Holly and Jonathan first met while studying for a nursing degree at Northumbria University in 2013. After sitting at her first lecture, Holly noticed a good-looking guy sitting in a sea full of women. She says, "I was first attracted to Jon by his handsome looks, his ability to make me laugh and his Biffy Clyro band tee-shirt."
Jonathan knew Holly was special from the start. He says, "Holly is never afraid to get stuck in and she means the world to me. Her positive outlook and willingness to do the stupid things I enjoy doing, like plunging into the North Sea for a spot of surfing, really shows how much she cares."
The 15th May, 2017, will always be a special date for the couple, as it’s when Jonathan proposed to Holly. During a walk in the rain at Bolam Lake, he started to say lovely things about her and their relationship. She says, “To my surprise, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him – I bursted into tears.”
After accepting his proposal, the couple returned to the car and Holly called her mum to share the wonderful news.
The lovebirds set the wedding date for July 24th 2021, and after searching online for the perfect wedding location, Stanton Hall Gardens & Nursery stood out to them both. The property had everything they wanted, including the freedom to transform the spaces and a peaceful atmosphere with chirping birds. The venue's coordinator Laura worked with the couple to bring their vision to life and recommended other local and trustworthy suppliers.
The couple created a laid-back wedding to allow their guests to relax and enjoy the day. Holly says, "After all the hassle from the past year or two with the pandemic, I think we all deserved a bit of chill time. Hence our non-traditional and outdoor barn-style wedding with garden games, wheelbarrows full of beer and banquet-style dining."
Before the wedding, the couple decided to create their own wedding bands with help from The Glamorous Owl, who offers jewellery courses and classes. Holly says, "This was a great experience and made our rings very special to us!"
Succulents sourced from the venue's plant nursery were used for favours and matched the earthy colour scheme. These plants doubled up as place names and helped decorate the reception tables. Other venue décor included peacock chairs, Persian rugs, a wooden table plan created by Birdcages and Dragonflies and terracotta roof tiles for table numbers.
A showstopping part of the wedding was the hanging installation of pampers grass in the barn. Holly comments, "We used a lot of dried flowers and pampers grass throughout the day, including in vases and as aisle markers. Our florist Muscari Studio also did such an amazing job with the bouquets, our mothers' wrist corsages and buttonholes."
The food was the main event in the evening with a three-course banquet-style dining from Lola Jeans. Canapés were served first with mojitos and beers, which was a big hit with guests, followed by charcuterie boards for starters, mains and a desert banquet with tasty treats. The bride says, "Nothing was too much trouble for the company and when the team states that they can cater to any property, they really mean it as our venue doesn't have a kitchen or running water. She adds, "We couldn't have asked for a more capable, adaptable and lovely team of people to help make our day extraordinary and special."
The couple hired Scream for Pizza to keep guests from going hungry in the evening. Holly says, "We had four pizza choices for guests to choose from and as the evening was still warm, everyone could mingle around the firepits and play on the grassy front."
The couple opted for a semi-naked cake by Cakes by Lottie McPhees, which featured patterned stencilling plus lemon, raspberry and Victoria-sponge flavours.
When it came to finding the perfect wedding dress, Holly fell in love with a Willowby – Watters Designs dress called Maudie at Marrime Bridalwear. The off-the-shoulder gown was lightweight and comfortable, a key factor for the bride, and included many romantic touches like the draped sleeves and soft net fabric.Holly added a floor-length veil with pear details, a gold baguette, Gucci mid-heel sandals, hoop earrings and a pearl necklace for the finishing touches. The bride says, "I was overwhelmed when I saw myself on the day and when my dad came in to see me all ready, we both bursted into tears – it was a special moment that I will treasure forever!"
The groom looked dashing in a tweed Marc Darcy three-piece suit in brown with a matching waistcoat and brown-boat shoes. The groomsmen, including the couple's dads and the groom's brothers, all wore the same suit to keep everything matching.
The bridesmaids looked stunning in grey/green dresses with a tulle skirt and sequin top. To ensure that everyone was comfortable, the bride let each bridesmaid pick from a few different necklines.
Holly and Jonathan opted for garden games supplied by Birdcages and Dragonflies to keep the guests entertained, including hook a duck, giant Jenga, coconut shy and horseshoe toss – there was something for everyone. Holly says, "People had lots of fun and my mum made goodie bags for the winners full of different sweets."
After so much uncertainness regarding Covid-19 restrictions, the couple were thrilled that the day could go to plan. Holly says, "We couldn't believe that after the fear of not having the day we'd always hoped for, the restrictions lifted only four days before our special day!" The pair felt a bit nervous on the wedding morning, but this soon drifted away. Holly arrived to the wedding in style with a Jaguar car, which created the perfect backdrop to wedding photography, and she was so excited to see her groom. The couple made many memorable moments throughout the wedding day, but one moment stands out to the lovebirds. The bride says, "After our wedding breakfast, our photographers took us to one side because they'd moved some of the Persian rugs amounts some long grass and wanted us to lie down for photos. It was such an intimate and spectacular moment with the drone flying above our heads and we had a cuddle, a chat and a smooch – the images are so stunning!"
The couples wedding planner, Dawn Marie The Weddings & Event Company, provided excellent service and made the day extra special. Holly says, "Everything from the planning process to the real-life coordination was seamless and made us feel at total ease for our big day – we can't thank Dawn enough", says Holly.
Another supplier that went above and beyond was Chocolate Chip Photography. The bride says, "Shazia and Chris were extremely helpful in the morning, from sorting out the groom's tie and buttonhole to making sure the girls were on track. They were very professional and brilliant with our guests and efficiently got them into position hassle-free." She adds, "Their friendly personalities allowed us to relax and enjoy ourselves – it felt as though we were hanging out with friends."
The pair's original plan for the honeymoon was to spend 10 days in Sri Lanka, followed by a week in the Maldives. However, Covid-19 restrictions caused the couple to change their plan and push back the first part of the trip. They've now extended their stay in the Maldives and are excited to soak up the sun and discover the beautiful location.
Stationery and garden games
Venue and favours