Today we welcome our very first real bride! Elaine and her husband, Martin, chose to get married on Christmas Eve! Filled with super pretty winter white details, lashing of candles and some super pretty lights I am sure you will agree it looks truly victorian! Elaine tells us all about choosing a dress as a plus sized bride, her reason for not having flowers and choosing hot chocolate!
My wedding dress was purchased at ‘The Wedding Collection’, I was very nervous of going shopping for my wedding dress: being a plus-sized bride and not having time to order a dress I was conscious that my choices were going to be limited and kept putting of going to look for a dress. I had a certain style of dress in mind and felt sure I would have to make major compromises. Needless to say, the experience was amazing. We were greeted by friendly staff and I quietly informed her of the size I needed expecting to be shown a just a few dresses. However, she led us through the shop and signalled three full rails of dresses that I could choose from, amazing! Sat right in the centre of one of the rails was a dress in exactly the colour that I wanted, I was ecstatic!
With my wedding having a winter wonderland theme, I decided to forego flowers and have a broach and diamante bouquet for myself and my flower girls. I also bought matching pins for both the mother of the bride and mother of the groom. For accessories, we wore matching snowflake hair pins, with a beautiful, sparkling tiara for myself!
The Groom and Groomsmen:
As we had a very small, intimate wedding, Martin chose not to have a best man, with my three sons (Matthew, 25, Joseph, 24 and Luke, 14) as groomsmen.
Martin wanted to wear grey top and tails on our special day. Each of the men wore a grey top hat and tails, grey trousers with grey silk waistcoats with white shirts. To be slightly different, Martin wore a grey tartan wool waistcoat and cane. Their look was finished off with dusky pink cravats and handkerchiefs.
I had two bridesmaids: Martin’s nieces Ellie (10) and Nia (9), and what beautiful princesses they were! They wore ivory princess-style dresses with beautiful fur jackets to keep them warm, and snowflakes hair pins to match their crystal bouquets.
The service was in the beautiful gardens of Elsham Hall Gardens and Country Park in Brigg, North Lincolnshire. We received special permission from the North Lincolnshire registrars to have our ceremony outdoors at 5pm even though it was winter!
The ceremony took place under a stunning tree entwined with fairy lights in the gardens. To set the scene, there were hay bales for the guests to sit on and we provided soft blankets to keep them warm! Five organza-draped arches with fairy lights and lots of lanterns lined the walkway, leading to the incredible lit-up tree. As it was outside in the cold we chose to have a snow machine to add to the wintry effect. There were lanterns at the end of each row of hay bales, with hundreds of logs, candles, jars of gypsophila and greenery, with white glitzy reindeer nestled among. The displays were scattered with faux snow at the base of the tree where we were to say our vows, it looked truly magical.
I honestly cannot say which part of the service was my favourite, it was all so special! My two eldest boys did an emotional reading, I had written my own vows and my mother-in-law did a brilliant reading too.
The reception was held in The Barn at Elsham Hall after the service. Whilst our photographer Calvin Taylor Lee of One Click Photography got started on our photographs our guests were served hot chocolate and marshmallows to warm up with. They had the option of adding Bailey’s to their hot chocolate, or even a hazelnut syrup that made it taste just like Forrero Rocher! After the photographs we were seated for our wedding breakfast supplied by a good friend of mine Chris of Your Chef. Our guests had the choice of my favourite Hunter’s chicken with plenty of cheese, bacon and barbeque sauce or Martin’s favourite hearty steak pie with mushy peas! There was a selection of chips, roast potatoes and roasted root vegetables to go with it. For dessert we chose to offer either a sumptuous chocolate fudge cake with cream or a zingy lemon cheesecake, with cheese and crackers for those who didn’t fancy something sweet. With our wedding being on Christmas Eve we didn’t want an elaborate three course meal. We were very aware that everyone would be having a roast dinner the next day, and we wanted a more informal occasion – I’m pleased to say that our choice was very well received!
We chose a banquet-style table with very elaborate centrepieces of bare trees suspended from the 30ft high barn beams. We decorated them with hanging crystal garlands, various sizes of glass candlesticks, a variety of logs, candles, lanterns and sprayed snowy greenery, reindeers, and approximately forty jars of gypsophila. We added a fireplace and mantel mirror to the end wall of the barn, surrounded by trees with hanging crystals, snow covered greenery, glass candlesticks, baskets of pines cones, candles, lanterns and fairy lights.
We chose not to have a wedding cake – we had a tower of my favourite chocolate, Ferrero Rocher instead. It took over 400 Ferrero Rocher to fill our stand! The table was decorated with ruffled tablecloths and hundreds of fairy lights for a snowfall effect: it looked amazing!
Our first dance was to Cascada’s ‘Every Time we Touch’. The song takes us back to when we first met. We had a moment to ourselves on the dance floor, then invited our guests join us.
Because we were hosting all the family for Christmas we didn’t go away on honeymoon. We’ve not got one booked yet, but we’re hoping to continue the snowy theme and go to Iceland to see the northern lights and swim in the Blue Lagoon.
The whole thing! We married at 5pm, ate at 6pm and had a few extra evening guests at 7.30pm – carriages arrived at 10pm to take our guests home to wait for Santa. It was perfect in every single way.
It’s your wedding, make sure that you do it your way!