Goodness me, today’s real wedding is just so utterly beautiful you guys! What’s more, the lovely Kirby and Dom are WWW readers too, which is always a pleasure to read when compiling a wedding feature. Friday 9th March 2018 was their chosen wedding date and the setting was Newton Hall in Northumberland. The pair were lucky to narrowly avoid the Beast from the East and were blessed with glorious Spring sunshine. Their vision was a chic, relaxed and woodland inspired day, with a darling pastel colour palette featuring touches of grey, blush and copper too. Yes it’s all so so pretty, just you wait!
The florals were sublime, the sequin tablecloths just glam and the cake, buttercream perfection. In fact the flavours of their cake sounded just so delicious and I also adore that Dom’s nan carried on the family tradition by baking a special fruit cake too. It’s touches like these after all, that make a wedding both personal and meaningful.
I also have to shout about their outfit choices. Kirby chose to wear a tulle gown, embellished heels and a sweet hair vine, I think she looked so very gorgeous too. Dom meanwhile wanted a country gent look and his tweed, chinos and floral tie combo is just so dapper.
We have Sarah-Jane Ethan to thank for these marvellous images today, they really are a dream.
Whilst gazing out over Central Park at the Top of the Rock viewing platform in New York, Dom got down on one knee and popped the question. I hadn’t been expecting it, although I had guessed something was up as he was not himself that day at all! We celebrated the amazing moment with champagne at the Crosby Street hotel.
It was hugely important to both of us to create a fun day for our guests in a gorgeous venue. We wanted the wow factor but none of the pretention that sometimes comes with that and Newton Hall was perfect for this. I loved the idea of a woodland wedding with a glamorous edge. We didn’t want a “themed” wedding as such, preferring the idea of incorporating different things that we loved across the day with a clean colour palette using just hints of grey, blush and copper. I’m a huge animal lover and I wanted them to play a part in the décor and styling.
THE PLANNING PROCESS
We only viewed two venues and to be honest, the second we only went to because it was already in the diary! After we viewed Newton Hall, we both knew it was the venue for us and everything else followed on pretty quickly. I wanted to be as organised as possible to avoid any last-minute planning stress, so all of the main elements were booked in within a matter of months. There was then plenty of time to focus on the details and tweak little bits along the way. I’m a perfectionist so loved spending time researching suppliers and hunting for the perfect touches.
Newton Hall, Newton by the Sea, Northumberland. The two things we wanted from our venue were exclusive use and somewhere we could use for both ceremony and reception. Newton Hall offered us the ability to do this with lots of different spaces to make use of across the day. The Hall is quirky and beautiful with charming elements, such as antler bar stools which fitted in perfectly with our vision. We also knew that the food and drink would be awesome, as their sister restaurants and bars in Newcastle are superb. We weren’t disappointed!
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES
It’s a long-standing family joke that I’m a shoe addict and I’m well known for always wearing the highest heels. I spent just as much time, if not more, researching bridal shoes. However, as soon as I chanced on Harriet Wilde I was sold. I paired my dress with the amazing Arabella Cherry sandals which Dom bought me as my wedding present. I’m passionate about home grown talent so being able to support a British designer was great. HW is based just 10 minutes away from where we live in London, so I was able to visit the showroom. Ruth and team are just so lovely, and I knew I’d made the right choice.
I chose my hair vine from Agnes Walker jewellery, again another British designer. Abby’s pieces are all so exquisite, and the laurel leaves fitted in with my woodland vision perfectly. I also wore botanical inspired earrings and a bracelet from Jon Richard.
FINDING THE DRESS
I went to my first appointment alone as I wanted to be really sure of what I did and did not want, without anyone else’s opinion clouding my judgement. I tried on every style going, which I would encourage any bride to do. A – it’s lots of fun and B – when are you ever going to get the chance again?! I went to three other designers/bridal boutiques before finding the one. My mam and I had called in on a whim and the second dress we picked out turned out to be the one. It was everything I had imagined – boho yet elegant, with the must have tulle skirt I’d set my heart on. When I tried it on, I just knew! The whole experience took 20 minutes if that!
Dom was very keen to get his look just right and we spent more time on his outfit than my own! We decided on the “country gent” look as it was smart yet relaxed and really suited the style and location of Newton Hall. Blazer and waistcoat – Harris Tweed. Shirt and chinos – Next. Tie – Etsy. Boots – Ted Baker.
THE READINGS & MUSIC
Dom’s dad read “Falling in love is like owning a dog” by Taylor Mali, and my bridesmaid Jen read “A Lovely Love Story” by Edward Monkton. Both readings were chosen for their light-heartedness, sense of fun and animal references!
We decided on “music from the movies” for our guests to arrive to and for signing the registrar as Dom is a massive film fan. I walked down the aisle to “You’ve Got the Love” by Candi Staton and The Source, which I have adored since it’s release in 1997! We walked up the aisle as husband and wife to “The Power of Love” by Huey Lewis and the News, continuing the music from the movies theme. Our first dance was to Lionel Richie’s “My Destiny”. At our evening reception we had an amazing local indie band, Revival, who had the dance floor packed all night, as well as a DJ for some late-night raving.
My sister Holly and my best friend Jen were my gorgeous maids. They wore different dresses in the same shade of mint green to suit their individual styles. Dresses by TFNC London from ASOS. Jewellery from Jon Richard and Alan Hannah Devoted.
We used the Finishing Touch Company for flowers and styling. I went for shades of white, cream, pink and green. Peonies and anemones are my favourites, and freesia was my late Grandma’s number one flower, so these were chosen so a little bit of her could be with us. We also made use of eucalyptus foliage, thistle, succulents and air plants to add earthy vibes. I chose wrist corsages for the bridesmaids to be more practical and I also liked that they were a bit different.
Sandy at the Cake Garden made our main cake. She is simply lovely, and her cakes are amazing. Choosing the flavours was really difficult as they were all delicious! We went for three tiers – Strawberry Champagne, Cherry Bakewell and Caramel Apple. We kept the style quite rustic with a white chocolate ripple ganache adorned with some floral clusters from TFTC and an amazing fox topper from Etsy. Dom’s nan also made us a traditional fruit cake. She has made all of the families wedding cakes so far and we wanted to carry on the tradition. We were honoured to have two beautiful wedding cakes!
I first saw SJ’s work on Facebook as an old school friend had used her for her own wedding. I was enchanted by SJ’s wonderful, light filled, natural images and knew I wanted her for my own big day. We were over the moon when SJ agreed to shoot our wedding. SJ’s passion and creativity were so evident across the day – she knew exactly where to be to capture the moment and never stopped smiling. It felt like an old friend had called in! We were blown away by the images we received. SJ turned the photos around in no time and I know she worked tirelessly to do that. A true diamond, both as a photographer and an individual.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR
The very lovely Charlotte and Jess from The Finishing Touch company created our gorgeous look and we added in a selection of woodland animal pieces throughout the hall. We also hired amazing light up letters and props from Coco Luminaire as our top table and aisle back drops.
Minimoon in Dubai then later on in the year a west coast US road trip.
Dom arriving in a time machine was definitely not what our guests were expecting! For me, walking down the aisle to everyone cheering and seeing that everything had come together as I’d planned was just a fantastic experience. To have everyone you love around you in a truly beautiful setting is magical. Our wedding was a few days after the worst of the Beast from the East and we were so lucky that the sun came out. It was so great to catch up with our guests in the sunshine with a cocktail or two. This also meant that the guests did not miss Dom’s dad doing sabrage to kick start the drinking!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES
Make sure you have time off from wedding planning. It can easily take over your life if you’re not careful! We made sure we had a couple of nights a week where we didn’t talk weddings. Do your research. Whilst recommended venue suppliers are amazing, there could well be other options out there more suited to you. It’s so true that the day just flashes by, so try and take 5 minutes or so to yourselves. Enjoy it and have fun! You’ve worked so hard to get to this day so make sure you experience it as your guests do – eat the canapés, drink the cocktails and hit the dancefloor hard!
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Russet and Gray
The Cake Garden
Light Up Props
Flowers and Styling
The Finishing Touch Company
Oh so wonderful!
Kirby and Dom, thank you both ever so much for sharing your wedding story with us here today xo Lou