We’re off to Otterburn today, for a real wedding nestled deep in the Northumbrian countryside at quirky, cool and elegant venue Woodhill Hall. On top of that, it’s a mish-mash of Scottish Heritage and Italian roots, teamed with girly, pretty pink and party balloons – what’s not to love!?
Talk about bride AND groom goals. We’re falling for how amazing Kaisha and Lorenzo both look, in Martina Liana lace and a tartan kilt respectively, beaming out of these stunning snaps of their big celebration. The whole day just looks so much fun. From the classically Mediterranean vibe of Woodhill’s Olive House to the all night party in the tipi, it’s non-stop joy from dawn to dusk and we love to see it!
With images by Carn Patrick Photography
Lorenzo proposed in Milan in 2019. At airport security, his unflappable demeanour was tested when his bag was searched in front of me. Luckily for his proposal plans, I was too tempted by duty free, and was already wearing five mismatched perfumes by the point the ring surfaced! On the day itself, we queued to get onto the rooftop at the Duomo. Having caught sight of the second metal detector of the trip, Lorenzo practised his Italian by striking up a conversation with the security guard. I was impressed by his efforts, but little did I know I was listening to the translation for “I have a ring in my pocket”. Lorenzo got down on one knee, I uttered some swear words, and sometimes he still worries that amongst my shock I never actually said yes!
We originally planned for our wedding to be on Easter Monday 2021. We loved the idea of a bank holiday wedding, especially as the vast majority of our guests were travelling to be with us. One pandemic later and our date was changed to 6th June 2022 – the day after the long platinum jubilee weekend, again giving us some more time to spend with our family around the time of the wedding.
We got married at Woodhill Hall, Otterburn. In an uncharacteristically organised fashion, Lorenzo arranged for us to visit 4 wedding venues in one day. It meant that we could easily compare them all whilst it was so fresh in our minds. After our visit, we both had a strong gut feeling that we wanted to get married at Woodhill Hall. We loved the style of the venue, with every room being decidedly different from the next. From the short time we spent visiting, it was clear that the staff at Woodhill were incredibly passionate and wonderfully accommodating. It was important for us to have space to have our family stay at the venue, and we loved that we could turn our “big day” into more of a big weekend, spread over three days.
After our engagement, I became the stereotypical Pinterest bride! I had saved a few dresses but there was one in particular that I loved. I visited a couple of wedding dress shops, and tried on a range of styles, but I just couldn’t get ‘the Pinterest dress’ out of my head. After some research, I found Fairytale Brides in Manchester, who had the dress in their shop. I absolutely adored it when I tried it on – it’s a Martina Liana dress, with a sheer bodice and a wide open back. The bottom half had a fitted sequin underskirt that gave it a beautiful silhouette. Buying a dress from Manchester gave me a great excuse for a few girly weekend trips with my mum!
Lorenzo brought his Scottish and Italian roots together by wearing a kilt in the Italian national tartan. The kilt was matched to the waistcoat, jacket and accessories by Kilts4U in Glasgow. The process of choosing the kilt, and in particular the accessories, was an education for me. Mostly, I was just delighted that Lorenzo would have a sporran to keep my lipstick in on the day!
The groomsmen also wore kilts, which we picked to complement Lorenzo’s kilt. Their outfits were a real novelty, with none of them having worn a kilt before!
We had four bridesmaids who were living across three countries, and later found out that one of them was pregnant! I chose to order the dresses from David’s Bridal, mostly to simplify things as there was a shop near each bridesmaid. Logistics aside, David’s Bridal had nearly every style of dress in every conceivable colour. I wanted each bridesmaid to choose a style of dress that they felt great in. So I chose the colour ‘chianti’, and enjoyed a few separate trips with the girls for them to pick a style they loved.
For hair we had Leanne from Get Up & Pin Up, and for makeup we had Lauren Gollan. Sometimes you have your hair and makeup done and it just doesn’t feel like ‘you’ but Leanne and Lauren listened to each person’s individual ideas and style. Myself, my four bridesmaids and the two mums were delighted with their work and how they made us all feel so comfortable.
Our photographer was Carn Patrick, who did a spectacular job! Choosing the right photographer felt like an overwhelming task, but Carn’s style immediately stood out to us; we loved his bright and natural photos. We knew we didn’t want hundreds of rigid posed photos to remember our wedding by, and that seemed to align with Carn’s ethos.
When we met Carn for our pre-wedding shoot, we knew we’d picked the right photographer. He made us feel surprisingly comfortable in front of the camera, and dare I say Lorenzo even enjoyed the experience! On our wedding day, Carn made an incredible effort to remember and use our guests’ names, which did not go unnoticed. Over a year since our wedding and our family still comment on how professional and personable Carn was.
Our wedding photos are exactly what we dreamt they would be. We loved how Carn had captured parts of our day that we never got to see. He even provided us with a selection of polaroids on the day, which made us so excited to see the remainder of the images.
Karen Alexander provided our wedding flowers and venue styling. Karen’s creative vision and expertise was invaluable, as my ideas of what I wanted were incredibly vague – e.g. “I like peonies”. Most other details, like the shape of the bouquet, I hadn’t even thought of, so Karen took time to go through various options. We spoke about the bridesmaids and groomsmen colours and from there Karen looked after the finer details and created a stunning bouquet.
Something I really appreciated about Karen was the effort she made to ensure that every arrangement and item of decoration could be reused elsewhere throughout the day. Of course, this saved us some money, but also meant that we got to enjoy the pieces for longer overall. Various arrangements from the ceremony room were transported into our wedding breakfast and then again into the reception.
From my Pinterest searching, something that I was keen to include was a balloon arrangement. We contacted Chloe from Imaginarium and talked through many ideas, eventually choosing a balloon arrangement to frame our top table. I absolutely loved the balloons, and brought them home to decorate our house after the wedding!
Karen kept an overview of everything to ensure there was continuity across the decorations that were used throughout the day. She worked hard to ensure the colours being used would complement each other, and was always there to answer my questions about bits of decor that I was providing myself.
Lorenzo and I met while we were students at Newcastle University, and four years of living in Jesmond meant that we became well acquainted with Cake Stories. Many a bad day had been made better with a slice of their red velvet cake, so it was a no brainer that we wanted it to feature at our wedding!
We ended up having two wedding cakes to accommodate all of our favourite flavours. We had a red velvet tray bake that we shared with those staying the night before our wedding, and a three-tier cake for the main event! The tiers included a Victoria sponge, zesty lemon cake, and rose/almond/pistachio cake, which gave rise to some beautiful colours!
We essentially chose all of our favourite foods! Woodhill Hall were incredibly accommodating and made sure we had a menu that reflected us both – including my niche enthusiasm for coconut tempura prawns.
For our main meal we had the choice of beef wellington, salmon with lobster mousse, and pumpkin ravioli. My only disappointment was that I couldn’t eat one of each.
In the evening we had an antipasto bar, which was the best ‘picky bits’ dinner we could have dreamed of!
We had Graeme Shaw, a magician, who spent a couple of hours with our guests in between the wedding ceremony and breakfast. His magic was enthralling and he floated from group to group, captivating young and old alike. Some of the funniest photos are of our guests’ facial expressions as they watched Graeme in action.
While everybody was being seated for our wedding breakfast, we had a few minutes by ourselves with Graeme, who performed some incredible magic that we will remember forever!
I attended a wedding fair with two friends, one of whom was particularly delighted by the magicians that were there. I had initially written off having a magician or any other traditional ‘entertainment’ as being a bit tacky, but after a few magic tricks at the wedding fair I was sold. I’m glad I changed my mind, as guests still talk about him!
Woodhill hall is so special, both as a venue and as a team of people. Corrinne, the owner, always has exciting plans up her sleeve. Nothing was ever too much trouble, and there is even a prop shop of decorations that you are welcome to use as you please.
We have been back this year to plant a tree in their wedding woods, and are hoping we’ll get to be guests at a wedding there in the future! Urgent
During the wedding breakfast, being sat at the top table and being able to see everyone we love in one room was amazing. It was truly special seeing everyone catching up and enjoying themselves, and it felt particularly significant after having postponed our wedding due to Covid-19.
We had a multi-stop honeymoon; first spending a few days in San Francisco before hiring a car and spending the next week driving through the spectacular scenery down the Pacific coast. We spent a couple of nights at each stop on the way, soaking up good food, sunshine and local wine. We then spent a few days in Santa Monica and Los Angeles, before flying to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, where we made it our personal mission to consume as many tacos as possible. From there we had a family wedding to attend in Canada, so we spent a week across Atlanta and Toronto before heading home.
When we landed at Heathrow at the end of July, it was one of the hottest days of 2022 with the temperature in the high 30s. We prolonged the honeymoon by another night, booking a hotel with an outdoor pool to both break up the drive and cool off in the heat!
One of the best tips was given to me by a member of staff at Woodhill. Once you’ve chosen something that you love but you can’t change (e.g. wedding dress), stop looking at other options. As someone who could easily spend an hour deliberating over two white t-shirts, committing to a wedding dress for a point in the future scared me a bit. I stayed away from wedding dress Instagram/pinterest etc, and loved my dress even more each time that I tried it on.