Sara & Franco
Franco proposed to me if the living room whilst I was watching Coronation Street in my pajamas on a Thursday night (March 15th 2012). He had my ring made from a family friend who is a local jeweler. I used to show Franco the type of ring I liked whenever we walked past a jewelry shop window but, when I saw my ring I couldn't of picked it better myself. It’s a traditional solitaire 1.5ct in a 4 clasp setting and I love it !!!
I looked around quite a few venues around 3 weeks after getting engaged. We wanted somewhere quite local because I always wanted to get ready at home and get a car to the venue with my Dad. We new that a civil ceremony was what we wanted so we were looking for a venue which had a good room for the ceremony through to the evening.
When we pulled up at Jesmond Dene House for this first time to look around we knew it was the one. The service is always outstanding, the wine and food always has good reviews and its only 15 minutes from home. We loved that the venue was quite small to keep a good atmosphere throughout the day and the great hall was perfect for the ceremony. We liked that one side of Jesmond dene house was just reserved for us along with the stunning gardens and terrace.
I made the most of trying on wedding dresses and went around quite a few shops in the area. I found most the dresses I tried on were pretty much the same, strapless and lace but I knew i wanted something different. I heard about a designer called 'Ian Stuart' and that his designs were really unusual so me and my Mum went to the closest stockist which was Wild Brides in Sunderland. I knew when I put it on it was the dress for me. It was really different form any other dress I has seen, it was off the shoulder and had a really flattering neckline. It had ruffles all the way down with a small train at the back which is what I wanted. I loved it and it was so comfortable, all my guests commented on it and how well it suited me.
Franco and me never liked hire suits or traditional cravats and tails so we decided to get made to measure suits made from Jules B in Jesmond, it was one of our wedding splurges but they looked great. They were a normal suit and tie and was the perfect gift for all the guys to keep and wear again.
My hair and make up was done by the amazing Marie from ND Make up artists in Newcastle. A friend of mine used Marie and she looked so stunning I knew I also had to have her. I booked her over a year in advance for me and my Mum. So many people still mention how nice my hair and make up was, it couldn't of been more perfect. It stayed all day and didn't need any touching up. I went for a full up do to show off the neckline of my dress and a sexy smokey eye look for my make up.
We met Gemma for GS Studio at a wedding fair and knew we had to have her for the wedding. She was fun and bubbly and exactly what we wanted. Her style was really unique. We had a pre wedding photoshoot at Jesmond Dene House so we knew the order and style of photos before the big day to save as much time as possible. We couldnt be happier with our photos.
Ialways wanted a vintagy type feel to the wedding and a nude colour for the bridesmaid dresses. When I visited Newton Hall's open day the main things that stood out for me at that venue was the styling and flowers. In particular these amazing cherry blossom braches that were used as centre pieces on the tables. Although I didn't book Newton hall I knew i needed to use their suppliers.
I am one of these girls that has dreamt about my wedding day from a young age so I knew alot of what I wanted. I went about finding it by doing lots of research of the internet. I had a picture in my head of the style of invitations I wanted so I went to a lovely lady in Cramlington who specializes in bespoke designs (By - Wendy). I used 'Rock My Wedding' website alot, went to numerous wedding fayres and searched the websites of suppliers I had booked. I knew I wanted a close romantic feel to the day and the candles, lanterns and vintage bits and bobs helped pull this off.
My florist was the lovely Helen from bels flowers. Helen was the only florist I got a quote from. I knew I didnt need to go anywhere else because she knew exactly what I wanted and was able to achieve everything I asked.. The bouquets were different types and colours of roses. The centre pieces were cherry blossoms which were also used to decorate the aisle during the ceremony.
I had never really heard of using a styling company until iI saw the The Finishing Touch Company at Newton Hall. I thought it was a great idea and would take alot of hassle away from having to buy individual bits and bobs then storing them after the wedding. I met Charlotte at the same time as Helen from bels flowers and everything seemed so easy. I loved the way they work together to compliment each others work.
With the styling I knew I wanted the ivory Royal Mail post box to store our cards away in a safe place. I also loved the vintage vases for the individual flowers and candles on the guest tables. The lanterns were gorgeous and lined the aisle for the ceremony which made the room feel really romantic and candle lit. I also loved the Mr & Mrs sign which was used on the registrar table and the fire place for the wedding breakfast. I used the individual photo frames and table numbers for my seating plan which I had never seen before and kept the vintage feel of the day.
Everything was re used throughout the day which worked out to be excellent value. The room was set up the morning of the wedding and cleared away the following day which took all the stress away from the day. The FTC have so many fabulous pieces to compliment anyone's style and theme, i cant recommend Charlotte and Helen from Bels enough, when i walked in the Great Hall to walk down the aisle and back in for the meal the room took my breath away.
I dont like any type of cake but I am a huge cheese lover. We knew from the start we wanted a cheese cake with all our favorite cheeses. Franco and his family own and food and wine wholsesale business so we were able to get the cheese from there and Franco stacked and altered the cheese to fit himself. It was 5 tiers made with Chedder, Stilton, Brie, Goats cheese and percorino. I didnt want the cheese put on top of eachother, iIwanted it to look like a wedding cake so we used separators so we could decorate between the tiers.
With Franco's family from Italy coming over we decided on an Italian dish to start. We had a mushroom risotto with parmesan shavings. This was made especially for us by Jesmond Dene House as it wasn't initially on the menu. For main we had to have the fillet steak with sliced potatoes and veg. For desert we had vanilla crème brulee followed by coffee and a cheese board from our cake. The food lived up to it reputation and all the guests were really impressed with the food and service. It was a really filling meal but it was well needed after three hours of champagne and pimms in the sun.
We hired a DJ for the evening called The Ultimate wedding DJ. They were great because we got guests to select a song each when they returned there RSVP and we made our own playlist online on there website so we knew there was something for everyone. We also hired the incredible Snaparazzi. This went down a storm in the evening, everyone loved the idea and the guestbook you get at the end with everyone photos and messages in are priceless.
The only unusual thing we did for our wedding was I did a speech myself. It was really nerve racking and I was worried about what people would think of the bride doing a speech but I'm so pleased I did it, i couldn't let the biggest day of my life go by without thanking people personally.
Our favours for the men were bottles of port to compliment the cheese cake and for the ladies they were chocolate slabs for Hotel Chocolat. Both were bigger enough to be shared around. The only other unusual thing was we had pimms aswell as champagne during the day with the canapés. It was a really sunny day so was the preferred drink, so much so that we had to order and extra 5 jugs.
My top tip would be to book the main things early because the best suppliers get booked so far in advance. I had deposits down for florist, styling, photographer and hair & make up the week after booking my date. Keep looking and searching for what you want, don't settle for second best. On the day make sure you take everything in and make the most of your day.
Venue: Jesmond Dene House
Photographer: GS Studios
Florist : bels flowers
Dress: Ian Stuart from Wild Brides, Sunderland
Cake: Fresh cheese supplied & sourced by the Groom
Hair & Make up: ND Make up
Blog: Rock My Wedding
DJ: Ultimate Wedding DJ
Photobooth: Snaparazzi Photobooths
Invitations: By Wendy
Wedding Car: Autograph Chauffeurs
Wedding Styling & Decorations: The Finishing Touch Company
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