Ready for some winter glam? Yeah, you are! So let’s turn back the clock to last December, when our gorgeous couple, Amy and Michael, tied the knot at their stylish black tie wedding – and you just can’t beat black tie for those ultra chic vibes.
In fact they ran with that black and white theme, but with hints of gold to add extra festive sparkle! Suits aside, Amy herself looks stunning in her Sottero & Midgley gown with gorgeous illusion sleeves, despite the fact that she didn’t get that “this is the one” feeling with any of the dresses she tried on. Just goes to show not everyone has that butterfly moment but it certainly doesn’t mean you won’t look any less perfect or bridal on the big day!
This wedding is a lesson in keeping things simple and classic, and – if you’re having a christmas wedding – making the most of the christmas trees that your venue will have already put up at that time of year! There’s no sense in paying for extra decor if you can benefit from what’s already in place!
We got engaged on the 18th of November 2016 in Dubai, one of our favourite places. Mike had me cancel our Friday bottomless brunch reservation to ensure he got the proposal out of the way as soon as possible on our trip. Instead he made me walk around the iconic water fountains close to the Burj Khalifa for so long that my heels had given me blisters, I was seriously dehydrated and on the verge of getting grumpy! Eventually he chose his spot and handed me a hand written book summarising our early relationship and the ring!
We got married on the 4th December 2021 because we really wanted a winter wedding and thought the start of December would be a lovely way to commence the Christmas festivities nicely for us and our guests. We both love Christmas and the party season!
Our wedding was at The Yorkshire Wedding Barn near Richmond. We knew it was the venue for us immediately, with its stylish and contemporary style. The grounds, views and lake are all stunning.
The ceremony and wedding breakfast were in two different barns, meaning no waiting around for any turnaround. We loved that the whole property was exclusively ours for the day and most of our guests could stay on site in their varying accommodation types – most with hot tubs – meaning we could make a full weekend of it.
We went winter white for the large floral displays and had lots of candles to sparkle and really give that Christmas feel. Because it was December, the Christmas trees were up at the venue too which added that homely feel.
We both love to get spruced up and therefore we went for a black tie and ‘glam’ dress code.
Initially we just wanted black and white to keep things super slick and stylish. “All white flowers with zero foliage” was the line I repeated to our florist over and over again, and our bridesmaids and groomsmen were in black. In the end we did add in hints of gold on the tables, which we felt tied in with Christmas well.
My dress was Sottero & Midgley from The Bridal Boutique Baildon. I can’t say I got that “this is the one” feeling with any dress. Although I did get married in ivory, most of our guests were shocked that I wasn’t walking down the aisle in black. I actually tried on an incredible feathered black dress, which looked stunning hung up on the mirror in the shop and it was so unusual (which is what I wanted) however it wasn’t a fitted enough style for my shape.
I travelled the country trying on gowns from different designers, which I guess helped rule out a lot of styles. In the end, I found a dress online, after realising what didn’t suit me, and the only stockist was in Baildon – very close to where we live after all that travelling! I knew I wanted long sleeves with it being winter and the slight puff sleeve made it a little different.
Rebekah Hock Bridal Alterations ensured it was the perfect fit for me, despite me dropping two dress sizes in the lead up!
I also had a bespoke diamante veil made by Lauren at Lady In Bianca to add some Christmas sparkle. Lauren was incredible. She sent me multiple fabric swatches and sketched out so many different ideas for me.
For the evening I changed into a couture black two piece, trousers and top by Anita Massarella Design. Again, I was after something totally different but comfortable to dance in, that I could wear again. I am still totally obsessed with the heavy sparkly Italian fabric and feather detail of the bell sleeve top. Anita and her team really did bring my vision to life.
Mike wore a bespoke tailored three piece suit, including a velvet waistcoat and velvet lapel jacket from Du at UBVNGENT, all designed just for him. Du went above and beyond to ensure that there was no detail missing; from my husband’s initials on the cuff of his shirt and our wedding date on the lining of his jacket, to a personalised lining with vintage cars on for the father of the groom, everything was well thought out.
Du organised all of the suits and even hosted an evening of fittings with nibbles and beers for our groomsmen.
My ‘maids wore simple one shoulder black ball gowns that weren’t specifically bridesmaids dresses. My best friends looked stunning.
Enya, owner of the Glam Bar in Leeds, did our makeup. She’s been doing my makeup for various events for years and actually did my makeup for our engagement party five years prior!
Alex Swallow (also from the Glam Bar) did our hair. He’s my hairdresser anyway and he did Enya’s hair for her wedding so after seeing her photos I knew how amazing he’d be. We had a lovely time getting ready with them. It was all very relaxed in the morning.
We stayed at the venue the evening before, however one of our friends surprised us a few days before by parking his Bentley on our drive and allowing us to use it to make our way to and from the venue.
Becki and her colleague from All You Need is Love Photography. I would highly recommend them. I spoke to so many different photographers but knew after speaking with Becki on the phone for an hour that we would get on really well and she would capture our day perfectly. She was super understanding of what we wanted.
I loved that Becki offered a pre-wedding shoot to get us used to the camera too, and I highly recommend doing this. We were so awkward with the camera initially, so it allowed us to know what to expect so we were relaxed on the big day itself.
We knew we wanted two photographers to capture both of us in the morning getting ready and the ceremony from two angles, so not a moment of the day was missed. This was a possibility with All You Need is Love, and it was essential to us that the photographers stayed well into the evening to capture the fun! Surprisingly not many photographers do this, I found.
Sky Weddings’ Josh was super flexible. Again we loved that it was a two person team and drone footage was a possibility. The videos are such high quality, capturing all the special moments of the day.
We have memories that will last a lifetime now. They recorded parts of both of our mornings getting ready, the ceremony, the speeches, and provided us with a wedding trailer, an extended cut, as well as social media formatted videos.
I carried a LARGE bouquet of hydrangeas and my bridesmaids had exactly the same, just smaller. Joseph Massie did all of our flowers and décor, including large pillar arrangements for down the aisle which doubled up as table features for the wedding breakfast, floating hanging ceiling arrangements and a large hoop at the end of the aisle.
Joseph literally did everything, including candles and petals. We didn’t feel like we needed much else due to the venue already being well dressed, and with the Christmas trees being present.
We had mini bottles of Toffee Vodka as favours to get the party started!
Lindsay Baines from Fairy Cakes created the most magnificent tasting five tier cake. We had a flavour for everyone! Again, this followed the black and white theme of the wedding and I added my veil to the cake as an extra decorative touch.
We used The Hog & Apple for all of the food and they were just the absolute best! They helped us create a menu perfectly suited to us and gave us so many different suggestions.
The canapes tasted delicious and kept flowing. We didn’t have to worry about boring options for the vegetarians and vegans amongst our guests because they had a menu as long as the ‘ordinary menu’ for those!
For starters we had scallops with belly pork, chorizo and apple. The main dish was two different cuts of lamb with rosemary and mint, minted pea puree, dauphinoise potatoes, honey glazed baby carrots and jus.
We had ‘His & Hers’ desserts because Mike wanted something traditional and I fancied something more exciting. The men had sticky toffee pudding and us ladies had a chocolate torte with salted caramel. Although I think I actually ended up eating both before Mike got a chance!
We didn’t have an extra guestlist for the evening so I think by this point everyone was well fed, however there were Katsu chicken and Tofu Bao buns available (a favourite of ours).
Exceed Events organised a saxophonist to play straight after our ceremony. We love the sound of the sax. It reminds us of being in the sun at a beach club!
During the wedding breakfast we had singing waiters. This was actually my mum’s idea and initially I thought it sounded a bit cheesy however mum kept talking about them so, three months prior, I gave in and told her she could book them – and thank goodness I did! They totally got the party started. Everyone was up dancing. It was without a doubt one of the highlights of the day!
In the evening the sax returned, alongside the DJ and bongos. They gave a great performance and got everyone on the dancefloor.
All You Need is Love photography! Becki was completely flexible, she listened to exactly what we wanted and ensured that she made us feel totally relaxed and comfortable.
Rebekah Hock Bridal Alterations had to work wonders with my dress that was huge too. Anita Massarella went above and beyond to ensure I got the evening outfit of my dreams.
And finally, our venue! We’ve been in summer and winter, and it is stunning at both times of the year. They will open the bar the evening before for you if you wish, and there’s a local village pub that we had a Sunday dinner at with our guests the day after to ‘debrief’ on the wedding.
We both actually really enjoyed the ceremony, to our surprise. We thought we’d be really nervous however, we totally forgot about everyone else in the room and loved it.
The singing waiters were a massive highlight. They even had us up doing the conga!
Having everyone that you love in one place is incredible. When people tell you it’ll be the best day of your life, believe them! I didn’t believe anyone because I thought I’d be stressed and nervous but I was the complete opposite.
We flew back out to Dubai three days after our wedding for a week. It was actually a rearranged holiday due to Covid, but it worked out perfectly as a minimoon. Although we had been to Dubai many times before, it felt really special being back there straight after our wedding because we had got engaged there and we went to places we wouldn’t usually go to. The service is so amazing in Dubai that we were constantly getting honeymoon treats in the form of complimentary desserts, champagne etc.
Our ‘real’ honeymoon was in the Maldives three months later and I’m so pleased we had that gap to give us something to look forward to during the post ‘wedding blues’. We stayed on a small resort called Maafushivaru and it did not disappoint. The staff could not do enough for us, the food was out of this world and our ocean villa with a private pool had breathtaking views. I own a travel business and therefore I did a lot of research to ensure we picked the perfect place for us. We relaxed, ate, drank, went to the spa and ate some more. We enjoyed a private meal on the beach, a sunset cruise and falling off paddle boards!
Our advice for another couple would be to have the wedding that YOU two want and don’t worry about your guests too much. It’s YOUR day so don’t try and impress or please everyone.