Given we've so many lovely weddings to share of late, you might have noticed us posting one or two evening posts in the last few weeks – we're going to try to get into a groove with the occasional evening post, as we know that for many of you, the evening time is an opportunity for you to browse the blogs in the comfort of your own home after work. For now, we'd like to share this lovely wedding with you sent in by North East UK photographer, Matt Ethan.
Katie. a Corporate Advisor at the Big Lottery Fund and Stu, a Team leader in a manufacturing plant, got married on 17th August this year at Morpeth Town Hall, Northumberland, followed by a Pimms reception at Whalton Manor Gardens and then a sit-down reception at Whalton Village Hall. I do love village hall wedding – there's something so wonderfully down to earth and laid back about the notion of celebrating within a beautiful old community hall.
Photography Copyright © 2013, Matt Ethan
"We both wanted a relaxed and fun wedding day with bright colours and lots of home-made details. We set out to find a village hall in the local area that we could decorate to suit our style and accommodate all our friends and family. It was important to us to have great food and cheap drinks and we felt that a village hall would give us a great deal of flexibility. When we found Whalton Village Hall, it all fell into place!"
"After travelling and working in Canada for around sixteen months after University, I moved back to England in January 2007 with my friend Jen. We had never been to Newcastle before but heard it had a great nightlife so we thought it sounded like a fun place to stay for a while. I certainly didn’t expect to meet my future husband five months later and still be living here seven years down the line! Stu and I met through our mutual friend, Beth, on a night out after work.
Beth was on her way to meet Stu at the Cumberland Arms to see an improvised comedy collective, The Suggestibles, and asked me if I wanted to join them. We really hit it off and from that point we were joined at the hip!"
"Fast forward five years and we had just moved into our first home together. Getting married was the last thing on my mind due to the long list of renovations needed on the house. However, that all got put on hold when Stu popped the question! We were on holiday in Crete with Stu’s Mum, sister, brother-in-law, nieces and nephew. While we were there it happened to be our 5-year anniversary of meeting each other so we had a day out driving around the mountains and stopping off at all the beautiful places along the way.
We were just about to head back to the hotel when we saw a sign for a cave and thought we could squeeze in one more stop off. We hiked up to the cave in the sweltering heat (so I was looking less than glamorous to say the least!) and after having a little explore, Stu pulled the ring from his pocket and asked me to marry him. I was completely surprised and said yes straight away. I couldn’t believe he had been carrying it around in his pocket the whole day and I hadn’t even twigged! We arrived back at the hotel and Stu’s family had decorated our room as they were all in on it as well! It was absolutely the best holiday ever!
We were engaged for just over a year before getting married."
"Our flowers came from Hazy Daisy Florists. They made the bridesmaids bouquets and the button holes and supplied the flowers for my bouquet, which my Aunty Rikke arranged for me. We opted for summary shades of yellows, pinks and peaches, and I fell in love with David Austin Roses as they reminded me of the tissue paper pom poms that I had made to decorate the hall with"
"My dress was by Alfred Angelo. I bought it from a wedding dress shop in Morpeth called The Wedding Gallery. I loved wearing my dress so much! It was simple and elegant and so much fun to jump around in! I loved the material; it wasn’t as heavy as a lot of traditional wedding dresses, and the shape was just what I had been looking for.
It was also a bonus that it was on the sale rack as I really didn’t want to spend too much on a dress I would only wear only once so I was really lucky to find the perfect dress at a great price!"
"We didn’t really have proper wedding favours but I made some felt fortune cookies and placed a Hershey Kiss inside with a fortune message for each guest."
"I loved the idea of a getting mis-matched bridesmaids dresses in different styles and summery colours. However, it was a bit of a challenge to find nice summery colourful dresses that didn’t cost the earth and would actually suit all of my bridesmaids. I ended up going for a selection of navy blue dresses from Debenhams and Monsoon and pairing them with yellow shoes to tie in with the flowers. They all looked gorgeous."
"I bought all the bridesmaids hair accessories from Debenhams. Most of the girl’s dresses had a little bit of sparkle on and Stu’s sister Kelly bought some sparkly brooches for the rest so they all had a similar look.
I also got most of the bridesmaids shoes from the same place that I got my shoes – Girls of Elegance. They came with a free dying service so I matched the colour of my yellow shoes to some embroidery thread to try and get a close match. I got my youngest bridesmaid's shoes from Debenhams."
"My Dad walked me down the aisle and ‘gave me away’. There was no question about anyone else taking his place for this role! We walked down the aisle to Ludovico Einaudi’s ‘Resta Con Me’ (translated as Stay with Me).
We didn’t tailor our own vows as we were more than happy with the options provided by the registrar. We had two readings at the ceremony. My sister read ‘Blessing of the hands’ and our friend, Beth, read Dr Suess’s ‘Oh the places you’ll go’. It was quite difficult to find readings that weren’t really soppy and OTT, but both of these were beautiful and personal to us in their own way. It’s also a Danish tradition (my Mother is Danish) to have more than the usual number of speeches, so we asked my sister, Jane, and Stu’s sister, Kelly, to say a few words during the wedding breakfast as well. Jane wrote an incredible poem and Kelly had the room in stitches in one minute followed by tears the next. We felt so lucky and privileged to have such wonderful family and friends around us."
"Styling Whalton Village Hall was so much fun as it was basically a blank canvas that we could make into anything we wanted. We were lucky to have a beautiful floor to ceiling window looking out over the fields as a backdrop to the top table, and decided that long rows of tables would work well with the afternoon tea and also created a relaxed summer fete kind of feel to the day."
"To keep costs down, Stu and I had collected glass jars throughout the year, which we decorated with ribbons and filled with flowers from the florist and our own garden.We set the place settings up using vintage crockery provided by our caterers and I made tissue paper flowers to attach to the napkins. I was really pleased to see our guests being so creative with the flowers as most people ended up wearing them in one way or another by the end of the night!
I had also made lots of tissue paper pom poms and hung them up with some paper lanterns of different colours and sizes."
"My sister bought me my necklace from a second hand vintage shop for £2 which was absolutely perfect. My Aunty also let me wear my Gran’s blue sapphire and diamond ring, which I have always loved. It was my something old, something borrowed and something blue all in one!"
"We made all of the wedding stationary ourselves so we could add our own personal touch to the day. We based the invitations on a paper cutting design I found on Pinterest, but changed it to make it personal to us by adding in things to the background like the Tyne Bridge, the shoe tree in Heaton and Helvellyn (the first mountain we climbed together). Stu carefully cut the design out and we now have the original framed as a keepsake from the day.
Stu shaped some boards and painted them with chalk board paint, which our friend Kat then decorated with key information, such as the bar prices and dance floor rules! We ordered two casks of ale from the High House Farm Brewery in Matfen, Northumberland, and as they were happy for us to re-badge them, we asked our friend David to design them for us. We decided to re-name the beers after each other, and didn’t know what each others was until the day. I thoroughly enjoyed my pint of ‘Best Ever’ that Stu named for me!"
"We actually found our photographer, Matt Ethan, when we were searching online for village halls as he had taken some lovely photos of another wedding at Whalton Village Hall. We loved his fun and relaxed style and were so happy to find out he was available for our date. He was absolutely tremendous and captured all the details so well, telling a lovely story of the day.
I thought it would be a little strange having a camera pointing at me all day but Matt was so friendly and really put us at ease. I would highly recommend him."
"Stu had designed my engagement ring at Old Eldon Jewellers in Newcastle, so they were our first choice for the wedding rings as well. I chose a rose gold ring to fit around my white gold engagement ring as I love the contrast of the two colours together. Stu has always wanted a white gold band since reading ‘The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever’ (Stephen Donaldson), but when we went to the jewellers together he decided that it would be a sensible idea to save some money and chose a tungsten ring instead.
I knew how much it meant to him so I surprised him on the morning of the wedding by giving him a white gold wedding band."
"The idea of arriving in formal ‘wedding cars’ made me feel a little uncomfortable, so we opted for a London red Routemaster bus instead via Dreadnought Coaches of Alnwick. It was a really fun way to travel to and from the ceremony and meant we could easily transport all of our guests to Whalton."
"Our caterer’s, Jacob and Tori, provided such a fabulous service and I would recommend them to anyone looking for caterers in the North East. We opted for an afternoon tea with sparkling wine followed by an evening BBQ, as we didn’t want a heavy sit down meal during the day (and I love scones with jam and clotted cream!). They also provided vintage crockery which added to the style of the day. We bought all of the alcohol from Majestic’s, who were really helpful at helping us work out how much we needed and meant we could sell the drinks at cost price. Jacob and Tori also provided a bar service in the evening, which was a big help."
"Aside from the ceremony, which was obviously the most amazing part of the day, my favourite moment was when our makeshift toastmaster extraordinaire (our good friend David) announced that the Danes had a special surprise for us. Another Danish tradition is that they include songs throughout the meal that they have written about the married couple.
My Danish cousins brought out song sheets and a mixture of Danish and English flags and everyone gave it their all to sing along to a song they had written about us to the tune of ‘Pomp and Circumstance’. It was incredible to stand at the top table and see so many people singing their hearts out! It really meant so much that they had done that for us and I loved sharing some of the quirky Danish traditions with the English side of the family and all our friends."
"We found our DJ, Mark Hepworth from Hi-Life Entertainment, online after searching for a wedding DJ that offered an alternative style to the usual mobile DJ set. They provide an excellent service where you get to list your top 25 song choices, as well as songs you don’t want to hear, and they basically work from there. The dance floor was full all night long! We also had a photo booth from Limelight Hire that I think I hogged for half the night!"
Words of Wedded Wisdom…
"A few pointers for advice would be… to shop around to find what you’re looking for at a price that fits your budget. Don’t keep a to-do list in your head – write it down so your other half can help and you feel on top of things.
Take a step back on the day to look around and take in all the wonderful people you have around you – it’s not very often you get to be in the same room with all the people you love most in the world.
Looking back the only thing I would have done differently would have been to organise the clearing up of the hall a little better the day after. Luckily our friends and family turned up to help out as I was absolutely useless and was still floating around on cloud nine!
Don't you love a wedding with a bold colour theme? You can see more yellow style nuptials right here, and if a village hall wedding is what you're after, check these pages.
A huge thank you to photographer Matt Ethan for once again sharing his work – you can see more from Matt on Love My Dress here – though please do take a moment to visit his website, especially if you are looking for a photographer in the North East of England.
Big Wednesday evening love everyone,
Photographer – Matt Ethan
Venue – Morpeth Town Hall, Northumberland + Whalton Manor Gardens + Whalton Village Hall
Brides Dress – Alfred Angelo via The Wedding Gallery in Morpeth
Veil/Headpiece – The Wedding Studio in Blyth
Brides' shoes – white silk dyeable shoes via Girls of Elegance dyed yellow
Grooms Suit – Moss Bros
Bridesmaids – Debenhams and Monsoon
Page Boys – Marks & Spencer
Flowers – Hazy Daisy Florists
Cake – Family
Transport – Dreadnought Coaches of Alnwick
Entertainment – DJ Mark Hepworth via Hi-Life Entertainment
Photobooth Hire – Limelight Hire
Rings – Old Eldon Jewellers in Newcastle
Catering – Jacob and Tori
Hair Stylist + Make-up Artist – Lisa Jones
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