Victoria & Matthew
This couple were king and queen for the day
at their castle wedding…
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANDY SUTCLIFFE PHOTOGRAPHY
They might have met at college, but this couple didn’t become sweethearts until much later. “We both went off to university and I didn’t see her again,” Matthew tells us. “She was and still is beautiful, intelligent and one of the most caring people I have ever met, and I couldn’t believe my luck when I finally saw her again almost eight years after leaving university in our local pub! That was it, I just had to see more of her.”
Matthew surprised Victoria with a weekend away in Rome for their proposal. “He left me guessing right until check in at the airport as to where we were going! The hotel was incredible – they kept leaving us Champagne and strawberries every night and I just assumed it was part of their hospitality. On the last night, there was a parcel instead. Inside was a canvas photograph of Matthew’s niece and nephews holding signs that read, ‘Will you marry uncle Matthew please?’ He got down on one knee, pulled out a ring box and asked me to marry him!”
The bride discovered her gown in Just Perfect, Durham. “I’d been browsing online and fallen for a Pronovias princess dress but couldn’t find any local stockists. I tried on lots of others but nothing seemed to suit me, but then I visited Just Perfect and was overwhelmed by the huge range there. I set my heart on a dress just like the one I’d seen online, and my mum also picked out a satin and lace sheath dress. It was unexpected, but when I tried on my mum’s choice I suddenly felt like a real bride. The dress was Essense of Australia.”
Victoria added a Pandora lucky horseshoe bracelet, gifted by her cousin on the morning of the wedding, and ‘Amelia’ Charlotte Mills shoes. “I loved that they had the traditional rhyme ‘something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue’ printed on the soles, with a silver sixpence inside for good luck.”
Matthew also sourced his suit from Just Perfect, choosing traditional navy blue tails that wouldn’t their castle venue perfectly.
“I secretly took a peek at Matthew on our wedding morning because I could see him having his photograph taken from the bridal suite!”
It made me so much more relaxed to see him looking so calm and just incredibly handsome.
For my three bridesmaids, we chose dye-to-order dresses from Ghost London, picking the sophisticated, floor-length ‘Salma’ gown. It was so beautifully crafted and elegant, being made from satin, with capped sleeves, a chic boat neck and a cowl back. The girls also wore bracelets by Daisy and pearl drop necklaces. I was also joined by my two nieces as flower girls. Lyla wore a John Lewis lace and tulle dress, but Olive’s dress was more tricky as she was only eight months old. My aunt is a seamstress, so she stepped in to save the day and made Olive’s beautiful gown.” Love Hair and Beauty Boutique did the bride’s hair, with Alexa Van Pagh applying the makeup and Ruth Elanor Lord from Howarth Beauty taking care of Victoria’s nails, too.
In keeping with their traditional church ceremony, which featured readings from the letter of St Paul to the Philippians and the first letter of St Paul to the Corinthians as well as bidding prayers, this couple kept their reception at Swinton Park traditional. “We added pedestal flowers in the church, flowers around the fireplace and aisle flowers, along with the buttonholes and bouquets to decorate. These were supplied by Twisted Willow Floristry and I would highly recommend them – they were unbelievably friendly and their professionalism was second to none. Our Calla lily table centres came from the Swinton Estate itself.”
Wanderlust Stationery supplied their invitations and Poppy Pickering were tasked with creating Victoria and Matthew’s five-tier wedding cake.
The design featured a vintage lace effect with rose detailing on the top in a classic ivory colour. “We got our idea for the cake from Wedding Ideas!”
Guests received charity pin badges to reflect donations made to the Lymphoma Association, which the couple chose for their wedding favours as a way of giving back to the charity that had offered so much support to the bride when she was first diagnosed. Children also received goody bags to keep them entertained, alongside a taxi photobooth, ice cream cart and sweet cart!
“One of my favourite photographs from the day was captured when Matthew and
I had just returned to the wedding car as husband and wife. The driver hadn’t got
in yet and we shared our first married kiss alone together. It was a small moment
but so special and it’s one of my favourite pictures from our day,” smiles Victoria.
“Get a good photographer,” encourages Matthew, “it is worth the money and will be remembered in years to come.”
C E R E M O N Y St Joseph and St Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church, Richmond
V E N U E Swinton Park, North Yorkshire
D R E S S Essense of Australia at Just Perfect, Durham
G R O O M Just Perfect, Durham
B R I D E S M A I D D R E S S E S Ghost London
A C C E S S O R I E S Charlotte Mills and Pandora
S T A T I O N E R Y Wanderlust Stationery
C A K E Poppy Pickering
F L O W E R S Twisted Willow Floristry