Bride and groom kissing after their vows

Sarah and Max’s meeting was total fate. “We were both on separate nights out in Newcastle Upon Tyne with friends,” says Sarah. “I wasn’t meant to be in the cheesy karaoke bar we met in and Max wasn’t meant to be on that night out. We were on different floors of the bar for an hour or so and only bumped into each other when my friend and I went to the toilets upstairs on our way home!”

Sarah walking down the stairs in her lace fishtail wedding dress

"It was a total chance meeting that would change our lives forever. Our first date was to an Italian restaurant. I was really nervous, as I'd not dated in a very long time. But I needn't have worried, it was the perfect date.”

Sarah in her off-the-shoulder wedding dress

A proposal with a view

The couple had been together for three and a half years and living together for one year when Max proposed. “We were on a trip away to London, seeing the sights after the stressful Covid period,” says Sarah. “Max proposed on 25th July 2021 at the Sky Garden in London. We had just had a wonderful day at the Harry Potter studio tours (he had wanted to do it there but couldn’t find the perfect place).”

Sarah looking out the window of her wedding venue

"We were out for a beautiful meal with views across the London skyline when he got down on one knee and proposed. I was shocked when he pulled the ring out of the coin part of his wallet. He’d been hiding it there the whole time, keeping it under close guard all weekend as we'd been wandering and around London!"

Sarah with her bridesmaids

“I asked if he was joking me, but he told me how much he loved me and our blended family and wanted us to be together forever. It was amazing.”

Sarah showing her engagement ring to her bridesmaids

Shopping for ‘The One’

Sarah works across the road from WED2B’s Gateshead store and had friends who had visited. “I loved the convenience of it and how helpful and patient the staff were with me and my bridal party,” says Sarah.

“They talked me through the process and suggested dresses and styles that I tried on. I also got my bridesmaids dresses from WED2B and I loved being able to take the dress away on the day. It gave me real peace of mind and they also recommend the brilliant seamstress I used.”

Max with his groomsmen

Sarah chose Arlo. “I loved the mermaid shape and the lace flower detail,” she says. “The corset-style bodice was brilliant, it fitted me so well and accentuated my shape. I added a WED2B belt and some Bardot straps, too.”

Sarah walking down the aisle with her dad and son

A party venue

The couple married at Bowburn Hall Hotel in Durham. “We looked at a lot of venues but Bowburn Hall was by far the best in terms of venue style and costs, plus it was perfect for the big party we wanted,” says Sarah.

Sarah and Max on their wedding day

“We hired the venue exclusively, so we had the whole place to ourselves. The ballroom and the outdoor space where we had our ceremony just blew us away. We got married on 30th August 2022 in glorious sunshine, surrounded by our family and friends. It was a fantastic day.”

Sarah and Max signing their wedding certificate

The big day

“My father and my son walked me down the aisle,” says Sarah. “We had a piano player playing for our guests’ arrival and for the ceremony and afternoon reception. I walked down the aisle to Christina Perry’s ‘A Thousand Years’ and we walked back up the aisle to Queen’s ‘You’re My Best Friend’. We had a sand ceremony during our service, which was amazing and a lovely moment of our day to keep. The most special moment was us declaring our love for each other in front of all our loved ones.”

Sarah and Max walking back up the aisle

An afternoon tea party

After the ceremony there was a drinks reception with cocktails, beers and canapés. “We decided on an afternoon tea instead of a formal meal,” says Sarah. “We wanted everyone to be able to chat for an hour, whilst eating, before the party continued and our evening guests arrived.”

Sarah and Max kissing after their wedding vows

Colourful bridesmaid dresses

“The colourful bridesmaid dresses were a mix of pink and WED2B’s silver/grey Laila dress, with cream and pink flowers to match,” says Sarah.

“We had canapés of mini Yorkshire puddings with roast beef, chocolate-dipped strawberries, prawn and crayfish pastries and tomato and mozzarella bruschetta, followed by an afternoon tea. Then in the evening there was a BBQ.”

Bride and Groom's four legged wedding guest

Music, magic and a tasty gluten-free cake

“Our cake was gluten-free, as our daughter has coeliac disease, and my mum and myself decorated the top two layers,” says Sarah. “I also made all our bouquets and buttonholes. Our favours were lucky dip scratch cards and a few people won a few pounds on them We had a magician (who was unbelievably good), a band, DJ and magic mirror photo booth, too.”

Bride and grooms wedding cake decorated with flowers

“Our first dance song was ‘You Make My Dreams Come True’ by Hall and Oates. We wanted an upbeat song, rather than a traditional slow love song, and we had such a good laugh twirling round the dance floor to it.”

Sarah and Max and their first dance

The best bits…

“I loved seeing friends and family laughing and having fun,” says Sarah. “We had guests come from all over the world, such as Australia, Dubai and America, so it was brilliant to see everyone and meet some people for the first time in person. “

"We had such fun, we wanted a big party and that's certainly what we got. There was fun, dancing, love and laughter all day. Our photos capture our day perfectly. Everything from the beauty of our ceremony and the expressions of our guests during the speeches to the hilarity and fun of the evening party vibe with some sparkle thrown in.”

Sarah and Max on the evening of her wedding

My top tips…

“Don’t worry about the smaller details,” says Sarah. “You won’t even notice them on the day and they will just come together perfectly with the right venue and staff to help you. Enjoy every minute of your day as it goes so fast, try and take in as much as you can.”

Sarah and Max with sparklers on their wedding day

Sarah and Max’s Dream Team

Photographer: Ian Sproat MJE Photography / Little and Large Media

Venue: Bowburn Hall Hotel

Wedding dresses Newcastle: WED2B

Colourful bridesmaids dresses: WED2B

Cake: Fairyhill Cakes

Band: The Princes of Monte Carlo

Piano: Ray Snowdon Piano

If you would like us to feature your big day, like this delightful wedding with its colourful bridesmaid dresses, then please click here to share your story and photos with us and we’ll be in touch. Your nearest WED2B is closer than you think, click here for more details about WED2B’s bridal shops Gateshead.