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Our Venues

Ronald Joyce for a Whimsical, White Wedding at Charlton Hall – Sophie & Anthony

13th July 2020 | Sarah Symonds

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One of the most unique venues that the North East has to offer became the perfect backdrop for Sophie and Anthony’s winter wedding, with white florals and muted blue and grey toned thistles and eucalyptus, accented with a neutral mauve bridesmaid’s dress and navy tweed suits for the groomsmen.

Keeping their own style simple meant the couple really made the most of their unusual venue. The classic meets quirky decor of UNVEILED Network Member venue Charlton Hall lending a natural sense of fun to the celebrations, the bold ceremony room aglow with twinkly lights, perfect for the dark evenings of the season.

The stunning, personalised off-the-shoulder Ronald Joyce gown with bold lace detailing, truly flatters Sophie’s figure. It really isn’t hard to see why emotions evidently ran high in today’s wedding, as Anthony catches the first glimpse of his blushing bride.

With photography by Dan Clark Photography

Proposal

Sophie says: We got engaged on the 26th August 2018 after being together for just over four years. We had recently moved into our first home. Anthony woke me up early one Sunday morning, saying there was a parcel delivered for me. Obviously still half asleep, I went downstairs, not thinking about the fact that it was Sunday and therefore quite unlikely that there would really be any parcels being delivered.

Hair still messy from bed, I opened up the box and a giant balloon popped out of the box saying “will you marry me?” As I turned around, Anthony was down on one knee with the ring. Our puppy, Ernie, also had a dog tag saying “will you marry my Dad?” It was super private and absolutely perfect for us, I wouldn’t change a thing. And soon Ernie will have some company as we’re delighted to announce that we are expecting our first baby in October!

Setting

We picked November 30th 2019 as we didn’t want a long engagement. It allowed us just over a year to plan our wedding. Autumn is my favourite season and our wedding day was a perfect autumnal day, crisp yet with the sun shining all day.

We got married at Charlton Hall in Northumberland. After toying with the idea of getting married abroad, we decided to stay local to allow all of our family to attend.

We chose Charlton Hall due to its unique décor and phenomenal ceremony room. We also loved the exclusivity of the venue. We arrived on the Friday evening, were married on the Saturday and left on the Sunday morning. I loved that my closest family were able to stay with us the whole weekend.

Theme

We didn’t have a theme as such, however our table names were based on Marvel characters as my husband is a massive Marvel fan. There were elements of this then woven throughout the wedding but we didn’t have an overwhelmingly obvious theme.

We kept our flowers neutral and décor very simple as we felt Charlton Hall is so amazing in itself, it required very little additional styling.

Our wedding colour scheme was white and our table centrepieces were fresh white flowers; roses and hydrangeas, my favourite flowers, with eucalyptus leaves. My bouquet was predominantly white with blue thistles included, which matched the boys buttonholes.

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Dress

I wore a Ronald Joyce wedding gown, ivory in colour with very large lace detailing. When I bought the dress, it actually had long sleeves which you would think was perfect for my winter wedding, however I removed the sleeves and had smaller off the shoulder detailing applied instead. My dress was purchased from Wendy Coles in Monkseaton.

Groomsmen

My husband wore a three piece navy tweed suit by Marc Darcy which we purchased from Master Debonair in Bolden. Anthony wanted all the groomsmen to look the same, therefore had matching three-piece suits for all of them but with a different coloured tie. They all wore burgundy while he wore gold.

Bridesmaids

I decided to only have one bridesmaid, my older sister. She wore a mauve beaded dress from Monsoon and looked amazing!

Beauty

Our hair was done by my own hairdresser, Kirsty Hill of Kirsty Hill Hairdressing, and makeup by Jordan Thompson and Levi Taylor.

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Photography

Dan Clark was our photographer and I literally could not recommend him any higher. He was amazing from start to finish and so professional, making us all feel very relaxed. Dan is one of the nicest people I have ever met and we have in fact recommended him to everyone and anyone I know that may be in need of a photographer.

Videography

We went with Steve and Roni from Seventeen Nine Films, who are relatively new to the wedding scene. Many people would not have taken a risk and gone with a well known company instead but we are so pleased we chose Steve and Roni. They exceeded all of our expectations, listened to what we wanted and executed an amazing video, capturing our wedding perfectly.

Styling

My bouquet was white roses, blue thistles, eucalyptus leaves and velvet berries. It was perfect and exactly what I had imagined. Sharon from The Little Flower House provided all of the flowers and I absolutely loved them!

We did all the table names, signs and table plans ourselves and used The Rustic Photobooth Company for our photobooth. It was presented beautifully, the photos were excellent quality and all our guests loved it.

Favours

We provided little Mason jars of jelly beans and the words “love is sweet, have a treat”. Both Anthony and I have a very sweet tooth so it felt fitting.

Cake

The Allan Cake Company created us a four tier cake, decorated with white lace, sparkles and fresh hydrangeas. The top layer was vanilla, second was lemon, followed by chocolate cake with peanut butter icing and a bottom tier of Victoria sponge. It was absolutely stunning and tasted amazing too!

Cake Bros supplied a ‘cake station’ which was a real hit! Guests were offered a vanilla or chocolate sponge and then an array of syrups, frosting and toppings, giving them a cake as individual as our venue!

Dining

We served an Aperol spritz to guests during the reception, prosecco for toasts and popped bottles Morande One to One Merlot Estate Reserve 2016 and Featherdrop Sauvignon Blanc on each table for our guests to enjoy.

For the wedding breakfast, we started with a choice of Heirloom Tomato Terrine with goats cheese mousse, pickled shallots, dehydrated black olives, or Chicken Liver Parfait with walnut bread and a sweet port jelly, or Classic Runny Scotch Egg with piccalilli and micro cress salad.

To follow, guests chose from spinach and ricotta cannelloni baked in a béchamel sauce, or slow-cooked blade of beef with pancetta, pomme puree, pan-fried mushroom and red wine sauce, or pan-fried chicken breast with peas a la Francaise.

Dessert was either Sticky Toffee Pudding with a butterscotch sauce and a creamy vanilla ice-cream or a blondie with burnt white chocolate crumb and an orange compote.

All the food was 5* standard at Charlton Hall and I loved that we were able to give our guests a choice from our menu.

Entertainment

We had a live band which we sourced via AMV called Groove Central Station who were absolutely brilliant. I always wanted a live band at my wedding but didn’t want a typical cheesy DJ. The band sang a vast range of songs, some of which we had selected and others chosen from their set list.

We also had Isabella Deminska, a live cellist, play during the ceremony and reception. I cannot recommend Isabella highly enough. She played both acoustic and electric cello absolutely beautifully.

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Thanks to

Everything about Charlton Hall is amazing; the décor, the grounds, the ceremony hall, the looking glass, the vaults, the accommodation, even the toilets! If anyone is looking for a unique venue with quirky details Charlton Hall is definitely the place for them.

Best bit

My favourite part of the day was walking down the aisle towards Anthony, surrounded by our family and friends. I loved every second of it!

Honeymoon

We booked a cottage in Richmond for a week straight after the wedding, which was beautiful. We had a nice relaxing time where we could reflect on our wedding. Then, in February we went to New York for a week.

Advice

My advice to another bride would be to enjoy every second of it. Everyone will tell you the day goes so quickly but I didn’t feel that way. Our wedding was perfect for us because we didn’t try to please everyone. People have so many opinions when it comes to planning a wedding but don’t forget it’s about you and your partner, and everyone else comes second to that.

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