Posted: November 12th 2019
by Belle Hutton
Christmas is coming, and as the great state rooms at Holkham begin to be transformed, we have loved looking back at Candice’s and Ben’s magical wedding from December 2018.
Gloriously cosy and snuggly, Candice and Ben combined the very best of Christmas - twinkly fairy lights, faux fur shrugs, candle light, family, friends and good food.
If you’re planning your Christmas wedding, take note! These pictures will give you all the festive goosebumps!
Candice, The Bride…
I’ve always wanted a Christmas wedding. It’s my favourite time of year and it’s a bit different from the traditional British summer wedding that Ben had in mind. Instead of a marquee and Pimms on tap, I quickly brought him around to the idea of fairy lights, candles and everything festive.
Christmas is also a really special time for us as it was when Ben proposed. Every year we visit Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park with some friends before heading off to a tasty meal at Gaucho in Canary Wharf. After the meal we headed home, and after I started getting ready for bed I realised that Ben hadn’t come through yet, so I went back to the lounge to see what was keeping him. I found him stood by the Christmas tree, with a tiny box in his hands, and before I knew it he was on one knee. I’m not entirely sure if he managed to ask me the question because I was already screaming yes! It was the perfect moment before starting on our tour of the country to visit all the family for Christmas.
Norfolk is a special place for Ben’s family as they’ve been coming here for a number of years. We’d looked at many venues in the area but none of them felt quite right. But the minute we drove into Holkham Park we knew it was the one; it just felt right. The Marble Hall blew us away, and we had only just left the estate when we emailed them to book our date for the 8th December 2018. Holkham will always have a special place in our hearts now.
We rented a barn in Stanhoe for the week running up to the wedding for myself, my mum and my bridesmaids to stay in, and Ben stayed with his parents and best men in South Creake. I woke up at 4am on the morning of my wedding and knew there was no way I’d be going back to sleep. My mum was also awake, and we must have spent an hour sitting on my bed chatting. We were so excited. At 8am, we were all showered and ready for our hair and make-up. Both my sister and sister-in-law are brilliant at makeup so we did our own. My makeup was no different to a normal day, just done with a bit more care- if it’s good enough for Kate Middleton, it is good enough for me too! Our hair was done by Ben’s cousin, Chloe, who is an amazing hairdresser. The girls had a variety of half up and full up dos which suited each of them, and I had an up do with a plait down one side. The Bridesmaids dresses were from ASOS, and looked gorgeous on all of them. We thought sequins would be quite a nice contrast to my grey theme and they looked very Christmassy!
I actually bought my dress nearly 2 years before our actual wedding day, before we had even settled on a venue or date! I was out shopping with my mum and sister a few weeks after Ben had proposed and we decided to look around Wed2B as we had some time to kill. It was the second dress I tried on, and I absolutely fell in love with it.
I was unbelievably nervous before the ceremony. I was walking myself down the aisle so I stood behind the door and watched all my bridesmaids disappear off, getting increasingly nervous as each one disappeared. My sister was the last to walk, giving me one last reassuring smile before I was left on my own. When the door opened, I had never felt more excited and nervous at the same time. I’d managed to keep myself together until I saw Ben. He was on the brink of tears, and by the time I reached him, I was a complete mess. This was the part of our wedding day that was solely for us, and it was absolutely beautiful. And it meant the world to us that everyone was there.
I felt like I was in a musical when we made our entrance to the Lady Elizabeth Wing. We had a barbershop quartet sing “The Greatest Show” as we made our entrance.
The most important element for me was to make sure that everyone was well fed, watered and comfortable. My fear at any wedding is a lack of food and Andy Parle, our caterer, did not disappoint. We had five different canapes, fish and chips, toad in the hole, mac and cheese, and we also had a ‘chips and dip’ bar with tortilla chips and toppings. The main course was roast beef, and one guest per table was given an apron and chef’s hat to carve up their table’s joint of beef. After we had doughnuts, and unsurprisingly most people weren’t able to move for a while by the end of our meal.
We had a few funny moments during the day, one of our favourites came from a photo of twenty of our guests being escorted from the Hall to the Lady Elizabeth Wing under a giant sheet of tarpaulin as it was raining- it’s now known as the “Tarpaulin Dragon”!
My biggest piece of advice is to relax and enjoy the day. And to have a receiving line. It may sound outdated but it is a good way to make sure you can spend a few minutes with everyone- I ended up running around during the drinks reception trying to speak to people and it’s now a blur!
From the Christmas Cracker Save the Dates, to the John Denver’s “Annie’s Song” paying homage to Sheffield United while we signed the register, I hope the wedding was special and unique for everyone!
Photographer: Andy Davison
Caterer: Andy Parle Catering
Florist: Swaffham and Fakenham Flowers
Piano: Carrie O’Donnell
Singing Group: The Testostatones
Photobooth: MR Events
Letters: Letter Hire
Brides Dress: Wed2Be
Bridesmaids Dresses: ASOS