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    Winter Weddings – a new years double celebration

    New Year’s Eve….it’s a funny time of year. we build it up in out minds to be the greatest party of day of the year. We get the outfit, spend extortionate amounts on tickets and hotels and more often than not hang about in the cold and the wet in the early hours waiting for the invisible taxi to take us home. I’ve had some amazing New Year’s Eves and frankly some pretty disappointing ones, but for Leanne & Richard New Year’s Eve 2011 will be a day and night they will never forget.

    Decent Proposal

    When Richard proposed it was a total surprise. He had asked me to go with him to a meeting in Bristol, as he wanted some company on the 2 hour trip there and back again. He ‘got lost’ and we arrived at Thornbury Castle. I was like, “this clearly isn’t the right place” that’s when he said, “I have a confession to make, we are staying here.” I was very confused but at the same time thought how romantic he was. We got to our room, (I say room it was more like our apartment!) and there were flowers a bottle of champagne on ice and Richard got down on one knee and said “I always said I would make it special, will you marry me?” Of course, I said yes.

    Best paid plans

    Me and Richard both come from very family orientated backgrounds so it was very important to both of us that we had our whole family with us. I always wanted to have a winter wedding and I thought how New Year would be perfect, to start a new year as husband and wife 🙂

    As soon as we were engaged we set the date for New Year 2012. With it falling on a Saturday we knew we would have to book our venue quickly so we visited a few of our favourite wedding venues. We fell in love with Quorn Country Hotel. It was a real winter venue. We then booked to go to the National Wedding Show. Whilst there I brought my wedding planner folder also referred to as ‘The wedding Bible’ . I bought lots of magazines to get ideas for wedding dresses and I also became slightly addicted to Wedding TV 🙂

    Our colour scheme was rust orange, chocolate brown and ivory. We wanted a really different colour, something that people wouldn’t really think of using but then think wow that really works. It was also a real warm wintry feel which was perfect for the time of year.

    I had six bridesmaids, my chief bridesmaid was Stacey we have been friends ever since we were six years old. Then I had my sister, my cousin, my friend who is now my sister in law, and Richard’s 2 nieces.

    How did you choose your suppliers?

    Venue – we had always heard glowing reports from people that had attended weddings at Quorn Country Hotel. As soon as we went to look round we knew it was perfect for our New Year Wedding. It had oak panelling on the walls and a big spiral staircase.

    Florist – We used a local florist called The Secret Garden, we spent a lot of time with our florist coming up with ideas to save on budget i.e adding more foliage to centre pieces with a few less flowers.

    Photographer – Our amazing photographers were a husband and wife team Jenny and Keith McAvoy from McAvoy Wedding Photography. They were with us from the preparations in the morning right through until the new year celebrations. Their style of photography is very reportage, however they still caught the more formal shots but still incorporating their edgy and modern style. It took us so long to find the perfect photographers, with Richard being a graphic designer he was very specific in what he was looking for. I am so glad I trusted him and waited as now we have amazing wedding photos that will last a lifetime!


    Cake Maker – My Auntie made our cake as our wedding present. It was a 3 tier ivory iced cake with each layer a different flavour. The bottom tier was fruit cake, the middle tier victoria sponge and the top tier chocolate cake. The cake had gold covered chocolate hearts on the top. It went down a treat as there was none left at the end of the night!


    Entertainment – we had a disco for our entertainment, I loved partying the night away, the DJ projected a big clock onto the wall so as we could see the countdown to midnight.

    Stationery / Any DIY projects?

    Richard designed all of our wedding stationery, we used a snowflake theme that carried right through from the save the dates through to individual name cards. I just added a touch of sparkle by using single diamantes in the centre of the snowflakes.

    I simply don’t have a thing to wear

    Where did you find your dress? How did you know you had found the one?

    I got my gown from Pronuptia Bridal store,I had been to a few different stores that day and was torn between 2 dresses, I remember saying to my mum and mother in law to be, ‘ I hope I go to the next appointment and find a dress that is THE one,’ and I did! It was from the coco couture collection, which I loved because with this collection you get to change or add bits that you want to. The dress was originally a zip back, but I had that changed to a corset back. The bodice of the dress was lace with intricate beading and pearl detail, and it had a tulle skirt, a real princess dress, exactly what I had been looking for.

    What accessories did you choose and why?

    I chose to wear a tiara and a veil, both which I brought from the same shop I got my dress from. My shoes also matched my dress they were court shoes covered in lace, with a satin bow and a 3 inch heel. I wore them around the house a couple of days before the wedding to get used to them, but they were so comfy I managed to keep them on all day!

    How did your budget change from first planning to the wedding day?

    We had an idea of how much we wanted to spend but that soon doubled! We decided to look at what we thought was the most important parts to the day and where we felt we ought to spend the most amount of money. We felt the venue was important, our rings, the dress of course and the photos and video because when the day is over, the food has been eaten and the flowers have wilted that is what is left. Your photos and video to capture the memories, your rings – a sign of the promises you made to each other, and my wedding dress which I still put on from time to time. (me and my friends put our dresses on and just sit and watch films and pig out in them!)

    Your favourite wedding purchase

    It has to be my dress. I always wanted a proper Princess dress and I wondered if I would actually find THE one so when I did I was so excited and felt I could then concentrate on the other aspects of the day.


    Best wedding bargain

    We wanted martini glass centre pieces, but they were so expensive to buy and we decided to hire them from a wedding hire shop in our village. They were £10 for the glass and mirror tile which was much much less than buying them all.

    Most extravagant part of wedding

    The cost of 6 bespoke bridesmaid dresses and 10 hired groomsmen suits worked out to be quite costly, but definitely worth it, to involve everyone we wanted and to have that WOW factor on the photos.

    Thoughts on wedding day

    Food – We had 74 guests for the wedding breakfast. We decided to keep the spirit of Christmas lasting a little longer with our menu consisting of traditional Christmas dinner with tomato soup to start and chocolate fudge brownie with ice cream for dessert. We had another 50 guests join us for our evening reception which had us all on the dance floor as big ben chimed in the new year!

    Entertainment – the disco was great, everyone was especially in a party mood with it being new years eve.

    First dance music and why – Our first dance was to Take That’s ‘Rule the world’. I loved loved Take That since they first got together back in the 90s and since they have got back together I have ‘dragged’ Richard to see them in concert! We love the song and the lyrics were perfect.

    Favourite part of the day

    Iit’s so hard to choose one I loved every minute (as i’m sure you know, having been there 🙂 ) – But As the day was coming to an end I was starting to become a little disheartened that my wedding day was nearly over. Richard handed me a card saying, ‘to my wife’ as I opened it, he wrote what a perfect day it had been and then, p.s did you really think we wouldn’t be going back to Thornbury Castle?’ I was so excited the next day we were going back to where he had proposed – the place it all began! It finished the day perfectly!

    Well I love Leanne & Richard beautiful winter wedding and how romantic is Richard? The burnt orange looks fabulous and Leanne really looks like a princess. McAvoy Photography have really captured the wedding beautifully and Quorn Country Hotel looks like a lovely venue.

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