David & Rachael’s Brinkburn Northumberland Wedding

Written by Caitlin Hoare
Rachael & David managed to bring a slice of sunny Australia to their Northumbrian wedding.

Of course the weather helped, together with a shipment of their favourite Australian wine! Luckily for them their tipi wedding at Brinkburn landed in the middle of a summer heatwave so they were able to really indulge in their pretty, boho, festival theme. Sarah-Jane Ethan Photography documented the day beautifully and managed to capture some truly stunning sunset shots.

With spring just around the corner I think this light and dreamy wedding is just what we need to push through the next few weeks…

Notes from the Bride

Rachael Says…

Brinkburn was the first place we visited and despite visiting most venues in the North East we found ourselves comparing everything to Brinkburn. It ticked so many boxes – rural, weekend hire, accommodation on site and plenty of outdoor space. It’s the most magical setting with a 12th century Priory, manor house and tipi all tucked together in a bend in the River Coquet. In fact it was ours for 3 days. They let us host a recovery BBQ on the Sunday and share the whole weekend with our loved ones.

David and I lived in Australia for a year and the winery style weddings over there hugely inspired my dream of an outdoor boho style day. This is obviously a bit of a challenge in the North East, however the weather did not disappoint! We married slap bang in the middle of a heat wave, bringing a bit of Oz to Northumberland.

Having visited most boutiques in the North East with no clear winners my sister organised a weekend in London dress shopping with my mum and bridesmaids. Angelica’s in Islington was the last shop and Liz Martinez’s ‘Colette’ was the last dress I tried on. Having already tried on 50 plus dresses we all ended up bursting into tears when I tried on the Colette… I knew I’d found my dress.

I went for a cathedral length veil in a blush soft tulle to go with this and had a piece of lace sewn into the bottom from my Mum’s wedding dress as my ‘something old’.

Our colour scheme was blush pastels, white and copper, and incorporated all of my favourite things; macramé, terrariums and succulents. As well as making and buying a lot of the décor I found the brilliant Miriam from The Artisan Wedding House. She styled lots of areas around the venue including a gorgeous ladder with old family wedding photos.

The Priory at Brinkburn is just breathtaking and walking down the aisle to the piano playing ‘Kissing You’ from Romeo and Juliet was so special. Our two miniature Schnauzers, Raffles and Stamford, managed to steal the show as ring bearers, complete in matching outfits with the groom.

Flowers were such an important part of my wedding vision and I spent hours on Pinterest and wedding blogs pouring over blooms. Christine from Lavenders Blue florists was utterly brilliant! My bouquet was an oversized mixture of white peonies, blush astilbe with lots of trailing greenery and burgundy eucalyptus. The bridesmaids carried smaller versions of my bouquet and the groomsmen wore succulent corsages. The girls knew how much I loved my bouquet and as a wedding present commissioned a painting of it.

To fit in with the woodland setting we wanted the tipi to feel like a magical forest and had the beams covered in greenery and fairly lights. To avoid an overly ‘done’ look we went for a mixture of table decorations. Some had copper terrariums with succulents, moss and little wax flowers whilst other had high vases with beech, eucalyptus foliage and hanging tea lights. The main event was a long plank above the centre table with hanging flowers suspended from their stems, alongside trailing ribbons and glass orbs.

Having a tipi, open fire pit and folk style band we wanted the evening to really feel like a festival so a glitter make up bar had to be done! This went down a storm and it was great to see everyone looking like they were at Coachella rather than a wedding. Brinkburn also have the most beautiful white room which housed our bar and chill out area. Styled with leather Chesterfields, textured throws and Persian rugs to complete the boho feel.

Wilkin’s Fine Dining delivered the most incredible wedding breakfast! We started with a Northumbrian tapas of local produce followed by a hog roast. Everyone loves a hog roast but to make it feel a bit more special they served it on big sharing platters with a selection of delicious salads such as fig, mozzarella and endive along with baked new potatoes and stuffing balls. They also have their own wood-fired oven and made pizzas for the evening, including my favourite, mushroom and truffle.

I have a huge sweet tooth and our dessert table from The Master Cakesmith was a thing of dreams! She produced an incredible selection of brownies, crème brulees, profiteroles, macarons etc, plus our naked drippy 3 tiered wedding cake. Total heaven!

SJ – after David I think she just might be my favourite person! She fitted seamlessly into our day and really did feel like one of the guests. I may have been guilty of doing a little pre-engagement planning and always knew I wanted Sarah-Jane Ethan as our photographer. Her photos are filled with so much happiness and laugher and we are so grateful to her for capturing our day so beautifully.

Jon from Top Table Films was a recommendation from a friend and we can’t thank them enough! Our film is so beautiful and having the chance to look back at the wonderful memories is worth it 100 times over. Jon was utterly brilliant work with, he blended in and was so discreet. He also went above and beyond racing us up to the surrounding fields in his 4X4 twice to get the perfect sunset shots.

From one couple to another…

Flexibility can be a good thing – bad planning on David’s part meant our wedding fell during the World Cup, (the England vs. Sweden match) but some last minute changes to speech and meal times meant there were no clashes. As well as establishing myself brownie points as a very understanding bride this also meant our photos were pushed back allowing us to make the most of the gorgeous evening sun.

To save money on flowers look at what can be easily moved and used around your venue. We moved little crates of gypsophila from the reception lawn to the terrace outside the tipi and the large milk urns from the entrance of the church became the entrance to the tipi.

As well as loving their style I’d say make sure you feel comfortable with your photographer and videographer. One of the only quiet times you get together in a very busy day is during the couples shots. These moments were actually really special for us to reflect and take it all in – finally after the long months of planning it’s actually happening!  I remember David turning to me during the sunset shots on the hills above Brinkburn saying it felt like a dream.


Venue Brinkburn Priory

Photograph Sarah Jane Ethan Photography

Bride’s Gown Liz Martinez 

Bridal Boutique Angelica Bridal

Shoes Sophia Webster

Veil Si Bridal

Florist Lavenders Blue

Décor The Artisan Wedding House

Cakes and Dessert Table The Master Cakesmith

Bridesmaid Dresses Rita Roushdy

Stationery Victoria’s Paperie

Videographer Top Table Films

Hair Kara Scott

Makeup Anna Mason

Cake Topper and Light-up Letters The White Bulb

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