This beautiful Christmas wedding is giving me all the excited tingles for the big day. Not only is it SO stylishly festive and full of joy, but it's also a great reminder that a wedding doesn't have to be a lavish affair. A simple candle lit ceremony followed by a family meal at the pub is just as special, perhaps even more so. The love just radiates from these images by Rebecca Searle. If you're planning a winter wedding then make sure you visit our archives for even more inspiration. We've even got a couple of other wintery pub weddings (this and this) as gorgeous as Rachael and Chris' big day. Enjoy loves, this is a very special wedding indeed...

Our Cosy Candlelit Christmas Wedding

Rachael the Bride: Having stumbled, fortuitously upon The Falcon Pub in Rotherwick and having persuaded the unsuspecting owner to allow us our wedding reception there, we let this quaint venue set the tone... Imagine if you will, chunky wooden beams overhead, real open fires and fairy lights strewn along the mantles...the perfect Winter Wedding backdrop! The Friday before Christmas was booked and the invites sent to family and close friends only. Just 55 guests in total. As anyone who’s been to my home will know – I’m the colour cream’s biggest fan! I chose the colour scheme as Champagne gold and cream with just a dash of deep plum as a nod to the time of year and to warm up the look a little.

Alice By Watters Wedding Dress

Choosing my bridesmaids' dresses was one of the first and easiest decisions I made. The delicate matte gold and the elegant cowl back of the Sorella Vita design I went for, was just the ticket. My dress was the ‘Alice’ by Watters – it was one of only 7 dresses I tried on! Now, I’m not known for being sentimental and with that reputation to uphold - there were no overwhelming tears of joy (sorry folks) BUT with just my mum in tow, when I stepped out of the dressing room, as they say - I just knew! The large applique lace was different to other lace dresses I’d seen and the Champagne Ivory tone sat perfectly with the gold of the bridesmaid dresses. My wonderful alterations lady, Emma, added a long silk ribbon to the waist to give a slightly more romantic feel. Phoebe, our daughter, was 17 months old and I really had an aversion to a froufrou tulle number for her! A cute, woven shift dress caught my eye in Zara Baby one day and teamed with practical fur-lined boots, her outfit was in the bag. As we were getting married in Church and the dress was strapless and relatively low-backed, I felt it appropriate to cover up a little for the ceremony, plus it was December after all!
 Then the search for the headpiece began! Veil or no veil was still to be decided at this point but the dress, although detailed, had no beading or bling so I came to the decision to have ‘something sparkly’ in my hair. The shoes. Now the less I reveal about my shoes the better - they were hideous and not at all bridal! Great big chunky block heel platforms with an unflattering ankle strap! Yuk! But exactly what I was after to give me 6.5” of extra height (I’m only 5.3”) whilst staying relatively comfortable and stable! Rebecca, our photographer, was under strict instructions NOT to photograph them!

Wool Suits For The Boys

For Chris and the boys, I envisaged a rich wool/tweed fabric for their suits and they were all so laidback it was great, between Debenhams and Next we found their entire outfits! A little gold stag brooch from Ebay finished the look and saved the need for buttonholes.

The Pub Wedding Reception

Having taken inspiration from Pinterest, I knew I wanted a large boho style bouquet, I couldn’t help myself on a visit to a local nursery and picked up some pine cones, gold glitter faux leaves and some pheasant feathers to give to my florist. They really helped create that wild and full look. I opted for candles in the Church to save money on flowers, we had to use LED for safety reasons – que a trip to IKEA to buy them out of Godaftons! For the long wooden pub tables – I ventured into a nearby copse and collected foliage, strung some fairy lights through it and glued on some pine cones and voila – festive table garlands x 6! Guests had chosen their main meal from a choice of pub classics and the team at The Falcon executed the dinner to perfection, people still reminisce to me about our mini sausage and mash canapes!

Wedding Band

After some MI5-style research, I found a band that had played whilst we had lunch one day at another local a few months previous and booked Jon, Brian and Damian to play as we mingled after the ceremony. A friend recommended our DJ who did an amazing job of keeping the dancefloor filled for the entire evening! Literally – people couldn’t get passed to use the toilets!

The Ceremony At Dusk

Having been swept away by the idea of a candlelit ceremony at dusk we booked the ceremony for a 3 pm start... hmmmm not so great for photo opportunities! After a quick consult with Rebecca, we decided to do all the formal photos BEFORE the ceremony! My bad planning turned into the best decision we ever made! Almost all my immediate family were staying at Tylney Hall the night before, as were myself and the bridesmaids, so we arranged taxis for the remaining guests and everyone accumulated in the bar for 1.30 pm. It was honestly magical. Becca was able to capture our first look without being restricted by Church pews and it meant we could really take advantage of the daylight and stunning scenery that Tylney Hall had to offer. The more I think about it, the more it makes sense - we were all freshly made-up with not a hair knocked out of place and after the ceremony, we could all head straight to the pub and start celebrating! 

Advice For Future Brides

It’s true what they say, on the day, all your worries disappear. You don’t care what the weather’s doing or if your new husband’s shirt comes untucked as you make your exit down the aisle (which it did!) You are there, in the moment and I couldn’t help but enjoy every second. We were so lucky to have chosen fantastic suppliers and the best part of all is that we have the most amazing photographs that document all of the utter wonderfulness we felt and we get to re-live the day each time we look at them.

Fern Godfrey

Written by Fern Godfrey

Bride: Alice by Watters | Boutique: London Bride Couture | Alterations: Emma Louise | Hair: Wild Rose Hair | Jewellery: Ivory & Co | Feather Wrap: Liberty In Love | Shoes: ASOS | Flowers: Lady Flora | Cake: Le Papillon Patisserie | Catering : The Falcon | Bridesmaids: Essence Designs | Stationery: Love Paper Wishes

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