My husband Steve has known the Groom since they were 3 years old and was part of the wedding party (suit hire from Slaters Menswear). We were asked to be at Jesmond Dene House for 10am so he could take part in some pre-wedding shoots. Yikes! Not easy when you have a school run to contend with. We made it with plenty of time to spare though and watched as the Groom and Best Man arrived in style.
The Ushers spent a good hour ensuring they were looking their smartest and having a good laugh together with lots of friendly banter with the photographer (Sophotogenic photography)
Guests continued to arrive including the happy couple's two boys who looked absolutely adorable.
It was 11:30am before we knew it and we were asked to take our seats in the Great Hall which is an absolutely stunning double height room with Gothic panelling and lots of light streaming through the beautiful windows. I was able to have a sneaky peek before the other guests arrived and it absolutely took my breath away.
It was time to stand for the Bride's arrival. I knew she would look like a Princess but she actually looked like she had just stepped out of a Bridal magazine. The Groom certainly is a lucky man! You could see the happiness in everyone's eyes and it was wonderful to be part of something so special.
The ceremony was personal, warm and romantic. The Bride's sister read a few words which was a lovely touch before the Bride and Groom were declared Husband and Wife and the room was filled with cheers and applause.
We were blessed with a glorious sunny day and headed out to the garden where beers, bucks fizz and canapes were served to guests as we posed for photographs in between sitting in the sunshine and catching up with friends.
At 2pm we were called back into The Great Hall to find it had been transformed. Again, absolutely stunning and such a beautiful space to enjoy the wedding breakfast.
The speeches had the room captivated and were all completely from the heart. There weren't many dry eyes as the Bride's Father talked about the fear you feel when you have a daughter and the Best Man's speech raised lots of laughs without being as risque as it could have been.
The wedding breakfast was up to the usual Jesmond Dene House standards with food being beautifully presented and full of flavour. Our whole table raved about the creme brulee dessert and the homemade fudge chocolates which were a real hit with everyone.
After coffee, guests filtered through to our private bar and relaxed whilst the team worked their magic and quickly turned the room around for the evening's celebrations. We were staying over so took this opportunity to check into our room. After spending all day eating and drinking I cannot deny maybe closing my eyes for 30 minutes. The bed was just so comfortable! We freshened up and then headed back downstairs to join the other guests for the evening celebrations.
The Great Hall again looked fantastic! The beauty of the room is it is so grand that it can probably work with any theme. I loved the romantic, countryside theme that the Bride had chosen though and think it is probably one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever attended. There is something really special about a candlelit room I think.
The Bride and Groom had set up a sweet shop in a little relaxation zone between the Great Hall and the bar area. I think it was supposed to be for children but the adult guests couldn't resist dipping in too!
The old saying 'time flies when you're having fun' certainly applied and before long it was 9pm and time for the Bride and Groom to enjoy their first dance. They were beaming with happiness and it wasn't long before everyone joined them. Dancing continued all night long and we all remembered how we used to do this every weekend. As the Groom mentioned in his speech, life does change as you grow older and you don't get to see old friends as often as you should. We had so much fun dancing, drinking wine and catching up and we really should all get together more often rather than waiting for another wedding!
The evening buffet was just what we needed to soak up some of the alcohol - ham and pease pudding sandwiches, hot pork stotties and chunky chips followed by wedding cake.
We certainly aren't as young as we once were and where as at one time we may have stayed until the very end, we were falling asleep by midnight so after dancing to a few more hits we headed upstairs where we slept soundly all night.
There is the option to order breakfast in bed at Jesmond Dene House which is something I always like to do whilst staying in a hotel. It really is such a treat. We made the most of it and ordered the full works - cooked breakfasts, toast and preserves, blueberry and lemon & poppy seed muffins, danish pastries, fruit and yoghurt, fresh orange juice, a pot of tea and a cafetiere of coffee. It was all perfect and I would recommend it to anyone staying.
Thank you so much to the Bride and Groom for allowing us to part of your special day at Jesmond Dene House. It genuinely was such a pleasure to be part of the day and we will remember it forever.