Mistletoe, carols, and a 20-foot Christmas tree gave this winter wedding a wonderfully festive feel, with the added elegance of fur coats and warming dusky pinks.
How they met
Mel and David first met as teenagers, although love blossomed slowly over the next few years. “After a few months of dating, we found photos of one of my teenage house parties and realised we’d met each other when we were 15,” Mel recalls. “I don’t think we had an official first date, although it was so long ago, I can’t really remember!”
After enduring eight years of not- so-subtle hinting from friends, family and Mel herself, David finally asked for his bride’s hand in marriage on her birthday. “I was blown away by how much thought Dave put into it,” smiles a proud Mel. “I was secretly hoping he would propose, but having been wined and dined with nothing happening, I was giving up hope. Then he brought me home and my wish came true. I was greeted by fairy lights all over our balcony, champagne on ice, and our favourite song playing, and before I knew it, he was on one knee with the most beautiful ring I had ever seen.”
The bride’s outfit
Well-connected bride Mel had the A-list treatment while shopping for her wedding dress. “I was so lucky, as my step-mum had recently opened her own wedding boutique, so I went to see her range and fell in love with a beautiful Alan Hannah gown as soon as I set eyes on it,” she explains. “I then had the privilege of having it fitted by Alan himself and his wife Marguerite! It was such an honour to see where and how my dress would be made.” the full-skirted gown was crafted in silver French lace, with a long train. “I felt like a princess,” Mel recalls
The groom’s outfit
David and his groomsmen looked dashing in navy blue herringbone tailcoats from Austin Reed, teamed with an ivory ruche for David and dusky pink cravats for the best man and ushers. “Dave looked amazing – so handsome,” Mel remembers
Mel chose her sister Amy as her maid of honour, plus three other bridesmaids. the four looked fabulous in oyster-coloured gowns from Dessy, with dusky pink pashminas for warmth. “They looked absolutely stunning, and I couldn’t have managed without them,” Mel says
Mel had her heart set on getting married at All Saints Church in her family’s village of honington, Warwickshire. “I’d always wanted my wedding there, but we were a bit concerned by its small size, as we both have large families,” Mel explains. “I was impressed by how many people managed to squeeze into each pew!” the service included three readings and some carol singing to get everyone into the Christmas spirit
Mel’s sister-in-law, Rebecca Charles, was in charge of the festive flowers. “She helped me come up with our elegant Christmas theme, and ensured that it all came together perfectly,” says Mel. the bouquets featured delicate dusky pink roses with pearl embellishments, while the marquee was transformed with seasonal flowers and foliage including romantic mistletoe. So pretty!
The reception took place in a marquee in the grounds of Mel’s mother’s house, where 150 guests joined the happy couple for the wedding breakfast. “We wanted a hearty meal to warm everyone up from the cold winter weather, so we had a joint of beef carved on each table, followed by a trio of Christmas desserts,” Mel explains
The December wedding called for a classic Christmas theme, with a 20-foot Christmas tree, life-size reindeer, mistletoe and fairy lights. “The marquee looked spectacular, and my sister-in-law even made a marshmallow tree for the children’s table,” says Mel. “It was lovely to hold our reception at my mum’s house, and she was there by my side throughout the preparations.”
Mel’s brother kicked off the speeches, delivering a heartfelt speech on his sister’s behalf. “He made my mum and me so proud, I couldn’t stop the tears,” Mel says. “Dave then did a wonderful speech that had me in tears again, before his best man ended with a fantastic speech full of laughter and emotion. he and Dave have been best friends since they were six, so he had plenty of ammunition – he was definitely the right man for the job.”
The simple and stylish four-tier cake was designed and made by Jill Judd, decorated with elegant pearl beading and dusky pink flowers. “It’s officially the best fruit cake around,” says Mel
“We wanted our favours to be remembered, so we gave each adult a Christmas tree decoration in the shape of a rocking horse,” Mel explains. “Horses are a big part of our lives, and each table was named after one of our family’s horses.” The children were also given seasonal favours in the form of traditional candy canes
The first dance
Mel and David took their first dance to Adele’s To Make You Feel My Love. “When I first heard it on the radio, years before we got engaged, I knew I wanted it to be my wedding song,” Mel remembers. “It means a lot to us, and brings happy tears to my eyes.”
The dance floor was thumping all night thanks to rock and roll band Johnny and the Zephyrs. “They were great fun, and I spent most of the evening dancing on top of their piano – not easy in a wedding dress!” Mel remembers. “I was also treated to a surprise duet of You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling from Dave and his friend – not the ideal song choice on my wedding day, but it made me smile all the same!”
The newlyweds delayed their honeymoon for four months, before taking a twin-centre break to St Lucia and Miami. “It was lovely waiting a while after the wedding, as it gave us something to look forward to after the excitement of our big day,” says Mel.