Delicious in more ways than one, the gorgeous Northumberland wedding of Caroline and Tom was filled with beautiful blooms, artisan doughnuts and pretty laidback details.
Taking place at the stunning Pavillion at Alnwick Garden, it was important that the celebrations combined fun with the couple’s chilled-out personalities for exciting yet relaxed big day vibes. Also essential was an abundance of flowers and foliage to fit the botanic-inspired aesthetic, with pops of elegant white and pale pink breaking up the greenery.
Read on to find out more about the bride’s dream dress shopping experience, how the groom incorporated his love for the great outdoors into his attire, and what Queen track brought on a dance off come the evening party. Enjoy!
With images by Little Miss Boyco.
Caroline says: It was Christmas Day morning 2016. Tom came down the stairs with our daughter Sophia, who was only seven months old at the time. He told me Sophia had something to give me. I opened the card and inside there was a beautiful message about how we were now a family and therefore should all have the same second names.
I remember bursting out crying – so much so that at this point I couldn’t see the engagement ring that Tom was holding! It was the most beautiful emerald ring with diamonds. What made it even more special was not only was it my favourite gemstone but also our daughter’s birthstone. Of course, I said yes! It was the best Christmas and one I will never forget.
We always knew we wanted a summer garden wedding as we love the outdoors. I work in a school and wanted time to be able to enjoy the lead-up to the day and also have time after, so we chose to get married on 2nd August 2019.
We instantly fell in the love with the first venue we saw: The Pavillion inside Alnwick Gardens, Northumberland. The Pavillion is a huge open space, filled with lots of natural light due to the glass structure. The surroundings are breathtakingly beautiful, with a huge water cascade and lots of gardens. At night, the venue and surrounds are all lit up with beautiful arrays of light. It was perfect.
We chose a botanical theme, which was very fitting for the gardens and complemented it perfectly. To fit in with the botanics, I chose a very natural colour palette: whites, green, browns and light pinks. This created the perfect colour scheme for the day.
I always knew I would get my wedding dress from The Wedding Dress Company in Corbridge. I loved their boutique and the range of Enzoani dresses they stocked. I went with my mum to look at the sale dresses; I tried on quite a few and just couldn’t find any that had the ‘wow’ factor. However, in true fashion style, my mum spotted the most beautiful dress on the mannequin, which was new-in to the boutique and – of course – was not in the sale! When I tried it on, it was love at first sight. The attention-to-detail was phenomenal with intricate lace details, a plunging neckline and a backless design. When I came out of the dressing room, my mum cried and so did I. There were no hesitations; I said ‘yes to the dress’ there and then.
I wanted a pale dusky pink for my bridesmaids’ dresses. My sister found the perfect ones from Quiz – they were sexy but also very elegant and my girls loved them, which was equally as important. My best friend was pregnant, so I found her a maternity dress from ASOS that was very similar to the other two bridesmaids as it had slits and was a great colour match.
My daughter and sister’s daughter wore dresses from the UK Flower Girl Boutique; they looked like something out of Swan Lake! They also had flower crowns and little flower wands, and they both took my breath away.
My big sister created the bridesmaids’ beautiful flowers; they were gorgeous and fitted in with my bouquet perfectly.
Tom wears shorts all year round and our wedding was going to be no exception! Tom also loves the country, so we wanted something different and unique. Dandy Threads was the perfect place: it was quirky and stocked a great range of tweed. Tom opted for custom-made brown tweed checked shorts, with a matching waistcoat that had a green silk backing. He paired this with white shirt, braces, brown boots and lapels that were made from gun casing and feathers (this tied in with his shooting hobby!).
The best men and our groomsman wore the same as Tom from Dandy Threads, and they all wore flat caps. They looked so dapper and stood out from the crowd.
My dad and Tom’s dad wore matching brown suits, they looked amazing.
Finally, my best friend’s little boy wore a white shirt, green bow tie, braces and shorts with white Converse, he looked so cool. He walked up the aisle with his best friend, my daughter.
Makeup and hair were so important to me and it took me a while to find my perfect makeup artist. Becky MUA was a dream. I loved her style and she was perfect for me! She did my makeup during the lead-up to the wedding a few times for different events; this was great for me as I experimented with different looks. On the wedding day, I went for smoky copper eyes, a nude lip and a glowy, bronzed complexion. I felt amazing.
My hair stylist is a friend of my sister. She came highly recommended and I had seen photos from previous weddings. She was bubbly and gave my hair loose curls that matched my headpiece perfectly. She made me feel amazing and my hair didn’t fall out of place once.
We were travelling from my parent’s house in Tynemouth to the venue – which was an hour away – so I wanted something comfortable that would also us to all travel together. I chose a Mercedes Benz V Class which was extremely comfortable and my dad, bridesmaids, photographer and I could all fit in!
Our photographer was Little Miss Boyco. She’s just amazing! I fell in love with her style of photography, which is natural and relaxed. She captures all the ‘cute’ little details, with lots of romantic, landscape group shots as well, and lots of soft, natural light.
I not only loved her photos but also her as a person. She made everyone feel comfortable and at times, I didn’t even know she was there. Our photos were everything we could have dreamed of and more.
I didn’t get a videographer as my uncle Rob always makes videos for family events, so I thought I would make it personal and hope that he would capture some moments on the day. Which he did! Watching it back, I cried. It was a great reminder of the day.
Bels Flowers created my dreamy bouquet; the look was natural and effortless. When I was explaining the bouquet, I had envisaged different types of white roses and lots of foliage. When my flowers arrived on the morning, they were out of this world. Just perfect!
Helen also made my flower crown, which featured small white roses and foliage. It made me feel like a goddess. I loved wearing this instead of a veil and it went with our botanical theme amazingly.
Keeping with the botanical theme, Bels Flowers also provided our gorgeous foliage archway for our ceremony which we said our ‘I do’s underneath. Helen also provided our foliage for the registrar table, top table and centrepieces.
Michelle from Floral Walls North East provided our green and white flower wall, which was the perfect backdrop for our top table. The Event Dressers provided foliage to wrap around the pillars and also the chairs, which looked absolutely amazing.
Balloon-Ilicious created a beautiful balloon archway above our doughnut table, which comprised a giant three-foot glitter balloon with tassel as well as three balloons with foliage tails. This made the space look stunning! Coco Luminaire provided us with our giant botanical light-up heart, which was the perfect welcome to our venue and really set the tone with the message ‘Best day ever!’
My friend made our wedding signs; they were rustic and fitted flawlessly with our theme. They now live in our garden and look great.
Another friend’s mum painted the backdrop of our wedding and she framed it so people could sign it, which acted as our guestbook. I can’t wait to hang it on the wall, and it will act as the perfect reminder of the day.
We also had a date jar where guests could write down suggestions of different dates. Tom and I can’t wait to use them.
Tom and I aren’t really cake lovers, so instead, RPlace made the most eye catching, mouth-watering doughnuts. Guests were extremely happy to see they were available to eat during the drinks reception – and they didn’t last long!
Tom and I are very laidback, and we wanted to reflect this in our wedding day. As such, we chose a South American-inspired barbecue followed by ice-cream, all of which was cooked and served on the outdoor terrace.
For the evening reception we went with fish finger sandwiches, chips and mushy peas. It was perfect and tasted delicious.
We both loved the sound of the harp and at a wedding fair, I heard Helena Pearson playing. I knew instantly she was the one for us. She played during our drinks reception and the barbecue and performed a range of songs that ranged from Disney to classic ‘90s. It was great and helped set the relaxed tone and atmosphere.
For the evening, we chose a DJ who had everyone up dancing to a huge array of songs. One of my favourite moments was everyone in a circle singing their hearts out to Bohemian Rhapsody whilst we had little dance offs in the middle. It was so much fun.
I wanted the ceremony to be special, so we wrote our own wedding vows, which we read to each other. This made it very emotional and personal to us. Both my big sisters did readings during the ceremony, this made it extra special and I felt very lucky.
We would most definitely recommend our choice of venue, it’s just breath-taking. Even if you don’t get married there, it’s still worth the visit as the gardens are gorgeous and there’s so much to see.
I couldn’t possibly pick one favourite part as it was the most perfect day and I loved it all.
We went to Singapore for three nights and then Bali for ten nights. It was out of this world. Singapore was a very vibrant, clean city and at night it was magical. In Bali, we snorkelled with lots of amazing marine life, got to set turtles free, interact with lots of monkeys, see amazing landscapes and eat delicious food. It was great to have time together where it was just us.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would simply be to do what you want to do and don’t worry about other people.