There are few times in the year that bring everyone together in such a way, so when you couple the festive season with a wedding you know it is going to be a very special day!
If you have chosen late December as a wedding date embrace the Christmas spirit and use it as inspiration to make your day unique.
One of the very budget friendly aspects of a December wedding is that most venues will already be decorated. You can carry this through to your table decorations so it all pulls together as a complete colour scheme.
How could we do a Christmas inspiration post and not include those baubles that were such a hit from last weeks post, found here
You do not have to use reds and greens as a colour scheme to incorporate a bit of Christmas in your day, lavender crackers found here
Food is one place you can completely embrace the theme for Christmas. Cranberry fizz or mulled wine for pre dinner drinks, pigs in blankets as canapes, smoked salmon starter, Turkey dinner and yule log for dessert- sounds like a pretty perfect wedding breakfast to us!
If that’s too much maybe look at incorporating aspects into the evening buffet such as mini mince pies found here.
Or gingerbread men on your wedding cake…
A beautifully unique way of incorporating Christmas into your wedding cake, we love this gingerbread man cake, found here
Beautiful winter berries combined with pine cones, roses and that deep green make for a stunning festive bouquet. Inspiration found here
A quirky alternative to a summer floral crown, Winter berry head crown found here
We have complete wedding dress envy for this amazing Ellie Saab design, imagine it combined with a beautiful hooded cape a la Veronica Lake- SWOON
We hope this collection of Christmas wedding inspiration has helped you feel all festive- any great wedding supplier should be able to give you a wealth of ideas and inspiration. If you need any help to find such suppliers check out our Lush List.
One last idea… imagine your guests faces (young and old) should Santa show up for a little while for a photo booth! Ho ho ho Merry Christmas!
Want to see how a wedding professional ties the knot? Natasha is one of the directors of Empire Events (A wedding and event management company). She married her fiancé Tony on the 28th December 2013 at St Peter’s Church, Dinas Powys followed by a reception at Pencoed House, Cardiff. Lets hand you over to Natasha with all the lovely details. And many thanks to Imagine That Photography for taking these fabulous images.
What was your budget?
Getting married can be expensive but you can make it as expensive or as cost effective as you wish depending upon what means most to you. We decided there were some things that we would spend a little more on happily e.g. photography as those were our memories of the day and it was really worth it! But we did save on other items by doing things ourselves or sourcing things from the high street where possible too. I don’t think it is wise to get into debt for a wedding if you can help it and this is definitely something we were not willing to do. We set a budget at the start and listed everything in a spreadsheet we wanted and then worked out costs in order to stick to it as much as possible which we did. We spent 18 months saving up so we could afford everything we wanted!
How would you describe your wedding theme?
We decided when we got engaged (whilst skiing) that we wanted to continue this theme into our wedding and get married in the winter as we both love to ski and wanted a wintery feel to it. We decided on a winter luxury feel as we weren’t too keen on the ‘ Winter Wonderland’ theme as such but still wanted the wedding to have a nice cosy wintery feel. We decided (or rather I decided and Tony simply nodded along!) on white and silver as the colours as we felt it would give it a classy/ classic feel whilst also having a wintery touch. The one thing I knew was that I wanted was LOTS of sparkle. I am like a magpie when it comes to sparkle so it was an absolutely must! Lots of sparkly touches also made it feel ultra wintery. I had clear vision ( thanks to pinterest) of what I wanted the room to look like but I found it very hard to source some of the things I wanted. As we had 18months to plan our wedding, I started looking very early for items ( the Christmas before) and stockpiling anything I thought would be perfect for our white/silver/sparkle colour theme. As the room at the venue is so beautiful in it’s own right, I knew I wouldn’t have to decorate the room much if I didn’t want to so I decided that the main focus of the decoration would be the tables themselves.I sourced items from suppliers where possible but if I couldn’t quite find what I wanted I went to the high street to buy some of them. Things I ended up buying were Sparkly table runners and cushions for the bar from H & M at Home and silver charger plates the Christmas prior from Home Bargains ( of all places!). I wanted a complete sparkly sequin table cloth for my top table only as I had the table runners for the guest tables and I had a nightmare trying to source this. Since the wedding, I have noticed there are now lots of suppliers hiring these out however when I was looking there was nothing I could find both locally and nationally. I was very set on what I wanted so I then looked at getting it made. In the UK, it was a nightmare to find the correct material and someone to make it without it costing the earth so it was then I looked on etsy.com and found a great little company in the USA with great reviews so I put my order in and 3 weeks later it arrived and was absolutely perfect! I am now planning on using it again for Christmas parties so it wasn’t a completely extravagant purchase ( that is what I keep telling myself and Tony!)
What was your favourite part of your wedding?
I think it is impossible to choose a favourite/ best part as the whole day was absolutely magical – from getting ready with the bridesmaids to the first dance however, I think there are three parts we loved the most: 1. The ceremony as this was the most special part of the day. We had a lovely traditional ceremony in our beautiful local church and it was so lovely to share it with each other and everyone we love! It was important to me to have a religious ceremony.
2. The drive from the church to the venue as it gave Tony and I some alone time and time to relax a little together before the reception. it was also one of the only times I managed to actually have a proper drink! 3. Spending the day with all our family and friends made it so magical and special. For both of us, the wedding was a first for a while in both families so everyone made the most of the day and enjoyed every second.
Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why?
We had quite a large wedding party. It was actually rather funny as our Master of Cermonies remarked after our ‘thank you’s’ in the speeches that it was like the film awards as it went on for so long. We are very lucky we had so many people to thank! I chose 5 bridesmaids who were a mixture of friends and family and a flower girl. I chose my business partner Sophie as my Maid of Honour, my best friend from university Catherine and my 3 cousins, Claire, Charlotte and Danielle as well as my close friends little girl Ava as our flower girl.
Tony had 2 best men – his best friends from school, Nad and Stephen. We also had five ushers who were a mixture of family and friends – my brothers Jacob and Damien, cousin Matthew, Tonys cousin Alun and good friends Aidan. Last but not least we had three paige boys – Marley and Carter, my bridesmaid catherine’s little boys and Darcy, our usher Alun’s little boy and Tony’s godson. We chose a mixture of friends and family who meant a lot to us but believe it or not it was even hard to whittle the list down to just this, we could have gone on forever! It was really important to us to include as many of our wonderful friends and family in our special day.
Why did you choose your venue?
When we got engaged, my first thought turned to the venue as I know they get booked up so far in advance and we didn’t want to be fighting for a date. Working in the industry myself, I found it difficult initially to choose as there are lots of really wonderful venues with fantastic staff and beautiful settings. We wanted something unique, where none of our friends/ family had seen that was fairly central and that had fantastic staff to ensure the smooth running of the day. I came across Pencoed House Estate online and we booked in to see it straight away. We loved it instantly when we saw it, the barn is beautiful, it has beautiful grounds, the family are so lovely and accommodating whilst the venue is also very central. I also loved the fact we could stay in their beautiful cottage on site too – it was perfect! I love the fact it has such a high end feel whilst also being relaxed and welcoming. The other thing that won it over for me was the attention to detail by the family, they were wonderful and I really made our day perfect! The day ran seamlessly and I was so pleased we had picked such a wonderful place.
How did the proposal happen?
I have to say, Tony got it just right with the proposal and I loved it! My mum and her partner live in the mountains in the Pyrenees in France and we go there every winter season to see them and to ski with our family. We had spent the week skiing with our family and it was an absolutely fantastic week with great weather so we were really enjoying our time as a family. We got to the last day of the trip and set out as normal as a group of 8 of us heading up the ski lifts to the top of the mountain. Tony kept asking me if we could perhaps ski on our own for a little while but me being the awkward one suggested we stick with everyone as it was the last day and I love skiing with my family. Obviously I had no idea what he had planned! When we all got off the top of the lift, Tony asked me to stop for a moment and help him put his knee brace on ( he sometimes wears one whilst skiing) but I was anxious to get going so he literally had to beg me to stop for a moment ( I was a nightmare and I do feel terrible for it now). I begrudgingly agreed to wait a moment and told everyone else to ski on so they didn’t have to wait for us. Next thing I knew, Tony had taken his skis off and what I thought, had fallen over ( but I now know he was getting on to one knee) he unwrapped his knee brace and there was a box inside – it was at that point my heart stopped as I knew what was coming next. He asked me to marry him and of course I accepted, much to the amusement of the french onlookers who clapped away. I felt terrible for being so mean and impatient but I was genuinely not expecting it. He proposed with a costume jewellery ring so I could choose one I wanted when we got back but I still wore it until that time. After he proposed we skied on down the mountain to find everyone and tell them the good news and they were delighted of course but also had no idea and were annoyed they had not seen it. We enjoyed the rest of the day skiing and sipping champagne! I also later found out he had asked my Dad for my hand in marriage ( funnily enough at one of our wedding fayres) which was lovely as I am quite traditional like that.
Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share?
Tony and I did quite a few things ourselves but also used lots of wonderful suppliers too, to take the pressure off! As we chose the weekend between Christmas and New Year to get married we spent Christmas 2013 getting crafty and finishing things off for the wedding. I wanted some sparkly table numbers for the tables but again I couldn’t find these to hire at the time. I noticed that Hobby Craft sold plain quite sturdy cardboard numbers for only £2 each so I thought I would give it a go and make them sparkly myself. I then bought some strong PVA and some glitter and just as you did when you were five years old in play school, I covered each number in PVA and glitter and then left to dry. I built it up in layers to make sure it was fully covered but I think you can see from the pictures they turned out great and I was really delighted with them ( although we are still finding glitter in our house!). We also made some pew bows for the pews in our church. We were very lucky as we got married at Christmas time, there was already lots of floral decorations in the church so we deiced against flowers but thought it would be nice to add some bows to the pews. I bought a roll of organza and a roll of satin ribbon from whittingtons on Bessember road in Cardiff and we cut and tied them ourselves into bows. It is a fantastic little floristy supplies shop but sells some great little wedding bits too at very reasonable prices. I also tied satin ribbons around all the napkins and added a crystal peg which secured the name tags in place. I bought the satin ribbon again from whittingtons, the pegs were from good old ebay and the name tags I did have done professionally.
What was your first dance & why?
I left Tony to decide this as we didn’t really have ” a song” but we definitely wanted to do a first dance and we didn’t want something super cheesy or traditional. In the end, we kind of chose two – one for us on our own and one for our family and friends to join in! We chose the song based on the words and we wanted something that everyone recognised. We chose Teenage Dreams by Katy Perry but the Boyce Avenue acoustic version, the second one for everyone to join in was Everywhere by Fleetwood Mac. we also chose a ‘ Last dance’ of the night which was I can’t help falling in love with you by Elvis Presley.
In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently?
I really don’t think there is! We loved every second on the day and were lucky enough to share it with everyone we love and care about and that meant more to us than anything else. If we could have magical powers and paused the day/ slowed the day down it would have been even more perfect but I think that is what all couples wish for! Obviously there are a million and one different themes etc we could have chosen as there are so many lovely options around and lots and lots of choice however we did what was right for us and would not change anything for the world.
Do you have any advice for future couples?
Having been through the whole process now first hand rather than just being an observer I would definitely say to future couples to simply enjoy the day and don’t get too hung up on things going wrong/ pleasing people as it really is your one special day and it is over in a flash. At the end of the day, you are there with the person you love, making a lifelong commitment and cheesy as it sounds it really is the most important part! It is very easy to get carried away with everything. Something that I really appreciated looking back at our day was spending as much time as possible together on the day. Tony made a conscious effort all day to grab my hand and go and talk to guests together or have a drink together as we had been told by other couples you often don’t spend too much time together as you spend so much time speaking to your guests. Obviously it is important to speak to all your guests but my memories of our day are spending it with Tony and doing as much as possible together which was lovely. The last bit of advice I have is, I really think it is worth investing money in professionals to help your day go as smoothly as possible and relieve you from the stress. Being a bit of a control freak and highly organised myself, I did worry about handing over the reigns of my one special day to other people as it is usually me on the other side of the fence running weddings for others. I can honestly say, spending that little bit extra and researching fabulous suppliers really paid off and I was totally relaxed the whole time.
What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received?
We had a lovely bit of advice from my Dad on our Wedding day in his speech and he framed it for us so we always have a special reminder of our day. It was “A Wedding recipe for the future” and is based on baking a cake! Here it is:
– 1/2 lb good looks
– 1lb sweet temper
– 1lb butter of youth
– 1lb blindness of faults
– 1lb of wit
– 1lb of good humour
– 2lb of sweet argument
– 1 pint of rippling laughter
– 1 wine glass of common sense
– a dash of modesty
Put the love, good looks and sweet temper into a well furnished house.
Beat the butter of youth into a cream, and mix well together with the blindness of faults. Stir the wit and good humour into the sweet argument and then add rippling laughter and common sense.
Work the whole thing together until everything is well mixed, and bake gently forvever…xx
What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?
I know planning a wedding involves a lot of stress and time however I loved every moment of it! As I am involved in the industry it was so lovely being on the other side of the table but I did feel a lot of pressure to get it right. I am very lucky to know so many wonderful suppliers who helped make my day amazing. I don’t know if I can pick a favourite thing, but I loved the build up to the event and getting everyone involved in the day. Pinterest became my best friend! I pretty much planned the whole look of the wedding simply by spending time looking at ideas and photos online – there is so many amazing ideas online! I think for me, putting all the detail together was my favourite bit as well as buying a present for Tony to open on the morning of the wedding and personal gifts for people we wanted to thank.