*Warning Picture and Praise Heavy post!
It was the wedding of our good friends Dani and Rob on the 31st May at the spectacular Newton Hall. I personally had never heard of the place and in the lead up every time someone asked me where it was they would nod like they knew but I could tell they didn't either! It is actually a country manor house with an amazing conservatory attached to get married in and or have the wedding breakfast with views of the fields in Newton by the Sea and a stones throw from the beautiful Dunstanburgh Castle. www.newton-hall.com
I was asked over a year in advance to make the cake which I was delighted to do but on a boozy night out while I was at home the husband insisted to the couple "that they give me the biggest challenge they could" and so there it was several tiers of cupcakes, a fruit tier - requested by the lovely father of the bride- and a birdcage top!...yes you heard me but it was to tie in with the lush theme. The invitation alone (handmade by the clever bride) was inspiration, but I hadn't even realised that the theme was so perfect until the day because there is a huge metal birdcage on the lawn to sit in...for afternoon tea I imagine...
After some difficulty see All that glitters isnt gold the cake was made, the car was packed and the babysitters Mam and Grandma (you need two when you have two kids apparently) had the instructions. Now we had estimated an hour from sunny shields but after some traffic, naturally getting lost once even with sat nav and we were driving at 25mph with the birdcage on my knee it took 1hr30min. This made me feel slightly nervous as I like time to "faff" there is no other word for it, if you have met the husband...he does not. So feeling rushed to set the cake up AND get changed in 45mins, as I walked in to see the room fully dressed I was feeling emotional and then I was sent over the edge when I heard the fantastic Lyndsey Darling practising Adele "Make you feel my love" with only a guitar, I actually started to fill up *kids ruin your emotions* but it was my wedding song...
Running low on "faff" time I managed to set the cake up and get ready in about 4mins, I was extra proud when I reappeared and the fabulous "Master of Ceremonys" (a strapping older gentleman in a full Northumberland tartan kilt) my man Taylor exclaimed in the poshest voice "Can you dear have a word with my wife she takes 2hrs to get ready!". Honestly this man alone is worth having a wedding here, when I arrived not knowing where to go and someone else lead me all around the hotel to the point I thought I was going to get a crystal at the end, he rescued me, helped carry boxes of cupcakes, set up, got me a drink, and showed us to a room that we could get changed in, which beats the toilet! Throughout the day he went above and beyond, buzzing about, talking to people, cracking jokes, getting guests where they needed to be (essential for a smooth wedding) and not one person didn't love him immediately...I'm going to invite him to the next party I have he's ace. To be honest ALL the staff were, extra polite and friendly and it just added to the atmosphere.
Anyone who would listen knows the story about what I was wearing but I'm happy to tell it again, as I love a bargain. I got the yellow maxi dress by Ralph Lauren at T K Maxx in Florida, it was scruffy, didn't fit me very well and was reduced and reduced but to $28 from $240! So I got it altered by my very talented pal Jill at Just Joody's and then got it dry cleaned. It came out immaculate and I got a £200 dress for about £50 -Boom! I went with my new favourite black and gold DKNY clutch and matched my nails with black and a gold ombre effect. I'm not even going to mention my shoes as I don't think I will ever feel one of toes again...
The ceremony was lovely, a short service with personalised vows, I of course cried but it was in part because the bride looked so stunning and her waist was smaller than one of my thighs! The weather did them proud by being glorious, after the ceremony we were lead onto the lawn complete with giant chess and jenga for champagne cocktails and capapes; with Taylor walking round handing out Coronas to the delighted boys. Again the brilliant Lyndsey Darling was serenading us with more Adele, Emile Sande and other romantic tunes while the photographs were being taken..it was just one of those perfect moments. We were then lead into the dining room, obviously I already had a sneek preview but other guests looked genuinely in awe of the décor and magnificent views. Now some large functions you go to the food isn't up to much/a bit soggy but this was like I had ordered the meal personally. Delicious Cesar salad to start, rib of beef complete with huge Yorkshire pud and a trio of desserts - crème brulee, cheesecake and profiteroles mmmm.
We then managed to quickly check into our room called "Cala Diem" as they all have themes and it was as "cool" as promised, having a roll top bath in the middle of the room. Then it was back to the party, once again child free I may have overdone the alcoholic beverages but I was in GOOD company at this wedding with several people having total memory loss from 6pm onwards; If anyone ever offers you something called "Pepper Vodka" just walk away, I'm pretty sure it was just petrol in an Absolut bottle. Me and the husband then thought it would be a good idea to bust some moves on the dance floor much to the other guests enjoyment....one guest even told me "We should be professional wedding guests"...I honestly cant decide if that's good or bad. One of the best things at the wedding was a caricaturist called Mike Giblin of mikegiblinillustration.com he was absolutely amazing seriously good. As he was so popular we had a lengthy wait but this added to the night because kindly people kept bringing us drinks and we got to view all the others getting their pictures done; honestly my best memory is being in the que with friends just laughing my back off at the drawings.
The evening food was a BBQ, perfect for the sunny day we had and nice to sit outside on the funky furniture, more alcohol, more dancing, more laughs followed and the highlight of the husbands night was going to the residence bar until 2.30am. Announcing "YES I've made it to the residence bar at a wedding!!" to be fair we are usually too drunk or in recent years I've been pregnant or asleep! A fab day all round...the morning after was a bit hairy, "O.M.G." being the first thing out of both our mouths and finding some random keys in our room was strange but nothing a slap up brekkie over a post mortem of the day with the bridal party couldn't sort.
Amazing day and Congratulations to the happy Couple, Mr and Mrs Rodgerson!