A winter themed wedding in classic Anna Sorrano
Real bride Charley chose one our most flattering and timeless designs for her delightful winter themed wedding day.
Real bride Charley chose one our most flattering and timeless designs for her delightful big day
Cambridge is one of our most popular dresses, and it really does capture the essence of Anna Sorrano in all its elegant simplicity. It was also the ideal choice for this stylish winter themed wedding.
Charley and Hugh first met in Plymouth for a drink. “We immediately wanted to spend all our time together,” says Charley. “Hugh moved in with his dog Luna just before lockdown, so suddenly we were spending a lot of time together!”
A proposal in Malta
The pandemic caused a couple of international holidays together to be cancelled, so the couple booked a last-minute trip to Malta in September 2021. “We were due to fly in just three weeks, so Hugh quickly bought a ring and panicked because it didn't look like it would arrive on time!” says Charley. “Luckily it did, and he snuck it into his suitcase and brought it with him. He proposed in the middle of nowhere, in the Maltese countryside, with no one else around. He even managed to get it all on video.”
Discovering Anna Sorrano
Charley found wed2b online and was immediately drawn to one dress in particular. “Unfortunately it was out of stock across the whole country," she says. "So, I spent every day visiting the live chat to see when it would be back in. Then, as soon as it was available, I quickly went to wed2b Exeter to try it on. I knew it was the perfect dress, so I didn't have to try on any others.”
Charley chose Cambridge, a graceful ballgown with flattering off-the-shoulder straps and a ruched bodice, all in seek Mikado. “It was the perfect princess gown and was ideal for our country house winter themed wedding. The understated fabric let the dramatic train do all the talking, so I didn’t feel there was any need for sparkles or lace."
"The beauty was in the simplicity of it.”
If you like Charley’s look, and want a similar off-the-shoulder style, you’ll love the clean lines of both Appolina and Adelaide. Alternatively, if you’d prefer a strapless version, take a look at Stefano instead.
A Dartmoor wedding venue
Holne Park House on the southern slopes of Dartmoor in Devon was the setting for the big day. “It had enough beds for all of our guests to stay, which was important to us,” says Charley. “We wanted a winter-themed wedding so we needed a venue that could accommodate a ceremony and all the events inside, and Holne Park House fitted perfectly. They also offered mulled cider as a reception drink, so that was a winner! We booked the date without ever having visited, as we knew it was perfect and it was the last available date. We got married on the 26th of November 2022.”
The big day
“I got ready with my mum and my bridesmaid,” says Charley. “We started with a breakfast of croissants before getting hair and makeup started. My mum and Eleanor also started wrapping ribbons on the flowers that I’d made the day before."
"The weather was very rainy all day."
"We kept looking out the window to check but we soon realised we were going to have to embrace the rain, it's good luck anyway! Our photographer Grace was reassuring and we trusted her entirely. We’d bought a big umbrella in the wedding colours, so we were ready to go outside to get some pictures in the grounds.”
“I walked down the aisle on my own, with my bridesmaid and flower girls going first,” says Charley.
“However, I wasn't nervous and was just excited to get to the end and marry Hugh. I highly recommend walking in on your own, if you’re considering it. I cried quite a lot during the ceremony. I've always been a happy crier, so I brought a special embroidered hankie to make sure my makeup didn't run. My godmother did a reading that suited the day perfectly. It’s an extract from a book by Robert Fulgham, called From Beginning to End.”
Warming drinks and dancing
After the ceremony everyone enjoyed a warm mulled cider, before the newlyweds took five minutes together to chat about the day.
“Taking that time to relax and breathe after not seeing each other all morning was so nice,” says Charley.
“As we went back downstairs all of our guests were snacking on wintery canapés with mulled cider and elderflower fizz. Later on we had a photo booth, dancing and Cornish pasties for the evening. We decided not to have a first dance, but we had a last dance instead. After all of our guests had finished dancing, we took the time to have a moment on our own and talk about the day.”
The personal touch
“Personalisation was really important to this happy couple. “I've always been really crafty and so took the time to make as many things for the decor as I could,” says Charley. “We collected the table decorations over the last year from charity shops, family members and car boots. We used glass and brass items alongside candles and fresh flowers to make it warm and inviting. Table names were our favourite places and we included a picture taken in each place. We bought the flowers in bulk and Hugh's mum, sister and I constructed them the night before going to the venue. The navy and burgundy theme contributed to the winter themed wedding, along with the cosy fires lit throughout the house.”
“Our local cake shop made us a plain, white-iced, lemon drizzle and we decorated it with fresh flowers and ribbon."
"For favours we made winter spiced gin and custom labels for the bottles."
"I monogramed napkins for the top table in our wedding colours, too. Everyone had preselected their meal, so I made menu cards with everyone's name in gold at the top.”
Eat, drink and be merry
Food included smoked salmon blinis, honey and mustard sausages and, later, Cornish pasties and roast beef in mini Yorkshire puddings. “The DJ in the evening kept us going with 90s and 00s hits, and we finished the night with ‘Fairytale of New York’ to get everyone into the Christmas spirit,” says Charley.
The most memorable moments…
“It was great laughing our heads off in the rain after our photographer Grace told us to pretend we were warm and then a massive raindrop ran straight down my back. Taking the time to watch everyone on the dance floor at the end of the night and appreciate everyone coming together to celebrate for us. Hugh also had three best men who did a joint speech, which went down so well, everyone was laughing.”
And for other Anna brides…
“Firstly, if you're planning on DIY-ing anything start now!” says Charley. “Aim to have it all done and finished three months before the wedding, because there will inevitably be stuff you’ve forgotten about or need to do last minute, and you don't want any of your design ideas being sacrificed because you ran out of time. Secondly, everyone will tell you ‘something will go wrong on the day’. They mean well but don't listen. Change your perspective on what wrong is."
"As long as you get married everything else is extra."
"For example, the sparkler shot we didn't get to do and the confetti throw that we missed due to the rain is just extra stuff. It doesn't detract from the day. Soak it all in and don't worry.”
“Lastly, make the day yours and don't worry about being on-trend. Include food from your first date or a song that played in the bar on your anniversary or name your tables after something special to you. Include things to make it yours and then your day can never go out of style, it will be truly timeless.”
It’s an absolute joy to see how you’ve styled our designs so, if you’ve enjoyed Charley and Hugh’s elegant winter-themed wedding, then please share your big day pictures too. Just click here to share your story and photos with us and we’ll be in touch.
With much love,
The Anna Sorrano team
Charley and Hugh’s Dream Team
Photographer: Grace Elizabeth
Venue: Holne Park House
Cake: Cornish Pudding Company
Wedding Invitations: Designed by Charley and printed by Pure Invitation
Hair and makeup: Gem Ryder
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