Inspiration Real Life Real Weddings

An Invitation to a Real Wedding – Rachel and Gary

Well, this has to be the quirkiest and most colourful wedding we’ve ever witnessed on the hub. Prepare to feast your eyes on the rainbow coloured nuptials of Rachel and Gary.

Our Real Bride and Groom chose bright colours for their theme and it turned out to be absolutely spectacular!

Be warned – you’re going to swoon over this wedding, A LOT…


 How He Asked…

real bride and groom

“Gary and I had been together for 9 loooong years, before he finally bit the bullet and decided to propose. We’d been away for my birthday on a spa break and I was sure he was going to propose then…but alas, he didn’t.
The day AFTER my birthday, we went to Tynemouth (My favourite place). As we wandered the castle ruins, I turned around to find him on one knee. I just screamed ‘PUT IT ON!!‘ (referring to the ring)…I then cried for the rest of the day, practically.
I rang my Mam to let her know the good news, she was at the airport about to go on holiday. I could hear my Dad chuckling away in the background. Gary had already got his permission…what a sweetie!
For the next twenty minutes, my Mam ran around the airport telling anyone who would listen! I had actual strangers congratulating me on the phone, it was soooo funny!

The engagement ring was stunning, I couldn’t have picked better myself! He’d enlisted the help of one of my best friends and between them, they chose a stunning vintage style, similar to one my Grandmother had. My poor friend had to keep his proposal plans a secret for 6 WHOLE months, she was ready to burst!”


The Ceremony Details

“Gary was really easy-going with the wedding planning and knew I wanted a semi-traditional church ceremony, at St Matthews Church in Sunderland.
The service was amazing and very laid back. My dad walked me down the aisle to a string quartet playing Oasis – Whatever. As soon as I spotted Gary in his slim fit Paul Smith suit, I burst out crying…I couldn’t believe this day was finally here!”
church wedding
“The Reverend, David was great at making us both feel relaxed and our guests all commented on what a fun service it was. The icing on the cake was the surprise reading from my bridesmaids. They read a poem by John Cooper Clarke – ‘I Wanna Be Yours’ (one of mine and Gary’s favourites)…again, I cried! (Lots of tears from me!) It was such a lovely touch and made the service so much more personal.”
real wedding reading
“Once the service was over, the string quartet started up again, playing The Beatles – All you need is love.”

confetti throw


The Reception Details

“Our reception was held at the South Causey Inn in Stanley, with around 60 guests on the day and 120 on the night. For the day, guests were able to choose between three choices of starters, mains and deserts…the food was amazing and I made sure to try a little bit of everyones!
Untitled design (58)
We had magician Paul Lyton – during the quiet period after the meal and before the night time guests arrived. He was fantastic and it really got everyone excited for the evening.
For the evening, we opted for a Northumberland BBQ…which I never actually saw as I was too busy dancing with my bridesmaids! The venue provided light up LOVE letters, a sweet cart and roulette table, where guests won a free overnight stay! We also hired a photobooth which was great fun.

The Wedding Party

“I chose my three best friends from School, Kloe, Caroline and Rosie. I chose not to have a Maid of Honour, as I love them all equally! I had my three nieces as flower girls and they did a fantastic job! My bridesmaids were amazing from the offset, organising the most fantastic (and hysterical) hen-do! They were there for me, at any little crisis I may have had and I couldn’t have got through the day…or the planning without them!

real bridesmaids

 Originally, I wanted to make the bridesmaid dresses myself, but my sewing machine had other ideas! 6 hours into dress making, it decided to explode! Thankfully I found a dressmaker who was great and managed create exactly what I was after. The theme of the wedding was bright, so I sourced some gorgeous pink, yellow and green satin. The girls looked fab. Amazingly, I managed to find some gorgeous flower girl dresses from Monsoon which tied in with the theme and matched the other outfits perfectly.

Gary chose his Best Friend Jordan as Best Man, who again, did an amazing job! His speech was bloody fantastic…however he did let us down…prior to Gary’s stag do, Jordan promised he’d send Gary back with all his teeth! Big Fail from Jordan! Gary came home from his stag do in Liverpool…missing his front tooth! Resulting in an emergency dentist appointment –  Thanks Jordan!

real groomsmen

Gary, Jordan, Our dads and the two ushers all wore tailored fit navy Paul Smith suits with bright knitted ties.”


Saying Yes to the Dress…

 real beautiful bride
“I always thought I’d wear a Jenny Packham dress, but then I discovered Eliza Jane Howell. I saw the dress – named Eliza online scoured the internet till I found a stockist. Kathryn Trueman in Morpeth ordered the dress in specially and I couldn’t wait to try it!
My Mam was desperate for me to try a few bridal boutiques, just incase the Eliza dress was no good. So we tried a local boutique prior to Kathryn Trueman, there I tried on a 1950s knee length dress and fell in love… I couldn’t believe that I might not end up wearing Eliza. My Mam loved it too and we both felt we were just going to Kathryn Trueman to be polite…However, then I saw Eliza in the flesh…WOW!
I tried on about five dresses in Kathryn Trueman and left Eliza till the end…I was too worried incase it didn’t live up to my expectations!
I should have followed my instincts from the beginning. Once I finally tried on Eliza, I just knew it was the one. My Mam sobbed, I sobbed, the fitter sobbed…it was truly magical moment!
charlotte mills shoes
I paired my dress with a single tier floor length veil and Charlotte Mills shoes. I wore rose gold jewellery with my grandmothers initial on the necklace and a rose gold hair wrap. I felt amazing!”

The Finer Details…

 “I’ve always been pretty crafty and knew I wanted to make as much myself as possible.
After the bridesmaid dress fiasco, I went a bit crazy trying to make sure everything else was made within plenty of time!!

The theme was bright, and I spent weeks making tissue paper pompoms to hang form the venue. I also made woollen pompoms to use as table decorations and the flower girls bouquets were made from woollen pompoms.”

top table

“I made confetti cones and table menus using brown paper and my mother in laws old typewriter. It created a lovely, rustic feel…

Our best man designed our wedding invites, table plan and table numbers, and we just bought some cheap frames and painted them bright colours. We made a photo frame for our loved ones who were no longer with us and had a message in a  bottle as our guest book, which we’re opening on our first anniversary! I can’t wait!

Our flowers were by Charlotte at Charlottes House of Flowers and they were stunning. I asked for bright blooms and boy did she deliver!”

bright wedding cake

“Unfortunately, our cake-maker pulled out to unforeseen circumstances, in the end, I was actually pleased she had, as our replacement baker Rachel from Fairycakes of Fulwell was fantastic!

We chose a four tier cake, with rough icing and asked if she’d speak to our florist to incorporate some of the flowers from my bouquet. The flavours we opted for were chocolate orange (the hubbys fave) carrot cake, mango and passion fruit and cherry and Chambord. We took the top tier to the airport on our honeymoon, it was delicious!”

wedding car

“For our wedding cars, we choose a vintage VW Beetle and Campervan from Lovedubcars. Word of advice, be careful when taking a sip of champagne in the car…half my glass went all down my dress when the car changed gear! Thankfully it wasn’t pink champagne!!”


What Stands Out About Your Big Day?

“By far, my most memorable moment was the reading by the bridesmaids. It still gives me goosebumps just thinking about it.

Gary’s speech was so funny, he repeatedly made a toast to everyone who’d played a part in the wedding, so we all ran out of our fizz pretty quickly…

cutting the cake

Jamie McElderry, our wedding photographer also made our day! He was so fun and nothing was too much trouble, he helped to make the whole day go by so smoothly.”


real bride and groom
“Take a second to calm your nerves before you walk down the aisle. I know it’s easier said than done, but I was so excited to get to my husband that I didn’t calm my nerves… I crumbled as I walked down the aisle, meaning there’s some pretty ugly cry-face pictures of me, with my dad beaming by my side!”

Is there anything you wish you knew before you tied the knot?

first dance
“Don’t underestimate the work that goes into planning/organising a wedding! I pretty much became a hermit 6 months before the wedding… My Mam and my Brother had a joke…that whenever they asked me to do anything, my response was ‘I’m busy making pompoms’ They take a lot longer than you’d think!
Even now, if ever I can’t make plans…I get asked if I’m making pompoms!”

All images were taken by Jamie Mac Photography

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