WINNER - Countryside Wedding Venue of the Year 2023

Catching Flights & Feelings – Heidi & James Wed at The Willows

July 3, 2023

A Wedding Story Full of Adventure

Heidi and James share their fairytale story that led to them tying the knot at The Willows at The Woodmans. The couple met in Bali whilst solo-backpacking and seeing the world. After an intense first date where they saved a man’s life, they met up again many times across South-East Asia. By this point they’d opted to explore the world together, travelling across New Zealand in a van which could only ever lead to more.

In 2022 they officially got engaged in Edinburgh after many conversations about tying the knot.

Next stop: The Willows at The Woodmans

Exploring the internet for the perfect wedding venue led to Heidi and James falling in love with The Willows as the next destination in their love story. Despite the renovations not being finished, the couple loved everything they saw; all of their questions were answered exactly how they hoped. The Willows at the Woodmans was able to fulfil their vegan menu requirements as well as offering them the freedom to decorate the already-beautiful venue as they wished. The journey into Newcastle was close enough to ensure that guests could get a reasonable taxi fare back and didn’t need to worry about accommodation for the night which was something that was important to the couple. 

“Every single one of the staff that we encountered were brilliant as well, so professional, friendly and accommodating.” 

Photos: Georgia Claire

A Wedding Ceremony to Remember

Heidi and James’ wedding ceremony was everything they imagined. After meetings with their celebrant, Lisa Wilson, they managed to plan each moment to be perfect for them; with an untraditional and laidback vibe that felt appropriate for such an important day! Heidi was surrounded by so much love as she walked down the aisle to For You by Seinabo Sei. Their love story was shared with everyone, followed by a ring warming ceremony and a reading from the bride’s favourite book – the ceremony couldn’t have been more personal for Heidi and James.

Heidi and James Real Wedding image.3

Photos: Georgia Claire

Magical Moments Now Memories For Life

With their love story well under way after many experiences shared together already, it was important for these newlyweds to pay tribute to some of those memories on their wedding day. Their first dance song, Technicolour Beat by Oh Wonder was one from their travels around New Zealand and Asia and made them feel like the only people in the room.


Surrounded by loved ones, one of their favourite moments was the special musical performance done by Heidi’s younger siblings. It wouldn’t be a wedding day if tears weren’t shed! 


Partying the night away was a must for this couple as they composed the most incredible wedding playlist that had Heidi dancing all night long.

Heidi and James | Willows at the Woodmans

Photos: Georgia Claire

Food, Glorious Food

Heidi and James opted for a fully-Vegan wedding breakfast menu which the kitchen team at The Willows at The Woodmans took in their stride. With lots of guests complimenting the wedding breakfast (vegans and meat-lovers) they couldn’t have been happier with the outcome. 


“We owe a massive thank you and shout out to the chefs at The Willows because they knocked it out of the park.”


The starters of either a Lebanese platter, chargrilled broccoli, to a butternut soup followed by three choices for a main being chickpea moussaka, or curried greens or a Balinese curry. Finished off with either carrot cake, coconut bavarois with mango, or a tarte tatin with vanilla ice cream. It’s unsurprising that everyone raved about the food.

Heidi and James | Willows at the Woodmans

Photos: Georgia Claire

Anything but ordinary

Heidi had her sights set on a wedding dress that was far from traditional! Her gown was a pale pink number covered in rhinestones that sparkled in the lights. The balloon sleeves enhanced the unique look of the dress as well as keeping it playful and elegant. The look was pulled together with a loose curl and diamond headpiece in her hair. It was everything she had dreamed of!

The groom, James, modelled a burgundy three piece suit from Marc Darcy; his tie and pocket square were of an autumnal colour pallet complimenting the decor of the wedding wonderfully.

Supplier Spotlight

Northern Sky Flowers provided the ideal representation of Heidi’s vague description: “moody autumnal vibes with a mix of dried and fresh flowers in dark reds, pinks and oranges with a touch of dusty blues”. The bouquets turned out better than imagined and matched the theme of the wedding well.

Georgia Claire did exactly as one would hope for their wedding photographer; she went above and beyond to capture the best shots and most special moments of the day whilst still being like a fly on the wall! The couple had expressed their want for a nice mixture of candids and detailed pictures and they were so pleased with the outcome.

Lisa Wilson is another name that deserved a mention as Heidi and James were so happy that their ceremony was as special as it could be.

“Choosing her for our ceremony was one of the best decisions we made for our wedding! The ceremony was so special to us and our day would not be what it was without it.”

Chosen Suppliers


The Willows at the Woodmans


Lisa Wilson


Georgia Claire

Bride’s dress

Lunella Gown from Willowby Watters purchased at Marrime

Groom’s suit

Marc Darcy


Northern Sky Flowers


Jesmond Cake Company


Big Fat Donut

Vintage Rugs

Birdcages and Dragonflies

Your next chapter

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