Zoe & Anthony’s Sunny, Seaside Wedding
While writing this in Feb 2021, snow is on the ground and Corona still has a tight grip. So we thought we’d look back to a happier, warmer time at the Little Haven Hotel in South Shields. Enjoying a cold beer and watching the sunset with a wonderful couple, their family & friends.
We first met Zoe & Anthony at Gillian & Paul’s Wedding in 2018. Zoe & Gillian are sisters and Anthony was Paul’s Best Man so we knew we’d see some familiar faces. I hadn’t photographed a wedding at The Little Haven Hotel but South Shields is Lisa’s home town. She was starting at Zoe’s parent’s house and then onto the wedding service at South Shields Town Hall where I was meeting Anthony and his army of Groomsmen.
The Bridal Squad
Zoe’s mums home had been invaded by silk dressing gowns. The champagne was flowing and Lisa arrived as the finishing touches of make up were being applied. Luckily Zoe had some experienced flower girls. Zoe’s daughters and their cousin probably thought getting dressed up was going to be a yearly thing. A year older but no less cute.
South Shields Town Hall
South Shields town hall was quickly becoming a regular location. The sun always seems to shine when we are there. Anthony wasn’t looking as cheeky & carefree as he was as Paul’s Best Man a little over a year ago. But he had plenty of backup to get him there.
The Little Haven Hotel
The Little Haven Hotel is located at the mouth of the River Tyne. It has great views over the river and the Little Haven Beach. Guarded by its famous red Herd Groyne Lighthouse, a familiar local landmark. The Lighthouse, which stands 13 meters high, acts as a navigational aid guiding ships in and out of the river Tyne. It has a very unusual hexagonal shape and is held up on 12 iron legs built-in 1882.
Lisa had planned to take the bridal party on a short walk from the hotel to Groyne Pier. I’m starting to wonder if Lisa had either forgotten how narrow the pier was or underestimated the size of Zoe & Anthony’s bridal party. I remember as we got closer to it betting Lisa that we wouldn’t fit everyone in. As per usual she proved me wrong… just. Thankfully, we didn’t lose anyone to the rocks on either side. We had amazing blue skies and the beach was busy. It’s a popular spot so we had to take our time waiting for the Lighthouse to be visitor free but it was worth it.
Oh we do like being beside the seaside…
Running out of time we only had a few minutes left to hit the beach. The wind was picking up and the Little Haven Hotel Staff were eager to usher us back to the hotel. We could have easily been on a Spanish beach. It was extremely hot and the beach was soft sand. So off came Zoe’s heels and onto the beach we dove.
The Little Haven Hotel Marquee
Marquee’s in August are generally red hot. But as we snuck in to photograph some details we realised that the Little Haven Hotel had the temperature well under control with some air conditioning units. It was a welcome relief from the summer heat.
The Marquee also looked great. Draped with pompoms and candelabras. After all the guests got settled Zoe & Anthony we’re cheered in. As a boxer, Anthony couldnt resit treating it as a match.
Zoe & Anthony’s family & friends are full of characters. After we were thoroughly entertained by two best men’s speeches and a lovely meal it was back outside for some lovely evening sunshine. Some of their friends loved their photo taken and as the drinks flowed we had to start & turn down some of them or they would have more pictures than the bride & groom.
It was such a beautiful evening and still very warm. Everyone started stripping off their waistcoats & ties. As the sun started to set, we rounded up Zoe, Anthony & the kids. Everyone was scattered to the four corners of the hotel and it took all of our bribery skills to get the kids to participate in one more little shoot. One of their main requests was to have loads of photos with their kids. They couldn’t wait to get back to playing “hide & seek” but we managed to get a few more beautiful shots in the dunes and by the River Tyne.