Sun 27th Mar, 2011
Claire and Daniel were married at Matfen Hall in Northumberland on 27 August last year, on their 4th anniversary of being together.
"We chose Matfen to get married because we have always loved the venue anyway its beautiful and the great hall has such a wow factor. But also it meant something to us as we went there for a meal on our first anniversary. The staff at Matfen are first class and the food and service was outstanding."
They have a great engagement story...
"Dan spent months choosing a ring eventually designing it himself after researching clarity etc. But when it finally arrived he was unsure of how to propose. Dan had been on call the night before the proposal (he's an engineer) and arrived back home about 6:30am. He came upstairs to our bedroom where I was sleeping, took one look at me, thought I looked cute and decided he couldn’t wait any longer and had to propose there and then. After phoning my Dad to ask if he could marry me, he knelt by the side of the bed and woke me up. I kissed him and said “I love you so much you know, we really should just get married”. To this day still don’t know what made me that. He replied “You’ll need one of these then” and handed me a box. Still half asleep, I opened it and screamed! He asked the question, I burst out crying and laughing at the same time and actually forgot to answer him. After the shock and finally saying yes I got out of bed took one look in the mirror to realise my hair was all over the place, mascara around my eyes like Alice Cooper and I was wearing baggy grey joggers. I just thought to myself it must be true love if he still wants to spend the rest of his life with me when I look like this!”
Their beautiful wedding was captured by North East-based photographer Katy Melling.
"Choosing Katy as our photographer was an easy decision. We knew we wanted more natural unposed photographs and someone we felt relaxed around. As soon as we met Katy, we really liked her, she is such a lovely genuine person, who is confident in the ability of her work and let that speak for itself. Katy's talent is amazing, she is such a beautiful person and she really listened to our ideas. Funnily enough over the 18 months I got to know Katy prior to our wedding we did actually build up a great friendship and now we are good friends and meet regularly for drinks. We're even invited to her wedding in May."
The Ebury Collection wedding blog. Photography copyright 2011 Katy Melling
"I knew I didn’t want a strapless dress and I’m just not a fan of the big princess-type dresses. I love Jenny Packham but I soon realised I wanted something structured around the middle - a simple dress that had a classic look that wouldn’t date. I stumbled across the wonderful Bridal Wish near Morpeth. The service they provided was beyond fantastic. Jacqui showed me several dresses and encouraged me to try Diamante. As soon as I put it on I knew it was for me, It was so simple yet still had the wow factor which came from the cut and shape it gave me, it felt so classy. I suddenly developed this hour glass figure I’d never had before!"
"I wanted vintage style antique avalanche roses in dusky pinks and sage greens with lot of foliage such as eucalyptus and rosemary. I love hydrangeas and knew I wanted these on the fireplaces. Helen from Cinnamon Rose (who now owns her own business Bels Flowers) was fantastic and got my style immediately. She designed the unstructured approach to the flowers on the fireplace in the main room. She also went with my idea of the pearls and lace and these were draped between the vases. I also had 2 birdcages on the mantelpiece in the reception room filled with flowers."
"It sounds really corny but ever since I watched Father of the Bride when I was a little girl I dreamt of walking down the aisle to cannon in D played by a string quartet (like in the movie). I hate The Wedding March and was adamant I would not walk down the aisle to that. I know Cannon in D is a bit popular but it’s the song that as soon as I hear the first cords I begin to cry it makes me very emotional"
"Outside we had croquet, giant jenga, quoits and a wooden coconut shy for guests to play with. I also decorated outside with some bunting, a vintage wedding sign and some jam jars with lace tied round and candles which looked beautiful when lit at night."
"Dan spent the weeks before spraying lots of wooden letters with spray paint. Near the entrance we had huge cream C & D with Ivy wrapped through it. On the top table we had silver MR & MRS which looked really effective with the Laura Ashley flowers spaced between the letters."
Claire spent months reading wedding blogs, purchasing over 150 wedding magazines and creating several mood boards for the ideas she for their wedding style.
"I wanted a vintage/shabby chic/country style wedding to suit the age of Matfen Hall and its surroundings. Not too structured, with lots of details people would notice, especially little things I made or put together myself. This also kept the cost down meaning the numerous fireplaces in Matfen were decorated but not by expensive flowers, but vintage/shabby chic bits and bobs such as hearts, hat boxes, letters of our names, candles, pearls, lace and birdcages, vintage style chests all bits and bobs I collected.
I love cake stands and tea cups, so I collected 100’s of tea cups from car boots, charity shops, auctions. I found some fabulous paper roses from Laura Ashley and decided I would use these for my decoration, placing them in the tea cups and on the cake stands as table decorations. I then brought strings of pearls to drape over, stuck lace around glass tea light holders and then I then used sweets and the ladies favour boxes to complete the table decoration by placing them on the cake stands. There wasn’t a strict colour theme but a sage green and dusky pink theme sort of developed sort of a rustic shabby chic country feel."
"My mum handmade 100 cupcakes so that everyone had a cupcake at their place setting. She also knitted bride and groom dolls that looked exactly like me and Dan and she made my garter.
The post box area wasn’t just a box it was a shabby chic style chest with pink roses painted on it which was stuffed with pink tissue paper and wedged open, with pearls draped over the sides. There were paper flowers, a heart and a little vintage sign with our names on.
I made labels for everything using alphabet prints on brown luggage labels and edged each one with lace, pearls and little flowery shabby chic hearts.
I decorated the already ornate stair case with simple pillar candles again with paper roses arranged around their base which looked really effective.
We had a dressing up box with loads of props and signs next to our guest book and some disposable cameras that people could take pictures of themselves which people loved.
We had glow sticks/whistles/glasses for the evening as Matfen has a huge vault they use in the cellar for the evening disco so they went down an absolute storm and the evening photos people took (after Katy left) are some of the funniest of the day.
We had a basket of toiletries in the women’s toilet for them to help themselves to things like deodorant, perfume, paracetamol, plasters even a mini sewing kit if the needed throughout the day."
"I also wanted to make sure the guests felt they were really part of the day. So I had a huge sweetie bar which I created. I sourced all the sweets, collected jars and holders and made all the labels for the jars which had quirky sayings."
"I provided the DJ with a very specific playlist to suit all ages who were at our wedding, but as a special treat, we had a 90’s dance hour playing all the stuff we loved from our youth. I went down a storm and the dance floor was packed with people waving their glow sticks and blowing their whistles.
Our first dance was Kings of Leon 'Use Somebody', which is one of 'our' songs."
Claire and Dan's favourite memories from their wedding day...
- The hilarious night before the wedding when 24 of us had a rather fun and late night in the Matfen hotel bar until 1:30am the morning of the wedding, with my mum telling stories of my childhood. The partying really started the day before then carried on until the day after the wedding when Dan’s mum had a party (complete with marquee) at ther house for approx 50 of us.
- Getting ready with my mum and best friends on the morning of the wedding, just chilling out together drinking champagne and being pampered.
- Walking down the aisle, with my dad squeezing my hand so tightly. It was very emotional and seeing Dan’s face as I walked towards him.
- Saying our personal vows (that we had written), to each other and becoming Mrs Cameron
- The moment our groomsmen really showed me how much they cared by carrying me and my dress through the wet gardens of Matfen Hall when the rain stopped so we could get photos. They got soaked when it started again but made sure I was always under and umbrella and even helped me in and out of pink wellies.
- Seeing the fab dolls that my mum made us sat on the top table as we walked in.
- My Dad’s emotional speech
- The little moment Dan and I took together in our room for 10 minutes to be alone..
- And the moment I stopped for a second on the dance floor with EVERYONE (including grandparents, aunties and uncles) jumping around with their arms in the air screaming the chorus to 'Sex on Fire' it felt amazing!
- Our fabulous 3 week honeymoon to Vegas, Hawaii, San Francisco and Yosemite National Park
Our suppliers (UK)
Dress: Diamante by Pronovias, from Bridal Wish
Flowers: Cinnamon rose
Photographer: Katy Melling
Caterers: Matfen Hall
Groom’s suit: Moss bros
Cake: Dream World Cakes
Hair: Lisa Cameron
Make-up: Danielle Hall at Nd Makeup artists
Music: String quartet – Aurora strings, DJ Tim Hills (Matfen resident Dj)
Head piece and bracelet: Flo & Percy
Katy Melling Photography
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