Does it get any more magical than a Christmas marquee wedding? I mean just imagine how special it must have been to be at WWW readers Hayley and Matt’s wedding party just before Christmas? The fairy lights, the gardens, the marquee and of course all the festive decorations. Awesome.
Hayley and Matt were married on the 20th December 2019 in an intimate ceremony and held their big party on the 21st December 2019. They chose to host their reception in a stunning sailcloth tent in Hayley’s mum’s garden. A lot of love and effort from all of their nearest and dearest went into creating the wedding party of their dreams. There was oodles of greenery everywhere, mistletoe hanging in bunches, romantic candlelight, cinnamon sticks and orange slices on the place settings, hanging lampshades and even Christmas trees. Not forgetting the brilliant Christmas grotto and sleigh photo booth, just genius. The result was a really personal and vintage style winter wedding with wow factor.
I really love Hayley and Matt’s outfits too, Hayley wore a long sleeve lace gown with pretty floral veil, with Matt choosing a mismatched style of a navy suit and mustard waistcoat. It’s great to hear that WWW faves and Supplier Love members Entertainment Nation provided the live band too and it sounds as though the entertainment was a roaring success in the evening.
What’s more another of our Supplier Love members was in attendance, the amazing Thyme Lane Photography took these incredible shots, which I am sure you will agree look so amazing. I am so grateful to be sharing them with you today.
We were away at a friend’s wedding in Tuscany and I did have a feeling beforehand that he might do it then for some reason. I told one of our best friends to tell him not to as I wouldn’t have put it past him to do it at the wedding itself thinking it would be romantic! She ignored me and didn’t tell him! Once we were there I was sure he wouldn’t as I’d packed and unpacked our little case 100 times and saw nothing. Turns out it was hidden in some dog poo bags in our case so I missed the ring box. Luckily, Matt had more social etiquette than I thought and he didn’t do it at the wedding; he saved it for a few days after the wedding when we travelled on to Florence for a night. It was our last night and we were at dinner in ZaZas, the most amazing restaurant. He said he’d been carrying it around for month waiting for the right moment and that hearing my favourite song come on in that restaurant was it.
We both really wanted a relaxed vibe to the wedding – we didn’t have many formal aspects at all. We planned it in 3 months, we didn’t have the ceremony in front of anyone but our parents and brothers, we had no bridesmaids or groomsmen, a semi-formal meal with family serving, no first dance or speeches. Really, we wanted the wedding to be more of a party with lots of love and without some of the awkward formal parts of a traditional wedding.
The Planning Process
It was quite a lot to take on, organising any wedding in such a short space of time is hard but we had to source everything as it was in my mum, Ange’s garden. I had a lot of help from my mum, best friend Emma and brother’s girlfriend Nancy with all the organising and preparation. We also had lots of help on the day from friends and family, especially all our parents, and my brothers Jaden and Brett. I did a lot of looking around to find suppliers who had the right vibe and style for what we wanted and liaising with them all was a really fun aspect of the planning process. Everyone we worked with were so lovely and helpful and they took a lot of the stress away. We had a spreadsheet on the go from the start and lots of lists so we could keep on top of everything. It’s really easy to rush into buying and booking things when you see them but we ended up returning quite a few props and decorations because we decided against them closer to the time.
£17k was the final cost. Initially we thought it’d be a lot cheaper having it in mum’s garden but we soon realised it wasn’t really. However, we still wanted it there because it’s a special plot and we could include a lot of personal touches.
A sailcloth tent in my mum’s garden. It was already such a beautiful plot, but there was a lot of work that happened beforehand to get it the way we/mum wanted it to be with the decking area and stones etc. We obviously had free reign on what we wanted so originally we were going to have a carousel but unfortunately the little bridge over the brook wouldn’t hold the weight of the lorry so instead we went down the Christmas theme route and turned the shed into a grotto, had a vintage sleigh and put tonnes of fairy and festoon lights everywhere.
My hair was done at a local salon called Graduate Hair and it was gorgeous. I loved how loose and romantic it looked but how secure it felt. I just got the flower slide from Amazon – I was sceptical but it looked really lovely and people had told me real flowers would wilt or dull throughout the day.
Your Outfits & Accessories
My dress was the first dress I tried on in the first and only shop we went in. When I first tried it on I really liked the fit but I wasn’t too keen on the dress as a whole so tried on others. I went back to that one though and one of the lovely ladies in the shop starting talking about customising and then I was off. I asked for quite a lot to be changed and altered from the original dress as I wanted more of a hippy, relaxed, romantic type feel to it and the ladies did such a perfect job with understanding what I wanted and making it happen. They couldn’t have been friendlier or more helpful!
Matt went shopping a couple of times and in the last shop found the right combo. Again, he didn’t want anything too formal and so his suit was all mismatch but the colours and different textures all complimented each other so well. He did try on more classic black suits too but I’m glad he settled on this one as it went with the wedding vibe really well; slightly rustic, vintage and mismatched.
We had a band called Elevate who were great! We found them on Entertainment Nation and they were reasonably priced and had a great range in music. We like older 80’s music and everything they played got the crowd up.
I got the flowers through our lovely stylist Hayley at Starry Eyed Weddings. She did a great mood board which had a few different examples of bouquets and flowers on and I already had some of my own pictures from Pinterest so shared those with her. I really wanted a big bouquet with draping flowers, lots of greenery and berries – it turned out better than I thought. The crossbar in the tent was also styled by Hayley and Kevin and they made a real feature of it. The foliage was all from my mum’s garden or friend’s gardens.
Our friend Lucy recommended Noemi because she’s worked with her before. We looked at her Instagram and absolutely loved the moody tones to her photos. We met in a lovely pub and organised a pre-wedding shoot so we’d feel more comfortable on the wedding day. And that definitely worked! On the day we soon forgot her and Pal were there and just enjoyed ourselves. She understood we wanted a relaxed feel and she liked working that way anyway so was perfect. We only had a few little pockets of time with her broken up over the day/night so we weren’t away from our guests for long at all.
The finished photos are exactly what we wanted, Noemi caught all of the details of the wedding and she’s caught so many lovely candid moments. Everyone who has seen the photos say they’ve captured the day so well so we couldn’t be happier with them.
David was recommended to us through the band and he was so chill and didn’t ask us to do anything too cheesy or awkward. In fact, there was only one time he asked us to walk whilst he filmed and the rest of the footage was candid. You didn’t notice he was there at all and he worked really well with the photographers.
The Details & Décor
We really wanted the tent to feel similar to our house, and with the help of Starry Eyed Weddings and our family and friends setting up, it did. We had our sofa, chest of draws, ornaments, candlesticks, frames, Christmas decorations etc all from our house. We just wanted a casual, vintage-type feel that was as personal as possible so it really reflected us. We added the grotto fairly last minute because we couldn’t have the carousel and we wanted something else as a feature. The grotto turned out really well and was full of our Christmas decorations, so again it was more personal and was something different. We were unsure of how Christmassy to go, but settled with a tree and sleigh inside the tent so it didn’t take over the other details too much. The sleigh was a big hit with our guests as it added a fun photo opportunity; we had a really cheesy photo with our dogs on the sleigh that’s already on the wall!
The day after the wedding we went to a beautiful 500-year-old barn in Suffolk with our two dogs for a couple of days. Then we’re going to Barbados on a family holiday in March so we’re treating that as a honeymoon really.
It’s really easy to hardly spend any time together and for it to all fly by. One of our favourite moments was when we were on the edge of the dance floor together and we just took a few minutes to take everyone in. We tend to do that on holiday and things too and call it a memory photo.
The build-up to the wedding also had some really special moments; seeing our family and friends rally around and help us set it all up the way we wanted was really memorable. I have memories of my brothers and dad running around and making sure everything went smoothly on the day, and of our mum’s doing the canapes in the morning. All very personal and special.
Advice For Other Couples
Practical advice – line up all of your invites before you send them and take photos so you have the addresses at hand for the thank you cards later, and you can also tick them off easier when you get RSVPs back. Another thing would be to write down who got you what gift when you’re opening presents as it’s easy for it to get muddled.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Florist & Stylist
Starry Eyed Weddings
Well wasn’t that just the perfect Christmas wedding? Woah! So enchanting and festive.
Hayley and Matt, I cannot thank you enough for sharing with us your epic wedding celebrations xo Lou