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christmas at the courthouse: maggie sottero for a festive wedding in the north west – rachel & charles

May 9th, 2018 | Julia Braime

A Christmas Wedding at The Courthouse (c) Kate McCarthy Photography (29)

Christmas is such a lovely time for a wedding – the world is wearing its finery, from the streets dripping with twinkly fairy lights to the gigantic smiles on the faces of people in the mood to celebrate. You’re onto a winner for a fun celebration before you even start!

Today’s real wedding couple Rachel and Charles wed among the mistletoe at the impressive Courthouse in Knutsford, Cheshire, with its dramatically high ceilings and fabulous character.

Rachel wore a stunning Maggie Sottero creation with a gold sequined top and frothy skirt – just perfect for a festive celebration and simply beautiful against a backdrop of giant, sparkling Christmas trees. We love the fact that Rachel and Charles’s one-year-old daughter wore a dress that echoed the style of her mother’s – adorable. With entertainment to suit all ages – including a mini Casino and a caricaturist – and little Christmas trees adorning every table, Rachel and Charles went all out to ensure their guests had a fun-filled, festive day.

With images by Kate McCarthy Photography.

A Christmas Wedding at The Courthouse (c) Kate McCarthy Photography (44)

rachel says: We got engaged on holiday in Dubai. I asked Charles to get our daughter ready for the pool while I got my sun cream on; when I got out of the bathroom, our baby daughter was in a vest and written on the vest was “Mummy, will you marry daddy?” It was perfect!

A Christmas Wedding at The Courthouse (c) Kate McCarthy Photography (35)

Our wedding date was Saturday 23rd December 2017. We really wanted it to be a Saturday as most people are free and with it being Christmas time we thought it would be perfect to get all our family and friends together for a festive celebration too! We created a Christmassy look for the reception with Christmas tree centrepieces and a few dancing Santa hats for the kids.

A Christmas Wedding at The Courthouse (c) Kate McCarthy Photography (57)

We got married at the fabulous Courthouse in Knutsford. It’s such a beautiful building with a lot of character. It’s a great size for a wedding and we had the reception and ceremony in the same place for convenience, so we didn’t have to travel to venues as some of our guests had already travelled far to get to us. We couldn’t have asked for a better venue. The team are fantastic and pulled out all the stops for us. The day ran like clockwork due to Kate the coordinator and the Ice Entertainment team. Thanks to them all, we made the most amazing memories.

A Christmas Wedding at The Courthouse (c) Kate McCarthy Photography (76)

I wore a dress by Maggie Sottero, which I bought from Bliss Bridal in Bolton. It was my friend who showed me a picture of the dress and I instantly fell in love with it. It was completely different to any dress I had seen before and the gold sequined top was perfect for a Christmas wedding! My bridesmaids wore custom-made dresses from the fabulous Rixo.

Charles and his groomsmen wore suits from Marks & Spencer. Charles had quite a few groomsmen who all live in different places, so Marks was easily accessible to them all to get the suit that fitted them well. They also came in slim fit, tailored and regular fit, so we knew they would look good on all of them.

A Christmas Wedding at The Courthouse (c) Kate McCarthy Photography (5)

Our photographer was the fabulous Kate McCarthy. I would 100% recommend her to anyone looking for a photographer, not just for weddings but any event! Kate is a lovely lady with an amazing eye for capturing the most natural and precious moments. I loved the fact that Kate kept in touch throughout the whole process and gave us loads of handy tips and advice for our day. We also met with Kate before the wedding and had a little pre-wedding shoot, so we could get to know Kate and she could get to know us. I loved this! It was the prefect icebreaker and loads of fun.

A Christmas Wedding at The Courthouse (c) Kate McCarthy Photography (10)

For my flowers, I carried a bouquet of roses made by the lovely Bridget at Knutsford Bloom. I wanted something classic and traditional and what’s more romantic than a rose?! We also got Bridget to make us some amazing Christmas trees for the tables; we thought since it was Christmas we may as well embrace it! We also had a few sprigs of mistletoe dotted about!

A Christmas Wedding at The Courthouse (c) Kate McCarthy Photography (23)

For the favours, we placed chocolate hearts on the table because, let’s face it, who doesn’t like chocolate?! And for the kids, we gave chocolate coins, a colouring book and crayons.

Our cake was a two-tiered cake surrounded by a tower of cupcakes. I love a good cupcake and we mixed the sponges, so we could cater to different tastes. We went for carrot cake, vanilla and chocolate. The cakes were made by a lovely little bakery called A Taste Of Vintage. Their cakes are amazing! We have ordered a few in the past for different events.

A Christmas Wedding at The Courthouse (c) Kate McCarthy Photography (38)

At the wedding breakfast, we had soup to start, beef for the main (as everyone would be on the turkey or chicken a few days later) and a creme brûlée to finish. We kept the wines simple, with both red and white for the tables and prosecco for the toasts.

A Christmas Wedding at The Courthouse (c) Kate McCarthy Photography (56)

We went all out on entertainment! We wanted to keep the guests as happy as possible, as we know it’s a long day for everyone. We got an entertainer in for the kids to keep the little ones well entertained for the afternoon, alongside some Christmas pressies! We got casino tables, a caricaturist, a sparkly dance floor, a saxophonist, and lots of lights and a DJ so we could party the night away. We also included a sweet table for all those with a sweet tooth and a magic mirror for those selfie lovers. And we placed great gobo lights on the walls wishing everyone a Merry Christmas! The Ice Entertainment team, who provided all the entertainment, were amazing! They have loads of fab and fresh ideas and they made putting it all together a doddle! They helped to organise timings, set up – the lot!

A Christmas Wedding at The Courthouse (c) Kate McCarthy Photography (59)

I loved every part of our wedding. It all goes so quickly and every part, from the getting ready to the partying the night away, all brings so much to the day!

A Christmas Wedding at The Courthouse (c) Kate McCarthy Photography (50)

For our honeymoon, we went to Tenerife and stayed at the Bahia del Duque with our one-year-old. We wanted somewhere quite close but with a bit of winter sun! It was perfect.

A Christmas Wedding at The Courthouse (c) Kate McCarthy Photography (73)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to simply enjoy every minute of the wedding. Also, don’t sweat the small stuff; it all comes together in the end. I found Brides up North helpful to plan the day as I love a good real wedding story and reading about other people’s days. It’s so magical and so exciting to read all about others and their ideas.

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about the author

Julia Braime
Former lawyer and bride to be Julia founded Brides Up North in 2010 with a chip on her shoulder. Frustrated by the poor Northern presence in glossy bridal magazines and online, she decided to do something about it herself. Astounded by the rapid growth of her blog and brand, Julia now manages Brides Up North’s online content alongside their busy wedding exhibition season, industry events and related commissions. And she’s always, always, got a new project on the go…

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