Real Weddings

Justin Alexander for a Black Tie Wedding at Seaham Hall – Natasha & Craig

Sarah Symonds

Now, if you wouldn’t mind escorting us over to the luxurious and classic Seaham Hall in County Durham, we’d love you to join us in celebrating the wedding of Natasha and her beau Craig – on the day of the Euro Cup Finals…

Packed with pretty, today’s wedding is a lesson in all things simple and perfect. We’ve got a black tie theme, a no-frills, no-stress attitude and heaps and heaps of fresh flowers in elegant white and romantic deep red.

Natasha herself is bridal perfection in Justin Alexander, altered and personalised with details that helped really make her gown her own. She also looks bright eyed and bushy tailed thanks to the night before spent with her ‘maids in the Seaham Hall spa – despite those cheeky 3am martinis! 

With photography by Ruth and Ben Photography


During lockdown, on the 24th of June 2020, we had friends over in the garden for a BBQ. It was a warm evening and, after our friends left, we continued to listen to music, drinking wine and talking. During such a strange time in our lives, mid pandemic, we just fell further in love and that night, during a heart to heart Craig said he just felt at that moment the time was right. He got down on one knee without a ring and asked me to marry him, and of course I said yes.

However, waking the next day to a lovely hangover, I couldn’t actually remember the event! Luckily the CCTV recorded it all as I thought Craig was joking! 

Then on the 26th of June 2020 the celebration continued in the dining room, with food and champagne with a zoom quiz to follow. During dinner Craig surprised me with flowers from my favourite florist, a famous local cheesecake which we both love, and moments later got down on one knee and proposed again, this time with my Grandmother’s ring. I was surprised, but of course, I said yes once again!


We tied the knot at Seaham Hall, on July 11th, 2021 as it was our 9th anniversary. We chose this venue as it was the closest venue for my 90 year old Nan to attend, however she was a little unwell and only managed to come just before the ceremony. 

The venue is also absolutely beautiful and the staff were amazing! We had exclusive use so all of our friends and family stayed over which was great! Natasha stayed the night before too, and all the girls had a spa hen night.


We had a black tie dress code and I just wanted loads of fresh flowers. Kind of a no frills wedding – just us and the things we love.


My wedding dress was a Justin Alexander from the Bridal Factory Outlet in Northallerton. I knew exactly what type of dress I wanted and that was exactly what I bought. I had it altered and added a band around the middle. I absolutely loved it! Shoes were Jimmy Choo, as this was one thing I always wanted, as a big shoe lover! They stayed on till the very end! I also wore a Jennifer Behr headband as my dress was plain and I wanted to add a little sparkle. 


Craig wore a tuxedo from Moss Bros, his dickybow was from Hugo Boss – a gift from me, which I then pinched, wore and lost at the wedding! Craig also wore Christian Louboutin shoes which were also a wedding fit from me. We hired Moss Bros tuxedos for our groomsmen. 


The bridesmaids were our children; Isla age 13 and Harriett age 3. Both of the children’s dresses were from eBay, different sellers, absolute bargains and they even matched! 


We had Hair By Kayleigh and Makeup by Emily Bunker. Kayleigh was also a guest of the wedding and the evening before had some very upsetting news regarding her business but she still turned up. without mentioning it as she didn’t want to impact the day. Emily actually stepped in at the last minute as the original makeup artist, Vicky Hedley, needed to isolate. COVID dramas!


Our photographer and videographer were Ruth and Ben, who were absolutely fantastic! We had originally hired Ruth as our photographer but then we received the distressing news, eight days prior to the wedding, that our videographer had cancelled and Ben stepped in at the last minute. They were fabulous! Our request for the day was to capture us having the best day and that’s exactly what they did. 

I would highly recommend them as they took great natural shots, and apart from during the posed shots, we never saw them as they just blended into the background, yet they captured everything. Not only that, they are a lovely couple too!


The flowers! Bees and Butterflies’ Sarah is a delight. I just knew that she would do my flowers before we even met. I just wanted flowers everywhere and that’s exactly what she did. Sarah also did my bouquet, bridesmaids’ flowers and buttonholes. Sarah and her lovely team brought them the morning of the wedding and set them all up. 


The cake was a cheesecake made by an amazing local cheesecake maker – The Cheesecake Kitchen.


We wanted a very relaxed atmosphere so we had canapés following the ceremony, because who doesn’t love a canapé? Then a hog roast for the meal as we wanted a very relaxed wedding vibe, as we had an amazing singer performing while we ate. People then just got up and got their food when they were ready. Then we had a mass Domino’s pizza order at 10pm because we love pizza! All served with Veuve Clicquot Champagne.


This was very much an important requirement. Several years before our wedding we saw a band play and loved them! In fact we didn’t confirm the venue until the band confirmed their availability. Hip Hop Hooray cover classic hip hop with their own spin on it, and they are incredible! Our wedding was on the day of the Euro finals and after the whistle blew and England lost, the band started immediately and it was all in the past! They made the night! 

We booked John Paul Gatenby through the same company used for Hip Hop Hooray, AMV. John is an acoustic singer and his voice is the most beautiful sound! He sang when guests arrived, whilst Natasha walked down the aisle, during the champagne and canapés and into the wedding breakfast.

As mentioned, we got married on the day of the Euro finals, we had screens everywhere but about three days before the wedding a friend of ours (who attended the wedding) won a competition to use a free large outdoor screen for the match, which was amazing! This was supplied by Wynyard Cinema Company.

Thanks to

I would always recommend Seaham Hall for a wedding venue – it was second to none. We decided on a hog roast as we wanted a relaxed vibe, however this was supplied by an external company and it was not the best so I would strongly advise using Seaham Hall to supply the food. 

I would recommend all our suppliers! The manager of the hotel Nathan, our photographer and videographer Ruth and Ben, Sarah with the most amazing flowers, Emily Bunker who turned up at the last minute and delivered! The guys who brought and put the marquee up. The staff of the hotel were phenomenal! I would do the full day again just the same – just maybe with a food change! 

Best bit

The entire day was amazing! The night before, in the spa I was partying with my friends until the early hours and the hotel staff were just there to offer anything we requested (which may or may not have been 3am martinis!)

On the morning of the wedding, the entire venue came alive. There were vendors everywhere, it was like a set of a film and we were the stars! There were flowers all over. I went for a walk with Craig’s family down at the beach. It was a beautiful sunny day. Seeing family, listening to John and the band, seeing our children all dressed up, dancing with our friends and then going to our beautiful bedroom at 4am with pizza and a drink as husband and wife. The whole day was incredible, I couldn’t pick an individual time! 

On the day of the wedding an aeroplane flew past, leaving a heart shaped water vapour in the sky! We still don’t know if this was a wedding gift or just a random act of kindness, but either way it was lovely to see!


We had planned to go to the Maldives on holiday in 2020 prior to COVID and Craig had planned to propose here, but this didn’t happen! It all worked out in the end though. After all the cancellations we managed to go to the Maldives in January 2022, six months after the wedding. 

We also managed to squeeze in a Malta trip in two days after the wedding – this was the only place we could get to with it being on the ‘green’ list. It wasn’t our dream honeymoon location but I’m glad we went as it was beautiful and the food was lovely! Would recommend a trip to both Malta and the Maldives! 

In the Maldives we stayed in Oblu Select at Sangeli. White beach, clear waters and amazing food, drinks and staff. We stayed in a water villa with a pool for half of our trip and the other half in a beach villa with a pool. Both were incredible and I recommend you try both. 

In Malta we stayed at the Westin Dragonara, which was lovely. We did a trip to the Blue Lagoon in Gozo, Valletta and St Julians – we Trip Advisor-ed restaurants around Malta and they all delivered. The food was fantastic! And the Maltese red wine – nexus, yum! 


Our top tip would be to plan the day for you both and enjoy it with each other. Craig and I spent the majority of the day together and everything was to our taste so we had the best day. We also stuck to a budget!

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