Real Weddings

Foliage-Filled Wedding At Hexham Winter Gardens In Northumberland – Adele and Phil

Katie Byrne

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Allow yourself just a few moments of escape to feast your eyes on the dreamy sun-drenched nuptials of Adele and Phil, who swapped their vows in August 2019.

Holding both their ceremony and reception at Hexham Winter Gardens, this happy couple filled the day of their dreams with swathes of luscious foliage (overseen by the groom’s very talented aunt), with a romantic, laidback feel radiating throughout. The whole celebration was the epitome of relaxed, from Adele’s dress shopping experience all the way through to the Parisian getaway she and Phil enjoyed after their big day.

Proving that evening entertainment isn’t necessarily a must, Adele and Phil opted for a relaxed celebration that saw guests make the most of a balmy sunny evening outdoors. The drinks flowed, the chatter bubbled and the newlyweds enjoyed the day of their dreams, basking in the love of the people they adore the most.

In short: it was exactly what they wanted and in turn, exactly what a wedding should be. Read on to find out how they planned it!

With photography by The Wild Love Club.


Adele says

: We got engaged at Mary’s Lighthouse in Whitley Bay, on Christmas Eve 2017.

Phil got the kids involved in his proposal – I turned around to find our daughter, Elsie, who was three at the time, holding an engagement ring. I’d spotted the ring months earlier in an antiques shop.


We got married on 24th August 2019 – the Saturday of the August Bank Holiday weekend. We chose this date so all our friends and family could enjoy a weekend away.

Our wedding venue was Hexham Winter Gardens, a Grade II listed building that was originally built in 1907 and is part of a functioning school. We used it for both our ceremony and our reception – we loved its beauty and liked that we were able to arrange everything ourselves. Our fee for the building hire went straight back into the school.

The venue is a great choice for couples who really want to personalise their wedding days. We knew we didn’t want a ‘fancy’ wedding; instead, we wanted a more casual and relaxed day and felt this venue was ideal for that.


Our theme was very heavily influenced by greenery. We knew early on the planning that we wanted to go down a botanical theme, which the Winter Gardens were the perfect match for.

We carried this theme throughout the celebration; the bridal party carried foliage-only bouquets, for example, and the tables were dressed with simple foliage garlands. The venue was also dressed with draping greenery adorning suspending ladders.


I wore a simple wedding dress that I bought from John Lewis shortly after getting engaged.

I knew early on in the process that I didn’t want to go down the route of bridal dress shopping – much to my mother’s disappointment! I know some ladies really enjoy that aspect but I also knew that from attending dress-fittings with family members and friends when they were getting married, it simply wasn’t something I would enjoy.

I chose my wedding dress as I really liked its shape and the embroidery. I wore simple leather sandals for the ceremony – although it wasn’t long before I changed into my trainers!


Our bridesmaids and flower girls’ dresses were again all from the high street. The grown-up girls all wore a selection of ASOS dresses in complementary colours, whilst the flower girls wore simply cream lace and tulle dresses from H&M with gold Converse trainers.


Phil wore a suit from Bakers Tailoring in Middlesbrough; the groomsmen all wore their own suits.


Total Beauty Hexham came to do the make-up for the bridal party, including both mine and Phil’s mums.

Phil’s cousin styled the bridal party’s hair.


We took a taxi as no one saw the bridal party arrive and there was no need to transfer to a second location after the ceremony!


We chose Nicola from The Wild Love Club as our wedding photographer following a recommendation from a friend who had booked her for her own wedding day.

Upon viewing her portfolio, we knew instantly that her style was our style! We really liked her use of natural light as well as her ability to capture natural moments.

On meeting for an engagement shoot, Nicola quickly put us at ease, which was important for us as we had previously felt quite apprehensive. The images she produced demonstrated to us we had made the right choice.

On the day itself she was so enthusiastic and professional. She really gets a feel for you as a couple and portrays this amazingly. Our wedding photos are simply perfect. She comes highly recommended from us!


I carried a large bouquet of foliage, including salal, mimosa denis boden, eucalyptus parvi, eucalyptus robusta, mimosa balenya and hebe. These were provided by Phil’s aunty, who is a recently retired florist with many years’ experience.

We continued the foliage theme with the venue decorations, which included suspended ladders dressed with hanging foliage and garlands that extended the full length of each banquet-style table.

These were also provided by Phil’s aunty. She did a fantastic job: we had so many compliments on the decor and we are so grateful to her for understanding our vision and making it a reality.


Our table favours were pin badges from Cancer Research – we chose these as we have lost numerous family members to cancer.


We chose a simple three-tier wedding cake from Marks & Spencer, which was both well-priced and exactly what we had wanted. It was plain white so we were able to decorate it with foliage leaves tin order to continue the theme of the day.


We chose a traditional menu, with three-courses. We thought this was the safer option and would suit the tastes of our guests – maybe this was something we regretted afterwards as some of the food choices we had previously considered were perhaps more ‘us’ but we wanted as many people to enjoy the food as possible.

We provided the drinks for the event as we wanted our guests to enjoy the day without worrying about money for the bar. We had beers and Prosecco as reception drinks, more prosecco for the toasts and a selection of red, white and rose on the tables.


After much deliberation, we didn’t opt for evening entertainment – and we were really pleased we didn’t! The weather was so beautiful that everyone just wanted to be outside all day and night, chatting and having drinks.

We did have some lawn games for our guests, including giant inflatable balls, which were definitely a hit with the kids!

Best bit

Getting to see everyone we love in the same place having a great time. Our friends and family are quite widespread, so to have them all in the same place at the same time was amazing.


We had a few days in Paris at the end of August. We knew we wanted a break together but equally didn’t want to go too far away from the kids so took the Eurostar and a bottle of Champagne for good measure!


Don’t stress over the smaller details – the day really does go so quickly so try to enjoy every second.

Also, choose the right photographer for you, bearing in mind that the pictures will serve as memories of your wedding day for years to come.

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