Gorgeous Winter Wedding With Christmas Touches And A Vintage Vibe
Get ready for a full on swoonfest my loves! Today’s gorgeous real wedding with Christmas touches and a subtle vintage vibe, features a beautiful Jenny Packham bride and her handsome groom.
London born Jessica and Mark couldn’t wait to get married in their home town and exchanged vows in the beautiful Chelsea church where Jessica was christened. Jess dreamt of a mystical, almost Narnia inspired wedding day with lots of twinkling lights and gorgeous winter florals.
Their London winter wedding was captured by talented duo, Gem and Phil of Cotton Candy Weddings and I bet they felt all their Christmas’ had come at once as Jess looked absolutely amaze in her beautiful, long sleeved gown and gorgeous, 1920s inspired, Donna Crown headpiece.
Words by Jess.
© 2013 Cotton Candy Weddings
I never thought I would go for the style of dress that I ended up with. But, after trying on LOTS of dresses, I finally found this one. I didn’t have a moment of ‘it’s the one’, but the more I looked at it in the mirror, the more I loved it.
The beading was amazing and my mum and I thought it would perfectly catch the light of the candles that we envisaged having at the wedding! It also had long sleeves which was something I had been set on from the start of the dress finding process. Every time I went for a fitting I fell in love with the dress more and more.
I curled my hair myself the night before the wedding and then on the morning of the wedding my mum’s hairdresser tweaked it by giving me some more volume and helping to put in my headpiece and veil. The hair was perfect – totally as glam as I had imagined yet still very much me.
My make up was done by a friend of my brother’s who is an amazing make up artist – Francesca Martin. From the first time we met, she just totally got me and the style of make up that I like. She was absolutely fantastic!
My headpiece was handmade by Donna Crain to go perfectly with the style of my dress. She was so wonderful and genuinely cared about getting the ‘look’ completely right. My shoes by Rachel Simpson also had that 1920’s style which, again, was very in keeping with the dress and headpiece.
As well as my headpiece, I ordered my veil through Donna Crain too. I explained that I was hoping to find a veil that covered part of my head – similar to a juliet style veil.
Donna found me the perfect veil which could clip in under my headpiece. It was the exact look that I had imagined and Donna helped me to choose the fabric and length which would best complement my dress.
I think that from the start of the wedding planning process, Mark and I both wanted to make our day very personal and relevant to us. There was no doubt that, both being from London, we would get married there and we genuinely couldn’t have made the day so personal without lots of help from my amazingly creative brother.
He designed our save the date cards (on beer coasters), our wedding invitation (on tea towels) , our order of service, our table menus and the little signs on each table asking people to please put photos on Instagram and use the hashtag that we created especially for the wedding.
We are also fortunate enough to have lots of wonderfully talented friends who we relied on heavily, and who all helped to make the day as brilliant as it was.
We used 2 florists for the wedding – 1 at the church and 1 at the reception. Both florists were recommended by our Vicar. We liked them both so much when we met them that we couldn’t just choose one! The flowers at the church, my bouquet and the buttonholes were done by Joan Holdsworth (contactable through the parish of Chelsea churches).
We wanted to have lots of candles and greenery in the church, along with some white flowers (also incorporated into my bouquet). Overall we were hoping for a mythical / Narnia type look and Joan created exactly that. The men’s button holes were very simple – sprigs of holly and red berries.
Mark wore a morning suit by Autograph (Marks & Spencer). Dachshund cufflinks & socks by Paul Smith. His tie was a Fulham Football Club tie.
Mark’s best friend Tom was his best man and he had 8 ushers who also wore Fulham Football Club ties (along with my dad and Mark’s dad!).
My dad, Michael walked me down the aisle to Charpentier – Prelude from ‘Te Deum’ and Mark and we left the church to The Wedding March by Mendelssohn from ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.
Mark and I met in March 2011 at a pub quiz. I popped in on my way back from work to see my friend Mary (who was there with Mark and some other friends).
I was exhausted after an OFSTED inspection at the school where I was teaching, and certainly not expecting to meet a gorgeous assistant director from the world of film!
The next day Mark tracked me down (via the modern means of email), asked me out for dinner and that was that!
We moved in together just over a year later and he took me by complete surprise when he proposed to me 6 months after that – on Boxing day 2012 (in the car during a storm)!
I came across Phil and Gem our fantastic wedding photographers while I was googling wedding photographers.
I had typed into Google ‘Instagram style wedding photos’ (due to my LOVE of Instagram). Anyway, I came across their website and it was honestly love at first sight.
Their style of photography, the retro cameras that they used AND, when reading the information about them I loved them even more: 2 genuinely down to earth girls who sounded so friendly and also loved dogs – just like me and Mark!
We had our wedding reception at Thames Rowing Club on the Putney Embankment. It was a perfect reception venue for us as my dad is a Cambridge blue and Mark rowed at school; it was also directly across the river from Bishops Park which was my local park when I was growing up, and finally, we could see Craven Cottage – home of Fulham Football Club – and both Mark’s family and my family are long-time supporters of FFC.
Having a winter wedding meant that we could have lots of candlelight and this sort of developed into the idea of a mythical winter wonderland! We used lots of fairy lights, ivy, gypsophila, mistletoe, candles, lanterns, stars scattered on the tables, tea lights, and birdcages.
The flowers at our wedding reception were done by Louise McGregor (a freelance florist based in Henley). Together with my mum, Pepita, they came up with brilliant ideas and Louise then created the most amazing floral displays.
The reception was full of lanterns, ivy, and candles and the table displays were beautiful – birdcages filled with ivy and candles.
Our wedding favours were a pairs of Christmas socks! We started shopping for them in August! They were from lots of different high-street shops. We also spent an entire Sunday sitting on the floor in our flat tying them with ribbon and attaching luggage labels (which were our place names
Mark and I had a cheese wedding cake which we organised through Jennie at Hamish Johnston, SW11. She was so helpful and organised a cheese tasting for us, offering lots of useful advice and recommendations.
To go with the cheeses we had some delicious chutneys from The Pigeon Hole Café which is run by some friends in Camberwell (www.thepigeonholecafe.com). We also had a treat table at the wedding – I had to have something to satisfy my sweet tooth!
The treat table was made by a friend of ours, Catriona Brkic who, luckily for us, runs a cake business called Sugar Coat Me. The treat table was one of the highlights of the day and was completely demolished by the end! Friends kept texting me after the wedding saying they were dreaming of the cake pops, cupcakes and macaroons that Catriona had made!
What was your most memorable moment from your wedding day?
It’s so hard to choose! One part was walking out of the church, seeing all our friends and family and then being greeted by our dog Ralph. Mark had arranged to have him brought to the church to see us!
The speeches at supper were also one of my favourite parts of the whole day. All 3 speeches had people laughing loudly and shedding tears too. They were fantastic, and because we spread them out throughout the meal, people didn’t get fidgety or bored and genuinely enjoyed listening to them.
I loved Mark’s speech so much and he even managed to surprise me with a proper winter wedding – he had a snow machine!
And if you could impart any words of wisdom to future brides?
Hmmmmm, my advice would be to make sure you like the people you choose to work with on any aspects of the wedding process. Mark and I genuinely met some of the nicest people when we were planning our wedding.
We also tried to make use of as many of our amazing friends as possible. This really helped to make the wedding very personal, and totally ‘us’.
Oh my word. I am seriously in love with this gorgeous winter, London wedding! Aren’t Jess and Mark just totally adorable? It goes without saying that Jessica looked amazing, that dress, the shoes, the headpiece… but I also love the fact they embraced a winter wedding with all the gorgeous ivy, mistletoe and holly surrounded by glowing, twinkly lights. Also for the record, one of my favourite ever wedding favours. Christmas socks. Genius.
As usual, please do leave our lovely couple lots and lots of love on the blog congratulating them and complimenting Cotton Candy Weddings on how gorgeously amazing they and these images are. Thanks for sharing ladies!
wedding credits | photographers: cotton candy weddings | church: st mary, the boltons | reception venue: thames rowing club | brides dress: jenny packham | brides headpiece: donna crain | brides shoes: rachel simpson | grooms suit: marks and spencer (autograph) | florist: via chelsea parish | cheese cake: hamish johnston | cakes: sugar coat me | entertainment: richard judge \ dj: double-ess | rings: gems in hatton garden | transport: sullivan buses | catering: fab caterers