A Beaded Jenny Packham Gown for a Northumberland Coast Wedding

Happy Friday lovelies.  Do you have anything nice planned for the weekend?  Today’s couple will be celebrating six months of married life, so it seems the perfect weekend to share their beautiful spring wedding with you all.

Meet Laura and James, who married on the 21st April 2018 at St Michael’s Church in Alnwick, Northumberland followed by a reception at Newton Hall.  The day had a loose beach theme (as both the venue and the proposal venue were by the sea) but otherwise the day was centred around things the couple love, perhaps the best wedding ‘theme’ there can be.

Film by Silver Sixpence Films

Laura wore the beautiful ‘Taylor’ by Jenny Packham, which she purchased from The Bride in St Albans.  We are the biggest fans of Jenny Packham bridal gowns here at Love My Dress. Our founder, Annabel, wore one for her own wedding back in 2009 – an event that lead to the creation of this very wedding blog you’re reading from now. It’s an incredible honour for us to now be working with designer Jenny and her team. We’d love to hear from any fellow Jenny Packham bride’s reading this feature.

“I’ve always been attracted to Jenny Packham gowns and my wedding was really the only opportunity I’d get to wear one.  I deliberately tried on other dresses and other styles first but of course, when I started trying the Jenny Packham dresses on, the style immediately suited me more than any other designers.”

Photography by Andy Hudson

“The way the dress fell and flowed along with the gorgeous pearl detail on the top was just perfect.  It didn’t feel too formal whilst still feeling bridal.  My mum accompanied me but was careful not to influence my decision (although her verdict of ‘It’s very you’ was all I needed to hear).  Lynsey at The Bride also helped me to Facetime my sister, who lives in the US, on my second visit.  It meant a lot to have her give me the final seal of approval.”

Laura wore her hair in soft waves, pinned at the back for extra height, while for make up she chose a naturally pretty look, with pink lip.  Stylist Tina Elliott and make up artist Victoria Holdstock did a fabulous job.

“I was apprehensive about finding the right hair stylist and make- up artist but both Tina and Victoria created beautiful looks.  Pleasing a bride, five bridesmaids and two mums is no mean feat but each one of us loved our look.”

For the bouquets and floral arrangements, Laura chose simple creams and greens by Fleur Couture Floral.


“To fit the theme of the wedding, we went for something which wasn’t too formal and lots of delicate flowers amongst foliage.  I couldn’t find an exact image of what I wanted but we talked through a few ideas with Hollie and she and her team created beautiful arrangements.  We wanted the flowers to complement the style of the day rather than be the focus.”

“James and I met nine years ago in a bar in Newcastle.  James was based in London at the time and after a summer together, James moved back and we gave long-distance a go.  It took five years of persuasion, but I eventually made the move south and we got engaged in August 2016 on a beach at Wells Next-the-Sea on the North Norfolk coast.  We both love the beach so this was the perfect spot.”

Laura paired her gown with a veil from Britten, heels by Jimmy Choo and scent from Jo Malone (a mix of Peony & Blush Suede and Velvet rose & Oud).  For jewellery she chose a pair of pearl earrings (which were a gift from James) and her sister’s wedding band as her ‘something borrowed’.  To finish, she added her mum’s wedding garter.

Brooklands Wedding Cars supplied a VW camper for the bridesmaids and mother of the bride, while Laura and her dad travelled to the church in a 1968 Mk2 Jaguar.  I adore how pleased both Laura and her dad look, walking through the church.

“We aren’t devoutly religious people but a traditional church service was important to us both for different reasons and it was the perfect setting for our ceremony.”

“My dad walked me down the aisle. We’re very close and it was a special moment for us both.  I’m not sure who was more emotional, my dad or James. There were some wobbly bottom lips!”

For readings, Laura and James chose ‘A love poem between two lovers’ (Song of Solomon, 2:10-13, 8:6-7) and ‘Love’s Philosophy’ by Percy Bysshe Shelley, one of James’ favourite poets.

Both Laura and James chose wedding rings from 77 Diamonds, which was where James had designed Laura’s engagement ring.

James wore a navy three-piece lounge suit, made to order from Reiss and paired with a Vineyard Vines whale-print tie, black Oxford shoes and his grandfather’s Smith Imperial wristwatch.

His two best men and five groomsmen also wore navy suits, with Vineyard Vines whale-print ties in light green and pink.

Today’s fresh and light-filled images come to us courtesy of Andy Hudson Photography.  Take a peek here for two more lovely weddings photographed by Andy (one of which is from the venue I got married at myself).  I love the vibrancy of Andy’s pictures and am completely in love with the photos on the beach.

“We chose Andy because of his relaxed style- we didn’t want to be stood for hours posing for photos.  Andy is extremely friendly and has a real eye for detail as well as the most show-stopping shots like the one we clambered up a sand dune for.”

Laura and Andy also chose Silver Sixpence Films to capture their day on moving film.

“Penny and Ed are a great team.  Having the speeches recorded was priceless- they were all a bit of a blur afterwards so it’s extremely special to have them to re-live whenever we feel like a blub!  Both our photographer and videographers did an incredible job of blending in and we have a huge amount of lovely natural shots which truly capture the essence of the day.”

“James’ youngest sister Charlotte created our wedding invitations and the orders of service and did an incredible job of creating something truly unique.  Lilac & White (who we found on Not On The High Street) created our name cards, table plan and table names.”

“All of our tables were named after our favourite beaches, as we both love the seaside, but that was really where the theme stopped.  We wanted the day to have a relaxed feel to it but to suit the location, the beautiful Northumberland countryside with its rugged coastline.” 

The four tier cake, dressed with delicate flowers, was the work of James’ mum and aunty and complements the style of the day perfectly.

“It meant a lot to have family help and we had photographs of our parents and grandparents on their wedding days around the cake. We’re both very family-orientated so this was a nice way for our parents to remember their own wedding day and also remember the members of our family who are unfortunately no longer with us.”

“Our favourite part of the day was escaping to the beach between the wedding breakfast and evening reception.  Newton Hall also made sure that James and I had half an hour just the two of us before the wedding breakfast.  We sat in the sun with a cocktail and it was the perfect opportunity to catch our breath.”

For their first dance, James and Laura chose ‘I want to hold your hand’ by The Beatles, which got everyone up and dancing, just as they hoped.

Redwings were our band in the evening. I’d seen them play at my friend’s wedding two years prior and loved that their playlist wasn’t your usual wedding reception selection. They had everyone up dancing all night and we had a lot of great comments.”

“Our favourite part of the day was escaping to the beach between the wedding breakfast and evening reception.  Newton Hall also made sure that James and I had half an hour just the two of us before the wedding breakfast.  We sat in the sun with a cocktail and it was the perfect opportunity to catch our breath.”

Words of Wedded Wisdom

“The most helpful advice I received was from a friend who had planned her wedding a couple of years before ours.  She made the point that when you attend a wedding at the same time you’re planning your own you notice many little details, but normally you don’t.”

“Bearing that in mind helped me stay relaxed during the planning and not get too bogged down in the finer details.  Focus on the day as a whole, not the things that might not even get noticed.”

Huge thanks to Laura and James for sharing their gorgeous day.  I love Newton Hall‘s proximity to the beach- such a fabulous place for a little quiet time to take in the day.  Take a look here for more weddings at this lovely venue.

Much love,

Shona x

Credits & Thanks

Shona Raffle-Edwards

Shona Raffle-EdwardsView all Shona's articles

Shona is a wedding admiring bookworm with a love of the countryside, flowers and all things organisational who is currently based in sunny Yorkshire with her husband and beloved cat

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