Monthly Archives: September 2014

Winter Wedding Styling Ideas

When we think of winter weddings we immediately think of thick white powdery snow photo shoots with brides dressed in sparkly gowns and fur throws, (handy image to the left) however, the case is probably more likely to be a dull rainy day! (well, in Manchester is it.)

Here are some realistic down to earth DIY ideas to add some extra winter sparkle, warmth and cosiness to a winter wedding day. We love the idea of a hot chocolate bar, think luxurious, decadent thick hot chocolate with an alcoholic option (Bailey’s please) and lots of marshmallows and sprinkles.

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This idea could be developed into quirky little favours – hot chocolate in a jar? ‘Make your own chocolate cake’ in a jar. Typical me to go down the chocolate route, I suppose when I think of winter I do think of indulgence, therefore chocolate!

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Other ways to inject a hint of winter wonderland are to use an abundance of candles, maybe try all different sizes, from huge church candles to tea-lights, and also rows and rows of fairy lights.

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Using woodland props like bark, twigs and mini tress as centre pieces would help create a fairy tale like theme, but also very organic, natural and tasteful. A bauble or two may not go a miss either!

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Real Life Wedding, Jessica and Arthur

1_8733477_origThis fabulous Real Life Wedding took place in Gloucestershire where Jessica married Dutch hubby Arthur. How amazing is must have been for the bride and groom gave their many guests travelling from Holland a glorious English experience which occurred in Jess’ family home, a truly personal day with hints of Holland – of course! Read on for their low down of their special day, Cute Maps particularly love the sound of  the babysitters (how fabulous!) a jazz singer and chips in cones for an evening snack!





Names: Arthur and Jessica

Wedding Date: 10th of May, 2014

The vision for the day: Cotswold country wedding with a touch of Dutch.

The Planning Process: We started planning our wedding 10 months before the day itself. The first booking we made was for our wedding photographer, followed by the marquee. My husband is Dutch, and we expected about 65 guests to travel from Holland especially for our wedding. It was important to us to give them a truly English experience, so we arranged their accommodation in local B&Bs, designed our bespoke wedding invitations around a map of the village (Landrovers, local pubs and all) which doubled up as an actual map for the walk from the church to the house, and chose local produce/dishes for our wedding breakfast. We wanted to have a child friendly wedding, so also planned for 2 babysitters to look after the 10 babies and children who would attend.

Budget & Venue: We were lucky with our venue as my family have a large house and garden which we could use for the marquee. However, although this initially saved costs in terms of venue, it brought higher charges in other areas such as catering and drinks as we needed to source our own suppliers rather than working from a pre-approved list. Still, having our reception in my family home and selecting all the food and wines made it all the more personal. In terms of budget, we planned on spending 20k and managed to stick to this.



The Dress and Accessories: I bought my Augusta Jones dress from the White Room, in Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire. The dress was accessorised with Georg Jensen earrings and bangles, a vintage art deco silver clutch and sparking Jimmy Choo shoes.

Grooms & Bridesmaids attire: The groom and groomsmen were dressed in navy, with ivory waistcoats and dark purple ties/pocket squares. My two bridesmaids wore midnight blue dresses from Ghost, and my flower girl wore a dusky purple dress from Monsoon.



The Readings: extract from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Song of Solomon, Chapter 8, verses 6-7, and a dutch poem read by one of my husband’s family.

Music and First Dance: during the reception we had a jazz singer, and then live music provided by the A-Listers in the evening. Our first dance was Lifening by Snow Patrol.

The Food: Dutch bitterballen as canapés, nethermuir mushrooms to start, beef & game casserole served with spring vegetables, polenta & asparagus tart for vegetarians, followed by wedding cake as dessert. At midnight we served chips in cones with a choice of ketchup or dutch fritesaus.

The flowers: Tulips, of course! Our colours were purple and white.

The cake: 3 tiered sponge cake from Marks and Spencer


Your Photographer: Rupert Marlow Photography

The Details and Décor: flowers, flowers and more flowers! Instead of table numbers we used places that we had travelled to, with photographs of us on that particular holiday, which certainly raised a few laughs by our guests! We organised a surprise gift for children – on their tables they each had their own tin with colouring books, crayons, toys and of course, paper windmills to play with. This was a  big hit and kept them all entertained throughout the speeches and dinner. Our wedding favours were personalised M&Ms, and menus/table plan were styled around airmail stationary to tie in with the travel/international theme.




The Honeymoon: 7 days in the Maldives and 3 days in Dubai.

Memorable Moments: Our wedding car was my brother’s vintage Landrover defender which was fantastic, except not the easiest to get in and out of in a wedding dress! The dutch canapés were such a hit that the children were queuing up by the kitchen door to eat them as soon as they were ready to serve.


Advice for other couples: know your budget and stick to it. Prioritise what is important to you both – for us it was live music and the very best photographer that we could afford. Ask your wedding suppliers for recommendations – they wouldn’t recommend anyone they wouldn’t want to be associated with. Alpha hire, our marquee supplier, was especially excellent in this regard. Flowers are often very expensive, but we were able to save money here by asking the local w.i. to decorate the church which was a fraction of the cost.

Finally, if you have the space and can afford it, providing child care for guests with families was one of the single best things that we did. It meant that the children could play freely and that the parents could relax and enjoy the celebrations.

Rupert Marlow Photography
Alpha hire
The A-Listers