Online dating has become extremely popular over the last few years; that’s exactly how Ben and Rebecca first met. When flicking through Tinder, Ben’s profile caught her eye and she wanted to know more about him. She says, “We clicked straight away and our conversations never felt boring or awkward. We met in person a few weeks later and instantly felt comfortable in each other’s company – it was like I’d known him for years!”
Fast forward the time, Ben wanted to propose and came up with the most thoughtful idea. Rebecca adores penguins and once told Ben that they give a rock/pebble to their mate to signify their commitment. He knew it would be the perfect way to show his love and picked a pretty big rock from the seaside town where they lived and waited for the perfect moment.
During a trip to New York, the couple set off to Central Park where he planned to pop the question. Rebecca says, “We rested by a shady tree where he started to tell the story of how penguins demonstrate their love and pulled out the rock that had travelled halfway around the world. I was confused at first until he got down on one knee with a ring box in his hand saying ‘do you like this rock better?’ It was an amazing moment, we headed to the nearest Starbucks for WiFi to call our family and tell them the news.”
When it came to sourcing the perfect wedding space, what location would be better than Walworth Castle Hotel? The 12th-century venue is located in Darlington and creates the ideal backdrop for any wedding. Rebecca says, "It's an incredible fairytale venue with such helpful and friendly staff who basically tailored the day to fit our needs. We fell in love as soon as we drove up to the venue for the first time."
The couple said 'I do' outside on the pavilion where they added artificial flowers and vintage watering cans down the aisle. A funny moment during the ceremony was when wasps distracted the bride by attempting to land on her beautiful bouquet.
Eight round tables accommodated loved ones during the reception, while the couple sat on thrones at a long table with their daughter Alice in the middle and close family members on either side.
The table plan featured different breeds of penguin and each person had a penguin place setting made from card. On the tables were glass-bell jars with lights and favours, which included hessian bags with dried lavender for the ladies, a bottle opener for the men and a book for the children.
When it came to catering, the couple hired an ice cream van for the drinks reception and guests enjoyed an afternoon tea for the wedding breakfast. Sliders and hotdogs with roast potatoes were offered in the evening to stop guests from going hungry as well as goodies on the homemade sweet cart and doughnut wall. Another sweet treat was the beautiful white and navy cake adorned with a birdcage and two birds.
Many brides dream of their wedding dress, but sometimes the perfect gown isn't what they had envisioned. Rebecca opted for a beautiful Ronald Joyce dress called Roxanne, which beautifully matched the theme and style of the day. She says, "I didn't want a strapless gown and never imagined wearing a ballgown style, but I felt like a princess as soon as I tried it on." Blue-satin shoes, blue earrings and a necklace finished off her look perfectly. She adds, "I was amazed when I first saw myself – it was quite overwhelming."
The groom and groomsmen hired traditional suits with long jackets and pinstripe trousers in navy and the bridesmaids wore navy floor-length dresses in different styles. Sunflowers, blue florals and gypsophila were used for the bride's bouquet, while the bridesmaids' florals consisted of just gypsophila.
There was live music on the pavilion outside as guests arrived, an evening disco in the evening and a photo booth to keep everyone entertained. Rebecca says, "Everyone had a lovely day and said it was such a lovely wedding with an amazing atmosphere."
The bride felt surprisingly relaxed in the morning, but was full of excitement for the day ahead. She says, "A moment that stood out was the ceremony and walking down the aisle. I saw all my friends and family watching and Ben waiting to marry me."
The moment Ben turned to see his beautiful bride was a moment he will never forget. It was the second-best day of his life, the first being when his daughter was born, but this was a close second and was perfect from start to end.
The couple's suppliers went above and beyond to help create the perfect day. The team at Walworth Castle Hotel worked hard to ensure the day ran smoothly and DJM Photography managed to not only make the newlyweds feel at ease, but captured some fantastic photos for the couple to treasure forever.
Known for its honey-coloured stone towns and villages, what UK location could be better for a romantic honeymoon than the Cotswolds? Rebecca says, "The week-long trip was a wedding present from my parents and it was the first family holiday since Alice was born." The pair created many fun moments and memories on the trip and it was the perfect ending to the perfect wedding.
Make-up and nails