In my profession I meet and work with a lot of other suppliers. Some are poor, many are average, a few are good, but a rare few stand out as being brilliant in their field, highly professional and a delight to work with. I have provided links to some of this latter group of people here, and would happily recommend any of them as having a similar outlook on quality and service to myself. Being technically good at your job isn’t enough. That’s a given, the most basic of requirements.
One of the most important things with weddings (and one which many suppliers simply don’t get) is that it is NOT about the band, or the DJ, or the Photographer, the Venue Manager, the Wedding Planner or the Florist. It is purely and simply about the Bride and Groom and their guests. This is where quality and teamwork come together to provide an event which is more than the sum of it’s parts. These are the suppliers who think in terms of YOU, not of themselves, and those are the people I most enjoy working with.
If you contact any of the professionals listed below I would be grateful if you could mention that you obtained their details from me. You never know – they may do the same for me one day!
There are some fabulous photographers in the North East, with styles to suit all tastes and fees to suit most budgets. For me, a great photographer not only has to take incredible photos, but he or she must also be committed to being part of a team working towards giving the Bride and Groom their best day ever. Some photographers work closely with the DJ/MC/Venue to get the photos they want, others do their own thing. Fortunately, we have a lot of great photographers here who also are great to work with! Here is a selection of those who are easy to get on with, and who produce beautiful photographs in their own respective styles. This is quite a long list, so please take the time to visit all of their websites. I’m convinced that this selection of names is a list of some of the finest and most professional photographers available anywhere! I’d be amazed if you didnt find the perfect one for you here.
Alan Mason is deservedly one of the North East’s top photographers. He is a thoroughly nice chap, and mad as a box of frogs (although he may prefer the term eccentric). Whichever, he is a creative genius who is also completely professional and does everything he can to ensure the perfect day in photographs!
2Tone Photography – Chrissie and Nigel are married to each other AND work together. And they work together beautifully, too. Both are fabulous photographers and very nice, easy-going people. They have a knack for being able to spot a dramatic shot where others may not. Having 2 photographers ‘on site’ has a lot of benefits too!
Katie Byram Photography – Katie is as mad as a fruitcake, as lovely a person as you’ll ever meet and extremely talented – especially for getting those informal, offbeat (and often hilarious!) shots.
Kenn Elliott – Based in Newcastle, Kenn is a fantastic Wedding Photographer who has won several prestigious awards for his work. Kenn is also a thoroughly nice chap and a total professional!
Karen McGowran – Karen and Neil are another amazing Husband and Wife team. They are great fun and create wonderful images!
Sean Elliott – Sean is a really nice guy, a great photographer and has a phenomenal work rate – certainly one of the hardest-working ‘togs’ out there!
Recommending a great videographer is more difficult than it sounds. Videographers can be intrusive and unless they have great equipment (and know how to use it) they can ruin many special moments by ‘frying’ the area in floodlights. First Dances especially can take a real hit – as a DJ I try to set the scene, match the lighting and ambience to the room and the guests – then the video chap spoils it all by flooding the whole area with light. A videographer’s job is to get a great video record of amazing moments, not to spoil the moments to get good video! So, the companies I recommend here are those with whom I have worked before and who can not only provide great videos but who work to retain the ambience and atmosphere of the moment – and who are great to work with!
One Digital Image – Chris and Jan are fantastic! I’ve worked with them on countless occasions and they are always a pleasure to be with. Together we have worked some very complicated and difficult wedding situations and Jan and Chris go out of their way to help the day work for the Couple and their guests. Their videos speak for themselves – absolutely amazing!
Solid Gold Productions – Jon and his team are great to work with, amiable and produce excellent work. His discreet and unintrusive style make him a welcome wedding colleague!
Fern Event Florists – Julie and Jane add a creative and fun element to the very serious task of making your event the best it can be. They have a great touch and always seem to get it just perfect! Their website is at www.fernonline.co.uk
Forget-Me-Not – Kathryn has incredible talent, and the amazing ability to read your mind, pick out your dreams, and turn them into floral perfection! She specialises in Weddings and was also the Castle Florist for Auckland Castle. Kathryn is based in Bishop Auckland. Be careful though, because once you have seen her work, you will be smitten! Kathryn is also one of the nicest, most helpful people you could meet, as Shelley’s Chief Bridesmaid discovered, as filmed on Don’t Tell The Bride! She is currently building a website, but for the time-being can be contacted on 07817 192827 or her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
BRIDAL WEAR AND GENTLEMAN’S FORMALWEAR
Poppybridal – The first time I saw Poppybridal’s dresses, all I could say was ‘wow’. These ladies really know their stuff, and supply some absolutely exquisite Wedding Gowns and other bridal wear. You can visit them at their shop in Darlington (20 Duke Street), phone them on 01325 487372 or click to their website at www.poppybridal.co.uk
Pure Weddings UK – Anna offers some truly lovely dresses, as well as a range of Menswear for hire. She is based in Durham City, at Claypath, and their website is at www.pureweddingsuk.com or you can phone them on 0191 384 8038
The Tailor – Michael Coates provides a Designer and fully bespoke service for both Gentlemen and Ladies. He can be found at Bondgate in Darlington and his website is at www.the-tailor.net or you can phone him on 01325 741567
Wedding Planners can be a dream come true or a supplier’s worst nightmare. I’m delighted to say the following are most definitely the former!! A pleasure to work with, their aim is to give the Client exactly what they want!
North East Wedding Planners can alleviate the stresses, budget concerns and time pressures associated with planning such a special event. They work on your behalf to provide design inspiration, locate your dream venue, source exceptional suppliers and manage your preparations, ensuring that your wedding day is planned to perfection. North East Wedding Planners can be involved at any stage of your planning, whether you are just starting out or have reached a point where you require some extra assistance pulling everything together. Donna and the team are professional, approachable and most importantly affordable, contact them directly to arrange your first appointment free t. 0191 3882387 or email@example.com. To view their services in detail visit www.newp.co.uk
The Master Cakesmith – Dawn’s cakes taste completely scrummy and look amazing. She’s a lovely person and goes out of her way to provide the very best. Based at Alnwick, Northumberland, her website is at www.themastercakesmith.co.uk
Burnett4Cakes – Based in Stanley, County Durham Chris creates some incredible cakes which are as much works of art as they taste amazing! His website is burnett4cakes
ENTERTAINMENT – MAGICIANS MUSICIANS SINGERS BANDS AND OTHER ENTERTAINERS
Mike Driver – Magician Extraordinaire and a member of the IBM British ring, Mike performs a wide range of World Class Close-Up Magic effects – with cards, coins, rings, sponge balls, cups and fire! He is sure to add interest and intrigue to your event! Mike can be contacted on 01642 711390 or his e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
Laughing Jacks– Laughing Jacks are widely regarded as the top function band in Newcastle, Northumberland and across the North East. This extremely versatile six piece play a wide repertoire of rock, pop, swing, soul and jazz to cater for the varied taste and age range found at weddings, corporate events, parties and restaurants. Contact: Richard Rutherford 07743 817177 or visit www.laughing-jacks.co.uk
CHAIR COVERS AND VENUE DECOR
Pure 2 Posh- Top quality Chair Covers, including Sash, delivery, fitting and collection. Based in Durham at Claypath, Kerry can be contacted on 0191 384 8038
WEDDING CARS AND LIMOUSINES
Alnwick Wedding Cars – In addition to a gorgeous selection of beautifully-kept cars, Jim provides the friendliest, most helpful and thoughtful service you can imagine. Brides and Grooms arrive relaxed and pampered and always say fantastic things about these chaps. Mind you – they’ve usually had a glass or two of bubbly by then!!