Romantic & Charitable Winter Wedding with a Lord Of The Rings Theme

Mark J Hiller Photography

May 19, 2018

Emily and Dave’s December wedding was a romantic candlelit affair, inspired by their love of Christmas and Lord of The Rings, and full of some of the most heart-warming stories we’ve ever seen in a wedding – including loads of charitable elements! Oh yeah – and there’s an Obama cardboard cut-out there as well, because Emily loves Obama…

“My obsession with Christmas definitely had an influence on plans,” Emily says, “but we tried to keep it subtle and cosy rather than going OTT with Santa and elves. We got married at the Red Lion at Burnsall, a beautiful country pub in Yorkshire with exposed beams, tartan chairs and a wood burning fire. We were lucky that our reception venue, Cracoe Village Hall, had an entire room we could dedicate to the kids, where we had a Christmas tree, electric toy train, kids’ Christmas activity packs and letters to Santa with sweets. For the adults, we had barrels of beer and cider on ice as well as baskets with blankets to stay warm in winter, a Christmas BBQ from Big D’s BBQ – and our favours were homemade hot chocolate packs too!”

As you can see from their wedding cake, they also drew from Lord of The Rings for wedding inspiration – so much so, that they chose a new Elvish last name to start their new life together! “We are big fans of Lord of the Rings and we find the Elvish language fascinating.” Emily explains, “When browsing Elvish words, we came across ‘Barhador’ which translated to ‘One Faithful to Home’. As Dave had already changed his surname as a child and so wasn’t particularly attached to it, and mine was really important to me, we decided the best thing would be to wipe the slate clean and change our names together. On our wedding day we signed our deed poll documents at the same time as our marriage certificate starting our own family tree and legacy.”

And as if that wasn’t enough heartstring-pulling emotion for a Saturday morning, Emily and Dave decided to give back with their big day. “One thing that bothered me about getting married was spending lots of money and it not contributing to something bigger than our day.” Emily added. “Our village hall was a registered charity, but we also dedicated each of our tables to different causes. We picked both local causes in Yorkshire and causes close to our hearts. Researching the charities and getting to know the amazing work they do alone was amazing, but making the donation and having them represented on each of our tables was a really happy moment for me and definitely a good talking point for our guests! We ended up using Blossom’s Legacy, Brains Trust, Meningitis Now, Marie Curie, Yorkshire Air Ambulance, Cystic Fibrosis Trust, Mind, Breast Cancer Care, Millie’s Trust, Yorkshire Children’s Trust, and the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust.”

Another part of the process that meant a lot to Emily was creating her dress. “I’m a curvy ‘plus size’ bride, and Yorkshire Bridal Shop was amazing! Not only was I completely at ease trying dresses on – a task I was dreading – but Kittie (the owner) then went on to customise my dress. We spent many evenings together dying different samples of the dress and making sure I was in love with the shade – she did a better job than I could have ever imagined.”

Emily wore her pink dip dyed dress with a headpiece from Amazon, a personalised painted leather jacket, and Irregular Choice ‘Melba’ shoes during the day which she swapped out for white Doc Martens, customised with pink glitter and ribbon for the evening. With help from her sister in law, Emily also made her and her six bridesmaids’ bouquets, with artificial flowers from Country Baskets.

Even with a bus with a flat battery (!) that had to then make its way uphill on some very small and snowy country lanes, Emily and Dave look like they’re having the time of their lives. Do the gorgeous happy couple have any advice for engaged couples? “Stick to your guns and don’t let people make you feel silly or bad about your decisions. I wish I’d been more confident that not being traditional was okay!”

“The Rock n Roll Bride Facebook group was an amazing place for support and inspiration. Also, don’t get caught up in the small stuff: I really underestimated how much goes into planning a wedding, even if you keep it really simple. I was so overwhelmed and emotional on so many days and it would take its toll on my relationships and friendships, but I had to keep reminding myself the reason behind it all – to get married!”