Emma & Carl's Wedding Story
Our story and our wedding:
The Groom – Carl Godwin-Alvarez : Visual Effects Artist
The Bride – Emma Boyes (now Godwin-Alvarez!) : Project Manager
How did you meet? – We first met aged 18/19 at Sunderland University. It was the second semester of our first year in one of our classes ‘Introduction to Radio’.
Tell us about the proposal? – We went on a trip to Iceland for our 5 year anniversary. He later told me he’d planned to propose under the northern lights as we had a trip booked but it got cancelled! He ended up proposing in the water at The Blue Lagoon which was really romantic!
Why did you choose Seaham Hall? – I grew up in Sunderland and had visited Seaham Hall for a meal when I was about 15, I always remember how beautiful the venue was and for me it’s hands down the most stunning venue in the North East. We looked at some other venues together but Seaham Hall just felt right. It’s got so much history but it’s very modern at the same time. The ballroom is decorated in neutral colours and that’s what we really loved! It would provide a beautiful blank canvas for our decoration and colour scheme instead of clashing with it!
What was the theme? Colour scheme? I knew I wanted something minimalist but still with colour for a Spring/Summer wedding so we went for mostly white with some lilac, light grey and light blue. We ended up with touches of copper in as well which worked really well!
Tell us about the dress? – My dress was a lace mermaid by Maggie Sottero. It was the first dress I tried on! I really didn’t think I’d go for that style so tried it on first to ‘get it out of the way’ but I loved it!
What is your favourite part of Seaham Hall? – The Courtyard is stunning as are the grounds including the vortex at the front of the hotel, it wouldn’t be Seaham Hall without it!
Where did you choose to hold your ceremony? – The Courtyard
What did you like about your ceremony space? – I loved how modern it was and all the natural light which comes through from the glass roof, to me that was really special. Even though it was a little cloudy outside the room just felt so bright and airy.
How did you feel? – Going in to the ceremony I’ve never felt so nervous! But as soon as I was stood with Carl I felt fine! The ceremony was really lovely and we were able to have a little laugh which really helped with the nerves.
What music did you walk down the aisle too; does it have a special meaning? – Lana Del Ray : Video Games. I just love Lana Del Ray and the lyrics are just very sweet and romantic.
Tell us about your menu tasting, show arounds, planning meetings? – We really enjoyed the menu tasting afternoon! It was such a lovely experience, when we arrived we were handed a glass of champagne and it’s those little touches which really make the day special. Trying all the different dishes and wines was so much fun and we found it so hard to pick our menu!
What wedding menu did you choose? – For our starter we had tender stem broccoli with cheese curds which worked so well! Our main was chicken served in a tarragon sauce with wild mushrooms, green beans and potatoes. Dessert was a chocolate orange mousse served with stout ice cream and fresh orange.
Who was in charge of planning, you or the groom/joint effort?– The planning was definitely all me haha! I had a clear vision of what I wanted but obviously I included Carl on ever decision and gave him all the options. I just love planning anything so I was in my element really! Emma from Seaham Hall was our coordinator and was amazing throughout everything, always happy to answer my never ending list of questions!
Did you ever feel overwhelmed with planning? – At times of course it starts to feel like a full time job but I think it started to feel overwhelming in the weeks running up to the wedding. Mainly because there’s all the final invoices to pay off as well as agreeing arrival times and making sure everyone knows when they need to be there, there is so much to do!
What did you do the day before your wedding? – My maid of honour and I booked a room at Seaham Hall for the night before and had an amazing spa day which really helped to relax me and calm my nerves. On the evening we got changed and met up with a few family members who’d travelled up from various parts of the country and had some food in the Ozone and a few drinks.
Making Your Wedding Different:
Were there any special elements that you definitely wanted to include in your big day? – I wanted to make sure we had some good entertainment for the guests past the usual DJ/band. I love photobooths as they’re a lovely instant keepsake of a fun event and Carl and I have loads of photobooth pictures all over our fridge so we decided to rent a vintage booth for the day which went down so well with the guests!
Was there anything extra special or unusual about your wedding? – We have a few friends who live in other countries who we rarely get a chance to see and luckily, they were able to come over for the wedding which was so special! Some of the guests we hadn’t seen in around 10 years! We had people come over from New York and Florida as well as China!
Another thing we did was to have fireworks which was so special for us, everyone loved the display and some of the photos people have taken of them are stunning. Hopefully it’s something people will remember for a long time!
What were the standout moments for you both? – Of course it has to be ceremony because it’s big moment! The fireworks as well though as it was such as magical moment and the perfect way to end the evening.
Tell us about your wedding photos and which are your favourite and why? – We’ve only had a couple of taster photos back at the moment but we absolutely love what we’ve seen so far! I think our favourites are the ones taken under the string lights next to the beach huts at night. The lighting is amazing and they’re just a bit different! We also got some great ones by the coast. Really looking forward to seeing some of professional photos of the fireworks! The best man did take an amazing photo of us watching the fireworks though and that’s one of our favourites as well!
Is there anything you would have done differently? – Not really! At times I did worry our budget had gone out of the window but to be honest, but now it’s all said and done I’m glad we got everything we wanted because it’s one of the most important days of your life and you don’t want to look back and wish you spent an extra couple of hundred on a nicer cake or something!
Any advice for future Seaham Hall couples?- I’d definitely recommend staying over the night before as it makes the morning so much more relaxed! Also it’s so important to realise that on the day everything will be fine!! I spent so much time worrying over every single tiny detail being perfect and honestly on the day it doesn’t matter and you really won’t care! I couldn’t get my earrings in on the morning for example and I think if I’d have known that a week before it would have been the end of the world but honestly you really don’t care! You’re in this happy bubble and just enjoying everything!
Wedding planning/day top tip?- Try and take some time out as a newly married couple. Even if it’s just 15 minutes in your room to have a drink or something. The day absolutely flies by and as much as we tried to savour everything in the blink of an eye it’s 8pm and you’re getting ready for your first dance!
For anyone considering Seaham Hall, why should they choose the venue for their wedding day? – The venue is beautiful and that speaks for itself. The grounds are stunning and you’re right by the sea for some beautiful photos as well. We had the perfect day and couldn’t have been any happier so of course we’d recommend Seaham Hall to anyone!
Florist - Floral quarter
Flower wall - Wild and wonderful
Photographer - Ed Godden
Videographer - Absolute media
DJ - Disco couture
Photobooth - Party Pics
Fireworks - Reaction
Cake and biscuits - Gabriella Grace Cakes