Today we are featuring an incredible festive wedding with our gorgeous bride Melissa who wore Grosvenor by Suzanne Neville and married last Christmas.


What was your wedding date, venue and photographer?

19th December 2015 at The Manor Barn in Buriton. Our Photographer was Hayley Savage.


Tell us about your dress…
My Dress was made by British designer Suzanne Neville. I had no idea what type of dress I wanted when I first started looking so I spent a long time visiting various bridal boutiques and trying on all types of dresses. I tried on some absolutely beautiful dresses but none felt like ‘the one’. I began to think that finding the perfect dress was a myth! Then I visited Brides of Winchester and tried on the dress Grosvenor by British Designer Susanne Neville. It was perfect for me. I loved the lace sleeves, asymmetrical skirt and the keyhole back design. And Mum cried when she saw me in it- always a good sign!



Why did you choose your venue? Did you have a specific place in mind from an early stage?
Both Simon and I grew up in the countryside and wanted this reflected in our wedding. The beautiful village of Buriton did just that. The church is lovely and so friendly and the Barn is situated just next door which was perfect for us as it meant that no guests had to travel in-between the ceremony and venue on a chilly December day. The Barn was simple but beautiful and laid out perfectly meaning there was no need to have to re arrange furniture at all, and everyone always had a seat if they wanted it throughout the night.


What was your wedding theme and how did you create it?

We didn’t have a theme as such, but as our wedding was so close to Christmas we wanted to steer away from the more traditional Christmas colours so instead we opted for warm floral tones, lots of greenery and candles. we wanted more than anything for the venue to be warm and cosy! overall our wedding certainly was a DIY family affair. The table plan, table names, invites, thank you cards and even the labels on the wedding favours were hand made by myself (with help from Simon of course!) It all took a quite a while to make but we saved so much money doing it ourselves!. We had a few quirky details, Including our vintage typewriter, which we used as a guest book and my mother hand made over 50 little felt birds which were either given as thank you gifts or hidden around the tables.  Our guests loved them and took them all home! My Mother also made our wedding cake and Simons Mother made our beautiful bunting and did a wonderful job arranging all of our flowers for us.


What was the highlight of your day?
The whole day was incredible, to have everyone I love present to celebrate was just wonderful. But the moment I will never forget is the moment the doors to the church opened and I saw Simon stood waiting at the end of the aisle.


The Dream Team

Caterers: Denny’s catering

Flowers: from the wholesaler and arranged beautifully by the grooms mother (

Shoes: Rachel Simpson

Headpiece: Xena hair vine by Ivory and co.

Hair: karen Clarke hair

Bridesmaid dresses: Bought online

Groomswear: Simon wore his Royal Navy No1 uniform.

Music (band/DJ): we had a laptop plugged into the venues sound system! Simon spent weeks organising the playlists (although I think secretly he loved playing DJ…!) and it Worked brilliantly!


Tell us about your bridesmaid dresses…

We bought the dresses online, which I was really nervous about as I usually always like to see things in person. But when they arrived they were the perfect colour. I loved the lace overlay too as it tied in really well with my dress and they were super flattering on the girls too.


How did you feel before you walked down the aisle?

I was more nervous than I think I have ever been! I was shaking and clinging onto my Papa! But I was also so excited to see Simon waiting for me!


What was your best wedding idea?

We love gin! And so do most of our friends, so we decided to make a range of different flavours of gin (and a few vodkas) as wedding favours. I made little thank you labels and we filled small glass bottles up with the different flavours. Our guests loved them!


Top tip(s) for other brides:

Enjoy every second as it will go so quickly so just don’t worry about the small stuff! You are marrying the love of your life and celebrating it with your most favourite people, the rest is just a bonus.


What’s your best saving tip?
We saved so much money by not having a florist do our flowers. Buying them wholesale was so simple and they were delivered direct- the day before our wedding you couldn’t move in our house for flowers every where! We couldn’t believe how many we got for the price.


 If you were doing it all again, what would you do differently?



Thank you so much Melissa for sharing.

Why not share your own special day! Send your snaps to or tag us #bowbride

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