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With less than a week to go, the blog has taken on a very strong Christmas theme! In case you didn’t know I absolutely adore Christmas, so I am delighted to be able to bring you so much gorgeous Christmas content! Today it is the turn of Bethany and Ardie who were married on 17th December 2022 in Mansfield, Texas. Their Christmas themed wedding was an absolute delight, full of beautiful decoration and stunning Christmas touches, all very elegant and well co-ordinated. I just love the idea they had for the favours, giving each guest an individually wrapped personal present which was placed under the tree for them to find. The finish of this wedding is outstanding, and what makes it totally perfect and even more special is that the couple held it at their own home. Big thanks to Christy Archibald Photography for these lovely photos.
In 2020, Ardie was working in Italy and we dated long distance. Travel was difficult that year, but in December the restrictions loosened up enough to take a few days’ getaway trip to the Italian alps. The winter scenery there was jaw-dropping. While we were hiking beside a frozen lake under towering snowcapped peaks, he popped the question and I said YES. We spent the rest of the day falling into snowdrifts together, icicles forming on our eyelashes. He proposed on winter solstice, the shortest day of the year: December 21st.
Ardie’s family is from California and my family is from rural north Georgia. We had just bought a house in Texas, a perfect point halfway between the East and West coast to have our wedding. We searched for venues in the DFW area that could host our intimate wedding of 40, but quickly realized there was no place like home. We couldn’t think of a more special place to commit to our future together forever than our own hearth in midwinter.
We wanted a wedding that brought our guests out of the winter cold and into the warmth of our home. One of the things that makes me feel most at home in winter is luxurious textures that are also comfortably touchable. I worked with stationer Sincerely, Addison to design a winter invitation suite all about decadent textures reminiscent of home. The green velvet invitation was as soft as a favorite sofa. Gold foil lettering shone off the page like lamplight from a window. A thick handmade paper envelope wrapped the whole invitation like a snowy blanket. Artist Rachel Heiss worked with us to design a custom toile envelope liner that evoked an elegant vintage wallpaper, weaving together winter greenery, florals, and blue viburnum berries. Each invitation was carefully addressed in calligraphy script with vintage Currier & Ives stamps.
To elevate the event, we used luxurious materials like silk, velvet, crystal, and gold leaf. The pink reception table napkins were even velvet. But we also kept things unfussy with raw ribbon edges and organic arrangements to help guests feel more comfortable at home with us for the evening.
Instead of buying each guest the same favor, we had a great time shopping for our family and closest friends, and bought everyone a small personalized gift. On our wedding day, they were all beautifully wrapped under our tree. The custom wrapping paper from Zazzle matched our invitation suite! We loved finding another way to incorporate this beautiful toile pattern.
The family-style reception seating arrangement was inspired by Tommy and Grace’s wedding in Netflix series Peaky Blinders. We loved how Tommy and Grace sat packed around the table together with their family and friends. Sharing a meal together is important to both our families, so we allowed plenty of time in our schedule to enjoy each other’s company around the table.
Winter has a reputation for being bare and bleak, but I loved its gorgeous seasonal floral options. Our florals from TCU Florist incorporated seasonal winter greenery: spruce and cedar. For more texture, we added blue viburnum berries and dried poppy seed heads with more traditional roses and ranunculus. Blue anemones were a special nod to north Texas and its glorious wildflowers. The fireplace mantel was covered in a lush, organic floral installation. It reached from the floor to the ceiling. Around the fireplace, each living room window was topped with greenery. Our living room felt like an enchanted garden. It was so romantic and whimsical!
We had an amazing, meaningful ceremony. I’ll never forget waiting to walk down our aisle and hearing In The Bleak Midwinter (we chose David Archuleta’s arrangement). We wanted to get our guests involved as much as possible, so our officiant led everyone in a responsive reading from scripture.
We provided seasonal beverages for cocktail hour: cold horchata, hot apple cider, and coffee. Everything was crystal and silver, even the cut crystal punch cups collected from local antique stores. Passed appetizers were served to keep everyone from getting hungry since the ceremony space had to be flipped for reception setup.
An excellent local restaurant called Tinies catered our reception dinner. The Mexican cuisine was perfect for a Texas wedding and something both our families love. The cuisine could also easily be adapted for guests with dietary restrictions – without sacrificing quality.
For those newly engaged couples planning their wedding, our best advice is to give yourself plenty of time: to shop, to enjoy your engagement, and to allow for supply chain issues.
We mounted a snow machine on the roof to send down snow showers on us and our guests. We made our exit to Rusted Root’s “On My Way” through a whirl of snow flurries. A snowy exit was the perfect wintery send-off! We had done it: created another beautiful memory in the midwinter, this time with our loved ones. Our hearts were so full. And we’ll never, ever think of the midwinter as bleak.
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