One of the biggest and most beautiful trends for this year has been hanging florals - where single stems are hung upside down and grouped together to create the most gorgeous arrangements. Make sure you have a good look inside Emily and Luke's tipi as their hanging floral display is simply beautiful, all candy shades and lovely textures. Ever the gent, Luke surprised Emily on the morning of the wedding with a pair of Manolo Blahnik flat sandals - because whatever shoes you're wearing - whether heels or flats - they need to be special on your wedding day. Lots of the couples suppliers are some of our very favourites who you'll find over on our supplier directory, The List. Enjoy gorgeous ones, it's such a pretty day, showcasing some excellent North East wedding talent...
Our WeddingEmily The Bride: Luke and I planned our wedding from Dubai. Despite spending our days surrounded by desert glitz and glam, we knew that we wanted to get married near my home in the North East of England, and that we wanted something fun with a relaxed boho feel.
The VenueBrinkburn was the first venue I viewed and I knew within moments that everywhere else on the list would have a very hard time beating it in my heart! The venue is exclusively yours for three nights, which allowed us to host a lunch for friends the day after the wedding. The opportunity to get married in the Priory and then skip straight over to the gorgeous tipi (via some of the loveliest flower beds!) was too good to pass up. The tipi and the white room (which served as a bar and ‘chill out’ area where we set up a sweets table and photobooth) were beautiful blank canvases which we could dress in the natural style we wanted. The excellent team that made planning a wedding from abroad so smooth were the icing on the cake.
The PhotographyMatt couldn’t have been a better fit for Luke and I. Posing for photographs is my worst nightmare, and I was really keen to find someone that could focus on the candid shots throughout the day rather than the dramatic or formal ones. Matt is honestly a ninja – I look at some of the photographs now and realise he must have been right there at key moments – but I truly did not notice him once all day, he just blends in and makes the whole process completely organic.
The CeremonyThe ceremony is the element of the day that sticks out most in my memory. The Priory is an awesome (in the truest sense of the word) space and getting married there felt like something from a fairy tale. Walking down the aisle to see all our family and friends that had made so much effort – a large majority of them travelled from abroad and out of town – was incredible. Bumping into the man of my dreams at the end of the aisle wasn’t too bad either. Our friend Dave read ‘A lovely love story’ by Edward Monkton. The second I first read it I knew it was for us and only Dave could do it justice. It’s simple and heartfelt without being gushing or over the top.
The BrideI was slightly apprehensive about finding ‘the one’ (dress obviously, Luke was an easy pick); however, Honey at Marrime Bridal made the whole process an absolute joy. I really looked forward to our appointments and it was wonderful quality time with my Mum that I will cherish forever. My dress was based on the Alan Hannah ‘Venus’ design and was customised to my own specifications. I’m glad I didn’t overcomplicate the dress selection process – one trusted confidante, one excellent boutique and a focused selection to try on (I probably sampled 9 dresses in total) made the whole process very enjoyable. I’m not a high heels type of girl and I made much fuss in the run up to the wedding about my high street flips flops costing a fraction of Luke’s wedding shoes. In the end though, Luke (in conjunction with one of my more fashion forward bridesmaids) surprised me on the wedding morning with a stunning pair of Manolo Blahnik flat sandals, which I have already worn on many subsequent occasions.
The FlowersI LOVE flowers. I chose to get married in May as Spring seasonal blooms are my favourite – this might have been a lot of pressure for a florist but Christine got my vision instantly! I wanted a very rustic ‘un-done’ look for the bouquet and table centres – no ‘colour scheme’ per se – but something creating the overall feel that we might have just picked the flowers from the fields surrounding Brinkburn. The hanging flowers were my idea for the big ‘wow’ in the tipi and I honestly could not get over how well they turned out on the day. (I snuck in early in the morning to say hi to Christine as they were setting the hanging flowers up and I think that was the first moment it dawned on me that I was actually getting married!)
The FoodIn keeping with the relaxed and boho feel we opted not to have a formal three course meal. Luke took charge of the menu and we had a ‘theatre style’ hog roast carved and served at the tables with a selection of salads and other sides, followed by apple crumble (which I am still dreaming about...!) The big ornate white cake didn’t feel like us – once we ruled that out there was only man to make our (cake) dreams come true: primary school favourite, Colin the Caterpillar Cake.
The Decor & StylingWe used balloons from The Giant Balloon Company in soft pastels in the tipi to give it a fun vintage feel. Stationery was all DIY. We used kraft paper and ink pads to create our own bits and pieces (date nights were cancelled in favour of ‘tying string through orders of service’ evenings for several months!)
The EntertainmentPicking a band from overseas was one of the most challenging aspects of distance planning. I was extremely nervous but it was totally misplaced – Switch were superb and the dance floor was full for the entire night. They played music catering to everyone. One of my favourite moments of the day was my Grandad dancing along.
The Wedding PartyI took inspiration from Olivia Palermo’s wedding dress for my five bridesmaids opting for the beaded ‘Millie’ jumper from Jenny Yoo in a mixture of pink and cream, paired with a dusty pink tulle skirt from ASOS. The girls picked their own shoes to keep an informal and un-done feel. Luke got excited about buying a new suit before we even had a date set and he always knew he wanted Paul Smith. His shoes and the groomsmens’ pocket squares were also all Paul Smith. The Groomsmens’ suits were from Next (a special shout out to Best Man 2 Simon, who, despite very clear instructions including a serial number, managed to pick up a completely different one to the rest of the guys.)
The BeautyI found Victoria right here on RMW and Sam I found on Facebook. I couldn’t have been happier with the way we all looked, and they both really joined in with the fun as we got ready in the morning.
AdviceBuy a jazzy notebook and carry it everywhere – inspiration strikes at the weirdest moments. To the extent it’s not your thing, don’t feel constrained by protocol or tradition, everyone will have their idea of what a wedding should look like, but it’s about you and the people you share your life with – for us that meant lots of food and lots of gin! Finally, enjoy it – the planning and the day – it’s a magical time and I cannot express how jealous I am of all the brides and grooms to be who have it all yet to come!
Venue: Brinkburn Northumberland | Bride: Alan Hannah | Boutique: Marrime Bridal | Shoes: Manolo Blahnik | Flowers: Lavenders Blue | Food: WIlkins Fine Dining | Cake: Colin The Caterpillar Cake | Balloons: The Giant Balloon Company | Entertainment: Switch The Band | Bridesmaids: Jenny Yoo | Groom: Paul Smith | Groomsmen: Next | Hair: Eden Hairdressing | Make Up: Victoria Holdstock