Meet Tom and Emma

“There is something quite poetic about someone wearing the exact same outfit on their special day that you did on yours.”


Meet Tom and Emma.

Their charity themed wedding saw them buy and then re-donate their wedding outfits to St Oswald’s Hospice Posh Frocks and Bridal Shop.

Tom and Emma met in Morpeth five years ago and have been inseparable ever since.

As lovers of all things second-hand, they knew when they got engaged in April of 2022 that the theme of their wedding would be ‘Charity’.

Anyone who has planned a wedding before will know that whilst fun, it can be time consuming and expensive. Tom and Emma share how they shaped their wedding around their personalities, budget and values.

Tom, a Junior Doctor, originally from Beverley, said:

“We were quite limited by money, by space and by time. We had looked at a lot of the traditional expensive wedding venues where you pay £20,000 and they sort literally everything out for you. But we just couldn’t afford it. So we opted for a more scaled down wedding but one that was still very personal and customised. We had the ceremony at Beverley Minster and then held our reception at Kingfisher Lakes glamping site in East Riding of Yorkshire. Jo, who manages the site helped us make the weekend magical as we spent it amongst family, friends and fire pits.”

Emma, who is a Veterinary Nurse, added:

“Money was definitely a reason we opted for a charity theme but it was also about us not wanting to be on a conveyor belt of weddings. We didn’t want to feel like ‘one of many’.

“Tom and I love charity shops. It’s pretty much where our wages go! We’re against fast fashion due to the huge amount of pollution it produces and in charity shops you always find great items for a fraction of the price!”

Tom adds:

“We think that the world is already so full of stuff, so why should we constantly be buying new things?! There are so many people who donate to charity shops every day so you’re bound to find something you like in there.”

When it came to finding the all-important wedding dress, Emma knew she would be visiting our Posh Frocks and Bridal Shop in Whitley Bay. Although she wasn’t sure she’d end up saying ‘yes!’ to the dress…

“I’ll be honest, I was sceptical at first. I’d shopped in charity shops before but never for anything specific like a wedding dress. I was really worried I wouldn’t find anything. I spent three hours there and ended up choosing the first dress I had tried on! It just fit perfectly. When the lady in the shop told me it was only £100 I was so shocked!

“I knew I wanted a different dress for the reception so I went back a few times and eventually found this beautiful, big full skirt for just £60! I took it to a local tailor in Tynemouth called The Little Seamstress who made it into a Disney Princess skirt, putting hundreds of Swarovski crystals all over it.

“Everything seemed so affordable compared to the dresses I had seen in traditional bridal stores. I really didn’t want to spend thousands of pounds on a brand new wedding dress only to wear it for a few hours. Looking back now I’m so glad I opted for second-hand.”

Whilst Posh Frocks specialises in bridal wear, they also sell a range of pre-loved men’s suits, bridesmaid dresses and mother of the bride outfits. Tom found his entire outfit – excluding the shoes – from Posh Frocks including the tails, waistcoat, shirt and a bow tie. Emma said their friends and family also jumped on the Charity theme:

“My mum got her outfit from Posh Frocks and both of my bridesmaids did. Honestly we couldn’t believe what was happening. We kept going into the shop and finding these amazing outfits we loved for such a great price. I was genuinely in shock!”

After the special day Tom, Emma and their wedding party re-donated the outfits back to St Oswald’s Hospice bridal shop. Tom explained:

“I think there is something quite poetic about someone wearing the exact same outfit on their special day that you did on yours. Who knows, maybe many different husbands will spend their wedding day in the same pair of tails that I did. I really like that idea.”

Emma echoed this:

“I want someone to have as much enjoyment and feel as fantastic as I did in that dress. I’m sure the person who originally wore and donated it – whoever that was – felt like an absolute princess when they bought it. I definitely did. So I just hope someone else will as well.”

The charity theme didn’t just stop at wedding outfits though as Emma explained:

“Every single thing we bought for the wedding and the reception we either made ourselves or found second-hand. Kingfisher Lakes glamping site had never held a wedding reception before so they didn’t have all the decorations, glasses, cake holders and other crockery that we needed. We spent a year searching charity shops – including St Oswald’s Hospice – collecting 50 of everything for our 50 guests.”

Whilst the hunt for pre-loved wedding outfits and decorations is over, Tom and Emma find themselves charity shopping for their next exciting adventure – a new baby!

The couple are due to welcome their first child in December 2023 and have already found some beautiful baby clothes in their local St Oswald’s Hospice charity shop.

Do you have a big event coming up?

Find your perfect posh frock or outfit at Posh Frocks and Bridal in Whitley Bay:

37–39 Park View

Whitley Bay

NE26 2TP

Follow us for pre–loved and sustainable shopping inspiration @stoswaldsretail

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