This week’s real wedding comes from a very talented photographer, Ian Weldon. His documentary wedding photography style is unique and perfect for any couple looking for an alternative wedding shoot. Steph and Gary’s real garden wedding is breathtaking from the first image to the last.
Bride and Groom… Steph and Gary Wedding date… Saturday 7th June 2014 The proposal… We were on a 4 day birthday trip to Bruges. Gary proposed in a quiet candle lit pub off the beaten track. He’d secretly asked the barman to put on the song ‘Something’ by the Beatles. I was outside at the time and came back in to tell the barman how pleased I was that he was playing it. I turned around and there was Gary, on one knee.
Our wedding ceremony was held… At Crook Hall & Gardens, Durham city. We had a civil ceremony at 11am. We wanted the guests to enjoy the full day at Crook Hall, and wanted to get the formalities over with as soon as possible. In total we had 35 people close family and friends. We had four tables arranged in the medieval hall for a sparkling cream tea wedding breakfast at 1pm, the room was a perfect size for the party. One of the most memorable moments was walking through the line of trees from the hall towards the gazebo with my dad and sister. I was just so happy when I saw Gary. After the ceremony we all walked back through the trees to the croquet lawn. I was able to see most of the guests before it began to rain. We were taken to the fire lit Jacobean room together before the wedding breakfast. It was great that we were all together. Thankfully I’d bought enough umbrellas in anticipation, which worked out well for the photos. Our florist from City Blooms had arranged the tables with the Crook Hall staff, I’d had in mind how I wanted them to look but my expectations were absolutely exceeded. I’d bought most of the decorations from Durham Market, Amazon and Ikea. We cut the cake in a ‘Pride and Prejudice’ style living room upstairs with a view of Durham Catherdral. The cake was handmade by a colleague of my mum. She even included a little model of our cat!
My dress was… from Monsoon. I’d had one in mind some years ago and found it in the sale. I bought it but never really felt right in it. My mum was with me at the time and yes, she did seem quite emotional. This was shortly after our return from Bruges, so quite a way before the big day. I went back in January 2014 and just saw my dress on a model. There were no two ways about it. I had to have it. My mum bought me some pearl studs from Market Cross jewellers. I wore a gold locket under the neck of my dress which was bought for me by my grandparents when I was born. My hair slide was from Debenhams, I wanted to wear something that would work with the pattern on my dress and a style that wouldn’t date.
Our wedding photographer was… Ian Weldon. I saw his profile advertised on Confetti.co.uk funnily enough! We didn’t want to stand around having portraits done all day. I wanted documentary style photographs that would tell a story. It took no time for me to get in touch with Ian after looking at his portfolio. We have a mutual appreciation for art. I had full confidence in his professionalism after meeting with him we are absolutely thrilled with the results. We have a red leather bound album with our names embossed on the front which is superb.
Did anything funny or unusual happen at your wedding? My dad had candle wax drip down his coat during the wedding breakfast! There were probably a few hiccups but that was to be expected. We didn’t put any expectations on everything being perfect. One of the guests had red wine spilt over her.. and of course the rain but we handled that one. Some of my cousins and aunt arrived at our house which was a great surprise.
Our wedding cake was… A two tiered cake – carrot on the bottom, madiera on the top. Our favourite flavours. Caroline hand crafted the flowers, it was based on a design I found on Pinterest of a cake with real flowers. It was delicious!
For our wedding reception… We’d hired a 1950’s red bus for the ride home for the reception. Neighbours and extended family were waiting for us when we arrived with confetti. It was lots of fun singing all the way home. I loved having everyone in our house, Gary had put together playlists of our favourite songs. The buffet was huge and homespun. Gary had purchased his favourite beers from the Head of Steam in Durham and the rose was on tap. My mum’s friends kept everything flowing and even lit some candle bags and placed them on the stairs for our wedding night. It was so romantic. The rain stopped later that night and most people returned the next day before their journey home. It was just perfect.
What is your advice for other brides? Use an app or buy a wedding planning guide. It helps to organise what needs to be done and when. I had no idea about most of the detail and wedding jargon.
Wedding Dress: Monsoon | Wedding Shoes: Rachel Simpson | Wedding Suits: Woven | Bridesmaid Dresses: Monsoon | Wedding Flowers: City Blooms | Wedding Photographer: Ian Weldon | Wedding Cake: Caroline Emerson | Wedding Hair: Strands Chester le Street | Wedding Stationery: Peaches and Queen | Wedding Venue: Crook Hall & Gardens | Wedding Catering: Caroline Emerson