Goodness me how beautiful is this venue?! I don't know how I haven't stumbled across Anran before, but it's giving me all the heart eyes this morning. Lindsay and Jack chose it as the place to hold their Christmas wedding as it offered lots of accommodation for guests, it could be exclusively hired AND it's rather gorgeous to boot. SO many different spaces to explore. The glasshouse where the pair held their reception is just stunning. So without further ado, let's enjoy this beautifully styled, family focused Christmas wedding, it's definitely a heart warmer. Thank you to the lovely Amber at Liberty Pearl Photography for sending it to us!
Our StoryLindsay The Bride: Jack proposed at the top of the Calvari steps in Pollenca, Mallorca (all 365 of them!) in the summer of 2015. We were undecided about whether to get married in Mallorca, Devon (where Jack grew up) or London where we lived. During our venue search, a family friend suggested Anran in Landscove (Devon) and we were both smitten at first sight. We wanted our wedding to be a relaxed and happy celebration - and the owners of Anran, Mike & Edwin, were welcoming and laid back – just what we were wanted. The venue was also completely our taste – rustic/urban/one-of-a-kind. We wanted to be able to stay over at the wedding venue with our close friends and family – and as we looked around the individual barn and manor house rooms we loved them all so knew it would be a treat for our guests that had travelled.
A Christmas WeddingWe met at Christmastime and celebrate our ‘getting together’ anniversary on December 18th (when we remember!) and when we found out that weekend was available – and that the Christmas trees would be put up then we decided to set the date as Saturday, 17th. Having a winter wedding gave us an instant theme – which put simply was lots of fairy lights and candles. We met with the vicar at the local church, Tom Benson, who we instantly loved - he joked constantly and encouraged us to warm up our guests with mulled wine, so we knew he was the man to marry us! The rest of the planning fell into place from that moment onwards...
The Bride & BridesmaidsIf I’m honest, choosing a dress was my most important job as bride. I hated 90 per cent of the gowns I saw – too bridey! I wanted to be comfortable on the day, as well as looking my best but also looking like me...I actually put a deposit down on a slinky, low-backed Jenny Packham (very daring and glamorous – which is not me at all!) and after a sleepless night - and encouraged by my thoughtful fiancé – I went to a sample sale the following day. I loved Claire Pettibone’s designs but thought her dresses were out of my price range. After much umming and ahhing (and to cut a long story short) I found my gown reduced from more than £3000 to just £500! And when I paid at the till, the store owner told me it was a one-of-a-kind because the fabric could no longer be sourced. I cried – my first bridal moment! I let my bridesmaids choose their dresses – I wanted them to feel comfortable too and I’m not fussed about things matching. Amazingly they all agreed on a mid-length navy blue multi-way dress from Monsoon. To add some glamour (and warmth!) I bought them gorgeous faux-fur capes from Topshop – something they could wear again after the wedding... We all loved our hair by Jody from The Pop-Up Salon – she was a lovely calming influence on the morning of the wedding – and we all did our own make-up. And our stunning flowers by Elle at Busby & Fox in Totnes were true to their ‘gathered from the garden’ style and completely beautiful and fitting for the time of year.
The BoysJack had FOUR best men and two ushers! Add our dads to that plus the groom = an expensive load of hire suits! So, we decided they could all wear their own...they all had matching ties, pocket squares and button holes to bring them together.
The DIYWe wanted to do as much of the wedding as we could ourselves. Not just to save money – which was also important given that we have a two-year-old daughter – but so that the wedding day would be a true reflection of our personalities and character as a couple. We borrowed glasses from the local church hall, Jack’s mum made the table decorations, our friends organised the wedding cake as a gift, my parents provided all the wine and fizz (and enjoyed all the tastings in the process!), the bride and our neighbour spent a wine-fuelled evening glittering jars, Jack and his dad built the bar out of pallets, the groom designed the invitations and I made my veil.
Special DetailsWe also wanted everything we did to have a special meaning to us – the car was a Morris Minor because my Grandad used to drive one. All my jewellery had belonged to my mum, nan and grandma. Our beautiful half-white half-rose gold wedding rings were handmade in Ibiza by a family friend – who also created the bride’s engagement ring. Music is important to us both and we want live musicians at the church and the reception. Jack found local husband-and-wife duo Harbottle & Jonas on the internet – they played a selection of our favourite songs during the service (including Fairytale of New York) and then at the venue during the drinks reception. I’ll never forget the smell of mulled wine as I arrived at the church – and the rosy-cheeked smiles on the congregation!
The FoodWe saved money by not using a catering firm. Instead, we hired a local fish n chip van for the night before the wedding – and served a hog roast and an assortment of hearty side dishes on platters for people to help themselves on the day itself. We knew we wanted tasty, home-cooked food – just like Christmas! One of the best men DJ-ed and we also had a local singer-songwriter Richard James perform – favourite of the groom’s parents from their local pub. I didn’t want to do anything traditional like throw the bouquet or cut the cake, it just seemed naff and not really genuine to who we are...but after asking the cake maker to put a piñata layer of sweets into one of the layers, I was more than happy to cut into it and see all the treats tumble out!
The PhotographyWe wanted natural photos – as ‘un-posed’ as possible. And the pictures captured by Amber from Liberty Pearl are far more beautiful than we could have imagined. Amber was absolutely amazing in the build up to the wedding and on the day itself. She felt more like a family friend than a wedding photographer and the pictures she took really reflect that. We are over the moon with how she captured every aspect of the day without any fuss – and even managed to get our daughter to smile in every picture!
Thoughts On The DayWhen we reflect on our wedding day now we are reminded about how lucky we are. Our parents contributed so much and we would not have been able to achieve it without their help and support. I was ill the day before the wedding with what turned out to be a 24-hour bug. And if it hadn’t been for all our amazing friends that came together to help set-up the venue, there may not have been a reception at all... In hindsight this is what truly made our wedding day special and we will be eternally reminded about how much love people have for us as a couple, how much we love them in return, and just how much we love each other.
Bride: Claire Pettibone | Boutique: Blackburn Bridal | Shoes: No. 1 Jenny Packham | Hair: The Pop Up Salon | Hair Vine: Gillian Million | Bouquets: Busby & Fox | Reception Venue: Anran | Hog Roast: The Pig Apple | Bridesmaids: Monsoon | Groom: Topman | Musicians: Harbottle & Jones | Richard James Official | Transport: Classic Wedding Car Hire | Wedding Rings: Kerstin Ibiza