Charlotte and David’s wedding is really rather a glamorous affair. There’s a divine Pronovias gown, pretty pastel flowers, vintage motors, a very elegant Wedding party and a marquee styled to perfection with gold accents and some gorgeous lighting.
Irish Athlete and Groom David has not only won Gold twice in the 400 metres at the European Indoor Championships, but he also won Irish Celebrity Masterchef…and yes, he did bake a cake for his and Charlotte’s big day. What a talented chap!
The Dress & Accessories
Charlotte The Bride: I loved my dress from the second I had it on, it was the first one I tried and nothing ever came close to how I felt in it. I wanted to treat myself to an amazing pair of shoes so snapped up my Jimmy Choos as soon as I saw them and as soon as I put them on I felt instantly glamourous. My Joyce Jackson veil was a splurge, made of Italian lace and embroidery and very delicate. With my plain dress I could get away with a detailed veil and I didn’t want to take it off, it was so light and fell beautifully.
The Wedding Party
My bridesmaids were breath-taking! My two sisters Kate and Sophie and David’s sister Eileen wore Ghost dresses and they were simply stunning. For his suit, David wanted something smart and sharp that would make an impact. With David being an athlete Scribe of London from Lapel1865 managed to tailor the suit perfectly to his physique, the dickey-bow was a quirky touch and added some old school elegance.
The Groomsmen and ushers, made up of both mine and David’s brothers, looked great in their bright blue Scribe suits. We had David’s Niece’s and Nephew as flower girls and page boys; they looked absolutely adorable and played the perfect roles on the day!
The location was the easiest thing to choose, the stunning grounds of my parents family home, Thwaite Hall, would be an amazing host to any event. David is Irish and we have been living in Dublin for the last 18 months so planning a wedding that was going to be in my native North East of England was always going to be difficult! Luckily for me my mother, Audrey, discovered some pretty amazing hidden talents as a wedding planner! Without both my mum and my dad, Keith, this wedding would never have become the day it was, they made an incredible team. While planning the wedding, the question we would always go back to is, does it mean something personal and will this be fun for us AND the guests?
We wanted it to be a day to thank all of our friends and family for their support over the years, we wanted a big party to celebrate and for it to be full of laughter and fun!
Our invites were really fun and we absolutely loved them! Louise Kiernan, who designed them, is so talented and absolutely nailed it. They were totally unique containing pictures of the two of us when we were young and she incorporated the Claddagh ring into it which eventually became our wedding logo, decorating everything from our mass booklets, menus and signage to our favours and table plan.
David proposed with a traditional Irish Claddagh ring as I always wanted to pick my own ring. It was so much more personal to us to have the Claddagh on our stationary and Louise managed to incorporate our initials into the design, so it was really special.
My mum worked her negotiating (pestering!) magic to secure Bakerwood Marquees, who had been recommended by countless people, and they did not disappoint! It was stunning and every detail was perfect from the white glittered dance floor, the chandeliers, the moonlight draping to the layout, the organisation and even the toilets, which had a TV and a brilliant loop of images and music from our childhood to our engagement!
The bar area provided by Bar4Hire had amazing staff and became the main hub in the later part of the night once the DJ finished, we choose a mirrored bar to add a bit of great Gatsby elegance. The marquee was finished off to perfection by Florist Lisa Mitchinson and her team at The Wild Bunch in Sunderland, who I was so excited to find out have provided flowers for the Queen. After a chat with Lisa I was completely in awe, she has so much talent and it showed in our flowers, they were modern, beautiful, fun and totally unique. I gave Lisa free reign on the marquee and it was simply – WOW!
On the top table Lisa had a beautiful vintage golden china tea set which was full of flowers and other quirky finishing touches such as the light up C & D marquee letters from Coco Luminaire and a 9ft fairy light weeping willow on the dancefloor set a beautiful vintage and romantic ambience. In keeping with a the golden, romantic theme we wanted the place names were golden birds perched on the top of a wine glass.
William at Boldon Farmhouse Pantry was our first and only call for catering! When we met them to do tasting we knew we had struck gold, the food was simply divine! David had only recently retired from a successful Athletics career and he took part in and won Irish Celebrity Masterchef, so the food was a priority for David and he had some amazing ideas!
With the help of William, we decided each table would receive a fillet of beef and we would nominate a ‘chief carver’ per table. We loved this idea because it was so different, it fitted in perfectly with our personalities and it was great for guests who didn’t know each other to break the ice. This was a massive hit, and topped off with our wedding favours of an apron emblazoned with our wedding logo we definitely made the meal exciting.
Our cake was something we decided to do a little differently as well, we wanted a number of cakes all homemade by good bakers in the family. Our main cake was by David’s gran who baked his favourite that she used to send to him all over the world when he was training and racing. Then we had cakes made by, David’s sister, my brother in law Ed Taylor, My sister in Law Charlotte Prenelle and David made a 3 layered Carrot and walnut cake. They were all totally different and added an extra personal touch to the day, cutting the cake was also hilarious when my brother Harry presented us with a 6ft sword to do the job! The cheese table and bacon and sausage sandwiches later in the evening went down a storm and kept the guests going into the early hours!
We always wanted a catholic wedding as it was something very important to David and his family. The service was very traditional and felt so special, and it meant a lot to us that David’s Grandmother, Eileen, could be there to share it with us. Driving to the church with just my dad in his 1926 Rolls Royce Windover Coupe was such an incredibly special moment. My dad’s passion is with Vintage cars so we were well equipped for the day! The grooms arrived in a 1924 Rolls Royce Boat Tailed Roadster while the bridesmaids travelled in my brother’s 1967 VW Split screen bus, certainly adding a vintage element.
We had a string quartet play throughout the service and I walked down the aisle to Canon in G. As a surprise for David who had said he always wanted the Uilleann pipes, a traditional Irish instrument, at his wedding I had arranged for Joseph Crane to play a piece. Playing the fiddle, Joseph joined the string quartet in our exit to ‘Irish Washerwoman’. The whole congregation stood and clapped us out to the tune of the music, it was such a great way to start married life. Joseph then played Uilleann pipes as we greeted guests outside the church.
When guests arrived at the reception for drinks and canapés, we had the fabulous Anna Reay singing with her partner playing an acoustic guitar, keeping everyone in a joyful mood. When we were ready to be seated, my brother Oliver was MC for the day and he and David decided the bridal party should dance into the marquee! The ushers and groomsmen went first to roar of laughter with ACDC ‘Back in Black’, the bridesmaids waltzed in to a standing ovation with Kings of Leon ‘Sex on Fire’ and finally David and I danced in to Queen, ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’. The atmosphere in the marquee was electric at this point.
As a surprise for our guests we had arranged singing waiters, dressed as policeman, and targeted one of David’s friends and notorious prankster, who fell for it straight away until the policeman started to sing ‘its just to good to be true’!! At this point the whole marquee was up on their feet singing along! This really set the tone for the speeches!
Our band for the evening was The Groove Allstars and they were absolutely brilliant!!! They had the dance floor full for whole night and they were so much fun! Our first dance was Ray Lamontagne ‘you are the best thing’ which the band performed to perfection. Once the band finished up a few hours later we had James Cummings come on as DJ and evening photographer, to keep the party going.
To capture the whole day we are so lucky to have had Sarah-Jane Ethan as our photographer. From the first conversation and one look at her website I just knew we had to have her! Her style, creativity, eye for something a little bit different and unique, has shone through in her amazing pictures. We knew we didn’t want the staged images you typically have at weddings, we wanted it to be ‘us’ and reflect our personalities and be very natural.
SJ captured so many special moments of the day that told so much about how much fun everyone was having. I love that the images are so relaxed, catching people off guard but capturing so much emotion and character the images practically burst with love and happiness. SJ’s vintage feel and attention to detail added such a different finish to the images, creating a soft and warm photograph that reflected perfectly on our day.
We couldn’t have asked for more in a photographer and SJ’s calm and caring nature put us at ease straight away, and we cannot express how much we love our final photographs. We decided to get a videographer as well and I have no doubt this will be great to watch back.
Photography by Sarah-Jane Ethan Photography
- Shoes Jimmy Choo
- Veil Joyce Jackson
- Bridesmaids Ghost
- Groom Lapel 1865
- Stationery Design Birds of a Feather
- Marquee Hire Bakerwood Marquees
- Bar Bar4Hire
- Florist The Wild Bunch
- Lights Coco Luminaire
- Catering Boldon Farm House Pantry
- String Quartet Tyne Consort
- Singer Anna Reay
- Singing Waiters Bravo Singing Waiters
- Band The Groove Allstars
- DJ James Cummings
- Videography Artistic Motion
- Dress Pronovias
- Boutique The White Room
- Hair SI Hairdressing
- Venue Thwaite Hall