The hottest Easter in 70 years seems like the perfect weekend to tie the knot, if you ask us. And today’s gorgeous couple Laura and Martin did exactly that – hosting their big day earlier this year on Good Friday at the exquisite Matfen Hall in Northumberland – a venue, they confess, they fell in love with instantly.
With no specific theme in mind, other than lots of pretty styling to match the elegance of Matfen, the couple chose a dreamy peach and pastel green palette, complemented by ivory and peach roses, and lots of green foliage for a bang on trend springtime look.
Quite fittingly, they handed out drawstring bags filled with mini eggs as their favours, with other special touches including sparklers in the evening, a magician for something a little bit different on the entertainment front, and flip flops to help guests dance the night away in comfort. Needless to say, there’s lots to pore over and brighten your day.
With images by Dan Clark Photography
Laura says: We got engaged in September 2018 whilst on holiday in Pefkos, Rhodes. It was our first night on holiday and we had been out for a meal and drinks. When we got back to the hotel we sat on the balcony talking and that’s when Martin popped the question!
Our wedding took place on 19th April 2019. I had always liked the idea of a spring wedding and when Matfen Hall said they had Good Friday available, I knew it would be perfect as everyone would already be off for the long Easter weekend. Both my parents and grandparents also got married in April, as did quite a few of Martin’s family members! I’m so pleased we did pick this date as it turned out to be the hottest Easter in 70 years and the weather was incredible!
We held the whole day and night at Matfen, including the ceremony. We had both visited Matfen a few times before for family Sunday lunches, however had never seen the East Wing before, which is where the wedding took place. Matfen Hall was also my mam’s first job when she became a nurse as it used to be a hospital many years ago before becoming a beautiful country house. When we were shown around Matfen’s recently refurbished East Wing I immediately fell in love with it.
The Great Hall has a beautiful high ceiling and stained glass window, not to mention a huge staircase. The wedding breakfast room was very elegantly decorated with brilliant views across the surrounding gardens (which make for great photos!) and the Vault Bar which is downstairs had a great party vibe about it which I knew would be a big hit with our guests for the evening!
On the day, the service was amazing and the staff were all so friendly. So many of our guests commented on how the venue and food were both amazing, which is exactly what we wanted to hear as the bride and groom!
We went for a pastel green and peach colour scheme. We had pastel green bridesmaid dresses and ties/pocket squares for the men and peach flowers which were gorgeous spring colours! We also incorporated these colours into our wedding invites and thank you cards.
My dress was an ivory A-line dress with a detailed sparkly, lace top and tulle bottom by Catherine Parry – the dress was called Ashleigh and I bought it from AJ Bridal Wear in Newburn. I always envisaged myself wearing an A-line style dress which would make me feel like a princess! I always remember seeing my mam’s face when I tried it on and knew it would be the one.
The bridesmaids wore one-shoulder, tulle pastel green dresses from For Her and For Him. My flower girl wore an ivory dress with peach petals on the bottom which was from the bridal range in Matalan.
For our transport on the day, we used AB Wedding Cars.
Dan Clark Photography captured our day. I have known Dan since we were five-years-old and have been friends since primary school. After he photographed one of my bridesmaid’s weddings in 2016, I knew that Dan would be our photographer one day too! Dan was amazing on our wedding day; I honestly can’t imagine having a different photographer! He’s so personable, making everyone feel at ease, which means we have lots of amazing natural shots too. Our guests commented on how hard he worked and how friendly he was. We have photos from getting ready in the early morning right up to the drunken dancing at our evening party!
Dan sent me plenty of photos ahead of receiving the final package to keep me going until I could see all the photos, so I knew from the morning after that he had taken some gorgeous shots. When we got out photos back they were presented to us in a personalised wooden box with some printed photos, a thank you card and the full album on a memory stick. Dan managed to capture every emotion possible on the day; from when my flowers arrived in the morning, my emotional bridesmaids and dad seeing me in my dress, Martin saying “I do” too quickly and everyone laughing during the ceremony right through to the hilarious speeches and night time antics. Our friends and family have all commented on how great our photos are and we really couldn’t be happier with them.
My flowers were provided by Sharon at The Little Flower House. My bouquet was a beautiful selection of various types of peach roses that looked similar to peonies, foliage, veronicas and a few other peachy, pink flowers!
My bridesmaids also had peachy roses with eucalyptus. The buttonholes consisted of single roses, apart from Martin, who had a cluster buttonhole with added veronica.
Sharon also created a top table garland full of ivory and peach roses and green foliage and then wrapped roses and foliage around the stems of the candelabras which were the guest table centrepieces.
Our favours were little drawstring bags filled with mini eggs – perfect for the Easter weekend!
Our cake was a three-tier cake with two lemon tiers and one chocolate. It was iced with plain white icing and then decorated by our florist with fresh flowers. My cake was made by a friend’s sister, Lyndsey Brusby.
For our canapés we chose mini toad in the hole and goat’s cheese and tomato tarts. For our wedding breakfast meal, we chose cheese soufflé, chicken wrapped in pancetta with potato and veg and then hot chocolate pudding with chocolate fudge sauce and mint ice cream for dessert. We chose our options after attending a menu tasting night at Matfen which was gorgeous! We knew our options tasted lovely, were well presented and would appeal to our friends and family too.
We had a DJ and a magician at our evening reception. We provided the DJ with a list of songs in advance that had been requested by friends and family so we knew we would have a full dancefloor all night. We booked Graeme Shaw as our magician as we had seen him at two other weddings and knew he was really impressive! Graeme came at 9pm and mingled with our guests, convincing them he was also a guest before performing his tricks!
I asked one of my close friends Zoe to do a reading during our ceremony and I’m so pleased we did as she read it beautifully and it was a lovely touch to the day. We had sparklers on the night time, which made a great group photo. We also had light up ‘love’ letters on the dancefloor next to a big box of flip flops to keep our guests dancing all night when their feet got sore from their heels!
Matfen Hall was faultless – we feel so lucky to have got married in an amazing venue in a beautiful setting on such a glorious sunny day! The staff and service were brilliant, they were very attentive and always checking we were happy and enjoying our day, and our guests’ wine glasses were always topped up! I would definitely recommend Matfen Hall and I’m hoping another of our friends chooses it one day so we can go back!
I loved the whole day, however my favourite part of the day was walking down the aisle with my dad into a room full of everyone we both love all under one roof!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be plan and be organised early on – I never felt stressed at all because it was all sorted well in advance of the day (and our engagement was only seven months long!). Also, remember to take a moment to sit back with your partner and look at all your guests having a lovely time.