Real Weddings

A rustic wedding at Shotton Grange – Rebecca & Ryan

24th June 2019 | Alexis Forsyth

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Easter fun takes centre stage today, as we share Rebecca and Ryan’s big day at the stunning Shotton Grange in Northumberland, which yep, you guessed it, took place over the Easter weekend as did their epic engagement a year before.

For the couple, it was all about the personal touches and they handmade lots of styling elements; from their order of service to their post box and even a donut stand! Going for a rustic vibe, this was beautifully complemented by the likes of rose gold lanterns, a vintage bike and ladders, and hessian bunting.

An Easter egg hunt, cream eggs for favours and an appearance from a rather dapper Rocco the Frenchie – not to mention colourful Insta-worthy smoke plumes – are other wonderfully unique details to admire. Here’s Rebecca to share the highlights.

With images by Jonathan Stockton Photography

Proposal

Rebecca says: We got engaged in York on 31st March 2018. My best friend Ebony told me she was visiting from Australia, so I tried to arrange a weekend away with the university girls in Leeds (as we all went to uni there). Most of the group were busy that weekend, which I was very annoyed about. After all, it’s not every week your friend visits from Australia. Ebony and her fiancé Tom wanted to meet at a café outside of York for lunch before heading into Leeds.

So, on the morning of Good Friday we headed down the road to York. The weather was terrible, and the rain was relentless until about a few miles from the café. I looked at Ryan and he had blotches all over his neck (he only gets this when he is stressed or nervous). He said it was because he was hot. Next thing, Ryan pulls the car over and says, “I have an Easter present for you”. It was shoe box sized and gift wrapped. I opened the box and inside was a collectable Charlie Bear (we have collected these since the first Valentine’s gift Ryan gave me). Around the bear’s neck was a tag, which I thought was the certificate of authenticity. As I opened it, I read what was on the plaque: “I love you for all that you are, all that you have been and all that you are yet to be; will you marry me”- Ryan was then down on one knee with a beautiful ring.

We continued up a county road and Ryan stopped the car, I was expecting a small café and Ebony standing with a balloon. To my surprise around 50 plus of my best friends (including the “busy” uni girls) and family lined a beautiful manor house. Most people stayed for a two-day celebration all organised by Ryan… amazing!

Setting

We chose Easter because we got engaged on Easter weekend 2018 and I also told Ryan I loved him for the first time at Easter.

We got married at Shotton Grange in Northumberland, it was a delight to have our ceremony and reception there. As soon as we saw the venue, we fell in love with it. Like the engagement weekend, we wanted somewhere for a couple of nights, that was exclusive, personal and suitable for our number of guests but with enough rooms for our bridesmaids, groomsmen and partners, staying together for the night before and night of the wedding. Shotton Grange provides that and so much more. It was an unbelievable venue and the staff went above and beyond the whole weekend.

Theme

We opted for a personal and rustic theme. We are both very sentimental and wanted to make everyone who attended feel special too.

We went for woodland and green foliage. We chose it as when we first saw the pictures of the venue, we noticed how the house peeks through the trees and we were instantly drawn to the woodland surrounding the house.

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Dress

I bought my Anna Sorrano dress from Wed2Be. I actually went to Glasgow to buy a TV. Whilst traveling, I saw an Instagram advert for a dress I loved the look of, I phoned the shop and they had it in stock and in my size. My friend was in Glasgow too, so I went to the shop and tried on two different dresses. I went back a week later and purchased one. I loved them both though – one had sleeves and I was worried Rocco (my little Frenchie) would catch the sleeves with his claws.

I didn’t have any big ideas with regards to a dress; Ryan would make me feel special in whatever I chose. But I really did feel amazing and so special in the dress.

I went back to Wed2Be a couple of months before the wedding to purchase another dress for dancing. I tried one dress on, loved it and bought it!

Groomsmen

Ryan wore a grey window pane suit by Marc Darcy with a Hugo Boss shirt, Paul Smith tie, custom made shoes by Hand Dyed Shoe Company and a watch by Omega (which was a gift from me to Ryan).

The groomsmen wore waistcoats and trousers from ASOS. Ryan’s mam also custom-made Rocco a matching waistcoat.

Bridesmaids

My bridesmaids wore a TFNC Serene mauve maxi dress. All of the girls felt so comfortable and looked stunning.

Beauty

Our makeup was done by Kel, and hair was styled by Katie at Keep it Pinned. Both girls were so lovely and calming. They made me, and all of the bridal party, feel and look amazing.

Transport

No transport was required as we were staying at the venue, and so I walked down the stairs and around the main house with all my girls and my granddad in my very special bespoke Harriet Wilde Shoes.

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Photography

Jonathan Stockton Photography captured our day. We could never imagine having any other photographer. We loved all his work we had seen, and after we met up with him and saw that he was really laid back, it confirmed that he was the perfect choice for us.

He offered us a pre-wedding shoot and we got some amazing photos on the beach and it allowed us to see his amazing style of photography. This got us really excited and he came to us with ideas for the day when we all scoped out the venue. He is beyond thorough and was a great laugh, he always goes the extra mile and we really cannot stress how much he is the only man we would be going to for photos in the future. He captured some perfect moments. Just awesome!

Videography

Skytographer filmed our day. He is very laid back and was good fun to have around. A great character and always up for some light-hearted fun. He captured some amazing video footage throughout the day. The montage video is a real special memento for us, and also Ryan’s grandma, who has been unwell and couldn’t make it over from Spain for the big day.

Styling

I loved my bouquet, which was provided by Flowers by Michelle in Sacriston. It was a stunning teardrop shape with thistles, lisianthus, blush roses, gypsophila, and fountain grass and eucalyptus which carried on the foliage theme.

We had gypsophila and fountain grass end ties for the aisle. The mantlepiece garland and registry table and top table arrangement all complemented the bridal bouquet and theme.

Artificial eucalyptus hearts formed the main feature of our centrepiece and personalised candles added a lovely touch with handmade wooden base panels.

We had rose gold charger plates, chiffon chair sashes, rose gold lanterns, R & R LED rustic letters, vintage welcome bike and rustic ladders – all from The Artisan Wedding House. Miriam, the owner of The Artisan Wedding House, was so polite and professional. She got our ideas and theme of our wedding straight away. She had great recommendations for suitable props and what would complement what we already had. She really has an eye for bringing out the best of a venue. I really feel the touches she added made the venue look so special.

Ryan and I handmade personalised bridesmaid and groomsmen wooden boxes, along with a wooden welcome sign, order of service, a wooden flip flop and blanket holder, candy carts, a post box, and a donut stand.

We also had ‘Mr and Mrs Bennett’ rustic hessian bunting purchased from Etsy and a personalised selfie sign by Dansky Arts & Crafts.

Favours

We gave our guests cream eggs. How can you not on Easter weekend?

Also, personalised wooden place names as mentioned above.

Cake

We had a three-tiered semi naked cake with floral decorations which suited the rustic theme, made by Cake Lady Creations. It consisted of lemon, coconut, raspberry and white chocolate with buttercream and frosting, and the flowers on the cake were by Flowers By Michelle.

Dining

The menu and wines we chose were inspired by Shotton’s tasting evening which we attended on Valentine’s night. It was a very romantic evening and a perfect way to spend our last one as Mr & Miss in the very room we would become Mr & Mrs. We did add some twists of our own, for example, Ryan’s favourite dessert jam roly poly and the venue was more than accommodating.

Entertainment

Shotton Grange has a resident DJ who was great fun. We chose him because we had people from all over the world, including Australia and Canada, and all over the UK. We just wanted to see where the night took us with regards to songs. We also had a Shania Twain night at the hen weekend, so the girls were keen to blast out the classics.

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Special touches

We made lots of our decorations, all from stained up pallet wood, as it makes for very rustic additions. We also put photos all around the venue to make it feel like our own house.

On the morning of the wedding I arranged a surprise Easter egg hunt which led Ryan to his dream watch. Ryan totally spoilt me and sent up the groomsmen with individually wrapped presents, each containing a personal message.

We both had custom wedding bands made by Ian Gallacher Jewellery Manufacturing in Stirling, Scotland. We love our rings and they’re engraved on the inside with R&R 20.04.19 for our special day.

Thanks to

The staff made every effort to make our special day, or weekend as it was at Shotton Grange, bespoke and truly ours. Nothing was too much trouble and the setting is just amazing. It has a homely rustic feel and with the coach house for the ceremony, we just knew instantly it was for us. I defy anyone wanting this style of wedding not to fall in love with it!

Lots of venues do a standard wedding selection but Shotton made custom options for us and the standard of food amazed all those at the party. This is not just food to fill a hole. It was delicious, cooked to perfection and everyone commented on it!

They let us have our special man Rocco with us and share in our little family’s love. He looked sharp!

We had one designated member of staff with us the whole weekend who was also our master of ceremonies. Stuart is truly incredible at his job and nothing was too big of an ask. We had some great laughs with him over the weekend and he was great at making any worries disappear.

Best bit

It was so special and heart-warming to take a moment to appreciate everyone that was there and how far they had travelled to see Ryan and myself confirm our love in marriage. It was just great fun running through the confetti and seeing all our loved ones smiling and laughing with us.

Honeymoon

We went to the Maldives and stayed in an over water villa with a private pool. It is truly the most relaxing place. It was great to have some downtime and reminisce about the best weekend of our lives. We were able to snorkel on the reef with direct access from the decking of the villa. A highlight was definitely the sunset cruise where we were lucky enough to see dolphins. It was so special to see them swimming along next to the boat. It was exactly what we needed to wind down after the wedding and the best start to married life.

Advice

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be – be true to what you want as a couple. The more people you involve the more opinions you get and find yourself trying to please them rather than yourself. It’s your day so do what you find fun. Always remember you know everything about your day. No one else will notice if one of the flowers is out of position, so don’t stress about if something goes wrong, laugh it off and keep on partying! Always smile and keep your best buddy by your side. Rocco the bonny bully stole the show for us; we wouldn’t have had it any other way.

During the planning, we also looked at the Brides Up North Instagram to get ideas and spark our imagination for our special day.

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