The trip ‘up north’ had resulted in securing our family church St Helen’s Church Kelloe, pretty and steeped in history, it had to be the place. We also viewed a number of hotels, for me there was only ever two in the running…Rockliffe Hall and Seaham Hall both are fab 5 star hotels with lovely indulgent spa’s, Rockliffe is all new and sparkly whilst Seaham drips in history. For Mr B however there was no contest, Seaham Hall he said had ‘a true pedigree’, history; (Lord Byron was married there), architecture; visually it’s a stunning house with modern highlights and uber luxury. Finally location; added to that its set on the dramatic North East coast next to the north sea, for Mr B and me it’s the right place. Isn’t it funny how sometimes craggy and dramatic can win hands down to brand new.
After initially reserving the hotel for Saturday 25th September, we visited it again over the Easter break. It’s grown on us more. We ate there in The White Room, (all starched linen and high ceilings, with a welcome feel and outstanding menu). Mr B had steak and I had craster kipper salad, it didn’t disappoint. After we digested with a coffee in the drawing room and looked around the hotel’s 19 rooms, all utterly fantastic suites, individually designed. We saw the Penthouse, and it’s a must, views of the sunning vortex below. We were looked after by Kelly the wedding planner, who is going to be really good at all the things I’m not any good at, ie organised! OMG I have a date and a venue and a wedding planner. Who’d have thought it! Wow, must take my breath! With just over 5 months to go we have our favourite date, church and venue. Done, done and done x
Now although I live in beautiful seaside town of Brighton I do hail from a place somewhat further north than that. Born and bred in God’s own country, County Durham I thought it appropriate to get married up north. My folks still live in a little ex pit mining village called Kelloe in the same house I moved to when I was 3! I’ve got a passion for the North and its always friendly people and the warm welcome you always get there.
Kelloe Church is one of the oldest churches in the North East of England. It’s Norman and was built as a stop off point on the pilgrimage to visit St Cuthbert’s final resting place in Durham Cathedral. It ticks a few boxes for me, its old and its grey and its pretty and I did my A Level Art study on the church when I was 17. (So innocent back then!) So that’s a yes from me, decision made, tick!
Reception venue was the next job on the list….. I had a feeling this would not be so easy. We got in the car and ventured north to look at a couple of possibilities. Now I hope I’m not being too much of a princess when I say I do not under any circumstances want to see another bride on my big day. Unbelievably some venues held multiple weddings on the day, up to 5!? Not for me, Noooo!.. No way! After a little looking it came down to 2 possible venues, Rockliffe Hall and Seaham Hall. They are both beautiful venues, both also have 5 star hotels and spas, I loved both. For Mr B there was no contest, only one possibility for him….Which will it be?
Now although me and Mr B were engaged over on the other side of the pond in NYC the sparkler has its roots firmly ‘set’ in Brighton. Mr B being in the men’s accessories trade and some time jeweller really had no excuse but to come up with the goods. So he called on close friend Mr Kyle McIntosh of Baroque Bespoke Jewellery in Brighton. Now as you might expect from the name, Kyle does not hail from Brighton, ach noo! (sorry about the accent) he is indeed a bonny scot. But having trained and cut his teeth on the rough diamonds in the jewelling trade down in Brighton he decided to stay and set up Baroque Bespoke with fellow Jewellers Pippa Knowles, Jason French and Phil Park. Baroque really is a sumptuous little find, nestled in the lanes. What I didn’t know was that Mr B spent countless hours in Kyle’s office, The Bath Arms, 3 doors down from Baroque discussing the sparkler over a pint or two of Guinness!
So the sparkler is uber contemporary design in yellow gold with a cunning groove shaped out of the side of the band. And this is the clever bit, in the groove sits the round cut diamond….genius! So thank you to Kyle (and Mr B) for crafting a cunning yet perfectly formed plan and a fabulous sparkler to boot! You’re a diamond! You can find Baroque bespoke for all manner of fine jems by going to 9 Union St Brighton or www.baroquejewellery.com XX
I got engaged in January, a shock for anyone who knows me! It’s not that I was anti marriage I just didn’t think I was that into it. Oh how all of that changed on 22nd January 2010! Mr Boston and I were in New York doing a menswear show for denisonboston. After a week of work Mr B pulled a big surprise and booked us into a proper swanky place in the meatpacking district, Hotel Gansvoort – Really very cool, pool, spa, concierge….you know the sort of place where the have a lift boy and bell hop, or is that lift hop and bell boy? Never mind. After a day of sipping cocktails and swimming (not recommended after more than 3 Mojito’s) Mr B suggested the Empire State building for a bit of evening air before dinner, bit odd I thought but why not indulge him, we’re on holiday right?
86 floors later (we used the elevator, complete with lift lady) and reached the top. Stunning views of the Chrysler Building, it was cold mind, January aint the month to be hanging about outdoors in NY. So without further ado Mr B got down on one knee and popped the question. I was so shocked I almost fell over and through the sparkler off the top (can you imagine the damage I could have done? I can see the headlines now, falling rock knocks out small child..etc)
So after that rather lovely news we spent the next 2 days drinking bubbly on the 18th Floor of The Standard (the best views of Manhattan)….How very cosmopolitan!
Back to Blighty (Brighton) and decided to get hitched this year. September 25th to be precise! We wanted to get married up North in God’s own country County Durham. We have a venue holding the date that we are hoping to firm up soon, Seaham Hall a stunning Hotel on Durham’s rugged North East coast. Magic, but more on that later…
Is it possible to organize a wedding in 6 months – Heck yeah, Is the Pope Catholic?
So that’s where I am, planning and getting excited and squealing about things I never thought I would, venues, the dress, table centers, bridesmaids, colours and favours. Mr B is going to make an honest woman of me and here’s how it happens…..