February 22nd, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s real wedding couple decided to harness the magic of the festive period by getting married a week before Christmas Eve.
There are so many beautiful details here if you’re planning a winter wedding – burgundy lips, faux fur stoles and a classic Christmas-inspired colour scheme of berry, evergreen and hints of gold. Plus, Heskin Hall’s open log fires, elegant chandeliers and Chesterfield sofas make the perfect cosy winter venue.
With photography by Marie Cooper Photography.
anna says: We got engaged a year before our wedding while we were in Edinburgh for a few days away. Tom surprised me with a stay in one of my favourite places, The Witchery, on the Royal Mile. He proposed by the fire in our suite.
We were married on Saturday 17th December 2016. We chose this date because my dream was to have a Christmas wedding and a week before Christmas Eve seemed the perfect date – all of the anticipation in the air!
The ceremony was at my parish church, St. George’s Church in Maghull, as we wanted a traditional Catholic ceremony. Our reception was at Heskin Hall in Chorley, as it’s a lovely Tudor house with log fires, Chesterfields, chandeliers and twinkling lights. We thought it was perfect for a Christmassy setting.
We chose a Christmas theme for our wedding due to the time of year. We wanted it to be super-cosy and for everyone to relax and enjoy themselves.
Colour-wise, we chose berry shades, dark greens and gold to reflect traditional Christmas colours.
I chose a long, flowing champagne-coloured dress. I thought that a warmer shade would suit the time of year more. It had a full skirt with a lace bodice, some subtle sparkles and lace sleeves. I chose a long veil to complement the dress.
Tom wore a three-piece grey suit and with a cream tie. He looked so handsome! The groomsmen wore a matching three-piece suit with berry-coloured ties.
The bridesmaids wore full-length, strapless berry dresses with a faux fur shrug.
We hired a car from Wigan Car Hire to travel to the venue in style.
Marie Cooper did our photographs. I’d recommend her because she’s so relaxed, flexible and she has a real eye for detail.
My friend, Anne Louise Hunt, did an amazing job on my flowers. For the church, we had roses in lilac, burgundy, berry, red and champagne with winter foliage, such as berries and holly. The church flowers also included cinnamon sticks and dried apples and oranges.
At the venue, we provided all of the decorations, including lots of candles. On the tables we used storm lanterns with white sand (snow) and cranberries surrounded by pine cones. The venue already had lots of fairy lights dotted around which looked Christmassy but classy.
I did the favours myself: wooden tree decorations and candy canes tied with green ribbon.
My friend made my cake. It was a three-tiered square cake with one fruit layer and two sponge layers. The cake was white with festive green ribbon and decorated with berries, holly and pine cones to tie in with our theme.
For welcome drinks, we had mulled wine and homemade mince pies. The wedding meal was a traditional Christmas dinner: pate to start, followed by turkey with all the trimmings and bread and butter pudding.
Our venue came with a DJ who got the party started in the evening.
After our meal, all of our guests stood by the fire and sang Christmas carols while Tom’s dad played the piano. Everyone said that it was a really magical moment. However, the stand out moment for me has to be saying our vows. After all, that’s what it’s all about!
After our wedding, we would definitely recommend our venue to other brides and grooms. It was a beautiful setting for a winter wedding.
For our honeymoon we went to Grasmere for a few days with our puppy, Katie. We spent time walking and soaking up the atmosphere in the days leading to Christmas. We’re going on a longer honeymoon this summer, destination to be confirmed!
My advice to other Brides Up North would be don’t get stressed about small things. Everyone says it, but on the day you really won’t even notice them. Also, try to make time for each other as well as all of your guests.
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Laura is a true Northophile: she married Adam in Durham in 2011 accompanied by 200 Northumbrian lamb shanks and a Mackem 1950s tribute band who did a rockabilly cover version of Celine Dion's My Heart Will Go On. They honeymooned in Northumberland in a 1972 MG convertible, went surfing in Alnmouth and made it to the Edinburgh Fringe (let's ignore the fact that it rained all week). Her big mantra is 'no regrets'...but if she could travel back in time and wear a wedding dress with a Peter Pan collar and pockets, she'd pretty much die happy.
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