Updated: Jan 1
This is the story of Michelle and Kevin's Woodhill Hall wedding on a cold, blustery and snowy day in rural Northumberland.
Just over a week before Christmas I travelled north to one of my regular venues; Woodhill Hall. Now I joke with the owner Corrinne that it's a different venue every time I go as she's always looking to develop and keep the place fresh and interesting. I didn't expect to walk in and find she's knocked down an entire wall inside the Hall creating a larger entrance lobby. But , oh my god, it looks amazing! And so much brighter. She'd literally finished the work two days before.
Now I'd never met Michelle and Kevin. This was one of those weddings where we'd conducted everything over email. However, from the get go I felt like I'd known them for ages. As is the usual way at Woodhill Hall, Kevin was busy downstairs getting things sorted and making sure everything was in place. Michelle was upstairs in the Darcy Room getting her hair done surrounded by her bridesmaids. The mood was relaxed. The tunes playing. The bubbly flowing.
Gradually the guests started arriving and were ushered in to the Orangery ready for the ceremony. Upstairs Michelle was ready and her dad had walked into see her for the first time in her wedding dress. Then the tears started as Michelle read a card that had been given to her from Kevin. Michelle then asked if anyone had seen him and how he was. "Cool as a cucumber" was the sort of reply. I have to admit he was very chilled but the chilled ones are always the ones the tend to break during the ceremony. We'll soon find out.
With everyone congregating downstairs now, the bridesmaids went in one by one and then it was Michelle's turn. She got to the door and everyone turn around and gasped. Then Kevin turned. Grinning from ear to ear he held out a hand as Michelle got to the bottom of the aisle.
So the ceremony started with intermissions for readings and it was during one of these that Kevin broke! The emotion got to him and the tears started. Michelle looked across to me and I just gave a knowing nod. She smiled.
After the ceremony in the new expanded lobby everyone picked up a cocktail and began swarming around the newlyweds to pass on their congratulations. My mind was on the weather outside. It was horrible. Blowing a gale and raining heavily too. Not the sort of weather you want to be gathering people outside for. So thankfully the new lobby area came into it's own with it's giant Christmas Tree.
After three short speeches everyone tucked into a super 3 course meal. I was lucky enough to have this myself. It was scrumptious. Whilst everyone was eating the snow started. And it didn't stop. When it came to heading to the teepees for the evening celebrations umbrellas were popped up, coat collars pulled up and people ran! Thankfully inside the teepee the fire pit was lit and the heaters were on. Marshmallows were being toasted and people went straight to the dance floor to have a bit of a boogie before first dance.
When it was time, the band began to play their version of Queen's "You're my Best Friend" and the happy couple swayed and twirled before everyone joined them. The dance floor was packed and the place was bouncing.
I headed into the night to scrape snow off my car and make my way over The Cheviot hills to my parent's house.....that is a whole story in itself. I'm a confident driver and have no problems driving in the snow but there were a few sweaty palm moments heading up some of the longer steeper hills!
Despite the snowy end to the day, it was a belter of a day!!!