Alex & Mary at beamish Park Hotel

Mary & Alex’s tropical-themed wedding was going to be a real blending pot of locations, religions, family and friends. We hadn’t visited The Beamish Park before but had driven past it many times. From the roadside, it doesn’t look like it has great potential for wedding photos. But it’s one of these venues that only gives up its charms on a couples big day. With a big drive between St Aidan’s Church in Ashington and The Beamish Park Hotel, there was a lot that could go wrong for us but Mary & Alex were very laid back at their planning meeting and we were really excited to photograph both of them.

Champayne and wedding cards

Scouting the Beamish Park Hotel

Now before we start on the wedding day, I have to tell you I got the wrong impression of the Beamish Park Hotel before the wedding. Mary & Alex had sung its praises but I couldn’t find many other photographers work for the venue. This, combined with a poor scout visit, made me wonder why they had picked it as their venue. Because the venue was quite a drive from Blyth, I thought I’d be able to able to call into the hotel after another wedding we had at The South Causey Inn, about a month before.

The sun was starting to set as I left, putting the Beamish Park Hotel into my satnav, then 15min later I was sitting in the carpark of Beamish Hall for some reason. Needless to say, it was dark by the time I got to the actual venue I wanted. I scared the pants out of the hotel receptionist turning up late at night and couldn’t see a thing. If nothing else, I knew to double-check the satnav on the wedding day.

Bride getting ready
Bride putting on her rings

A Sunny Start in Ashington

On the day of the wedding, Lisa had planned to meet Mary at her home. Mary didn’t want the bridal prep photographed but did want some images at the couples home. Her little flower girls arrived, nervous and unsure about what was going on. But a big hug from Mary helped to put them at ease. People were getting ready all over their beautiful home.

Bridesmaids getting ready
Bride posing in her bedroom
Buttonhole

Mary’s brother had the honour of walking her down the aisle. Lisa wasn’t sure what he was more excited for… proudly escorting his sister or the VW Beetle convertible parked outside. He was bursting to have a go. Mary looked absolutely stunning as she came down the stairs to greet him.

Brides brother seeing her for the first time
Bride hugging her flowergirls
Bride fixing her brothers button hole
Brides brother dabbing
Bride laughing with one of her bridesmaids
Bride getting a kiss from her flowergirl
Mary with her bridesmaids
Bride checking her hair in the mirror
Flowergirl watching bridesmaids get ready
Bride waiting for Wedding Cars
Brides brother driving his white VW Beetle to the wedding
Bride getting comforable in her White VW Beetle

St. Aidan’s RC Church in Ashington

While I waited under beautiful blue skies outside St. Aidan’s Church I greeted guests as they arrived. The church looks like a normal town centre church on the outside but is stunning inside. This was to be the first time we’d be able to roam the church a little. In the past, we’d always been sent to the back of the church in the overhead balcony, like all the other naughty photographers. As the guests continued to arrive I noticed a lot of different accents and a definite Irish contingent to the family.

St Aidan's R C Church in Ashington
The enterance to St Aidan's R C Church in Ashington
Ribbon decorations outside St Aidan's R C Church in Ashington
Guests arriving at St Aidan's R C Church in Ashington

Where’s the Groom?

I’d arranged to meet Alex at 11:15 am with his groomsmen but with 20 min to go, only 2 groomsmen had arrived. They had made the schoolboy error of leaving the Groom & Bestman to fight with tropical buttonholes and left them behind. When Lisa text me to say the bride was in the car and on her way, I still had no groom. His ushers were feverishly texting him as I prepared to send Mary’s VW motorcade around the block. With 5 mins to go, Alex and his best man breezed in, to everyone wiping their brows. He’s so laid back and wins Halo Photography’s “Latest Groom Award”. Logging a reminder to find time later in the day to get more groomsmen shots I greeted Mary in the church grounds until Lisa could get parked.

Groomsman trying to call the groom at St Aidan's R C Church in Ashington
Groomsmen waiting for groom at St Aidan's R C Church in Ashington
Groomsman with program in his hands outside St Aidan's R C Church in Ashington
Groom explaining why he is late at St Aidan's R C Church in Ashington
Bestman and Groom shaking hands in St Aidan's R C Church in Ashington
Wedding rings on an alter plate at St Aidan's R C Church in Ashington
Groom meeting guests in St Aidan's R C Church in Ashington
Groomsmen greeting there groom in St Aidan's R C Church in Ashington
Guests talking in St Aidan's R C Church in Ashington
Groom & Bestman laughing at priests jokes in St Aidan's R C Church in Ashington
Grooms tropical themed buttonhole

Mary’s party of bridesmaids, flower girls and her brother arrived none the wiser of the close call. They were all so excited. Once Mary had walked down the aisle, Lisa planned to stay up on the church’s very useful balcony while I was allowed to float up and down the side aisles. It let us capture some great images of the bride & groom against the beautifully painted panels on the alter.

White VW Campervan & Beetle at St Aidan's R C Church in Ashington
Bride & her brother arriving at St Aidan's R C Church in Ashington
Bridesmaids waiting to enter St Aidan's R C Church in Ashington
Bridesmaid entering St Aidan's R C Church in Ashington
Bridesmaids walking down the aisle of St Aidan's R C Church in Ashington
Bride & her brother walking down the aisle of St Aidan's R C Church in Ashington
Groomsmen having a laugh in St Aidan's R C Church in Ashington
tropical themed bouquets on the pews on St Aidan's R C Church in Ashington
Flowergirl in St Aidan's R C Church in Ashington
Wedding on the alter at St Aidan's R C Church in Ashington
Inside St Aidan's R C Church in Ashington
Bride & Groom holding hands in St Aidan's R C Church in Ashington
Wedding through banister at St Aidan's R C Church in Ashington
Bride & Groom relaxing in St Aidan's R C Church in Ashington
Priest delivering wedding service at St Aidan's R C Church in Ashington
Mary & Alex in St Aidan's R C Church in Ashington

The priest kept us on our toes by having Mary & Alex face the congregation while he stood and faced the altar. Why don’t all churches do this? It made them the centre of attention. Mary’s colours complimented the church beautifully. Somehow I managed to keep out of all of Lisa’s shots. The service was wonderfully relaxed and some of the younger children explored the church as we tried not to draw attention.

Bride & groom kissing in from of the congregation at St Aidan's R C Church in Ashington
Bride & Groom listerning to wedding sevice at St Aidan's R C Church in Ashington
Groom listerning to the wedding service at St Aidan's R C Church in Ashington
Groom placing the ring on brides finger at St Aidan's R C Church in Ashington
Alex & Mary signing the register at St Aidan's R C Church in Ashington
Mary & Alex laughing as priest signs register at St Aidan's R C Church
Pageboy in the aisle of St Aidan's R C Church
Bride & Groom with their witnesses at St Aidan's R C Church
Mary & Alex talking to the priest of St Aidan's R C Church
Mary & Alex kissing in the aisle of St Aidan's R C Church in Ashington

Sillyness in Church

Mary & Alex had asked us to do some groups after the service especially capturing Mary’s Sister who, due to illness, might not have been able to last the whole day’s celebrations. Mary couldn’t hide her protectiveness of her big sis, who was a real trooper. You also have no idea how good it feels to shout silly words from a church balcony as loud as you can to get a big group shot. The acoustics were great. We’ll probably get put on the naughty step for the next wedding there but it was worth it for the laugh.

The bridal party on the alter of St Aidan's R C Church in Ashington
Family photo at St Aidan's R C Church
A family group onthe alter of St Aidan's R C Church
The Bride & Groom on the alter of St Aidan's R C Church
Alex & Mary kissing on the alter of St Aidan's R C Church in Ashington
Wedding guests cheering in St Aidan's R C Church in Ashington
Mary & Alex kissing in the doorway of St Aidan's R C Church in Ashington
Guests mingling outside St Aidan's R C Church in Ashington
Alex & Mary in the doorway of St Aidan's R C Church in Ashington
Groom getting hugs from flowergirl outside St Aidan's R C Church
Alex & Mary leaving St Aidan's R C Church in their VW Beetle
White wedding VW Campervan

Arriving at the Beamish Park Hotel

After leaving St Aidan’s Church we hot-footed it to the Beamish Park Hotel. It felt like a different world to the townscape in Ashington. As we arrived I quickly checked in with the hotel staff who showed me up to the brand new outdoor bar that they had just built. Accessed by steps leading up a small embankment is The Secret Garden & Olives Bar. Tree-lined on one side with the open vista of a golf course on the other. Every worry I had about the hotel disappeared instantly. We had space for groups, a picturesque reception and weather to die for.

The enterance of the Beamish Park Hotel, Beamish Burn Rd, Marley Hill, Newcastle upon Tyne NE16 5EG
Table decorations outside Beamish Park Hotel
Guests arriving at Beamish Park Hotel
Alex & Mary infront of their VW Beetle & Campervan at Beamish Park Hotel
Alex & Mary enjoyng tropical drinks at Beamish Park Hotel
Bride & Groom cheering on arrival in their VW Beetle at Beamish Park Hotel

Normally when we have a long drive to reception venues we have very little time to play about and enjoy ourselves but Mary & Alex had scheduled more than enough time for everyone to relax and soak in this great atmosphere. We had time to have fun with the VW’s and catch up with Alex and his Groomsmen. This space was perfect for candid images too. Guests don’t react naturally if you’re mingling among them but this area gave us the space to orbit around them catching some great moments.

Bride brother on the beer at Beamish Park Hotel
Bride & Groom meeting page boys at Beamish Park Hotel
Bride showing mum her wedding ring at Beamish Park Hotel
Guests enjoying the sunshine at Beamish Park Hotel
Groomsmen laughing in the grounds of Beamish Park Hotel
Groomsmen at Beamish Park Hotel
Bridal party family at Beamish Park Hotel
Bride & her friends at Beamish Park Hotel
Tropical themed bouquet at Beamish Park Hotel

Flamingos at the Beamish Park Hotel

How amazing was this room? Flamingos, palms and tropical flowers filled the room. It’s was just how Mary & Alex wanted it. The guests loved it too. It was certainly unique.

Mary & Alex in there Tropical themed reception room at Beamish Park Hotel
Tropical theme table setting and Light up lettered at Beamish Park Hotel
Close up of a flamingo themed wedding cake at Beamish Park Hotel
flamingo themed wedding cake at Beamish Park Hotel
Tropical theme table setting at Beamish Park Hotel
Tropical themed flamingos at Beamish Park Hotel
Bride & groom hugging outside of the Beamish Park Hotel
Bride & Groom kissing outside of the Beamish Park Hotel
Brides brother during speech at Beamish Park Hotel
A toast at Beamish Park Hotel
Bride & Groom smiling on the top table at Beamish Park Hotel
Bestman making his speech at Beamish Park Hotel
Alex & Mary laughing at bestmans speech at Beamish Park Hotel
Family photo at Beamish Park Hotel
Flowergirl running away from family photo at Beamish Park Hotel
Mary & Alex walking through the grounds of Beamish Park Hotel
Alex kissing Mary on the foreghead at Beamish Park Hotel
Alexs hands on Mary's back making a heart
Alex & Mary looking at each other at Beamish Park Hotel
Mary posing with her bouquet at Beamish Park Hotel
A beautiful bride Mary at Beamish Park Hotel
The bride posing at Beamish Park Hotel
Mary looking at her bouquet at Beamish Park Hotel
Alex posing at Beamish Park Hotel
Alex & Mary under blue skies at Beamish Park Hotel
Bestman and his family at Beamish Park Hotel
Pageboy & flowergirl playing in a tree at Beamish Park Hotel
Bride on her bike at Beamish Park Hotel
Guests laughing outside Beamish Park Hotel
Bride with her bridesmaids at Beamish Park Hotel
Page boy & Flowergirl laughing at Beamish Park Hotel
page boy laughing while laying on grass at Beamish Park Hotel
Toddler asleep in pram at Beamish Park Hotel

Irish Dancing to Start the Night

Not only does Mary have Irish roots, but she was also part of Newcastle Universities Irish Dance Troop. The current roster of dancers kicked off the evening with an amazing showcase performance. We’d had the experience of photographing Irish Dancers before and they are tough to catch in low light. Their legs never stop so you can’t wait for a pause in motion and the choreography is non-repeating & seemingly random (to an Irish dancing photographer with 2 left feet anyway). Thankfully the girls danced long enough for us to catch some great shots.

The DJ having fun with Mary at Beamish Park Hotel
Guests enjoying the DJ at Beamish Park Hotel
Irish Dancers on the dance floor of Beamish Park Hotel
Bride & Groom sneaking a kiss behind Irish dancers at Beamish Park Hotel
An Irish Dancer at Beamish Park Hotel

We all thought Mary might have joined in with her old Irish dance troop but she kept all her moves for the first dance with Alex. After a short turn the DJ got everyone up to join them for a great moment. The lounge at Beamish Park hotel is wonderfully intimate, so no one has an excuse not to join in. Then came the real challenge. A Baby Shark dance-off with Mary & Alex’s flower girls!

Mary & Alex performing their first dance at Beamish Park Hotel
Bride & Grooms first dance at Beamish Park Hotel
Guests & Family joining Mary & Alex on the dance floor at Beamish Park Hotel
Bride & Groom dancing with Birdesmaids at Beamish Park Hotel

Lisa & I thoroughly enjoyed Mary & Alex’s wedding and we look forward to returning to the Beamish Park Hotel very soon. The staff were wonderfully helpful but never overstepped the mark. They were there when needed and didn’t lay down rules or restrictions to anyone. We wish Mary & Alex a wonderful life together and hope the images & your beautiful album help you remember this great day.

Beamish Park Hotel at night

Here are some of Mary & Alex’s suppliers that made their wedding day unique.

We hope you like this small selection of photographs taken at the wedding.

Click here if you would like to discover how much your wedding photography would cost.

Are you planning a wedding? Would you like to read our Wedding Tips? Click here for our Tongue in Cheek Guide.