Real Weddings

Justin Alexander for a pretty wedding at High House Farm – Holli & Tom

17th December 2019 | Alexis Forsyth

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Say hello to today’s lucky couple Holli and Tom, who tied the knot at stunning barn and working brewery, High House Farm in Northumberland.

Taking the lead from their venue, the couple kept things rustic and pared back, going for a shabby chic look offset by an elegant blush pink and off white coloue palette.

Having a sister-in-law as a trained florist certainly came in handy – just wait until you see the gorgous combination of blush pink roses, berries and perennials with gypsophila, eucalyptus and lots of foliage. Beautiful!

Other styling touches to covet include log slices and recycled gin bottles tied with jute string and small jam jars filled with tea lights, not to mention wooden confetti strewn across the tables. We also love the gin and whiskey favours they handed out to their guests – perfectly in keeping with the venue, we’d say! Here’s Holli to share all the special highlights – including photos of some very cute little four-legged guests!

With images by Carn Patrick

Proposal

Holli says: We got engaged on Cayo Guillermo beach in Cuba as the sun was rising on 1st September 2017. Tom planned the whole thing with the help of our closest friends, and even filmed a timelapse of the sun rising and him dropping to one knee. Although, I almost missed my own proposal by running away back to the room for bug spray after being swarmed by mosquitoes! Luckily I made it back just in time to catch the end of the sunrise and didn’t foil Tom’s plan! It’s a good job Tom proposed when he did. Before the holiday, he was debating whether to propose on the first day or the last… Hurricane Irma hit during the second week so that would have well and truly damped his plans!

Setting

Our wedding date was 31st August 2019. We chose this date as we knew we wanted a summer wedding and we didn’t want to be engaged longer than two years. Our venue didn’t have many summer dates left in 2019, so out of what was left, we picked the one closest to the anniversary of our engagement date.

We got married at High House Farm in Northumberland which boasts a beautiful open barn and a working micro brewery. When we visited the venue, we fell in love with the views from the barn and just knew we’d love to get married overlooking picturesque Northumberland. We really wanted a relaxed atmosphere rather than a formal wedding too, so when the owners explained there we no wedding packages and everything was completely bespoke to what we wanted, we knew it was the venue for us.

Once we decided on the venue, a rustic themed wedding seemed only fitting! Drawing inspiration from the exposed brick barn walls and working farm land that surrounds High House Farm, we mixed and matched shabby chic with outdoorsy touches.

The colour scheme for our wedding was blush pink and off white. We hadn’t decided on a colour scheme at first, but once we found the perfect bridesmaids’ dresses, we coordinated colours from there.

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Dress

I actually ended up buying two wedding dresses! The first was a beautiful boho style A-line gown by Justin Alexander. I’d spotted it online when I was searching for dresses, but I couldn’t seem to find it in any of the bridal shops… that was until the last shop I went to, Mia Sposa in Newcastle. It was the last one in stock and was in the sale, it seemed like fate so I snapped it up, despite the fact it didn’t quite fit. Long story short, as the wedding got closer and the dress still didn’t fit, I decided to cut my losses and get another dress. I managed to find one really similar to the Justin Alexander online at JJ’s House for a fraction of the price. After a few alterations, it was the perfect dress!

Groomsmen

Tom wore a three-piece tweed suit by Marc Darcy which we bought from Master Debonair in East Boldon. He mixed and matched a Herringbone blue suit with a tan waistcoat, brown and tweed brogues and a blush pink linen bow tie.

The groomsmen also wore three piece Herringbone blue tweed suits by Marc Darcy with blush pink linen bow ties, matching the groom. However, they wore blue waistcoats, so the groom could stand out with his tan coloured one.

Bridesmaids

Our five bridesmaids wore blush pink maxi dresses with lace detail and an open back by TFNC on ASOS. Our flower girl wore an A-line tea-length lace and tulle dress with a blush pink bow, which complemented both the bridesmaids’ dresses and wedding dress really well.

Beauty

Our make-up artist was Lyndsey Morgan (Lyndsey Morgan Make Up) and our hair stylist was Megan Isla (Mirror Image Hair Dressing).

Transport

On the day, me and my bridesmaids travelled from our cottage to the venue in a classic 1962 VW Split Screen Camper by AB Wedding Cars.

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Photographer

Our photographer was the wonderful Carn Patrick. We’d have no hesitation in recommending Carn to any couples out there looking for a wedding photographer. Carn took the time to get to know us and our guests, making everyone feel at ease and act natural in front of the camera. As two people who aren’t into posing for the camera, he also pushed us out of our comfort zone to capture the most amazing photos. We put our absolute trust in him and we weren’t disappointed! His natural and candid style really complimented our venue and the relaxed atmosphere we were going for.

Styling

My bouquet was a mixture blush pink roses, berries and perennials with gypsophila, eucalyptus and lots of foliage. My bridesmaids also carried bouquets of gypsophila. Luckily for us, Tom’s sister is a trained florist, so gifted us our flowers for our wedding.

For our centrepieces, we used log slices and recycled gin bottles tied with jute string and filled with gypsophila, foliage and wooden table numbers along with small jam jars filled with tea lights and string lights.

We carried the rustic theme on by using log slices for our name place cards with wooden confetti sprinkled across the tables.

For the evening, rustic festoon lighting lit the barn, along with the jam jars and string lights that were dotted around. We also used wooden crates and recycled pallets to create our own welcome sign and order of the day. It was mostly a DIY wedding, so we did everything ourselves with the help of friends, family and of course our trusty bridesmaids.

Favours

For favours, we gave our guests shots in little glass vials with cork tops. Raspberry gin for the girls (bride’s favourite) and blended whisky for the boys (groom’s favourite).

For the little ones, we filled gift bags with sweets, colouring books and pencils, bubbles and a disposable camera each and a list of moments for them to capture to keep them busy!

Cake

For the cake, we chose a semi-naked vanilla and white chocolate sponge, topped with flowers matching my bouquet for decoration. This was the centrepiece of our dessert table, complete with homemade Bailey’s fudge, chocolate chip cookies, salted caramel blondies and cupcakes. Luckily for us, one of our closest friends Joanna runs The Cuff Cakery, so she gifted us our cake and dessert table.

Dining

We chose tapas for our meal as we really wanted to create a casual and relaxed atmosphere and didn’t want a stuffy sit down meal. We thought the family style sharing with tapas would do just that and it was a real hit. From cheese and charcuterie to paella and patatas bravas, everyone got to taste a bit of everything! We know nothing about wine so opted for a mixture of the house white and red for table wine.

Entertainment

We chose Hip Hop Hooray for our evening entertainment, an eight piece jazz style band that exclusively perform old school hip hop and R&B covers. Having seen them perform years before we got engaged, we’d always said if we ever got married, we’d book them. They did not disappoint, as big hip hop fans they performed all our favourites and filled the dance floor all night.

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Special touches

For another special touch to our day, we put out a keg of beer so guests could pull their own pints and play a game of beer pong. We also used Poloroid cameras with photo props to add a special touch to our guest book.

Northstar AV also provided the festoon lighting in the barn and across the courtyard area, which was the perfect touch once the sun went down.

Thanks to

We would absolutely recommend High House Farm to another couple. If you’re looking for a venue where you’re not stuck to an out of the box package and can have free reign to plan your dream wedding, High House Farm is the venue for you. The staff went above and beyond to help make our vision a reality. Not to mention the beautiful Northumbrian views from right outside the barn as you say I do.

Best bit

Our favourite part of the day was the moment the band launched into the first song of their set. From the ceremony to the speeches and the first dance, it felt like the pressure was finally off and we could relax and enjoy ourselves with all the nerve-wrecking bits out of the way. Within seconds the whole place just erupted and everyone was dancing.

Honeymoon

We had a mini moon in the Lake District straight after the wedding after our honeymoon to St Lucia was cancelled due to work commitments. We stayed in a gorgeous cottage called The Curious Orange in the heart of Troutbeck which is dog friendly, meaning our pooches could enjoy lakeland walks with us! We plan on going somewhere more exotic next year for some sun.

Advice

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be, don’t sweat the small stuff. You’ll hardly notice the tiny details on the day as you’ll be so swept up with everything going on, so don’t worry if little things go wrong or aren’t how you pictured them. Oh, and it really is true what they say – the day goes so fast, so embrace a few moments here and there with your other half to take it all in.

I attended a Brides Up North wedding fair with one of my bridesmaids for inspiration and to help source suppliers. The ‘real wedding’ features really helped with inspiration too – I stole lots of ideas from other brides!

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