Louise and James, 21st September 2019

It was really exciting to hear from Louise and James as, although I am happy to travel anywhere in the world to be part of a wedding, I rarely make it out of Yorkshire haha.

Louise and James were getting married in Hexham Abbey and then using James’ family farmland to host a marquee wedding so I jumped at the chance to be involved.

Having family not too far away meant I could take advantage of staying with them and keep it affordable for the couple so it was a win-win scenario.

With Louise and James being a bit more remote, we did our first consultation via the phone (if only I’d embraced Zoom earlier) and then when I was next up in the North East, I mixed business and pleasure and got to meet them face-to-face.

The couple had a great idea of how the day was all going to look but the caterer was a family friend who was going to prep everything in advance and then enjoy the day as a guest so they just needed someone to oversee the agency staff they had booked and make sure the bar and food service ran smoothly along with my usual timeline running.

On my site visit the day before the wedding, I was blown away by the views from their marquee. The couple had booked a Papakata Sperry tent, which was sitting on top of a hill in one of the family owned fields, overlooking Hexham and beyond.

The sun was shining and the forecast remained set to stay the same for the whole weekend – this was going to be a good one!

Arriving on the morning of the wedding to do a hand over with the caterer Clara, the final bits that had been done to the marquee overnight looked fab.

The agency waiting staff arrived not long after so we went back through the handover whilst we still had Clara present and everyone was completely sure of their roles for the day.

I then set about some finishing touches; laying out outdoor seating, signage, the cake and meeting the photographer and videographer who had come to take some shots whilst the marquee was clear.

Guests began to filter up to the site just after 2pm and were greeted by canapés and fizz, with Louise and James making their grand entrance in an old Land Rover Defender (my favourite).

After a lovely, sunny, outdoor drinks reception I asked guests to take their seats ready for the announcement of the couple’s entrance. This has to be the best entrance I’ve ever seen in terms of vibe and enthusiasm. The couple had picked a track to walk into which was cranked up loud, all the guests stood on their chairs or even some on the tables, and swung napkins round like they were about to take off.  Things like this keep me buzzing about working wedding days for years after.

After speeches – which I have to say had the best bridesmaid speeches I’ve ever seen with a 15 minute poem from them all about their life with Louise, Clara’s amazing food was served and then it was onto the evening entertainment. I was told James was in a band himself so music was a big focus for this day.

The couple were having three bands and they had a professional music technician on site all day with music interludes for parts of the day (such as the entrance to the marquee). What I didn’t appreciate however was that James was actually the lead singer and the couple had first met when Louise went to one of his big sold out Hip Hop Hooray gigs.

James surprised Louise when the first dance turned into an usher grabbing a chair for Louise to sit on whilst James grabbed the mic to sing the rest to her. Do not picture anything cheesy – this was an upbeat version of Elton John’s ‘Guess that’s why they call it the blues’ with all the guests piling in and lifting Louise and James high onto shoulders…. Another unforgettable moment for me to witness and it wasn’t even my day, but a big reason why I love weddings so much.

Evening cocktails were served between musical interludes by Quaff Box and food by the Little Fishy to keep guests well fed. Once these last bits were underway, it was time for me to clock off and if it hadn’t been for the drive home, I would have liked to stay and party with them all night as the atmosphere was something else.

With big thanks to Sean Elliott Photography for allowing me to share these images.