With Northumberland in the middle of a boom in couples tying the knot, a county wedding fair held on Sunday has been hailed a great success.
More than 440 people attended the My Northumberland Wedding Fair, which provided the perfect opportunity for couples planning their big day to meet local wedding suppliers and find everything they need for their perfect day, under one roof - that of a bedecked Ponteland Leisure Centre.
The event was laid on to encourage more couples to book their ceremonies and celebrations in the county and to support local businesses involved in the wedding industry.
The event was organised by Northumberland County Council’s registration service, with the support of Active Northumberland. Seventy three wedding-based businesses, including jewellers, outfitters, florists, photographers, beauticians, car-hire companies and cake makers turned up to showcase their wares to potential brides and grooms.
Rachel Henderson, who has just set up a business Make Up By Rachel, said: "As a new business, the wedding fair was the perfect opportunity for me to meet potential clients and network with other local suppliers. I was really impressed with the number of people that attended and I have already seen an uplift in traffic to my website.”
Penny Dane, from The Grange Bed and Breakfast and wedding venue at Seaton Burn, said: “I want to thank the council so much for organising a superb wedding fair. I thought the venue at Ponteland was brilliant and in a great and accessible location. There was a very positive atmosphere throughout the day.”
Northumberland County Councillor Dave Ledger, cabinet member with responsibility for the registration service, said: “The wedding industry brings an enormous amount of revenue into our economy. Couples spend thousands of pounds on their big day and we are working to encourage more people to get married in Northumberland.
“The event provided a great opportunity to showcase all the county has to offer for couples planning their big day. Our registrars received lots of positive comments from couples who found it helpful to meet local suppliers, gain specialist advice and talk to our registrars all in one venue."
Northumberland is currently experiencing a wedding boom with a record number of couples booking to tie the knot in the county. Last year, the county’s wedding co-ordination team officiated over 1700 marriages. What’s more, statistics show that around 60 per cent of couples who are getting married in Northumberland are actually coming from outside of the county and weddings bring in up to £30million to the county’s economy each year.