Your North East Wedding - March/April 2023 (Issue 55)

MAR/APR 2022 £3.55 FASHION, BEAUTY, HONEYMOONS, GROOMS AND MORE WIN! A meal for six worth £240 Food for thought The best North East caterers Garden party Venues with spectacular grounds P to p l e a rf n e n ct e i d on Get set for the best day of your lives! Love is all around Inspiring reader weddings

O Situated in the Mouth of the Tyne with direct access on to the Beach, Our breath taking views offer the perfect backdrop for your Wedding Photography. Whether you prefer a Grand Reception or a more Intimate Setting We look forward to making your Wedding Day a truly unique event. The Little Haven Hotel, River Drive, South Shields, Tyne & Wear NE33 1LH 0191 455 4455 • •

REGULARS 6 EDITOR’S LETTER Hello from your Editor, Claire Muffett-Reece 9 NEARLYWED NEWS Catch up on news from around the North East 13 FREEBIES & OFFERS Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs 77 HOT TOPIC Local experts offer their stellar advice 88 COMPETITION Win a four night break in Tuscany CONTENTS MARCH/APRIL 2023 VENUES 15 NORTHERN LIGHTS Amazing Northumberland venues to whet your whistle 21 GARDEN PARTY Outside shots to treasure thanks to venues with gorgeous grounds On the cover This issue’s gorgeous cover, shot by Neil Denham Wedding Photography, sees Jules and Gary marrying at Woodhill Hall. Turn to page 37 to see more ( 43 15 FEATURES 43 PLANNING APPEAL Get organised with our guide to helping you through the best day of your lives 49 EAT, DRINK AND BE MERRY Fill your guests’ bellies with caterers from the North East 49 3

REAL WEDDINGS 25 ON YOUR MARKS Take a look at Mark and Mark’s amazing day 30 LOVE ME TINDER Claire and Dan’s online attraction sparked a love to last forever 37 FRIENDS REUNITED Jules and Gary met in 1979 – but it took 38 years for them to fall in love! HONEYMOONS 80 HONEYMOON NEWS The newest openings and honeymoon destinations 82 A GRAND AFFAIR Experience ultimate luxury combined with traditional Greek appeal at Rhodes-based Ixian Grand & All Suites 84 FLY AWAY WITH ME Looking for a city escape? We’ve got you covered! 87 SANTA NEEDS A SPA DAY The Runnymede on Thames set the scene for a much-needed pre-Christmas break GROOMS 72 GROOMS’ NEWS Best buys and product launches 73 SUITED AND BOOTED Styling advice for the groom-to-be 74 IT’S ONLY NATURAL We’ve rounded up some of our favourite products to ensure you look on-trend this season FASHION & BEAUTY 52 BEAUTY BUZZ Get the look with these must-haves for the bride-to-be 54 BAN THE BLOAT Wedding Wellness explain how to avoid bloating on the day 55 BEAUTY Q&A Our local professionals solve your wedding woes 56 SOOTHING SELF-CARE Social Media Editor Gracie immersed herself in the world of Reiki 59 FASHION FOCUS The latest bridal fashion news, buys and launches 61 FRILL SEEKERS Enjoy tiers of ruffled tulle, silky satin layers and subtle pleats 67 IN LOVE WITH LACE This timeless fabric never goes out of fashion 70 HEAD OVER HEELS Walk down the aisle in style with our edit of the best bridal shoes and bags 74 25 52 59 30 4

The Unique Tent Company is the leading supplier for creating memorable and unique outdoor events by offering a range of glorious giant hat tipis, sailcloth tents and vintage marquees that combine traditional materials with expert craftsmanship, giving you a unique all-weather-proof setting for weddings, parties, events and festivals in the North of England The Unique Tent Company 07928 602373 | |

49 LET’S EAT Mouth-watering North East wedding cuisine 77 ARRIVE IN STYLE Transport query? The answer’s on p77! You know that saying ‘life begins at 40’? Well, for one of our brides it began again at 50! That’s when Jules married Gary, with it taking them a whopping 38 years to fall in love. Their wedding day, which you can see in all its splendor on page 37, shows that you don’t have to get hitched at a certain age; and that circumstances sometimes change, meaning this might not even be your first big day. So, if you’re reading this and have been married before, don’t ever feel you should be celebrating less – go all out and celebrate your love for your soonto-be spouse in exactly the way you both want! Also this issue, we’ve plenty of ideas and inspiration for organising a celebration to end all celebrations. Ready to start planning? Turn to page 43 for some of the best North East suppliers worth checking out. Thinking of what to feed friends and family? Our catering guide on page 49 has you covered, from mobile bars and canapé experts, to cake creators and five-star cuisine. We’ve also plenty of gorgeous gowns to drool over, including lacy numbers (p67) and ruffles galore (61); while our honeymoons section, starting on page 80, may throw you into disarray at where you want to relax post-wedding – as there are just too many gorgeous cities and countries to choose from! Until the next issue… Claire x Claire Muffett-Reece, Editor Meant to be 88 WIN! A minimoon in Tuscany ISSN 2054-5231 Your North East Wedding is solely owned, published and designed by KD Events & Publishing Ltd. Whilst every effort was made to ensure the information in this magazine was correct at the time of going to press, the publishers cannot accept legal responsibility for any errors or omissions, nor can they accept responsibility for advert content, or of the standing of advertisers or by the editorial contributions. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher. Your North East Wedding is published six times a year. EVENTS & PUBLISHING cwe COUNTY WEDDING EVENTS 21 GROUND FORCE Venues with truly gorgeous gardens ADVERTISING Account Manager Gillian Ward | 01376 538 485 @CountyWeddingMagazines @CountyWeddings @countyweddingmagazines Visit us online at and DESIGN 01376 535 616 ACCOUNTS 01376 535 616 MANAGING DIRECTOR Sarah Ellis | 01376 535 602 EDITORIAL Editor Claire Muffett-Reece | 01376 535 611 6

55 LOOK THE PART Hair and beauty advice for looking your best 25 YOU & ME Mark and Mark’s wedding was incredible from start to finish 30 A RIGHT LAUGH Bride Claire had a smile on her face all day long! 37 THAT’S MAGIC! Magician Martin kept his tricks up his sleeve at Jules and Gary’s day EDITOR’S LETTER 7

Stunning Wedding Flowers DESIGNED PERFECTLY FOR YOU We use our knowledge and experience to design that unique finishing floral touch that will enhance and compliment your special day. Flowercraft, 88 High Street, Gosforth, NE3 1HB 0191 2130154 | @flowercraftgosforth WWW.FLOWERCRAFTOFGOSFORTH.CO.UK PERFECTING STYLES FOR WEDDINGS AND PROMS NICHE HAIRDRESSING Special occasions require a special look, and there is no bigger event than your wedding day, At Niche Hairdressing, we understand the importance of looking your best when you walk down the aisle. Our talented hairdressers specialise in wedding and prom hairstyles, working with you to achieve the stunning style you have been craving. To help you relax the night before your wedding, arrange one of our luxurious and relaxing pamper parties. 321 Norton Road, Stockton on Tees, Cleveland, TS20 2PT | 01642 360517 | |

DREAM DEAL! Your North East Wedding is always on the hunt for deals for couples feeling the pinch – and when we saw this latest offer from Teesside’s Wynyard Golf Club we knew it had to be included! The club, located in 200 acres of mature woodland and rolling parkland, is the perfect blank canvas to bring wedding ideas to life, and is currently offering 10% off their 2024 packages. But that’s not all – there’s also a bargain Fairytale package from autumn 2023 to spring 2024, priced at only £3,995! The website’s currently having a revamp, so email to find out more – or visit their Instagram on for what’s on and when. MAN’S BEST FRIEND Pets are family; enough said – so why leave your fur baby at home while you celebrate without them? Take any stress out of the equation with Whitely Bay’s Walk & Woof Dog Services; on hand to offer a bespoke dog wedding chaperone service so your four legged bestie enjoys your day as much as you. “I make sure you never have to worry about who’s looking after your pet throughout your day,” says owner Jade Mcdonald. “I offer a complimentary consultation to run through your wedding plans and visions, meeting your precious pooch so they’re comfortable around me. With over 13 years’ experience, you can be rest assured your baby is in safe hands.” FACE VALUE Looking for someone to give you that glow every bride wants for her wedding? Step forward Meg Joannou Makeup Artistry, a Newcastle make-up artist who’s now gone freelance full-time. “I worked for Charlotte Tilbury for two years, and have been lucky to train with celebrity make-up artists, brand specialists and direct training with Charlotte’s professional team. This has allowed me to understand the trends in make-up, meaning I can provide the best, modern looks for my brides. I’ll travel to any destination needed, with my prices including a trial so that brides feel truly comfortable ahead of their big day. I love being a part of making people feel the best version of themselves. No two make-up looks are the same, but creating that ‘wow’ moment is something I strive for each and every time.” NEWS All the latest from around the North East Nearlywed 9 LOCAL NEWS

LET’S SING Stockton’s Surprise Singing Waitresses are now expanding their business, including several other packages to enhance your celebration. Besides surprising and delighting your guests by breaking into song – under the guise of ordinary servers – they can also offer videography, dance and choreography classes and even event planning to make your big day easier. “We are a small but growing business and have already made our mark across the North East as singers for weddings and events,” say the team. “With everything else that we can provide, we will continually be looking to grow. Watch this space: we’ll here to be your go-to wedding supplier!” 2023 WEDDING TRENDS We asked bridal expert and celebrant, Jo Stott of Newcastle’s Love Jo Ceremonies, what you could choose and why if opting for a celebrant affair… GESTURES OF LOVE “Many couples show their commitment through hand-tying ceremonies, while another had a tree planting ceremony, planting a rose bush in soil from their parents’ gardens. The soil signified the nourishment from each family, and the rose was a wish for a sweet marriage.” MID-CEREMONY TOAST “Alcohol is allowed during celebrant weddings, and I offer my couples the option of a ‘Sip and Save’. This is where friends and family are offered a tipple on entry to the ceremony; encouraged to take a sip and save the rest for a toast after the vows.” TELLING YOUR STORY “Putting your story at the heart of your ceremony shows guests why you’re perfect for one another. This could be how you met, or even an anecdote from your first holiday together.” CREATE A TRADITION “Why not incorporate a unique detail to ensure your love story will be passed down the generations? My couples add a modern twist to create something new, such as a sip of a G&T – the drink from their first date – rather than a traditional drink of life (whisky).” MAM’S THE WORD Want your mam to look as gorgeous as you? Course you do. With this in mind head to Chester Le Street’s Wedding Wardrobe bridal boutique and check out their new Mother of the Bride and Groom collection. “Our range of beautiful dresses, jackets and wraps are made with high quality fabrics in jersey, chiffon and lace,” says Wedding Wardrobe’s Tracey Whelan. “Our outfits are perfectly understated in style and have a fantastic price point to match, with dresses ranging from £220 to £340. Each outfit is available in up to 50 colours, so is easy to coordinate with the rest of the bridal party. Made to order and with just six weeks turnaround, your mams can enjoy a stunning outfit for summer 2023 and beyond.” 10

A family run business based on the Team Valley in Gateshead offering: stationery design, personalised gifts and floral arrangements, through to venue dressing and setting up with their wide hire assortment. Check out our website or book a showroom visit to see our full range and discuss your needs in person. Contact Dawn on 07581 369686, or email 321K MAYORAL WAY | TEAM VALLEY | GATESHEAD | NE11 0RT Award Winning North East Wedding Photography 07961054693

FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN ENTER ONLINE VIA OUR WEBSITE WWW.YOURNORTHEAST.WEDDING Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs WIN! DINNER FOR 6 – WORTH £240 Fancy a sophisticated evening out as opposed to a typical hen or stag? Enter our fab prize and you could find yourself heading to Sunderland’s The Social & Kitchen gastropub for a meal for six from Masterchef finalist Matei Baran. With over 25 years’ experience in the kitchen, chef Matei has a passion for sourcing unique and high quality produce to create a gastronomical treat for the senses. Alongside his delicious #PoshStreetFood at The Social & Kitchen, Matei and his team also provide wedding catering to get your guests talking – for all the right reasons. “We create the perfect wedding menu for you,” says Matei. “From a four-course luxury feast, to festival-style street food, we’ll design a signature menu for your special day using fresh, seasonal ingredients to tantalise everyone’s tastebuds.” Matei Baran is offering one lucky Your North East Wedding reader a meal for six, up to the value of £240, at Sunderland’s The Social & Kitchen. Visit to be in with the chance of winning – and visit for more of Matei’s events and catering on offer. WIN A PAIR OF STEVE MADDEN BRIDAL SHOES The hunt for the perfect bridal shoe ends here with the chance to win the ultimate pair for your special day from Steve Madden. The shimmering Bridal Collection is not only amazing for brides but bridesmaids too, ensuring a picture-perfect look on the big day. For everyone who loves to shine you can choose from rose gold, silver, nude and white with finishes that include satin, rhinestone, leather and clear materials. If the shoe fits… be your own Cinderella! Check out County Wedding Magazine readers have the chance to win a pair of bridal shoes to the value of £150 from For your chance to win enter online via our website Freebies & OFFERS FREEBIES & OFFERS 13

And so the adventure begins... The Derwent Manor, Boutique Hotel is set in 20 acres of the fabulous Northumberland countryside. Located just 30 minutes from Newcastle and Durham. We like to offer a more bespoke wedding service and plan your perfect day around you and your needs. Whether you are planning a more intimate day or a larger celebration, we can be sure that one of our amazing function suites is right for you! “The Derwent Manor team went above and beyond for our wedding in August. Would highly recommend the venue.” — Katie & Rae, 13.8.22 Find out more and start planning your perfect day... | 01207 592000 | ALLENSFORD NORTHUMBERLAND DH8 9BB

Northern Lights Northumberland wedding to plan? Here’s some amazing venues to whet your whistle LEMMINGTON HALL 01665 568118 | Nestled in the heart of Northumberland, you’ll discover the region’s newest wedding venue, Lemmington Hall – now launching for summer 2024. This Grade I listed 18th century Georgian manor house has been lovingly restored, boasting elegance interwoven with modern day luxe décor. Entirely yours for the duration of your celebrations, this two-night venue hosts receptions over selected summer months, allowing you to bask in the extensive grounds and sculptured gardens. Lemmington Hall offers four ceremony spaces for up to 80 guests. Choose from the tranquil Water Garden or the picturesque West Terrace for the perfect outdoor ceremony, while the Forgotten Tower and Grand Staircase provide a stunning ceremony backdrop indoors. Your ceremony is then followed by drinks and canapes in the manicured gardens or in the Adams Bar, before a wedding breakfast for up to 80 (100 for your evening reception) in the Forgotten Tower, enjoying a five-course wedding feast cooked by Lemmington’s award-winning Executive Head Chef and his team. 15 LOCAL VENUES

THE ALNWICK GARDEN TREEHOUSE 01665 660318 | Located in picturesque Alnwick, the Treehouse offers exclusive hire of three function rooms, plus a large expanse of decking under the canopy of trees; together with two rope bridges connecting the surrounding woodland. The largest treehouse in the world, this award-winning venue offers all-inclusive packages for intimate weddings, as well as bespoke packages for larger parties. Ceremonies can take place inside the main Treehouse (45 seated with 20 standing), surrounded by twinkly lights and in front of a roaring log fire, or outside (65 seated) on the decking in good weather. You can also choose to say your vows in the Garden Pavilion’s leafy Arbour Tunnel (70 capacity), or inside the main Pavilion Room (150 capacity). After you’ve become legally hitched, it’s time to party the night away, with you deciding to host your reception in the Treehouse (85 for a breakfast and 120 for dancing) or Pavilion Room (up to 200). LINDEN HALL HOTEL, GOLF & SPA 01670 500000 | Nestled in 450 acres of private grounds, Linden Hall Hotel, Golf & Spa is the perfect country house hotel. Offering the charm of a Grade II listed Georgian manor house with golf course and fully-equipped spa, the venue was originally built for Charles William Bigge in 1812, with many original features adding elegance to every event held on the grounds. Add to that the 50 bedrooms for your guests to bed down in, plus supreme cuisine and a dedicated team, and you can be rest assured you and your loved ones can enjoy a fully immersive experience, safe in the knowledge that every detail has been taken care of. For smaller soirees of up to 50, the Drawing Room features dual aspect windows and has a glittering chandelier with grand piano and marble fireplace. The Adamson Suite is also available, hosting up to 120 for ceremonies – or wed in The Inner Hall (75 capacity) or outside in The Rose Garden (200 capacity). The largest space for receptions is the Bigge Suite, a former coach house accommodating up to 200 and with double doors that open up to the outside, while The Drawing Room hosts smaller intimate gatherings for 50 friends and family. 16

Celebration Cheese Towers A cheese celebration cake can be a stunning centrepiece for a special occasion. Our cheese towers can cater for 40 to 160 people. For more information Weddings at Macdonald Linden Hall From the moment you and your guests arrive you are in the capable hands of our team who will guide you effortlessly through your day ensuring everything goes to plan leaving Macdonald Linden Hall Hotel, Golf & Spa is a traditional country house hotel set within 450 acres of park and woodland in the heart of Northumberland. Macdonald Linden Hall Hotel, Golf & Spa is a traditional country house hotel set witin 450 acres of park and woodland in the heart of Northumberland. From the moment you and your guests arrive you are in the capable hands of our team who will guide you effortlessly through your day, ensuring everything goes to plan, leaving you to relax and enjoy the company of your guests. Find out more & enquire today: or call 01670 500 000 Find us on:

Get in touch to nd out our availability to make your memories last forever - quote ‘YNEWM’ for a special discounted rate! WWW.POLSARIMAGERY.CO.UK Email: @polsarimagery We have received our wedding video.... it is absolutely amazing! Me and Jason can’t thank you both enough for the work you have done for us. So lovely on the day too. You captured moments I didn’t even see myself. Polsar Imagery have produced a video for us that we will treasure forever. Huge thank you. - Charlotte, Matfen Hall Howard Court is a beautifully rustic exclusive-use wedding and events venue, situated in rural North Yorkshire with stunning views of the Cleveland Hills and Roseberry Topping. Set in 12 acres of pasture and woodland, our quaint and charming farmhouse and barns provide the perfect setting for the wedding of your dreams. Tel: 07851 063 350 • Email: • Instagram: @howardcourtweddings The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, DL12 8NP • 01833 690606 • • #TheBowesMuseum Make Your Dreams Come True When getting married to the one you love, what could be better than tying the knot at an iconic building that was created out of love? Please email: or call: 01833 690606 for further details. @Amy Lou Photography

THE BARN ON THE BAY 0191 308 4999 | With only a short walk to the views of Druridge Bay, The Barn is perfectly located for a coastal wedding. A unique venue based on a working farm, The Cowshed Barn is a rustic agricultural space seating up to 150 guests and hosting up to 200 for an evening reception. Retaining its agricultural charm, with chill out sofas, seating areas and dedicated ceremony space, the adjacent paddock and yard are perfect areas to enjoy drinks in the sun from The Old Dog & Duck horsebox bar, which overlooks the alpaca field. Want to wed outside? No problem! There’s a Beachside Ceremony Site located in the dunes, with spectacular sea views and seating for up to 150. You can also marry in The Paddock, located directly opposite the Cow Shed Barn (150 seated), while new for 2023 is the intimate Calico Barn, seating up to 20 for a ceremony within its original stone walls. Psst! Couples are invited to wine and menu tasting events led by industry experts; venue styling can be provided – and couples can even choose to be transported by the farm’s vintage tractor! THE BOSK 01665 660129 | The Bosk is a burnt larch cladded building set in the grounds of Breamish Valley Cottages. A modern take on country living with handmade tables, wooden sliding doors and gable glass end to show off the surrounding Cheviot Hills, it includes a bar made from wine boxes, along with full height ceremony room, private garden and stone-built pizza oven. Ceremonies for up to 60 guests can take place in any of the outdoor areas within Breamish Valley Cottages, or inside the main area of The Bosk itself. Receptions are then held in The Bosk, seating 60 friends and family on long tables. Psst! Be sure to take advantage of the 11 holiday cottages available to hire, which can sleep up to 54 guests, as well as the site’s very own swimming pool and Jacuzzi. 19 LOCAL VENUES

Contact Briarwood for more information | 07734 322812 | Briarwood is a rustic dressing company who aim to cater to all event needs. We have a large catalogue of items for hire but here are some of a customer favourites! • Chair covers and Sashes • Various Table Centre Pieces to match any decor • Welcome Easels in various styles • Mirror table plans • Wooden Post Box • Cake Stand • Light Up Letters in various designs and styling • Archway that can be decorated in any matching decor • Blossom Trees • Balloon clusters • Sweet Cart/Stands • Giant Outdoor Lawn Games • And much more! WEDDINGS TAILOR MADE JUST FOR YOU Hotel du Vin Newcastle has everything you need to stage your special day. Exquisite private rooms, gorgeous suites, a tranquil terrace and heavenly dining. Hotel du Vin Newcastle provides the perfect backdrop for weddings and civil partnerships as you glide elegantly from ceremony to celebration and beyond – all orchestrated ‰awlessly by your own personal wedding planner. With inspiring heritage sites, show-stopping ‹eatre, Arts & Culture, shopping and an award-winning restaurant scene, Newcastle Gateshead is guaranteed to o‘er up something to satisfy any traveller – even the most discerning. Come and fall in love with Newcastle and enjoy the luxury surroundings of the Hotel du Vin, located in the artsy Ouseburn district - a stone’s throw away from the action of the city centre. HOTEL DU VIN & BISTRO NEWCASTLE | 0191 229 2200 |

PARTY Garden Want to wed outside – or just get some gorgeous garden shots to treasure? We’ve got you covered RUSHPOOL HALL 01287 624111 | Rushpool Hall is a beautiful 19th century manor house, located in the rolling countryside of North Yorkshire. The interior of the building boasts high ceilings and natural light with beautiful intricate wallpaper, while the impressive staircase gives off gothic vibes with its mood lighting and tartan carpet running through the centre. Rushpool Hall now offers a new outdoor space for you to say your vows in. Say hello to The Pavilion, with its stone columns, domed ceiling and stunning views, giving couples the opportunity to wed in the sunshine (hopefully!) in front of up to 110 guests. Alternatively, the beautiful Ballroom can also hold 110 for your ceremony; a gorgeous space with high ceilings and natural light streaming in from Rushpool’s grounds. If, however, you’re after a more intimate affair, The Peacock Room can host up to 60, with its Victorian-style décor creating a warm and cosy feel to your day. From there it’s back to the Ballroom for your wedding breakfast, before guests can dance the night away in their very own nightclub, which even has a fullystocked bar so you don’t have to leave the party to get a drink! 21 THEMED VENUES

BEAMISH HALL 01207 233733 | Beamish Hall is a breath-taking piece of 13th century architecture, secluded within the rolling hills of the Derwent Valley. Its 24 acres of parkland offers unlimited inspiration for photo opportunities, creating perfect memories and those priceless moments you and your guests will cherish forever. As a fully licensed venue, ceremonies can take place in many of Beamish Hall’s function rooms. There’s Shafto Hall; with its beautiful stained-glass windows and dazzling chandeliers, it complements any décor and can seat a maximum of 200 for a ceremony. The Monboucher is a beautiful and bright suite with bay windows, feature fireplaces and adjacent bar and lounge; or choose the Winter Gardens, perfect if you’ve a larger guest list as it seats up to 280. There’s also the Common Room (capacity 60), and the Drawing Room (capacity 30) – or choose to wed outside in the Woodlands area or Winter Garden Terrace. The team even ensures a ‘Plan B’ is in place should rain decide to make an unwelcome appearance! THE GABLES POD CAMPING SPA RETREAT 07901 708889 | The whimsical setting of The Gables has been described as a ‘hidden gem set in a secret garden’, with the backdrop of a weeping willow providing an unforgettable space in which to hold your celebration. A rustic outdoor venue, it boasts wonderful natural décor, plus an al-fresco comfortable space for relaxing under a twinkling starlit ceiling, with attention to detail everywhere you look. Ceremonies are held outside on the woodland wedding terrace in front of 30 guests, tying the knot on a bespoke wedding platform under a moon gate arch next to an ornamental pond. From there it’s on to your wedding breakfast in an authentic Nordic Tipi – with your evening reception served outdoors if you prefer to mingle in the grounds while lapping up the evening sun. You’ve even well-equipped Glamping Pods providing onsite accommodation for eight guests, as well as a cottage for you newlyweds, with private hot-tub to relax and unwind after your special day. 22

JESMOND DENE HOUSE 0191 212 3000 | The Secret Garden at Jesmond Dene House feels like you’re a thousand miles away from the hustle and bustle of city life, yet you’re located just minutes from Newcastle’s centre. The only venue in the city legally licenced for outdoor weddings, choose to marry in the wood panelled, Grade II listed Great Hall; the sunny Terrace overlooking the stunning grounds; or The Secret Garden, surrounded by trees and its colourful oasis. Afterwards, celebrate with your loved ones in your very own garden soirée with live music, flowing drinks from the outdoor bar, and canapés under magical festoon lighting. You can even impress guests with your own private chefs cooking up a Jesmond Dene House feast! Party the night away, then rest your head in one of the 40 individually designed, boutique bedrooms, and honeymoon suite with terrace. Psst! Jesmond Dene are hosting Wedding Open Days for 2023 on 16 April, 25 June, 24 September and 26 November from 11am-3pm. SLALEY HALL 01434 673350 | Slaley Hall is a truly impressive Edwardian-era mansion offering a ‘bestof-both-worlds’ experience, with elegant period features serving up the perfect complement to the stylish bedrooms and facilities of the modern wing of the hotel. Perched blissfully on the cusp of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it offers a spectacular country setting, as well as a glorious venue, exquisite catering and stunning accommodation. Whether your wedding is for an intimate party of 20, or a grand gathering of 350, Slaley Hall is a very special place for your very special day. From romantic and intimate to grand and opulent, there’s four magnificent rooms for you to choose to wed in. For larger celebrations of up to 350, the Kielder Suite is the ideal setting, as it’s a blank canvas to help you create your special and unique day. One of the many benefits of this room is also the bar and entertainment area, allowing all your family and friends to stay together in this exclusive private area. The Drawing Room, meanwhile, oozes traditional features, including a beautiful original fireplace, and is perfect for ceremonies of up to 100. The Dukes Room is a unique and opulent setting that overlooks the golf course for up to 110 of your loved ones, and then there’s the Priestman Room, a truly elegant space licensed to hold civil ceremonies and wedding breakfasts up to 60. 23 THEMED VENUES

WORKING with VENUES ACROSS THE NORTH EAST 77b High Street, Yarm - 01642 781104 Fenwick Dept., Newcastle - 0191 933 7050 38a High Street, Gilling West - 01748 821037 WEDDING FLORIST 07873 854314 @infinitydecoratedcakes WE CAN DO VEGETARIAN VEGAN GLUTEN FREE

How to tell someone’s truly in love? Take a look at Mark and Mark saying their vows Images courtesy of Victoria Lilly Photography Mark Lewis met Mark Westgarth on a dating app in 2017. “We discovered we had quite a lot in common,” says Mark L. “Mark’s a bus driver, and so’s my stepdad, and we realised they knew each other before we’d met!” Both Marks felt a connection, and arranged to meet. “We went to Beamish and got fish and chips while walking around,” continues Mark L. “It was pouring with rain on a freezing January day, but everything about it felt perfect. Mark was so easy to talk to, and I loved his smile – and his bum!” Mark L proposed to Mark W on holiday in Turkey. “I worked in Marmaris two years earlier and still had friends there,” he continues. “I wanted to propose at sunset overlooking Icmeler beach, but my plan nearly went to pot when one of my friends moaned that she didn’t want to go. In the end she agreed, and I took Mark to see the scenery. Taking the moment in for a while, I plucked up the courage and said, ‘I haven’t just brought you here to look at the views.’ I’ll never forget Mark’s face as he realised what I was about to ask!” The couple set the date of 23rd September, 2022, marrying at Gateshead Register Office before a reception at St Mary’s Heritage Centre. Here, they tell us more about their big day… On Your Marks 25 REAL WEDDINGS

As Mark is a bus driver, we arranged for a double decker bus to transport guests from the ceremony to our reception. We loved the digital ‘Congratulations’ message they added to the front. We created our own sweets table for our reception, buying jars and a selection of treats. It was fairly easy to do and definitely saved us money. Mark W’s grandma was christened and went to Sunday school at St Mary’s when it was a church; his aunty married there; and his great uncle wound its clock. We had to have our reception there! We chose navy blue as our main colour for dressing the venue, while our flowers consisted of white roses, thistles, eucalyptus and gypsophila. We were unsure what to use for tables names, eventually deciding on places we’d lived between us. As Mark L has been a rep, it wasn’t an issue coming up with locations! When we look around Gateshead Register Office’s renovated suite, with new furniture and high quality finishes, we knew it was perfect. Mark L’s mam and stepdad also married there in 1997. 26

As Mark L walked up the aisle, he realised that everything after that moment was superficial. Saying our vows was what mattered; it was so emotional and we bonded on such a spiritual level. We arranged a photo booth for the evening, with our guests sticking a copy of their photos in a scrapbook for us. We loved reading the messages and looking at the pictures after the wedding. In the evening professional drag queen Dixie Tucker performed a song and got our friends and family involved. It went down a storm, with her also playing party tunes until late. Our wedding naked-style cake was amazing! We opted for different flavours for each of the tiers, choosing Victoria sponge, lemon drizzle and caramel. We also had a personalised cake knife. We left what to wear until six weeks before the wedding, trying on several blue suits that didn’t feel right. Slaters Newcastle suggested grey, complementing with navy accessories, and we loved the result. It was important our groomsmaids were happy with their outfits, letting them choose their own dresses in their preferred style. We also hired hair and make-up artists so they looked extra-sensational. 27 REAL WEDDINGS

Follow your gut and make the day about the two of you. Enjoy every moment, taking a step back to take it all in. You’ll never experience emotions and feelings like that again. MARK & MARK’S CONTACTS Photography, Victoria Lily | Ceremony venue, Gateshead Register Office | Reception venue, St. Mary’s Heritage Centre | Hair, Top Barber | Make-up artist, Make up by Stephanie | Suits, Slaters Newcastle | Rings, S Murray Jewellers | Cake, Lolly’s Kitchen | Flowers, Joanne’s Flowers | Transport, Go North East | Catering, Jacob & Tori | DJ, Dixi Tucker Drag Queen and DJ | Table plan, Rebecca Writes | Favours, Macmillan Cancer Support | Mobile bar, Nickynoo Quirky Mobile Bars | Chair hire, The Whole Sch-bang | Centre pieces/room decoration hire, DME Homeware | Photo booth, Magic Mirror North East, | Accommodation, The Vermont Hotel The heckling of Mark W’s best man during his speech was brilliant. He’s quite short, and had only said one sentence when someone shouted, ‘Stand up!’. He climbed on his chair and the room erupted in laughter! Our photographer was outstanding. Mark and I wanted to spend some time together to take in what had just happened, and so many of the photos Victoria took truly captured that intimacy. 28 07949 078640 @northeastcelebrant Make your ceremony fun, relaxed and all about you! Gemma Jay North East Celebrant Marjorie’s Florist One of Gatesheads leading orists which has been established since 1979. O ering value for money and assured freshness on our extensive range of owers. We have the exibility to work within your budget and our friendly, helpful sta will be available to assist and discuss your oral needs. Please call one of our sta and we will try our best to help. www.marjories. orist 0191 469 1246 | joanne@marjories. orist 2b Fewster Square, Leam Lane, Gateshead NE10 8XQ Your Wedding Your Castle Your Way © Lawrence Sweeney Photographyy (main), Phil Punton Photography (inset) #NEWCASTLECASTLE With a variety of Wedding Packages on offer, our enchanting and historic spaces are the grandest location in the whole of Newcastle to host your special day! Our Wedding Co-ordination team are ready to help make Newcastle Castle YOUR castle for one memorable day. Call us on: 0191 230 6300, email: or visit a setting as spectacular as you

me tinder Claire and Dan’s online attraction sparked a love to last forever Images courtesy of Forget Me Knot Images LOVE Scan to view video 30

Claire and Dan first met through Tinder. “Dan messaged, and we met a week later for drinks,” remembers the bride. “I’d been in such a rush to get ready that I had no time to eat. Not wanting to be a messy drunk after a few doubles, I insisted on scranning a massive lasagne in Wetherspoons, while Dan looked on in amazement. He was used to going out with girls who’d only eat salad, whereas I’ve always been a foodie. Lasagne and a few shots later, we started our cocktail quest of Newcastle. The conversation flowed as easily as the drinks, and before we knew it the night had slipped away. Dan managed to ‘miss’ the last metro home – and the rest, as they say, is history…” Dan proposed to Claire on a trip to Rome. “It was our second day sightseeing and my feet were wrecked from my ill-fitting sandals,” continues Claire. “After buying some overpriced trainers we soldiered on, ending up at the Trevi Fountain where I wandered off to find the perfect Insta shot. Dan appeared with a street photographer, asking him to take some photos on my phone. All of a sudden he got down on one knee, asking that all-important question. By this stage a crowd had gathered, and, as he slipped the ring on my finger, everyone cheered. A lady nearby handed us a coin, which we were told to throw in the fountain to make a wish. It was our first engagement present – and even though it was from a stranger it will always be our most treasured one.” The couple set the date for the 31st May, 2022, choosing Newton Hall for their big day. Here, Claire tells us more about their amazing celebration… TO SEA – OR NOT TO SEA? The couple originally considered tying the knot in Florida. “However, the uncertainty of Covid, plus the fact my Grandad was 94 (but fit as a fiddle), meant we soon changed our minds,” says Claire. “While furloughed, Dan and I drove to a new beach every time the sun came out for a stroll. One day we stumbled across Newton by the Sea, and fell in love all over again – but this time with a place rather than a person! As we tucked into our picnic, Dan and I agreed this is where we should marry – and lo and behold, there stood Newton Hall, just a five minute drive away! We knew it was our venue straight away.” A little under a year later, as restrictions eased, the couple were finally able to visit to get a feel for the place. “At this point Newton Hall was just our reception venue, as we wanted to get married on the beach,” continues Claire. “However, the moment we walked in we quickly changed our minds. Stepping inside the Enchanted Chapel, we were swept into its romance and splendour. Dan glanced over at me for just one moment, and I knew that was his way of saying he wanted to get married there. It was goodbye windy beach hair; shouting to be heard by 50 or so guests; and exchanging smart shoes for flip-flops in the sand! Even though a beach ceremony was what we originally wanted, Newton Hall and its welcoming presence won us over – and we are so glad it did!” LIFE’S A BEACH When it came to wedding signage, Claire went along the DIY route. “I’ve always had a passion for graphic design, so couldn’t wait to get started on our table plan, table names, place names and welcome sign,” she says. “For the signage, I used acrylic pens on A1 boards, attaching them to garden arches, before adding white mesh curtains and pineapple fairy lights. All this cost less than £30! For the place settings I wrote guests’ names in a white calligraphy font on a fabric palm tree leaf, which cost less than £10 for a pack of 50 on Amazon.” With a beach theme in place, Claire and Dan set to work on extra touches for the reception. “I added a treasure chest to each table with a set of Cards Against Matrimony inside, opting for charades for family members who might not find them as amusing,” continues the bride. “We also wanted something different from the more traditional wedding favour, which ended up being another way to get those beach vibes in. I’d bought a miniature deckchair a few years back to use as a phone holder when washing up, which I realised would make the perfect gift! It was a place guests could rest their phones in when they were tucking into the wedding breakfast, and couldn’t be more fitting for a celebration by the sea. Luckily for me, The Works still stocked them – favours done and dusted!” 31 REAL WEDDINGS

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DRESS FOR SUCCESS Claire didn’t envisage she’d have to travel so far to find her dream dress. “I found my Ronald Joyce Hudson gown browsing online,” she says. “Sadly, the boutique where I’d seen it didn’t have my size, so I rang other local stockists in the hope I’d find one – or something similar. My search proved fruitless, but just as I’d nearly given up I found one in a shop 120 miles away! Driving to Huddersfield, I was over the moon to discover it was, in fact, the one. A bargain due to it being a sample that needed fixing, I could afford to have bell sleeves added, as well as some rips fixed on the train. I can’t thank Aimee at Corsetry & Couture enough – she made it fit like a glove; and I felt like Frozen’s Elsa on the day!” Dan, however, wasn’t as keen picking out something to wear. “Suit shopping was the one thing Dan was dreading, as he hates fuss,” continues Claire. “However, the Royal Quays Moss Bros store really helped him feel at ease. His suit was made to measure, with Dan choosing all the materials, buttons and thread. In keeping with our tropical theme, he also picked out a tiki lining for his jacket and waistcoat, before personalising the inside pocket with our names and wedding date. The restrictions were fully gone by this point, so there were no worries about date changes ruining his customisation!” FOOD OF LOVE The couple ensured there was an abundance of food for friends and family to choose from. “We were blown away by the selection available at Newton Hall,” says Claire. “We decided on canapés at the drinks’ reception to start with; then, not wanting to limit our guests to a set menu, mixed things up for the wedding breakfast by having a BBQ! It meant that instead of everyone being stuck inside on a warm May afternoon, they could sit out in the sun to enjoy their burgers and potato salad. We followed this with sticky toffee pudding, plus coffees and a selection of lovely local cheeses. But it didn’t stop there: after our first set from the wedding band, everyone was served mini fish and chip cones, pizzas, and nachos with a huge choice of toppings.” The cake was also something that got Claire and Dan’s guests talking. “We ordered ours from a cake shop in Prudhoe that doesn’t usually cater for weddings,” says the bride. “However, their cakes and traybakes are always delicious and leave you wanting more, so I asked – and they delivered! We chose a two-tier cake with Lotus Biscoff and Rocky Road flavours. I still dream about that cake now! It was, pun totally intended, the icing on the cake to a day of fantastic food options.” SING FOR YOUR SUPPER Music was another important element to the couple’s wish-list. “We played Boyce Avenue’s cover tracks throughout the ceremony and breakfast,” says Claire. “If you haven’t heard of the band we recommend a listen – it’s a simple way to make the wedding more personal, but with no extra cost!” Next up came the entertainment. “I’d seen numerous singing waiters and magicians at wedding fairs, but it didn’t seem right for us,” continues Claire. “I wanted something our guests wouldn’t expect, so asked a close friend of mine, who performs as a Drag Queen, to get involved. Miss Gloria Love waited until everyone had finished their sticky toffee pudding, exploding into the room with enormous energy singing Proud Mary. I’ll never forget looking around at a sea of surprised faces, feeling ecstatic because I’d achieved it. They loved every second!” Claire had yet more surprises up her (bell) sleeves. “Dan’s jaw dropped when I started singing Eva Cassidy’s Songbird to him, which I used to sing to my late grandma,” says the bride. “He stood in the middle of the dance floor and looked straight into my eyes, while I did my best to fight back the tears. We then turned that raw emotion into a night of incredible dancing, hiring the fantastic House of Sax experience, who brought Ibiza all the way to Northumberland. Their mix of sax and bongos to a DJ set was the perfect end to our beach vibe wedding, and we wouldn’t change a single thing.” CLAIRE’S TOP TIP “Plans go wrong, but you won’t remember any of it! Instead, you’ll treasure the first time you see your other half, who it was that caught the bouquet, and who you danced the night away with.” REAL WEDDINGS 33

ROLL CREDITS Photography, Forget Me Knot Images | Videography, Love is Lovely Wedding Films | Venue, Newton Hall | Claire’s dress, Hoops A Daisy Bridal Claire’s Hair, Jordyn Breanne Hair & Lash Artist | Dress Alterations, Corsetry & Couture | Claire’s Hair, Bridal Hair By JB | Claire’s Make-Up, Carolyn Watson Make Up | Bridesmaids’ Dresses, Dorothy Perkins | Dan’s Suit, Moss Bros | Groomsmen’s Suits, Burton | Cake, The Pudding Parlour | Band, House of Sax | Drag Queen, | Light Up Letters, AG Events Balloon Arch, Han-Made Balloons 34

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Thinking about getting married, entering a civil partnership, renewing your vows or having a naming ceremony for your children? Then look no further than picturesque Northumberland as the perfect setting for your special day. Northumberland boasts an extensive selection of licensed venues for your civil ceremony. Whether you’re looking for an idyllic castle on the spectacular coastline or a stately home in the tranquillity of the countryside...Northumberland really does have it all. We also have some fantastic Register Offices and Council owned venues: Hexham House is a breath-taking, Grade II star listed building, situated in the heart of the picturesque market town of Hexham. The venue is home to our register office, ceremony room and seven luxury five-star self-catering holiday apartments. The House is located within a stunning park and each apartment benefits from views of the historic Hexham and the Abbey. Such an idyllic location will undoubtedly provide the perfect backdrop for your wedding photographs. The tasteful ceremony room holds up to 70 guests and is an elegant, yet affordable choice for any ceremony. Each unique apartment has its own individual layout, style and high-end fittings and furnishings. They really are the perfect base for couples and their guests who choose to hold their bespoke ceremony at Hexham House. We are also thrilled to offer a discount code for couples and their guests who wish to combine their dream ceremony and our dreamy accommodation. Morpeth Town Hall is situated in the heart of Morpeth and is an impressive and popular venue for your register office wedding. Whatever your vision; Morpeth Town Hall can offer a charming location for your special day. The Ballroom holds up to 80 guests and The Ante Room holds a maximum of 8 guests. You can visit our website: to view all of our stunning licensed venues. You will also be able to check upcoming wedding fayres in the area which are a great inspiration and will help you to find local, talented wedding suppliers. You can even watch some real ceremonies and see what our couples had to say about their big day. Here at Northumberland Registration Service, we pride ourselves on delivering a unique and personal service to every couple who chooses our stunning County for their special day. As Registrars, we are not just here to conduct your ceremony. We will be with you every step of your journey; to take your booking, explain the legalities and to plan and personalise your perfect ceremony, as well as legally marrying you at your chosen venue. In Northumberland we believe that it is your special day and we want you to have the memorable and bespoke ceremony you have always dreamt of. If you’re looking for a day to remember and you are interested in Northumberland as your location, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly ceremony coordination team. NORTHUMBERLAND REGISTRATION SERVICE 01665 602870 | | Idyllic spots to make your dreams come true Northumberland….The perfect setting for your big day Hexham House Morpeth Town Hall Follow us: Weddings in Nland