We met in a late-night bar in London called Be@One on 12.12.12. Fast forward four years to 12.12.16 and we headed to Be@One for cocktails to celebrate Jez’s birthday and our four-year anniversary. Little did I know that we would also be celebrating an unsuspected proposal! It was very memorable, hilariously cute and personal.
We live in London but are both from the north of England and it felt right to be married back near our roots.
We’d heard good things about Doxford Barns, but they were booked up for the following two years on New Year’s Eve – the date we had our hearts set on. However, when speaking to the events team, we were told about their new venue opening later in the year. Without hesitation, we jumped at the chance to be signed up for New Year’s Eve at Charlton Hall – and be the first couple to marry at the new venue.
We had absolutely no idea what to expect, but the team, including owner Richard Shell, were fantastic at keeping us up to speed and helping with the planning. When we finally saw the finished venue the night before the wedding it blew our expectations beyond anything we could have imagined. The venue is completely eclectic and quite unlike anywhere else.
We can’t recommend Charlton Hall highly enough – it’s a ten out of ten! This is definitely the place for couples wanting to wow their guests with something different.
Our photographer David West is such a talented guy and he was a joy to work with. From the moment we got in touch he was committed to understanding what we wanted and what he could do for us.
As we were getting married later in the day, our main priority was spending time with our guests. We dedicated 30 minutes to family photos and David was brilliant at keeping this process slick.
We hadn’t considered that our 3.30pm wedding would mean that we would lose the natural daylight, so David suggested we do a ‘first look’ to get imagery of us together before the ceremony. This took the edge off the nerves and meant that the first moments of seeing each other were totally personal to us.
We were definitely inspired by a mix of rock music and bohemian vibes, but it was important for us to capture the magic of the festive season too.
Colour-wise we wanted a nod to the sparkle of New Year’s Eve, but nothing too glitzy, so opted for a palette of greys and soft blush pink.
We were lucky that the decor at Charlton Hall was so special that we didn’t need to go over the top with the flowers so concentrated on my bouquet, which included blush Roses, Senecio, Eucalyptus, pink Astilbe and pale pink Ranunculus. My bridesmaids had smaller versions and the flower girls had gorgeous hairbands and carried big oversized white balloons, which added a whimsical vibe.
I tried a number of traditional dresses, but nothing left me feeling excited and I wanted something a little different. My bridesmaid, Alex, found a picture of Lawrence by Daughters of Simone online and I fell in love. When I tried it on, it hugged me in all the right places and really complemented my body shape.
I loved picking my shoes. I’d always fancied saying ‘I do in Choo’, but the Burberry babies I chose just added a bit of edge to the soft and lacy look of the dress.
Our favourite moment of the wedding was the fireworks. We invited all of our guests outside for a very special display that had been choreographed to a personal song of ours called Young Blood by The Naked and Famous; a band that Jez has worked with over the years and with who we have a really special friendship. All of our guests surrounded us with sparklers and it was just so magical. The perfect end to a perfect day.
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