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Craig & Ali’s gorgeous winter wedding at Totworth Court, with Love in Focus Photography

Ali and Craig’s winter wedding caught my eye when photographer Sandy posted a sneak peek on his Facebook page. The portraits are just so lovely… and I know many of you are already planning your weddings for December and January so I wanted to share some inspiration for you too!

real wedding at Totworth Court on the English Wedding Blog. Images by Love in Focus (35)

This is a wedding with traditional styling and details, at a lovely venue with history and charm – and Ali and Craig styled their day with elegance to suit! Ali told me there was a hint of Christmas to their day, “but we tried not to have much of a theme. We tried keeping it simple and just having the things we liked to really make it our day.”
real wedding at Totworth Court on the English Wedding Blog. Images by Love in Focus (34)

Images are by Bristol wedding photographer Love in Focus. See more here:

http://www.love-in-focus.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/LIFphotos
http://English-Wedding.com/tag/Love-in-Focus

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The English Wedding Blog Interview: Craig & Ali

Your wedding photographer’s website:

http://www.love-in-focus.co.uk/

Were you pleased with your wedding photographer?

Our photographer, Sandy, was great. We had seen his work as he had been the photographer for our friends’ wedding a year or so before ours.

Wedding venue:

Tortworth Court Hotel

Wedding date:

28.12.2015

Can you describe your wedding in a single sentence?

A wonderful wintery wedding day, full of laughter and happiness.

What was your reaction to seeing your wedding photos for the first time?

We thought they were great! They really captured the day, our guests and the venue.

Any happy tears on the day?

Almost!

How did the two of you meet?

We met doing the same dissertation at uni.

How long did you spend planning your wedding?

We were engaged in October 2014 but we didn’t begin planning until after Christmas. We had a year to plan it all, although we were quite laid back about it!

Best bit of budget advice?

Keep it simple (don’t go to too many wedding fairs!) and ask skilled family and friends to do things wherever possible!

Wedding invitations and on the day stationery:

We had our invites printed online by Vistaprint but all the stationery on the day was homemade. The place cards were labels which attached to the favour and were hand printed.

Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?

I tried a few in a couple of shops before finding my dress. They said to rank the ones I had to try on in the order I liked them most to least on the hanger. I tried this one on first, loved it and then had to try the rest just to check but none of them compared!

Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:

It was a ‘Romantica of Devon’ dress and I got it from ‘Future Brides’ in Chipping Sodbury. http://www.futurebrides.co.uk/

Glitz and sparkle: the bride’s accessories:

I wore a tiara which I happened to try on with the dress and my parents bought me for my birthday which was only 5 days before we got married. (Birthday, Christmas & a wedding within a week! We were busy!)

The groom wore:

They hired suits from Debehnams to make it a special occasion. The groom, best men, ushers & father of the bride wore grey tail suits with a waistcoat and white ties. The groom and best men, Pali & James, had matching watches and the ushers/father of the bride/groom all had cufflinks which represented their hobbies (playstaion controller, chess pieces, cds, golf balls!).

Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?

My bridesmaids, my sister Ruth, sister in law Ria and friends Emma and Stacey, wore full length navy chiffon Quiz dresses which had some silver sparkles and were accessorised with a cream fur shrug to keep them warm.

My beautiful flower girl, my 3 year old niece Betsy, wore a matching navy dress from BHS and a matching fur shrug.

Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?

One of my best friends did my hair for my wedding day as she is a very talented hairdresser with her own mobile hairdressing business. http://www.lisathehairmobile.co.uk/

My other sister-in-law is also a very talented hairdresser and she did the hair for the bridesmaids. I was unsure of what to do regarding make up as I don’t usually wear a lot of makeup. Another friend of mine, Wendy, came to the rescue and offered to do my makeup for the day and I trusted her to make me look ‘normal’.

Wedding flowers:

I used a local florist, Emma Petersson Designer Florist, who my sister had used for her wedding 5 years previously. We knew she did a great job and as I didn’t know really what I was looking for, it was good to use someone I could trust. http://emmadesignerflorist.co.uk/

What do you remember most about the wedding ceremony?

Craig – nerves! Ali – walking in and seeing so many friends and family all there for us (and Craig waiting for me at the front!)

Wedding readings?

A lovely love story by Edward Monkton read by Craig’s friend Sarah

On our wedding day poem read by Ali’s friend Hannah

General styling – did your venue need much decoration?

The orangery where we had the ceremony didn’t need much styling. There were spaces for candles and tea lights so that was about all. It was nice to have the Christmas tree in there too.

The Westminster Suite that we used for the reception was a blank canvas. We focussed on decorating the tables. My Mum crocheted the stockings for the wedding favours and we had home decorated jam jars of flowers as table centre pieces. I made the table numbers with a little help from my family – my dad to cut out the heart shapes which I painted with chalkboard paint and my sister artistically wrote on the numbers!

The wedding cake: traditional or quirky?

We went for a traditional cake, of mixed flavours. It was a square four tier cake which was from marks and spencer. We kept it simple and it looked lovely. http://www.marksandspencer.com/l/food-and-wine/all-cakes/wedding-cakes-n-c6z8r

Entertainment:

We had a caricaturist, Chrissy Marshall http://www.sensiblepencil.com/ , during our drinks reception and wedding breakfast. He was amazing and everyone enjoyed seeing what people turned out like! We had a disco as our evening entertainment and danced the night away!

On the day tips and advice:

Have a toastmaster! We were looked after brilliantly and everything was thought of, sorted out and taken care of by our toastmaster James. It really made the day special for us. http://www.bristoltoastmaster.co.uk/index.html

What’s the best thing about being married?

Having a wonderful honeymoon and starting our married life together!

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at www.byMoonandTide.com. Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.

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