Meet Mr & Mrs Donaldson, the stars of our latest Real Life Bride Series…
The Groom – Andrew Donaldson, Electrical Engineer
The Bride – Catherine Ayre (now Donaldson!), Primary School Teacher
Tell us about your menu tasting, show arounds, planning meetings?
Seaham Hall had always been so accommodating. Nothing was a problem. The menu tasting was a great experience. We were greeted with a glass of Taittinger champagne. We were then able to taste the different canapés, starters, mains, desserts and wines.
What wedding menu did you choose?
Our wedding menu was delicious! Everyone seemed to love the ham hock terrine, pork loin, and sticky toffee pudding.
Who was in charge of planning, you or the groom/joint effort?
I was mainly in charge of planning our big day. Andrew works abroad so was away for the majority of the time. I just love planning and organising. My friends often say that I could rule the world with my iPhone. We were away on a New Year cruise just after the proposal, and I literally had all the main suppliers booked before we were home! Although Andrew was away a lot, I still consulted him every step of the way.
Did you ever feel overwhelmed with planning?
Not at all. I loved every second, and most nights were spent researching even the smallest details.
What did you do the day before your wedding?
The day before the wedding, we delivered all of the wedding paraphernalia to Seaham Hall. I then went through all the final details with the staff from Seaham Hall, who said it was the most organised wedding they had experienced! I think that was down to the fact that my parents played a big part in the day, and it was the ‘teacher’ coming out of us all!
We then went to the Serenity Spa and had a relaxing swim with Chloe then said our goodbyes to Andrew. My parents, Chloe and I then went to enjoy the comfort of our lovely suites before visiting the restaurant for dinner.
Making Your Wedding Special
Were there any special elements that you definitely wanted to include in your big day?
We wanted a romantic, beautiful wedding, but one in which we could have a wonderful, happy time with all our guests, full of fun and laughter.
Was there anything extra special or unusual about your wedding?
We wanted our six-year-old daughter to play a big part in our day, and we think, looking back, it was magical for her.
What were the standout moments for you both?
When we dropped off all the wedding paraphernalia the day before, nothing was a problem with the Seaham Hall staff. We went through everything which was to be done and were worried that something might be forgotten about but it wasn’t. They executed it so well!
After the ceremony we had photos taken next by the iconic ‘vortex’ water feature. As we walked around to the terrace at the back of the hotel, we caught a glimpse, through the ballroom windows, of the room, so beautifully dressed for our reception. It took our breath away! It was just perfect.
Tell us about your wedding photos and which are your favourite and why?
The photos in this blog are our favourites. Our photographer, Lee, took over 1600 and they were all amazing. So hard to choose.
Amore Brides – Wedding Dress
Jacqueline Lackford – Makeup
Hairhouse – Hair
A Little Less Salt Weddings – Video
Lee Scullion – Photographer
Wild & Wonderful Flowers – Flowers
Alex Jobson – Magician
Prime Entertainment / Prime Racing – Casino
Posh Chair Covers And Bows – Dressing the Chairs.
Master Debonair – Suits
The DISCO Co North East Ltd – DJ and Party Set Up
Accent Original Bridal Wear – Bridesmaid Dress
Exclusively Yours Bridal Shop – Bespoke Young Bridesmaid Dress
Rings By Design – Bespoke Rings
Special mention to Mam (Carol) and Dad (Gordon) for creating the cake, cheesecake, seating plan, and marble place names.
Explore our amazing wedding offerings and keep your eyes peeled for next weeks Real Life Bride instalment!