A Relaxed, Colourful Wedding in the College Valley

Is this the year you say ‘I do’? As we start this new year I’m sure your wedding planning is now in full swing, and today I have a wonderfully relaxed, colourful wedding to help get your wedding inspiration off to a great start.

Deirdre and Eoghan married at Cuddystone Hall in the heart of the College Valley, a remote, tranquil spot perfect for their ‘Quigleyfest’ wedding. A festival style wedding reception party followed the couple’s ceremony in the romantic setting amongst the rolling hills of the valley.

Bride and groom standing on road in the College Valley

If you are looking for ways to incorporate a festival theme into your wedding then you will love Deirdre and Eoghan’s wedding style. Their styling elements included DIY pallet signs, a VW Camper Van (what festival would be complete without a camper van?), horse box bar, colourful paper lanterns that adorned the ceiling of the reception marquee and an abundance of fabulous florals.

The flowers really bring this wedding to life, from the bright showy sunflowers on the tables to the multicoloured roses on the cheese stack wedding cake. The bridal flowers, in lighter more subtle shades of dusty pink and mauve with green foliage, look so pretty against the bride’s white dress and the pink bridesmaid dresses. Deirdre chose a floral hoop instead of a traditional bridal bouquet, which together with her really cool red edged open toe shoes creates a relaxed bridal style.

With such colourful styling and stunning scenery, I hope you enjoy looking through these wonderful wedding pictures by Erika Tanith Photography…

Beautiful and So Romantic

“Eoghan and I became friends when we were teenagers and started dating when we were about 16.

“We were on holiday with a few friends in Thailand when Eoghan proposed, learning to scuba dive on the beautiful island of Koh Phi Phi. Eoghan said he wanted to go for a walk along a quiet part of the beach so he could take some photos. I was a bit confused as this was a weird thing for us to do and I couldn’t understand why no one else would come along.

“We took the walk along the moonlight beach, stopped to take a few photos and then I turned around and he was down on one knee. I was totally not expecting it! It was beautiful and so romantic, and I could believe he thought it up!”

College Valley, Northumberland

Bridal shoes in floral hoops

Red edged bridal shoes

Floral bridal hair combs

Bridesmaid having make-up done

Floral hair comb in hair

Pink flower buttonhole

Wrist corsage

Bridesmaids doing up back of bride's dress

Bridesmaid doing up ribbon bride's shoe

Bride with floral crown

Bridal Style

“I bought my dress off the rail at Wed 2 Be from the signature collection called Priya. It had a lace top half with pearl buttons down the back and long sleeves, but I had it altered to remove the sleeves.

“When I tried it on I couldn’t get over how good I looked, and it felt comfortable so I bought it then and there. It was only my second time trying on dresses.

“My bridesmaids wore dresses from ASOS that were all slightly different designs but the same colour and designer. They liked this idea as they are all very different people with different styles and shapes. Their each had their hair done differently but with the same clips in, and they chose their own shoes

“Eoghan ordered great quality made to measure suits from a designer in London for the men. He wore a blue tweed suit and the groomsmen wore brown tweed. It was a bit last minute though, with the suits arriving just 48 hours before wedding. We had no idea if they were going to fit everyone but it was all perfect in the end.”

Cuddystone Hall

Wedding order of service written on pallet

Quigleyfest sign

View across College Valley

VW camper wedding car

Father walking bride down the aisle

Groom smiling at altar

Wedding ceremony in Cuddystone Hall

Bride and groom in wedding ceremony

Groom holding bride's hand to put on wedding ring

Bride and groom kiss

Guest hugging bride

Bride and groom in front of VW camper van

Bride driving VW camper van

Festival Vibe

“We didn’t have a wedding theme as such, we kinda threw it all together. However, as we love a good music festival we did aim for a festival vibe. We wanted a relaxed wedding that was a bit different to more formal weddings we had been to, as that’s definitely more our style.

“I spent a bit of time on Pinterest but I’m not really talented enough to pull out the fancy crafts! We have some amazing friends who, to be honest, did most of decorating.

“A friend married the week before so we split the cost of some fairy lights and strung them across the ceiling of the hall and marquee, along with some paper lanterns which made nice and simple decorations.

“The day before the wedding we received an amazing surprise gift of giant letters spelling QUIGLEYFEST and E&D. They were one of my highlights and I still have them at home ready to take out for every party!

“We made the seating plan from a pallet, putting names and tables into photo frames and decorating with potted plants. This was mostly Eoghan, with a little help on the wedding morning! We also had another pallet with the order of service. For the tables a group of friends helped me decorate some glass jars that we put flowers in. Pretty simple really.”

Road through College Valley

The Tipsy Horse Bar at wedding

Bottles of alcohol

The Tipsy Horse sign

Wedding seating plan made from picture frames and pallet

Bright coloured paper lanterns

Wedding marquee decorated with colourful paper lanterns

Colourful Flowers

“So I’m not very girly really, so I saved on flowers. My sister married the year before and had quirky artificial hoop flowers for her wedding that I borrowed. They looked great and it was nice to have that included in wedding. Then I just went to Gateshead Team Valley Flower Market and ordered some bright sunflowers and multicoloured roses for the table jars. I didn’t have a specific colour scheme in mind, I just wanted a colourful, fun vibe.

“Our cake was another Eoghan gem; he really pulled it out of the bag. It was a savoury choice of a cheese cake which we decorated ourselves with the multicoloured roses. We did have crackers and chutney to serve it with but after a few drinks we kinda forgot, so people just ate slices of cheese!”

Cheese wedding cake decorated with colourful flowers

Multicoloured rose on cheese wedding cake

Sunflower in jar on top of log slice on wedding table

Candles and table number on log slice

Tube of personalised love hearts sweets

Sunflower on wedding table

Awkward

“We decided not to have a first dance as we wanted to avoid the complete awkwardness of it. Instead we got everyone on the dance floor for the first song.

“For entertainment there was a Polaroid camera with dressing up box for funny photos, and a live band in evening.”

Relaxed Photos

“We found our photographer, Erika, online and loved her photos and general vibe. She was all about relaxed photos for people who don’t like posing. She mixed with crowd and made us feel relaxed and not rushed on the day; lots of our guests commented on how nice she was.

“Although I love all our photos, one that stands out is the two of us with the valley in the background and sunbeams shining through the clouds. It’s awesome!”

Groom and groomsmen in tweed suits

Bride with bridesmaids in blush dresses

Bride and groom looking over shoulders at camera

Bride and groom's hands

Bride and groom in College Valley

So Many Laughs

“We have such wonderful memories of the day. So many laughs, the registrar struggling to pronounce Eoghan’s middle name, great speeches, slightly ripping my dress on the dance floor because of awesome dance moves, getting in behind the bar to serve a few drinks… I would do it all over again!

“Our advice to other couples would be to make the day what you want. Compromise with each other but not with others. Doing things a bit differently is fine as long as you are doing what you want. If you two enjoy yourself then so will your guests.

“In terms of cutting costs, I saved so much money on little things but you should be prepared to spend on the things you care about most. If someone else you know is getting married consider sharing decorations which really saves on things. Flower markets are good value too, and you would be surprised how talented your friends are at crafts! Finally, instead of hiring a photo booth you can use selfie sticks and ask friends to bring dressing up box donations.”

Bride and groom entering wedding marquee

Father of the bride speech

Guest smiling during wedding speech

Best man speech

Bride and groom's reactions to wedding speech

Bride speech

Wedding party in the College Valley

Suppliers

Photography: Erika Tanith Photography

Venue: Cuddystone Hall, College Valley, Northumberland

Wedding Dress: Wed2B

Shoes: Joe Browns and Converse

Suits: Jennis and Warmann

Bridesmaid Dresses: ASOS

Hair Accessories: Magaela Accessories

Make-Up: Lisa Jones Hair and Makeup

Flowers: Gateshead Team Valley Flower Market and Borrowed Flower Hoops

Cheese Cake: West Country Cheese

Catering: Jackson’s Catering

Band: Soznak

Bar: The Tipsy Horse

Personalised Love Hearts: Swizzels

Marquee: Cheviot Marquees

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