Your North East Wedding - November/December 2023 (Issue 59)

WED AND BREAKFAST Check in at a local hotel for your big day A honeymoon to Rhodes A modern FAIRYTALE Romantic real weddings NOV/DEC 2023 £3.55 DRESSED TO IMPRESS The latest fashion trends NORTH EAST WEDDING WIN!

Corbridge NE45 5NH 01434 634444

REGULARS 6 EDITOR’S LETTER What to look out for in this issue 9 NEARLYWED NEWS Catch up on the latest from around the North East 13 FREEBIES & OFFERS Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs 44 HOT TOPIC Our experts answer your questions 81 COMPETITION Win a mini-moon in Rhodes worth £1,300 CONTENTS NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2023 VENUES 15 SPOTLIGHT ON DURHAM & THE SURROUNDING AREA Discover some of the best local venues 19 WED & BREAKFAST Check in at a local hotel for your big day On the cover... This issue’s beautiful cover was organised by Amelia Ray Events ( It was captured by the talented Holly W Photography ( at Lumley Castle ( To see the full set of images and list of suppliers, turn to page 47. 51 15 FEATURES 41 YOUR CARRIAGE AWAITS Meet local transport companies 47 MAGIC MOMENTS These images organised by wedding planning company Amelia Ray Events show how incredible a castle wedding can be 51 DRESSED TO IMPRESS The latest trends for the wedding party 3

REAL WEDDINGS 23 SOULMATES Kay and Kenny bonded over a love of music and food 28 LOOK AT THE STARS Robs proposed to Hannah at Durham’s Grassholme Observatory 35 GRAND DESIGNS Scott’s proposal to Ruth didn’t exactly go to plan HONEYMOONS 74 HONEYMOON NEWS Our travel editor reveals the newest openings and honeymoon essentials 76 AN ICONIC ISLAND A honeymooners’ paradise, Grand Palladium Hotels & Resorts in Montego Bay have it all 78 THE ITALIAN DREAM Discover the delights of Sardinia with a stay at the impressive Forte Village 80 WHAT A TREAT! The stylish Retreat at Elcot Park is country-house comfort at its best GROOMS 70 GROOMS’ NEWS The latest best buys and product launches 71 MANE ATTRACTION Influencer Eyal Booker and his brother Ariel reveal their top hair care tips for grooms-to-be 72 DRESSED TO KILL Channel your inner James Bond with these black-tie options for the groom-to-be FASHION & BEAUTY 54 FASHION FOCUS The latest bridal fashion news, buys and launches 55 IN VOGUE These model looks showcase the hottest bridal trends for 2024, with delicate details, texture takeovers and playful shorter styles 60 PARTY PIECES Dazzle at a Christmas or winter wedding in stunning silver and crystal accessories 61 A TOUCH OF COLOUR Winter isn’t about wearing a white wedding dress, pick a fruit-pastel inspired shade or something a little bolder 64 BEAUTY BUZZ Get the look with the latest must-haves 66 BEAUTY QUEEN We chat to Hannah Martin about her new book, Makeup, and all things bridal beauty 68 BEAUTY Q&A Local professionals solve your problems 69 WELL GROUNDED If wedding planning stress is getting the better of you, take this time-out with Ground Wellbeing’s Peigin Crowley 23 28 74 35 55 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

47 74 66 This styled shoot was organised by wedding planning company Amelia Ray Events to show how incredible a castle wedding can be. Looking for a venue with accommodation for your friends and family to stay the night? Head over to our hotels feature to see some of the region’s finest properties. Read all about the latest openings and honeymoon destinations for couples post-vows. I’ve worked at County Wedding Magazines for almost seven years now, and I’ve always admired the gorgeous venues, weddings and talented suppliers in the North East, so I’m really excited to introduce myself as the new editor. I don’t know about you, but the older I get, the quicker time seems to fly by. It seems like only yesterday that I was writing about my upcoming wedding, and here we are over a year later. If you’ve recently become engaged and the wedding feels like it’s forever away, trust me, it will be here before you know it. The best piece of advice I can offer is to enjoy the planning process and celebrate the small things. If you’ve said yes to the dress or booked that special venue that you’ve had your eye on, take the time to celebrate – go out on a date, treat yourselves, and make a scrapbook of those key moments. Once the wedding is over, you’ll love having those memories to look back on. It’s been wonderful seeing the wedding industry flourish again this year. I’ve loved seeing nuptials across the UK, businesses beginning to return to normal, and new companies opening their doors, so to celebrate and end the year with a bang, we’ve gone all out with an issue full of must-see venues, photography and wedding dresses. Happy planning! Melissa x Melissa Cullen, Senior editor Festive cheer 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 ADVERTISING Account Manager Gillian Ward | 01376 538 485 @CountyWeddingMagazines @CountyWeddings @countyweddingmagazines Visit us online at and FEATURES EDITOR Claire Muffett-Reece DESIGN 01376 535 616 ACCOUNTS 01376 535 616 MANAGING DIRECTOR Sarah Ellis | 01376 535 602 EDITORIAL Senior Editor Melissa Cullen | 01376 535 611 We chat to Hannah Martin about her new book, Makeup, and all things bridal beauty. 19 6

Kay and Kenny bonded over their love of music and food, and 14 years later became engaged on Christmas Day. 23 81 Win a romantic break in Rhodes. Check out the hottest bridal trends for 2024, with delicate details, texture takeovers, and playful shorter styles. 55 41 Hannah and Robs got engaged at Durham’s Grassholme Observatory, and later tied the knot at The Parlour at Blagdon. 51 70 35 28 Ruth and Scott met through a mutual friend and began their relationship during the pandemic. They spoke often, and when the restrictions lifted, they had their first date on a beach. When it comes to a wedding day, whether you’re the bride or a guest, the million-dollar question for everyone is: what am I going to wear? For the bride and groom, as they are the stars of the show, it’s likely that they have at least an idea of what their big-day look will be like. But for the rest of the bridal party, where do you begin? To help you decide, we’ve rounded up the latest fashion trends for 2024. The latest best buys and product launches for the groom-to-be. On your big day, all eyes will be on you, so why not impress your guests with wow-factor transport? Whether you’re looking for something traditional, fun or quirky, our wonderful region has something to suit. EDITOR’S LETTER 7

Emma Gatens Professional Saxophonist Ceremony, Drinks Reception, Wedding Breakfast & Evening Party All-Day Entertainment @emmagatens Katherine Cherry Designs katherinecherry_designs Katherine Cherry Designs, nestled in the picturesque landscapes of County Durham, is your enchanting destination for exquisite arti cial owers and bespoke wedding stationery. With a passion for cra ing timeless beauty, we bring your dreams to life with every petal and paper, adding a touch of everlasting elegance to your special moments. 07873 854314 @infinitydecoratedcakes WE CAN DO VEGETARIAN GLUTEN FREE

NEWS Nearlywed All the latest from around the North East TREASURED MEMORIES Made by Mannie, a flower and memorial preservation artist, is now offering dry frames alongside its resin products. Samantha Sanderson, the owner of Made by Mannie, tells us: “We started as a lockdown project in May 2020 and have continued to grow ever since. I wanted to share what I have always loved doing and allow others to enjoy it too. We work from our home-based workshop in Sunderland but can ship worldwide. Our main focus is on flower and memorial preservation, but we also offer bespoke homewares such as trays, tables, and coasters. We can also dry your fresh flowers and then set them into any of the pieces on our website.” Samantha offers a range of products, including keepsake photo frames, keyrings, and jewellery, and you can even have your bouquet preserved as a beautiful keepsake to treasure for years to come. Visit for more information. DREAMY DÉCOR Made Simply Perfect, an award-winning venue stylist in Northumberland, is celebrating after being named Brinkburn Priory’s only recommended florist and venue stylist. The family-run business offers a range of services, including venue styling, beautiful flowers, bespoke stationery, and finishing touches. Glynis Hewitt, the owner, tells us: “With a genuine passion for our business, we have worked hard to earn our fantastic reputation for innovative designs and amazing service. We want your experience working with us to be pleasant and enjoyable. We work hard to instill confidence in our services, reducing the stress involved by providing reassurance and excellent communication. This gives our couples the confidence to relax, knowing that their day will be made simply perfect.” Check out for more information. A NEW LOOK After a successful year capturing weddings across our wonderful region, Durham-based photographer Dash Photography is preparing to launch a new website. “I’m working hard behind the scenes to get the new website ready,” says the owner, Brendan. “I’m looking forward to its reveal this winter with some special offers for 2024 and 2025. Our approach to wedding photography is to produce images that tell the story of your day. We want to capture all of those special moments as they happen without being too intrusive or distracting. We want your day to be about you, but we also want you to have fantastic and creative images that record the emotions of your special day and create memories for you to treasure. We also understand that not every couple is looking for the same style, so we are able to combine our signature style with a traditional approach or a more creative editorial style if needed.” Dash Photography will be exhibiting at the North East Wedding Show at the Hilton Hotel Gateshead on 21st January 2024. If you’re in the area and want to discuss your big day, come down and meet Brendan and lots of other wonderful suppliers. To find out more, visit 9 LOCAL NEWS

FURRY FRIENDS If you can’t contemplate saying ‘I do’ without having your beloved pooch in the wedding party, then you’ll love Langley Castle’s new doggy chaperone service provided by Mukki Pups Pawfect Days. You can choose how many hours you want your dog to be present, whether or not you want them to just have a brush and spray or a full bath and blow-dry before the wedding, and bespoke packages can also be created. Your dog will be chaperoned for the photos, which at Langley Castle can be in the glorious woodlands, on manicured lawns, in front of the stunning castle building, or even on the 1350 battlements. Collection and delivery of your pooch, pre- and post-event, is included, and pre-wedding chemistry sessions are also built in. Wedding and events co-ordinator, Katie Livingstone-Evans Lowes, says: “We love to see well-behaved dogs at Langley Castle weddings, and, in fact, I had our family dog, George, at my own wedding here. The key thing is to ensure that they feel relaxed and don’t get bored. By providing them with a chaperone with whom they have already become familiar, you can make sure their tail is wagging all day without putting the onus of looking after them on any friend or family member who just wants to enjoy the wedding.” Head to to find out more. MIND-BLOWING MAGIC Martin Duffy, an award-winning magician with over 30 years of experience, offers captivating walkaround and close-up magic for corporate events and weddings. Over the years, Martin’s reputation has grown thanks to his dedication to his profession and charismatic showmanship. He has also been awarded ‘Magician of the Year’ twice in a row by wedding industry professionals and is dedicated to creating the perfect entertainment for your big day. Martin offers a range of packages with the choice of walkaround magic, table magic, and close-up magic. He can also work as a master of ceremonies, announcing any key moments of the day and introducing the speeches. “One thing that couples often forget about is that children and speeches do not mix,” says Martin. “By the time speeches happen, any children attending will start getting bored, which can be a distraction to the parents. I can take them away for their own magic show, giving the parents some much-appreciated peace and quiet to enjoy the speeches.” Visit for more information. PLANNED TO PERFECTION Yorkshire Rose Events, a sustainability-focused event organiser, is celebrating a year of business. Specialising in large-scale private and corporate event orchestration, owner Emily Alexander has gained experience managing and running private events for established businesses and schools for the past 10 years. “I decided to take a leap and build my own business to continue doing what I love, organising,” says Emily. “I am a driven and highly motivated person who naturally wants to achieve the highest possible standards, with a track record of events to support this. From venue hire to personalised décor, transport, or catering, I can work with you to achieve your vision.” Discover more at DATE FOR THE DIARY Blackton Grange in the beautiful North Pennines, County Durham, is hosting a wedding open day on Sunday 24th March, 2024. If you choose to get married at Blackton Grange, you will have exclusive access to the whole estate for two or three nights, depending on the option you choose. This includes the eight-bedroom luxury farmhouse, the Celebration Barn, and access to the surrounding 11 acres of land. If a large wedding is not your thing, several areas in the beautiful farmhouse have also been licensed for ceremonies. This means the two of you can run away to Blackton Grange to elope, giving you the choice to get married in the most intimate way with just the two of you or even bring some guests to help you celebrate. The wedding open day is the perfect opportunity to see Blackton Grange’s beautiful wedding spaces for yourself and talk to the friendly team about how you can personalise your big day. The show will take place between 11am and 3pm. To register your attendance, email For more information about Blackton Grange and its wedding packages, visit 10

Are you looking for a unique and unforgettable wedding venue? Look no further than Blackton Grange Estate! �is stunning celebration estate is all about creating memories and spending time with loved ones. With full exclusivity of the estate for two nights or more, you can tailor your wedding to your individual needs. And unlike many wedding venues, there are no packages or corkage fees, and you have 100% �lexibility to choose your own food and drink suppliers. One of the best things about Blackton Grange Estate is that it is entirely your own. You won’t have to share the space with anyone else, meaning you can truly make it your own. Set within 11 acres of Designated Dark Skies Wilderness, in the heart of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it’s the perfect place to celebrate life’s biggest milestones. �e newly renovated farmhouse on the estate can accommodate up to 17 guests, so you can keep your loved ones close by throughout your celebration. And to make your day as stress-free as possible, Blackton Grange Estate comes with a dedicated coordinator who will help ensure everything runs smoothly. Prices start from just £4,200 for a 2 day/night hire, which includes full exclusive use of the estate, luxury farmhouse accommodation for up to 17 guests, a licensed wedding barn with ceremony space for 70, dining space for 70 evening party space for 90, and a personal wedding coordinator. And as a dry hire venue, you have complete control over every aspect of your event, from the food to the decor to the entertainment. �is means you can make your special day truly unique and save money by choosing your own vendors and avoiding any hidden fees from the venue. At Blackton Grange Estate, every story deserves a happily ever a�ter. Contact us today to start planning your dream celebration and make your special day everything you’ve ever dreamed of. Blackton Grange Estate, Baldersdale, Barnard Castle, DL12 9UX Facebook: BlacktonGrangeEstate Instagram: BlacktonGrangeEstate Email: Web :

All-live 6-piece band playing a wide range of cover songs for all occasions! The band features both male and female lead vocals, alongside saxophone, keyboards, guitar, bass and drums, all delivered through professional PA and lighting systems, with a dedicated sound engineer. We offer bespoke packages tailored to meet your requirements, including a DJ service. For availability and pricing information please contact Mark on: Tel: 07739 307631 Email: Further information including current set list can also be found at: C�e�� �u� ��� la�es� �i�e� THE NORTH EAST’S PREMIER WEDDING, FUNCTION & PARTY BAND Borderland - North East Band borderland_northeastband Borderland North East Band AWARD-WINNING WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY Affordable Packages from £799 Secure your date & package for just £100 07484 212018

Take advantage of these gorgeous giveaways and fab offers THE STARS ALIGN Herding Hill Farm is the ultimate winter getaway, offering luxury glamping accommodation near Haltwhistle in Northumberland. Ideal for romantic stargazing breaks, the site has luxury en-suite Castle Pods with subtle lighting so couples can take in the best of the night sky from their hot tub or beside their firepit. Stargazing kits are available for hire to make the most of the dark winter nights, with spectacular views of the Milky Way and the Northern Lights. The Castle Pods have wood-burning stoves if you want to get cosy indoors, and the site’s five-star amenity block has a sauna for exclusive hire. Dogs are welcome in two of the Castle Pods and the site has its own scenic dog walk with spectacular sunsets. While Herding Hill Farm is a family-friendly site, the Castle Pods are adult-only. Just a mile from Hadrian’s Wall, the glamping and camping site enjoys views of the World Heritage Site and the North Pennines and is within easy reach of the Lake District and the Northumberland coast. A pub serving home-cooked food and real ales is a short walk away. Herding Hill Farm is open year-round and operates a quiet site policy to ensure that guests can enjoy the peace and quiet of the site’s rural location. Exclusively for Your North East Wedding, Herding Hill Farm is offering 10 per cent off stays in one of its Castle Pods. Email or call 01434 320 175 and quote ‘YourNorthEastWedding’ to claim your discount. Bookings must be made before 31st January 2024 with breaks taken by 31st December 2024. Direct bookings only. To find out more, visit WIN TWO STRIKING ACCURIST WATCHES WORTH UP TO £538! County Wedding Magazines has teamed up with British heritage watch brand Accurist to offer readers the chance to win this ultimate prize package for nearlyweds. Brides-to-be have the choice of a stunning set from Accurist and Sarah Alexander collaboration ( Priced from £209 to £289. This curation of nine unique giftsets, combines Sarah Alexander jewellery with Accurists best-selling, vintage-inspired Rectangle and Jewellery collections. All gift sets have been hand curated to showcase a coordinated look, featuring bangles, bracelets, earrings and necklaces with a wide variety of unique gemstones such as Rose Quartz, Mother of Pearl and Blue Kyanite − winners will be hard-pressed to choose! Grooms-to-be have the tough choice of selecting a dashing watch from one of Accurists men’s collection ( Priced from £119 to £249. Whether you go for a 1950s-inspired ‘Classic’ collection or the bold design of its ‘70s bestseller ‘Origin’ collection, all of Accurists’ collections have taken inspiration from 77 years of British watchmaking. Each watch comes with quick-release interchangeable straps, a five-year extended warranty and unique features in each collection. What’s more, whether you require the above two sets, or two brides or grooms, both come presented in Accurists watch roll gift packaging and can be personalised with engraving on the case back − perfect for the happy day. Check out Enter online via the website by 31st January, 2024. Terms and conditions apply. Freebies& OFFERS FREEBIES & OFFERS 13

FALL IN LOVE the small print WEDDING BREAKFAST FIZZ & BEER ON ARRIVAL BUBBLES TO TOAST GLASS OF HOUSE WINE EVENING CATERING DJ TO DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY £4,995 The Wynyard Club, Wellington Drive, Wynyard, TS22 5QJ E: T:01740 644399 Package based on 60 day guests and 80 evening guests. Our package is flexible, with the ability to add additional guests or add upgrades to personalise in any way you choose. New bookings only. Limited date availability applies. Not valid in conjunction with any other offer. Get in touch with our dedicated wedding coordinator for more information. with our perfect wedding package running from October 2024 - March 2025 ‘Fall in Love’

Spotlight on... DURHAM AND AROUND SEAHAM HALL, SR7 7AG 01915 161 400 | Seaham Hall is a Georgian country house hotel that dates back to 1791. Over the years, the house has seen many owners, but in 1985, it was converted into a hotel. It was acquired by an independent hospitality group in 2012 and became the striking building we see today. Rich in heritage and decorated in a contemporary style, the property is home to a collection of bedrooms, each one different from the next, but all featuring luxuries and unbeatable views. There are two fabulous restaurants. The Dining Room, headed up by chef Damian Broom, serves dishes inspired by the rugged North Sea and glorious Durham countryside. While the pan-Asian restaurant, Ozone, is where you can sample warming curries, vibrant stir-fries, and tempting tapas selections in a theatrical setting. Celebrate in style Whether your guest list is two or 122, Seaham Hall can accommodate your big day. The Annabella Room can hold up to 20 of your nearest and dearest. This room has modern facilities and is tucked away in a quiet corner of the hotel. With floor-to-ceiling windows providing plenty of natural daylight and views over the fabulous gardens, the space is perfect for intimate celebrations and private dining. Located on the ground floor of the main house, The Ballroom has direct access to the south-facing terrace and spectacular views of the stunning grounds. This room is wonderful for weddings of up to 100 loved ones. Adjacent to The Ballroom is a private bar, making this ideal for a breakout area or drinks and canapés. A bright space offering panoramic views of the grounds, The Garden Room features a top-quality smart TV, integrated AV, and a tele-adapt media hub. This room is ideal for a variety of events, including arrival drinks and dinner with up to 30 friends and family. We love... The award-winning Serenity Spa is an inspiring wellness retreat that draws influence from Far Eastern healing rituals. New for 2023 is the Blue Health Spa and Wellness Package, part of Seaham Hall’s ongoing commitment to harnessing the mental and physical benefits associated with close proximity to the coast. The new packages and treatments have been carefully formulated, taking inspiration from the hotel’s stunning surroundings and the natural landscapes of the Durham Heritage Coast. Seaham Hall offers a range of day and overnight spa experiences to choose from, perfect for some pre-wedding pampering. 15 DURHAM & AROUND VENUES

BOWBURN HALL, DH6 5NH 01913 770 311 | Bowburn Hall is a brick building that was originally a private home. Offering an exquisite combination of traditional country house charm and 21st-century opulence, current owner Ramside Estates has extended the accommodation into the hotel’s grounds with the addition of five new garden lodges. Celebrate in style Available to hire exclusively as a wedding venue for the whole day, the hotel’s stunning ballroom makes for a memorable ceremony and reception space, capable of hosting 160 wedding breakfast guests and up to 250 in the evening. The ballroom also opens out onto landscaped gardens, perfect for drinks and canapés in the sun. In the summer months, you can exchange your vows under an ornate garden pagoda, as up to 160 of your friends and family look on from the seating on the wedding lawns. For the younger guests, the garden also has an extensive play area. We love... The venue’s 20 individually styled bedrooms have crystal chandeliers, freestanding copper baths and antique furniture. There is also a spectacular four-poster bed gracing the honeymoon suite. BRANCEPETH CASTLE, DH7 8DE 01913 789 670 | Brancepeth Castle is a Medieval castle near Durham that was first constructed in the mid-12th century. Over time, the property changed hands and uses until it became a family home open to visitors on a number of days each year and for public events. Celebrate in style If you’re looking for a picturesque setting with the opportunity to personalise your day, the castle is ideal. From the moment you receive your guests until the last dance is over, it’s up to you to decide the look, the timetable, the menus, the entertainment, and all the little details that make your wedding uniquely yours. On the ground floor, there are four principal reception rooms, each with a different character and style. Features include waxed oak floors, high vaulted ceilings, and working fireplaces. Linking anterooms and numerous access points to the courtyard let you combine almost any of the spaces to suit the size of your event, whether it is for an intimate wedding with 80 guests or a larger guest list of up to 170. For a truly historic atmosphere, there are also two intimate reception rooms in the original Medieval fortress. In addition, there is an enclosed lawn courtyard, which makes a perfect entrance and backdrop for champagne, canapés, and photos to start your reception or to escape for a breath of fresh air later in the evening. Although it’s not licensed for marriage services, you can hold a blessing in the chapel with up to 100 of your friends and family. We love... The venue’s rich and interesting history. 16

PARK HEAD HOTEL, DL14 8QB 01388 661 727 | Ideally located on the outskirts of Bishop Auckland, within easy reach of Durham City and the A1, Park Head Hotel is the perfect base for those who enjoy outdoor activities such as walking, cycling, and golf. There are a range of attractions nearby, including Auckland Castle and Gardens, the Spanish Gallery, Auckland Tower, and the new Faith Museum, which is full of over 2,000 years worth of history to discover. Celebrate in style Celebrate your special occasion in style in the Laurel Room. The venue offers a wide selection of celebratory dining menus and drink packages. Hire of The Laurel Room includes all tables, chairs, linen, crockery, cutlery, cake stands, cake knives, easels, and staffing. We love... Park Head Hotel and Restaurant is the latest addition to The Auckland Project, a regeneration charity with a difference. By staying in one of the Park Head Hotel’s 38 en-suite guest rooms, hiring The Laurel Room for your celebration or visiting The Auckland Project’s collection of heritage attractions, you will be helping create a brighter future for Bishop Auckland and its people. WHITEHOUSE HOTEL, SR8 5DL 01915 870 299 | Originally built in the 1800s, the Whitehouse Hotel is a fully refurbished modern wedding venue offering exclusive use with nine beautifully decorated hotel rooms. Overnight accommodation includes a freshly cooked-to-order breakfast and a friendly, comfortable stay. Celebrate in style Host your wedding outside on the summer decking or inside the garden room. The Whitehouse Hotel is an inclusive venue, and it welcomes all couples. Experience the VIP treatment for your wedding with the hotel’s one or two night stay package, which can accommodate up to 21 people overnight as part of your wedding celebrations. We love... The free guest Wi-Fi throughout, bar prices, modern décor, stunning sea views, large garden space, charming terrace, and several activities to enjoy in the local area, including golf courses, a public leisure centre swimming pool, coastal walks, and sandy beaches. The hotel is within easy reach of Durham City, Sunderland, and Hartlepool and offers free parking, which is covered by privately monitored CCTV. 17 DURHAM & AROUND VENUES

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...

Wed & breakfast Check in at a local hotel for your big day LANGLEY CASTLE HOTEL, NE47 5LU 01434 688 888 | Langley Castle Hotel was built in 1350 during the reign of Edward III. Adapted for modern couples, the property 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 country’s turbulent history. Celebrate in style There are several romantic spaces to choose from for your vows, including the Josephine Room, which can hold 70 guests, and the Bandstand, which has room for 60 of your nearest and dearest. Slightly larger celebrations are held in the Stuart Suite or Woodland Wedding area, both of which are able to accommodate 100 of your loved ones. Receptions are held in either the Stuart Suite with up to 120 of your friends and family or the Pavilion Suite, which can hold 30 people for smaller nuptials. We love... The castle’s 10-acre woodland estate, complete with a water fountain and roaming peacocks, offers a host of stunning photograph opportunities. The estate is able to cater to any wedding requirements, from woodland and traditional weddings to tipi and Game of Thrones-themed celebrations. 19 HOTELS

ROCKLIFFE HALL, DL2 2DU 01325 729 999 | Rockliffe Hall is a charming red brick 18th-century Victorian mansion that’s been transformed into a five-star hotel. Dating back to the 1800s, the property is set within a 375-acre estate on the banks of the River Tees. There are several places to explore and take those all-important photographs, including the Old Hall, which has high ceilings and original features, and the restored Walled Kitchen Garden, featuring freshly grown produce and flower beds bursting with colour all year round. Celebrate in style The Rockliffe Suite is the largest conference and banqueting suite in the resort and can accommodate weddings of up to 150 friends and family. Featuring a marble-pillared entrance hall and an ivy-covered garden arch, it has its own private entrance, outdoor terrace, gardens, kitchen, lounge, and fully licensed bar. The space is also used for receptions, where the in-house team of chefs can provide your ideal menu, from traditional Italian antipasti and small plates to outdoor firepits, hog roasts, and more. We love... The spa facilities include a swimming pool and an outdoor hot tub. BLACKWELL GRANGE HOTEL, DL3 8QH 03301 027 238 | Blackwell Grange Hotel is a 17th-century mansion surrounded by picturesque countryside on the outskirts of Darlington. The property has benefited from an extensive refurbishment of public areas, giving the spaces a contemporary and sophisticated feel. From the moment your guests arrive at the sweeping driveway, they will fall in love with the hotel and its beautiful lawned gardens. Celebrate in style The Gazebo is ideal for fairytale weddings and is set on the lawned gardens, while the Bruhenny Suite is a light and airy room with space for 120 guests. Intimate weddings are held in the George Allan Suite. Able to fit 70 of your nearest and dearest, the space features traditional décor and impressive views of the grounds. Both suites can be transformed for receptions to keep the celebrations going. After dancing the night away, newlyweds can retire to the refurbished Bridal Suite. We love... When you book your wedding here, you will receive a complimentary two-course wedding taster meal and a three-month leisure membership. 20

RUSHPOOL HALL, TS12 1HD 01287 624 111 | Rushpool Hall is a 19th-century manor house situated within acres of rolling countryside. Start your day in the dedicated ‘getting ready room’, featuring a large beauty station, kitchenette, and lounge adorned with mirrors and the perfect lighting to capture those getting ready pictures. Inside are a host of beautiful features, including high ceilings, intricate wallpaper, and an impressive staircase. Celebrate in style Small nuptials are held in the Peacock Room. Able to accommodate up to 60 of your loved ones, it has Victorian-style décor throughout, creating a warm and cosy feel for your day. Those of you planning an al fresco celebration will love The Pavilion, with its stone columns, domed ceiling, and sea views. Alternatively, the Ballroom, a bright space with large windows overlooking the grounds, can hold 110 people for your ceremony. This space can also be used for the wedding breakfast before guests dance the night away in their very own private basement nightclub, which has a fully stocked bar, so you don’t have to leave the party to get a drink. We love... Boasting a four-poster honeymoon suite and 19 suites for your guests to choose from, Rushpool Hall has everything needed to create cherished memories that will last a lifetime. THE GRAND HOTEL TYNEMOUTH, NE30 4ER 01912 936 666 | Nestled on the North Tyneside coast, The Grand Hotel is a classically British building that’s recognisable from its grand façade. The building’s exterior has barely been touched since its original conception in 1872 and looks stunning in photographs. Overlooking Longsands Beach, it offers guests panoramic views all the way across to Cullercoats on a clear day, and you might even be lucky enough to spot dolphins making their way across the coast. Celebrate in style Tie the knot in the Pearl Room, an intimate space perfect for expressing your love for one another in front of up to 100 of your friends and family. Boasting exclusive views over the beach via its large windows, the Orchard Suite can accommodate ceremonies of up to 150 guests. Receptions are held in either space or the Grand Chambers, which is the largest function room and can host up to 200 people. We love... The on-site accommodation is perfect for guests looking to stay the night. 21 HOTELS

for your special occasion Spring / Summer 2023 Collections began arriving in November so we offer fabulous new designs for your 2023 wedding in sizes 8 to 26. Hats to match your outfit are to buy or hire and our matching shoes and handbags will complete the ensemble for your big day. Alteration service Our experienced assistants will help you stand out from the crowd, giving you their exclusive attention with a personal and friendly service. 53-55 Front Street, Cleadon Village, SR6 7PG 0191 536 7310 Monday to Saturday 10am - 5pm Free & Easy Parking mariannefashions

SOULmates Kay and Kenny bonded over a love of music and food Images courtesy of Photography Gems Kay and Kenny met at a soul night. “On our first date, Kenny wanted an informal vibe, so we wined and dined me at our local Wetherspoons’ curry night!” says Kay. “I knew then he was a keeper! He also makes me laugh and is an amazing cook, which was definitely the way to my heart.” Kenny proposed after 14 years together. “By now we had two children and had spoken about getting married in the past, but nothing ever came of it,” remembers the bride. “It was a huge surprise when Kenny proposed by writing a cryptic ‘WYMM’? in a Christmas card I opened on Christmas Day 2022. It was a lovely morning; we drank lots of buck’s fizz before getting ready for the day.” The couple set the date of 13th April 2023, choosing The Palm as their venue. Here, Kay tells us more about their wedding… 23 REAL WEDDINGS

The Palm’s quirky interior was right up my street, and the staff were so welcoming and accommodating. I bought a few dresses from ASOS Bridal to try. The dress I chose had the illusion of being a two-piece, with an embellished bodice and a plain tulle skirt. For our place names, I hand-stamped tags and tied them with twine around napkins and sprigs of rosemary from our garden. Our daughters, Nina and Edie, were our bridesmaids and they looked unbelievably beautiful. My mother-in-law made our dog, Holly, a sage tulle skirt and she even wore a floral necklace! The main bouquets were put together using achillea, spirea, rice flower, and a variety of roses, carnations and ranunculus. Don’t be afraid to make the wedding your own. We chose not to have a threecourse meal or speeches to make the day feel more comfortable and relaxed. 24

One of the highlights of our day was our magician, who had us laughing hysterically from the start. We bought scratch cards for favours and put them in personalised envelopes. We hired a photo booth for two hours and brought our own props to use. It was great fun! It was such a special day being surrounded by close family and friends and making fantastic memories. Kenny wore a suit he already owned with a skinny sage green tie to fit in with our colour scheme. Kenny and I love cheese, so as well as a traditional cake, we also had a four-tiered cheese cake made of Gubbeen, Cornish Yarg, Colston Bassett and Dorstone. 25 REAL WEDDINGS

KAY & KENNY’S CONTACTS Venue, The Palm, | Photography, Photography Gems, | Hair stylist, Styled By Bex, | Make-up artist, G.E.M Beauty, | Cake, Blacks Corner, | Flowers, Nomad Flower Den, | Magician, Paul Lytton The North East Magician, 26

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: 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.

LOOK AT THEstars Robs proposed to Hannah at Durham’s Grassholme Observatory Images courtesy of Shutter Go Click Photography 28

Hannah and Robs met on a dating app. “However, after six months we went our separate ways as it just wasn’t the right time,” says Hannah. “Two years, a pandemic and two break-ups later, I messaged Robs again – and that was it; I wasn’t letting her get away! I’ll never forget tipsily screaming, ‘Will you be my girlfriend?’ at Durham Pride in the rain, and she moved in five months later.” Neither Hannah or Robs wanted to get married – or so they thought. “One day we were sat in a pub when it hit me how much I’d love to marry her, so I could introduce her as my wife,” continues Hannah. “Telling Robs there and then, I was shocked when she liked the idea as well. I had a bit of a cry – I might have had a pint or two! – but nothing further happened at that point in time.” Robs popped the question when the couple had been together just under a year. “I took Hannah to Grassholme Observatory the day before her birthday, so she wouldn’t suspect a thing, even roping in the guy who runs it so we could have the whole place to ourselves,” says Robs. “Turns out I picked the only night that weekend where you couldn’t see the moon due to cloud cover, but the ring was in my pocket and I was sweating buckets, so I committed myself to asking the question! I first gave Hannah a locket shaped like a book – as she’s a librarian – with its pages folded out to a message saying, ‘Will you marry me?’. By the time Hannah turned around there I was, down on one knee, thinking I was about to pass out! Hannah jumped on me as she was so excited – and didn’t even realise I was holding a ring. It wasn’t until I got up that she asked, ‘Have I got a ring?’ that I managed to show it to her!” The couple set the date for 13th July 2023, choosing The Parlour at Blagdon for their big day. Here, they tell us more about their wedding… TO THE MOON & BACK The couple originally planned to elope. “However, as soon as Robs put a ring on Hannah’s finger she suddenly wanted a big wedding!” say the couple. “We started to look at venues, and after visiting a few knew The Parlour at Blagdon was for us. The outside space was a massive advantage, as we were getting married in the summer. We also couldn’t fault the staff. When we mentioned we didn’t really want a traditional day they were all for it, and we felt as if they were as excited as we were as we continued our planning journey.” When it came to a theme, Hannah and Robs agreed it should be celestial. “Hannah’s always told Robs, ‘I love you to the moon’, and seeing as Robs proposed in an observatory it seemed the perfect fit,” they continue. “Instead of traditional favours, Hannah made moon-shaped place names for guests to take home, with each name stamped on and a little tassel added. They also had magnets on the back to pop on fridges as a memento of the day. We continued our theme with our table plan and a beautiful white neon moon for the end of the aisle.” OVER THE RAINBOW When it came to flowers, both Hannah and Robs agreed it weren’t a priority for their day. “We liked the whimsical feel of gypsophila, so decided that was enough for the venue, along with a hint of eucalyptus and dried elements,” say the couple. “Robs, on the other hand, wanted a floral hat – which she decided on before even thinking about her outfit! Our florist was really excited to make it, choosing dried flowers which we then tied in with the buttonholes. We also had flower crowns made for our flowergirl, as well as Robs’ sister and maid-of-honour. Finally, as a surprise for the evening, Hannah had a rainbow flower crown made. In the excitement she almost forgot to put it on – luckily her bridesmaid remembered and brought it out to her!” Speaking of rainbows, the couple also had a clear idea of what they wanted for their wedding cake. “One of Robs’ closest friends, Beth, is an amazing baker, and she approached us to say she’d love to gift our cake,” adds the couple. “We decided on lemon and poppy seed, funfetti and a rainbow layer cake, which we wanted to cut as a surprise. We can’t stress how amazing the cake looked and tasted. Beth and her business partner Megan are just starting out their business, Whisk Away, and we cannot recommend them enough.” WEAR IT WELL Finding the perfect dress also wasn’t on Hannah’s list of priorities. “I’m not a 29 REAL WEDDINGS

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 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.

standard size and didn’t want to spend a fortune on a dress I’d wear once,” she says. “I knew I wanted a lace, boho feel with sleeves, and found a design on Etsy which I adored. However, there were no samples in my size, so I shelved it for a bit and started looking elsewhere. In the end nothing lived up to the one I’d seen, so I sent over my measurements, with my BIBILUXE Maya dress arriving a few weeks later. The first time I tried it on I cried tears of happiness. I could move in it, I could dance and I felt really beautiful, which I guess is the point for a wedding dress. Everyone said how ‘me’ it was – even my mam, who at first was hesitant about ordering a dress online.” It was then down to Robs to find the perfect suit, with the couple agreeing they’d keep their outfits from each other until the day. “There’s actually a big hole in the market for androgynous suits,” says Robs. “In the end I found a cropped-style jacket and pair of flares from ASOS, with a vibe of Harry Styles meets Fleetwood Mac. Hannah says she’d never seen me look so amazing.” A PLACE IN THE SUN The couple asked their venue if they could organise Spanish-style catering, as opposed to a more traditional meal. “Hannah’s dad had a house in Spain, which she visited regularly before he passed away,” continues the couple. “He loved a good party and was a great entertainer, so we wanted that feel to remember him by. Our coordinator suggested tapas, which was insane! We had boards brought to the guests’ tables piled with olives, meats, cheese and patatas bravas, followed by bowls of paella. It was perfect for a later wedding, leaving room for pizza from a local company later on in the evening. We had stacks left at the end of the night, which loads of people took home. We also had some sent to our room to eat later on!” Another nod to Hannah’s late dad was hiring a Spanish guitarist to play at their reception. “Unfortunately, he couldn’t make it in the end, so the venue suggested we make our own playlists, which they could pop on,” say the brides. “We took this very seriously, including having an emo hour and the very best of female power singers while we ate. We also had a band booked as a surprise for the evening, buying glow sticks for friends and family to use as Acoustic Clubland did their thing. They were exactly the vibe we were going for. One of our guests said it felt like they were sitting in a bar in Ibiza – what more of a compliment do you need?” MAGIC MOMENTS There are many memories of Hannah and Robs’ wedding that will stay with them forever. “We asked Robs’ little cousins, Luke and Joey, if they wanted to be our ‘wedding security’; a task they enthusiastically agreed to,” say the couple. “We ended up with stricter security than Geordie Shore! People were getting turned away as we’d forgotten to give them an evening guests list; and Joey even added extra tasks to his role, such as taking people’s snack orders. He even made some tips! Everyone loved them, and people were still mentioning them weeks after the wedding.” Seeing each other for the first time as they were about to become wife and wife is also something Hannah and Robs will never forget. “Waiting outside with my mam, who walked me up the aisle, felt like an eternity,” says Hannah. “I knew Robs was already in there and I just wanted to see her, then the minute we were in the room together we locked eyes and didn’t look at a single other person. I ugly cried the whole way!” Robs, who’d spent the day being super-calm and collected, also fell apart when she first saw her future wife in the ceremony room. “I sobbed like a bairn!” she laughs. “I’ll also never forget the music in the evening, which was totally our vibe. I got to dance with Hannah as my wife, with our friends and family, then my brother and I did a perfectly choreographed routine to Party in the U.S.A. by Miley Cyrus!” HANNAH & ROBS’ TOP TIP “Book yourself a foot massage for the next day. Your body will ache!” 31 REAL WEDDINGS