It’s hard to believe we’re only a month away from Christmas now! [Is anyone as far behind as me with shopping for the big day?!] I’ve been looking for wintry, Christmassy weddings which are really elegant and pretty to share with you all for the last month… Today ladies and gents, brides and grooms – we hit the jackpot. Sophie and David’s wedding at Swancar Farm, Nottingham, has left me equally excited and speechless. The details are wonderful, Sophie’s dress is stunning, the lovely moments are all there and scrolling through all the images left me feeling happy, and super excited to feature such a beautiful day.
Images are by lovely Jack from Firsthand Photography. She told me Sophie and David are really friendly and fun to be around and their wedding really reflected that. “They were very relaxed about the photos which gave me the freedom to be creative and being a Christmas wedding, there were lots of lovely Christmassy details for me to photograph.
Swancar Farm is beautiful and the room looked stunning – beautifully lit with hundreds of candles and adorned with amazing flowers by Rebecca at Floraldeco.
“I have always loved Jenny Packham wedding dresses but I didn’t think that they would suit my body shape and I never thought I would buy one. ‘Esme’ by Jenny Packham was the first wedding dress that I tried on and there was no going back. In my opinion it was the most beautiful wedding dress ever and suited the theme of the wedding perfectly. I wish I could wear it all the time!”
“Dear Jack, Words can’t express how thankful we are for your stunning photographs. You made everyome feel so comfortable and you captured the day perfectly! We can’t stop looking at the photos, they are so much better than we could ever have imagined. As a result of your incredible talent, we now have beautiful memories of a beautiful day, thank you!” ~ Sophie and David.
Discover more from Firsthand Photography here:
Wedding photographer’s website:
How did you choose your photographer?
Our florist recommended Jack at ‘Firsthand Photography’. After looking at her online portfolio, we immediately knew that we loved her style and quickly arranged a meeting. Jack made us feel so comfortable and we loved her approach to wedding photography. She specialises in taking photographs that are really natural and informal. Jack made it clear that she doesn’t like to take lots of ‘set up’ shots that take hours. This was exactly what we wanted from our wedding photographer. We knew that she was the ‘one’ for us!
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!
Without question!! Jack was everything we wanted in a photographer and more. From the initial meeting to the actual wedding, she was so approachable. By the time it came to wedding day, we felt so comfortable and it felt like a friend was taking our photographs. Throughout the day, Jack was flexible and relaxed and happily worked around whatever was happening at the time. She captured so many moments that we couldn’t have planned for even if we had tried. Lots of our guests commented on the fact that they didn’t even notice she was there. This is something that Jack prides herself in and it made everyone feel completely at ease. All communication with Jack, both before and after the wedding, was so personal, with lots of little touches. We have recommended ‘Firsthand Photography’ to all of our friends that are getting married and we can’t wait to see their photos as we know they’ll be beyond amazing!
Tell us about the moment you saw your wedding photos for the first time?
Jack posted a photograph on Facebook on the day after the wedding. We were blown away and it went beyond all of our expectations. That one photograph made waiting for the rest, extremely difficult. After a few weeks, we received our photos and there were lots of happy tears! We couldn’t believe how perfectly our day had been captured.
We got married at St Peter & St Paul’s Church in the village of Oxton, Nottinghamshire. We have family that live in the village or grew up there so it meant a lot to us to get married at the church. Our reception was at Swancar Farm Country House. We had originally planned to get married in the summer, but after viewing the venue in December, we knew that we had to have a Christmas wedding here.
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
By far the best day of our lives!
Your wedding style or theme:
We wanted to create an elegant wedding that reflected our love of winter and christmas with lots of candle light.
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
We found lots of our suppliers through recommendations. My sister and friend had both used the amazing Rebecca from ‘Floraldeco’ as their florist. It was never in question as to who we would choose. Rebecca recommended our photographer. Swancar Farm recommended our DJ and he also provided the large ‘LOVE’ letters. My sister is an amazing baker and created our wedding cake.
What’s your top tip for saving money?
Decide what is important to you as a couple! This should then dictate what you choose to spend your money on. Having been a bridesmaid before, I knew how expensive bridesmaid dresses could be, probably never to be worn again. We wanted our bridesmaids to wear dresses that could be worn again and we searched online. We eventually chose to order dresses from ASOS and have them fitted. We saved lots of money in doing so. We had family members that had nice cars so we used them rather than paying for wedding cars. We also provided mulled wine, homemade mince pies and sausage rolls after the church service, rather than paying for expensive canapés at the reception venue. We felt that this added to the ‘christmassy’ feel that we hoped to create. We also chose not to have favours as they cost a lot and are usually left on the tables.
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
It was important to us to have photographs that were timeless and captured our day perfectly, so we were more than happy to spend money on the perfect photographer. We also knew that the flowers and styling, which were both provided by Floraldeco, would set the tone for the day. The venue wasn’t the cheapest that we had looked at but it was worth every penny. The wedding planners bent over backwards to create our perfect day and the level of service was impeccable throughout.
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
Our friends have their own business, ‘Crafty Ever After’. We asked them if they would be interested in making our wedding stationery and thankfully they said yes. It was really nice to work with friends as it felt more personal. It also meant that we were able to be involved in the design process and could create exactly what we wanted. All of our stationery was better than we could have ever imagined.
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
‘Esme’ by Jenny Packham
Stamford Bridal Rooms
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
My dress was heavily beaded so I chose not to wear any jewellery apart from a pair of simple ‘drop’ earrings that my sister had lent me. I wore the ‘Mimosa’ shoe in ivory leather by the designer Rachel Simpson.
And what did the groom wear?
David and the best men wore white shirts and black tuxedos.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
The adult bridesmaids wore white dresses from ASOS and shoes from New Look. Any accessories were their own, that they chose themselves. The children wore ivory dresses from Monsoon. Rebecca from Floraldeco created floral crowns for the children which were stunning.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
Ross from Ross Elliott Hairdressers is my hairdresser and he had the job of doing the hair for all of the bridesmaids, the mother of the groom and myself.
My bridesmaids are amazing at applying make up so they were in charge of creating the ‘wedding looks’ for us all. We had trials at MAC cosmetics prior to the wedding and purchased most of the make up there.
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
When it came to wedding flowers, I knew exactly what I didn’t want but couldn’t put into words what I did want. I found this difficult during the planning meetings but Rebecca at Floraldeco somehow managed to understand what I wanted. I felt strongly about not wanting colour in the flowers. Rebecca showed me her portfolio and made a mood board of what she thought I would like. She hit the nail on the head! Rebecca also provided all of the candle light in the venue. The flowers and styling were everything we wanted and more. Every detail that Rebecca added was truly breath taking!
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
Swancar Farm Country House have their own Christmas decorations which were very simple and complemented our styling. We chose to add the large ‘LOVE’ letters which were provided by IB’s Disco. Rebecca at Floraldeco styled the main room perfectly.
Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?
We used pine cones for name card holders. This ended up being a fiddly job but we were happy with the end result. Lots of our guests took them away to use as Christmas decorations. We also collected twigs and attached them together to make a ‘table plan tree’. We asked all of our guests to bring a Christmas decoration to place on the tree and we are looking forward to using the decorations this year.
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
My sister created the wedding cake. We knew we wanted something that was simple yet elegant. She chose to take detail from the wedding dress and used beads to add this to the cake on one tier. She added simple beading to the remaining two tiers. She also made lots of different cakes that were put out with the evening food. We felt that this catered to the needs of our guests.
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
We wanted wintery music or ‘classic’ Christmas songs (not Slade) to be played in the background, during the meal. We created the playlist and used an ipod for this. We used IB’s disco for the evening reception.
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
Everyone says that the day goes by so quickly and they are so right! Enjoy every second and try to get a bit of time together away on your own. We also learnt that you can’t please everyone so don’t beat yourself up trying! One thing that we had learnt from being involved in other weddings, was that you can’t control every second of the day. Go with the flow and enjoy it. You’ll be having such a good time that you won’t even notice if the gift table isn’t where you had planned.
What’s the best thing about being married?
Not much has changed…other than we are a year on and we are expecting our first baby. We are excited for our future together!
Favourite supplier web links for other brides and grooms: