Your North East Wedding - May/June 2023 (Issue 56)

MAY/JUN 2023 £3.55 FASHION, BEAUTY, HONEYMOONS, GROOMS AND MORE WIN! A spa day at Rockliffe Hall Let us entertain you The North’s East best party starters The finer details Accessorise with style Totally Tropical Taste Unbelievable honeymoon hotspots Beside the seaside Where to wed by the water’s edge


REGULARS 6 EDITOR’S LETTER Hello from your Editor, Claire Muffett-Reece 8 NEARLYWED NEWS Catch up on news from around the North East 11 FREEBIES & OFFERS Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs 75 HOT TOPIC Local experts offer their stellar advice 89 COMPETITION Win a diamond and pearl necklace worth £1,100 CONTENTSMAY/JUNE 2023 VENUES 15 SOUTHERN COMFORT South Northumberland venues to turn heads 19 WATER WORLD Say your vows by the water’s edge On the cover This issue’s gorgeous cover, shot by Lee Gibbins Photography, sees Kate and Lewis marrying at Le Petit Chateau. Turn to page 35 to see more ( 40 19 FEATURES 40 ALL WHITE NOW Want a wedding that’s crisp and clean in theme? We’ve got you covered 45 LET ME ENTERTAIN YOU You’re in the safest of hands with these amazing North East entertainers 63 THE FINER DETAILS The best wedding jewellery and accessories at your fingertips 45 3

REAL WEDDINGS 23 LOVE ON THE SLOPES Anna and Timmy’s love of skiing brought them together 28 SCHOOL’S OUT After meeting at school love blossomed for Amy and Oisín 35 LOVE AND LAUGHTER Welcome to Kate and Lewis’ incredible Le Petit Chateau celebration HONEYMOONS 82 HONEYMOON NEWS The newest openings and honeymoon destinations 84 THE CITY OF LOVE Discover why Paris is the perfect honeymoon escape 86 HOORAY FOR HAMPSHIRE! Find out what makes the New Forest such a special spot for mini-mooners 88 RIVERSIDE ROMANCE The Mitre Hampton Court is the perfect location for a night away for two GROOMS 78 GROOMS’ NEWS Best buys and product launches 79 WATCH THIS SPACE Expert advice on choosing a watch for your wedding 80 GREEN WITH ENVY The latest on-trend products for the groom-to-be FASHION & BEAUTY 50 FASHION FOCUS The latest bridal fashion news, buys and launches 51 DESERT ROSE Your honeymoon suitcase shouldn’t take off without these summery staples 53 SHORT AND SWEET The thigh’s the limit with this chic selection of shorter-length bridal dresses 57 I’M A BARBIE GIRL Take inspiration from summer’s most anticipated movie release with fun, flirty styles 66 BEAUTY BUZZ Get the look with these must-haves for the bride-to-be 68 SKIN DEEP We caught up with Angela Langford whose eponymous brand offers a wide range of skin care designed to make you feel great 70 BRIGHTEN UP YOUR LIFE Celebrity hair stylist Michael Douglas, talks wedding dos and tells us about OGX’s new Colour Retention range 71 KEEP CALM AND MARRY ON Professional nutritionists at Wedding Wellness share their stress-beating tips 72 BEAUTY Q&A Our local professionals solve your wedding woes 53 28 82 66 23 4

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

45 TRICK OF THE TRADE Magician Martin is just one entertainer to consider for your wedding 40 DAZZLING DUO This exclusive shoot shows how gorgeous a crisp white wedding can be One of my favourite parts of my job as Editor of Your North East Wedding is getting to write readers’ stories, as it means I get to look through all of our couples’ photos. Nosey? Of course – who doesn’t love looking at details and inspiration? However, it’s that moment the photographer captures your soon-to-be spouse seeing you walk up the aisle that gets me. Every single time. That raw emotion upon seeing the person you love most in the whole wide world as they’re about to become your husband or wife is a powerful thing – so huge congratulations; as you’re about to experience that incredible feeling for yourself! Right, now that I’ve blabbed like a baby even writing that sentence, it’s time to chat about what we’ve got in store for you this issue. First up let’s talk about those amazing reader weddings, with Anna and Timmy, Amy and Oisín, and Kate and Lewis sharing their nuptials with you, starting on page 23. We’ve also got Northumberland venues with seriously impressive spaces to wed in (p15), advice from top hair and beauty experts (p72) and music and entertainment to wow friends and family with, courtesy of our feature on page 45. Plus, turn to page 11 to win a spa day at Rockliffe Hall! See you in July… Claire x Claire Muffett-Reece, Editor Tears of joy 89 WIN! A pearl necklace worth £1,100! 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 35 OFF THE CUFF Lewis’ speech may have gone a little awry after a few cheeky shots! 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

72 HAIR COMES THE BRIDE Insider secrets on how Zahra got Natalie’s hair looking incredible for her big day 75 MONEY TALKS Your wedding deposit questions sorted 28 FIRST GLIMPSE This is what makes me well up – just look at groom Oisín’s face! 19 SEA’S THE ONE FOR ME Want to wed by the sea or river? No problem! EDITOR’S LETTER 7

NEWS Nearlywed All the latest from around the North East OUT IN THE OPEN Outdoor weddings have become increasing popular following the recent changes to marriage laws, with the lawns and gardens at North Yorkshire’s Crathorne Hall an idyllic setting to say ‘we do.’ Here you can wed on the Front Lawn; framed by the impressive architecture of the hall and its grounds – or choose the tree-lined Glade, with towering horse chestnut trees for a ceremony encompassed by the beauty of nature. There’s even the choice to marry in the Sunken Garden, bursting with colour in the summer months with roses, hydrangea and lavender. And that’s before you’ve stepped inside the hall itself! Here, guests receive the red carpet treatment from the minute they arrive, taking in Crathorne’s stunning original fireplace with beautiful marbling in the Edwardian room; or the foyer’s arched ceilings surrounded by elaborate wood panelling. For more info on weddings visit MALE ORDER After something different for your last proper night out as a singleton? Darlington Hippodrome’s Forbidden Nights combines superlative circus and acrobatic skills with finely honed physiques. It showcases stunt-orientated routines and explosive choreography, performed by a cast hand-picked from across the UK which featured on Britain’s Got Talent. The show is guaranteed to have you on the edge of your seat as the cast perform heart racing tricks including aerial straps, fire, acrobatics and live music… not forgetting a few men in uniform thrown in for good measure. Forbidden Nights is performing at the Darlington Hippodrome on 27 July – for more info visit the website LAIRD FOR THE DAY Ready to wed in Northumberland but looking for something to wow guests? Consider Lairds House, a bespoke, intimate and lovingly restored Georgian House, with 11 luxury bedrooms and spacious enclosed rear garden and sun terrace. Licensed for up to 65 guests for the ceremony and wedding breakfast, and up to 125 for an evening reception, this family run business works with you every step of the way to ensure your celebration is as individual as you are. Offering several bespoke options, you’re free to select the perfect combination for your special day, meaning no two Lairds House weddings need ever be the same. Included in each package is exclusive access to the garden terrace for drinks, a dedicated wedding coordinator, large cinema screen for rotating images, bespoke lighting for the dancefloor, a 12am bar licence and lots more! Visit for more info – and turn to our venues feature starting on page 15. RING THE CHANGES In the past month interest in ‘timeless engagement rings’ has increased by 200%; so, if you, too, are searching for something similar consider the following advice from Austen & Blake diamond expert Tony French: “An engagement ring is an investment you will hopefully wear for a lifetime, so the fact that people are looking for timeless pieces is great. Current engagement ring trends have seen a return of more classic stone cuts and settings and a preference for minimalist and simple features, all of which make for a classic, timeless piece. Round diamonds are considered by many to be the most timeless diamond cut for engagement rings. Thanks to their cut, round diamond engagement rings generate maximum sparkle due to their large number of facets and are an increasingly popular choice, likely due to their versatile design.” For more information on Austen & Blake’s Newcastle store visit 8

THE SPA’S THE STAR After some r’n’r in the run-up to your big day? We don’t blame you! With a much-needed dose of you-time needed, we caught up with Europe’s leading spa experience to find out which made it to the top five in Newcastle. The results are in… now all you have to do is choose where to head… 4 Doxford Hall Hotel This Georgian stately home has gorgeous restaurants and a maze to enjoy as well as the Aqueous Spa, with pool, spa bath, steam room and sauna as well as a menu of therapeutic treatments. 5 Mercure George Washington Hotel Golf and Spa This hotel has the perfect mix of pleasure and leisure, particularly at its Montana Leisure Club, which is chock full of facilities including heated pool, gym, Jacuzzi, steam room and more. For more infor visit 3 Slaley Hall Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort At Slaley everything is laid on for your relaxation. At the spa there’s stunning facilities and a menu of treatments designed to leave you feeling incredibly pampered. 2 Holiday Inn Newcastle – Gosforth Park Perfect for a pamper day, or as part of a stay, you and your group will have full use of the facilities as part of your visit, which includes a range of wet facilities to enjoy. 1 Macdonald Linden Hall On a spa break at Linden Hall you can choose everything from holistic healing therapy to a pampering treat aimed at making you look and feel glowing. TOO GOOD TO EAT? How incredible are these creations from Graeme Venus of Northumberland’s Sticky Sponge Cake Studio? “We create something amazing for your special day, from traditional wedding cakes and hand painted bakes to highly sculpted designs,” says Graeme. “For the third year running we’ve also recently been announced as one of the country’s top 50 wedding cake designers by Go Hen. With us, anything is possible, as we take your ideas and create a design that flows to enhance your day. We’ve also now launched options to give couples that something extra. As a lot of the cakes we make are highly sculpted designs, many customers don’t want to cut into such a work of art. That’s why we’re putting our past skills in illustration and sculpture to offer finished illustrations of the cakes that can be framed at an extra cost. Another option for couples is a small model replica of the cake, which we sculpt from clay and can be treasured for years to come.” For more info visit LOCAL NEWS 9


ENTER ONLINE AT WWW.YOURNORTHEAST.WEDDING BEFORE 31ST JULY, 2023. WIN! A LUXURIOUS SPA DAY AT ROCKLIFFE HALL Planning your big day is super-stressful – we get that. That’s why we’ve teamed up with five-star County Durham hotel Rockliffe Hall, who are offering an incredible ‘Spa Your Way’ day for one lucky Your North East Wedding reader! The day includes a tranquillity welcome, plus full use of the spa and wellness facilities – swimming pool, thermal suite, hydrotherapy pool, outdoor hot tub, bucket drench, loungers and experience showers from 9am to 3pm. But that’s not all, as you’ll also enjoy a two-course lunch in the Nu Sana restaurant, as well as a 90 minute Spa Garden experience, where you can take advantage of the Infinity Edge Experience Pool, Glass Fronted Sauna and Tepidarium Beds; contoured tiled loungers that radiate a gentle heat to reduce stress, enhance a sense of wellbeing and bring about deep relaxation. But the prize doesn’t end there, as you’ll then choose a 60 minute spa treatment from Rockliffe’s worldrenowned spa partners [comfort zone] or NEOM, or instead pick a Rockliffe Hall signature treatment experience. Visit to be in with the chance of winning – and visit for more information on what else you can experience at Rockliffe Hall. Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs WIN A £250 VOUCHER TO SPEND WITH COEUR DE LION The hunt for the perfect bridal jewellery stops here, with a chance to win £250 worth of jewels from COEUR DE LION – celebrating 35 years in business this year! Handmade in Germany, each piece is lovingly crafted by a team of artisans from the finest materials at its Stuttgart workshop, genuine natural stones, shimmering crystals and freshwater pearls give each piece individuality. The brand’s new freshwater pearl collection offers the ideal bridal jewellery, or you could choose to spend your winning voucher on lovely gifts for all your bridesmaids. Visit to view the entire range. County Wedding Magazines has teamed up with COEUR DE LION to offer readers the chance to win a £250 voucher. Enter via our website. Terms and Conditions apply. Freebies & OFFERS FREEBIES & OFFERS 11

Lakeside We are delighted to announce the opening of our brand new Lakeside Marquee. A stunning sailcloth marquee overlooking the breath-taking views of Hardwick Country Park and lake. Our wedding offering is unique to the North East of England and includes a fully bespoke wedding package. With the added guidance of our highly experienced wedding planners, we take the stress away, allowing your exciting journey to begin. BRAND NEW FOR 2023 THE MARQUE E Artist impression The view Artist impression Artist impression ENQUIRE TODAY Hardwick Hall Hotel Sedgefield, Co. Durham, TS21 2EH email: telephone: 01740 620253

We are far to excited to not share with you the inspiration that had led to create one of the newest and most unique wedding spaces in the North East of England. *Please note all images are for inspirational purposes only and are all based on artist impression Lakeside THE MARQUE E Mood board ENQUIRE TODAY Hardwick Hall Hotel Sedgefield, Co. Durham, TS21 2EH email: telephone: 01740 620253

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 you to relax and enjoy the company of your guests. Make your dream day a reality at Macdonald Linden Hall Hotel, Golf & Spa. Find out more & enquire today: or call 01670 500 000 Find us on: 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. “ We had such a lovely relaxed and informal day, exactly as we had wanted it to be. Nothing was too much trouble for you, and our every request was met.” - Mr & Mrs Cowan 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: 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 @LAURENMAULLPHOTOGRAPHY LAUREN MAULL PHOTOGRAPHY LAUREN_MAULL@HOTMAIL.CO.UK LAURENMAULLPHOTOGRAPHY.CO.UK LAUREN MAULL PHOTOGRAPHY .

comfort South Northumberland venues to really turn heads HEXHAM HOUSE 01665 602870 | Hexham House is a breathtaking, Grade II listed building, in the picturesque market town of Hexham; which is renowned for being the two-time award winner of the happiest place to live in the UK! Dating back to the 18th century and lovingly renovated, the venue is home to a register office, ceremony room and seven luxury five-star self-catering holiday apartments. Located within a stunning park and benefitting from views of historic Hexham and the Abbey, this idyllic location will undoubtedly provide the perfect backdrop for your ceremony photographs. Hexham House’s reclaimed polished wooden floors lead you through to its tasteful, high ceilinged ceremony room, where your bespoke celebration will take place in front of up to 70 guests. Its luxurious, carpeted aisle ensures you walk-in in style, while throughout the summer the venue’s doors can be opened onto the stunning park, bringing the outside in for your ceremony. Psst! Hexham House offers a discount code for couples and their guests who wish to stay at the venue as well as holding their ceremony there. SOUTHERN 15 LOCAL VENUES

LAIRDS HOUSE 01670 823222 | Steeped in history, this Georgian double fronted property proudly displays the year of its construction – 1777 – above its elegant front door entrance. Along with 11 luxury bedrooms and an outdoor space comprising lawned area, mature trees and large, paved terrace; Lairds House is the perfect venue for those looking for relaxed elegance with just a hint of quirkiness. The venue can accommodate up to 65 guests for the ceremony and wedding breakfast; and up to 125 guests for an evening reception. Art’s Parlour is the largest space – beautifully presented with a large, dressed bay window, attractive feature fireplace and eclectic design, it also incorporates a split-level atrium with private bar, antique sideboard cake display area, large cinema screen and bespoke lighting. The Snug Cosy, meanwhile, is perfect for more intimate and relaxed ceremonies and receptions for 30 seated guests and evening functions of up to 50. Then there’ the Private Dining Room: Lairds House’s best kept secret! Here guests will be delighted with the antique furniture, period working fireplace and its unique selection of curios. LANGLEY CASTLE HOTEL 01434 688888 | Built in 1350, during the reign of Edward III, the castle has retained its architectural integrity and is now regarded as one of the few medieval fortified castle hotels in England. Over the past 600 years, the Castle has been owned, together with its estate, by lords and ladies whose names were frequently associated with the turbulent history of the Kingdom! Now the ideal castle wedding venue for your perfect fairy tale marriage, its medieval grandeur opens up limitless options. Ceremonies are held in either the Josephine Room (70 guests), the Stuart Suite (100 guests), the Woodland Wedding area (100 guests) or the Bandstand (60 guests), before you enjoy a reception in either the Stuart Suite (120 guests) or the Pavilion Suite (30 guests). Langley’s 10-acre woodland estate, complete with water fountain and roaming peacocks, offers a host of photographic opportunities, while the estate is able to cater to any wedding requirements, from woodland and traditional white weddings to tipi and Game of Thrones-themed affairs. 16

LINDEN HALL 01670 500 000 | Linden Hall offers you the charm of a Grade II listed Georgian manor house surrounded by picture perfect grounds, with a thrilling 18-hole golf course and 450 acres to use and explore for all your wedding snaps. The picturesque, tree lined drive leading to our pillared main entrance gives you an immediate sense of Linden’s beautiful history as soon as you arrive. Added to that is the fact the Hall can cater for weddings of all sizes, budgets and timelines, with its elegant rooms complementing your décor whether you plan a rustic barn vibe or a traditional and luxurious feel. Wed in the 18th century Drawing Room; overlooking the garden and exuding country house glamour, it’s the perfect choice for an intimate wedding ceremony for up to 40 guests. The Adamson, meanwhile, is converted from an original stable block, and is ideal for a rustic and romantic setting for up to 120. You can also marry in the Inner Hall; in the heart of the hotel with ornate fireplace and suitable for up to 75 – or why not say your vows in the beautiful landscaped Rose Garden, which overlooks 450 acres of manicured lawns for up to 200 guests? LOUGH HOUSE FARM 07717 220 556 | Lough House Farm is situated just 12 miles north of Newcastle upon Tyne in Stannington, near Morpeth. A working farm for over 50 years, a family wedding was held in the barn in 2017, and guests were so complimentary about the venue that they decided to open the farm for other couples to celebrate their big day! Hosting no more than 10 weddings per year, the hire of the venue is based on 50 hours, starting at 11am the day before the wedding until 1pm the day after. This allows plenty of time for set-up, deliveries and collections, plus the luxury of couples being able to check the venue the day before their wedding and know it’s set to their exact requirements. A stunning, rustic, blank canvas for you to create your perfect barn celebration, Lough House Farm features exposed brick, feature beams and a wooden bar. The side room is perfect for a chill-out space, casino area, powder room or games zone – the possibilities are endless! For larger ceremonies, the red brick barn is perfect, easily seating 100-120 guests. Alternatively, say ‘I do’ in the smaller side room for marriages with up to 60 friends and family. Afterwards, host your reception back in the Barn, taking advantage of the included services of an experienced wedding planner to help with all of your arrangements. . 17 LOCAL VENUES

Built in 1872, The Grand Hotel is a multi-award winning venue commanding attention over the Longsands Beach in Tynemouth, one of the most picturesque locations in the North. Where tradition meets modern. three exclusive function suites, three elegant bridal suites and endless photograph opportunities make your day a Grand one to remember. Boasting a wealth of wedding knowledge and expertise, our coordinators exercise an attention to detail and excellent efficiency to ensure everything is just right for your special day. | GrandHotelTynemouth | tynemouth-grand-hotel | @grandhoteltynemouth & @grandhotelwedding GRAND HOTEL | 14 GRAND PARADE | TYNEMOUTH | TYNE AND WEAR | NE30 4ER | T: 0191 293 6666 | E: SPECIAL MOMENTS DESERVE GRAND EVENTS Rennison Rae Photography Francis Burn Photography David E Williams David E Williams B&JSocial Book your one to one show around today with one of our award-winning wedding coordinators to create your bespoke package. Bespoke floral design creating romantic and beautiful blooms for the dreamiest of days brambleandbloomfloraldesign bramble_and_bloom_x 07929 250925 Images: © edward_d_jones_photography

Waterworld Say your vows by the water’s edge at one of these amazing venues BLACKFRIARS RESTAURANT 0191 261 5945 | Located in the heart of Newcastle city centre, Blackfriars is just a stone’s throw away from the iconic River Tyne and quayside. Established in1239 as a Dominican friary, its medieval Banquet Hall once played host to various visiting monarchs, and has now been brought back to life following years of research and restoration. Boasting authentic and bespoke banners, distinctive antler chandeliers, stained glass windows and large oak dining tables and chairs designed and created by local craftsmen, to this day Blackfriars Restaurant remains one of the jewels in Newcastle’s medieval crown. Just imagine the ceremony of your dreams in the ornate Banquet Hall or unique Tasting Room, followed by a Champagne reception in the sheltered courtyard or historic Parlour Bar. You’ll then head back into the Hall for a delicious and memorable wedding breakfast for 50 seated guests or 65 standing. You’ll also be spoilt for choice when it comes to picture opportunities, from the venue’s horseshoe of stone buildings surrounding a sheltered courtyard, or its position close to the river for some amazing waterside shots. 19 THEMED VENUES

The Grand Hotel Sunderland boasts a spectacular seafront location, with the North East coast right on its doorstep and Roker Park; a beautiful spot for wedding photographs; just five minutes’ walk away. The venue also shares the views of the coastline’s lighthouse, which can be seen from all three of its Corner Suite’s impressive floor to ceiling windows. Celebrate your big day in an intimate setting on the seafront, choosing from five function suites, all licensed for civil ceremonies. This includes the Lowry and Boardroom spaces, which benefit from ever-changing impressive views of the coastline, providing couples and their guests with a spectacular setting for their celebrations. You can even take advantage of the 82 bedrooms available, including a choice of suites, family, accessible and dog friendly rooms. SPANISH CITY 0191 691 7090 | Sitting on the seafront, Spanish City has incredible panoramic views of St Mary’s Lighthouse and the coast, giving a stunning backdrop for your wedding photography and adding the ‘wow factor’ to your big day. Unmissable to those visiting Whitley Bay, the building has significant historical value – keeping much of its original features – yet also has a contemporary feel relevant to 21st century visitors. Now, following an extensive restoration, this Grade II listed building is an incredible wedding venue offering a dedicated function space, spectacular sea views and an array of exquisite catering options. Say your vows and start the next chapter of your love story within the iconic Art Deco design of the function suite, fitted with floor-to-ceiling windows to showcase the unmatched sea view while flooding the room with natural light. Your reception will also be catered there from anything between four to 140 guests, with experienced staff on hand to cater to your every need, ensuring you’ll remember each last detail of your special day. GRAND HOTEL SUNDERLAND 0191 529 2041 | 20

THE GRAND HOTEL TYNEMOUTH 0191 293 6666 | Nestled on the North Tyneside coast, this classically British building is an iconic fixture that’s recognisable from its grand façade – in fact, the building’s exterior has barely been touched since its original conception in 1872! Uniquely situated overlooking Longsands Beach, it offers guests and visitors exclusive panoramic views all the way across to Cullercoats on a clear day – you might even be lucky enough to spot dolphins making their way across the coast! Become legally hitched in the Pearl Room, a smaller setting to declare your love for one another in front of between between 35-100. There’s also the Orchard Suite; boasting exclusive sweeping views over the beach via large bay windows, it’s yours for larger ceremonies of between 100-150. You’ll then enjoy a reception in the same space; or alternatively choose the Grand Chambers: the largest function room that can host up to 200. THE GROTTO 0191 455 6060 | Located on South Tyneside’s Marsden Bay, The Grotto is a stunning space to say your vows. It all begins as you approach the venue on the clifftops, entering a tunnel with a lift which takes you to the hotel. Then, once you reach the ground floor, The Grotto’s amazing cave is revealed! Steeped in history since it was originally blasted back in 1782, it’s even said a smuggler was hung in a barrel in a cave close to the present lift shaft back in the day and left to starve! Ghostly stories aside, The Grotto is a venue to get your guests talking for all the right reasons. Licensed to hold wedding ceremonies for up to 80, it’s exclusively yours for the day, giving you plenty of time for photos before, during and after the ceremony. You’ve also a dedicated wedding coordinator on hand to help planning with the running of your day. You can then host a breakfast for 40 – or a BBQ or buffet for up to 140 – before heading outside to the venue’s bandstand (or down to the water’s edge itself) for some incredible photography to treasure forever. THEMED VENUES 21

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 • •

Anna and Timmy’s love of skiing brought them together Images courtesy of Daryl Scott Walker Anna and Timmy met during a ski season in Val d’Isère. “Timmy worked in the best seasonaire bar in town, The Fall Line, while I was working in a chalet,” says Anna. “After that we headed to the seas and worked on a superyacht together for a Russian oligarch. Our love for the mountains and sea is where it all began!” Timmy popped the question after the couple had been together for seven years. “We both love the Lake District, so Timmy asked me to marry him by a tarn at the top of a mountain with no one else around,” continues the bride. “It also happens to be our favourite walk in the Lakes – because there’s a great pub to grab a drink in at the end of the route!” The couple set the date of 30 July, 2022, marrying at the Church of St Andrew in Bolam, followed by a field marquee reception. Here, Anna tells us more about their big day… LOVE ON THE SLOPES 23 REAL WEDDINGS

Flowers were a huge part of our wedding, including a main centrepiece around the bar handmade by me, my mum Fiona and a group of close friends. My bouquet was a mix of toffee roses, cosmos, ammi and baby lace. Our table favours were ribbons in the colours of the day: dusty pink, burnt orange and olive green, with gold initials of each of our guests so they could take them away. I made our table plan using a white muslin throw and iron-on transfers. Hung from a clothes horse, we’ve kept the plan as a memento from the day. We had our reception in a marquee in the farmer’s field next to my parents’ house. I played in the field as a child, and always hoped I’d celebrate there when I got married. My three bridesmaids all wore different dresses in different colours – and it actually took longer to find their dresses than it did my own! I grew up in in Belsay, marrying at my family’s parish church where I spent a lot of time growing up. The ceremony was incredible – our vicar, Fiona, tailored it perfectly to us. 24

We couldn’t believe our luck when we saw a candyfloss sunset appearing in the early evening sky. It was a stop and take it in moment – then straight to the dancefloor! We made shot ‘skis’ for our guests to enjoy some homemade toffee vodka, which is a favourite in the Alps. It was a great way to get people interacting and lots of fun. I knew I wanted something I could dance in, so when I found a linen dress I knew it was the one for me. I accessorised it with a custom black hair bow and black stone and pearl earrings. The unbelievably talented Jack Lapping from The Duck House Pantry fed our guests. Everything was perfect, including his team, and he even received a standing ovation at the end of the meal! We entered the marquee in style to AC/DC Thunderstruck on a mini motorbike we bought on Facebook Marketplace! It was a highlight of the day and was kept a secret from family and friends. Our cake was handmade by Timmy’s mum, Gail, before it was iced and decorated by his dad. It was delicious! Our guests arrived to a live brass band, the perfect way to get people in the mood for the day. We also had an amazing evening band, followed by a DJ with a sax and drummer who walked around the crowd. Timmy found his suit on eBay and had it tailored, customising the buttons with pink thread to match his socks. All the groomsmen also wore one of Timmy’s late grandfathers’ amazing selection of ties as a nod to him. 25 REAL WEDDINGS

ANNA & TIMMY’S CONTACTS Photography, Daryl Scott Walker | Ceremony, Church of St Andrew | Marquee, English Marquee Company | Videography, Ryan Lilburn | Anna’s dress, Marrime | Anna’s hair accessory, Aura Bridalwear | Anna’s earrings, Christie Nicolaides | Hair, Zahra Varris | Make-up, CJC Makeupartist | Car, Northumbria Classic Car Hire | Catering, Duck House Pantry | Anna’s engagement ring, Emma Hedley | Wedding rings, Kopecky & Elliott Workshops | Band, Live for the Night | Band, Loud Noises Brass | Alcoholic drinks, Hepple Spirits | Non-alcoholic drinks, Marlish Water | Candles, Candle Flair | Wedding co-ordinator, Christina Stephenson 07446 859831 | Toilet hire, Cart-a-loo I was stung by a wasp and managed to get a lot of sheep poo on my dress, but it was nothing some carpet cleaner and a lot of adrenalin couldn’t fix! Try to be together as a couple as much as possible, taking yourself off somewhere private even just for five minutes to take it all in. Scan to view video 26


School’s out After meeting at school love blossomed for Amy and Oisín Images courtesy of Ray Sawyer Photography 28

Amy and Oisín went to the same secondary school, but never really spent any time together. “Oisín was in the year below, but I remember him smiling at me when we passed in the corridor,” says Amy. “After college we lost touch for a few years, eventually meeting for coffee after messaging on social media. When Oisín got out of the car he greeted me with the same smile I remembered – along with a gorgeous beard and huge muscles!” Oisín proposed to Amy on holiday in Spain with Amy’s mam and dad. “Being traditional, Oisín asked my parents first, even getting my mam to pack the ring as he knew I’d want to know what going in our own luggage!” continues the bride. “He popped the question after dinner one night, taking me for a walk along the beach before getting down on one knee. It was the easiest ‘yes’ of my life!” The couple set the date for the 12 August, 2022, choosing Beamish Hall for their big day. Here, Amy tells us more about their amazing celebration… BEAMING FOR BEAMISH When it came to a venue, Amy took her mam and best friend to see Beamish Hall. “As soon as we walked in I knew it was where I wanted to get married,” says Amy. “I rang Oisín and told him we needed to look together because it was perfect. The ceremony and reception rooms were beautiful, and the Winter Gardens suite perfect for the theme we had in mind. It was also large enough to accommodate all our friends and family.” Decorations-wise, the couple were keen to choose what they wanted together. “Our tables were named after our favourite Marvel Avengers character homes!” continues the bride. “During the first lockdown, Oisín got me into watching the films from the start – and I loved them! However, it wasn’t all Marvel themed, although I secretly think Oisín would have loved that! Our centrepieces were stunning – tall vases with a huge sphere on top comprising cream and lemon roses and hanging wisteria. My bouquet also featured the same blooms, along with a gorgeous mix of mini gerberas, lisianthus, ammi, astilbe, freesia, parvi, French ruscus and asparagus fern, tied with a silk ribbon with pearl pins within the roses.” LIFE IN LOCKDOWN Due to the pandemic the couple were forced to postpone their wedding for a year. “It was heart-breaking not knowing what was going to happen,” says Amy. “The fact it was put back a year was actually a good thing, as when I caught Covid it affected me heavily, resulting in me losing the use of my legs with extreme joint pain. I had to use crutches and attend physio to get back to full health, and even now experience flare-ups. Oisín was my rock throughout it all, and gave me so much encouragement to get back to where I needed to be.” After a rocky start, the couple were looking forward to their wedding the following year. “It also gave us more time to get everything paid off; plus we knew waiting meant we could have every guest that we wanted there,” continues Amy. “It didn’t stop me worrying about about my legs causing me issues; however, my best friend and bridesmaid Ashleigh bought me the most amazing comfortable pair of pearl and diamanté covered trainers to wear on the day.” Scan to view video 29 REAL WEDDINGS

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TIME TO SHINE When it came to finding a dress, Amy was keen to blow Oisín away. “I met Victoria Robson at a wedding fair and knew she’d find the one,” says the bride. “I travelled with my mam to her boutique, and walking in spied a design that took my breath away. The Pronovias Sedna gown was the complete opposite of what I thought I wanted, as I’d imagined myself covered in lace, with an off the shoulder fitted design. This, however, was A-line, one shouldered and had no lace in sight! After trying it on every other dress just couldn’t compete. I teamed it with a veil made by Victoria from my mam’s old wedding dress, and my late nana’s earrings and bracelet. I know how much she would have loved Oisín, and it felt like a piece of her was with us on the day.” The rest of the bridal party also looked the part, starting with Amy’s bridesmaids. “My girls wore pale lemon chiffon halter neck dresses with a slit up one side,” continues Amy. “They’re my absolute world, so I wanted them to look as amazing as me. Oisín and his groomsmen also looked incredible in black tuxedos with white shirts. I also gave them all black Ray-Bans for that finishing touch for the photos.” GRUB’S UP Choosing the right flavours for the couple’s wedding cake was an easy decision, thanks to their families’ heritage. “Oisín’s family are Irish and my mam’s side Italian, so our bottom tier was Belgian chocolate; the next, strawberry milkshake; then the next Bailey’s Irish Cream and Italian coffee,” says the bride. “Designwise, I wanted it to be eye catching and show off our theme, so went for lace style piping with white and lemon roses, as well as eucalyptus between each tier. Our cake-maker also supplied our favours; a summer lemon cookie for each guest, decorated with our initials and the date of our wedding.” When it was time to eat, Amy and Oisín’s guests were thoroughly spoilt for choice. “After reception drinks our friends and family enjoyed a warm Asian chicken salad, roast beef with all the trimmings, and mango bavarois with passionfruit purée and edible flowers,” says Amy. “It didn’t end there; as when guests got peckish in the evening they were served hot pork sandwiches with stuffing, chips and gravy. We also had a grazing station with bread, cheese and grapes.” MAKING MEMORIES Entertainment-wise, the night-time party was a big deal for the couple. “We wanted to create a vibe our guests would never forget, with our DJ working with us to create the perfect first dance,” says Amy. “We had a candlelight mix of Cascada’s Everytime We Touch, but halfway through the clubland mix kicked in! We also hired a sax player who performed alongside our DJ. Our guests danced and had the best time ever, waving around the large foam glowsticks we also had to hand.” There were plenty of other moments that will stay with the couple forever. “The speeches made by our best man and my dad were hugely emotional,” continues Amy. “There was also lots of laughter, especially when it got so hot on the day that guests had to fan me under my dress because I was melting! Our best man was also only meant to stand with us at the ceremony at certain points, but he stood there way longer than he should have. When we said our vows there he was – standing right behind us!” REAL WEDDINGS 31

AMY’S TOP TIP “Do what you both want; not what others want.This is your wedding and no one else’s! If you want glow sticks – go get them!” ROLL CREDITS Photography, Ray Sawyer Photography | Venue, Beamish Hall | Videography, Amy’s dress, bridesmaids’ dresses and suits, Victoria Robson Bridal | Rings, Bradley’s York Hair, Amanda Bailey and Katherine Woods 07973 230103 | Make-up, Carly Michelle Make up and Hair Flowers, The Garden Florist | Stationery and table plan, Above the Clouds Wedding Stationary Cake and favours, Sherbert Moon Wedding Cakes | DJ, Persona Events | Saxophonist, Steve Bone Sax 32

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Love and Welcome to Kate and Lewis’ incredible Le Petit Chateau celebration Images courtesy of Lee Gibbins Photography Kate and Lewis met on a night out over 10 years ago. “After that we kept bumping into each other, but nothing ever happened,” says the bride. “After we left uni Lewis went travelling and ended up in New Zealand, and invited me over. A few months later I quit my job and flew out there; a big risk as we didn’t know each other that well! However, it couldn’t have gone better – and the rest, as they say, is history.” Lewis popped the question in Portugal; but the proposal didn’t go exactly to plan. “Lewis arranged for us to go kayaking in the sea caves, but it was cold and I didn’t want to go anywhere near the freezing Atlantic Ocean,” continues Kate. “We eventually made our way to the caves; but when Lewis got out the kayak capsized – and I fell in the water and banged my knee! At this point I told him I wanted to go back, getting crosser by the minute that he was now busy rooting through his bag asking if we should get a picture. Stroppily saying ‘no’ because I looked like a drowned rat, I turned to see him on one knee with the ring – and went from being in a bad mood to cloud nine! It’s not your typical proposal, but we wouldn’t change it for the world!” Setting the date of 6 August, 2022, the couple chose Le Petit Chateau as their venue. Here, Kate tells us more about their day… LAUGHTER 35 REAL WEDDINGS

As soon as we visited Le Petit Chateau we fell in love! It had an exotic look and feel to it, and the garden’s amazing. For place names we opted for sage green with white writing and gold wax seals, while our tables were named after places we’ve been to together. We chose light up letters to the left of the top table which said Mr & Mrs Francis, as well as a botanical heart sign just before the entrance. Considering I’m the most indecisive person, the minute I tried on my Justin Alexander Signature Gramercy dress I knew it was the one! We wanted our cake to fit in with our colour scheme, deciding on white with sage watercolour and gold flakes, topped with beautiful fresh blooms. We were blown away by our flowers, especially my bouquet. It was a stunning mix of bold colours with bleached peacock feathers, in memory of Lewis’ mum, who’s sadly no longer with us. 36

Lewis and his groomsmen wore stone coloured jackets and waistcoats with navy trousers and sage green ties. I kept telling Lewis he’d better cry when he saw me walking down the aisle. Being the joker, he pretended, which made me burst out laughing! My bridesmaids looked beautiful in their sage green multiway dresses, styled on one shoulder to complement my gown. The registrar said Lewis’ name wrong which had us both in stitches. We definitely had a relaxed ceremony as opposed to it being serious! My dad’s speech blew everyone away! He’s a man of few words and I know how nervous he was, but he had our guests in the palm of his hand. I accessorised my dress with a headpiece from Arianna Bespoke, choosing to have my hair in a low bun for an elegant feel. 37 REAL WEDDINGS