A fun and colourful village wedding near Newcastle with Emma & Paul
You know how it is when you meet someone and you just click… that’s how it was with Emma and Paul when we met at Druridge Bay on the Northumberland coast for our pre-wedding shoot. Although they were a bit nervous (who isn’t when they are having their photo taken?) we had a great laugh, experimented with smoke bombs and prisms, and ended up with some lovely photographs.
Fast forward to the wedding day itself in Wylam, a small village around 10 miles outside of Newcastle upon Tyne.
It’s impossible to really know what a wedding is going to be like before the day kicks off. You can get a feel from the couple and a sense of the style of wedding they’re planning and hoping for, but until the day it’s all speculation and ideas. On the day, though, it quickly became clear that this was going to be a kick ass wedding!
Here are just a few of my personal memories that spring to mind:
A sensational looking and very happy Emma in a green wedding dress and personalised Converse trainers.
Just two group shots that meant everyone could get on with the celebrations.
Some unique bride and groom portraits at Hagg Bank - a location that really meant something to Emma in particular
Emma and Paul entered the reception to a wave of love and warmth…and excitement!
Speeches that had everyone crying with laughter and emotion.
Post ceremony games on the lawn.
Cracking live music that had everyone on the dance floor all night.
This wedding had it all!
I asked Emma to share some more details about the day she and Paul had planned, their thoughts on how it all went down and what they would do or wouldn’t, given the opportunity to have their day over again.
What’s the story behind the two of you? How and where did you meet?
We first met at work. Working on the railway. I got asked to do a shift with Paul’s crew and then we seemed to see each other at work quite often. We eventually got talking and dancing at another friends party about 4 months later. We had our first real date in Edinburgh at the Christmas markets. Which is now part of our Christmas traditions every year.
Can you tell me about how you proposed?
We were in Khao Phangan in Thailand. Paul has suggested that we have dinner in the hotel restaurant. We went to the bar for a couple of cocktails and then Paul led me to the beach. When we got there he had arranged for a gazebo to be to put up and we had dinner right on the beach completely lit up with candles! It was beautiful!!!
We had our meal and decided I want to go a put my feet in the sea. I came back to the table and there was a box in front of my chair. I was in total shock!! He wasn’t on one knee but he asked if I would marry him and we’d make each other happy for the rest of our lives.
I said hell yeah of course I will!
Where was your wedding ceremony and why did you choose that location?
We were married in Wylam, a little village in Northumberland where I’m from. We were married in the church and then our reception was in the institute/village hall.
Wylam is beautiful and I always said if I ever got married it had to be a local wedding where the village benefits as much as I did growing up there. All of the suppliers were local to Wylam. From the flowers to the decorating of the hall to the chef and staff that worked for the day.
My extended family helped set everything up inside and outside. We had giant Jenga, Noughts and Crosses, Connect Four and quoits. We had to be out of the venue by 11:00pm so the people who ran our bar said we could go down to the pub and carry on the party. Sooo we all walked down to the pub, taking food and flowers and pumpkins. We literally just moved the reception! Even the band came but just for a drink!!
There are 4 places to stay in the village and they were all filled with our friends and family. So literally everything was kept in the village. We hope to live there eventually too.
Were you going for a certain theme or style with your wedding?
The colours were all to be autumnal so oranges, greens and yellows. There wasn’t a particular style we just wanted everyone to relax and enjoy everything. We wanted a very free flowing day but we understood we needed a little structure.
Can you tell me about your wedding clothes, shoes and jewellery. Any advice you have for other couples looking for their perfect wedding day attire?
My dress was olive green and wore plain white Converse which Paul had custom made with our wedding date and Mrs Bell on then. I was perfectly comfy all day and was well and truly myself. Paul’s mum let me where her mother’s pearls (my something borrowed) and I had odd earnings in, which is my normal self!
Paul wore a Peaky Blinders inspired suit which was dark blue with a slight pattern to it. Had a green beige and olive knitted tie, orange glass cufflinks and a pocket watch. It fitted him perfectly and he looked so comfortable and confident.
Advice.......it’s about you guys, everyone and everything else is a bonus.
Who did your hair and what led you to the style you chose?
My fabulous friend Nichols who’s also my hairdresser did my hair. We went for a relaxed up do with some flowers in it. She was really nervous because we’re friends but she was great! She also did the bridesmaids’ hair too. We all looked amazing! She also restyled Paul’s hair prior to the wedding.
Who was your makeup artist and what were your instructions when booking - what were you after?
I didn’t wear any make up as I wouldn’t normally wear any anyway. However the bridesmaids did and they did their own in their own style.
Can you tell me about your flowers/bouquets?
Sunflowers we what myself and the bridesmaids had. The button holes were reddy, orange roses which complemented everything. The centre pieces were made using pumpkins as the vase, which again tied in with the Autumnal colour idea. Marion Stobo did our flowers and decorated both the church and the institute. Again she did an amazing job.
Paul and Barry has both seen the venue on a normal day and their jaws hit the floor when they saw how plain and ugly it looked.
What led you to choose the wedding cake you did?
We love cake but we love cheese more so we had a cake of cheese as our main cake but as we had older members of both families we had a cake cake too. We had mature cheddar, Brie, Wensleydale with cranberry, cheddar with onion and chilli cheddar. It was decorated with fruit and vegetables and was served with charcuterie meats and breads.
Our cake followed with our invitation theme and had a bride and groom Field mice on the top of it.
Can you describe the photography part of the day?
Barry arrived in the morning and took some photos as we were getting sort of ready drinking and laughing. When we looked at the photos there was ones we didn’t even know he’d been there for! Which was perfect, our friends actually mentioned watching him blending in and being part of the crowd. We didn’t want people standing around waiting for photos so we literally had 2 group photos taken and then we got out to take photos in the location that I wanted. Then when we came back it was back to just catching everyone as they enjoyed themselves through out the day.
What led you to choose me for your photography?
You made us feel so comfortable from the first time we met at our engagement shoot at Duridge Bay. We told you we were nervous and you said “be yourselves, if you’re not overly touchy freely don’t be. Just be comfortable”. I literally spent two hours laughing and trying to push Paul near the waves. When it came to our wedding we wanted to feel the same and we certainly did. You captured so many giggles and not just mine.
Can you tell me about your most memorable moment from the day?
Most memorable moment.........one of them has to be walking to the church with my dad through the village and then walking up to meet Paul at the altar. Paul’s was (and I quote) “marrying you cowbag” but on a serious note going to get the pictures at Hagg bank and coming back to sneak in and see everyone who is ours.
Can you tell me a little about your honeymoon?
We went to Kuala lumpur and Bali. We did a lot of exploring and relaxing and eating amazing food. We got to have a traditional Balinese wedding blessing in one of the hotels as well, which was really good.
What is the most important piece of advice you could share with couples to be?
If someone offers to plan it (my parents did and it was perfect!!), let them. But if not, try not to worry about the things you can’t control or the little things. Your friends and family want to celebrate you guys. That’s what they’re there for. Be yourselves (be comfortable) and have the best day, whatever that includes!!
If you had the chance to redo the whole thing again, what changes would you make?
Maybe we’d have got married earlier and had a longer day but it really was perfect the way it all was.
Wedding ceremony venue: St Oswin’s Church, Wylam
Wedding reception venue: Wylam Institute
Wedding Dress: Leigh Hetherington
Florist: Stobo Florists
Hair & makeup: Nichola Brumwell
Wedding Cake: Sponge and Sugar Cake company
Catering: Marcus Goss
Bridesmaid Dresses: Laura Lee Boutique
Groomsmen attire: Most Suitable
Stationery: Julie Manning