I am feeling FESTIVE today!! Christmas calligraphy orders are almost done (and we’ve had such a brilliant year with family tree orders and calligraphy workshop bookings – it’s ace!) – I have a new jumper to snuggle into and I’m generally getting in the mood for the party season. So when I spotted beautiful Lauren and Adam’s stunning Christmas wedding from Rachel Joyce in my inbox, it just felt PERFECT to share with you! There’s everything: mulled wine, Christmas trees, sparklers and even SNOW!!
Wedding photographer’s website:
We had met with a couple of photographers who we didn’t feel entirely happy about, then somebody recommended Rachel. She was excellent to communicate with and once we met with her we knew straight away. She was kind and friendly, asked lots of questions and seemed genuinely interested in what we were planning for the wedding. She talked us through her style of photography and showed us albums of previous weddings she had photographed and we knew she was right for us. She clearly loves her job and it shows!
Rachel was fantastic through the whole process, answered all our questions along the way and joined in like one of our guests on the big day. No awkward posing, no struggles to gather everyone together for hours of staged photos and the end result was beautiful, relaxed photos that perfectly document the day. Rachel even braved the snow with us and quickly got us outside for the most amazing wintery wedding photos.
We got our ‘sneak peek’ of about 20 photos only a few days after the wedding. We had gone to Manchester for a couple of nights away rather than a honeymoon abroad as it was so close to Christmas, and spent a good few hours in a bar with wifi sending them to family and friends. Rachel definitely has a talent for being in the right place at the right time and taking photographs that give a real feel for the atmosphere at the time.
Higher Trapp Country House Hotel, Simonstone
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
A perfect winter wedding with everyone we love (and mulled wine)
Your wedding style or theme:
Definitely a winter/christmas theme with plenty of fairy lights and lots of lovely wintery food. And, luckily for us, snow!
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
I went to a few little white books wedding fairs but most of our suppliers came from recommendations. Our good (and very talented) friend sang at the evening reception, the flowers came from a local florist that my sister had used for her wedding (Floral designs by Beverley Richards, Padiham), and we also made a lot of the decorations etc ourselves.
What’s your top tip for saving money?
Choose what is important to you for the big day and what actually doesn’t matter as much. This will obviously be different for every couple but it means you can focus your spending.
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
The photographer, for definite. We will have these photos forever and looking at them brings back the whole atmosphere of the day
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
Adam designed the invites himself (and did a fantastic job) and had them printed on a lovely brown craft card. My Auntie Angela who is a brilliant card maker and calligrapher added some finishing touches and hand wrote each invite beautifully. The table plan was also designed and made by Adam with each card attached to a fantastic bit of oak that we bought online, with a christmas garland attached around the top. The place settings were made from bits of old christmas tree we have had over several years, with cards, hand written by our friend Sara, attached carefully to the top and then a small piece of rosemary tied around the wood with twine. The name cards were double sided and on the back was a small sentence explaining that we had donated money to the MS society, in memory of Nana Spear, instead of buying guests wedding favours. Each card also had an MS society badge attached.
Adams mum made the centrepieces from scratch with beautiful fairy lights, bits of Christmas tree and candles on top of large slices of tree trunk. She is very creative and the end results couldnt have been any better. Each one was taken home by various guests after the wedding to use at home.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
Yes! it was in the window when I went to book an appointment at the shop. They had kindly got it down for me to try when I went back and although I tried on lots of others I kept going back to that one. I did end up ordering a different shade though after trying others on and finding bright white didn’t suit me as well.
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
The dress was Enzoani and i bought it from Anne Whittakers in Accrington, they were absolutely lovely and very helpful
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
I ordered a beautiful hair comb and bracelet from Britten- https://www.brittenweddings.com/ and my shoes, after ordering and returning dozens of pairs, came from marks and spencer! I didnt want white and it was important that I could walk all day in them and they worked perfectly. We did also have hunter wellies for some outdoor photos as I absolutely love wellies and this was a great excuse for a nice new pair. We assumed, being December that it would be raining but we were gladly surprised with snow, so this made them even more appreciated!
And what did the groom wear?
We had decided that because the men in the wedding were all different ages, heights and sizes, we wouldnt get matching suits and instead chose the colour grey as a sort of theme and let them choose their own. Adams suit came from Next and is really lovely. We also got all the men matching burgundy/wine coloured ties.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
The bridesmaid dresses were TFNC off ASOS. As Adams sister doesn’t live close we were able to order hers to be delivered to her house for her to try on. The colour was perfect for the theme and suited them all lovely.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
I hired the fantastic Flossy and Leigh for the hair and makeup and Jazz (who did our trial and my hair and makeup) was amazing. Very talented and took all the stress out of getting ready.
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
Floral Designs by Beverley Richards in Padiham did a fantastic job. I didnt want anything too elaborate as my dress was quite big and had sparkles etc. Beverley helped me pick out certain colours and flowers as I knew nothing about them and the end result was exactly what we wanted.
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
Higher Trapp were fantastic when it came to decoration. Chair covers etc were all included in the winter wedding package with plenty of colours and styles to choose from. We were also lucky that, being Christmas, the place was already decorated.
Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?
We loved doing the homemade elements as previously mentioned! It seemed that I would have an idea and Adam could just make it happen! We were also very lucky to have family and friends that are creative and wanted to help
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
We chose to go for an unusual cake and instead bought 7kg of cheese (5 different wheels) and piled them up, added rosemary and some beautiful pottery mice. This was served after the meal with mulled wine and went down a treat! ordered from – https://www.westcountrycheese.co.uk/
After we had chosen and ordered our cheese we saw online that Marks and Spencer were releasing Colin and Connie caterpillar wedding cakes. Growing up with colin caterpillar cakes for every birthday, including a giant one for my 21st, I felt it was appropriate to order these too, which we served at the evening reception, and also went down very well. You cant have too much food can you?
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
Our friend Janine Briggs (J9) was fantastic, as always.
Possibly also worth mentioning in case anyone sees it on the pictures, (and a funny side story) we didnt actually have a guest called Plusterphor Oneson. Janine didnt give us the name of her plus one until too late and we needed to get the table plan sorted so we said we’ll just make a name up. Her poor date who hadnt met any of us before probably wondered what sort of wedding he’d come to after getting asked repeatedly if he was ‘plusterphor’
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
Plan early and don’t be scared to do things yourself
I’m also a worrier but told myself that on the actual wedding day, what ever happened it would be great. naturally a few minor things did go wrong but I let it all go over my head and just enjoyed the day, having everyone together and celebrating. As you can see from the photos, my hair got completely wet from the snow and probably ruined the work that Jazz had done to curl it in the morning. But I didnt even think about it or worry and it was totally worth it
What’s the best thing about being married?
We’ve had a really tough year this year as my mum has been very ill, Adam was made redundant and I also have had a hip operation. Thankfully Mum is now recovering, Adam has a fantastic new job and my hip is hopefully on the mend. We would have both really struggled if we didn’t have each other and could reply on each other for support through all ups and downs.