Miracle wedding for couple due to get married at Longhirst Hall day after it closed

Laura Guthzeit and Paul McCuteheon had to change wedding the day before due to Longhirst Hall closing

Laura and Paul McCutcheon from Wallsend
Laura and Paul McCutcheon from Wallsend

Luck was shining on lovebirds Laura Guthzeit and Paul McCutcheon after their original wedding venue Longhirst Hall closed its doors the day before they were due to tie the knot.

Bride-to-be Laura had been getting pampered at Longhirst Hall’s spa the morning news broke that the company which operates the hotel had ceased trading.

“I was absolutely devastated, heartbroken and angry, I was just in shock,” said 29-year-old Laura, of Wallsend in North Tyneside.

But fast forward through the weekend and the pair are now celebrating becoming Mr and Mrs McCutcheon thanks to dedicated staff at Longhirst Hall, near Morpeth in Northumberland, and Beamish Hall.

“It was a dream day in the end, I could not have wished for a better day considering the way it started off,” said Laura, who has 18-month-old daughter Amelia with Paul.

Staff worked round the clock so the pair could exchange vows in an albeit empty room at Longhirst Hall with their guests, before heading to Beamish Hall for the rest of their day.

“We just want to say a massive thank you to everyone who made the day happen in the end because I did not think it would,” said Laura, a nursery manager.

“We went from the lowest of lows to the best day of our lives,” said Laura, who has been with Paul, 28, for nearly 10 years.

“It was very emotional and it was just the best day ever, it’s been really good.

“There’s somebody there watching down on us,” added Laura, who had been engaged to Paul since Christmas 2007.

But as Laura and Paul celebrate, dozens of other couples continue to fight to find another venue for their dream day.

Ainsley Smart and partner Paul Blackburn, of Ashington in Northumberland, were due to get married on August 1 at Longhirst Hall.

But now after a weekend of fast planning, the pair are now going to have their reception at Linden Hall, also in Northumberland.

“It was less than 48 hours after the deposit had been paid when we found out,” said 27-year-old Ainsley.

“I could not think on Friday, I was so panicked.

“I am just so glad we have now got somewhere for the same date,” she said.

Victoria Walker and Tom Burn, of Newbiggin-by-the-Sea in Northumberland, are also now tying the knot at Linden Hall.

The couple were due to get married at Longhirst Hall on March 16, but have raced to secure another venue so their wedding can go ahead.

Mum-of-two Victoria said she never thought something like this would happen to them but said the pair were lucky because they had taken out wedding insurance which will cover their costs.

“When we first found out I was devastated, luckily we had wedding insurance but it will not pay out before the wedding but it’s the thought of having to pay out all that money again without it.

“It has been a nightmare.”

Victoria, 29, and Tom, 30, have been engaged for 10 years and have been saving for their big day.

But Victoria said she would forever be grateful to the staff at Linden Hall who have been able to accommodate them.

“We are just so relieved to have somewhere else secured,” said Victoria, who works for the NHS.

“Now we have an even better venue so we are really pleased and excited again.

“It has been a crazy couple of days but now we can be excited about the wedding again.”


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer