If a breathtaking pick-me-up is what you need today, then you’re 100 per cent in the right place, as we share the picture-perfect and wonderfully personal wedding of Andy and Nikki.
Trust us when we say this glorious North East big day has it all. We’re not talking the big showy stuff, but instead, natural beauty, deep consideration and ‘all about us’ loveliness…plus a fluffy Bedlington Terrier named Albus, who will undoubtedly steal your heart!
Serious kudos go to Andy for knowing Nikki so well that he’d already lined up a venue visit at what he knew would be the perfect setting to follow his romantic proposal. And perfect it is! The Secret Tower hidden away in Newcastle’s city centre offers beautifully elegant and uncomplicated interiors with large arched windows drawing in light and a rooftop terrace of absolute dreams giving far-reaching urban views.
Amazing venue ticked off; it was on to the details, which is where the magic really happened. Andy and Nikki shaped their day entirely around them as a couple, considering not only what they love but who they love, with unique contributions from creative family and friends and the most exquisite replica bouquet inspired by the one Nikki’s late grandmother carried when marrying her grandfather in 1950. We told you it was special! But enough from us, let’s hear from the bride herself…
With images by Rachael Fraser Photography
We got engaged in St Ives. We had been to Andy’s parents to celebrate his birthday, and he had planned a trip to St Ives (disguised as a birthday getaway). The plan was to arrive in the evening, and as the sun set on our first night there, he took me for a walk along the cliffs and proposed.
Our wedding date was 10th September 2021. We had originally planned to get married in April 2021, but due to covid restrictions, we chose to postpone to make sure we could share our day with the people we love the most. September meant one of the groomsmen and one of the bridesmaids could make the wedding, which meant the world to us.
We got married at The Secret Tower, Newcastle upon Tyne city centre. Andy had contacted the venue prior to proposing, and after I accepted, we contacted them to arrange a viewing. We visited the venue on our way home from St. Ives and fell in love with the place. We booked the venue within one week of the proposal and have felt so happy with our decision since.
We both love the outdoors and felt it was really important to incorporate this into our wedding day. Our first trip together was in Andy’s camper van from Newcastle upon Tyne, through France, Spain and Portugal and back. We had such an amazing time that adventure needed to be part and parcel of our day.
We chose a colour scheme of sage green that felt simple and natural. This was coupled with a dark navy, which gave us a slightly formal edge to the day.
I chose to wear bridal separates; a three-quarter length sleeve top and a high-waisted skirt with a modest train. The top was designed by UNVEILED Network Member and British label Rolling in Roses. I chose RIR because of their ethos, which handcrafts luxuriously eco-friendly sourced materials for brides who “walk to the beat of their own drum”.
My skirt was designed and made by one of my closest friends, Kathryn Hague. She has a background in everything creative, including making bespoke wedding dresses. I fell in love with these separates together and felt so comfortable throughout the day; I felt like me.
Andy wore a dark navy, tweed, three-piece suit from Abitto with a navy tie. A three-piece tweed suit was perfect for an April wedding but had to be teamed with a fan for our September wedding – it was a hot day!
The groomsmen wore the same as Andy.
Andy’s mum also has an amazing flair for creativity and had made matching robes for the bridesmaids to wear on the morning of the wedding. I loved the colour scheme between mine and their gowns – it made the morning all the more special.
The three bridesmaids wore the same sage green dress from & Other Stories. The fabric was soft, and the girls felt really comfortable, which was a real priority for us. They wore matching nude, barely-there heels from Office which lasted the whole night – even after lots of dancing!
My hair and the bridesmaids’ hair was done by Tina Elliott Hair Styling, a wedding hair specialist covering the North East, Northumberland and North Yorkshire. Tina made us feel comfortable from the minute we met her, and our hair lasted until the early hours of the morning.
I wanted to feel myself on our wedding day, so I did my own makeup. Me and the bridesmaids decided a natural look felt the most comfortable, and I’m so glad we made this decision. I felt special and didn’t need to worry about feeling like someone else.
We rented a ten-bedroom country home in Tranwell Woods, Morpeth, to stay with our closest friends before the wedding, which we called our “Wedding House” via Airbnb. On the wedding day, the guests took a minibus into Newcastle while myself and the bridesmaids took two wedding cars from James Executive Cars based in Whitley Bay, North Tyneside.
Rachael Fraser was our photographer, and we could not have been happier with the beautiful and candid memories she has given us from our special day. We would recommend Rachael any day; she was warm, natural and her second photographer was equipped with flip flops for dancing and a fan that saved Andy’s life during prep time!
I carried a bouquet hand-picked and crafted by a local florist called Jules Fleur, based in Tynemouth. Jules listened to the sentimental value we placed in the decision to base my bouquet on my late grandmother’s wedding bouquet when she married my grandfather in 1950. This was a long asparagus fern, and simple white, natural flowers and gypsophila with greenery including eucalyptus.
Jules Fleur worked her magic with our flowers and decorations, using asparagus fern, white flowers and eucalyptus and simple greenery. Our favourite feature was Jules’ creation that became a centre-piece for an arched window behind where we stood to get married. It was an artistic installation of long lengths of asparagus fern hanging from copper piping. We now have this hanging in our home and reminds us of the beautiful day we had celebrating how happy we make one another.
We had three cakes; a traditional two-tiered fruit cake created by a close friend and his grandmother, a two-tiered lemon and orange cake made by a family friend and a vegan orange and almond cake made by our favourite local baker The Mindful Baker, Lorna Kelly.
The food menu included canapes to start, meat and vegetarian option for our guests; topside roast beef platter and a chestnut mushroom nut roast, both served with seasonal vegetables followed by chocolate fudge brownie with a sticky toffee sauce.
We chose to use the Secret Tower’s branded red and white wines for toasts and table wines which were delicious. We wanted to keep the source of the edibles and drinks local and tasty.
We chose a simple PA system which helped us play our favourite songs that we danced the night away to.
We couldn’t get married without having our little fluffy Bedlington Terrier, Albus, with us for the ceremony. Andy’s parents and our friends took care of him while we had photos taken, and he joined us for a few of them! We booked a pet taxi with Pet Taxi Services, and Albus stayed overnight with Borthwicks Boarding based in Stamfordham.
We would absolutely recommend The Secret Tower to other brides and grooms. Tracy, our wedding planner, was unbelievably organised and guided our day to help us enjoy every moment. We couldn’t be more grateful! The location was so special for us, having met in Newcastle upon Tyne and to marry in an historic building with the view of the bridges to our right – it took our breath away.
Also, another big thank you to Rachael and her second photographer, Amy, who were unbelievable – so professional, warm and generally lovely people. They’ve given us memories that encapsulate the day we always hoped for.
The speeches were our favourite part, the atmosphere was completely filled with love, and we have such beautiful memories from the people we love so dearly. It meant the world to hear their memories of us and their hopes for us as a newly married couple.
We travelled to Oslo and Tromso, Norway and then onto Sorrento and Capri, Italy. We wanted to make up for the halt on travelling due to COVID restrictions with two adventures. We’d always talked about visiting Norway to hike and explore – it was more beautiful than we imagined. Italy was our opportunity to relax and enjoy the last of the warmth for the year. It was lovely to take boat trips, cookery classes and to enjoy delicious food and wine as newlyweds.
Do it your way. We followed our instincts with the planning and kept everything personal and sentimental.