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!
Today on Wonderful Wedding Suppliers we have the incredibly talented Rob Grimes, I am sure you will agree his photos are stunning! Best yet? Rob will travel anywhere in the world if required!
Who are you and what do you do?
I am Rob a Wedding Photographer living between Nottingham, UK and Frankfurt, Germany. I photograph people in love – all over the world. I also shoot weddings with my partner Alisha who lives in Germany and we love to travel around Europe capturing people in love.
What’s your favourite part of a wedding?
Each part of the day has its own uniqueness, each brings its own joy, love and thats all I care about.. capturing the love of two people on their wedding day is my favourite part.
What’s the best bit of advice you can give to couples in the planning process?
Remember this is your day, I see so many weddings where people try to please their guests instead of themselves.. and also you only get one chance on your wedding day, you book a photographer to capture those moments, so down waste time and listen to your photographer and make time for photos. They are your record of the day forever and for future generations to look back on. So don’t waste time.
Do you like to keep up with trends? What’s your biggest trend to watch currently?
Each wedding is unique, each wedding is planned and thought about with their own style/trend.. So no matter what, I follow my couples ideas.. as for trends in photography, well things come and go as we learn.. I like to watch and learn and try new ideas in order to help my couples have a timeless collection of images to look back on.
What’s next for your business?
In the next two years I am slowly moving to be with my partner, Alisha. and small family in Germany. We are planning and creating a joint business in wedding photography between us to capture the love of marriage, explore and be happy across Europe and beyond.
How do we book/use your services?
You can head to the website to enquire, you can email me on email@example.com or call 07896 808054 to chat about your future wedding.
This week on Wonderful Wedding Suppliers we hear from Hotel St Pierre in Yorkshire, part of the Best Western group. I am sure you will agree the photos are stunning!
Who are you?
Hotel St Pierre is set in the heart of Newmillerdam, a small, quaint village just outside of Wakefield. As well as being a few minutes’ walk away from Newmillerdam’s beautiful lake (a great backdrop for wedding photos!), we are conveniently located within a short drive’s distance of Wakefield and Leeds. We specialise in weddings and take pride in the stellar service we enjoy providing for happy couples and their guests.
Tell us about what you offer?
We believe every couple deserves their dream wedding, whether it’s an intimate occasion or an extravagant event. So, while we have a variety of packages available for brides and grooms to choose from, we also create bespoke weddings. We have a number of rooms which are licensed and approved to hold the ceremony, meaning the whole wedding can be catered for under one roof. From small intimate weddings of only 10 to grand weddings of up to 180, we have it covered. Although she won’t say so herself, one of our best assets is our amazing wedding coordinator, Melanie. From the couple’s very first meeting to their wedding breakfast, Melanie is there every step of the way to ensure everyone is as happy as can be.
What’s your favourite part of a wedding?
None of us in the office could agree on one part of a wedding we like the most so here are all of our favourites:
Melanie (Wedding Planner): I love every minute of a wedding! I enjoy seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces and the excitement of the couple as they prepare for their life together.
Richard (Deputy Manager): My favourite bit of any wedding would have to be the party. It’s a chance for everyone from toddlers to grandparents to really enjoy themselves. It’s also a great opportunity for everyone from both families to get to know each other because it’s very rare all those people will be in the same place.
Sarah (General Manager): I love the opportunity to dress up! It’s rare people make such an effort to be glamorous so I love seeing all the guests dressed up to the nines.
What’s the best bit of advice you can give to couples in the planning process?
Don’t get carried away, keep it simple and appreciate this special time in your life with your fiancé. While planning a wedding is super fun, it can be easy for couples to get wrapped up in the excitement of dresses and centre pieces and they forget what their wedding day is really about: celebrating their love for each other and the beginning of their life together.
What makes you different to others in the area?
Getting married at Hotel St Pierre allows couples to have their dream wedding and not have to spend their life savings! Because we believe every couple should have their perfect wedding, we offer a range of packages and bespoke weddings to suit everyone. We are very proud of our relationships with local and regional wedding suppliers; after we take the time to get to know our brides and grooms we recommend suppliers to them based on their personal taste. This includes our on-site spa, Tu Es belle, owned and run by award winning beauty expert, Liz Firth who offers fab beauty packages for brides and grooms. Newmillerdam also makes a stunning background for wedding photographs!
Do you have any events coming up?
Our Winter Wedding Fair is taking place on Sunday 26th February from 11am – 3pm. We’re excited to see some of our favourite wedding suppliers as well as some new faces! There will be approximately 35 exhibitors from bridal wear, photographers, wedding decor suppliers and make-up artists.
How do we book?
Our wedding fairs are all free admission, simply come along, enjoy and talk to the many wedding suppliers who want to make your day extra special.
How do we get in contact with you?
- Twitter: @BWHotelStPierre
- Instagram: @bwhotelstpierre
- Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
We would like to say a massive thank you to Amy and everyone at Hotel St Pierre for being our very first feature! We hope you have found our first in the wonderful wedding suppliers series useful? Who would you recommend as a supplier? Make sure you sign up to our new mailing list here.
Before you hire a venue it’s so important to ask the right questions, you could get hit with hidden costs left right and centre if you aren’t careful! Here we are giving you our top 10 tips on what questions to ask!
1. Does the cost include VAT?
This is so important, and something you will learn pretty quick when you start navigating the world of weddings, lots of the costs advertised don’t include VAT. The last thing you want is an extra 20% on everything you have budgeted for!
2. Is table hire included?
Some venues will charge you extra to hire the tables, chairs and linen. Make sure you know the costs before going ahead!
3. What props are included?
If you are booking a standard hotel, chances are they wont have any props saved, same with a village hall, however, if you are hiring a barn or alternative venue they often have a whole props store! Ask the question, there may be a charge for some however.
4. Can you choose your own caterers?
Some venues have their own caterers on site, some make you choose from a list of approved and some will allow anyone you choose, ask the question before booking your place!
5. Do you need to hire plates and cutlery?
Depending on the situation with the catering you may have to hire in your plates and cutlery, plus glassware for tables and reception drinks.
6. Is the deposit refundable?
You will normally need to pay a deposit once you have confirmed your place, it’s always best to ask if it’s refundable.
7. What is the capacity of the venue?
This will let you know if it’s the venue for you or not, most will have a number they would recommend and a max number which will more than likely change from day to night.
8. Can you run your own bar?
Some venues will allow you to bring an outside bar service in, most will ask you use their bar service. Some may not allow you to run a paid bar without a payment in advance. Also ask what time their licence for selling alcohol ends, they will have to stop serving at a certain time.
9. Are there any music restrictions?
Most venues will have to have music switched off at a certain time based on their planning restrictions, they might have alternative so talk to them to check!
10. What is the situation with parking?
Some venues have lots of parking space where some don’t have any! You need to know where guests can park and get the details on your invites!
Do you have any more tips? Put them in the comments so everyone else can benefit!
Make sure you head over to our social pages and say hello!
I have thought about posting this for a little while… as you’re reading this now it would seem I went with the option of posting it! I wanted to show you our wedding and what I can only describe as my perfect day. Since we got married in 2014 there are lots of things I would do differently if I had my wedding today, nevertheless it was perfect in every way!
Firstly I have to confess that all of these photos has been lifted from our photographers, Norsworthy Weddings, blog… we are still the second most popular blog post on his site after two years, I think that’s quite impressive don’t you?
As our very first real wedding it’s super photo heavy… I recommend a cup of tea, I promise it’s worth it!
I did a thousand and one things myself… I will do some other blog posts about everything we did over time but for now lets just have a look at the photos!
We got married at our family venue The Barn at South Milton, which will feature heavily on the blog at first! The Barn has a little cottage which is where myself and all 8, yes 8, of my bridesmaids got ready. I opted for a 50’s tea length dress from Vivien of Holloway which I then had altered, with an pink under skirt, because tradition isn’t something we are into!
We did all of the flowers ourselves which were bought in from a wholesaler and delivered a couple of days before. I opted for these gorgeous pink peonies which will remain my favourite bunch of flowers forever! My shoes were from New Look and pearl necklace was a present from Mike a couple of years before.
As a gift I had got all of my bridesmaids a pink dressing gown to get ready in, they all looked stunning as they got ready together, helping out with each others make-up.
Jodie Lywood did my hair and one of my bridesmaids did my make-up.
I stitched together on a sewing machine thousands of little hearts which made a stunning backdrop for the groom’s party photos!
The button holes were gypsophila for the groom’s men and a stunning pink rose with a little gypsophila for Mike.
The boys were all asked for get a navy suit and tie with a white shirt. We added a little floral pocket square and matching socks! Mike has a floral tie from Ted Baker which I am still in love with today!
We made the cufflinks from little bits of wood, personalised with initials!
Mike opted for a palladium ring whereas I went for a rose gold one.
Mike and I had already done the official marriage bit a few months before so we broke with tradition and met at the back of the house before the ceremony. I could not recommend this enough, keep your eyes peeled for a blog about that soon!
My bridesmaids and Mum look just incredible in this photo, they wore multiway dresses from In One Clothing and a pashmina from Accessorize. They had huge bunches of gypsophila all made up by Mum and I the day before.
We lined the driveway with these cute little hearts lovingly glued together by Mike and I.
I made and printed the order of service myself, I loved making it and even went onto make a few for friends afterwards! I will show you all the inside some other day!
This is one of my favourite photos! We hung lanterns from the lights which looked stunning in the evening, we filled the crates and tin buckets full of hydrangeas, Mike’s Mum grew flowers for us to fill the milk churns with. You can just see our kilner jar full of elderflower wine and our table plan on the door. I took a sneaky look back to see if anyone was watching behind and got snapped by the photographer!
Everyone sat on hay bales and we lined the aisle with jugs of gypsophila and roses. The bunting looked stunning across the top of the barn.
We made the arch ourselves from huge sticks we brought all the way down from the cotswolds in our little golf! We lined the arch with flowers from Sasse&Belle. Here is the beautiful Beca reading for us.
Nick Goodman brilliantly conducted our ceremony and was our toastmaster for the day.
My little brother Tommy read an extract from Winnie the Pooh, Grandad had painted a beautiful picture of our chickens Martha and Louise… we couldn’t leave them out of the ceremony!
Drinks were served from champagne sauces and jam jars with paper straws.
Cream tea canapes were served with little sandwiches, scones, shortly followed by ice creams!
Our guest book consisted of a few different ideas… we had one big piece of oak which people wrote us little messages on, plus a finger print tree drawn by my Grandad! We also had little notes on the tables which you will see in a moment!
Our table plan didn’t quite go as I had planned it… the photos frames look amazing on the door but they were hung with string and not fishing wire which didn’t quite finish the look! We did have the most gorgeous seed paper from Wildflower Paper which we printed on simply through the printer!
Here is the barn… I really hope it takes your breath away because it certainly does mine!
Here are our little table guest books! We have opened two so far, I cannot wait for this one next May!
The speeches certainly brought a few tears on… if I could change one thing from the day it would be to record the speeches!
We even held a cake competition where guests brought cakes to be judged, they were used as evening food but not before rosettes were given out!
I also made my cake, which was served as pudding! We did speeches, cutting and judging all before food so Mike could enjoy it without worrying!
We had The Dinner Service as our caterers who served big platters of family style meats, potatoes and veg! Everyone loved it!
Mike and I headed down to the beach for some stunning photos, the view looks just incredible!
Everyone wrapped up in blankets as the sun set.
I must confess I swapped into my flip flops during the wedding breakfast!
We even made our very own photo booth! We filled the background with photos of us just to remind everyone who’s wedding they were at!
The Barn has a honeymoon bell tent which is where we stayed the night!
We shared a few moments in the evening away from everyone to just enjoy the day.
And finished with some sparklers!
I really really hope you enjoyed ready through this! I love looking back and remembering everything we did! It does make me regret not starting this blog earlier but here we are so lets do it!
Which is your favorite photo?