Well we are half way through 2020 (& what a year it’s been!!), so for those who are planning a Christmas Wedding this year, I hope you are able to start getting excited. Who knows what will be happening by the end of the year, but one thing is for sure, a christmas wedding is full of romance! Today I am delighted hand over to Danielle to share with you this gorgeous couples special day from Christmas 2019.
How long have you been together?
4 years on our wedding day.
How did you meet?
We worked together at the University of Buckingham. I walked in to Liam’s office and said ‘hi’. I went back to my office and wrote my name next to his on my note book. When I first met him I knew I would have his surname one day. We were friends for 3 years before he asked me out.
When & how did you get engaged?
We got engaged on 11th February 2017. I had chronic sinusitis and Liam was insistent that we should go for a walk. We went to Stowe gardens and when we got to Palladium Bridge, Liam said that we should take a selfie. It was snowing and I was freezing, grumpy, no makeup, and in agony with the pain in my head, but still went along with it. He held up the camera and I saw a little wooden box in the screen. I turned around and he proposed. I was in such shock that I couldn’t speak until the afternoon.
Which date did you chose for your wedding day?
We wanted to get married at Christmas time, because our first date was on the first weekend in December.
Where did you hold your ceremony & reception?
We held the ceremony and reception at the Hallmark Hotel in Stratford Upon Avon. The ceremony was upstairs overlooking the gardens and the reception was in the lower level, which had beautiful brick arches that we decorated with floral garlands, book pages, drop candles and lanterns designed and provided by Signature Flowers.
We found the venue on a sunny sunday afternoon. Liam’s Dad took us out for the day to look at potential venues locally because we had to change our venue last minute. We walked in to use the facilities after being tired from driving and it just felt right.
Who was involved in planning your wedding?
We split the tasks and planning and did the important things together. Liam put together all of the music and arranged appointments with suppliers and we chose everything together, except my dress.
Did you both have Hen/Stag Do’s?
Liam had a day and evening of fun with the lads. They went to Birmingham very early in the morning for escape rooms, beer tasting and buggy racing.
I went to London with my girlfriends. They rented an apartment and decorated it with pictures and balloons, we then dressed in 1920’s attire and went for dinner at Brasserie Zedel, a grand parisian dining hall with an authentic art deco interior, followed by an evening of caberet and very nice champagne.
How many people did you invite to share your special day?
We had 50 day guests and 75 total evening guests.
Who were your Bridesmaids?
My sister and three friends from University.
Who were your Best Man/Men & Ushers?
Best Man was Liam’s best friend Sam and he had two ushers, his brother and close friend from school.
What did you wear?
A bridal gown designed by London Rose, Anasastia in venetian ivory lace.
What did the Liam wear?
Tradtional grey tails, with a tweed waistcoat and burgundy tie. Hired from Suitors in Buckingham.
What theme/colour scheme did you chose?
We had a literary theme because we both love reading, studying and learning. We chose books from our childhood and they were the names of the tables. We had books decorated with flowers and they were the centre pieces along with antique candelabras.
We were very close to Christmas, so we chose Christmas colours, but we also included blush table runners and chair sashes to make it feel more romantic. We are both keen on 1920-30’s and wanted to include the art deco aesthetic, without it feeling like a fancy dress party. We used old books from charity shops and we were given lots by family and friends. We also included lots of tea lights in green glass jars, whiskey bottles and gold frames where we could.
How did you feel on the morning of your wedding?
I was excited, calm and felt really special. Liam also sent me a bouquet and some earrings for me to wear as a suprise.
What did you choose to eat?
We both love family meals, so we decided to have a vegetarian mezze for the starter which were sharer platters, this really got the conversation going on the tables.
The main was a traditional chrismas dinner with the trimmings, for vegans we had Pumkin and Sage Risotto and for the Vegetarians Mushroom and Ale tarlets (they were really cute). We asked for extra vegetables to be brought to the tables too, everyone was very complimentary about the food and didn’t go hungry.
The menus were printed on individual scrolls and we had small order of the day cards printed onto little gift tags so that people could put them into their pocket and knew where they had to be for photos etc.
Who made speeches?
We kept it traditional, my dad ‘Pops’ gave a speech, as did the best man and Liam. Liam made me cry when he ended his speach with a quote from Winnie the Pooh.
Which song did you choose for your ‘First Dance’?
We chose Etta James, Sunday Kind of Love. It is really sentimental song and we both love old time jazz.
What was your favourite part of the day?
It was all wonderful, but my favorite part was seeing everyone arrive in the evening and getting the party started. Our youngest niece danced with me in front of everyone and we didnt realise it but all of our guests were watching and taking pictures. We felt like princesses.
What was your one Wedding Day ‘Must Have’?
We wanted to have really good music and whiskey…
Would you change anything or do you have any advice for currently engaged couples?
We would recommend a less is more approach. Dont get caught up in adding things because everyone else does.
Would you like to mention any particular wedding suppliers who assisted with your day?
Flowers – Signature Flowers
Makeup – SMA Makeup
Wedding Dress – Confetti and Curves Bridal
Suit hire – Suitors
Bridesmaid dresses – Asos
Hair stylist – Raye Leonard – Vintage Victory Rollers
Thank you so much Danielle, for sharing your day with us.
Wishing you all a safe and fun filled week!
Photography credit: James Arnia Photography