The beautiful Charlton Hall in Northumberland made the perfect backdrop for Ellie and Martin’s midsummer wedding.
A venue that’s as outrageous and fun as it is classic and elegant, Charlton Hall is a real showstopper and needs very little additional styling. But that didn’t stop our couple adding their own, personal little touches. Dinosaur themed wedding, anyone?!
Yes, you did read that correctly. Ellie offered Martin the chance to incorporate his Ross Gellar style passion and subtly add a little novelty to the decor, and we love it! Who knew dinosaurs could be so cool and classy?! They’ve offered the perfect amount of kitsch to the tables and the cake – a rose gold dinosaur is certainly something you don’t see at every wedding!
The dinosaurs somehow perfectly tie into the peachy, blush colour scheme, with big blousy peonies and the lovely bridesmaids looking so pretty in pink. And then, from whimsical daytime chic to ceilidh evening party! The beautiful bride, her dashing groom and their guests were absolutely living their best lives, boogieing the night away into the early hours. A day to remember indeed!
With photography by Carn Patrick
Ellie says: In July 2017, we were on holiday in Italy for the week and were having a couple of nights in Milan. The weather was beautiful, and we’d had a lovely few days unwinding and spending time together. Martin had arranged for us to go out for a meal. We arrived at a place called Essenza and it turned out to be the most amazing meal the two of us has ever eaten. After a perfect evening, we were walking out of the restaurant, through the garden, and Martin suddenly got down on one knee. I was very surprised and overwhelmed by it all. I couldn’t believe it was happening! Of course, I said yes!
We got married on the 7th of August 2019. We chose this date as it was a Saturday in the summer holidays, and I’m a teacher. We also both had a lot of friends and family travelling long distances. Martin is from Donegal, so we had a huge contingent of Irish guests flying over. We were keen for a summer wedding so we could get some lovely outdoor photos and spend some time outside with our guests.
We got married at Charlton Hall and the reception was at Charlton Hall too. We fell in love with the venue as soon as we drove up to it. The ceremony room is spectacular, unique and really beautiful! The décor in the whole place is so different to anywhere else we’d viewed. It felt different and fun and special. We knew it was right! The lady who showed us around (also called Ellie) was lovely. She answered all of our questions (we had a lot) and was really down to earth and not too pushy. We knew we were going to get along with the staff from that point on! The view from The Looking Glass (the reception room) was the final piece of the jigsaw. Looking out over the fields, with the sea in the distance. We couldn’t believe we’d found this place! It was just too good to be true.
We had a subtle dinosaur theme! Our table names were dinosaur names and on each table was a rose gold dinosaur. Dinosaurs on the cake and on the name cards – just subtle little touches. This was done mainly because of Martin’s childhood (and adulthood) love of Jurassic Park. I mentioned to him that we could have dinosaurs as a theme, and he was over the moon.
Our colour scheme was blush pink. It’s just so pretty and summery. I knew that colour would suit all of my bridesmaids and that the flowers would be gorgeous.
I wore a dress by Enzoani – the style of dress was called Kaylin. We bought it from The Wedding Dress Company in Corbridge. My mum’s two sisters were visiting (older sister, Janet, up from the Midlands and my mum’s twin sister, Kay, was over from Australia). We’d had a lovely day and I tried on loads of dresses but none of them were quite right. The shop assistant had tried to get me to try on the Kaylin but I’d said no, as I thought it was too sparkly. She tried again after a few more dresses, so I thought I’d give it a go. We all fell in love with it, and when we then found out it was called Kaylin we were sold (my mum’s called Lynn and her twin is Kay). It was meant to be.
Martin wore a suit from Next. His ushers wore the same suit but with a waistcoat.
My bridesmaids wore full length, blush pink dresses from ASOS.
Hair was done by my mum’s long-standing hairdresser. She’s called Andrea and is the manager at Saks in Hexham. Makeup was done by a very talented young lady named Olivia who works on the Laura Mercier counter in Fenwick.
Our photographer was Carn Patrick. Yes, I’d definitely recommend him, and indeed have done already to a friend of mine. He was great from start to finish. Professional but personable. He’d do whatever you wanted and listened to you. He captured the most amazing photos, both formal and natural. His style is really unique and we’re both so glad we asked him to photograph our wedding. He worked his socks off!
We had flowers that a friend of mine did for us. She’s called Dorothy and I’ve worked with her for a number of years. She has done a few friends’ and family weddings and was just brilliant. She took me to the flower market to get an idea of the kind of thing I like, and she created some beautiful bouquets for the day!
We weren’t going to have favours but at the last minute we decided to give everyone a Drumstick lolly and a mini Toblerone, as they are mine and Martin’s favourite sweets and we thought it would be a nice touch!
My mum made a three -tier cake and each tier was a different flavour! She is an absolute legend and put so much time and effort into it! She made so many tester cakes that I think her partner, Colin, was sick of the sight of cake. It was the best cake ever!
Food and wine were supplied by the venue. We had a salmon starter, beef main and lemon tart for pudding. As a vegetarian, I had a tomato terrine starter and a butternut squash main. These were made especially for me, as I didn’t like the vegetarian options they had on the menu. They also created some beautiful food for some of our vegan guests. Then we served roast pork and beef sandwiches for the evening food, with roast vegetable ones for the vegetarians. All of the food was sensational.
We ended up going for a ceilidh and DJ. We tried to find a band but all the ones we liked were either booked up or far too expensive! It turned out really well though. Everyone loved the ceilidh and it made for a great atmosphere, getting everyone on their feet dancing. The band were called Ceilidh Knights.
I don’t think either of us could say we had a favourite part of the day. The day was perfect from start to finish. We had so much fun and wish we could do it all again.
We plan to go to Japan but haven’t organised anything yet!
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to enjoy every second, it goes so quickly. Try to relax and don’t let your nerves get in the way! The morning goes so quickly so try to plan to be ready an hour before you actually need to be ready – you’ll need that extra hour!