Mary told me, simply, beautifully, “I’ve married my best friend so we support each other through everything and make each other laugh every day.” With every wedding I feature, there is an underlying story of love so strong it can take on the world. This is why I do what I do. Mary & Waleed – you’re amazing and I’m thrilled to be featuring your wedding on the English Wedding Blog today!
Contact & bookings: Duncan McCall Photography
We’re glad we spent more on the photographs and venue “absolutely unforgettable quality from both… Duncan and his team were amazing! Can’t recommend him highly enough-he was so professional and managed to capture all the moments we wanted without being at all intrusive on our big day!”
“My Mum loved making our bespoke invitations, and I loved adding a personalised touch to our table names theme which was wedding anniversary symbols (Silver, Gold, Ruby etc), by having them written out in both Arabic and English as a nod to my husband’s Arabic background to ensure it was being celebrated too in this traditional English wedding with a difference!”
The English Wedding Blog Interview: Mary & Waleed
Wedding photographer’s website:
How did you choose your photographer?
We saw his amazing work and great reviews online and got in touch to find out more! We were really delighted when he could photograph our wedding!
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!
Yes, Duncan and his team were amazing! Can’t recommend him highly enough-he was so professional and managed to capture all the moments we wanted without being at all intrusive on our big day! We love the way he’s edited our albums, slideshows and DVD’s too-it’s brought back so many happy memories seeing them all recently!
Tell us about the moment you saw your wedding photos for the first time?
It was a cold Sunday afternoon which was actually proving to be very hectic as my husband had a lot of work on that day, so escaping all that and taking some time out to sit down with my parents and Duncan to see the photos for the first time was such an amazing time for us, it absolutely made our day if not our week! We loved them all!
Jesmond Dene House, Newcastle
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
Wonderful celebration of our love with special family and friends.
Your wedding style or theme:
Elegant traditional English theme
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
All of the above!
What’s your top tip for saving money?
Start early and stick to your budget -we found it easier to manage this via spreadsheets which we constantly updated.
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
Photographs and venue, absolutely unforgettable quality from both.
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
My Mam is very artistic and so sourced all the materials from John Lewis and kindly spent weeks hand making all our stationery by hand, and it was well worth all the effort as it was beautiful!
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
Absolutely! I was a very lucky bride in that I actually had two dresses as we also had an Arabian wedding in Cairo as my husband is half Egyptian.
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
Aj Bridal, Newburn-can’t recommend them highly enough, so friendly, fantastic personalised bespoke service and very reasonable too.
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
My jewellery was very special to me as I wore the diamonds which my parents had bought for me as a graduation gift on the day I became a dentist.
My veils, shoes, bag and tiara were from Aj bridal to match my dress(es!)
And what did the groom wear? Any recommendations for tailors?
He wore a Ted Baker suit from Moss Bros, and I was initially quite surprised by his choice of electric blue which the Moss Bros sales guy in one of their London branches had recommended but it actually really suited his tanned skin tone and the groomsmen all wore a similar suit but in a slightly darker shade of blue so the groom’s suit really stood out!
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
Beautiful turquoise full length one shoulder dresses from LauraLeigh bridal boutique in Old Eldon Square, Newcastle.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
Our hair was done by Valencia hair salon in Fenham, Newcastle as they know my hair since I’ve gone there from being a child.
Our makeup was all Bobbi Brown-we invited a fabulous Bobbi makeup artist called Sandra who works in their Metrocentre, Newcastle branch to the house and she was wonderful-didn’t complain once about the 5.30am start!
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you?
All our beautiful flowers were from Katherine’s florist in Newcastle, and they made personalised bouquets to match our specification and they fitted in perfectly with the theme.
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
Yes, absolutely as we wanted to add several personalised touches and so The Event Dressers in Newcastle did a brilliant job with all of our decorations! They have an amazing selection and were so professional and easy to work with, very accommodating.
Our vintage wedding card post box was from The Finishing Touches company, and this really set off our gift table!
Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?
My Mum loved making our bespoke invitations, and I loved adding a personalised touch to our table names theme which was wedding anniversary symbols (Silver, Gold, Ruby etc), by having them written out in both Arabic and English as a nod to my husbands Arabic background to ensure it was being celebrated too in this traditional English wedding with a difference!
I also loved making our Order of Service booklets complete with a beautiful photo from our engagement shoot with Duncan McCall on the front cover!
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
We chose a traditional round wedding cake with two layers of fruit cake and one layer of carrot cake as this is my husband’s absolute favourite and was his only request which he would absolutely not compromise on throughout the whole process!
A family friend who has made wedding cakes professionally for years kindly took on this task for us and spent 6 months carefully designing and making every detail to ensure it was perfect-she even included different types of ivy leaves and each icing rose was at a different stage of opening, it really took my breath away when I saw it. It was a true work of art.
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
We chose harp music for our ceremony and it was so beautiful and moving-Janet Bennett was our harpist, who we found online as she’s famous for having previously played for Prince Charles amongst many other famous people at events and she is hugely talentled.
Our band for the evening do was Jammin45’s and they were fantastic! They had a female lead singer and a funky retro sound complete with sax player and had the dance floor full absolutely all night! I loved the jazzy version of Bob Marley’s ‘One Love’ which they played for our first dance.
On the day tips and advice:
Try to keep calm and don’t stress out or try to micro-manage the small things – nobody will notice and everyone will have a fab time as long as they see the bride and groom enjoying themselves! It passes so quickly so make the most of every second!
We had some mishaps (I forgot my bouquet and had to go home for it and so was very late! ..and also our harpist was late) but nobody noticed as all the guests were too busy talking amongst themselves and having fun to pick up on the small things! I was fashionably late!
Getting the key parts videoed is so valuable too so you can look back and remember and even see parts of the day you’d missed.
What’s the best thing about being married?
I’ve married my best friend so we support each other through everything and make each other laugh every day.
Favourite supplier list for other brides and grooms:
Bobbi Brown Makeup
Reids jewellers for our rings
Jo Malone -wedding scent and bridal package for you and your bridesmaids the day before!