Sarah and Neil had their real wedding at St Andrew’s Church, Bothal, Northumberland in June 2005.
WHERE: St Andrew’s Church, Bothal
WHEN: 18th June 2005
PHOTOGRAPHER: Exposure Photographic
How they met
Sarah and Neil met in the sixth form at school and have been together ever since. Neil wooed Sarah at a friends’ engagement party when he and his cousin, who was later best man at the wedding, took to the stage to do their own hilarious rendition of The Full Monty.
Neil took Sarah to the beach where he gave her a single red rose before leading her down to the shore and getting down on one knee to propose in the wet sand.
The bride’s real wedding outfit
Sarah bought her beautiful dress from The White Tulip Wedding Company, Prudhoe. It was called ‘Celeste’ by Maggie Sottero and was a diamond white, strapless, A-line gown with a lace-up back, asymmetric waist and chapel train. It was organza over satin and was decorated with shimmering embroidery, Swarovski crystals and bugle beads.
Sarah’s pretty crystal and diamante tiara matched her choker, both made by Amanda Wyatt. Her beaded shoes were from the BHS bridal collection.
Neil hired his Prince Edward suit from Waltons Menswear, Newcastle upon Tyne. He teamed his black and grey striped trousers with a black jacket and a white and silver waistcoat. His finished his look with a wing-collared shirt and a striking red cravat.
The vibrant red two-piece outfits made by Veromia featured a corset bodice covered in red and silver crystals.
For her real wedding, Sarah carried a trailing bouquet of pink roses, white orchids and calla lilies studded with diamantes and pearls. Pedestal arrangements of white and pink roses, lilies and orchids decorated the church and reception venue. Male members of the wedding party wore white rose buttonholes, apart from Neil who stood out with a white calla lily. Both mothers and grandmothers had orchid corsages for their handbags and the bridesmaid carried a hand-tied bouquet of roses and calla lilies.
Sarah and Neil hired a fabulous silver Bentley S2. A silver Van Den Plas limousine was also on hand to transport the parents, the bridesmaid, the best man, the pageboy and the usher.
A harpist played music as the guests waited for Sarah to arriving giving a lovely romantic feel to the proceedings. They also played during the ceremony.
The table centres were displays of pink orchids and calla lilies in tall vases and filled with silver stones. The tables were also decorated with tiny tealights and scattered with white orchid heads and pale pink Delphinium petals.
With three tiers and a different flavour for each – fruit, vanilla sponge and a chocolate sponge – the real wedding cake was a big hit with the guests. Decorated in white icing and covered with pale pink petals, it was topped with a display of sugar orchids and pink crystals. For an extra special touch the cake incorporated an illuminated water fountain and was almost as tall as Sarah and Neil when they came to cut it.
The male guests received lottery tickets in tiny silver envelopes complete with the couple’s names and the date of the wedding. Female guests were given white rose shaped floating candles which were presented in silver organza bags tied with a white flower and personalised ribbon. Children received teddy shaped containers filled with chocolates wrapped in red and silver foil.
The harpist played the traditional Bridal Chorus during Sarah’s entrance and Arrival of the Queen of Sheba by Handel for the recessional. During the signing of the register she played and sang Ave Maria by Gounod. The hymns were Love Divine and O Perfect Love.
The colour theme was red as this is the colour that most represents love – combined with the whites and pinks it gave an intimate and relaxed feel.
“Try to leave it at least a day after the wedding before leaving for your honeymoon, especially if guests have travelled and stayed overnight at the reception venue. Leaving on the night of the wedding or early the following morning does mean you avoid all the tidying up, but it also means you miss out on all the stories from the day and night before.”
“We chose to remember those of our grandparents who had passed away by ordering extra buttonholes for them. Neil’s nephew was pageboy and ring bearer and the look of concentration on his face as he carried the ring cushion was so sweet. During our first dance an exploding balloon showered us with tiny balloons and “flutterfetti.” On the morning of the wedding Neil was playing football in his parent’s garden to calm his nerves when he injured his foot and almost ended up in casualty – luckily he put on a brave face and I was none the wiser!”
They spent a perfect fortnight in a water villa on Kuredu Island in the Maldives. It was paradise on earth and the perfect way to relax after all the hectic planning.
“Consider having the speeches before the meal as that way you might be able to relax enough to actually eat something!”