Rhiannon and Edward’s Christmas wedding theme
Mulled wine, mince pies and plenty of dancing were all part of this musical couple’s Christmas wedding theme. Our WED2B Real Weddings feature reveals more…
Rhiannon and Edward met while they were both studying for masters degrees at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. “We were paired up as a husband and wife in a show and every time we were about to go on stage Ed would make me laugh by pretending to trip up,” says Rhiannon.
“He cared more about my nerves than what he looked like, and I loved that. A few months later, a mutual friend threw a party and I spent most of the night talking and laughing with him. We never stopped after that. We spent the following few months pretending we weren't in a relationship, even though we spent all of our time together. That was until that summer, when we were going to spend some time apart and he asked me to be his girlfriend!”
A beach proposal
Edward proposed after two years. “Covid forced our hand on moving in together a little sooner than we had planned but it turned out to be the best thing,” says Rhiannon. “We worked together so well. We made a little family with us and my two cats, who Ed begrudgingly referred to as his furry children.”
“He proposed during a trip to the seaside in Kent, where my parents live. He was really insistent that we should do some walks but the first day was grey and windy outside. So I said maybe another time, there’s no rush. However, he was adamant we had to go for a walk that day!”
” So, we wrapped up and went to a beach called Minnis Bay. When we were there, he suggested pictures by the water and I stood facing the sea while he supposedly took the picture. After a few moments he called my name and I turned around to find him on one knee. I was so surprised I couldn’t stop crying. I think I went into shock. It was the best day.”
Shopping for the dress
“I discovered WED2B online,” says Rhiannon. “I didn't have the biggest budget but still wanted something special, which is what every review I read about WED2B said. It was also so handy that the Manchester store was open on a Sunday. As a freelancer, I often work Saturdays and couldn't take time off to visit other boutiques. Two of my bridesmaids were staying with me for the weekend, so we decided to go and try out the store.”
“I knew you didn’t need to make an appointment but thought we might need to wait or maybe they wouldn’t even be able to fit us in. I couldn’t have been more wrong. When we arrived, Holly came and found us straight away and asked me what I was looking for. I had seen Breona online and told her I really wanted to try it. She found it for me, along with a few other beautiful dresses and made the whole experience so lovely. I was nervous to make such a big decision and don’t always feel comfortable in my body, but I felt so at ease with her. It was a joy.”
Rhiannon chose Breona. “I knew I was having a Christmas wedding theme, so I wanted a dress with a bit more coverage,” she says.
“The lace detail was lovely, especially the neckline, which almost looked like it had holly leaves on it. I loved the soft A-line style and felt comfortable and beautiful in it the moment I put it on. It was the dress I went into the store looking for and it was the one I came out with, although Pierette came close!”
A venue with a personal touch
“My husband’s godfather is a vicar at a church local to them and we thought it would be so special to be married by a member of the family,” says Rhiannon.
“We didn’t have a huge budget, so I began researching village halls for the reception. My now sister-in-law mentioned a venue called The Melbourne Assembly Rooms. We made an appointment to see it and fell in love the moment we parked the car.”
“It’s a converted Victorian school full of red brick and beams and went perfectly with the cozy Christmas wedding theme. We could also have it from midday on Friday until 9am on the Monday, so we didn’t have to rush with setting up or taking things down. It was very much a blank canvas and we were also not tied down to any suppliers, which helped save money. We got married on 17th December 2022.”
The big day
“I got ready with my bridesmaids and mum at a local B&B called The Spirit Vaults,” says Rhiannon. “The rooms were cozy and the bar downstairs had beams and brick just like the venue, so it felt like it matched our theme. We woke up to a gorgeous frost outside and the whole village looked like a scene from the movie The Holiday.”
“My dad walked me down the aisle and I did so well not to cry!” says Rhiannon. “I did cry however when we began to sing. My bridal party are all also freelance musicians and, when it came to singing the carols, it was like being at a professional concert. It moved me so much to see and hear our friends singing with such passion for us.”
“They also performed some solo pieces, including a carol called ‘My Lord has Come’ by Will Todd, which includes the line, ‘his love will hold me, his love will cherish me, his love will cradle me’ which sums up everything I felt. I felt so cherished and loved, by our friends, family and my husband. Plus, having the personal touch of someone who knows us so well actually marry us. I couldn’t have hoped for anything better.”
Mince pies, mulled wine and dancing...
After the ceremony, there were mince pies, mulled wine and hot nibbles at the church. “It was freezing, so it was nice to be able to warm up with a hot drink,” says Rhiannon. “We then travelled back to Melbourne to take some photos. Even though it was cold, the scenery was so wintery and beautiful I didn’t care! Afterwards, we went to the venue where we were met with bubbles before dinner.”
“We had a ceilidh for our band and we didn’t want a formal first dance,” says Rhiannon. “So, we stood in the middle of the room to do the first dance while our guests did the same dance in a circle around us. It was so fun!”
A Christmas wedding theme
“We had a cozy Christmas wedding theme,” says Rhiannon. “There was handmade Christmas bunting, which my mother-in-law sewed herself, as well as handmade tartan table runners. She also did all of our church flowers, bouquets and table decorations. We had wreaths as centrepieces with lanterns in the middle sat on wooden logs. After the big day, I thought friends and family could use them on their Christmas tables.”
“Dinner was a Christmas meal of stuffed turkey and ham, with roast potatoes and sticky toffee pudding for dessert,” says Rhiannon. “A family friend gifted us our wedding cake, which was a lovely chocolate cake with white chocolate buttercream icing. Our favours were pots of seeds for people to plant, as we love gardening and we also gave everyone mini crackers. It was fun to look around during dinner and see everyone in their Christmas hats!”
“My most memorable moments were seeing my dad’s face light up when he saw me for the first time in my dress, and seeing my husband-to-be smiling at me from the top of the aisle,” says Rhiannon. “Also, hearing my closest friends sing with such passion at our service, it was better than any concert. I loved having all our friends throw confetti over us, too. We’d got biodegradable snow, so it looked like it was snowing! Looking around at the meal and seeing all out closest friends and family eating and laughing together. Lastly, the best men gave a great speech. One of them actually held up a slice of toast to toast us!”
My top tips…
“Breathe! Things out of your control may go wrong, but it won't spoil your day if you don't let it. Find a budget you are comfortable with and stick to it. It's easy to get swept up and start buying things willy nilly, but you’ll feel so much better after the day if you have stayed within your means. Remember it's about the two of you. Enjoy the moments together, whether it’s driving back to the venue or taking some time before the meal. Carve out some time for just you two."
Rhiannon and Edward’s Dream Team
Photographer: Stuart Adam from Portfolio Photographic
Venue: The Melbourne Assembly Rooms
Wedding dresses: WED2B
Catering: The Butler’s Pantry Derby
Band: Schuggie’s Ceilidhs
Hair: The Beehive Bridal Hair
Makeup: Makeup by Dani Claire
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