Real Wedding: Claire and Andrew's Traditional Country Fairytale

Real Wedding: Claire and Andrew's Traditional Country Fairytale Reading Time: 7 minutes

We are kicking off our 2015 real weddings with a bang with a beautiful, English country fairytale at the gorgeous Wynyard Hall. 
Claire Louise Kruman and Andrew Quinn said ‘i do’ and became Mr and Mrs Quinn on Friday 20th June at St Cuthbert’s Church, Marton followed by their reception at Wynyard Hall. The couple wanted their wedding to be a traditional white English country garden wedding with a fun and relaxed atmosphere. With help from their string quartet who set the mood for the day, one of the hottest all summer, the guests were wowed by the stunning location and surroundings of Wynyard Hall.

The proposal

We met on a night out in Middlesbrough in 2009 and it turned out Andrew lived three streets away from me! We got engaged at the Crab and Lobster on 25th November 2012 on our 3 year anniversary of becoming a couple. Andrew had told me that we were going away for the night but didn’t tell me where except I had to pack an overnight bag and take some clothes to wear for a nice meal. We arrived at the Crab and Lobster and he had booked us a hot tub log cabin for the night, with a meal in the restaurant.

Before we went for the meal we were enjoying a glass of wine in the hot tub and my favourite song Just the Way You Are by Bruno Mars came on Andrew’s iPod. Andrew pulled a beautiful platinum diamond ring out from behind the hot tub and proposed!

After saying yes, we both phoned our families before going for the meal and when we walked into the restaurant both of our families were waiting for us which was a huge surprise. Andrew had planned the whole evening and knew that I would have wanted to share it with my family. He had been planning it for months!

The theme

Every spare second of Claire’s spare time was spent researching weddings, themes and suppliers on the internet and at wedding fairs. I let Claire plan it as I knew she knew in her head exactly how she wanted it to be on the day. We didn’t really have a theme for the wedding, but I wanted it to be a traditional white English country garden wedding.
As Andrew chose green for the ties I chose everything else around that so we had a colour scheme of pale green and white lace which matched my dress. For table decor we chose orchids in a tall vase on a crystal light-box and the chair covers were a mint sash with white lace over it so you could see the green coming through. For the favours we chose mini bottles of Limoncello tied with white lace bows, packets of wild-flower seeds and candles, again tied with a white lace or green bow. The invitations, order of service, place cards, menus and table plan were all printed on cream card with a damask pattern to fit with the lace and traditional theme.

I wanted the day to be perfect and for people to be wowed by it.

On the day, it was the warmest day of the year so far so everyone was sat outside near the lake. As soon as our guests walked outside there was the string quartet playing which set the mood for the day.  On the evening we wanted it to be less formal and for all of our guests to really enjoy themselves. We booked the Purple Supper band on recommendation and they were brilliant, everyone loved them. We also booked a photo booth and hired a magician. The magician was amazing and people were following him around all night, doing things that you would only ever see on TV. Even the most sceptical of people enjoyed him!

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The dress

I had gone dress shopping with my mum, Andrew’s mum and my chief bridesmaid in early February 2013. After having lunch in Middlesbrough, we saw Laura Day Bridal just near the restaurant and decided to call in and see if I could try some dresses on without an appointment. After trying on a few which didn’t really give me “the feeling” Laura pulled out a beautiful Pronovias of Barcelona gown which I’d seen on the internet and asked me to try it on. As soon as I stood in front of the mirror I knew it was the one. The dress was called Durban and had a sheer panel up to my neck at the front with embroidery and lacework moving downwards over the bodice and down over the skirt. The dress had a really long train and a lot of layers but made me feel like a princess. I wore it with a Pronovias veil, Swarovski tiara from Laura Day and Jimmy Choo sandals which I treated myself too.

The venue

Claire had always wanted to be married at Wynyard Hall, with the crystal chandeliers, the beautiful gardens and the lake. We looked at practically every wedding venue in the North of England but she had her heart set on this one.

Bridesmaids and groomsmen

Claire had two bridesmaids, Helen Quinn and chief bridesmaid Becky Lambton. The dresses were pale mint green which were bought from Debenhams. Andrew had two best men, James Ruse and Darren O’Rourke and usher, Claire’s brother, James. The suits were hired from Bakers Tailoring in Middlesbrough. The groomsmen wore a green tie to match the bridesmaid’s dresses.

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The speeches

I started off with a list of everyone we wanted to thank and built the speech from there. I wanted to get some humour into the speech but some sentiment too. I knew the star of the show was Claire and I had a lot to thank her for. I wanted to get this across in the speech so made extra effort when it came to talking about her. Once I had things jotted down on paper I rehearsed it so there was no need to read it so it was more natural on the day.

Advice you’d pass on to couples planning their wedding?

Try not to stress about the small things and everything being perfect, do your research on suppliers on the internet and at wedding fairs. Try to plan as far in advance as you can because suppliers and venues get booked up years in advance. Finally, take some time out just to stand at the edge of a room and watch everything going on and try to take it all in, the wedding day goes far too quickly.


The suppliers

Our photography was done by Ian Vickery and our videographer was Jon Lunt from Top Table Films. Our cake which was a tier of chocolate orange, tier of lemon and tier of fruit cake was provided by Sharon at Sadie May Cakes.
All of the table decor and chair covers and post box was provided by Classically Covered in Sunderland, they provided a brilliant service and were cheaper than any other decor companies. Our make up was provided by La Belle Vous based in Wynyard and Claire’s hairdressers, Eklipz in Acklam, opened up early on the morning of the wedding to do the hair. The evening entertainment was provided by the Purple Supper Band who played as a live band then as a DJ between sets. We also had amazing magician, Paul Lytton, people still talk about him now! He’s done events for Prince Harry and many other celebrities and we found him at a wedding fair. Entertainment for the drinks reception on arrival at Wynyard was provided by North East Soiree, a string quartet who played a mixture of classical and current music and they were brilliant. All of the bouquets, button holes and venue flowers were provided by Andrew’s Auntie Kathleen who works at a florist called Edwina’s in Middlesbrough. The car was a beautiful 1954 White Rolls Royce from GW Holmes & Son based in Bishop Auckland.

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The honeymoon

We went straight on honeymoon the day after the wedding. We spent 3 nights in New York, stopping on Times Square and then 10 days at Secrets Maroma Beach in Mexico.
Congratulations to the happy couple!