Morning all, hoping our first blog post of the day finds you well. I guess for many of us, we're now looking forward to the Summer and warmer climes – we've packed away our winter woolies and are starting out, with a certain sense of intrepidation, in our lighter frocks and summer (dare we, yet?) sandals, and so the sense of featuring a Winter wedding today might seem a little odd. But I know that many brides reading Love My Dress today will be planning their own Winter wedding, and so I'm really happy to be able to share an elegant post-Christmas affair with you all.
Anna and Paul got married on 5 January 2013, at Crosby Hall Education Trust in Liverpool, followed by a reception at Leaf on Bold Street in Liverpool city centre and the very talented photographer Anna Hardy was there to create these beautiful photographic memories…
"Winter has always been our favourite
time of year; in Northumberland, where Paul is from, the snow falls and
stays. We've had some lovely winter days walking along frozen rivers.
One of my songs, And WInter Came is about one of those days with Paul. I'm so glad we picked winter for our wedding.
We planned our whole wedding in five months – we got engaged at the
end of July 2012 and married as long as you keep things simple you
don't always need the full 18months! I loved the idea of a
candlit winter wedding and somehow combining that with a city centre
venue, with a good stage and sound for the bands and close to the part
of Liverpool where Paul and I first lived together. The mirrorballs that
hung from the ceiling in Leaf sealed the deal!"
Images Copyright (c) 2013, Anna Hardy
"We really wanted to create a day that felt warm and welcoming,
individual, cosy and full of love and fun . As the guests arrived they
were handed a glass of mulled wine to drink before the ceremony. Many
have since commented that it was a lovely welcome, and that time
together before the ceremony really broke the ice amongst the guests.
I had used the venue many times for my concerts and so was
familiar with the barn space and how it lovely it could be for a wedding
ceremony. Enough room, but small enough to be intimate and warm!"
"I'd always thought I'd be a real boho bride, floaty chiffon
dress, hair down, bare feet – but before I knew it once I'd chosen my
silk Jenny Packham dress – everything else started to steer towards a
far more glam feel.
As my dress was so long and slinky I didn't need to
worry about my shoes too much, I ordered a simple, but pretty court shoe
'Beau Wedding Shoes – Pink By Paradox ' from the Wedding Shoes website."
"Our venue reception, Leaf
is our favourite place in Liverpool, From the tea shop downstairs to
the hundreds of mirror balls hanging from the ceiling upstairs. Becky
and her team there were brilliant and so helpful, letting us create the
relaxed atmosphere we'd hoped for. They even kept wine bottles back from
New Years Eve for us to use as candle holders for the tables."
"The idea of the wedding dress hunt filled me with dread – I'd
performed at so many weddings in 2012 and seen so many beautiful brides
in so many dresses I couldn't picture myself in the bride's seat at all!
was so worried that all of the dresses in bridal shops would be
tiny…and I'd be talked into something awful! I started my
venture by ordering a cheap copied design of a Catherine Dene dress from
a chinese website. When it arrived, it was awful!
I looked so
ridiculous I ran straight downstairs into the kitchen to show Paul – He
agreed I looked like a fairy godmother from a pantomime! So I gave in,
and made some appointments in Bridal shops. I found the Mya pure silk
dress in a sample sale in The Bride Rooms and was so excited! I'd been
looking for an evening dress- style design and to find a Jenny Packham
dress in a sample sale had seemed to good to be true! The dress was so
beautifully made, the silk felt amazing and it was so soft and light."
"I knew from the start I'd like my bridemaids (my two sisters)
to wear different dresses, and in addition my sister Claire was seven months
pregnant and I wanted her to feel comfortable and glamourous.We found a
lovely black lace dress on ASOS Maternity and a beaded shrug from
Nicola's amazing purple embellished dress was an ASOS
design. I absolutely loved this dress from the moment I saw it, but ASOS
had sold out! A week later I found the very same dress on Ebay and
bought it for her immediately at half the original price!"
"To enable us to have total freedom over the content of our
ceremony, we actually did the 'legal bit' two days before in Morpeth Town
Hall with our two close friends as witnesses. This meant that at our
wedding two days later, my uncle Jim was able to conduct the full ceremony
that we had written together
He did it so beautifully, and we were
able to make it very personal. He used a beautiful stole to perform our
Blessing that had been made for him in Brazil. Both of our fathers did
readings. The Art of Marriage by Wilfred Peterson and The Greatest
Happiness, by Victor Hugo/"
"Ever since I saw Ross and Emily's wedding on friends
all those years ago – I knew that if I ever got married I love there to
be as many candles as possible rather than spending a lot on flowers. My
Mum and I started collecting candles, lanterns and candle holders from
charity shops and asked to borrow any nice ones we saw in friends
"My mum did all of the holly and ivy arrangements for our
ceremony collected from friends gardens the day before. I especially
love the base of our wedding candle which Paul and I lit together during
the ceremony after saying our vows. My very talented Mum also did our
bouquets – we'd sourced the purply heathers in the weeks leading up to
the wedding (they're silk!) from Taskers Home Store and Dunelm Mill and
added real white roses and gypsophila.
The brilliant part about using
some artificial flowers within the bouquet is I now still have them in a
little vase in the kitchen and I just keep replacing the white roses
with fresh ones."
"I borrowed a beautiful vintage fur coat from one of my closest
friends Hannah.It finished off the look I wanted to create perfectly."
"During our ceremony, my best friends from university
whom I studied music with performed Mexico by The Staves, Landslide by
Stevie Nicks and my cousin Miriam sang The Water of Tyne. They were
absolutely stunning. Both Paul and I found it very emotional!"
"We had no official wedding cake as such! I saw a picture on Love My Dress
a while ago of a table covered in cakes – like a country fair! And so
instead of an official wedding cake, we asked close friends and family
to each make a cake! The only rule being, it had to be simple – their
favourite childhood cake memory. The results were brilliant!
everything from rice crispie cakes, victoria sponge, lemon drizzle etc!
Again we set about collecting cake stands from charity shops and ended
up with an amazing array of beautiful home made delights. Even the
bouncers on the door at Leaf were tucking in by the end of the night."
"My Dad drove me and my sisters to the wedding ceremony
in his trusty volvo – (which he had cleaned and hoovered for the first
time in 5 years!) it was lovely having that time together just us,
before the madness began!
After our ceremony and reception drinks, all of the guests joined us in piled onto a big double decker bus to take us
into Liverpool. It was such good fun! It kept
all of the guests together and kept the momentum of the party going!
When we got to the top of Bold Street in Liverpool we found that the
road was blocked and so all of the guests had to get off and walk a
short way down the hill – it all added to the amusement!"
"Having Anna Hardy
as our photographer was one of the things I was most excited about. I
absolutely love her alternative style of photography and she was so
lovely to have around – I think most people thought she was one of our
guests! We were overwhelmed when we saw our pictures for the first time
we both got so emotional – to see the moments that she had managed to
capture throughout our day, especially during our ceremony.
really flexible with our plans and I loved that she got on our wedding
bus with us to our reception which gave us some brilliant action shots.
She has captured the atmosphere perfectly."
"I walked down the aisle to Death and All His Friends (weird title I
know! but the music is lovely) from Coldplay's Viva la Vida album. That
whole album is really significant to us after we listened to it over
and over when we first got together!"
"The pearls on the tabels were even more effective than I had
imagined – they really reflected the light from the candles. By the end
of the night I kept on seeing different people walking around wearing
"I loved the rustic look of the tables at our reception – instead
of flower centre pieces we just had candles in wine bottles, and
scattered strings of pearls along the tables – which I'd bought from
Primark. On the top table only we put our four bouquets in glass
tumblers which looked lovely."
"The food at Leaf
was delicious. We gave our guests a choice of Beef and Ale Stew,
Chicken & Chorizo Stew, with a selection of rice and veg. Perfect
winter warming food! The guests were called up table by table to help
themselves – there was even enough for seconds!
At Leaf, there is a brilliant sound system, engineer
and stage in place already which allowed the musicians to just bring
their instruments. We had a sax/guitar duo on first as evening guests
arrived – www.mikesax.co.uk followed by the Robert Vincent Band
www.robertvincentmusic.com and then the night went into full party mode
with Andy Williams Band, an amazing soul/motown singer."
Words of Wedded Wisdom…
"On reflection I wish I'd put on my dress a bit
earlier! I'd had a really calm morning as our wedding wasn't until 3pm,
then at 2pm I put my dress on – but I still had to have it attached to
my underwear – something that couldn't be done until my dress was
on. This led to a half an hour panic, when my poor mum was trying not to
panic and acidentally prick her finger with the needle! I'd definitely
underestimated how quickly time would suddenly pass.
I'd also say definitely take time to stand
back with your groom alone for a moment together and appreciate
everything going on around you and all the fun that your loved ones are
having and how happy there are to be there celebrating with you. The day
flies by so quickly, make sure you give yourself a chance to take it
A sweet and elegant Winter affair. Thank you so much Anna Hardy for sharing these lovely photographs, and to Anna and Paul for so kindly sharing details of their wonderful Winter wedding.
My readers clearly adore Jenny Packham dresses – are you a Jenny Packham bride?
You can see more Winter weddings here too.
With much love,
Photographer – Anna Hardy
Venue – Crosby Hall Education Trust + Leaf
Brides Dress – Mya by Jenny Packham from The Bride Rooms in Birkdale, Southport
Brides' shoes – Wedding Shoes
Grooms Suit – M&S
Bridesmaids – ASOS, via EBay
Flowergirls – Monsoon
Flowers – Family
Cake – friends & family
Transport – double decker bus
Hair – Steph at Dermal Spa Formby Merseyside
Make Up – Jenny Glynn Make Up artist
Videographer – Shoot It Yourself