Inspiration

Fairytale castles, romantic sunsets, beach portraits and THE most amazing bouquets. It seriously doesn't get much better than that right? Except it does. There is Bride Sophie's stunning Diane wedding dress by Raimon Bundo for a start. Which she looks an absolute vision wearing, and was cleverly sourced from an auction site to save a few pennies. There was also a fabulous compromise on the Grooms outfit, resulting in a super stylish cord waistcoat, wool tie & tweed jacket. This is a real family affair that'll not only have your eyes popping out of your head at all the beauty, it'll also have you clutching your heart as the couple focus on what's truly important to them. Having a "casual and fun gathering with all our favorite people".

The Dress

Sophie The Bride: My dress was by Raimon Bundo - Diana – I had tried it on in a shop, fallen in love with it, but it was waaay out of budget. I ended up searching on e-bay and the same dress was being sold by a lovely lady in Newcastle who was saving for a house deposit. I went and tried it on and it fitted almost perfectly – such a dream. Moral of the story – check on e-Bay.

Accessories

I wore my Gran’s pearls and a matching bracelet my best friends from Uni bought me. I also wore my Mum’s shoes from when she got married, and a head piece and veil from Kathryn Truemans in Morpeth

Venue

Ben and I grew up loving the Northumberland coast, so when it came to picking a venue we just drove up the coast scouting out spots. We saw a marquee at Bamburgh Castle and thought – yes. A lot of our family have never ventured to Northumberland so we wanted to show off one of the best spots. Fortunately the Northumberland fog didn’t cloud the view! Walton Marquees provided our marquee. We got married at St Mary Magdelene Mitford Church.

Florist


Wild Flower Florist created the most beautiful arranagements in my Mum’s collection of vintage jugs/teacups.

Decor/Styling

My mum has collected vintage china tea plates and glass jugs for years from charity shops and was really excited by an opportunty to use the casual 180 teaplates sitting under the spare bed. That defined the theme in the end. It ended up being a mismatch of vintage china and glass and lots of colours from bunting made from old shirts and dresses and designers guild sample books. But we loved the end result. My Mum is also an avid forager and Ben and Dad thoughrally enjoyed winding her up that we wouldn’t be able to get into the church and marquee for branches with the number of trees and wild hedgerows Mum was scouting out the week before the wedding. One of our other favorite decorations was the paper hearts in the church. We had a girls evening and made 160 of them at Ben’s parents house.

Caterer

Bolden Farmhouse Pantry did our catering and it was delicious. For the evening we had great fun choosing all of our favorite cheeses with Marks and Spencer bread – yum. Dad was in charge of the bar, and loved sorting it all out. I think every time I spoke to him before the wedding he had bought more wine, or gin, or whisky. I know one of Bens favorite moments was standing with his mates around the fire pit having a whisky.

Cake Maker

Ben’s Mum Vivienne made our wedding cake and then friends anne and Lutz iced it, with our great friend and Painter Karen Willis kindly painting a Bamburgh sunset on it for us.

Bridesmaids Dresses

I ended up getting 4 different colours of the Hobbs Abigaile dress during the sales. My Bridesmaids were my Sister, Ben’s Sisters, and my best friend from uni Judith. All beautiful but very different shapes and sizes. This dress somehow worked for them all.

Groom/Groomsmen


I am not a fan of tails, so the compromise was tweed. We bought the jackets from Brook Taverner.

Stationery


My sister and I had some fun collaging the stationery and got it printed at a printers in Ashington.

Entertainment

The incredible band Corra came down from Scotland (I’d heard them when I was studying up there) They do an epic mix of ceilidh and covers and I don’t think many people left the dance floor all night. My friends still tell me about finishing the night Pogo jumping with Dad on the dance floor to 500 miles.

Transport

Our friend David let us use his lovely old convertible VW beetle. We swapped to our trusty lupo for the journey to bamburgh. We made it onto the A1 and the petrol light came on…we had visions of hitchhiking at the side of the A1…We pulled into the petrol station at Bamburgh and my parents, and 2 sets of great friends were all there to witness us rolling in with a look of total relief on our faces for having made it.

Photographer

Where the real credit has to go - Ruth Atkinson – Our photographer. She was amazing all day, so fun and helpful and lovely as a photographer – making us feel totally at ease. And she captured the day stunningly. We couldn’t believe it when we saw the pictures. Every moment of the day felt recorded, so naturally and joyfully, and the beach pictures at sunset were such a gift. Ben has done quite a bit of photography in the past and loved seeing Ruth’s genuine excitement at the perfect light as we headed to the beach in the evening.

General thoughts/inspiration/fun random parts of planning…

We loved planning the wedding – we love parties, and wanted to have a casual and fun gathering of all our favorite people, while recognising and celebrating the gravity of marriage. I was working on A&E while we were planning the wedding, and it was over Winter, so we ended up spending most of the days set to plan the wedding making last minute trips to go Winter climbing in the lakes and Scotland. But the journeys became wedding organising time which we loved and meant it didn’t get too tedious. When we were thinking about the wedding we tried to figure out what was most important to us. We are both Christians and Ben’s Dad is the vicar of the church we go to and we really wanted him to marry us – which he did. We got married at the church my parents got married in and where I grew up going every Sunday, but it was amazing having Bens Dad marrying us and leading the service. After that we decided food and being able to crazy dance the night away were our next priorites. I frequently cry with excitement at food and Ben is less emotional about it – but equally obsessed. Bolden Farmhouse Pantry love food as much as we do and seemed like a perfect choice. Corra combine every kind of dancing we love – Ceilidh and absolute tunes from Beyonce to Stevie Wonder. We basically chose the date we got married based on when they were available and don’t regret it. The amazing thing about weddings is seeing all these people that you love all in one place – seeing them all dancing and jumping around adds even more to the joy. My Grandad charging into the middle of a dance circle doing some sort of 4 limb shimmy is one of my favorite memories. Along with seeing all of Ben’s family in a circle going wild to a cover of Happy by Pharrel Williams. The bit mum and I really loved was working out all the creative details. We had a great evening pairing embroidered table clothes with jugs and tea plates – (Ben’s idea of a nightmare) But we got such pleasure from seeing all the random beautiful bits working together. Ben’s touch was tables named after mountains he has conquered with tales from his adventures. The few days before the wedding felt pretty busy, and it felt quite easy to get bogged down in all the details. We found it really helpful remembering that the day is about celebrating the gift of marriage with people you love – kept me grounded when I was waking up thinking about how to tie napkins – which really no one will even notice! The Friday we left the marquee it was pouring down with rain and we felt so demoralised – ‘why have we dragged people to this random bit of northumberland?!’ It rained all morning on Saturday and then northumberland did us proud. Ben got in on this amazingly helpful Northumbrian farmer circle in the hope of sourcing square haybales for seats – and we nearly lost hope after reams of fantastic northumbrian farmers left us voicemails reporting their beautiful giant round bales that wouldn’t be good for seating, but our last lead was on the Friday - we visited an amazing farmer up the road from Bamburgh who brought us round to the back of his barn to show us a treasure trove of square bales which he loaded up on his trailer and drove to the marquee for us! Mum and a team of wonderful friends spent hours cutting up bunting and sewing it all – we are now hiring it out for donations to a local food bank – I think Its been enjoyed at 3 weddings around the country so far. Mum and I had planned to do the flowers ourselves – then we realised we had no experience of flower arranging and the idea quickly died. Hannah at Wildflower florist was amazing – she totally captured everything we love in flowers – wild and spring like and made it a reality. It was amazing getting to the 9th and seeing all the different bits come together and not look totally random. It was undoubtedly the best day of our lives and just so much fun. Key lesson – decide to enjoy it and not stress about it.

Written by Lorna Shaw

Dress Designer: Raimon Bundo - Diana | Veil / Headpiece: Kathryn Trueman | Venue: Bamburgh Castle | Marquee: Waltons Marquee Hire | Florist: Wild Flower Florist | Caterer: Bolton Farmhouse Pantry | Bridesmaid Dresses: Hobbs | Groomsmen: Brook Taverner | Entertainment: Corra

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