Real Weddings

Stella York for an Elegant Winter Wedding at Newton Hall – Connor & Kate

Julia Braime

After experiencing a tough 2019, today’s wonderful featured couple, Connor and Kate, were keen to press on with their wedding plans, settling on an earlier 2020 date to spread some love and positivity throughout their families.

Just one look at the gorgeous photos from their big day prove that they absolutely achieved that goal, with the smiles and special emotions captured here – not only between Connor and Kate who clearly ADORE one another – but also amongst their much-loved friends and relatives, saying it all.

Focusing on ‘simple but beautiful’ styling, romantic white blooms and plentiful foliage take centre stage with the clean colour palette filtering through to their stationery and cake, whilst the bridesmaid dresses provide an injection of deep raspberry, the perfect seasonal hue!

We have to say that we are also totally in love with bride Kate’s wonderful choice of Stella York gown with simple yet striking silhouette and flattering plunge neckline, complete with cathedral length veil.

With images by Dan Clark Photography


Kate says: Our engagement was perfect. It was June 2018 and we were going through a particularly tough time. Every night after work we would go for a walk along the cliff top to clear our heads; and every night I would recount to Connor the story of how my grandmother told me she used to sit on the same cliff top and watch my mother play on the rocks below with her siblings. On the last Saturday of the month, we went for that same walk, but Connor got down on one knee on the cliff top and had arranged for our friends to hide and take a picture of the moment. After I had said yes, they joined us, and we enjoyed Champagne on the cliff top before going to see our families (who were all in on it!).


We got married on the 7th February 2020. Originally, it wasn’t supposed to be until June but after a tough 2019, we decided to bring it forward to spread a little happiness in our families, which was much deserved. It was the perfect date as it was cool and crisp with clear skies.

It meant a lot for us to get married in a church, and we ended up having our ceremony at St Aidan’s Church in Bamburgh. We chose this church not only for its beauty but because Connor’s parents also got married there and it’s where he was christened. It has beautiful surroundings and luckily our photographer Dan captured them perfectly. We then went onto Newton Hall for our reception; it was one of the first places we viewed and knew instantly it was where we wanted to spend our wedding day, as it is just stunning and every room is different and unique.


From the onset of planning our wedding, we knew we wanted it be quite simple, but beautiful. We kept decorations minimal and kept to a colour palette of white and green. Our florist created amazing centrepieces of white flowers with green foliage for our tables to keep the room looking elegant and our stationery was simple too. This allowed for us to be more daring with the bridesmaid dresses and, embracing the winter date, went for a dark raspberry colour to inject some warmth.


My outfit was a Stella York dress, bought from The Wedding Dress Company in Corbridge. It’s a very simple design but with big impact, which I love. It has pockets and felt very ‘me’ as soon as I tried it on, it’s comfortable and classic and I particularly love the button detail all the way down the back of the dress. I ultimately chose it because, to me, it felt the right amount of ‘wedding-y’ with the minimal design but the grand train and the fabric was something I’d never get to wear again, which is what your wedding dress is all about. A once in a lifetime dress. I paired it with an intricately detailed lace veil, which contrasted with it perfectly.

Groom & Co in Jesmond were brilliant for my dress alterations.


Connor and the groomsmen wore a stunning three-piece suit from Affleck & Moffat, in Darlington. The suit jacket and trousers were navy blue, paired with a pale grey tweed waistcoat for contrast. Connor wore an ivory cravat to match my dress and the rest of the party wore pale grey to match the waistcoat.


My bridesmaids wore a dark raspberry coloured maxi dress from Ted Baker, which was one shoulder and ruched above the waist, with a little satin belt and silver detail.


Our hair and makeup artist was Aimee McKenry from Lisa Jones Hair and Makeup, in Gosforth.


On the day, we travelled in a beautiful vintage cream and black Bramwith Landaulette limousine hired from AB Wedding Cars.


Our photographer was Dan Clark. We would recommend him to every couple getting married, he’s the perfect person to have with you throughout your day. He constantly assures you, puts you at ease and makes you laugh. He takes pictures that suit your personality and makes sure that he captures every moment for you to look back on. We are in love with our wedding pictures and cannot thank him enough.


Katie-Jane from The Garden Studio provided all our flowers and we couldn’t have been happier with them. They were a stunning mix of all white flowers, predominantly roses, with lots of green foliage.


Dawn from The Master Cakesmith created our beautiful three tier, semi-naked wedding cake. I’m a bit difficult as I have coeliac disease, but Dawn took it in her stride and made the best gluten free cake I have ever tasted! Our bottom tier was a classic Victoria sponge with vanilla buttercream and strawberry jam, the middle tier was lemon sponge with buttercream and lemon curd filling and finally, the top tier was Millionaire’s Shortbread with lots of salted caramel sandwiched inside.


As our wedding was in the middle of winter, we arranged for warm mulled wine and cider to be waiting for our guests at Newton Hall as they arrived to help keep them warm after spending a lot of time outside.

During the reception, we had a selection of canapés including chocolate covered strawberries, beef crostini and warm bruschetta. We had both red and white wine in the middle of every table for our guests to choose during the wedding breakfast. For the breakfast itself, we had a starter of soup, as we thought this was a crowd pleaser! For the main, we chose to have slow cooked pork shoulder with mustard mash and cider gravy – a favourite of ours. Finally, for dessert, we chose a simple crème brulee with shortbread.

At the evening reception, we had a sweet cart which proved very popular as well as hot chocolate and marshmallows to toast over the outdoor fire which was very cosy.


Entertainment wise, we decided to go for a DJ, so he could play all of our best loved songs and also take requests from other guests to keep the dancefloor busy! We went with Ian from Icon Entertainments as he had an amazing reputation and we can see why. He was brilliant the whole night through and even supplied us with custom playlists to play throughout the day before he arrived for the evening!


I would recommend all the suppliers we chose, and I’m pleased to say we didn’t have one bad experience. We loved our photographer Dan especially, along with our flowers from The Garden Studio and our cake from The Master Cakesmith.

We would absolutely recommend our venue to other couples too. It is such a stunning setting for a wedding with an abundance of unique areas for photo opportunities and the guest rooms are incredible, it makes your wedding a little holiday for everyone involved and our family and friends loved every second of it. The staff at Newton Hall are brilliant and so professional, you don’t need to worry at all as everything is taken care of for you and your day runs so smoothly.


My favourite part of our day was the initial arrival at Newton Hall, this was our time to relax after the nerves of the ceremony and say a proper hello to all of our family and friends! It was an amazing experience and seeing the venue with all of your decorations in place for the first time is unforgettable. The quiet moment the bride and groom have just before their entrance to the wedding party was also incredible as that’s the time where you take a deep breath and realise that it’s actually happening! You’re married!


On the Sunday after our wedding, we made our way to Seaham Hall for a day of luxury in the spa followed by a lovely evening meal in their restaurant. The following morning, we drove to The Lake District and stayed in a wooden chalet for a week. It was very special to us, as we also did this just before getting engaged. We made the most out of it and did lots of walking in the snow followed up with sitting by open fires in cosy pubs. We were planning to go abroad this Summer as an extra celebration but unfortunately Covid-19 had other plans, so maybe next year.


My top tip would be to do things bit by bit and start early. Don’t try to do everything at once as it becomes hugely overwhelming, give yourself plenty of time and do research into every supplier to see who suits you best! Make sure the day reflects both of your personalities in the choices you make and just enjoy the process.

During the planning, I loved scrolling through the Brides Up North Instagram page and found looking at the real wedding element incredibly useful when researching suppliers and trying to find inspiration. Planning a wedding is extremely stressful so being able to find so much help and advice in one place is brilliant.

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