Dance, Laugh, Drink: The Pint In Hand Wedding of Leah + Ryan

Happy New Year you lovely bunch!

Whether this little part of the internet is a regular haunt of yours, or you’re a shiny and new visitor seeking wedding and lifestyle inspiration, a very warm welcome, you’ve stopped by on the perfect day, January 1st, 2018. How good does the start of a new year feel?!

With a love story that spans from the corridors of Belfast High, right to the desert of Dubai via a stop in Cleethorpes, England, our first real wedding of the year is a goodun! Teachers Leah and Ryan have a great love story, full of fun and wit and threw the coolest ‘pint in hand’ wedding day that I’m delighted to share. Photography was by those talented twosome, Ria and Paul from Creative Flux Photography, so I know you’re going to love it! Enjoy…

Hilden Brewery Wedding, Creative Flux Media | The Promise NI

Hilden Brewery Wedding, Creative Flux Media | The Promise NI Hilden Brewery Wedding, Creative Flux Media | The Promise NI

Couple: Leah + Ryan Reaney

“Ry was in the year below me at Belfast High so I always knew him from around school – he was a bit of a bad boy. A few years before we got together, I actually chucked him out of a house party! But, he won me around with his charming ways a few years later after he saw me in the sixth form centre at school and told his friend Kyle that he was going to marry me one day. And the rest is history. We went on to study at Edge Hill University together, got our first teaching jobs in Cleethorpes, England together at the same academy, and then together embarked on our most recent adventure to the desert – where we both teach in the same academy in a town called Ras Al Khaimah in the UAE.”

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The Proposal: We got engaged on 31st March 2015, and this isn’t the story we’ve told our Grannies!
 We had planned to fly out Dubai to suss out the school/area before signing our contracts. The morning we were flying, I was about to get in the shower as Ry was packing his suitcase downstairs. I shouted downstairs jokingly ‘You better make sure that big diamond doesn’t weigh down the suitcase!’ Ry isn’t easily flustered or embarrassed and he immediately became very sheepish. He said ‘Yeah, yeah, whatever!’ I then knew I put my foot in it and said, ‘Swear on our relationship you don’t have a ring packed!’ One of the things I love about Ry is he can’t lie, and this moment was no different. He nervously said, ‘You better get down here!’ Low and behold there was a ring in his suitcase and he was planning to propose on a beach in Dubai. Nonetheless, Ry insisted I come downstairs. But, I was literally about to jump in the shower. I could tell he was flustered so just ran downstairs and at the bottom of the stairs of our little house in England, Ry proposed to me while I sat on the bottom stair naked! Of course – the grannies got the made up romantic story. Looking back though – the story is just us. Honest and in the moment!

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Wedding date: Saturday 6th August 2016

Ceremony: Carnmoney Church

Reception: Hilden Brewery, Lisburn

Our Planning: We both knew we wanted a really relaxed ‘pint in hand’ big get together with all our loved ones. As soon as we arrived back in Belfast from our trip to Dubai, we set off for Hilden Brewery. We had a gorgeous meal and Ry was won over by the fab beers - we paid the deposit there and then. The tipis were a central part of our choice to go with Hilden, as we just loved the relaxed atmosphere it would provide. We were both so relaxed about the rest of the planning. With living in Dubai, most of it was done via email. The absolutely amazing Laura from Betty Williamson was our angel! We had planned to set a budget – but didn’t ever really get round to it. So we just went with the flow and picked what we wanted and didn’t stress too much about it. 

One thing we didn’t want to compromise on was our guest experiences as we had so many people who travelled from afar to celebrate with us. We wanted to make sure we provided transport for our travelling guests (my dad’s friend owns a hummer company), feed everyone after the church service (crepe van), cocktails and beers on arrival to Hilden (bearded groom and ginger bride cocktails), beer on tap throughout the night, chips for supper and toasted marshmallows on a fire pit. One area I did save on was the professional calligraphed name settings. Instead of getting them printed, I asked my little class of four year olds to help me write the names on cards!

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Our Style: I love the colour grey - I just think it’s a colour that goes with anything. I was conscious of choosing any pinks/purples as I was worried they might clash with my ginger hair. My favourite colour is burnt orange, so my colour palette for the day was greys, taupes, golds, burnt orange and cream. Altogether, I thought it suited the relaxed feel we were going for with the bar and tipi reception. 

A British dress-maker from Dubai helped me design my dress and she made it bit by bit over the course of 9 months. I knew I wanted something really relaxed. However, because I hadn’t been dress shopping beforehand, I wasn’t so sure what suited my figure. So, together, we just ‘winged’ it and hoped for the best! I knew I wanted a little bit of lace, my arms covered, a low back and floaty skirt.

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Our Highlights: There are maybe too many to mention! We loved sneaking away to the H&W shipyard by ourselves before heading to Hilden. It let us have a chat and let it sink in the fact that we had just become Mr & Mrs Reaney. 

We also loved the moment we drove into the yard of Hilden Brewery. The sun was beaming out of the sky, the Kooky Ukes were playing ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered’ and as we got out of the car, everyone cheered with their cocktails and beers in the air. That feeling of seeing all of your loved ones in one place made our hearts happy, a memory we’ll never forget. 

 The students that we teach (from 4 years old, to 16 year olds), made a little video for us for the church to give us marriage advice. The difference in advice made us and the congregation giggle. One of my little children said, ‘Well now Miss Gamble, you can lay a baby!’ 

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Our Advice: Enjoy every single moment. Sneak away for a few moments if you can with your new husband or wife to let the day sink in! You’re actually partners in crime for life now!!

Dance, laugh, drink and dance some more!

Make a list of photographs you’d like your photographer to take. Don’t forget to ask them to take a photograph of all the guests together with you. Hilden Brewery Wedding, Creative Flux Media | The Promise NI Hilden Brewery Wedding, Creative Flux Media | The Promise NI

Super Suppliers

Venue: Hilden Brewery, Lisburn.

Dress: Bespoke by a friend.

Bridesmaids dresses: Debenhams.

Hair: Emma McConville, Newtownabbey.

Makeup: Rebecca Saulters MUA, Belfast.

Grooms wear: The Wedding Centre, Randalstown.

Cake: Wedding gift from a family friend.

Flowers: Abbey Florist, Newtownabbey.

Bridal cars: Star Car Hire, Larne.

Guest travel: A Touch of Class, Newtownabbey.

Videographer: Story of Eve, Lurgan.

Reception  entertainment: The Kooky Ukes.

Reception band: The Best Men.

Food truck: Flipping Crepes, Newtownabbey.

Light up letters: Electric Alphabet, Belfast.

Stationery: The White Letter, Belfast.

Wedding styling: Betty Williamson Events, County Armagh.

Photographer: Creative Flux Photography, Belfast.