Cosy up folks as we’re casting our mind back to December for today’s wedding, 7th December 2018 to be exact. WWW readers Grace & Rich tied the knot at the Inn on the Lake with a stunning view of Ullswater. I do love a winter wedding as you can really go to town on the candlelight and fairy lights to create a romantic atmosphere, and that’s exactly what our pair did.
The whole day plays out just like a fairytale! I adore the deep burgundy hues of the bridesmaids’ dresses and the rustic wooden touches which match the low lighting perfectly. There was plenty to entertain guests too, with sparklers, marshmallows to toast and plenty of fantastic music, including Ben Martin booked through WWW faves Alive Network.
Leah Lombardi Weddings is responsible for the gorgeous images that you see before you and it’s easy to see why Grace had a cry when she saw their photographs for the first time! Thank you ever so much Leah for sharing these magical images with us.
Rich proposed in Central Park during a trip to New York in January 2017.
We had just been ice skating in the park. As it was January, it was freezing and snowing! We were wandering around the park and reached the Alice in Wonderland statue.
Rich was behaving unusually beforehand (he says from the nerves) but I didn’t think anything of it. He waited so that no one else was around (I’ve always said I’d hate a public proposal!) and he got down on one knee in the snow and asked me to be his wife, right in front of the Alice in Wonderland statute.
It was very private and emotional. I couldn’t see the ring properly from crying! When I did see the ring it didn’t disappoint, he designed it himself, it is unique and I wear it with pride every day.
We got engaged in winter in Central Park whilst it was snowing and we both love Christmas time. For that reason, we knew we wanted to create a magical and fairytale winter wedding!
Our theme for the day was a rustic and bohemian inspired winter wedding.
For the colour palette, we opted for slate blue and deep burgundy/merlot with hints of blush, ivory and lots of beautiful fragranced eucalyptus. Rich approved the colours as they happened to be (completely coincidentally) his favourite football team’s colours, Aston Villa!
We wanted details which would complement the winter season, so we opted for sparklers, toasted marshmallows, a hot chocolate bar, homemade toffee apples, and blankets to keep guests warm. The venue was decorated with lots of candles and magical Christmas decorations. It was beautiful.
Another part of our vision was about the people that would be part of the day. Although the day was ours, we wanted to ensure that the important and special people in our lives, where possible, had a role in our day. We wanted them to feel as much a part of the day as we did, as our friends and family have had such an impact on our lives and we wouldn’t be the same people without them.
The Planning Process
We started to plan the wedding approximately a year in advance. We had a relatively relaxing planning process until a few weeks beforehand, where it inevitably gets slightly more stressful.
Instagram and Pinterest were both life savers for me as this was where I found most of my ideas/inspiration!
At times, particularly closer to the wedding day, the planning became stressful. Now that the wedding is over I’d give anything to do it all over again. One word of advice from me would be to try to enjoy the planning process as much as you can. It is all part of the build up to the wedding. For me, it was a time where I could create and plan our day, exactly how Rich and I wanted it to be, imaginative and artistic. It is the most rewarding thing seeing your vision come to life!
I had three bridesmaids. My sister and two of my best friends, who I have known for most of my life. These girls are so important to me and I wanted them all to feel special and comfortable on the day.
My bridesmaids wore beautiful off the shoulder burgundy/merlot dresses with lace sleeves, from Coast. They matched the theme perfectly and everyone complimented on how beautiful they looked. Their bouquets were smaller versions of mine and the flowers complimented their dresses so well.
My bridesmaids’ hair was up, to contrast with mine. The hairdresser added flowers to their hair to match their bouquets.
We wanted our wedding day to be as special as it could be but at the same time, we weren’t willing to break the bank for it.
We were willing to spend more on certain items such as my dress, the venue, Rich’s suit etc, but with almost everything else, we shopped around. I looked for inspiration on wedding websites, Instagram and Pinterest and recreated my favourite ideas from eBay/Esty purchases. I love arts and crafts and making things myself, so I really enjoyed this part of the process.
A budget saving tip I have to offer is to shop around suppliers and where possible, make things yourself (or enlist a creative friend to help!). We had a wedding post box which we made up ourselves. We also made Christmas tree decoration favours, and table numbers ourselves. You don’t need to spend a lot of money and making items yourself makes the whole experience much more personal and memorable.
We honestly had the wedding day of our dreams and did it for cheaper than most.
The Readings & Music
My Mum and Auntie read poems during the ceremony.
I didn’t have any particularly special poems in mind but thought it would make the ceremony more intimate to have readings. I wanted to find readings that were reflective of mine and Rich’s relationship/how I felt about him.
My Mum read:
“I didn’t fall in love with you
I walked into love with you,
with my eyes wide open,
choosing to take
every step along the way.
I do believe in fate and destiny,
but I also believe we are only fated
to do the things that we’d choose anyway.
And I’d choose you:
In a hundred lifetimes,
In a hundred worlds,
In any version of reality,
I’d find you
And I’d choose you.
I’d choose you
again and again
at the start and the finish, of every single day.
No matter the season,
No matter the year,
I’d choose you.
To struggle and succeed with.
To fight and makeup with.
To love and grown old with.
I’d choose you.
Knowing there are still trails we must travel.
Knowing there are mountains left to climb.
I’d choose you.”
This was made up of two different poems that I put together. I thought the wording was beautiful.
My Auntie read:
“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together, there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart, i’ll always be with you.”
For me, the above poem was more about love for family and friends. I wanted a reading which I would remember in years to come, which was reflective of the love I will always have for my family and friends, even if they are no longer here or if we don’t always see each other.
Classic Ensembles, a string duo, played during our ceremony and drinks reception. We chose to have them play Salvation, by Gabrielle Aplin as I walked down the aisle as this is a special song for us.
They also played Tale as Old as Time (Beauty and the Beast), Halo by Beyoncé and Marry You by Bruno Mars. Their playing made the ceremony so intimate and romantic.
We hired an acoustic guitarist and singer, Ben Martin, to play during our evening reception. He played/sang our first dance to Can’t Help Falling in Love by Elvis.
We then had a DJ for the rest of the evening, Dancing in the Dark. He had everyone up dancing and singing all night!
The music was a huge part of the day and I know the songs will forever bring back special memories.
Our ceremony, wedding breakfast and evening reception all took place at the Inn on the Lake, in Cumbria.
When we first stepped into this venue, we both knew it was the one! By comparison to other venues we had visited this was by far the most beautiful and impressive.
We both wanted to get married somewhere unique and for us, the Inn on the Lake was exactly what we were looking for. The view of the lake from the venue is breathtaking.
We knew that we didn’t want to be kept in one room all day and this venue has a number of different rooms which we moved between during the day, to give us and our guests a change of scenery.
The service at the Inn on the Lake was second to none. The day ran like clockwork. I had so many decorations and was worried about having to set them all up on the day, but the venue took care of all of this and I didn’t have to lift a finger. We can’t thank the staff enough for making our day so unforgettable.
Your Outfits & Accessories
My dress was Enzoani, Juri with bespoke detachable lace sleeves. My bridal dress shop was Perfect Daze Bridal.
My dress had a fitted mermaid crepe skirt, a stunning long train with lace detail, a low lace back, a lace top with sweetheart neckline and thin jewelled straps.
Adele Couture (at Perfect Daze Bridal) customised bespoke lace detachable sleeves to add to my dress. For me, the sleeves made Juri look even more elegant and more traditional. I chose to wear the sleeves during the ceremony and remove them for the evening reception so that I could wear two different looks.
I felt like a princess wearing Juri and felt that she really complemented my body shape. The style of the dress is sexy, yet elegant and timeless. Perfect Daze and Adele Couture made my dream wedding dress come to life and I can never thank them enough!
My veil was two-tiered and full length with tiny diamantés all over it. It was very in keeping with the wintery magical theme!
My shoes were called Gorgeous, by Badgley Mischka and they lived up to their name! They were pointed toe ivory court heels with amazing detailed embellishment at the back, which is to die for.
I wore Ivory & Co Crystal tear drop earrings and had a Monsoon pearl vintage style bag with an embellished clasp to keep my makeup in. I couldn’t resist the bag; it is just stunning!
Rich wore a three-piece navy suit with a grey waistcoat, and a burgundy tie, to match the colour scheme, from Whitfield & Ward. He even had a cute pocket watch!
Rich’s suit complimented the rest of the theme of the day perfectly. Rich had tried on other suits but these were hands down the best quality, style and tailoring that we had seen. Rich looked gorgeous!
The Details & Décor
For our wedding breakfast, we wanted to keep the tables quite neutral. We opted for cream chairs and ivory linen. Rather than adding much colour to the tables, we had candelabras with ivory candles for centre pieces, with eucalyptus wreaths around the bases.
We had rustic, wooden accents on the tables. I had the food menu printed on kraft card for each table. We bought wooden place card settings and table numbers (eBay!). I also had some of our favourite quotes printed on kraft card for each table and made “age table numbers” – for this I printed pictures of Rich and I at different ages for each table, to make them more personal.
Our florist was Flowers by Lisa, Lisa Ellwood.
We knew that the flowers were going to be our main decorative feature and Lisa really brought our vision to life. To match our theme of a boho, rustic inspired, winter wedding, we opted for a big bohemian style bouquets, complementing our colour scheme, with plenty of eucalyptus.
We wanted bouquets to be quite wild and messy. Lisa added burgundy, ivory and slate blue accents to the bouquets. They were simply stunning and she delivered exactly the vision in my mind!
Lisa made eucalyptus wreaths for the bases of the candlesticks on each table for the wedding breakfast. She also made the pocket squares for guests and the flowers for the ceremony.
We had so many compliments on the flowers – they were perfect for the style of our wedding.
I wore my hair down and curled, with half crown braids. For the ceremony, I accessorised my hair further with a flower crown which matched mine and my bridesmaids’ bouquets.
For the evening, I removed my flower crown and brushed through my curls to create a different look.
I opted for natural and timeless makeup, with a burgundy lip which was in keeping with the colour scheme. Even my nails were burgundy!
Rich had two best men, his two best friends. The best men, Rich’s Dad, my Grandad and my brother all wore three-piece navy suits, grey ties and pocket squares, from Whitfield & Ward.
It was special for us that they all wore matching suits as it meant that each of them had a role in our day. My grandad walked me down the aisle, Rich’s Dad was an Usher and my brother was our ring bearer.
Leah Lombardi Weddings.
Leah is just incredible. On our wedding day she blended into the background and we honestly forgot that she was there most of the time. She was so discreet and unobtrusive, and this meant that we could just enjoy our day as much as possible without distraction.
We had a few staged photos but other than that, the rest of the images are authentic and natural, showing genuine and raw emotion. This was the most important thing for us.
When Leah sent us the photos and video I cried like a baby. I had been sad that the wedding day was over but thanks to Leah, I will always have the special memories of the day. I will look back at these photos for years to come and will be able to be continually reminded of the best day of our lives.
Rich’s work colleague makes cakes as a hobby and she offered to make our wedding cake for us!
We had a three-tier cake, with each tier a different flavour – Victoria sponge, chocolate and red velvet.
Visually, we wanted the cake to be quite plain, so opted for ivory icing. Our florist decorated the outside of the cake with real flowers to match our theme. We also purchased a rustic wooden cake topper (another eBay find!) which said “Mr & Mrs Brown”.
Leah Lombardi Weddings
After the wedding, we went on a minimoon to Paris. As it was December, it was snowy and wintery, so it was even more romantic!
For our honeymoon, we are going on a Safari in South Africa and then on to Mauritius for a much needed relax!
We are honeymooning six months after the wedding, partly to split up the costs and also because we liked the idea of having the honeymoon to look forward to after the high of the wedding. This way we can prolong the celebrations for as long as possible!
There are too many to mention!
My grandad walking me down the aisle – he hasn’t been in the best health in recent years and I know this will be a moment which I’ll treasure forever;
Seeing Rich for the first time and noticing him welling up!;
My beautiful gran and mother in law being our witnesses;
My mum and auntie reading very special and thoughtful poems during the ceremony;
The heart-warming and hilarious speeches by Rich, my sister and Rich’s best men;
Our first dance to “Can’t Help Falling in Love”, sang and played by our acoustic guitarist. My grandad would sing this in his younger days so it is a special song for my gran. It will be a song we treasure for the rest of our lives.
Photos in the rain on the jetty by the lake;
Lighting sparklers and toasting marshmallows with our guests in the outside gazebo, which was lit with beautiful fairy lights.
Laughing, crying, singing and generally having the best day ever with all of the most important people in our lives. We had guests travel from across the UK and even guests from Finland, just for us. It really did mean the world that they were all there celebrating with us.
Special moments that we were able to spent together on the day, taking it all in and reflecting on how lucky we were.
Advice For Other Couples
Enjoy the experience! Remember that there are far more important things to worry about in life than stressing about little details of your wedding. The day will be everything you dreamed of. In the meantime, just enjoy the experience of making wonderful memories with your loved ones, as your wedding day won’t come around again.
The fact that you will soon by marrying your fiancé(e) is by far the most important thing to remember, so don’t sweat the little things! Enjoy the build up and the day with your loved ones and treasure it forever!
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Leah Lombardi Weddings
Inn on the Lake, Cumbria
Lisa Ellwood, Flowers by Lisa
Ashley Taylor, Greg Malloy Hairdressers
Keseme Carter Goodwin, Le Petit Salon, Cumbria
Ivory & Co
Dress and Veil
Perfect Daze Bridal, Emma Roberts
Whitfield & Ward
Badgley Mischka, Gorgeous.
Made by Rich’s work colleague!
Ceremony and Drinks Reception Music
Wow, what an atmospheric day! Thank you so much Grace & Rich for sharing your festive nuptials with WWW. Rachel x