Your North East Wedding - September/October 2023 (Issue 58)

Dare To Dream Reader weddings with serious style Hot Off The Press! The latest North East wedding news WIN! The Grand Hotel Tynemouth stay for two Time TRAVEL Historic venues with the wow factor SEP/OCT 2023 £3.55 CAMERA READY Looking the best for your big day

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

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 71 HOT TOPIC Local experts offer their stellar advice 81 COMPETITION Win a romantic break in Yorkshire worth £1,000 CONTENTS SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2023 VENUES 15 A RIGHT TEES Fancy getting hitched in the gorgeous Tees Valley? We’ve got you covered 19 ONCE UPON A TIME Start your lives as newlyweds in a venue steeped in history On the cover This issue’s cover was shot by Carn Patrick Photography (, who captured Megan and Shaun on their wedding day. Turn to page 28 to see more. 9 19 FEATURES 39 THE FLOWER OF LOVE Ready to pick your wedding blooms? You’ve come to the right place! 42 WISHING HUE A WONDERFUL WEDDING DAY Check out our guide to palette perfection whatever the season 64 LADY OF THE DANCE Strictly’s Luba Mushtuk talks health, wellbeing and that all-important first dance 39 3

REAL WEDDINGS 23 JUMP IN MY CAR Little did Briony know that giving friends a lift would lead to her forever after 28 UNI DAYS After meeting at university love blossomed for Megan and Shaun 34 SNEAK PEAK Kathryn and Chris got engaged in the French Alps HONEYMOONS 74 HONEYMOON NEWS The newest openings and honeymoon destinations 76 MAGICAL MAURITIUS Explore this honeymoon hotspot for local cuisine, lush scenery and sustainable hotel choices 78 RURAL ROMANCE Discover the delights of Provence at Hôtel Crillon le Brave 80 TOTAL BODY BLISS Experience a weekend of total body bliss at Warwickshire’s Ardencote Spa GROOMS 66 GROOMS’ NEWS Best buys and product launches 67 SKIN DEEP WarPaint For Men shares its make-up and skincare tips for your man 68 SOMETHING BLUE The latest products for the guy in your life FASHION & BEAUTY 44 FASHION FOCUS The latest bridal fashion news, buys and launches 45 STYLE ALERT Burnt orange, green, and champagne colours are trending for bridesmaids 47 LOOK THE PART Find the best wedding hair, fashion, beauty and grooming help here! 52 ALL DRESSED UP The new season edit of dreamy dresses features delicate details and flowing fabrics 57 STANDOUT SLEEVES Make your entrance in style wearing statement sleeves to take you from day to dancefloor 60 BEAUTY BUZZ Get the look with these must-haves for the bride-to-be 62 BEST FACE FORWARD We investigate the much-discussed bridal musthave treatment, HydraFacial 63 BEAUTY Q&A Our local professionals solve your wedding woes 52 23 76 60 66 4

Available for exclusive hire | Fairytale setting Voted ‘Best Hotel for Romance’ and ‘North East Hotel of the Year’ in 2018 | | (01434) 688888 Langley Castle Hotel, Langley-On-Tyne, Hexham, Northumberland, NE47 5LU @langleycastlehotelandrestaurant @langleycastle @langleycastle The timeless venue...

13 COMPETITION Win an overnight stay at The Grand Hotel Tynemouth 71 PRESS PAWS Want your fur baby at your day? There’s a dog-sitter for that! This summer’s been pretty rubbish when it comes to the weather, hasn’t it? The odd sunny day, then apart from that rain, rain, and more rain. I can only offer my sympathy to all the couples who planned to wed outside back in July and August, with their dreams thwarted by yet another downpour. That’s why it’s important when choosing where to marry to take into account all options, with my Tees Valley (p15) and historic venues (p19) suggestions able to cater for your day both inside and out. Elsewhere this issue, I’ve been busy catching up with a whole host of North East suppliers to help those wedding dreams of yours turn into reality. Looking for a fantastic florist? Turn to page 39 for jawdropping blooms you have to see to believe! After someone to make you wedding ready from top-to-toe? My feature on page 47 will soon see you booking in for hair, make-up, wedding dress fittings and more. All that plus three gorgeous reader weddings (p23, p28 and p34) – and a chance to win two fantastic stays, one at The Grand Hotel Tynemouth (p13), and a Yorkshire escape worth £1,000 (p81)! See you in November… Claire x Claire Muffett-Reece, Editor Rain, Rain Go Away 81 WIN An amazing stay in Yorkshire 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 23 WIPE AWAY THE TEARS Jonny was in need of a tissue on his big day to Briony 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

34 FROM THIS… TO THIS! Find out how an Alps proposal led to Chris playing with fire! 28 LOVE OF MY LIFE Groom Shaun struggled to hold it together seeing future wife Megan 39 BLOOMIN’ MARVELLOUS Florists to add that extra-special touch EDITOR’S LETTER 7

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

NEWS Nearlywed All the latest from around the North East NEW VENUE! Say hello to Blackton Grange Estate, Durham’s newest wedding venue and celebration estate. Entirely yours for two nights or more, you can make your celebrations as unique as you are with no packages, no corkage and 100% flexibility! Set within 11 acres of designated dark skies wilderness, the dry hire approach allows you to put your own stamp on every element of your big day, allowing you to choose whichever food and drink suppliers you wish. If that sounds a little overwhelming, the venue also has an amazing list of recommended businesses to choose from. Your wedding comes with a dedicated coordinator to make your day stress-free – plus there’s accommodation for up to 18 friends and family in the newly-renovated farmhouse! Prices start from £5,750 for two day/night hire, including exclusive use of the entire estate, accommodation, licensed wedding barn and dining space for 70, evening party space for 90, and wedding coordinator. Check out for more info. FALL IN LOVE WITH DURHAM If you’re searching for a romantic setting for your big day, look no further than Durham. This beautiful county boasts idyllic countryside, a stunning coastline and an enchanting city, where a host of historic, modern and unique wedding venues are waiting to welcome you and your guests. For the ultimate fairytale wedding, it’s sure to be love at first sight when you encounter one of Durham’s magical castles or romantic country house hotels. Those seeking the tranquillity of a spa retreat, the elegance of a boutique hotel or the cosy sophistication of a country inn, however, will also have no problem finding their perfect match. And for a location as unique as you, Durham itself will not disappoint. The county is home to many quirky venues and breathtaking natural landscapes, along with museums and galleries where you can be married surrounded by masterpieces and historic objects. Food is also an essential part of the wedding experience – and in Durham you can enjoy fresh seasonal menus, bursting with flavour; from inventive fine dining to traditional favourites and everything in between. The county is also a great choice for minimoons and honeymoons, with its award-winning hotels, cosy cottages and romantic glamping pods. Stag and hen parties, meanwhile, will discover luxurious spas, exhilarating outdoor pursuits and a bustling city with quirky bars and restaurants. For more wedding inspiration, visit THE CAR’S THE STAR After wedding transport with the wow factor? Check out newly-launched Newcastle wedding business, Daimler Wedding Car Company. Covering the whole of the North East, arrive at your wedding in this elegant six-door Daimler limousine. A handsome seven-seater limousine, it’s smart inside and out, with Lotus cream leather upholstery and a rich walnut finish. A glass partition screen separates passengers from driver for privacy, plus there’s air-conditioning for when your prewedding nerves cause you to break out into a sweat. What’s more, you can even ‘try before you buy’, seeing the Daimler limousine first-hand with a no-obligation appointment at your home! Simply choose a time that suits you, with the limousine arriving to your chosen location for you to check it out for yourself. Head to to view the car, then make an appointment by calling 07788 111729 or email 9 LOCAL NEWS

DOWN ON THE FARM Congratulations are in order for camping and glamping site Herding Hill Farm, which has just been named one of the best in the UK. The Haltwhistle-based Farm – which is also able to hire exclusively for weddings – has been awarded an AA Platinum Pennant, recognising the country’s very best campsites and caravan parks, for both its glamping and camping facilities. Inspectors praised the luxury glamping accommodation and ‘first-class’ campsite facilities at the family-friendly site; located less than a mile from Hadrian’s Wall; noting that the addition of its new adult-only luxury Castle pods took the site’s glamping facilities to ‘the next level’. The ensuite pods, named after landmark castles in Northumberland, all have outdoor hot tubs, complete with dark skyfriendly lighting for stargazing. Other accommodation includes familyfriendly Wigwam cabins, many with hot tubs, and a spacious luxury lodge, perfect for families. There are also pitches for tourers and tents. Visit for more info on hiring the venue for your big day. GOOD SCENTS After a wedding fragrance to tie in with your roots? New for 2023 are these scents from Barbour, perfect for the transition into the late summer/ early autumn months – and inspired by the Northumberland coastline! First up comes Barbour Coastal For Her, a refreshing citrus scent topped with clean notes of elmi, bitter orange, lemon and mandarin. Delicately blended with solar florals and a woody base of cedarwood, moss and balsamic notes, it’s been designed to celebrate a slower pace of life. Then there’s Barbour Coastal For Him; again with a nod to the clifftops of Northumberland. An aromatic scent with citrus notes, it’s contrasted by undercurrents of ginger and cinnamon, all blended with balsamic, sandalwood and amber. Visit to buy yours now. RUNWAY BRIDE Want your own personal space to try on dresses with your #bridaltribe? Check out Durham’s The Blue Bow Bridal Company, who’ve just added a Luxe Lounge room to their boutique. This gorgeous new addition is a dedicated area for you to relax while finding your perfect gown. Complete with sofa for chilling, tons of natural light and, of course, your very own mini catwalk with fulllength mirror, it’s time to come over all supermodel when searching for the wedding dress of your dreams. Visit for info, being sure to request the Luxe Lounge at the time of booking to secure your slot. FIT FOR A QUEEN Inspired by organic shapes and capturing fluid elements in motion, Lucy Quartermaine creates stunning jewellery from remarkable designs that will transform your bridal style. Originally produced to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the Royal Pearl collection complements 925 silver with freshwater pearls for a timeless design perfect for a wedding day. Visit County Wedding Magazines has teamed up with Lucy Quartermaine to give readers the chance to win a three-piece set of Royal Pearl pieces worth £237. For your chance to win enter via our website, 10

95A High Street, Carrville, Durham, DH1 1BG | 0191 386 4444 | | BOOK YOUR PERSONAL APPOINTMENT IN OUR STUNNING BOUTIQUE AWARD WINNING BOUTIQUE WITH EXQUISITE GOWNS AND A REPUTATION FOR EXCELLENCE For more information 01670 789798 Wedding Cheese Towers A cheese tower can be a stunning centrepiece for your wedding day or a wedding celebration. Our bespoke cheese towers can cater for 40 to 160 people.

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 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.

Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs WIN! STAY FOR TWO AT THE GRAND HOTEL TYNEMOUTH Looking for a pre- or postwedding escape? Your North East Wedding has the perfect prize up for grabs – an overnight stay for two in one of The Grand Hotel’s Superior sea view rooms, along with complimentary breakfast and late check-out – worth £275! Located at the mouth of the River Tyne, the Grand Hotel Tynemouth is set upon a clifftop and boasts magnificent views of Longsands beach and the North Sea. Built in the 19th century, this charismatic building epitomises the grandeur and luxury of the era. Throughout its chequered past, the hotel has always been regarded as the most luxurious in the area, with one of its main attractions being the opulent sweeping staircase, still widely recognised today. Contemporary, cosy and stylish, the Grand Hotel Tynemouth’s newly renovated rooms provide the ideal setting for a perfect stay. Wake to fresh sea air and spectacular light, before enjoying a freshly prepared breakfast in the Brasserie. Each room boasts a plush King-sized bed, ensuite bathroom and free Wi-Fi. For an extra special stay you can even select to stay in a Superior or Deluxe bedroom with unbeatable sea views, jacuzzi bath, walk in shower and intimate seating space. Visit to be in with the chance of winning – and visit for more information on the hotel and wedding venue. Freebies& OFFERS WIN PERSONALISED BRACELETS Are you dreaming of making your special day even more memorable for your beloved bridesmaids? Look no further! We have an exciting opportunity for you to win personalised bracelets for each of your bridesmaids, courtesy of Merci Maman. Merci Maman understand the importance of thoughtful and meaningful gifts, especially when it comes to your bridesmaids. Its handcrafted Personalised Pastille Chain Bracelet is a bestseller, a timeless and beloved piece testament to the elegance and charm that the brand’s jewellery carries. Crafted with love and attention to detail, these bracelets will serve as treasured keepsakes for your bridesmaids, a symbol of your lasting friendship and gratitude. Visit County Wedding Magazines has teamed up with Merci Maman to give readers the chance to win two personalised pastille chain bracelets worth £237. For your chance to win enter via our website, FREEBIES & OFFERS 13

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:

A Right Tees Fancy getting hitched in the gorgeous Tees Valley? We’ve got you covered THIEF HALL 07815791395 | Thief Hall is a rustic barn wedding venue, surrounded by 100 acres of land, with amazing views of the North Yorkshire countryside. Sleeping up to 60 in its private grounds and holiday cottages, if marrying here you get exclusive use for three days, giving you the opportunity to create a wedding weekend you’ll never forget. With beautiful glass chivari chairs available, plus options of different tables (and all linen provided), there are no hidden costs – and everything on offer is included in the price. At Thief Hall there are three areas where you can choose to have your ceremony. Marry outside and take advantage of the venue’s handcrafted horseshoe benches; or wed inside in the main Barn, picking the smaller room with its walls of white drapes and flower wall backdrop, or the bigger end which can also be used for your wedding breakfast (150 seated) or evening reception (250 capacity). There’s also grass fields for games, plus the perfect drinks’ patio, an amazing space to enjoy catching up with friends and family while taking in an incredible sunset. 15 LOCAL VENUES

CRATHORNE HALL HOTEL 01642 700398 | Crathorne Hall Hotel is set within 15 acres of grounds and is surrounded by rolling Yorkshire countryside, making you feel as though you’ve been transported into another time. Inside is just as spectacular, with a unique blend of historic features and contemporary luxuries. We say choose to stay the night in one of its 37 bedrooms, each spacious and elegant with the character and charm you’ll find throughout the building. Ceremonies for up to 120 take place within the Edwardian Room, with its original fireplace, intricate detailing and feature chandelier giving it incredible grandeur. The floor-to-ceiling windows also provide views over the grounds to the Leven valley and beyond. You can also say your vows under the arched ceiling of Crathorne’s wonderful foyer – available for exclusive-use weddings with a ceremony time of 2pm onwards; it’s perfect for up to 70. Or opt for The Presidents’ Lounge for 40 guests, with its period features and original sash windows offering views over grounds. Afterwards, party the night away in the Grand Drawing Room, a versatile space for up to 120 for your wedding breakfast. When night draws in, evening celebrations for up to 200 spill out into the Edwardian Room, where dancing and entertainment take place. Psst! Accommodation in the bridal suite is included with all wedding packages, along with a complimentary menu tasting with exclusive use packages. DANBY CASTLE 01287 669219 | Danby Castle is set in the heart of the Yorkshire Moors, with manicured lawns surrounding the Castle ruins, complementing the countryside views. While the Castle itself stands in ruins, the Court Room in the original farmhouse is where ceremonies take place, with the Barn providing the perfect setting for a wedding breakfast and evening reception. You’ve even got a Getting Ready Room to take advantage of; a spacious area with large hair and make-up station with huge mirrors, space to hang dresses or suits and plenty of opportunities for pre-wedding photos. If you’ve always dreamed of getting married outside you can choose to have an inside/outside ceremony offered by North Yorkshire Registrars. Or enjoy your indoor ceremony in the 16th century Court Room, which can hold up to 90, or in the Barn, which can hold 110. With authentic wooden beams adorned with fairy lights, original 14th century stonework, varnished wooden floor and real wood-burning stove, it’s also where you’ll host your wedding breakfast and evening reception for up to 110 daytime guests and 160 evening guests. 16

HOWARD COURT 07851 063350 | Howard Court is situated in North Yorkshire with stunning views of the Cleveland Hills and Roseberry Topping. Set in 12 acres of pasture and woodland, its amazing lawns and Roseberry Topping’s peak form a beautiful backdrop for photos. Howard Court’s fairy lights, festoons and firepit add light and warmth regardless of the time of year, greeting guests when they arrive or wander out for a breath of fresh air. Once inside the barns, it’s always a great temperature, with their ground-source heating keeping loved ones toasty if marrying in the colder months. Marry in the Barn, which seats up to 100. With the hay manger as your backdrop – intwined with fairy lights or wrapped in greenery and flowers – this is an ideal space to say your vows. The Courtyard is another option, should you wed in the warmer seasons, or opt for the Riverside Cabin: surrounded by nature, couples could bring hay bales and choose to get married near the river itself. The Stable and Barn are then transformed into your reception area, where you’ll enjoy your wedding breakfast against a curtain of fairy lights, before it’s transformed ready for that all-important first dance in front of up to 150 friends and family. WYNYARD GOLF CLUB 01740 644399 | Wynyard Golf Club is situated within the exclusive Wynyard Estate, set in over 200 acres of mature woodland and rolling parkland. A beautiful and contemporary setting, it’s the perfect blank canvas for your wedding. Boasting a private and exclusive terrace area that offers direct access from the venue’s Wellington Suite, in the summer months the grounds are perfect for drinks on the terrace, as well as being enjoyed in a shady spot on the veranda. The Wellington Suite is a beautiful space for your ceremony and reception, accommodating a maximum of 100 guests for your vows and 120 thereafter. With its own private bar, bathroom facilities and outdoor area, it’s the perfect suite to keep your guests all in one place and to get everyone up on the dancefloor. Psst! Don’t forget to take advantage of the Club’s golf buggies if available for that perfect candid photo shot! 17 LOCAL VENUES

The Wynyard Club, Wellington Drive, Wynyard, TS22 5QJ | 01740 644399 opt 4 | @wynyardgolfclubweddings Wynyard Golf Club WYNYARD GOLF CLUB is a truly special venue set in over 200 acres of mature woodland and rolling parkland. Our beautiful and contemporary setting is the perfect blank canvas for your wedding. with a range of packages to suit all tastes and budgets, we can't wait to bring your wedding dreams to life! Photography: Stephen McDonald

Once Upon A Time Start your lives as newlyweds in a venue steeped in history HORTON GRANGE COUNTRY HOUSE 01661 860686 | Horton Grange is a beautiful country house with high ceilings, sweeping staircase, incredible emerald-green bar and large woodburning stove. With a mix of contemporary and traditional decoration, it’s the perfect venue for those who like classical elegance with a modern twist. Set in four acres of Northumberland grounds, outside there’s space for a ceremony for up to 100 under the white bandstand, with its woodland area perfect for photographs, summer drinks or garden games. Want to wed inside? The Barn is the newest addition to Horton Grange’s ceremony choices. Holding up to 100 and decorated with chandeliers, original cast iron beams, neon lighting and sky lights, it gives you a beautiful setting to say, ‘we do’. There’s also the Garden Room (100 guests) and The Lounge (60 guests) to wed in; before you host your reception back in the Garden Room for 100 daytime and 150 evening guests. There’s even nine bedrooms to take advantage of, should you and members of your wedding party want to make a night of it. NEWCASTLE CASTLE 0191 230 6300 | Newcastle Castle enchants all who enter with its hidden passages, spiral staircases and historic charm. Outside, take in views of Newcastle’s industrial heritage, along with the bridges adorning the River Tyne. Arriving at the Castle, guests are greeted by the historic fortified gatehouse, The Black Gate, before witnessing you wed in the Harbottle Suite, licensed for up to 50, or the Museum Room, licensed for up to 30. Ready to eat? Enjoy a wedding breakfast for up to 50 in the magnificent Great Hall, and an evening party for 80. You can also host drinks in the Chapel for up to 30, or choose the Gaol (up to 50 along with the Chapel), where prisoners were once held captive at the monarchs’ order! 19 THEMED VENUES

LEMMINGTON HALL 01665 568118 | Nestled in the heart of Northumberland, you’ll discover the region’s newest wedding venue, Lemmington Hall. 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 celebration, this two-night venue hosts receptions over selected summer months, allowing you to bask in the extensive grounds and sculptured gardens. Lemmington Hall offers six 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, Music Room, Dining Room 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 wedding feast cooked by the award-winning Executive Head Chef and his team. THE COMMON ROOM 0191 250 9717 | The Common Room is a Grade II listed, recently refurbished building, providing some of the most striking spaces for the perfect wedding. Located in the heart of Newcastle, its contemporary design seamlessly blends with modern functionality and accessibility, to create an unforgettable experience for your day. There’s even a small external courtyard available for drinks, prior to retreating into the calm sophistication of the venue interior. Weddings and receptions take place in the Wood Hall, exquisitely decorated with a vast glass ceiling and remarkable stained-glass windows. Here you can marry in front of up to 140, before enjoying dinner for 100 and an evening party for 140. You can also choose the Lecture Theatre on the ground floor for a ceremony of up to 100; or host your celebration in the Stephenson Room; a beautiful space boasting natural light for a ceremony and dinner for 50. 20

THE BISCUIT FACTORY 0191 261 0015 | Combining historic architecture with contemporary art and design-led celebration spaces, this unique wedding venue, located at the edge of Newcastle City centre, provides a stunning backdrop for your day. Housed in a former Victorian warehouse, its independent art gallery allows for a celebration with a difference. New for 2024 is The Garden Room; a tropical-plant filled space inspired by Victorian winter gardens yet with a contemporary design finish. Here you’ll enjoy relaxed grandeur beneath dappled light and gently swaying palms, housed under a treble height ceiling. Gather 40 to 150 friends and family to say your vows in the lightfilled Gallery, taking in the atmospheric warmth of original wooden beams and brickwork. From June 2024 you can also wed in The Garden Room, which accommodates 80 for a ceremony and wedding breakfast guests, with 120 for your evening reception. You can also enjoy your ceremony and after-party in Artisan, an urban and intimate space with exposed brickwork and wooden floors (100 guests); or The Biscuit Room – the venue’s largest space that can accommodate 120 ceremony and wedding breakfast guests, and 250 evening reception guests. WYNYARD HALL 01740 644811 | Beyond the beauty of this exclusive wedding venue lies a fascinating history enriched by a huge cast of characters, who all played their part in its story. For generations, Wynyard performed an important role on the world stage, playing host to royalty, aristocrats, politicians, diplomats, artists and writers. Now you can play a part in the 120 acre venue’s history, saying your vows there before showcasing the rolling countryside views to guests on the outdoor terrace. A unique feature of Wynyard Hall is that it’s one of a few venues to provide couples with both religious and civil ceremony options all under one roof. Tie the knot in its 18th century private chapel in front of 120 guests, surrounded by stained glass windows and Italian marble walls. Alternatively, for something a little less traditional, the character and charm of the Ballroom (150 guests) or Mirror Room (100 guests) make for two stunning alternatives for a civil ceremony. For your reception, head to one of the state rooms for all your wedding needs. Here, you’ve the capacity and flexibility to create a wonderfully lavish evening reception, where you and up to 300 guests can dance the night away to a live band, followed by a dazzling fireworks display over the lake. 21 THEMED VENUES

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

MY CAR Jump in Little did Briony know that giving friends a lift would lead to her forever after Images courtesy of Dash Photography Briony met Jonny when she gave him a lift along with some of her friends. “He was being annoying, lifting my seat latch and finding it hilarious pushing me backwards and forwards while I drove,” she says. “It made me realise he wasn’t a safety first kind of lad – and I didn’t want him in my car again! However, that didn’t last long, as we ended up hanging about with the same people. It wasn’t always an easy ride – his group of mates suffered a great loss of a friend, and that’s when I realised life’s too short, deciding to drunkenly confess my feelings 10 years ago. We became a ‘Facebook’ couple on 26 May 2013 – because nothing’s official until it’s social media confirmed!” The groom popped the question after a meal out four years after they got together. “Jonny was picking at his food, but I assumed he wasn’t enjoying it,” continues Briony. “He then called his mate for a lift home, who said he couldn’t help – little did I know he was in on the plan! We had to get the bus, which took ages, then when we got off Jonny said he was bursting for the loo and ran off to get home quicker. I walked into the living room and there he was, down on one knee, holding a Haribo ring in a black velvet box – which I always said I’d love to be proposed to with. I peeked around the door and saw my Costco teddy bear sitting beside a LED sign saying, ‘Will you marry me?’. After I asked him around 20 times if he was taking the mick, he pulled out another box with a sparkling engagement ring in! I then twigged he was proposing four years since we first got together, asking what made him decide on that date. His reply? ‘I’ll never forget any of our anniversaries – and it’s the day before your birthday so I can’t forget that, either.’ Clever lad!” The couple set the date of 26 May 2023, choosing The Alnwick Garden as their venue. Here, Briony tells us more about their big day… 23 REAL WEDDINGS

Our table plan was the hardest part of the wedding to sort. I ended up keeping the divorced people to opposite ends of the room – and the potty mouths away from kids! We also gave everyone sparklers on their place setting with tags that said, ‘At the end of the day, light our way’. We were originally set to marry in Kos, but Covid ruined our plans two years in a row. We then decided to wed in the UK, looking around The Alnwick Garden and booking with just five months to plan our wedding! I love fresh flowers, but in the height of summer when allergies are rife and hay fever can be a killer, I didn’t want people looking like they were crying all day. I opted for artificial, but the result was beautiful. I have to give Jonny credit for our centre pieces, suggesting filling them with sweets rather than having a separate sweet table. It killed two birds with one stone! We wanted favours people were going to use. Our main meal was a BBQ, so we decided on cheese slices with the caption, ‘Melt with love… or on the burger you’re about to scran’! 24

Our flower girl dresses were also purchased three years ago, so I’m grateful they still fitted! Our page boy also looked incredibly smart with his yellow dickie bowtie. We have to give a massive shout out to our singer, Sam Rea, who performed for our guests until the wedding breakfast. We also had a DJ for the evening, who got everyone up on the dancefloor. I bought our bridesmaids’ dresses when we should have been going to Greece, which is where the yellow theme came from. I even got one for myself, in case I wanted to change out of my wedding dress. Jonny and his groomsmen all wore grey chequered suits. Everyone that knows Jonny gets how smart shoes aren’t his cup of tea, so after a few hours his Nike Airs came out to play! I wore an Enzoani Lena dress which I bought from The Wedding Dress Company in 2019 when we originally planned to marry. I loved it from the second I saw it online; to the second I tried it on; to finally wearing it four years later! Everyone knows I’m a sucker for Costco red velvet cake, so we went for a red velvet top tier, Victoria sponge middle tier and chocolate sponge bottom tier. 25 REAL WEDDINGS

I love a good dance – normally on chairs or tables! – so we hired an arcade dance machine which we all relived our PlayStation days on, double stepping and jumping, even in our dresses! We couldn’t leave our dog out of our big day! We also managed to get a sneaky picture with him that said, ‘I’m going to be a big brother’ – as we found out two weeks before the wedding that I was expecting a baby! BRIONY & JONNY’S LITTLE WHITE BOOK Photography, Dash Photography | Venue, The Alnwick Garden | Dress, jewellery and accessories, The Wedding Dress Company | Hair, Jess May Hairdressing | Suits, Smart As Suits | Band, Sam Rea Music | DJ, Frog on the Tyne Entertainments | Balloons, Ameo Balloons The Alnwick Garden has mini tractors for the children to play on – but it was us adults who had the most fun, racing down the ramps and grass all day! Luckily no injuries were sustained. 26

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Uni days After meeting at university love blossomed for Megan and Shaun Images courtesy of Carn Patrick Photography 28

Megan met Shaun at university while Megan was training to be a teacher and Shaun was studying for a sports degree. “Mutual friends introduced us at Newcastle’s Digital club,” says Megan. “Shaun walked across the dance floor, picked me up and spun me around! We danced the night away and decided we wanted to see each other again. After a couple of weeks, we made it official, both knowing we were in it for the long run. Shaun treated me like a Princess, making sure I was fed good meals – and I never had to get a taxi again.” When it came to popping the question, Shaun surprised Megan on her birthday. “By now we’d been together for six years,” continues Megan. “Shaun said we were going somewhere nice – then drove me to Greggs! As you can imagine, I told him he’d better be joking, before we set off to Beamish Hall for a two-night stay. I still didn’t realise anything was up, even when he started acting strange and unpacked all his clothes in different drawers. Organising for flowers, chocolates, Champagne and a hamper to be delivered to our suite, he then removed a small box from one of the shoes he’d packed and got down on one knee. I burst into tears, screamed, ‘Yes!’, then Shaun opened the Champagne; also producing a load of congratulation cards from our relatives, who were all in on the surprise!” The couple set the date for 27 October 2022, choosing Ellingham Hall for their big day. Here, Megan tells us more about their wedding… ON THE HUNT First things first: it was time for the couple to find the perfect venue. “I’m from the North East and Shaun’s from Yorkshire, so we knew we wanted somewhere in the North,” says the bride. “I started searching for venues, but was very particular when it came to the colour of their carpet or chairs; ruling many out in the process! We then found Ellingham Hall and looked at their virtual tour online, before deciding to go and see it in person. As soon as Shaun saw Ellingham Hall and how grand it looked from the outside, he knew this was the place he wanted to get married at. Walking around, we were able to see all of the bedrooms and loved how quirky and different each room was. We also learnt all about their twonight wedding package, falling in love with the idea of having all our friends and family together for two days. We were sold there and then!” DO US A FAVOUR Choosing other elements of their wedding wasn’t as easy. “It took me a long time to decide on wedding favours,” says Megan. “Shaun had the nickname ‘Sambuca Shaun’ from people at work – which is a story in itself! – so it made sense to do some type of shot as a favour. We bought shot bottles from Amazon with a cork in the top, filling them with sambuca ourselves before travelling to Ellingham Hall. We had to pay a corkage charge to the venue, but it was worth it for our guests’ reaction!” Table-wise, the couple turned to Megan’s university friend, Ashleigh, who runs a design and craft business. “Ashleigh mentioned she was looking to branch into the wedding trade, so we asked her to create our table plan using an acrylic sign and rose-coloured paint to fit with our autumnal theme. She also made our place names in a circular acrylic design, again with rose paint to match. I hoped people would take them away and use them as coasters, and my idea worked – my mam put a hole in the top of ours with ribbons to use as Christmas baubles!” THE CHOICE IS YOURS Pinterest and Instagram were key when it came to helping Megan and Shaun choose their flowers; screen-shotting bouquets before sending images to their florist and venue stylist. “We wanted our blooms to be in keeping with our autumn and rose coloured theme,” says the bride. “The 29 REAL WEDDINGS

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Whole Schbang did an amazing job, with my bouquet made of eucalyptus and other foliage, along with roses and dried pink flowers. As for our centrepieces, we felt something low would work better, so that family and friends could see each other. In the end we made the decision to have the same flowers as my bouquet, along with floating candles.” Choosing a cake was also a lot of fun, with Megan and Shaun ordering cake samples in the post to try. “In the end we opted for a different flavour for each tier, choosing spiced apple first as it was our favourite of all the choices. We then decided on chocolate orange, a favourite of one of my grandads who passed away before the wedding; with lemon drizzle for the smallest tier.” MAM’S THE WORD Megan didn’t choose her wedding dress – her mam did! “I found four designs to try, then my mam picked a fifth, Madi Lane’s Adrian,” continues Megan. “I wanted something that looked different for the evening reception, initially trying on a style with a detachable skirt that just didn’t work. The dress my mam chose was super-sparkly; and nothing like I imagined. However, as soon as I put it on I felt like a bride, showing my sisters, mam and Shaun’s mum and sister – and Shaun’s mum started to cry. My sister then took a video with the flash and the dress seemed to light up and look different, which ticked the box for the night-time!” The rest of the wedding party were also dressed to impress, starting with the groom. “Shaun chose a sage green three-piece herringbone suit by Moss Bros, with his groomsmen opting for a darker olive green,” says the bride. “My bridesmaids wore gowns in keeping with my rose-colour theme, looking sensational in their multiway dresses by Victoria Lou Bridal.” FEEL THE LOVE Looking back on their day, Megan and Shaun have nothing but happy memories about the raw emotions that come with marrying your soulmate. “Shaun was nervous at the start, then cried when he saw me walk down the aisle – which then had me holding back tears,” remembers the bride. “It felt like a fairy-tale having all our favourite people together. Our family and friends met up the night before, which helped during the wedding, as some guests who were there alone then had people to chat to. The entire day was magical, and I felt like a Princess, sparkling from head to toe.” Laughter was also abundant throughout the couple’s celebration. “A funny story I only found out after our wedding was that my uncle, who’s 90, accidentally kicked over a floating candle in the aisle just before I arrived. Rather than stopping, he carried on like nothing had happened – and the staff only managed to clean it up just before I walked down the aisle!” The best story of the day, however, has to go to Megan’s other grandad, who disappeared at one stage from the wedding. “My mam found him sat on the mezzanine balcony, and asked why he wandered off,” says Megan. “He said he wanted some time to sit by himself and soak it all in, and to think about how much he was enjoying the day. It makes us smile every time we think of it.” MEGAN’S TOP TIP “Write a list to keep track of what you spend and when payments are due, to ensure everything is ready for your day.” REAL WEDDINGS 31

ROLL CREDITS Photography, Carn Patrick Photography | Venue, Ellingham Hall | Videography, Abigail Grace Videography | Dress, Dotty Bridal | Jewellery and Accessories, Paris Dress House | Hair, Bridal Hair by Kayleigh | Make-up, Vicky Hedley Make Up Artist | Suits, Moss Bros | Bridesmaids’ dresses, Victoria Lou Bridal | Flowers and Styling, The Whole Schbang | | Cake, The Master Cakesmith | Stationery and Table Plan, Ashleigh Elliott Designs | Rings, Queensbury Jewellers | Music, House of Sax 32


Sneak Peak Kathryn and Chris got engaged in the French Alps Images courtesy of Hayley Crone Photo Kathryn and Chris met at work in 2018. “Chris joined the company after he’d been travelling around Asia, and we hit it off straight away,” says Kathryn. “Within a few weeks we had our first date – and never looked back. I moved into Chris’s Gateshead flat where we spent our nights cooking, dancing around the kitchen, or wandering to the city centre for drinks. We knew this was something special, because no matter how much time we spent together, we were never bored. Being together just feels like home.” Chris proposed on a skiing holiday in March, 2022. “It was like any other day in the holiday,” continues Kathryn. “Chris always skis with a backpack on, so him sorting his bag on the morning didn’t raise an alarm. After a couple of hours, Chris slowed and asked me to stop – but I skied straight past, as I thought he wanted me to rest but I didn’t feel tired! At the next run he managed to get me to stop, sitting down before Chris got out a mini bottle of Champagne from his backpack. I still didn’t twig! After a glass, he produced a perfect Princess cut engagement ring, asking me to marry him overlooking the Alps. It was perfect in every way.” The couple set the date of 21 April 2023, choosing Charlton Hall as their venue. Here, Kathryn tells us more about their big day… 34