My true love gave to me...

The Priory Barn set the scene for Ellen and Harry's festive nuptials

Ellen and Harry are true childhood sweethearts. They met through a mutual friend at the tender age of 13 and started dating. Sadly Ellen was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at 14 so they broke up so she could focus on getting better. They remained friends throughout and at 17 they got back together. "We started off with a classic cinema date, were an item through university and have been together ever since," says Ellen.

Roll on a few years to a very special occasion. "We love Christmas, and always open a present each on Christmas Eve. Harry picked a gift to give me and when I opened it, it was an engagement ring! He'd put the ring box into a bigger box, so I had no idea it was about to happen," she says. "Luckily, the gift I was about to give Harry was a bottle of champagne, so we cracked it open to celebrate."

Two years later their big day arrived and here Ellen tells us more about it…

My true love gave to me...: Image 1

I knew I wanted a floaty dress that was easy to move in and in this was perfect – I could dance all night without tripping over, which was very important!

My true love gave to me...: Image 1b

My veil is a family heirloom that was first worn in India over 100 years ago. It's made out of gorgeous antique lace. In the evening, I switched to wearing a floral headband.

My true love gave to me...: Image 2

Harry wore a traditional navy suit that was tailored for a perfect fit. He accessorised with a grey waistcoat that provided a contrast against the blue waistcoats worn by his groomsmen.

My true love gave to me...: Image 2b

Our bridesmaids wore long grey dresses with cap shoulders and a lace insert across the back. They really suited everyone and came in petite too for the smaller ones.

My true love gave to me...: Image 3

Knowing our vicar, Ruth, made our ceremony really special. It was really personal and she had our guests in stitches of laughter and floods of tears at the same time.

My true love gave to me...: Image 3b

Priory Barn suited our winter rustic theme. The old Tudor tithe barn with its vaulted ceiling and beams was the perfect backdrop for the winter foliages, candles and fairylights.

My true love gave to me...: Image 4 We chose All Saints Church as my mum is a vicar there. She didn't conduct the ceremony, but one of her best friends married us instead.

My true love gave to me...: Image 5 We didn't have to do too much with the décor as the venue was stunning as it was.

My true love gave to me...: Image 6

I knew I wanted rustic flowers in white and green and Kirsty from The Flower Mill made the perfect bouquet and buttonholes. She really guided me through the choices.

My true love gave to me...: Image 6b

We gave our guests mini gingerbread men as favours to add to the seasonal theme and iced them with names on to use as place names too.

My true love gave to me...: Image 7 For our centrepieces we had candles in hurricane glasses,surrounded by Christmassy holly wreaths and pinecones. We usedlots of tea lights to add to the ambience.

My true love gave to me...: Image 8

We spent the two years leading up to the wedding collecting(and drinking) different bottles of gin. These were placed on each table to tie in with the table plan.

My true love gave to me...: Image 8b

Our table plan and stationery was themed to match our shared love of gin.

My true love gave to me...: Image 9 We had a navy vintage Rolls Royce from Lord Cars that was usedin The Crown Netflix series!

My true love gave to me...: Image 10

Our cake was a semi-naked design and decorated with wintry flowers that complemented the bouquets.

My true love gave to me...: Image 10b

We decided to pick a piece of entertainment each, so Harry's choice was a string quartet to play during the drinks reception.They played a great variety of classical, modern and show music.

My true love gave to me...: Image 11

My entertainment choice was a magician for that touch of fun. He circulated throughout the evening, got everybody mingling and gave our guests a talking point.

My true love gave to me...: Image 11b

We couldn't recommend our DJ more highly. We provided him with our favourite tunes and he then built a set list around those; the dancefloor was packed all night.

My true love gave to me...: Image 12

Harry's family have a tradition at every wedding, to do a wedding-themed 12 days of Christmas. Each table sang some lyrics and everyone really got into it, competing with other tables to sing as loudly as possible

My true love gave to me...: Image 12b

Guests wrote their well-wishes on wooden hearts and stars and hung them on the branches of a wishing tree. It looked great with its twinkly lights.

My true love gave to me...: Image 13 We were both so excited to see each other on the day;there were no nerves in sight.

Ellen and Harry's contact book

Bride's dress

Morgan Davies Hitchin
www.morgandaviesbridal.co.uk

Bridesmaids' dresses

Cake

Melanie Ferris Cakes
www.ferriscakes.co.uk

DJ

Disco Wed
www.discowed.com

Flowers

The Flower Mill
www.the-flower-mill.co.uk

Groom's and groomsmen's suits

Hair and make-up

Hair by Cristina
www.hairbychristina.co.uk

Hair and make-up

Magician

Photographer

Rafe Abrook Photography
www.rafeabrook.co.uk

Stationery

Ferrit Kirwan Designs

String quartet

Bowfiddle Strings
www.bowfiddle.org

Transport

Venue

The Priory
www.thepriory.net