Cathie & Beth’s Laidback Rainbow Wedding at Le Petit Château

Written by Caitlin Hoare
While we love to celebrate LGBTQIA+ weddings all year round we couldn’t be more delighted to be sharing C&B’s gorgeous rainbow wedding during Pride Month.

Cathie and Beth chose Le Petit Château in Northumberland for their intimate celebration earlier this year in March. This luxury French, country manor hotel is a truly unique wedding venue, which appears bold, colourful and quirky (a big tick off this pair’s list), but also manages to provide a laid back, versatile backdrop – the perfect blend for this very special day.

Think rainbow cakes, colourful spring blooms and the biggest of smiles all day long!

Notes from the Couple

Cathie + Beth say…

We fell in love with Le Petit Château virtually as soon as we walked in. On a practical level the size of the venue worked well for us as we had a fairly small guest list, and we thought the layout was very well thought-out with the ceremony room, drinks reception area and dining/disco area all flowing into one another, with the accommodation upstairs. All of that made it feel very intimate and cosy, like it was just us and our wedding away from the rest of the world. Another big draw for us was the style and décor of the Château – as we were never planning an uber-traditional white wedding we wanted a venue that was colourful and quirky, but of course still looked beautiful and classy. With its French style and Art Deco touches, Le Petit Château ticked all of those boxes, and we really liked the thought that we wouldn’t have to add much at all by way of our own decorations and it would still look beautiful. We especially loved the gardens and are so glad we got to make use of those on the day. Finally, a huge element of choosing the Chateau was the amazing team of staff. From the moment we first reached out to book a viewing, it was obvious that they were brilliant at their jobs – so friendly and attentive and dedicated to making sure everything ran smoothly.

We both wanted something a little different to the typical modern bridal look. Cathie has always loved retro fashion and knew she wanted a 1950s tea-dress style. She chose shoes with an Art Deco pattern and 1950s-style makeup with winged eyeliner and red lip to complete the retro look. Cathie loves anything to do with outer space, so to add a personal touch she had silver and white opal spaceman earrings and a constellation-inspired silver hairpiece from Blair Nadeau Bridal on Etsy, made of pearl and white opal. Beth, not being one to wear dresses or makeup usually, was a bit more nervous and didn’t know what she wanted. She ended up loving the feel of light chiffon skirts – but it was tricky to find one with the lace detail she wanted, as that material is usually used for more ‘beach vibe’ wedding dresses. Beth eventually found one she loved though and complemented the vintage look with pearl earrings and a veil borrowed from her sister-in-law. We both had our makeup done by Alice at Wonderland Hair and Beauty who was amazing at making us look our best – even when we didn’t really know what to ask for! Alice also did both bridal hairstyles and exceeded our already high expectations with the finished look. We can’t thank her enough, she was a dream to work with!

We incorporated a few of our favourite things into the décor – rainbows, bright colours, and space! We named our tables after planets and other celestial bodies, and Cathie designed table headers and a table plan with a space theme to go with them. Cathie also hand-wrote all 55 place cards on midnight-blue card with silver pen to complement the space-themed headers, and we also had a midnight-blue guest book. Other than that we kept things fairly simple – we didn’t want to waste money on lots of unnecessary décor because Le Petit Château is such a gorgeous venue on its own, you really don’t need to add much to make it stunning. We ensured that the room looked nice and colourful with our lovely flower arrangements, and we went with a rainbow design for our cake.

We each had a bouquet, a long floral piece for the fireplace in the ceremony room that then sat on the top table, and flowers as table centrepieces. We worked with Jen of Jones and Jones Flowers in Newcastle to design our flowers, who was amazing. What with having a spring wedding and Le Petit Château having such a lovely garden, we wanted bright spring blossoms to complement the venue and the day. We worked with Jen to put together a rustic wildflower look for the centrepieces, which were completed with quirky glass medicine bottles as vases and wood log slices. It made everything look so bright and colourful – and it made the whole dining room smell like flowers, which was beautiful!

We worked with Tracey at A Truly Scrumptious Cake, based in Whitley Bay, who was absolutely amazing and designed the cake exactly how we had envisioned it, with a rainbow pastel pattern around the outside and a white chocolate drip. It tasted delicious too! We rounded it off with a cake topper from The Letter Loft on Etsy – the “At Last” was appropriate seeing as we had to put our wedding back a year due to Covid! It was breathtaking to see the cake for the first time on the day when we walked into the room and it was really a talking point.

Erika Tanith Photography was fantastic. What we really loved was that on the day, even though we had never met in person before, it just felt like having an old friend there – who just so happened to be a brilliant photographer! She was so friendly and easy to talk to, but of course very professional too and great at being there for those big moments without making us feel self-conscious that there was a camera there. Erika also came to our rescue at the last minute when another photographer that we had booked months in advance dropped out, and we feel like it was fate – we love our photos as they really capture the joy and colour of the day.

Best part of the day

Because we had kept our looks a secret from each other, we were most excited for that moment at the start of the ceremony where we would get to see each other in our wedding dresses for the first time! It didn’t disappoint – that was definitely the most emotional moment of the day, with one of our favourite music pieces, Saturn by Sleeping At Last, playing as we took it in turns to walk down the aisle. Our first dance song was also very meaningful to us.

From one couple to another…

Put as much planning and thought into it as you can – but then on the day, just forget about everything except the person you’re marrying and being there with the people you love. It didn’t really hit us on the day how special an occasion this is – not just because you’re getting married, but when else do you get to have everyone you love under one roof? So don’t get too caught up in the little details and obsessing over everything being perfect – on the day, you’ll barely notice all those decorations you spent weeks agonising over. The day really does fly by even faster than you’d expect, so just try to take in as much of it as you can.

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