Oh these dreamy images today have my heart all aflutter.
Steven and Lisa were married on the 20th June 2015 and held their reception at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead near Newcastle. They wanted to create a really pretty, elegant day which reflected them both as a couple. They brought in the talents of The Finishing Touch Company who brought their style to life with a pretty pastel colour scheme complete with candelabras, the prettiest blooms and fun lighting. The couple made time to visit Lisa’s granddad who is in a care home, which really was the most wonderful moment.
Lisa looked sensational in her beautiful gown which she accessorised with red lips for a dash of glam. Steven was suited and booted in Next, while the bridesmaids looked gorgeous in pink. Oh the style.
Sarah-Jane Ethan, thank you so very much for sharing your utterly lovely imagery with us here today.
THE PROPOSAL | We got engaged after we both graduated in 2013 on holiday in Jordan. We’d taken a day trip to Petra and were halfway up a mountain to look at the Monastery when we took a moment to look at the view over a valley (and catch our breath!). Steven said he really wanted to marry me, and I said I really wanted to marry him too. There wasn’t any down on one knee (more of a mutual agreement!) but we both knew that this was the moment we were going to confirm that we wanted to spend our lives with each other. Some Japanese tourists took lots of photos of us though!
THE VISION | There wasn’t a clear or overarching theme of what we wanted the day to look like at the beginning; everything came together as we found things that we liked. We wanted something that would reflect our styles: something really pretty and elegant with a quirky twist. We think we managed to pull it all together and put our personal stamp on the day.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We started to look for the venue and suppliers within a few months of getting engaged, and managed to book most of our lovely suppliers really quickly. We felt so lucky to meet people that shared our tastes and styles for the wedding, whose ideas would complement our own. We chose pastel colours rather than one block shade, and tried to integrate as many colours as we could into everything.
BUDGET | When we started with the wedding process, we were pretty clueless as to how much things might cost. It turned out when you add the word wedding to anything, you can easily double or triple the cost. After a bit research we found the average wedding cost around £20,000; we hoped to come in around that price, but making sure we were getting everything we would have liked, at the right price.
THE VENUE | We found a beautiful church in Ponteland. the vicar who married us was such an amazing man giving us loads of advice for the day and the regular congregation were so lovely and supportive towards us.
For our reception venue, we moved onto BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art on Gateshead quayside. It never occurred to us it would be a potential venue, but Steven came up with the idea as something different. We visited on an open day and knew this would be the perfect place for us!
The views we had on the day were amazing, especially after the sun came out. Mary-Jane, the events coordinator for BALTIC, was so helpful and took control of managing the day and making sure all the suppliers were sorted so we could relax and enjoy our day. We’d been for a tasting session about 8 months before to choose our menu, and the food was every bit as tasty as we’d remembered even though they had mass catered for everyone. The BBQ we had for our evening meal was amazing!
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | I Do Bridal in Bill Quay, the hair accessories I used were my ‘something borrowed’ from my big sister/maid of honour, they were worn by her when she was bridesmaid for one of her best friends’ weddings. It was a really lovely touch to pass them wedding to wedding. I knew I didn’t want traditional wedding shoes so chose a style I could wear again – the dress covered my shoes most of the day so I thought I’d go for something a bit different only I would know about.
FINDING THE DRESS | The style I chose wasn’t anything like I thought I’d go for, I originally thought it would be a shorter 50s style. It was only the third dress I tried on in the first shop we visited, but as soon as it was on I knew it was the ‘one’. I showed pictures to people at work and they said I looked like a princess which was flattering!
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Although pro-active about the other parts of the wedding, and the financial planning, Steven was very lax finding his suit: bearing in mind we’d booked most of the wedding with a year to spare when he hadn’t started to look sixth months before I panicked! He wore a lovely grey wool-blend, three piece suit from Next, and chose a pale blue tie and pocket square to wear with it. He wore really shiny shoes as well which loads of people commented on. He still wears them now just so people can comment on his shiny shoes.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We didn’t want to stray too much from the traditional wedding set up. I walked down the aisle to the Bridal Chorus by Wagner, and then we walked out to the Wedding March by Mendelsshon. The hymns we had were The Grace of Life is Theirs, Love Divine All Loves Excelling (which my Mam and Dad also sang at their wedding), and we ended with Give Me Joy in My Heart so everyone would know the words and could belt it out . The readings we chose were Song of Solomon from the Bible, and Sonnets From the Portuguese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. The latter really meant something to us; we first started going out when we were 18 and I was studying English Literature at A Level. The class was analysing love poetry and that particular one really resonated with me, I wrote it down on a post-it note for Steven and he still carries it in his wallet.
Our first dance was difficult to decide on. There wasn’t any particular song that defined ‘us’, we thought of a few funny songs including Hold On by Wilson Philips but in the end decided on Toothpaste Kisses by The Maccabees. My sister cried all the way through it because I looked so happy. Our DJ (Ben at Bride & Groove) was brilliant all through the night, he’d met with us a few months beforehand to discuss the music we wanted. He managed to get everyone on the dance floor and totally helped make the night.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My bridesmaids were my older sister, Rachel, Steven’s little sister, Amy, and my best friend from university, Katie. They all wore a gorgeous pink pastel dress from Karen Millen, paired with coral court shoes which matched my green shoes. As a bridesmaids gift I gave them each a different Estella Bartlett necklace to wear on the day. Rachel had to help with my make up as my hands were shaking so much with nerves. They were all super stars on the day and looked amazing.
THE FLOWERS | Charlotte at The Finishing Touch Company had such an amazing creative eye and designed the arrangement of the flowers with our colour scheme. We’d initially went to a consultation for the decorations, and we realised how easy it would be if everything could be done by the same person and be tied all together. I had (and still have) no idea about flowers and Isabelle did an amazing job creating all the bouquets, button-holes and centre pieces. For my bouquet, I chose a rustic hand tied style in different shades of purple, pink and yellow and my bridesmaids had smaller versions, with the corsages and buttonholes echoing the style and colours. The floral centre pieces matched these perfectly with dreamy vines and flowing tendrils.
THE CAKE | We looked around and made a few enquires about our wedding cake. The original plan was to have lots of little cupcakes, but after meeting with Isabelle at Designer Cake Company and sampling her amazing bakes, we decided on a three tier cake of two different flavours. We had a bit of a Don’t Tell The Bride moment where she designed the cake with only a Pinterest board from us and it was revealed to us on the day itself. We chose two little handmade birds printed with our names as cake toppers rather than a traditional bride and groom, and have kept them as an ornament and reminder for our house.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Photography, as I’m sure for any other to-be-wed-couples, was a huge thing for us – we knew it was going to be a full day, and that we would probably miss a lot of moments. Thankfully, the brilliant Sarah Jane Ethan captured our day so brilliantly. From our first Skype meeting we knew she would be perfect for us. We had a pre-wedding photo shoot with her in the March to officially meet and see how she worked and made us feel comfortable. Her relaxed style of photography has created so many beautiful memories for us, some of the shots she took tell a story from so many moments throughout the day. The candid shots she took of some guests, including my sister tearing up at several occasions, are hilarious!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | The Finishing Touch Company decorated the room so beautifully. The room was draped with lace and flowers matching our bouquets and button-holes. At the initial consultation we had no idea what we really wanted: there was so much choice but Charlotte made us feel so at ease and suggested really good ideas, including the candelabra and pearl centre pieces, which tied in with our elegance-with-a-twist look. When we first arrived at the BALTIC we had booked an ice-cream cart from a local ice cream parlour in Blagdon (Marcantonio’s Ice Cream) to go alongside the welcome drinks even though the weather was a bit miserable and we couldn’t enjoy them in the sun! This turned out to be a good talking point, and everyone seemed to really enjoy it. Our favours were personalised different flavoured liqueurs, or chocolate lips and moustaches for the children, which everyone thought was so original.
THE HONEYMOON | We still haven’t been on our honeymoon! We moved into our first house together after the wedding so we decided to put all our money towards that. We’re going to America and the Deep South next year for our first anniversary which we are using as a de facto honeymoon!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | My Granddad is in a care home and, unfortunately, not in good enough health to be able to make the wedding. However, during the room changeover after the wedding breakfast, Steven, my mam, SJ and I went to see him and take some photos so he could be part of the day. Looking back on the photos makes me a bit teary still, he was so proud that he was involved.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Someone told us ‘you don’t have to know what you want, as long as you know who you want’. Book who and what you want as early as you can and you can always sort out the finer details at a later date!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Dress & Accessories | I Do Bridal
Groom’s Outfit | Next
Bridesmaids’ Outfits | Karen Millen
Photographer | Sarah-Jane Ethan
Decorations and Flowers | The Finishing Touch Company
Cake | The Designer Cake Company
Invitations and Stationery | Silver Birch
DJ | Bride and Groove
How very elegant.
Steven and Lisa, thank you both so much for sharing your beautiful wedding with us xo Lou