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Quirky, fabulous and laid back cool for today’s winter wedding at the incredible Charlton Hall in Northumberland, to celebrate the joining in matrimony of the beautiful Keely and her Phil.
An autumn-winter wedding up at Charlton Hall can only mean one thing: sparkle. Add into the mix a heavy dose of boho, a grey and pink colour scheme and some gorgeous flower crowns, and you’re onto a winner in our book!
With this perfect November day, Keely really has ticked every box. A personal nod to her Scottish roots in the form of thistle in the florals? Check! Glorious autumnal weather? Check! Their own beer on tap behind the venue’s bar? Check!
The blushing bride looks positively radiant in her off-the-shoulder, lace, Rebecca Ingram gown, flanked by her bridesmaids in matching glitzy grey with pops of pink coming through in the form of the florals arrangements and bouquets. We love it so much, we’re handing over to Keely to find out more!
With photography by From The Smiths
Keely says: We got engaged in September 2017. We were going on holiday to Portugal. Phil’s original plan had been to propose on the flight, until a friend pointed out how much I would hate being proposed to in public! He then planned to do it while we were away but got too stressed that I would find the ring in our luggage! So in the end he proposed at home, so we could go out and celebrate with friends that night before going away.
We tied the knot on the 26th of November and it was a fantastic time of year to get married. We always liked the idea of an Autumn wedding and figured that, if it rains, you don’t have the disappointment you might if it rained on your Summer wedding! We ended up getting the most beautiful sunny day and the weekend we originally wanted was a complete washout!
We had our ceremony and reception at Charlton Hall in Northumberland. We actually went to view it before it was renovated and it was essentially still a building site, but we loved the plans and designs so much we knew it was the right place for us. It was so bold and quirky! We knew we didn’t necessarily want a traditional wedding, and as beautiful as other venues were there was just something so different about Charlton.
The Charlton Hall team are amazing! We originally looked at hiring a marquee somewhere and planned to organise a lot of things ourselves but then we realised how stressful that would be! The team at Charlton sorted so much for us that we were able to just completely enjoy our day with our guests without worrying.
We didn’t have a set theme. We loved how modern Charlton Hall is and sort of let the venue speak for itself. We just wanted a relaxed day with a party atmosphere in the evening! Our suits and dresses were grey and silver with pops of pink in the flowers to match Charlton’s amazing Looking Glass reception room.
My dress was the Beatrice dress by Rebecca Ingram, worn with a long simple veil and a real flower crown made by my amazing florist. I was really nervous about trying on dresses and not nearly as excited as most brides! But I went to Y.A.P. Bridal and was immediately made to feel so comfortable that I knew it was where I wanted to get my dress from. My dress was quite simple and a bit boho, with a lace bodice and off the shoulder sleeves. My consultant actually picked it out and I didn’t want to try it on initially but I’m so glad she persuaded me to! It went perfectly with my flower crown and I knew I wanted something I could dance in easily. I originally thought I wanted a really different dress with colour but, as cliché as it is, I felt so much more like a bride in white!
Phil wore a suit from his dad’s menswear shop, Bell & Son’s in Alnwick. We accidently managed to order the wrong waistcoats but Phil’s dad managed to sort it out! I only half-jokingly said it was because the suits were one of the only things Phil was in charge of!
My bridesmaid’s dresses were an absolute bargain in the ASOS sale. They were the first and only dresses my bridesmaids had to try. They had a silver sparkly bodice with a long grey tulle skirt. One bridesmaid loved hers so much that she wore it to the pub the day after the wedding!
Lisa Jones was our makeup artist. She was amazing, so fast and totally chilled out and fun. My whole morning getting ready was completely stress-free. I’m a bit of a control freak when it comes to hair and makeup but I completely trusted Lisa. My bridesmaids made fun of me because I chose Lisa after many hours on instagram trying to decide on a makeup artist that does the best eyebrows! She also did the best fake tan my pale Scottish skin has ever had!
The bridal party, my family and I stayed at Charlton Hall the night before. It was amazing to be able to get full use of the house and to catch up with my family as I no longer live with them in Scotland. It also allowed us to meet with our wedding team again the day before and they could not have been more helpful.
Our photographers were From The Smiths. Simon and SJ were absolutely incredible. Choosing our photographer was one of the most important decisions for us and we could not have picked a better team. I felt like I knew them before they arrived after chatting on Instagram in the run up and I still love seeing all their work from other weddings on social media. They’re so talented. Phil hates posing for photos but they made us feel so relaxed and got so many wonderful natural looking photos. They captured our day perfectly and we’re still obsessing over the end result.
I never thought I’d have such strong opinions on flowers until I got engaged and started planning! Thankfully I had an amazing florist in Sharon from Wild With Love, who managed to make sense of my many ideas/inspiration photos.
We had a mix of pinks, burgundys, lots of greenery for a natural, undone look and some thistles as a nod to my homeland of Scotland. Sharon also made my dream flower crown to go with the boho look of my dress.
We had a large table centrepiece for the top table and smaller centrepieces for the guest tables which matched the bridal party bouquets. The same flowers were also used to decorate our beautiful cake.
Etch+Cut provided us with perspex signs for the ceremony room and a welcome sign. We chose the perspex to match the amazing ceremony room chairs at Charlton.
We tried to include a few personal touches. We had photos up of family members who couldn’t make it, had bunting made by Phil’s mum decorating the reception room and our postbox for cards was made by my bridesmaid’s mum in bright pink to match the venue!
It’s a running joke amongst our friends and family that neither me nor Phil actually remember where we met, just that it was in a pub in Morpeth, so all our tables were named after a different pub. Above The Clouds, who made our wedding invites, also made us an incredible table plan with all the pub photos.
Phil brews beer and Charlton Hall actually has his beer on tap, so we had a personal pump clip made with our picture on for the bar.
I absolutely love reading about people’s real weddings on Brides Up North and seeing the personal touches people add to theirs. I still follow the blog and read about them now! I also attended a few of the wedding fairs, again for lots of inspiration!
Mind is a charity very close to both our hearts and they have an online shop where you can buy wedding favours and donate to the charity at the same time. We chose sachets of sunflower seeds for guests to plant at home. I’m also running the Great North Run this year for Mind.
Emily from Chemily’s Cakes made our cake and it was the most delicious cake I’ve ever eaten, as well as looking stunning. It was a three tier cake with lemon, vanilla and strawberry and white chocolate sponges, with a beautiful stencil design and real flowers to decorate it.
Charlton Hall provided catering. We tried to go for crowd pleasers so we had pâté (my dad is French so was a big fan of this!), roast chicken for main and an amazing rhubarb cheesecake for pudding. One guest (who shall remain unnamed) actually ate four of the cheesecakes!
We had a friend of Phil’s, Mark Reid from Alpha DJs. We met up before the wedding and he promised me that he’d have everyone dancing all night, and he absolutely managed to keep his promise! I don’t think there was ever a time the dance floor was empty!
Absolutely to Charlton Hall! The team were incredible and it offered absolutely everything I wanted from a venue. So many of our guests commented how they had never been anywhere like it!
It’s so hard to choose the best bit, because the whole day was even better than we could have imagined, but I think our evening reception. Just having everyone we care about there, dancing, partying and having fun, was exactly what we wanted!
We haven’t been on our honeymoon yet but we’re going to Mykonos later in the year!
My advice for another bride would be to not stress about the small stuff! We were lucky to just be able to enjoy the whole day without feeling stressed at any point, thanks to our amazing venue and suppliers, but the day goes so quickly. Do try not to waste any of it stressing!