoes from Next.


Caroline Taylor did the full bridal squad makeup and my mum’s, and she even arrived at 6am! Meanwhile, Carly Michelle did everyone’s hair.


We hired cars from Autograph Chauffeurs and also two coaches for the guests to travel to and from the chapel. This included a White Rolls Royce Ghost, a White Chrysler Limo for the bridesmaids, and a White Mercedes for my mum and flower girls.

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Photography & videography

Charlotte White Film and Photography captured our day and we would 100% recommend her. Charlotte herself focused on the video and she had a team of two photographers. We took a package, which was for both film and photography and the wedding album – this is what attracted us to Charlotte as the quality of her work was great as well as the price offering.

Everyone has commented on the quality of the photos and the video. The wedding album is beautiful and nothing like anything we have seen before.


I carried white roses from Jane Steel at Wedding and Events Floral Design. My bridesmaids had smaller versions of my bouquet, also white roses.

On the end of the chapel pews we had hanging gypsophila pomanders.

We also had a pink cherry blossom tree, which had the table plan hanging from it. This was located at the entrance to the main house and was a good feature to have guests mingling around while looking for their name.

We had 16 tables in the marquee – we chose to have eight with tall displays and eight with shorter displays with candles. This helped with the cost of flowers and allowed guests to have more of an open view of the marquee. These flowers were mixtures of white and pastel pinks to match the bridesmaid dresses, including hydrangeas.

Coco Luminaire supplied us with light-up initial lights on the dancefloor and Snaparazzi provided our photobooth with guest book and props – this was placed near the bar, everyone loved this and it’s the perfect way to use it for your guestbook.

Gypsy Jean supplied our flower wall, and guests loved this during the reception drinks as they all had their photos taken here!

Amanda Michelle provided our stationery. Amanda was amazing, we used her for everything and put a package together, including the orders of service, name places, table numbers, menus, table plan, save the dates and invitations. Amanda put a bespoke design together after we told her what we were looking for. She is based in Consett – I actually found her on Instagram, she has a really good page full of content you can look at.

For our favours, we gave out miniature Tequila Rose bottle shots. My aunty also provided homemade truffles to go with the tea and coffee, and we had sweetie bags for the kids.


Chris and Vicky from Burnett 4 Cakes in Shotley Bridge supplied our beautiful cake. We found a photo of a cake we liked on Pinterest and they made the cake exactly how it looked. It was a five-tier cake, and every tier was a different flavour, including chocolate orange, lemon, vanilla, red velvet and salted caramel.


We had a selection of canapes upon arrival consisting of steak chips, tiger prawns, squid ink cracker with salmon and crispy pork rillettes.

For our wedding breakfast we had roasted tomato soup to start, then corn-fed chicken, potato fondant and kale, rounded off by lemon meringue pie with blackcurrant sorbet for dessert.

In the evening we served chip, bacon and sausage butties.


During our reception drinks we had Jess Avison singing and playing guitar, and also booked magician Paul Lytton. For our wedding breakfast, guests were entertained by The North East Singing Waiters, and Joe Reeve performed on saxophone, followed by DJ Kenrick Chance in the evening.

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Special touches

We had a mirror welcome sign, purchased from and ordered personalised vinyl stickers from to stick onto the mirror. This was placed at the entrance of the main house in front of the table plan.

My nana passed away, who was very close to me. On my garter I had a photo of her, and her blue sapphire ring sewn on to it as my something old and blue.

We also had photos of family members who had passed away placed on top of the piano in the main house with a personalised sign ‘If heaven wasn’t so far away we know you would be here today’.

Other touches included confetti cannons that went off during the first dance; hangover kits and personalised welcome notes in all guest rooms; a basket of slippers by the dancefloor for the ladies’ feet after wearing heels all day (no excuse not to dance!) and a basket of perfumes, deodorant and hairsprays in the male and female toilets.

I also provided my bridesmaids with personalised hangers and dressing gowns. They look great on your photos while getting ready in the morning.

Thanks to

We really think the venue made the wedding. We had the venue exclusively; we had our close family and friends staying in the main house and the coach house. You really feel at home at Middleton Lodge, if you are able to – I would recommend having the venue for the two nights. There’s a kitchen where you can help yourself to tea and coffee throughout the day. The grounds surrounding the house are beautiful so you can go out on walks and explore.

Best bit

We both loved the singing waiters. I kept these as a surprise from Richard and all the guests, only my mum knew. They had everyone up on their chairs and dancing, they created an amazing atmosphere, and everyone was commenting on them afterwards.


We haven’t gone on our honeymoon yet, although we have booked to go to the Maldives this year, staying at Constance Halaveli. You take a seaplane to the island from the airport, and we are staying in an over water bungalow with a private pool.


My top tip for other Brides Up North would be, try and plan ahead, paying for the small things gradually and not leaving them until the end as they do add up. There’s so much choice these days of suppliers and ideas, so it’s important to have a budget and try your best to stick to it.

I found it very helpful reading over real wedding features, it gives you an idea of how everything looks together, with different tips and ideas.

We also had our own wedding website where guests could find all the information on local hotels, the best way to travel to the venue and the RSVP was on there too. We found this was the best way to pull everything together, especially since we had guests travelling from Dubai, Belgium and the Midlands as well as from the North East!

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