A new Northumberland wedding venue is going that extra furlong to ensure a ‘bridle’ suite will be ready and waiting for one very special guest.
Rodney, a 23-year-old horse, will undoubtedly be the mane attraction on the day Alice Jennings, 29, from South Shields, ties the knot with fiancé Phil Pointer, 28, at Doxford Barn near Alnwick next year.
“I have always said that Rodney would have to be there on my wedding day because he is such a huge part of my life. He is all I talk about to friends and family,” said Alice.
She has been hunting for a venue that could accommodate her favourite four-legged friend as the guest of honour.
“When I saw Doxford Barn, I knew instantly that my dream could come true,” she said.
“I fell in love with the concept – it’s completely different to anywhere else in the North East and it can cater perfectly for Rodney. I also like that you have exclusive use of the venue for three days, which means I can relax and spend some time with family I rarely see.”
Rodney will be packing his horsebox with his bib and tucker and his four shiniest shoes, before hoofing it up the A1 to make sure he doesn’t miss out on the photo finish.
Alice is hoping he will join her trotting up the aisle to meet Phil, a quantity surveyor, also from South Shields.
She said: “I haven’t decided whether Rodney will be wearing anything special. I have a few ideas but I think his outfit will be more of a secret than mine.
“I would like to see him wearing a top hat for the occasion but that is something we will have to work on over the next few months. As long as Rodney is there with me on the day, that is all that matters.”
I haven’t decided whether Rodney will be wearing anything special. I have a few ideas but I think his outfit will be more of a secret than mine.Bride-to-be Alice Jennings
The unique venue, which is a family-run business, is set to open its barn doors in July this year. Doxford Barn Weddings offers five marriage locations, including the lakeside (complete with Her Majesty’s swans and a tractor and trailer ride to transport bridal party and guests), seven holiday cottages for guests on-site and can cater for up to 160 guests.
The venue is holding an open day on Saturday, April 11, from 11am until 5pm. Everyone is invited and the wedding co-ordinator will be on hand to show people around.
Richard Shell, owner of Doxford Barn, said: “There has been a lot of interest so far and we have secured bookings for weddings well into 2016.
“Our venue is truly unique and we will be making weddings an experience rather than a 24-hour event. The location and setting is idyllic and with our small and friendly team you will be made to feel instantly at home, welcome and relaxed.
“We are working with lots of local businesses, including David Whitehead’s teams from The Plough in Alnwick and The Jolly Fisherman in Craster. They have created some sumptuous menus for us with something for everyone’s taste and budget.”