It was a cool, crisp & sunny late December day, as guests arrived at St. Nicholas' Church of Hedsor and they could already see what a beautiful day it was going to be in celebration of Katie and Adam. From personalised ornaments to mulled wine this wedding is what Christmas dreams are made of.
The first thing we did was start looking at venues from Ras al Khaimah in the UAE where Adam proposed in November 2015. My best friend, Anya (and Maid of Honour) was already getting brochures sent to my house for our return - super eager! We knew we wanted a 'Christmassy' wedding and I had a vision in my head of the sort of venue I would like. I knew once I found it everything else would be downhill.
A close second was booking our photographer. Chloe was a photographer at a friend's wedding two years before and when I saw her photos I fell in love - I wasn't even engaged at this point but I always had her in the back of my mind! I'm not a fan of posing and am really critical of myself in photos, but all of Chloe's shots were so natural and tasteful. She uses distraction techniques to catch everyone naturally in the best light.
Where do I start? I had looked at hundreds of venues online and tried whittling it down to a list of favourites we could go and see in person. The first two we visited did not meet up to expectations I had from photos online and I just did not get the 'feeling.' Hedsor was the third venue we visited. Even on the driveway we smiled at each other and Adam said 'I think this is it.' We had butterflies! For me, it was the little things that meant Hedsor was the place- it's so lovely to look at, but so homely as well.
Kelly, who greeted us, was so warm and inviting, as were the other members of staff. We spoke to Alexander, the owner, who told us he learnt to swim in the bath tub in the Bridal Suite!
The decor is elegant but warm at the same time. The Ballroom was exactly what we wanted with huge windows, incredible views and a cosy feel. It worked for our numbers and I could just picture our wedding there.
We visited in December and they told us they changed the tree twice in the month so it's fresh- these little details made all the difference. We stayed for two hours without realising where the time had gone, just sitting and making plans. When we left I had a little 'happy cry' in the garden as I could imagine my wedding day and it was everything I had dreamt it would be.
The ceremony meant a lot to both of us. We put a lot of thought into each aspect; the hymns, music and readings and seeing it all come to life made it very special. I just felt really happy to be there. I expected lots of tears (I couldn't get through the rehearsal vows!), but I managed to keep my emotions in check, just about. It was a pinch yourself moment and I had to keep telling myself 'it's your wedding day' or 'you're about to walk down the aisle.' Everyone looked amazing in their outfits, and there was so much love in the room. Everywhere you look there was a smiling face, even the choir were smiling at us, and you just realise what a huge moment it is.
We had a cute red 1960 Jaguar Mk2 as our wedding car which we loved to take us from St. Nicholas' Church to Hedsor. It looked great in our photos in contrast to my dress and brought out the red in Adam's outfit and the roses in my hair.
Details of the Day
The Theme: There was no particular theme we just wanted it be classic, Christmassy and elegant. We wanted the day to represent us and the things we like. Nothing too fussy or clichèd. We wanted it to stand the test of time and be individual to us at the same time, we did not look back and say 'why did we choose that?!'
The Dresses: I had no idea what I would end up wearing as over time I have learnt that until something is on, you just do not know! I specifically did not want strapless and looked for long sleeved (for a wintery feel) but couldn't find a sleeved dress that looked quite right. I love fashion so I knew I wanted something classic but with a couture edge to it.
The dress was intricate ivory lace with a nude and cream underlay. There are pearls and iridescent sequins all over it, and nude mesh panels under the arms which are very slimming. The front is V neck and back is a low V neck. I had a tulle overskirt made as I wanted a dramatic look for church and a more practical and fitted look for the reception. I had a plain, tulle, waltz length veil with a blusher.
My shoes were a bargain in the sale from Dune - gold lace with a Manolo Blahnik style brooch. They were my touch of Christmas. For my hair, I did not want anything too fussy so went with how I felt my best in the past- windswept type bun with two red roses. I love putting flowers in my hair on holiday and always feel a bit special so I wanted the same for my wedding day.
For my Bridesmaids I wanted something Christmassy without being the obvious red. Their dresses were by a designer called Adrianna Papell who does beautiful beaded gowns. They are a Champagne/light gold with pewter beading and suited all of their body shapes (even my Maid of Honour who was five months pregnant on the day). They were slightly ombre and had a subtle fishtail which moved when they walked. My Maid of Honour made the fawn coloured Monogolian fur stoles which really finished their look off. I also had one in ivory which I wore into dinner when I had removed my veil and skirt. They all looked incredible on the day - helped by fact they are beautiful to begin with. We bought them each a pair of gold knot earrings to signify the strength of our friendship.
Adam wears a suit every day to work so we wanted something even smarter so he felt that sense of occasion. We were recommended Stephen Bishop in Woking by two couples who had used him for their weddings. We chose navy tailcoats, with dark grey trousers, a light grey double breasted waistcoat. They all wore white shirts and shiny black shoes, with the ushers and fathers in navy ties and pocket squares and Adam in dark red to stand out just that little bit. We bought them each a gold tie clip with their initials engraved.
The 'flower-nans': We had our ceremony at St. Nicholas' which is a very small 12th century country church not far from the house with views over the country side and beautiful decor. My grandmothers were my flower girls (or 'flower nans') and walked down the aisle first scattering petals. The organist learnt 'Glasgow Love Theme' by Craig Armstrong and played it to perfection. It made walking down the aisle such an emotional moment and I did struggle not to cry.
The Menu by Caper & Berry
Starter - Salmon, Guacamole and Edible Flowers
Main - Rump of Lamb, Pecorino Mash and Mediterranean Vegetables
Dessert - Chocolate and Honeycomb Mousse
Your Best Memory From the Day?
The church service was another unexpected favourite part. Seeing Adam's face for the first time and singing carols with the choir as loudly as we could. Hearing my sister, Helen, and my friend, Katie, do their readings with such composure really meant a lot to me.
Caterer - Caper & Berry / Cake- Melissa Woodland / Production & DJ - Class Act / Band - Blue Juice / Piano- Sam Burkey / Magician- Faye Presto / Florist - Ruby & Grace / Videographer - Artistic Motion / Photographer -Chloe- Caught the Light / Dress - Ersa Atelier / Overskirt- Faith at She Walks in Beauty / Bridesmaids - Adrianna Papell / Groom - Stephen Bishop / Groomsmen - Stephen Bishop / Make-up- Laura Blu / Hair - Rebecca Chang / Transport- London Legends