Christmas weddings at The Valley
Most couples have their eyes fixed fairly and squarely on summer when it comes to planning their wedding - but there is a lot to be said for the winter wonderland feel when organising your big day.
Long, warm, summer days are all very well but shorter daylight hours can provide a cosy more convivial atmosphere where the focus is centred purely on the main event, particularly at a venue which can help to provide any type of wedding in several settings.
The Best Western Valley Hotel in Ironbridge, Shropshire, has a wealth of experience in organising all kinds of weddings throughout the year and marketing manager Lisa Snape said Christmas weddings had so much going for them and were proving more popular with couples planning their big day.
“We have special Christmas wedding packages in place at The Valley in order to deal with an increasing demand. We have found more people looking at the Christmas period and it is clearly hitting the right spot with so many of them,” she said.
“A Christmas wedding at The Valley means guests being greeted with mince pies and hot winter punch on arrival and a festive themed menu.
“We also have the added attraction of a pianist playing Christmas songs - this proves very popular - and a visit from Santa. That’s something you’re not going to get in June.
“It all adds up to a great day with so much going on. More than what you would normally associate with a wedding at any other time of year - one to really remember.”
One couple who planned their Christmas wedding at The Valley was Tracy Chapman, a children’s nursing assistant at the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford, and Robert Howell, a regional engineer with Bellway Homes.
They have been together 11 years and have two boys. They met at a Christmas function at The Valley and decided in July 2016 to get married, booked the hotel and say they wouldn’t have considered anything else.
“We’ve sort of done things backwards, having the children first and then getting married, but that’s the way it has happened. We saved hard and set December 2, 2017 for our big day - thinking if we didn’t do it then we would be too old,” said Tracy.
“I was keen on winter because weddings are a little less expensive and we were hoping for a frosty day which would look nice on the photos.
“The other thing about being near to Christmas was having Santa come in during the afternoon for the children. That part of our wedding was aimed at them, Christmas is for children after all. As well as our sons, Thomas and James, we had five nieces and nephews there on the afternoon.
“We had 60 guests during the day and 120 for our evening function. The theme was Disney princesses. I have always been into Disney and with three men in the family it was my chance to have something with a girly feel. We had a castle cake and everything was girly pink and silver.
“It could only be The Valley for us because that is where we met. I knew Rob’s aunty from the surgical ward at the PRH and there was a Christmas party planned for the Valley. She asked Rob to go with her and we met there. The rest is, as they say, history.
“Planning a wedding takes a lot of organising and Lisa and Chris from The Valley were amazing and took the pressure off us to a large degree. I would say to anyone thinking of something a little more unusual, follow through and be a bit different to everyone else.”