Nicole and Neil's Crafty Christmas Wedding at The Two Bridges Hotel, Dartmoor

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Mr + Mrs: Lewis 

14th December 2019 | The Two Bridges Hotel, Dartmoor

Instagrams: @nicolefaithlewis | Photos: Lauren Spinks Photography

We're delighted to share Nicole and Neil's crafty Christmas wedding with a £3000 budget, featuring lots of DIYs. They opted for a burgundy and navy colour scheme, with gorgeous dried flowers. The bride wore a beautiful dress that cost just £100, with a cosy fur perfect for the time of year! Nicola tells us all about their special day and shares some budgeting tips for future brides.
Tell us all about your wedding theme...
We chose a Christmas theme for our wedding, it seemed an obvious choice for the time of year and I absolutely love Christmas! Our colour scheme was navy and burgundy which tied in with the tartan carpets in our venue. We chose burgundy chair covers with navy sashes, which I was a little nervous about, but on the day everyone said how beautiful it looked.  
What was the most emotional moment of the day?
My husband had taken my wedding shoes without me realising and written "From the first kiss to the last, I will always love you" on the bottom of them. It was so unexpected and sentimental, there were tears all round. I also had a rush of emotion just before walking down the aisle.. but I was determined to not ruin my makeup! 
Any advice for future brides?
My advice for future brides is definitely: do what YOU want to do as a couple for your wedding day, not what you feel is 'expected' of you. We didn't have a traditional day as such. We chose not to do certain traditions like a first dance and cutting the cake etc. We didn't even have a disco. We chose to do what suited us as a couple and all our guests commented on how 'us' the day was. 
Did you make any wedding DIYs?
We made so many wedding DIY'S. I love crafting and the wedding gave me a creative outlet, I really enjoyed it. I made the order of service board out of an old pallet with some blackboard paint and foam flowers. I did similar for the table plan frame and a wooden board to request no phones in the ceremony. Our next door neighbour is a tree surgeon, so he cut us some beautiful slices of log for the centre pieces. I made the wedding menus with an app (canva) and just printed them on nice paper. The table name tags were little name tags stuck on pine cones and the table numbers were made out of Christmas decorations. My glue gun was my best friend during all this crafting! It was important to us to stay on budget, and although it took a lot of effort to do so much ourselves, it made it more special. 
Did you have anything unusual at your wedding?
We decided that we didn't want a traditional disco reception, it's just not us, and it would have taken us way over budget. Instead we opted for chilled drinks and a cheese buffet. However we did want to book some entertainment of some kind to keep the evening flowing. We eventually booked a caricature artist and I am so happy we did! He was amazing and all of our guests loved it. We didn't do favours, as the guests got to take their artwork home we thought this was a beautiful momento of the day. 
Tell us all about the dress...
My experience with my dress was different to most. Having been married before when I was very young, I didn't feel I wanted to do the whole dress shopping experience again. I actually found it quite stressful and I just wanted something quite simple and understated. Also again, budget wise, I didn't want to be spending thousands on a dress. I ended up getting my dress from chi chi London in the sale for £100 and I absolutely loved it! I had it altered slightly which cost a further £90. Initially I had ordered a few options and had my best friend over with some wine to try them on and that was perfect for me. 
Tell us about the cake...
Our cake again was a little different to most! Neither of us were bothered about having a fancy cake, so we opted for a woodland themed cake from M&S, and a large amount of mini Collin the caterpillar cakes! They went down an absolute storm and the caterpillars were great for the guests to pick up and eat with the evening buffet. It all got eaten which I think says it all! We ordered a beautiful wooden cake topper from eBay for £7 and I made the cake stand myself with some spare wood and Christmas foliage. 
What food did you have at your wedding?
We love food! It was important for us to have a nice menu and luckily our venue had an amazing set menu with our package that we could choose dishes from. We tried to go for things that we thought everyone would like and chose to not give our guests meal options to keep it simple. We chose a pate to start, Dartmoor beef roast main and a spiced orange Panna cotta to finish. I am vegan, so the chef was more than accommodating in making me my own menu. We chose to do a simple buffet in the evening of big plates of chips, gormet bread and butters and cheese boards. Everyone loved it and was perfect to soak up the days wine consumption! We had a kids activity table for the evening reception with games and colouring on and we put two big baskets of crisps, iced gems and mini rolls on them and they all got eaten. 
How did you choose your venue?
We found it easy to choose our wedding venue and to be honest I think it was fate. I never thought that it would be in budget for us, until they happened to send an email one day about a winter wedding package, we booked it the very next day. We have always been to the venue for cups of hot chocolate after doing walks on nearby Dartmoor and adore it in there so it all worked perfectly. It's also so cosy and beautiful at Christmas time it minimised the work we had to do to decorate it on the day.
Did you have any wedding favours?
We chose not to do favours as such. However I did provide all children under 10 with an activity pack. We just did pretty paper bags and filled them with little bits and bobs that I found on eBay such as magic worms, fortune teller fish, mini colouring books and pencils. I searched for part bag fillers and all in all cost about £5 per bag as I bought in bulk. The kids loved them and it kept them entertained for the meal which the parents appreciated! 
What was your wedding budget?
Our wedding budget was £3000 and we stuck to it. It was important to us to not get into debt or have to sacrifice holidays etc to pay for the wedding. I shopped around for absolutely everything and did things myself wherever possible.
Tell us about the honeymoon...
We had a honeymoon to Italy booked for earlier this year and unfortunately had to postpone it because of covid. We are hoping to re book it for the end of next year, however we've had a baby in the mean time so the honeymoon might not be as long as it would have been! 
Do you have any good budgeting tips?
My top money saving tip is to really keep focused on your budget and what you REALLY want from your day. I think that it's so easy to get carried away and book things that you don't really need or want. You can make an absolutely beautiful day that's personal to you without spending thousands of pounds.

Venue: The Two Bridges Hotel, Dartmoor

Photographer: Lauren Spinks Photography

Stationery: D.I.Y

Flowers: Cornish moor flowers

Cake: Marks and Spencer

Décor: D.I.Y

Hair: Danielle Holland 

Dress: ChiChi London 

Shoes: eBay 

Bridesmaids dresses: Boohoo

Suits: River Island 

Wedding Rings: eBay, antique 

Entertainment: Rye Smile Caricatures 

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