Inspiration

This gorgeous wedding at Eshott Hall comes with a huge dose of sophistication and pretty. I also can not guarantee when you see all the sumptuous red blooms you will not automatically want them for your very own. Yep they are that delicious. Katy Melling's fine art photography perfectly magnifies the elegance of Bride Vera's exquisite Rosa Clara gown and the essence of this day. You also need to look out for the image of Vera's mum kissing her on the shoulder during the bridal preparations. Just beautiful.
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Elegant Wedding at Eshott Hall Northumberland with Red Flowers by Katy Melling Photography

The Dress

Vera the Bride: I had a lot of fun trying on different wedding dresses but I had my mind set for a timeless lace vintage-looking dress. For my disappointment I never felt a ‘this is THE dress’ moment with any of them until my appointment at Y.A.P. Bridal where – against everything on my briefing - I asked to try a Rosa Clará beaded silk tulle dress. As soon as I put it on, couldn’t stop crying with emotion, it was elegant, had a very vintage, Gatsby-esque look that I loved and, most importantly, it reflected my personality perfectly. For the evening I changed into a Frock & Frill 1930’s dress so I could move easily during our first dance. This dress was white tulle with an embellished stars constellation which I thought tied perfectly with the Moon Booth.

Accessories

I loved my Charlotte Mills shoes because you have your something new, old, borrowed, blue and also the sixpence all in your shoes as well as a beautiful inscription on the sole which makes them very special. I could have chosen to keep jewellery to a minimum due to all of the embellishments on the dress but I wanted a very dramatic vintage look so decided to complement the look with crystal earrings from Ambrosia Bridal, a Greek bridal jewellery shop I found in Etsy. For our wedding rings we wanted something traditional and I wanted to have something from my home country in our wedding so we went to Portugal where we chose a plain rose gold band for James and a rose gold and diamonds band for me.

The Grooms Attire

James has a very classic and elegant style so it didn’t surprise me when he chose this three piece blue suit from Next. We’re together in Edinburgh during Easter when he bought it so he left the tie and pocket square, which he found in Poser Club, an Etsy shop, as a surprise for me until our wedding day. I think both the colours and pattern complemented the look very well and I still think he never looked as handsome as he did on the day. His pocket watch was my gift for him on our wedding day, it has his initials engraved as well as the date of our wedding and the message “to the moon and back” which we text each other regularly.

The Venue

With so many guests coming from abroad we really wanted a venue where we could spend the whole weekend surrounded by family and friends. But at the same time somewhere beautiful, cosy and with a relaxed feel and Eshott Hall offered all this. We spent the last hours of our wedding day lounging in the Drawing Room with our closest friends, playing chess, looking at the Moon Booth photos and drinking tea by the fire. From the very first meeting the staff was incredible and they took note of every single request to make sure we had a perfect day. They created a G & Tea cocktail using lemon balm from their garden served in mix-matched vintage crockery which resulted in beautiful, classic but fun photographs. All our guests commented on how delicious the food and drinks were throughout the weekend.

Decor

We both love Big Band Jazz and everything from the turn of the century to 1930s so as soon as we booked the venue we knew it would be a big influence on the décor of our wedding. We tried to personalise as many things as we could so we used a typewriter as guestbook, had personalised napkins for the drinks reception and had my grandmother hand embroidering more than 30 handkerchiefs with typical Portuguese motifs to distribute during the ceremony. Our escort cards were luggage tags attached to vintage brass keys that we then hung inside of a suitcase that James altered and customised for the occasion. They were a real labour of love but I was really thrilled about how they turned out. As we had something very specific in mind for our stationery I decided to do it myself by collecting old images from botanical books which I then put together as a bouquet and coloured. I also created all the signage and menu cards for the tables and printed at home. This gave us exactly the look we wanted at a fraction of the cost.

Flowers

From our first meeting at Floral Quarter I saw that Vicky really understood our vision. Given the time of the year, we wanted autumnal colours but didn’t want anything rustic as we wanted to keep in line with the vintage luxurious look that suited the venue so well. We opted for different burgundy tones with some blush and ivory blooms, berries and foliage with diverse textures. As centerpieces we had a large silver vase with a floral arrangement, old books, silver boxes, autumnal fruits (figs, grapes, blackberries) and big candle holders with black dinner candles in each table. Vicky also decorated the arch outside the Reading Room, where we had our ceremony, the side of the chairs and the floor with candles. One of the things I remember perfectly was the warm glow coming from the pillar candles at either side of the aisle, it created a really magical and romantic atmosphere. For my bouquet, I spent some time looking back at photos of 1910-1920 weddings and Vicky recreated perfectly the large and elaborated bouquets of that era. I could not have been happier with the results and the joy her flowers brought me on the day.

Ceremony

Our ceremony was held at the Reading Room, a small chapel converted for civil ceremonies about a 3-minute walk from the hall itself. We had a pianist which we hired through Music Newcastle who learnt all the songs to make our ceremony very unique like ‘To Build a Home’ by Cinematic Orchestra which I walked down the aisle to and ‘Married Life’ (the Up theme) which was played as we left the ceremony.

Entertainment

One of the things we did on our first date was to go and watch some live Jazz music! So, apart from the pianist playing at our ceremony, we had a 6-piece jazz band The Vieux Carré Jazzmen who did an amazing job playing after the meal and also played our first dance song ‘My Baby Just Cares For Me’ by Nina Simone. We really wanted our personality to come across in every moment of the wedding so we created several playlists on Spotify with Bossa Nova and 1950s Jazz for the reception, Big Band Jazz for during the Wedding Breakfast and a playlist for the end of the night with good old sing along songs and 80s hits that kept the dance floor filled all night! We also had a vintage-style photo booth, The Moon Booth, which was an absolute hit amongst our guests who got to take their photo taken on the moon as a memento of the day.

Cake & Desserts

Dawn at The Master Cakesmith created the most beautiful and delicious double barrel semi-naked cake which was half chocolate and salted caramel and half black forest gâteau. Having a great wedding cake that all our guests enjoyed eating was a priority and Dawn definitely succeeded as everybody commented on how delicious our wedding cake was. We also had a sweetie table with beautifully decorated brownies, vanilla fudge, dark chocolate truffles and macaroons (Marc du Champagne & Strawberry and Sea Salted Caramel), along with a small version of our wedding cake, which disappeared in 2 seconds! Dawn has an incredibly good taste so everything looked even more inviting served amongst her vintage props.

Photographer

We love photography so we knew that the photographer would be one of the most important decisions during wedding planning since, as soon as the day is over, photographs would be the only things that would allow the memories of the day to last a lifetime. We were looking for someone with a real talent, great eye and incredible good taste. I spent so many months planning the fine details of our big day, I really wanted our photographer to document this as well but in a natural, non-staged way. As soon as I saw Katy Melling Photography work online, I knew I wanted to work with Katy. She did a perfect job in capturing the beauty of the venue and surroundings, the decoration details and our lovely guests during so many special moments and in a very natural way. She is a lovely person and a pleasure to work with and I absolutely love her ethereal style and soft use of colour and light. She really captured the essence of the day and we’ve been obsessively looking through our photos since Katy sent them through!

Advice

Don’t underestimate the time it takes to set everything up in the venue. Especially if you’re doing a lot of the decoration and stationery by yourself like we did. Go as early as you can, delegate, run through the fine detail with the wedding coordinator - don’t be afraid of telling the venue exactly what you want (even if it’s moving decor at a specific time of the day) - and most importantly, set up a deadline. We had a rehearsal dinner on the night before the wedding for all the guests staying at the venue (around 40 people) so I wanted to have enough time to relax, having a shower and dress up for he night so give yourself the time to forget about set up and planning on the evening before your wedding. After that, it’s you and the ones you love and that’s is definitely the most important part of your day.

Written by Lorna Shaw

Dress Designer: Rosa Clará | Bridal Boutique: Y.A.P. Bridal | Evening Dress: Frock & Frill | Bridal Shoes: Charlotte Mills | Earrings: Ambrosia Bridal via Etsy | Wedding Rings: Eternis | Grooms Suit: Next | Tie: Poser Club via Etsy | Venue: Eshott Hall | Florist: Floral Quarter | Entertainment: Music Newcastle | The Vieux Carré Jazzmen | Moon Booth | Cake: The Master Cakesmith
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