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Real Weddings

Evie Young For A Stylish Elopement in Northumberland – Jayne & Akeem

Sarah Symonds

Exciting things are afoot today as Jayne and Akeem finally tie the knot, elopement style, following a series of frustrating Covid-related postponements. We head down to Newcastle’s Ouseburn district to see how it all went on the day!

We’ve got some fantastic, moody and atmospheric shots from today’s real wedding, taken by the talented Chris and Shazia of Chocolate Chip Photography. It’s a joy to see our lovely couple really letting loose for the photos after the intimate ceremony, throwing their inhibitions to the wind and celebrating the realsiation that they’re finally married to one another after such an intense year! What a time to be alive!

Then we follow them back home for a takeaway, Champagne, dancing and music on their own record player. What could be more cosy and romantic? We’re head over heels for the table settings, and the fact that it’s in their own dining room just makes it all the more special. Absolute proof that small and intimate doesn’t have to mean any of the details should be any less amazing.

With photography by UNVEILED Network Members Chocolate Chip Photography


Jayne says: Akeem proposed in July 2019, on the day that we got the keys to our first home! We went to our empty new house, really excited to look around. After a couple of minutes inside, Akeem said told me he’d left his phone in the car outside and would be right back. When he came back he was carrying a rather large ring box. He got down on one knee and proposed to me in our new living room. I was so surprised, overwhelmed and, of course, really happy. It felt like the start of our new adventure.


We got married on 7th May 2021. It wasn’t the date we’d originally chosen but we landed with it after changing our plans several times throughout lockdown. We chose the date totally randomly, just going with the availability of the registrar, and it wasn’t until a few weeks later that we realised it was exactly 8 years to the day that we met. It was clearly meant to be!

We had our ceremony in the Shipyard Room at the Hotel Du Vin in Ouseburn. We love the hotel’s moody industrial style and it’s such a beautiful building nestled in the heart of one of our favourite areas. The hotel staff were incredible with helping us to plan our intimate ceremony and the room was perfect, with big windows, exposed brick and a quirky mural.

I’d give our ceremony venue 10 out of 10. The staff were so helpful and accommodating, the room was stunning and everything went perfectly to plan. I would definitely recommend it to other couples looking for that industrial relaxed feel.

Our reception venue was the most exclusive venue we could find… our dining room! At the time of our wedding, receptions were outdoors only and because we eloped, we thought what could be more special than turning our home into our reception venue. After all it’s where we got engaged. We loved the chance to get creative and transform it into something beautiful.

Our original plan was to have a big celebration with our family and friends at Wylam Brewery but it was during full lockdown when weddings couldn’t go ahead at all. We knew straight away that what was most important to us was to get married and so we decided to plan a whole new elopement wedding for as soon as possible after restrictions lifted. Looking back, we wouldn’t have had it any other way. It was perfect.


We didn’t set out with a specific theme but knew we wanted things to be more relaxed and less traditional. I’d probably describe the overall feel as ‘moody bohemian’. We just chose exactly what we loved and hoped that it would all tie in together, which thankfully it did!

We didn’t stick with traditional spring wedding colours and chose to go dark with our colour scheme instead. It’s almost like we broke the rules and planned an autumnal wedding in May! We’re both a big fan of bold colour choices so opted for burnt orange, burgundy, terracotta and gold. This was incorporated into our flowers and table décor.


My dress was a floaty A-line covered in beautiful tribal lace motifs in the colour ‘latte’. It was by the designer Evie Young and I purchased it from the amazing, UNVEILED Network Member Y.A.P Bridal in Newcastle.

I was instantly drawn to the unusual colour and even before I tried it on, something was telling me that this was my dress.

It didn’t originally have sleeves and I had these added in alterations at The Sewing Rooms in Chester-Le-Street. I love the extra boho vibe they added.


Akeem wore a Marc Darcy suit jacket and waistcoat purchased from Master Debonair, with slim black jeans, rustic leather boots and a burgundy tweed bow tie. He wanted a more relaxed look to fit with our day.


My makeup was done by Josephine Birkett MUA and hair was Bridal Hair by Cheryl.


We booked the wonderful Chris and Shazia of Chocolate Chip Photography for our wedding day and it was the best decision we made as our day would not have been the same without them

We originally booked them back in 2019 following a recommendation from a close friend, when we’d planned a big celebration at a different venue. We knew we wanted something a bit quirky and loved the edgy style they had to offer. When the world turned upside down and we had to change our plans, they were incredibly supportive and assured us that our new plans would be just as special.

On the day, they were not only our photographers but our witnesses, and friends. They turned our day into a total adventure, coming up with the most creative and brilliant ideas and locations for couple portraits. We just adore our images and will be raving about them to everyone we know who is planning a wedding!


We didn’t have a videographer on the day but we did end up with an amazing ‘2 minute wedding video’ from Chocolate Chip which captured our day perfectly.


Our flowers were designed by Gemma from Fork In The Rose in Heaton, who did such a perfect job. She combined locally grown flower, like orange ranunculus, burgundy tulips and cream roses with a mix of dried grasses and foliage for the bouquet, buttonhole and table centrepiece. She also designed a beautiful flower crown for me.


We still wanted our day to have some of the traditional elements of a wedding even though there was just the two of us. We purchased a vanilla naked cake from Marks and Spencer, I used fresh flowers to decorate it and we finished it off with a bespoke cake topper designed by Kayleigh Falcus Bridal and Gifts.


For our wedding breakfast we had our favourite takeaway from Chilli Padi in Newcastle. We collected it in person and I think it’s safe to say that the staff were a little taken back when we suddenly appeared in our full wedding outfits!


We played our favourite music on our vinyl player at home whilst we danced and drank Champagne!

Special touches

Our day was very personal from start to finish – as it started and finished in our own home!

Even though we chose to elope, I couldn’t leave without giving my mam a sneaky peak at me all dressed up, so we video called just before we set off for the venue. It was lovely to share such a special moment.

Unbeknown to us, my two best friends had also been in cahoots with Chocolate Chip and had hidden behind a bush outside, ready to spring out and surprise us before we left. After I’d managed to hold back the tears all morning, they set me off!

Best bit

The absolute best part of our day was during our couple portraits up in Weardale! After an amazing morning, it hit us that we were finally married and that we could relax and let loose a little. After being caught in a downpour, the rain had finally stopped and, when Chocolate Chip told us to go twirl and dance for photos, we both just went for it. Not only did we end up with the most striking photos, but the memory of Akeem doing karate kicks and going crazy in the middle of the road surrounded by trees is one we’ll never forget.


Accepting that we couldn’t go ahead with our original plans was hard and we initially stressed about rearranging everything and making sure it would all still be ‘perfect’. Our top tip would be to rip up the wedding rule book. Things might not go as you originally planned but embrace it as a chance to do things differently. It’s actually the ‘imperfections’ that make your day memorable and unique to you and you might just end up with something more amazing than you ever imagined!

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