Morning all – sunshine your way today? It's sure looking beautiful from where I'm sat. I always love to feature a Newcastle wedding. Having lived in this wonderful city for 8 years, I love to be reminded of it's beauty, the friendly people and good times I had there. Today's wedding is all about Jennifer and Barry, who got married at on 31st March this year at Jesmond Dene House, just outside the centre of Newcastle Upon Tyne.
"Once we set the
wedding date for the end of March that really helped to determine the
style of the day. As it fell on Easter Sunday this ran through the
theming for the whole day. Spring in general was also a big part of the
day with the flowers and colour scheme being dictated by the time of
This worked out well as I love Spring flowers and colours and
meant it could be varied rather than a very strict ‘theme’ or strict
‘colour scheme’ which we wanted to avoid. As it was various shades of
pastel colours we felt it would be more classic and timeless."
Love My Dress Wedding Blog – Photography Copyright (c) 2013, Matt Ethan
I just adore the back of Jennifer's House of Mooshki dress…
"I had been to a couple of bridal boutiques and liked some of what I
had tried on but found the assistants could be a bit snobby and it also
felt that you were part of a production line and you were only alloted a
certain time slot and then had to be out. They were also incredibly
expensive and as we were trying to be really careful with our budget, I
was finding it difficult to justify. While looking on Bridal blogs I
came across House of Mooshki
who design their own range but also custom design dresses as well.
contacted them and met up with Olivia their designer within a few days.
She was absolutely lovely and really put me at ease, and I was quite
pleasantly surprised with the price of the dress and veil when I
received the designs and quotes. They also seemed to be the perfect
‘fit’ for me as a company as they were based in the North East but
Olivia was based in London. Therefore I had my fittings with Olivia but
they stored the dress in the North East for me until near the wedding
day so I didn’t have to take it up there myself."
"My earrings were given to me by Barry’s Grandma when we
were looking through some of her jewellery one day, as my something old.
I had struggled to find exactly what I wanted but they were perfect.
was the hairdresser and did mine, all the Bridesmaids and my Mum’s hair
on the day. She was really warm and friendly and everyone was really
pleased with their hair. I was also attracted to using Sami as she
specialises in more Vintage styles.
The beautiful cuff and my headpiece were from DC Bouquets. I cannot praise Debbie (Carlile) highly enough. She offers a really personal
service and sent a handwritten note with the accessories which was a
nice touch. The accessories I chose (the ‘Violet’ headpiece and cuff)
were so different to anything else I had seen and were really well made.
I had so many positive comments about them on the day."
"We met on a night out in Newcastle in May 2008 through mutual
friends. We became very close very quickly and even though we were from
different backgrounds we just clicked. We moved to London just over a
year later for work and to be closer to Jennifer’s family. Barry
proposed in Portsmouth in November 2011. She somewhat ruined his plans
as rather than go to the top of the Spinnaker Tower (where he had
planned to propose) she wanted to go for lunch. So he proposed in the
As he was so nervous he forgot to go down on one knee
but later that day when the ring was purchased in Portsmouth he did it
in the shop instead. We were engaged for nearly 1 year and a half before
we got married and were together for almost five years."
"Our Florist Meg Ellison, of Sweet Cicely,
was recommended by our photographer and she was fantastic. She was
independent which meant she was more cost effective than many shops and
she really understood the style I wanted. As I was previously a florist
myself the flowers were incredibly important to me and I have to say
that they actually exceeded my expectations. She also hires out crockery
and other items which was perfect as I already had the centrepiece
design in my head which included the use of cake stands.
were used in a mixture of yellows/violets/pinks/and ivory shades.
Ranunculus, freesia, tulips, lisianthus, anemones, wax flower, veronica
with eucalyptus were in the bouquets, the men’s buttonholes were
ranunculus and the table decorations also featured daffodils. Nina’s
circlet was made up of wax flower and spray roses. I also asked Meg to
source some dried lavender (as it was out of season) as I love the look
and smell and she incorporated this too. She also added some sprigs of
Rosemary to my bouquet as she said the scent is calming which was very
"I got the dresses in the Oasis
sale about 7 or 8 months before the wedding. They had really lovely
detail and were neutral which meant their bouquets and hair accessories
could be more colourful and that they could potentially wear them again
as they weren’t too ‘weddingy’. The florist, Sweet Cicely, also wired a selection of fresh flowers in to the Bridesmaid’s hair.
I got Nina, my flowergirl's dress in the Monsoon
sale the same day I found the Bridesmaid’s dresses (none of them were
present so it was a bit of a risk!). I wanted a colourful dress for the
flowergirl rather than the traditional ivory and it went really well
with the Bridesmaid’s dresses. It also meant that at the tender age of 2
1/2 no-one needed to worry about any spillages!"
chose the venue, Jesmond Dene House, as it wasn’t too vacuous so felt intimate as we were
having a fairly small wedding (60 people). We also liked the mix of old
and new that the venue has, with the historic building having modern
It was also close to transport links which was very
important as we had people traveling from all over the UK and a couple
from abroad. We also knew how well-renowned they were for their food as
they have an award winning restaurant and this was something that was a
key priority for us as often wedding food can be very samey and a bit
"Our centrepieces were a bit more interactive than most as they
featured small cups of flowers on cake stands which we encouraged guests
to take home with them if they wished. There was also a smattering of
mini eggs and tea lights on the tables. We got the tealight holders from
IKEA and the cups from an online wholesaler as I sourced cups that
would be small enough to go on the stands. We also used large whisky
glasses as candle holders and candles to line the aisle for the ceremony
and had disposable cameras on the tables during the wedding breakfast
and evening reception. For our table names we decided to use Musicals as
we both love them! We bought great double sided frames/displays from
IKEA and had the film posters printed off to the correct size at
We decided not to have chair covers as the chairs at the
venue were nice enough without. We also hung a few wicker hearts and
positioned some tealights on the fireplace in the Great Hall which was
the backdrop for the top table and then for the evening entertainment.
We also decided to add a ‘sweet table’ in the bar and bought a large
selection of sweets from Costco."
was the make up artist on the day and I was so pleased with the result.
It was such an important element and she really understood what I
wanted. She is also hilarious and brought a lot of humour with her! I
came across Lisa through House of Mooshki as she is the hair and make up
artist for their shoots.
"I came across our photographer Matt Ethan through and article Barry’s Grandma had
cut out of the local paper and posted to us. The article was about how
to plan a wedding on a budget and featured Matt and SJ Ethan
who had written an e-book on the subject. It mentioned in the article
that Matt himself was a photographer so I looked him up online.
the fact that he was young and had a more informal style as we didn’t
want too many formal shots. When we met up with Matt we also met his
wife SJ who was at that time shadowing his work. They were so friendly
and really seemed to have a passion for their work and really ‘got’ what
we wanted from our photos on the day.
As we got closer to the wedding
we had our ‘engagement shoot’ with both of them. Upon request they
organised for one of the photos from the shoot to be framed with a wide
mount so that everyone could sign it on the day. We were lucky enough to
have them both with us on the day and they captured some great
"My Dad walked me down the aisle, we decided to hire a string
quartet as live music makes such a big difference. I was also a musician
growing up so it was something I really wanted and I’m so glad we went
for it. The quartet were great and very helpful in the lead up to the
day, even arranging a piece that we requested that wasn’t previously in
their repetoire. I walked down the aisle to ‘Whatever’ by Oasis as we’re
both Oasis fans and it really lends itself to a string arrangement.
When we were signing they played ‘Stand By Me’ by Oasis and ‘One Day
Like This’ by Elbow.
When we walked back down the aisle following the
ceremony it was to ‘Good Day Sunshine’ by The Beatles. The string
quartet also played before the ceremony and then in the bar afterwards.
We asked them to play a mixture of classical and popular.
picked vows from the selection in the booklet we were given by
Newcastle Registrars. We didn’t feel the need to say our own as there
were fitting options within the booklet."
"Newcastle Registrars gave us some examples of commonly used poems
and readings but I wanted to find something a bit more unique for our
wedding. As it was a civil ceremony we weren’t permitted to have
anything containing religious references so looked to more modern
We had one more lighthearted poem – Be My Homer, by
CJ Munn which I found online… And one more romantic poem – The Beauty
Of Love, Anon which is about growing old together.
were really happy with the readings we chose as they reflected us as a
couple. Our maid of honour and one of the best men read them."
"We purchased my engagement ring from an independant
jewellers in Portsmouth on the day we got engaged. We looked in some of
the chains but the engagement rings were quite samey and the pushy sales
staff detered us. We found an independant store tucked away and found
my ring which I think is quite unique. Fore the wedding rings we went
for high street stores as Barry wanted something plain and I wanted
something just to compliment my engagement ring which is quite
prominent. Barry’s wedding ring was a plain Palladium band from Warren James and my wedding band was from Ernest Jones."
"The Groom’s and all the Groomsmen’s suits were from Matalan.
We decided early on that we wanted to buy the suits rather than hire
them as hiring can end up being very expensive. Also, that could be the
attendants gift and they could wear them again for work or other
We didn’t want
bright or metallic cravats so went for a slim tie in a pastel shade.I also bought Barry a vintage tie pin from notonthehighstreet.com
as a wedding present which he wore on the day. It helped to
differentiate him slightly from the other Groomsmen too as he wanted
everything else to be the same as theirs."
"Barry said early on that he wanted to pick the first dance song as a
surprise for me. It was certainly a surprise as he chose ‘All I Ask Of
You’ from Phantom of the Opera. I had a few ideas in mind but was
genuinely surprised when I heard it as I thought I knew what it would
be. It was very romantic and a bit more unusual, like us!
We hired Geoff from The Disco Co
as our DJ. He was really interested in the day and was helpful in
getting us to select a playlist but warning us to leave plenty of time
for others requests. Geoff and his assistant on the night were really
friendly to us and our guests."
Words of Wedded Wisdom…
the beginning we were so concerned with trying to please everybody else
that what we wanted began to get diluted. I would advise to stick to
your guns as it really is YOUR day and not anybody elses. You can not
please every single person so as long as you are both happy that is what
is ultimately important.
I would also strongly advise
using a Spreadsheet to track all of the costs as there are so many
elements. It will also help to tick off things as they are done and to
see what still needs doing.
I’m so glad we booked our
venue before doing anything else as it ultimately shapes your day and
the decisions you make, for instance we didn’t need cars as it was all
at the same venue. So I would also suggest not making any definite
decision until you know when and where it is.
also advise thinking outside the box regarding suppliers. As we all know
many wedding suppliers will charge a real premium but often, especially
for clothing, accessories and venue decor, cheaper alternatives can be
found elsewhere. Also, although I bought numerous magazines I didn’t
find them too useful. This was because they mainly contained wedding
dress adverts and I found the content very samey. Blogs were so much
more helpful for finding ideas and for sourcing suppliers.
venue was 100% right for us and the staff there could not have been
more helpful or welcoming. I wish we could live at Jesmond Dene House as the food,
ambiance and staff are a cut above the rest. They offered us useful
advice and didn’t try to ‘upsell’ any of the services or extras
associated which put us off other venues where we felt more like a
commodity on a production line. We were also very
humbled that so many people traveled to Newcastle for the wedding. We
had a lot of guests from the South plus guests from the North West,
Ireland, and two from Dubai and Sydney.
I loved every part of the day as I’m sure all brides would say!
Getting ready was really exciting and it was so lovely for the whole day
to be surrounded by those closest to us and to have all the most
important people in our lives together in one place. The ceremony was
very emotional and due to the adrenalin I am looking forward to the
video as it’s a bit of a blur. The speeches were also a highlight and it
was so lovely to see everyone looking so well turned out. The kids
looked absolutely adorable and were so well behaved. I’d probably say
one of the best things though was to finally be wearing my wedding ring
as wearing the engagement ring felt very incomplete."
What a sweet and lovely day. I'd love to hear your thoughts on Jennifer's bespoke House of Mooshki dress. Will you be wearing a bespoke gown?
Have a lovely morning, whatever you're up to.
With much love,
Photographer – Matt Ethan
Venue – Jesmond Dene House
Wedding Dress + Veil – House of Mooshki
Brides Shoes – Rainbow Club at John Lewis
Brides Hair Accessories – DC Bouquets
Groom's Attire – Matalan
Bridesmaids – Oasis + M&S shoes
Flowergirl – Monsoon dress + Next shoes/cardigan
Flowers – Sweet Cicely
Cake – Marks & Spencer + Paperchase cake toppers
Rings – Warren James + Ernest Jones
Hair Stylist – Sami Nash
Makeup Artist – Lisa Jones
Stationery – For Alice With Love