Bride posing with her bridesmaids

Sarah and Jos met at their favourite place in the world, Lindisfarne, Holy Island. “It’s a small part of Northumberland that is cut off from the main land twice a day,” says Sarah. “It’s magical. We were both volunteering at a children’s summer camp, which was my first sign that he was a special guy. For our first date we went on the snow dog trail in the North East, then to a 1950s’ record shop and we finished the evening watching Fawlty Towers until we couldn’t stay awake any longer. We both never wanted it to end. It was special to find a guy who would happily do the unusual things I enjoy, that some people might think are a bit daft.”

Bride posing in front of the church

A romantic proposal

Jos proposed after six years together. “We stopped at a local viewing point called Hartside Pass in our camper van,” says Sarah. “I complained all the way that I didn’t want to stop because I was tired after wild camping for three days in the Lake District.”

Bride arriving at the church getting out of her wedding car

"All the way I’d been enviously watching our cockapoo, Teddy, snoozing in the bed in the back. So, when we stopped, I had a quick look over the viewing point and was about to sneak back into the van, when I turned and there was Jos down on one knee. At first, I didn’t register what was happening. I just thought I’d been ‘rumbled’ sneaking back, but then I said yes immediately and we hugged and kissed. Our little dog wanted to get in on the excitement too, and he started jumping up at us. We watched the view together feeling ecstatic!”

Bride getting out of the wedding car holding her wedding bouquet

Dream dress shopping

Sarah found her dream vintage wedding dress at WED2B Gateshead. “I follow WED2B on social media and was impressed by the quality of the dresses,” she says. “The store was also comfortable and a nice place to try on wedding gowns. After trying a few though, I felt disappointed that I didn’t suit the ones I’d liked originally.”

Bride and Groom posing with the bridesmaids

"Then the store assistant picked out one that I hadn’t considered. It was perfect! The dress flattered my body shape and was a bit unusual and different to other dresses that were popular at the time. It made me feel special and lucky to have chosen WED2B. I also found my dress on my first trip out. There was no question, it was the dress for me.”

Bride and father of the bride posing in front of the wedding car

Perfect pockets

“I chose Miriam because the WED2B  staff obviously have a brilliant eye for what you need!” says Sarah. “I never would’ve picked it out myself, but it had all the features I wanted whilst making me look fantastic. However, the main reason I loved it was the pockets! My favourite part, other than the pockets, was the illusion lace back that buttoned up.”

(For similar styles, check out; Amerie, Monikh and Magdalena)

Bride and father of the bride walking down the aisle

A vintage wedding

The couple married in their local parish church and then celebrated at a village hall in Northumberland. “I love the 1940s and 1950s and we enjoy going to vintage events, dances etc,” says Sarah. “So I wanted my vintage wedding day to have that afternoon tea/old fashioned record hop feel. I was looking for a village hall with beams and that 1950s’ feel and it didn’t take me long to stumble across Whalton Village Hall. We went on a visit as soon as we could and loved it immediately.”

Bride walking down the aisle with her effortless veil trailing behind

“Like the dress, I didn’t second guess it, we didn’t look at any other venues and asked when we could book,” says Sarah. “The view from the large window at the end of the hall stole our hearts, combined with all of the features that made it feel like we had been transported back in time. We were over the moon when we saw it. It was perfect for our vintage wedding! However, they only allow 10 weddings a year, so they don’t impact on the local residents. The only date they had was in the autumn which, as a teacher, is the busiest most stressful time for me. We left not knowing what to do. We’d found our perfect venue. Did we wait another year? Did we go for autumn?”

Bride and Groom at the alter about to say their wedding vows

"Luckily, after a few days, I received an email and the caretaker of the hall told me she loved our idea for the vintage wedding and she wanted to help us have our special day. So, she offered us a day in April, May, or June. After talking to our priest, we settled on 7th May 2022.”

Bride and Groom saying their wedding vows in the church

A little help from my friends

“The date was a little bit scary, as it wasn’t the school holidays, but it showed me what a great group of friends, family and colleagues I have,” says Sarah. “Everyone pulled together to help me have the best day, despite the short time to do it in. The day was bright and sunny and the tree outside the hall was covered in pink blossoms. It set the hall off perfectly.”

Bride and Groom laughing together at their wedding ceremony

The big day

“My six bridesmaids, sister-in-law and I all got ready at the Manor House in Whalton, which is a two-minute walk from the hall,” says Sarah. “Again, I have another example of the kindness of our family and friends. Our dog is a rescue dog, and can be a bit tricky, so we had nobody to watch him. We had to stay at the local pub, as it was the only dog-friendly room in the village. So my new sister-in-law booked the Manor House and kindly arranged everything for a fantastic morning getting ready in beautiful surroundings. And, to make it even more special, the gardens were designed by Gertrude Jekyl, the same person who designed the garden at Holy Island Castle, where we first met.”

Groom putting the wedding ring on the bride's finger

“My six bridesmaids all had a fantastic morning, some had never had their hair and makeup done before, so loved the experience,” says Sarah. “My mum is agoraphobic, so couldn’t be there, but they made me feel like a princess and looked after every detail. I couldn’t have had a better team of girls. The weather was perfect. The gardens outside the Manor House were majestic. The weather forecast had predicted overcast and dull weather, but the sun started to shine the previous evening and came back the next morning in full blaze.”

Bride excited and smiling to have her wedding ring on her finger

Arriving in 1950s' style

“My dad and I travelled to the church in a beautiful 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air, driven by a friend from the local 1950s’ rock and roll dancing community,” says Sarah. “My dad walked me down the aisle and Jos says his favourite moment was when I entered the church and he saw me for the first time. For me, it was seeing the smiles on the faces of those we love and the moment when Jos smiled and squeezed my hand when I reached him. It’s hard to say why, it was the feeling I got!”

Bride and Groom kissing outside the Church

After the ceremony

“Afterwards we kissed and cuddled everyone before packing them off into a big bus to the venue. Then we got that special moment alone, as we were transported in the ‘Chevy’ to our wedding venue,” says Sarah. “My husband was so excited to be in the 50s car and to tell me all his thoughts and feelings waiting for me in the church.”

Bride and Groom walking through thrown confetti

Fun, fizz and dancing

“When we arrived at the venue only a few of our bridal party and family had arrived,” says Sarah. “So we greeted our guests and they enjoyed Prosecco, peach Bellini or elderflower fizz. This was another team effort, as some of the volunteers from the summer camp where we met acted as servers for the day. The guests enjoyed piano music while we mingled and got our family photos taken. Plus, there was a snack table and a sweetie table too, which was well used while they waited!”

Bride and Groom walking out of the wedding ceremony

If music be the food of love

“This may sound greedy, but we had two ‘first’ dances,” says Sarah. “A first slow dance and then a first 1950s’ rock and roll dance. The 50s is a passion for us, so we had to have a jive too. For our slow dance, we chose Louis Armstrong’s, ‘What a Wonderful World’ because we always listen to Louis Armstrong when we have special evening meals together. We both love his voice and it brings back memories of cooking for each other and making our early dates special. Our jive was to the song ‘Paralysed’ by Elvis Presley. This was because he’s the king of rock and roll and we danced to that on our first date at the record hop!”

Bride and Groom posing in front of a tree

A vintage wedding theme

“Our theme was 1950s afternoon tea and record hop,” says Sarah. “We spent some of our early days together at 1950s’ ‘all dayers’ which brought alive the community spirit felt in village halls across the country in the 40s and 50s. We’ve made some everlasting friendships and had endless laughs and good times through our dancing community and enjoyed introducing many of our friends and family to it too. We wanted to replicate this experience on our special day.”

Bride posing at their wedding reception with her bouquet Bride in her wed2b wedding dress and bridal veil

“However, we know everyone has different music tastes, so we aimed for the day to be about the love of music too and provided a range of different music for everyone to enjoy. We had vintage pastel colours: pink, blue and purple and vintage china transformed into vases, as our centrepieces. There was vintage china for the food too. We also had bunting and fairy lights hanging from the glorious beams and flowers everywhere we could fit them!”

Bride and Groom walking holding hands

“Outside, on the back terrace, we had giant lanterns. However, any decorations outside were probably unnecessary because the beauty of the tree in blossom, the rolling hills and picturesque houses were better than any decoration.”

Bride and Groom having their first wedding dance

Food, glorious food

“Our wedding breakfast was afternoon tea and we had our favourite, wood-fired pizza for the evening,” says Sarah. “Sadly, I’ve learned all brides should come equipped with an apron, as some of this ended up on my dress! The food was a triumph, every bite was delicious. One of my best friends made my wedding cake. It had three tiers and had an edible tea pot and vintage cup and saucer on it. One tier was vanilla, one chocolate and one salted caramel. Yum!”

Bride and Groom embracing on the dancefloor

“My favours were made by a dear friend, who made 120 beautiful vintage wedding-themed sweet boxes filled with vintage sweeties,” says Sarah.

“We wanted a day filled with music and fun, so we had a piano player during the arrival drinks, a Johnny Cash tribute artist (my bridesmaid's dad), a 1950s’ singer, singing everything from Buddy Holly to Elvis Presley, and a DJ who accommodated everyone’s music loves. I was told later that the music was unbeatable. My colleagues said they’d never danced so much at a wedding! There was never a low moment. The whole day was fun and enjoyable for everyone, which was what I wanted!”

Bride and Groom smiling while dancing at their wedding

The best bits…

“The music and dancing had to be one of the most memorable parts,” says Sarah. “I watched family and friends, who I’ve never seen dance, rocking the dancing floor all day and night, smiling and having fun! Seeing my husband, who could’ve happily worn a T-shirt and jeans, looking smart in a suit for the first time in the church was amazing. He smiled and had tears in his eyes the whole time. He made me feel confident and the happiest girl to be there with him at the front of the church.”

Bride and Groom smiling and dancing while their guests watch on

“I also loved getting ready with my bridesmaids. I didn’t have a photographer for that part of the day but the ladies who did our hair and make up were amazing and spent lots of time with us taking daft pictures in the gardens of the girls in their petticoats and in the Manor House of me wrestling into my dress. It was so kind of them, as they were there an extra hour just taking our pictures. The kindness of everyone involved was really one of my most special memories, as it was quite DIY being in a village hall. The whole day happened because of the efforts of all of those loved ones around me. The bridesmaids were fighting fires all day that I didn’t even know about until the following morning. I felt so lucky to have them!”

Bride and Groom holding hands while on the dance floor

My top tips…

“1. Get a dress with pockets. This was the best feature for swaying my dress around happily to the music!

2. Have a good team of bridesmaids around you, who will be there for you without even having to ask them.

3. Have fun! Our day was fun not formal, and we were able to enjoy every moment, as did our guests.

4. Get a brides’ apron if you have messy food!

5. Enjoy some moments with your husband. It’s a busy day; so if you are caught alone together, enjoy it!”

Bride and Groom walking out of the wedding ceremony

Sarah and Jos’s Dream Team

Photographer: Jason Friend Photography

Reception venue: Whalton Village Hall

Ceremony venue: St Charles Gosforth

Wedding dresses Newcastle: WED2B

Morning prep: Whalton Manor House

Accommodation: Barresford Arms

Florist: Flowerzone Westerhope

Afternoon tea: The Busty Bakery

Bride in her wed2b wedding dress and bridal veil

If you would like us to feature your big day, like this vintage wedding, 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 Newcastle