Christmas weddings Vintage weddings

Wedding of the Week: Keri McCormack and Matthew Clark

04 Dec 2017

For a festive wedding theme filled with fun, take heed in the Vintage Christmas-inspired big day of Keri McCormack and Matthew Clark which featured carols and a snowy first dance

How did you meet?

We met by chance on a work training course and it was love (or lust) at first sight.

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Tell us about the proposal.

Matt proposed at sunset on a clifftop in Cyprus. Our daughter, Isabelle, was nine months old and was chirping with delight as Matt got down on one knee. He made a beautiful speech about how much I meant to him. It was simple and heartfelt.

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What was the theme for the day and did you have a colour scheme?

The theme was Vintage Christmas and the colour scheme was traditional red, green and gold. I wanted it to feel like being in your own home on Christmas Day: warm, inviting and cosy.

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Tell us about the venue and why it was chosen.

We had our first date in Keston Village and wanted to get married in the church there. I loved the idea of putting my own stamp on a venue and I wanted it to feel homely, as though the guests were coming round our house for Christmas dinner, so chose the village hall. 

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When did you know you'd found the dress?

I tried on around five dresses. When I saw the dress it ticked every box I was looking for with a little twist. I knew I wanted something sleek and silk and the dress just called to me. I loved the giant roses that were embedded in the silk and that it screamed Old Hollywood glamour. It was by Alan Hannah and was called the Sorrento. I styled it with a bold rose and berry headpiece which I handmade with a delicate birdcage veil.

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What did the bridesmaids wear?

The bridesmaids wore red Ghost dresses, topped with ivory fur coats. My daughter was the flower girl and wore a handmade gown made by my mum as a mini-me version of my dress. The body was 100%  silk with miniature roses and the skirt was soft tulle with shimmering beads. She had a matching bow on the belt and matching collar.

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Where did you find the suits?

The suits were from River Island with tartan bow ties from Mrs Bowtie.

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Tell us about the floral arrangements.

I struggled to find floral arrangements with the flowers that I wanted so I handmade all of my bouquets,  the buttonholes and the hair accessories using artificial flowers. I had red, purple and ivory roses with berries to give a festive feel. The venue was decorated with lots of foliage and christmas garlands.

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Tell us about the details of the day.

I am obsessed with Christmas so I knew I wanted a Christmas wedding. Our day was predominantly DIY; my husband even made a giant sleigh for the venue with rustic reindeer. The style was eclectic - I wanted the colour scheme to remain but all the tables had different garlands, centrepieces and décor. One of our special details was our wedding car, a vintage Morris Minor police car.

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How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?

I am quite a shy person so I felt quite anxious about being the centre of attention, but I was walked down the aisle by my mum who just squeezed my hand and made me feel completely at ease. 

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How did you make the ceremony personal to you?

During the ceremony we sang Christmas carols instead of the traditional hymns. The guests all had jingle bells which they shook along to Deck The Halls and Ding Dong Merrily On High. During the signing of the register my sister, Linzi (a pianist), played The Power of Love by Gabrielle Aplin, Real Love by Tom Odell and Fairytale of New York by The Pogues - our favourite Christmas songs. We walked out of the church to All I Want For Christmas (is You) by Mariah Carey.

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What was your most memorable moment?

Our most memorable moment was definitely our first dance.

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What song did you choose for your first dance and why?

Our first dance was, and still is, the most talked about aspect of our wedding. We both felt a bit silly about slow dancing infront of all our friends and family so we decided to do a wedding mash-up. We started off slow dancing to My Heart Will Go On with our snow machine trickling snow on top of us... this then decended into a hip hop mash-up and a choreographed routine. We finished with inviting all the guests onto the floor with glowsticks and dancing to a club classic; it got everyone in the mood to party. We are both quite introvert so it was completely unexpected.

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What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?

It was challenging to do a complete DIY wedding with neither of us having wedding planning experience and having to co-ordinate all the suppliers ourselves.

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What was the most important investment?

Our most important investment was, for us: food, drink and entertainment. We really appreciated all our guests coming and our main focus was making sure they had a fantastic day as well as us. 

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Did you have any evening entertainment?

During the meal we had a Frank Sinatra impersonator and we had a live band in the evening.

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Tell us about your wedding cake.

Our cake was made by one of my friends. There was a log shaped traditional sponge at the top, topped with a reindeer bride, groom and flower girl cake topper. The next two levels were filled with vanilla cupcakes topped with holly and chocolate cupcakes with chocolate pinecones.

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If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?

I would definitely sit back a little bit more and try to take in the whole day. It went by so quickly.

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Did anything go wrong on the day?

We had a couple of funny incidents during the ceremony. As my mum and I were gracefully gliding down the aisle, my mum bumped into a pew end, got caught and ripped off the pew décor. As we were signing the register we had both of our mums as witnesses and Matt's mum tried to steady herself on the garland archway by the altar and almost pulled the whole thing over. There were lots of giggles all round, it was hilarious.

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Was there anything you wish you'd known before?

I wish I'd known how many things need to be changed when you change your surname.

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Where did you go on honeymoon?

We went to a log cabin a couple of days after the wedding. It was in Nottingham and was really cosy with a log burner and a hot tub outside.

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What advice would you give to couples in the planning stages?

Do your research and make sure you are happy with all of your suppliers.

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Get the look:

Hair and make-up: Keri Clark Hair and Makeup, www.kericlark.org
Photography: Marie Wootton Photography, www.mariewoottonphotography.co.uk
Venue: Keston Village Hall, www.kestonvillagehall.org.uk
Entertainment: The Sinatra Singer, www.booklive.co.uk and Beat Brothers, www.beatbrothers.co.uk
Catering: KK Catering, www.kkcatering.co.uk
Light-up letters: The Beautiful Details, www.instagram.com/the_beautiful_details

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