As the editorial team take a short summer break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 31st August 2020 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings shared during the first half of 2020.
Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.
This is a particularly special real wedding as it is that of our industry friend, the lovely Victoria Patton, part of the amazing team at one of our very favourite North East venues, Matfen Hall.
We host two epic Wedding Shows at this stunning hotel per year (next one taking place on 27th September – make a note!) so we can first-hand vouch for its incredible interiors, stunning grounds, delicious food and attentive team. It therefore came as no surprise to us that despite being employed at the venue, both Victoria and her beau Callum felt Matfen was more home to them than work, and so set a set for a dream winter wedding there.
With timeless quality and luxury in mind, Victoria’s vision was for a stylish and elegant big day complete with rich forest green colour palette – and she and Callum pulled it off perfectly!
There are so many lush elements to feast your eyes on; from Victoria’s A-line satin Pronovias gown to the gents’ dapper black tie dress code, plus spectacular foliage and floral displays galore, contemporary Perspex signage, metallic balloon installation and gorgeous confectionary creations.
And as if all that wasn’t enough, they treated heir guests to the most indulgent of wedding menus and ensured they were thoroughly entertained from beginning to end with live musicians, magic and even indoor fireworks!
With images by Sean Elliott Photography
Victoria says: We got engaged on our second anniversary. We started the night celebrating at The Botanist which is where we had our first date, we then had dinner at Dacantus (one of my favourite restaurants in Newcastle!) and after dinner, Callum suggested a walk along The Quayside. He insisted we then walked over the Millennium Bridge.
When we approached the Millennium Bridge, he started to confess that earlier in the week he had told me a fib and hadn’t actually played golf like I was told but had instead gone to visit my dad, I started quizzing him as to why he had paid him a visit, to which I got a very simple response, “Well, I wanted to ask his permission to do this”…and then he got out the ring!
I have always been in love with winter weddings, I love how cosy and romantic they can be – so I knew that I wanted to marry in this season. We then thought it would be quite nice to keep the wedding date around our anniversary (5th November) – luckily the 1st November was still available and fell into half term school holidays which was perfect for the friends and family we have that are teachers. I loved the sound of the date (which I have a bit of a weird OCD over!) – 01.11.19.
We got married at Matfen Hall, in Northumberland. I have worked at Matfen Hall for 11 years, of which most of them have been in the wedding department – coordinating and managing.
Choosing Matfen as our venue wasn’t an easy decision, Callum was very keen for it not to feel like work for me and we worried that Matfen would feel that way. We viewed a few venues before deciding that Matfen actually felt like home, rather than work. Callum also works at Matfen as a Greenkeeper so we both felt so comfortable here. We are so lucky to have got married at the Hall, it is beyond gorgeous and such a beautiful venue to have your special day in.
We didn’t have a specific theme, but I really wanted the wedding to be timelessly classic. I have seen a lot of trends come and go over the years and a lot of weddings two years after look really dated – so I wanted to go for the classic look so it would always look stylish and elegant.
I love the colour green and found so much inspiration on Pinterest for this colour for winter weddings. We chose a lot of forest green, hunter green and dark colours.
So I have obviously seen A LOT of wedding dresses over the years and always loved traditional, classic satin dresses – I also loved the designer Pronovias so did have quite a good idea of what I wanted before I started dress shopping, but I was also open to trying on various styles as so many people had said to me that I’d not end up getting the dress I probably thought I would. However, after trying on a few satin gowns, I loved them and felt so much more comfortable in them than any other styles. I am quite petite and was worried all dresses would completely drown, me but they didn’t, and I felt so elegant. I got my dress from Mia Sposa in Newcastle, a Pronovias satin A-line gown with a huge train and I absolutely loved it! I also got my veil from there too, which as soon as I tried it on – I instantly felt like I bride.
Callum wore a gorgeous dark green velvet jacket from Moss Bros – it was perfect fit for him, and he then got the rest of his black tie suit from Slaters. We got the groomsmen outfits from Slaters too, traditional black tie but with a dark green bow tie to match the rest of the colour scheme.
I found our bridesmaid dresses by ASOS Design – they were the only ones the girls all tried on and were perfect. Our flower girl wore a dress from Monsoon.
Lisa Jones and Aimee McKenry got my tribe ready – they did all bridesmaids’ and my hair, they also then did all family hair and makeup – there was so many of us and they worked really efficiently and quickly to get everyone done on time!
I had Marta Make Up (The Coasta Chic) to do my makeup and also my bridesmaids’, I cannot recommend her enough! Marta was such a calming influence to have around on the day, I love makeup and really loved that Marta took the time to get to know this about me – which brands I like to wear and recommended her own favourites too. I felt so beautiful on the day and my girls looked amazing too.
It was a complete no brainer as to who our photographer was going to be. I have been friends with Sean Elliott now for about eight years, after getting to know each other through working together. He is my number one recommendation to couples and has shot some amazing weddings at Matfen.
Sean has a very stand out wedding photography style I think, you can always spot a Sean Elliott photograph from a mile off! His photographs are candid, natural and always really capture the couple well. I love how he works with natural lighting and loves to bring nature into all of his epic couple shots, working with what the venue has rather than creating something that just looks set up.
Not only is Sean a supportive, helpful, caring and funny person to have by your side on the day – he is extremely talented. He also did a full recce of the venue on the day (even though he has been a million times) just to see on that particular day where would be the best spots to take us too, due to the lighting and the weather. It was a rainy, dull day and you would never think it from our photos.
We were lucky enough to get a sneak peak of our photos a couple of days after the wedding and I was truly blown away. Our full albums then arrived a couple of months later and we just love every single one. They capture so much of the day and we will treasure them so much.
I would never have chosen anyone else but Sean because of our friendship and I am so pleased we did have him involved in our special day, he made us feel so confident and we loved sharing the day with him. Our photographs speak for themselves and we absolutely adore them!
Our Videographer Jon, from Top Table Films, was absolutely amazing, he again has become an industry friend and was great to have by our side on the day. Jon and Sean work so well together, which is really important I think, they were never competing for the shot and always gave each other the space to get what they wanted.
Jess from Sprig & Thistle created all of our flowers, again another industry friend who I loved working with. Jess knows my style and so knew exactly what I wanted for the day – I was keen to have flowers everywhere and this was one of our biggest spends on the day. Our bouquets were mainly foliages of Eucalyptus with Delphiniums, Lisianthus, Astilbe, Veronica, and some white Roses – then smaller versions for bridesmaids and matching for the buttonholes.
We had a beautiful archway created for the welcome entrance and an amazing creation for the Great Hall fireplace – complete with twinkly lights and LED candles. It was beyond anything I could have imagined, and Jess is a dream to work with.
Our friends at Coco Luminaire decked out our evening spaces with ‘The Patton’s’ in large lights and their lovely neon sign ‘You & Me, Always & Forever’.
We also had a balloon wall created by Laura and Joanne at Balloon-ilicious. We used this as a backdrop during the day for guests to get photographs and then for the evening used it as a backdrop for our cake cut. I love the photos we got with it and it looked fab with our colour scheme.
Our welcome signs and table plan were hand painted and designed by Darling Ivy Paper Stories – Steph was so easy to work with.
Our favours were temporary tattoos of us! I found them on Etsy and thought they were really fun, although some of the stags went a step too far with the fun and actually got real tattoos of them on the stag do. We attached the tattoos to a miniature shot for everyone for during the wedding breakfast.
Our cake was made by Great British Cupcakery in Newcastle, I really love the whole brand and the cakes are to die for. We opted for a one tier cake (vanilla sponge with white chocolate frosting) paired with cupcakes and cakesicles.
The food at Matfen is one of the best things about a wedding, and we are big foodies, so this was a perfect pairing! We definitely wanted to include canapes and chose tempura king prawns, tomato, red onion and Calamata olive bruschetta, mini toad-in-the-hole with red onion compote and mini swiss cheese and smoked ham croque monsieur. We paired this with rhubarb and ginger gin and tonics (my favourite), bottles of Bud and prosecco for our drinks reception.
For the wedding breakfast we chose confit duck terrine, home smoked duck breast, cucumber and mint salad, thyme ciabatta, red wine Reduction as our starter, then we had a champagne sorbet as an intermediate course, our main course was the amazing slow cooked regionally sourced blade of beef, roasted red onion and garlic, smoked bacon, pomme puree, chardonnay carrots, savoy cabbage and then for dessert we had a ‘Bride’s Choice’ which all the ladies enjoyed which was a strawberry pannacotta, and a ‘Groom’s Choice’ which all the gents enjoyed which was a sticky toffee pudding.
For the evening reception we wanted to do something quite fun (and give my lovely colleagues in our kitchen a bit of a break!) so we hired The Pizza Van and Parmorama to cater for us with their amazing food vans. Callum is from Teesside and Parmos are basically life there, so we knew we had to incorporate them into the day somehow. Jonny from Parmorama was so professional, helpful and the food was delicious. The Pizza Van often set up on our home estate, so we have sampled the food many times! Our guests loved this part of the night.
We wanted to incorporate a lot of live music into the day, as I think it always sets a great atmosphere and when you are off having photos taken, you know your guests are entertained when you aren’t able to be around.
For our ceremony we chose to have good friend and resident pianist at Matfen, Lucy Bewley play alongside Armstrong Quartet – they were both so fantastic and learnt new arrangements to suit the music we chose. It was so dramatic and emotional!
We then had the super talented John Gatenby play for our drinks reception, so many of our guests commented on how great he was – we just love his voice and how unique he makes every song sound.
Then for the evening reception we had the amazing Hip Hop Hooray play, which was incredible! They absolutely blew our guests away and every single person was up dancing, they are really unique and know how to get a party started. We finished the night with DJ Levi Sax who was amazing at creating the perfect party playlist for us and had us dancing until 1.30am, even my 86-year-old grandma stayed up dancing until then!
We also had Paul Lytton the magician at the start of our evening reception, all our guests loved this part of the night and again as we wanted to get a few evening photographs outside it was great to know he was there entertaining everyone!
Finally, we had indoor fireworks by the guys at Spectrum for our first dance!
I may be biased, but my fellow colleagues at Matfen were amazing from start to finish. I felt so proud of all of the team on the day and so lucky to have them as colleagues. The venue looked beautiful, the food was delicious, the atmosphere was fantastic, and all our guests commented on what an amazing day it was! We felt so comfortable at Matfen, as it really has such a homely feeling to it and friendly vibe, you relax as soon as you walk in. We also had pretty much the whole hotel booked out, which was amazing as it meant we could see everyone the next morning and a lot of our guests stayed up late – it meant they didn’t have to worry about taxis and leaving the party early.
My favourite part of the day was the ceremony, I think you actually don’t really think about this part of the day a lot in the lead up to it, as you have the least control over it! But it was so special. It felt like a dream when we were saying our vows and it was really emotional. I also loved the band and DJ for our evening reception, I really felt like I relaxed at this point of the night and could enjoy dancing with everyone!
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to take everything in, as you simply can’t – just try to relax and enjoy everything as it is happening.
The days before the wedding I was so emotional and overwhelmed, so we decided to give ourselves a cut-off point of planning and booked a night away just the two of us on the night before, the night before – which was perfect for us to switch off and start to really get excited about the days ahead of us!
Try to plan as much of the small things in advance, they take up a lot of your time and time is very precious closer to the day.
Most importantly, this is your wedding – your choices and your day – try not to let too many people influence your decisions.
During the planning I loved speaking with, and reading about, other couples’ weddings, there is a huge bridal community on Instagram and so many real weddings to get inspo from on Brides up North and UNVEILED – even though I am in the wedding industry and surrounded by inspiration, it was just nice to be able to speak to brides-to-be and learn about their planning journey, especially my own brides who got married around the same time as we did – it was so lovely sharing such a special time with them!