When the most important thing is to marry your beau surrounded by all your family and friends then a budget friendly village hall wedding is just the ticket. Just because they've cut back on the pennies doesn't mean they've cut back on the pretty. The hall is full to the brim with DIY bunting, wild flowers and homemade cakes. All in the prettiest pastel shades, and all with a cute vintage vibe. I would have loved tucking into that afternoon tea wedding breakfast. Making this wedding even more perfect is its location near Whitley Bay. Matt Penberthy whisked our gorgeous couple off for some coastal portraits that are simply breathtaking. Then there's the fabulous fashion. Bride Zara wears a gorgeous lace Rosetta Nicolini ‘Scarlett’ gown, the bridesmaids look heavenly in Dessy After Six pink dresses, and the groomsmen complimenting them perfectly in grey Moss Bros suits & pink cravats. Just glorious from start to finish.

The Wedding

Zara the Bride: We got engaged (after 8 years together) during a month’s holiday in Thailand. It was beautiful and so special. Sadly, a week later, Aled was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Obviously, this overshadowed our engagement celebrations. After two gruelling operations and time spent recovering we started to think about our wedding. Initially we were quite overwhelmed because we felt under pressure to have a grand location, a beach front hotel or a grand manor house. We wrote a list of priorities. Family and friends topped the list so we needed to think of a way to be able to include everyone within a small budget.


It was my Granny who suggested Tynemouth Parish Hall. We were having the service at Holy Saviour’s Church where my grandparents had been married. We realised that we’d be able to invite everyone we wanted to be there and make it completely personal. It was a blank canvas and we could pick absolutely everything. We were very excited by this so just before Christmas we chose and date and booked it. We’d given ourselves six months to pull everything together. We used small, local businesses and felt that everyone put in so much effort for us. It really came together and was a beautiful and memorable day.


I spent a lot of time looking at Pinterest to get some inspiration. We knew we were having afternoon tea in a Parish Hall so we would need to keep things simple and pretty. As we made different choices it became apparent that we had a pastel coloured vintage style.


Some local photographers recommended our photographer, Matt Penberthy. Once we saw his work we fell in love with it. His style was exactly what we wanted – someone who would capture the day and the moments. The pictures really tell a story and show the love and happiness that we were feeling. Matt was professional and really friendly. He whisked us away for some photos by the sea. Aled and I treasure that time so much. We had an hour to take everything in and spend some time together before the rest of the evening. We can’t thank him enough for doing such a wonderful job.


I only tried six dresses and I fell in love with this one. I loved the v shape at the back, the sleeves and the beautiful beaded belt. It just felt special. I felt free to dance and the lace was so beautiful.


I instantly fell in love with the bridesmaid dresses. The ivory lace bodice and bow belt were so pretty. My sister, Shayna, absolutely loved it. My other sister, Karina, was initially very reluctant. I’d promised nothing long or pink but that’s exactly what she got. They looked stunning though and I think she secretly enjoyed wearing it.


My shoes were Rainbow Club shoes with clips from Rhinestone Clip at Etsy. They were beautiful shoes and so comfy. Rainbow will also dye them for you after the wedding so you can wear them again and again.


I looked at lots of local florists but Fleurt in Monkseaton stood out. They provided us with absolutely beautiful bouquets. I was stunned when I saw them together with the jars. We had hand decorated jars to add a personal touch and they really made the room look beautiful. I had orchids in my bouquet as they had been my Grandpa’s favourite flower. They were really special. My Aunty Sheila did the church flowers as a wedding present and so that was really special as well. She went above and beyond what she usually does and they looked beautiful.


We visited Kate’s coffee shop once and really liked that she was independent. Kate helped us put together the perfect afternoon tea and it didn’t disappoint. It tasted and looked gorgeous. North East Pig on a Spit provided the evening buffet. The Hog Roast was delicious. Some of our wedding guests actually ended up putting a tent up for them just before a massive thunderstorm arrived. It was a real team effort and captured the spirit of our wedding. Alphabetti Theatre is run by one of our good friends in Newcastle. Ali worked tirelessly to provide us with a personal pop up bar. We think it was what made the wedding so special. We had a cocktail making session before the wedding to pick three cocktails and then Ali contacted local brewers to provide local beer. Ali and his team were exceptional and made the evening. They helped with every part of the wedding – setting up, making sure the day went smoothly and keeping our guests happy. We couldn’t have asked for better bar staff or a more personal touch. Gareth James Chocolatier provided us with favours. It was a small box with two chocolates in. We had Champagne and Sea Salted Caramel. We spend a lot of time in Gareth James and wanted to share something we love with our guests.


My old Explorer Scout Leader, Swanny, has been a big part of my life. We went away on many Scouting adventures in his old VW car. He visited us in New Zealand too (which is where Al and I met). We were sitting in our local one night after Scouts and someone joked about using Swanny’s car as the wedding car with his new VW for the bridesmaids. Once again, Al and I looked at each other and knew that it would be perfect. Swanny decorated it for us and picked us up from my Granny’s house. We’ll always cherish that car.


Tough Cookies Bakehouse provided a beautiful cake. We described our wedding and colour scheme and Laura blew us away. It was exactly what we’d hoped for and looked gorgeous. I’d seen naked cakes on Pinterest and knew that it would suit our style.


SK Design Studio My friend from school designed the invitations for us. They were beautiful and fitted our theme so well. My sister, Shayna, made the name cards. We kept it simple and pretty with a single heart next to our guests name.

Groom / Groomsmen

The Suits were from Moss Bros. Aled really liked the charcoal grey colour so it was a very easy choice for him to go with that colour. He then made the decision to go for an Ivory cravat to match my dress whilst his ushers and best man had Rose Cravats to match the bridesmaids.

DIY Decor

This was probably my favourite thing from the whole wedding. We went out together and chose the fabric and my mum spent hours on the sewing machine. I’ve still got the bunting and we can use it again and again for different celebrations. It made me so happy looking around the room knowing that my mum had made it. The Parish Hall is a lovely room with big windows and a stage where we had the bar and the DJ. We added a few fairy lights, wicker hearts and some paper lanterns. We wanted to keep it simple but pretty. We had vintage style paper plates and napkins which added a little bit of extra colour. Overall, we could never have dreamed of it all coming together so well. Everyone put so much effort in for us and our guests really got into the spirit of it all.
Lorna Shaw

Written by Lorna Shaw

Dress Designer: Rosetta Nicolini ‘Scarlett’ | Bridal Shoes: Rainbow Club | Shoe Clips: Etsy shop Rhinestone Clip | Bridesmaid Dresses: Dessy After Six | Venue: Tynemouth Village Hall | Florist: Fleurt in Monkseaton | Caterers: Delicious Decadence | North East Pig on a Spit | Alphbetti Theatre | Favour: Gareth James Chocolatier

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