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The Statement Dress that puts the ‘Black’ in Black Tie!

23rd March 2022

Alex & David

Tuesday 16th Dec 2021

When Alex and David Reed began looking for the ideal place to celebrate their wedding; it became apparent that they’d need to look further afield than their home turf in Lancashire and decided on a picturesque Northumberland Wedding Venue.

They quickly realised that they were looking for something timeless; but with a quirky twist. With a strong affinity to the North East (Alex studied in Newcastle for 4 years and they both love the area), they discovered Ellingham Hall and the rest is history.

Having been legally married in October 2020 (after 13 years of being together) the couple were keen to celebrate with their friends and family. Their legal marriage had taken place at the Queen’s Chapel of the Savoy in London as a nod to Alex’s late father who was appointed an MVO (Member of the Royal Victorian Order) in 1990 for his services to the Queen. This honour meant that Alex and David were entitled to marry at the chapel; however due to the Covid pandemic, they were only able to celebrate with 15 people.

Alex explained that “whilst the legal marriage was incredibly special, we really missed having all of our loved ones there – so we knew that we wanted to have a proper celebration.”

The couple, who live in Lytham St. Annes, had originally planned to have their legal marriage and celebration within six weeks of each other; however, Covid had other plans. With their celebration at Ellingham Hall postponed from December 2020 until December 2021, like so many other couples, they had to wait a little longer to celebrate at the Northumberland Wedding Venue with their nearest and dearest!

Notes from the Bride


Why we chose Ellingham Hall

After looking around a few venues in Lancashire that were very traditional; we quickly knew that we were looking for something that had the wow factor. We were quite picky in the sense that we wanted a venue that was classic, but with some quirky character. We visited Ellingham Hall on one of its open days and we were immediately blown away by the venue. The building itself is just stunning – and teamed with the fact that it offers exclusivity for two nights (which is uncommon); we knew it was perfect. We also loved the fact that the majority of guests were able to stay on site in the Hall itself and in the cottages on-site.

The Statement Dress

When looking for my wedding dress, I didn’t set out with the intention to wear black. In fact, it was quite the opposite. Black is my favourite colour – so the novelty of looking for a white dress was quite exciting. When I arrived at the wedding dress shop (The Ivory Dressing Room) with my mum and Maid of Honour, we immediately saw the black dress hanging up. It was suggested that I try it on as a joke, but when I came out of the fitting room to see my mum starting to tear up; it became less of a joke and more of an actual contender. I did try on a few white dresses that were more traditional; however, nothing felt as ‘me’ as the black wedding dress. With a bit of moral support, I decided to take the plunge and go for something different. It was the very first shop I visited and the very first dress that I tried on – so it was meant to be!

Guests Reaction to the Dress

It definitely had the shock factor! I don’t think anyone was expecting a black wedding dress – despite a little note on our invitations that tried to discourage the ladies from wearing black. It seemed to go down well though – and it really fitted so well with our black tie/winter glam dress code.

Best part of your wedding day

It was all amazing! The best moment was arriving at Ellingham Hall knowing it was going ahead because we had to postpone it 18 months earlier due to the Covid restrictions. It was only meant to be six weeks apart from the legal wedding in London! But I would say that without Ellingham Hall, the day wouldn’t have been what it was. David only wanted a small wedding but after the ceremony, where a mutual friend of ours acted as celebrant, he immediately said it was amazing.

Your overall experience

The Ellingham Hall team are incredible and we can’t praise the team enough – they were absolutely amazing. Some venues can feel like a wedding factory with tight turnarounds and the feeling of it being one in, one out – but we certainly didn’t have that experience at Ellingham. If we could do it all again, we definitely would. It makes us feel sad that we probably won’t ever return to Ellingham for another wedding – but we’re already lining up a trip to stay in one of their gorgeous cottages.

Advice for brides-to-be

Don’t sweat the small stuff. You can have a set vision of what you want, but even if something doesn’t quite go to plan, you’re so in the moment that you won’t even notice it. Just try to focus on the things that really matter – your day will be amazing no matter what!

If your looking for a Northumberland Wedding Venue with the wow factor, contact us to arrange a private viewing appointment.


Esme Whiteside Photography –
New Venture Wedding Films –
The Ivory Dressing Room (dress by Pronovias) –
Lisa Jones Hair And Make Up –
The Whole Sch-Bang Venue Styling –
The Lytham Cake Company – @thelythamcakecompany
Moss Bros Suits –
Bridesmaid Dresses TFNC –
Celebrant – George Jolliffe (friend)
AMV Agency (Livewire Band) –