Brides Up North

The Editorials. Bride-o-meter Spring/Summer 2014

March 19th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Brides Up North for Belle Bridal Magazine SS 14

The start of every season always begins with a flurry of freelance commissions here at Brides Up North, and days spent with my head buried in my laptop feeling like “a proper writer”.  Of course, the end product is rarely very different from producing features for my own blog, but when it’s for someone else’s publication (and they’ve entrusted you with one, two or even four of their precious editorial pages) and it’s actually going to be “in print”, the stakes somehow seem higher. 

Brides Up North for Belle Bridal Magazine SS 14

Respected North East bridal title Belle Bridal Magazine celebrated their fifth birthday this season, and so, when they bestowed upon me the honour of selecting the hots and the nots of the wedding world for spring 2014, I was thrilled. But oh, the pressure!

So, with a lot of industry knowledge behind me, and a little bit of crystal ball gazing, these were my predictions for the trends that’ll be topping the charts (and sliding off the scale) at a wedding near you soon.  Tell me, are you incorporating any of these trends into your big day? 

I wrote…

Brides Up North for Belle Bridal Magazine SS 14

Going Up…

Overstatement

Blame Jay Gatsby, but flamboyance is back in a big way. A little party never killed nobody, but why do things by halves? After these mean recession years, we’re ready for some fun. Expect heavy embellishments, cascading blooms and excess all areas.

Katy Melling Photography

Image: Katy Melling Photography 

Lucabella Wedding Photography

Image: Lucabella Wedding Photography

Alternative Settings

It started with the tipi, and now there’s an outdoor option for almost every theme. Whether it’s a Scandinavian hat, Mongolian yurt or Bedouin tent, it’s still chic to say I do under canvas. Just remember to budget for a generator too!

Gerrard Photography

Image: Gerrard Photography

Jo Bradbury

Image: Jo Bradbury 

Structured Silhouettes

Amongst all the usual layers of lace and tulle a new breed of wedding gown is emerging: clean lines, sharp edges and super cool. Closer to catwalk trends than a Royal Wedding, these frocks are for the slick chicks who don’t want to leave their personalities by the church door. Choose bold shapes and structured satin (not a sequin in sight) for strut-your-stuff wedding day style.

Astral Sundholm Circa Brides

Image: Astral Sundholm Circa Brides 

KMR Bridal

Image: KMR Bridal 

Brides Up North for Belle Bridal Magazine SS 14

Gold Rush

Platinum will always be precious, but all the best dressed ring fingers are going for gold this season. Romantics should try rose gold and pave diamonds for an on trend look that’s forever timeless.

Helen Russell Photography

Image:  Helen Russell Photography 

Colour Me Pretty

Adding a touch of complimentary colour to your wedding day wardrobe is nothing new, but this is a trend that refuses to fade. Pastels are huge on the catwalks and in the bridal boutiques for 2014 and designers are upping the ante with all over washes of warmth or layered ombre lace effects. Go on, live life in colour! If a dip dye wedding dress isn’t for you, you can still give a nod to this pretty trend with colourful stationery or blushing blooms.

Cuvee Rose by IAN STUART BRIDE

Image: Ian Stuart 

Going Down…

Traditional Tinsel

Forget the humble tiara, 2014 is the year that bridal headwear gets big and bold. From glittering bunny ears and feather head-dresses to vibrant flower garlands, the fashion forward bride will dare to decorate herself in colour and originality. Still not sure? Stick to simple for the ceremony and style things up for the after party!

Katy Melling Photography

Image: Katy Melling Photography

Brides Up North for Belle Bridal Magazine SS 14

James Melia Photography

Image: James Melia 

Cat Hepple Photography

Image: Cat Hepple Photography 

Words:  Julia Braime for Belle Bridal Magazine, S/S 2014

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 Brides Up North/ Belle Bridal Magazine/ as credited where relevant

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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The Things You’ll Remember The Most. Stephanie Allin For An Outdoor Real Wedding In Northumberland – Jenny & Jon

November 28th, 2013 | Julia Braime

Jenny and Jon, Guyzance Hall wedding Northuberland, Katy Melling Photography

Today’s Real Wedding, sent to me by Brides Up North Featured Supplier Katy Melling Photography and real bride Jenny couldn’t get any lovelier.  From the pretty details, outdoor ceremony and relaxed styling to the personal touches throughout, Jenny and Jon’s day has a really happy feel, with family at it’s heart.

I’ve loved sharing in their big day, and I hope that you do too.  Be inspired! 

Jenny and Jon, Guyzance Hall wedding Northuberland, Katy Melling Photography

Jenny says:  We got engaged in Copenhagen – February 2012 – and were married on July 27th 2013 at Guyzance Hall in Northumberland. 

Jenny and Jon, Guyzance Hall wedding Northuberland, Katy Melling Photography

We chose the venue as it was only 3 miles from my parents’ village of Warkworth which was important as, although we live in London, I still have a strong pull to the North East (I was brought up in Whitley Bay). We also loved the idea of an outdoor wedding and the opportunity to have the majority of the wedding guests stay in the hall and the surrounding cottages for the weekend. Although the hall itself is grand and elegant, the whole weekend felt intimate and personal which is exactly the feel we wanted.

Jenny and Jon, Guyzance Hall wedding Northuberland, Katy Melling Photography

Jenny and Jon, Guyzance Hall wedding Northuberland, Katy Melling Photography

Jenny and Jon, Guyzance Hall wedding Northuberland, Katy Melling Photography

Jenny and Jon, Guyzance Hall wedding Northuberland, Katy Melling Photography

Jenny and Jon, Guyzance Hall wedding Northuberland, Katy Melling Photography

As the wedding ceremony was going to be outside, we adopted a country garden theme complete with lawn games and a quiz.  We opted for a colour theme of peach and blue – I wanted the colours of the wedding to be muted and in the theme of the wedding.

Jenny and Jon, Guyzance Hall wedding Northuberland, Katy Melling Photography

Jenny and Jon, Guyzance Hall wedding Northuberland, Katy Melling Photography

Jenny and Jon, Guyzance Hall wedding Northuberland, Katy Melling Photography

My dress was called Nina (Short) by Stephanie Allin and came from Darcy Weddings in Morpeth. Darcy’s was the first bridal shop I visited and I spotted my dress almost as soon as I walked in. Knowing that I wanted a vintage feel to my dress, as soon as I spotted this 50s style, tea length lace dress, I knew I had found a winner. I tried it on and turned to my mum who said..’You look like your Grandma when she was your age’ – that was it – it was the one!

Jenny and Jon, Guyzance Hall wedding Northuberland, Katy Melling Photography

The bridesmaids wore dresses by Watters – also supplied by Darcy Weddings. They were nude/peach chiffon sleeveless dresses with soft pleating around the neckline, down the centre front of dress and at the waist with covered buttons behind the neck.

The groom and ushers wore the “Lingfield” suit from Moss Bros – a grey suit with tails. The ushers wore a pale blue cravat while Jon wore a cream one.

Jenny and Jon, Guyzance Hall wedding Northuberland, Katy Melling Photography

Jenny and Jon, Guyzance Hall wedding Northuberland, Katy Melling Photography

The music throughout the day was very important to me. I walked down the aisle to ‘Canon in D’ by Pachbel and then chose ‘Magic Moments’ by Perry Como as we signed the register. This was my Nanny’s favourite song so having that as part of the day was very important to me.

Jenny and Jon, Guyzance Hall wedding Northuberland, Katy Melling Photography

My favourite part of the day was saying our vows. Although we opted for a very simple and short ceremony, our registrar was brilliant and really put us at ease – we felt so relaxed and so happy to say the special words.

Jenny and Jon, Guyzance Hall wedding Northuberland, Katy Melling Photography  

Jenny and Jon, Guyzance Hall wedding Northuberland, Katy Melling Photography

My bouquet was blue hydrangeas with gypsophila and peach avalanche roses by Fern Flowers. It was a ‘hand picked’ style bouquet which had a relaxed wild flower feel to it. The same flowers were used for the centre pieces for the tables.

As a personal touch I had a little sprig of Lily of the Valley as a reminder of my Grandma – it was her favourite flower.

Jenny and Jon, Guyzance Hall wedding Northuberland, Katy Melling Photography

Jenny and Jon, Guyzance Hall wedding Northuberland, Katy Melling Photography

Straight after the wedding ceremony, we had arranged a quiz. Sheets were handed out and guests had to collect signatures of other guests e.g. Someone who is a doctor, someone who is the parent of twins, someone born in Suffolk, etc. It was great fun and encouraged different groups to family and friends to chat and get to know each other.

Jenny and Jon, Guyzance Hall wedding Northuberland, Katy Melling Photography

Jenny and Jon, Guyzance Hall wedding Northuberland, Katy Melling Photography

Jenny and Jon, Guyzance Hall wedding Northuberland, Katy Melling Photography

The lawn games before and after our Wedding breakfast were great fun – my dad had been collecting them over the previous months and they were so popular on the day – it gave the day a lovely relaxed feel.

Jenny and Jon, Guyzance Hall wedding Northuberland, Katy Melling Photography

Jenny and Jon, Guyzance Hall wedding Northuberland, Katy Melling Photography   Jenny and Jon, Guyzance Hall wedding Northuberland, Katy Melling Photography

We decided to go for a different kind of guest book and had each guest/couple complete a ‘fill the blanks’ style sheet e.g. We have travelled from _______, You should call your children ________ and ___________. They made for very funny reading the next day and we’ve since had them bound into a book which we can pick up from time to time and smile.

Jenny and Jon, Guyzance Hall wedding Northuberland, Katy Melling Photography

 Jenny and Jon, Guyzance Hall wedding Northuberland, Katy Melling Photography

Jenny and Jon, Guyzance Hall wedding Northuberland, Katy Melling Photography

Jenny and Jon, Guyzance Hall wedding Northuberland, Katy Melling Photography

The sparkling wine we chose for straight after the ceremony and our speeches was from a vineyard 5 miles from Jon’s parents house in Suffolk. We’ve bought wine from the vineyard before and it was important that we had some Suffolk element to our day.

Jenny and Jon, Guyzance Hall wedding Northuberland, Katy Melling Photography

We had a cheese cake made for us by The Northumberland Cheese Company based at Blagdon Farm, Milkhope. We had three main layers: nutty cheddar, oak smoked cheese and then a blue cheese on top. It was decorated by my mum and Auntie Sheila with figs, grapes and ivy. We also had two handmade mice made for the top by Lynn at Little Mouse Gallery. They were made to look like us; the bride with a lace dress and peach and blue bouquet and the groom with a blue cravat and a blue flower buttonhole

Jenny and Jon, Guyzance Hall wedding Northuberland, Katy Melling Photography

We had a fantastic band called ‘Hip Operation’ – they were a 7-piece band including a saxophone, trumpet and trombone. They really got the party started and created a brilliant atmosphere for the whole evening.

Jenny and Jon, Guyzance Hall wedding Northuberland, Katy Melling Photography

Jenny and Jon, Guyzance Hall wedding Northuberland, Katy Melling Photography

Jenny and Jon, Guyzance Hall wedding Northuberland, Katy Melling Photography

For our honeymoon we went to France. We spent one week in a beautiful little cottage in the Loire Valley (lots of wine tasting and cheese eating) and then a week in Paris.

Jenny and Jon, Guyzance Hall wedding Northuberland, Katy Melling Photography

My top tip for other Brides Up North is to try to think of as may ways to personalise your wedding as you can – it’s lovely to hear people comment on those little touches; those are the things you’ll remember the most.

Jenny and Jon, Guyzance Hall wedding Northuberland, Katy Melling Photography

 

Congratulations Jenny & Jon!

Would you like to see your own Real Wedding on Brides Up North?  Here’s how

 

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Katy Melling Photography

Katy Melling Photography is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier, but this is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Old Hollywood. Hepburn Inspired Glamour For A Real Wedding At Rockliffe Hall – Caroline & Kevin

July 9th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Katy Melling Photography

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What’s a Tuesday afternoon without a huge dose of glam?  Caroline and Kevin’s elegant Real Wedding, with styling inspired by Old Hollywood and one rather iconic actress has plenty.  Flawlessly done, and just beautiful.

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With images by Brides Up North Featured Supplier Katy Melling Photography

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Katy Melling Photography

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Caroline and Kevin, Wedding Rockcliffe Hall, Katy Melling Photography

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Caroline says:  Kev arranged a picnic on a beach in Dubrovnik when we were on holiday last July (2012). He popped the question as the sun was just setting and it was a complete surprise! He did it at the start of our two week holiday so we decided not to tell anyone until we got home. It was exciting keeping it to ourselves and it felt like we were in our own little bubble for the rest of the holiday.

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Caroline and Kevin, Wedding Rockcliffe Hall, Katy Melling Photography

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We were married on Saturday 18th May 2013.  The ceremony took place at St Mary Magdalene Church in Yarm. The reception was at Rockliffe Hall in Hurworth-on-Tees.

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We come from quite traditional families so it was always going to be a church wedding in our home town of Yarm.  We chose to have our reception at Rockliffe Hall as we loved the fact that it had a mixture of old charm and modern decor. The Rockliffe Suite, where the wedding breakfast was served, was light, airy and decorated with neutral tones so we could really put our own stamp on things.

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Caroline and Kevin, Wedding Rockcliffe Hall, Katy Melling Photography

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Caroline and Kevin, Wedding Rockcliffe Hall, Katy Melling Photography

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Caroline and Kevin, Wedding Rockcliffe Hall, Katy Melling Photography

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We went for a simple, classic colour scheme of whites, creams, greens and greys.

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Caroline and Kevin, Wedding Rockcliffe Hall, Katy Melling Photography

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Caroline and Kevin, Wedding Rockcliffe Hall, Katy Melling Photography

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I love the romance of old black and white Hollywood movies so took inspiration from this. I decided on an Audrey Hepburn style dress, hair and makeup complete with red lipstick.  We used ND Makeup Artists and Carolyn Clayton hair. The girls were lovely and by the end of the morning felt like old friends.

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Caroline and Kevin, Wedding Rockcliffe Hall, Katy Melling Photography

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Caroline and Kevin, Wedding Rockcliffe Hall, Katy Melling Photography

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My white wedding dress was Audrey Hepburn inspired with a huge underskirt and train bought from Kathryn Trueman in Morpeth. The back had little ivory buttons and the seamstress added a ivory satin bow.  I grew up in Morpeth so it seemed fitting that I ended up buying my wedding dress there.

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Caroline and Kevin, Wedding Rockcliffe Hall, Katy Melling Photography

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Caroline and Kevin, Wedding Rockcliffe Hall, Katy Melling Photography

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The bridesmaids wore Dessy dresses in Amethyst from Elizabeth George Bridal.

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The groom and ushers hired traditional tails also from Elizabeth George Bridal. We bought Dessy cravats and handkerchiefs to match the bridesmaids.

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Caroline and Kevin, Wedding Rockcliffe Hall, Katy Melling Photography

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Hart Company run by Suzie Hart arranged the flowers and also provided the table decorations. Suzie even took the time on the wedding morning to show the wedding party how to hold their bouquets and put on their buttonholes.  I had a bouquet of ivory roses, ranunculus and lily of the valley. My mum also had lily of the valley on her wedding day so this had sentimental value.

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Caroline and Kevin, Wedding Rockcliffe Hall, Katy Melling Photography

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Caroline and Kevin, Wedding Rockcliffe Hall, Katy Melling Photography

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We felt very lucky to have picked such good suppliers. This really helped on the day as we had nothing to worry about.

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We used Katy Melling Photography. We could not recommend Katy enough, she captured our day perfectly.

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Caroline and Kevin, Wedding Rockcliffe Hall, Katy Melling Photography

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There was very limited parking at the church so we hired an old London Routemaster bus to transport guests. Knowing that the wedding breakfast would not be served until later in the day, we handed out mini muffins to guests on the bus which were greatly appreciated.

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A family friend let us borrow his 1938 Rolls Royce and kindly played chauffer for the day even dressing up with coat and top hat. We felt like royalty stepping out of the car.

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Caroline and Kevin, Wedding Rockcliffe Hall, Katy Melling Photography

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Caroline and Kevin, Wedding Rockcliffe Hall, Katy Melling Photography

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Caroline and Kevin, Wedding Rockcliffe Hall, Katy Melling Photography

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Caroline and Kevin, Wedding Rockcliffe Hall, Katy Melling Photography

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Caroline and Kevin, Wedding Rockcliffe Hall, Katy Melling Photography

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My dad passed away suddenly three years ago so my mum gave me away. I wanted my dad to be part of the day so the florist added a small locket to the front of my bouquet with a picture of my dad inside. That way I felt like he was with me when I walked down the aisle.

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Caroline and Kevin, Wedding Rockcliffe Hall, Katy Melling Photography

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Caroline and Kevin, Wedding Rockcliffe Hall, Katy Melling Photography

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Caroline and Kevin, Wedding Rockcliffe Hall, Katy Melling Photography

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Caroline and Kevin, Wedding Rockcliffe Hall, Katy Melling Photography

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My favourite part of the day was he ceremony and also the short drive from the church to the reception where it was just the two of us in the back of the car. We couldn’t stop smiling and saying ‘we’ve done it’.

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Caroline and Kevin, Wedding Rockcliffe Hall, Katy Melling Photography

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Caroline and Kevin, Wedding Rockcliffe Hall, Katy Melling Photography

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Caroline and Kevin, Wedding Rockcliffe Hall, Katy Melling Photography

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Caroline and Kevin, Wedding Rockcliffe Hall, Katy Melling Photography

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Caroline and Kevin, Wedding Rockcliffe Hall, Katy Melling Photography

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Caroline and Kevin, Wedding Rockcliffe Hall, Katy Melling Photography

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Caroline and Kevin, Wedding Rockcliffe Hall, Katy Melling Photography

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Caroline and Kevin, Wedding Rockcliffe Hall, Katy Melling Photography

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We decorated the room using simple, elegant tall crystal vases, candelabras and mercury glass tealight candle holders. The tall vases were a bit pricey but made a big impact when you walked in the room so were well worth it!

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Caroline and Kevin, Wedding Rockcliffe Hall, Katy Melling Photography

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Caroline and Kevin, Wedding Rockcliffe Hall, Katy Melling Photography

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The three tier cake was homemade by a family friend. We wanted something a bit different and in keeping with the old Hollywood glamour theme so we attached diamante necklaces to the icing to add sparkle!

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Caroline and Kevin, Wedding Rockcliffe Hall, Katy Melling Photography

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Caroline and Kevin, Wedding Rockcliffe Hall, Katy Melling Photography

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Caroline and Kevin, Wedding Rockcliffe Hall, Katy Melling Photography

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We bought old Polaroid cameras from Ebay and put one on each table. Guests were encouraged to take a picture of themselves and stick it in the guest book along with a message. This seemed to go down really well with the guests, especially the kids.

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Caroline and Kevin, Wedding Rockcliffe Hall, Katy Melling Photography

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Caroline and Kevin, Wedding Rockcliffe Hall, Katy Melling Photography

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Caroline and Kevin, Wedding Rockcliffe Hall, Katy Melling Photography

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Caroline and Kevin, Wedding Rockcliffe Hall, Katy Melling Photography

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Caroline and Kevin, Wedding Rockcliffe Hall, Katy Melling Photography

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Caroline and Kevin, Wedding Rockcliffe Hall, Katy Melling Photography

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We decided on a ceilidh (Michael McCormick) to get everyone up on the floor and it did the trick. The ceilidh was followed by Flash Dance disco.

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Caroline and Kevin, Wedding Rockcliffe Hall, Katy Melling Photography

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After the wedding we went to Lake Garda in Italy and in also visited Venice and Verona.

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Caroline and Kevin, Wedding Rockcliffe Hall, Katy Melling Photography

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be that when shopping for your wedding dress be open minded and try on lots of different styles. To start with I was sure I wanted a tight fitting lace dress but it wasn’t until my mum suggested I try a different style, ten shops down the line, that I found ‘the one’ which was the complete opposite of what I had imagined.

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Also book a videographer! We decided last minute to book Joined Heart following a friend’s recommendation and we are so glad we did. You don’t realise how much you miss.

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Caroline and Kevin, Wedding Rockcliffe Hall, Katy Melling Photography

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Congratulations Caroline & Kevin!

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Fancy seeing your own Real Wedding on Brides Up North?  Here’s how.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Katy Melling Photography

Katy Melling Photography is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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The Editorials: Va-Va-Groom!

February 18th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Wedding Magazine

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In this new blog series, The Editorials, I share my pre-published offline content, online.  I write on a freelance basis for numerous regional and National glossies, and rather than be relegated to being rather posh chip paper, I thought that my words might be useful to my online readers who didn’t manage to pick up a print copy of my features.  Double the pretty!

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Wedding Magazine

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The second instalment in this series (click here to see the first, focussing on the trend for all white weddings) catches up on a column I wrote for Wedding Magazine before Christmas, all about giving your groom some va-va-voom!

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Wedding Magazine

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I wrote: The days of identikit grooms are long gone. You might be preoccupied with selecting the perfect wedding gown, but you can bet that your other half is also giving some careful thought to his own wedding day look. For him too, this is a day where he wants raise the style stakes and feel that little bit special.

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Peter Boyd Photography

Image credit: Peter Boyd Photography

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Luckily, there has never been more of a sartorial selection for a groom to choose from. Whether he is a traditionalist looking for a classically cut morning suit or an individual wanting to cut a dash with quirky accessories, it’s now acceptable for the groom to look beyond a hired waistcoat and cravat. Whilst it’s true that his choice of attire should complement the overall style of the bridal party, some of my favourite wedding day images are those where the personality of the groom shines through.

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India Hobson Weddings

Image credit: India Hobson Weddings 

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Damian Hall

Image credit: Damian Hall Photography

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Top man

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If he wants to keep his look classic, help him to stand out from the rest of the wedding party by choosing a different colour of tie or more elaborate buttonhole.

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Katy Melling Photography

Image credit: Katy Melling Photography 

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Katy Melling Photography

Image credit: Katy Melling Photography

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The cravat caveat

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Rather than sticking to the status quo, encourage your man to mix things up with by adding a special touch. How about a colourful bow tie, socks, braces, sharp shoes or a neckerchief?

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Phil Drinkwater Photography

Image credit:  Phil Drinkwater Photography 

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David Lawson Studios

Image credit: David Lawson Studios 

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Keep it comfortable

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For a relaxed celebration or destination wedding he needn’t be trussed up like a turkey. Work with the style of his surroundings and opt for light fabrics and a pale colour palette.

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Andy Hook

Image credit: Andy Hook Photography

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Lissa Alexandra Photography

Image credit: Lissa Alexandra Photography 

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A man in uniform

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If he’s decorated, this is his chance to show it off. I also love to see a groom in national dress: kilts at the ready boys, it’s time to show some leg!

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Jonny Draper Photography

.Image credit: Jonny Draper Photography 

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Andrew Ward Photography

Image credit: Andrew Ward Photography 

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Toys for the boys

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Indulge him! If he has a need for speed, why not hire a cool car or vintage scooter to get him to the church on time and in style.

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Insight Photography

Image credit: Insight Photography

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  – Images © 2013 as credited

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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The Editorials: All White Weddings

January 27th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Wedding Magazine August/ September 2012

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Recently, I talked about how away from the pages of this site, I write for a huge range of regional and National glossy bridal magazines, with regular columns in some of my favourite titles (you can see the full list on my about page).  Obviously, features for print have to be fresh, so I hold back in sharing my pieces on the pages of the blog until after publication.  A month or so on though, rather than be relegated to being rather posh chip paper, I thought that my words might be useful to my online readers who didn’t manage to pick up a print copy.

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In this new blog series, The Editorials, I will be sharing my pre-published offline content, online.  Double the pretty! 

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First up, my feature for my regular column in Wedding Magazine, with my comments on the fresh and fabulous trend for all white weddings.  In my opinion, pale is always interesting…

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Wedding Magazine August/ September 2012

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There’s something going on in wedding blog land. Where you’d previously find matchy-matchy colour schemes or rainbow brights, it’s suddenly a total white out! Following the pale palette used so successfully at last year’s Royal Wedding, the trend for all white weddings is still going strong. In my opinion big days have never looked so beautiful.

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Bleached out blooms, snowy centre pieces and neutral details work together to create a wonderland that’s not just for Winter. This simple colour scheme, which can be classic or modern in equal measure, is effective across all four seasons. Keep things soft and pretty with vintage elements or sharpen the look up with chic styling. Choose any colour, so long as it’s white!

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Katy Melling Photography

Image by Katy Melling Photography

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Katy Melling Photography

Image by Katy Melling Photography

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Katy Melling Photography

Image by Katy Melling Photography

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Stand Out From The Crowd

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When working with an exclusively white or ivory colour base, don’t feel that whole wedding party has to match. Choosing complimentary hues or contrasting darker shades for your bridesmaids will create a striking backdrop for your wedding dress and make light posies pop.

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Sean Elliott Photography

Image by Sean Elliott Photography 

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Sean Elliott Photography

Image by Sean Elliott Photography

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Sean Elliott Photography

Image by Sean Elliott Photography

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Colour Charts

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Diamond white, vintage cream, ivory. There’s more than one shade of pale! Keep things interesting by layering tones, textures and fabrics for a luxe look.

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Katy Melling Photography

Image by Katy Melling Photography 

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Lesley Meredith Photography - Red Floral Architecture

Image by Lesley Meredith Photography

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Alison Groves Photography

Image by Alison Groves Photography 

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Twinkle Twinkle!

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Add interest to starched table settings with a sprinkling of sparkle, shining silverware and springs of greenery.

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Faye Hatton Photography

Image by Faye Hatton Photography 

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Stan Seaton Photography

Image by Stan Seaton Photography

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Tierney Photography    Tierney Photography

Images by Tierney Photography 

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Karen McGowran

Image by Karen McGowran 

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Work With What You’ve Got

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For the whitest, brightest bouquets keep your choice of flowers seasonal. Choose paper whites and lily of the valley in Spring months and try adding a touch of mistletoe to a hand tied bunch at Christmas time.

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Helen Russell Photography

Image by Helen Russell Photography 

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Stan Seaton Photography

Image by Stan Seaton Photography 

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Add Interest

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A neutral canvas is easy to style. For a classy wedding day look, choose a high fashion heel or chic clutch in a tonal colour to add drama that’s perfectly understated.

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Sean Elliott Photography

Image by Sean Elliott Photography

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  – Images © 2013 as credited

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Real Wedding Recap 2012: A Proper Winter Wonderland! A Real Wedding In The North East – Rachel & Ryan

December 24th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Over the festive period I’ll be recapping some of my very favourite Real Weddings from the last 12 months on the wedding blog. It’s been a tough choice! In true Brides Up North style, each wedding featured on these pages is unique, beautiful and gorgeously personal. It’s been an exceptionally fabulous year! Enjoy…

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Rachel and Ryan's Wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, County Durham by Katy Melling Photography

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Starting off our seasonal recap in style, today I am honoured to share the Real Wedding of one of my best girlfriends in the whole wide World, Rachel. I was lucky enough to be a bridesmaid for Rachel and Ryan, and was more than a little nervous that one of my favourite photographers and Brides Up North Featured Supplier Katy Melling Photography would be there to see me descend into drunken Christmas wedding merriment at what has to be one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever attended (you’ll see!*).

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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After all, elegance aside, this was also the wedding where I could be found singing shouting Christmas carols at 4am, where my husband set fire to himself on an aisle candle (yes really!) and where a faux snow fight left everyone twinkling!  Proper Geordie fun! I did catch Katy snapping a shot of me taking a big slug of white wine, but it hasn’t made it into the final edit.  Thanks Katy!

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Without further ado, over to my best friend Rachel: We got engaged on 10th December 2010 in Central Park in New York and were married at home in County Durham on Sunday 18th December 2011, at Rockliffe Hall.  We said our vows in the Rockliffe Suite and then had a drinks reception in the Old Hall while the Rockliffe Suite was done up for the wedding breakfast.

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham   Rachel and Ryan's Wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, County Durham by Katy Melling Photography

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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As soon as we visited Rockliffe we loved it. On the practical side we had a large guest list and it was able to cater for 180. It also had 60 bedrooms so all of the guests who wanted to stay were able to be accommodated.

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It seemed a bit more luxurious than some of the other venues we visited and was decorated to our taste. It is about 45 minutes away from Newcastle so was fairly easy for our guests to get to. It is just a lovely hotel and felt cosy and we thought it would suit the wintery/ Christmassy feel we were after. It has a lovely area called the Old Hall which we used for the drinks reception and also has a fabulous spa which our guests got good use of the day before and the day after the wedding.

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Obviously the wedding was very near Christmas so overall we had a bit of a Winter Wonderland theme.

We also had some Christmas touches like snow on the tables and bauble name holders (by Cox & Cox) and candy canes as favours for people to hang on their Christmas trees after the wedding.

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Overall, I wanted the wedding to be very white. We had no colour in our flowers and I wanted the room to look white, snowy, twinkly and pretty.  The bridesmaids wore an aubergine colour which was reflected in the ushers’ ties but other than that the rest of the wedding was all white.

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham   Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham   Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham   Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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My dress was Jenny Packham. It was very detailed and glitzy around the neckline which went down my back and then it had a tulle skirt. I also had a Jenny Packham headdress. I tried on a Jenny Packham dress in a shop in Newcastle but then went to her shop in London as it was a good excuse for a weekend away with my Mum. There were a few that I liked but the one I chose was most appropriate for a Christmas wedding.

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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My bridesmaids wore aubergine one shoulder dresses.  The designer was Alvina Valenta and I got them from Lily White Bridal in Jesmond.

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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I carried a hand tied bouquet of paper white flowers with brooches inside the bouquet to give it some extra sparkle.  This was by Hart Company.

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham   Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham   Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham   Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham   Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham   Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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We had a lot of music and entertainment during our reception: my good friend Emma Kendall sang during the service, and then we enjoyed the Opus 4 String Quartet, carol singers and some singing waiters, before hitting the dance floor to Jeff Dingle and the Moonswing Trio.

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Thinking about favourite moments, my mum and dad had organised the singing waiters as a surprise for Ryan and me. I loved this and we were all up dancing on our chairs for an hour so that was really fun. In general I just loved it all as I wanted it to be a massive party and that’s what it was. I also loved the girly time on the morning of the wedding with the bridesmaids and all my family.

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham   Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham   Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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We had a simple cake made by Gemma at Love Lily Cakes. It was all white and had a flower appliqué on it. We had 3 tiers which consisted of Victoria sponge cake, chocolate cake and lemon cake.

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham   Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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After the excitement of the wedding we had a mini moon for a few days to the Feversham Arms in Helmsley and we are hoping to go to New York at the end of the year. We live in Dubai so we wanted to stay in the North East to enjoy the rest of the festive season with our friends and families.

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be just to enjoy it and try and take it in. It is such a fun day but it goes so quickly. We got married 6 weeks ago and it already feels like it was so long ago.

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Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham   Rachel and Ryan's wedding at Rockcliffe Hall, Co. Durham

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Congratulations Rach & Ry!

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*I cannot guarantee that no tears were shed during the editing of this blog post.

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  – Images © 2012 Katy Melling Photography

Katy Melling Photography is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier, but this is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Introducing Our New Guest Blogger (& Tips For Choosing Your Bridesmaids)!

October 5th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Rachel Parry Mosaic Brides.

I’m excited to announce to new addition of a regular guest blogger here at Brides Up North – and this isn’t just any other random guest blogger – this girl comes with some pretty brilliant Northern bridal industry credentials.

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A huge and hearty welcome to Rachel Parry, the newest member of our growing team (ahem), here at Brides Up North HQ, and none other than editor of Mosaic Brides Magazine, an influential industry publication in Yorkshire. 

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In her first post for her favourite wedding blog (*blush*) she tackles a tricky topic for any leading lady – choosing your supporting cast – your bridesmaids.  Over to you, Rachel. 

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With black & white images by Katy Melling Photography

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Bridesmaids by Katy Melling Photography

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Rachel says: So the ring is firmly on the finger and you can’t wait to tell your friends and family.

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After cooing over the ring female attention soon turns towards questions about bridesmaids.  So who’s it going to be? Mums and aunties may well have already formed an opinion on this years ago, but ultimately the decision is down to the bride and it’s not one that should be rushed.

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It’s important to bear in mind from the offset that bridesmaids are there to make the planning process and the big day itself less stressful and more enjoyable – they should lessen the tension, not add to it.

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Winning attributes include those who are supportive of you and your relationship as well as being honest, trustworthy, responsible, organised and loving.

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Bridesmaids by Katy Melling Photography

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How Many?

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Where to draw the line? According to tradition the amount of bridesmaids should be proportionate to the size of the guest list in order to help things run smoothly on the day.

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While it’s important to remember that bridesmaids can be a great help in the run up to and during the wedding, there’s no point recruiting excessive numbers.  In many ways having too many bridesmaids can heighten stress levels rather than reduce them. For example more bridesmaids mean more cost on things like presents, dresses and accessories. It also means more people to organise and please when it comes to picking the bridesmaid dresses and arranging the fittings.

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Really what it should come down to is who you want closet to you on the journey towards and during your wedding day – whether that be just one person or a great big group.

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Bridesmaids by Katy Melling Photography    Bridesmaids by Katy Melling Photography

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Bridesmaids by Katy Melling Photography

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Who?

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Probably the hardest part. Opinions are often divided at this point as whether to pick friends, family or a mixture of the two.  Some would undoubtedly argue that blood is thicker than water and therefore it should be family before friends but not all families are close and it could make both the bride and family bridesmaid feel uncomfortable.

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On the flip side friends can come and go, so as difficult as it is hold back from impromptu proposals and wait until closer the time when you can pick those nearest and dearest.

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When making your decision take time to think about who would suit the role, who knows you best, who has time to fulfil the role and would feel honoured to do so.  You shouldn’t have to explain your choices to anyone but by considering the above it shows you have thought hard about your decision rather than just picking those who will look good in a pretty dress.

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And remember, being a bridesmaid is an honour, not a right, so don’t feel pressured to ‘repay the compliment’ by purely asking someone to be your bridesmaid because you did it for them.

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Bridesmaids by Katy Melling Photography

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What?

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In order to avoid a competitive scene from the film Bridesmaids it’s important to make your maids feel equally important and involved.

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The usual bridesmaid duties might include:

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Helping to pick/organise things for the day

Advising on the wedding dress/bridesmaid dresses and attending fittings

Helping to make things for the wedding

Organising the hen do

Helping you get ready on the day

Doing a reading/making a speech

Working with the ushers/best man to organise guests and photos

Making sure you have everything you need throughout the day and ensuring things go smoothly.

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Remember though, these are friends – not slaves (and you want them to still be your friends at the end of the process!). 

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Bridesmaids by Katy Melling Photography

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The maid of honour/chief bridesmaid is generally a position allocated to the person who knows you inside out and will therefore take on board your feelings and wishes.  This person should also relieve some of the stress resting on your shoulders by overseeing the other bridesmaids, making organisational skills a bonus.   Above all the maid of honour should know how to keep you calm and make you smile.

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Much love, Rachel x

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To see all the beautiful images from Mr and Mrs Luke’s Real Wedding click here. 

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  – Images © 2012 Katy Melling Photography 

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Fabulous Photographer: Katy Melling Photography

February 15th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Katy Melling Photography

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Today’s interviewee, fabulous photographer Katy Melling Photography recently shot the wedding of my best friend Rachel.  Check out the images in this post.

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Having seen her in action and seen the results, I can say first hand that this lady’s work is exquisite.  But don’t just take my word for it.  See for yourself…

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Katy Melling Photography

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How did you get into wedding photography?

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I studied photography at college when I was 18 and have worked as a photographer and assistant in London, Leeds and Newcastle.  After working as a photographer for other companies I wanted to be able to express my own style, so after a little worrying and a few pep talks from friends and family I took on a friend’s wedding in 2003.  It went so well that I caught the wedding photography bug and took on another few weddings through people I knew.  Soon I was able to quit my part time job as a photographers assistant and build my own business.

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Katy Melling Photography

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Katy Melling Photography

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Why wedding photography specifically?

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Wedding photography is a passion for me. My motivation comes from documenting the hard work and attention to detail that goes into making every happy couple’s dream day the best day of their lives.  I have photographed some beautiful diverse and unique weddings, every single one without exception has moved me.

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Katy Melling Photography

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Katy Melling Photography

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What is your favourite thing about being a wedding photographer?

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The people I meet make my job the most rewarding job there is.  I have made so many good friends from photographing weddings. My motivation comes from getting to know my wonderful clients and producing photographs that bring a tear to their eyes.  You can only achieve that kind of intimate result if you really know your clients and care about what you’re producing.

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Katy Melling Photography

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Katy Melling Photography

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How do you get couples to relax on the day?

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I like to think that my clients feel relaxed around me on their wedding day. I work hard to build up a good relationship with them well in advance of their big day.  I meet them a couple of times before the wedding and all my packages include a pre wedding shoot.  Although many couples tend to feel self conscious at the thought of being photographed, a pre wedding shoot really does help them to relax and get used to being in front of the camera.  All my clients agree that the pre wedding shoot helped to put them at ease for the big day!

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Katy Melling Photography

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Any advice to any brides who don’t like to have their picture taken?

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A pre wedding shoot is a must. If you’re going to feel self conscious, better that you do it when it doesn’t matter. After the shoot your confidence will have grown and you will have learned to relax and have fun in front of the camera. Shooting a pre wedding shoot costs me time and money, but it is an investment that I make without a second thought, because it pays dividends on the wedding day.

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Katy Melling Photography

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What sort of makeup should a bride wear to look great in her pictures?

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I think when it comes to make up on your wedding day you need to look and feel like yourself.  After all, you will have these photographs for the rest of your life and the last thing you want is to go for is a look that’ll date or make you look like someone else.  I would say, embrace the real you and go for a fresh, natural look.  One thing I would recommend is to book a make up artist for a trial and take their advice on what works best. Having your make up done on the wedding day takes the stress out of getting ready and ensures that you’re relaxed and ready for the day.

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Katy Melling Photography

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Katy Melling Photography

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Anything to avoid which might look bad in the wedding pictures?

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Avoid taking on a different style – be yourself and think about how you want to look well in advance, take advice from professional make up artists and hair dressers, its their business to know what will suit you and show off your natural features.

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Katy Melling Photography

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Which celebrity wedding would you most like to photograph and why?

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I would love to see and photograph Jennifer Aniston finally getting married again.  She’s a naturally beautiful lady and I imagine is really fun to work with, so I would love to photograph her wedding. 

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Katy Melling Photography

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Any really memorable weddings that you have captured?

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I have done too many weddings like this to single one out. I remember specific parts of all of them for different reasons. I photographed a wedding in Northumberland at a family farm, the day was beautiful, the bride was stunning and I will never forget the photograph I got of the couple in a field of corn flowers in beautiful light.  I am lucky enough to have strong professional links with florists, caterers, make artist and hairdressers, who all work their magic along with the wedding venues themselves to provide couples with experiences that they will never forget – its a real privilege to be so closely involved in recording these special, beautiful and moving moments.

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Katy Melling Photography

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Katy Melling Photography

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Are you married?  Tell us about your day.

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Yes, I have been married for nearly a year, we got married in May 2011.  I actually found planning our wedding quite a tough job – I’ve seen so many beautiful weddings, styled in such different ways that I just didn’t know which way to go or what to pick!!  We got there in the end and I wore ‘Anixi’ by Jenny Packham, I adore her dresses, I see them as very romantic dresses, very soft and delicate.  My bridesmaids wore similar looking dresses by Lazaro in black. Tim and his groomsmen wore morning suits and we had a traditional church wedding with a choir that blew me away. We had the reception in a marquee back at my parents house. The day was fantastic and worth every second of painstaking planning and organising.  We’d planned to disappear quietly but I just didn’t want to leave.  Poor Tim had to ask the DJ to announce that we were leaving just to get me off the dance floor – otherwise I’d have been there till the next morning!

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Katy Melling Photography

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Katy Melling Photography

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Katy Melling Photography

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What sets you apart from other wedding photographers?

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I have a very gentle an unimposing manner and I’m able to capture many parts of the day without anyone being aware.  I adore all the details and have a great eye for capturing them – nothing and no one gets passed me without being photographed! Every single wedding that I photograph motivates me as much as the first one I did. To be good at something, you have to love it, and I absolutely love photographing weddings!

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Katy Melling Photography

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Katy Melling Photography

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What can a couple who book you expect on the day?

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I will arrive to get all the preparations before the ceremony including any details and will stay until the first dance.   I pride myself on having a low key presence, which allows me to drift into the perfect position to get those fly on the wall shots and when I need to stage a shot I work quickly with the bride and groom so that the flow of the day isn’t interrupted.  I like to take the formal shots of family as soon as I can after the ceremony, so that everyone can relax and enjoy themselves. Then I whisk the bride and groom off for 20 minutes to get some natural shots of them on their own.  I cover the reception, the speeches and the first dance. I really love photographing the speeches; it’s a great opportunity to get natural shots of friends and family enjoying themselves, laughing and crying when stories are told.

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Katy Melling Photography

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What is included in your "package"?

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Included in my packages are a pre-wedding shoot, the full day at the wedding from bridal prep until the first dance, and an album or book. 

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Katy Melling Photography

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Katy Melling Photography

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Can you give us an idea on price?

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My package prices start at £1760 for the full day, a pre wedding shoot and a coffee table book. 

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Katy Melling Photography

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Katy Melling Photography

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Can you do a discount for Brides Up North readers? 

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I certainly can – any bride that books me through Brides Up North can have a complimentary 10×7 framed photograph worth £200.  Just mention Brides Up North when booking. 

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Katy Melling Photography

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How can Brides Up North get in touch with you/ see more examples of your work?

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Brides and grooms can get in touch with me either via my contact page on my website – www.katymelling.com, on 0191 284 1080 or 07855 754 513 or by email at info@katymelling.com

I also have a blog – http://katymelling.com/blog/ and am contactable through Facebook ‘Katy Melling Photography’ and Twitter @katymelling

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Katy Melling Photography

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Katy Melling Photography

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  – Images © 2012 Katy Melling Photography

Katy Melling Photography is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Real Wedding Recap 2011: Pretty Perfect! A Pastel Palette Real Wedding In The North East, Alex & Sil

December 25th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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This wedding blog favourite, first featured back in September, packs so much pretty it should almost be illegal.  But being beautiful isn’t an offence, lucky for us!  Merry Christmas to Alex and Sil, and to all of you on this very special day. 

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Katy Melling Photography

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Friend of the wedding blogKaty Melling Photography sent me the perfect antidote to darker evenings recently: a prettily perfect summer wedding packed with peonies and pastel shades.  Alex and Sil, today’s couple, packed the English leg of their multicultural celebration with gorgeous details, traditional tailoring and amazing floral displays.  And one beautiful wedding dress, worn two ways. 

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Be sure to click through to take in all the inspiration.  Just wait till you see the centre pieces!  Oooh the centre pieces!  I die.

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Two words: Be inspired!

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Katy Melling Photography

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Over to the bride.  Alex says:  Sil proposed in January 2010 in his parents garden after they had decorated it with fairy lights, Chinese lanterns and floating candles.  We had two wedding celebrations this year, two days apart.  Our English wedding was held at Middleton Lodge, North Yorkshire on 1st May 2011 and our Chinese wedding was on 3rd May, at China Court Restaurant, China Town, Birmingham. 

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Katy Melling Photography

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We instantly fell in love with Middleton Lodge because we could have the house for the whole weekend and the owners and staff so very flexible and friendly.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Katy Melling Photography   Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Katy Melling Photography

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Katy Melling Photography   Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Katy Melling Photography

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Katy Melling Photography

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Katy Melling Photography

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Katy Melling Photography

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