Brides Up North

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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