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weddings in the South East

Christmas Weddings in Essex

We all know someone whose favourite time of year is Christmas. They have their decorations up the first week of December (or before). They go buy stockings for everyone they know, partake in 10 Secret Santas and share posts on Facebook informing you how many sleeps there are until The Big Day. If you’re that person and you’re engaged to be married, why not hold your wedding at Christmas?

Jodie and Nicole’s Christmas wedding on 22nd December 2018.  Photograph by Boutique Wedding Films & Photography

Jodie and Nicole’s Christmas wedding on 22nd December 2018. Photograph by Boutique Wedding Films & Photography

Holding a huge event so close to Christmas or New Year might sound like a nightmare, but It doesn’t have to be stressful - and your guests are going to love having something to think about that isn’t turkey and Christmas pud! Read on for our tips on holding a Christmas wedding.

Get Organised

More organised than you would for a non-Christmas wedding, we mean. Christmas is a busy enough time without a wedding to plan, so we recommend organising your wedding as much as possible earlier in the year. It might seem strange trying on winter wedding dresses in March, or planning white glittering decorations in August, but the more you do before December hits, the more you can relax on your big day! It might be an idea to do your Christmas shopping earlier in the year too…

Decide on Your Christmas Theme

Jodie and Nicole next to their Christmas tree.  Photograph by Boutique Wedding Films & Photography

Jodie and Nicole next to their Christmas tree. Photograph by Boutique Wedding Films & Photography

‘Christmas’ means different things to different people. For some, it’s all about the Father Christmas hats and multicoloured tinsel while for others, it’s about subtle gold or silver drapes and soft lighting. Talk with your partner about how you want to ‘theme’ your Christmas wedding - will it be a sparkling silver winter wonderland, or a bold red and gold grotto? Will you have carols and a Christmassy wedding cake? You could incorporate holly into your flower decorations, use Christmas crackers as wedding favours and even use gingerbread infusers to really get the Christmas theme going!

Are You Having a Christmas-Themed Wedding or Just a Winter Wedding?

How much Christmas is too much Christmas? Some couples want carols as part of their service, some want the Master of Ceremonies to dress up as Father Christmas, some want a choir. Others just want, well, a winter theme for their winter wedding.

Mulled Wine at a Winter Wedding

Plan Your Winter Wedding Breakfast Menu

Winter is the perfect time to be adventurous with your menu. Think mulled wine, Baileys or eggnog as a welcome drink or hearty hot chocolate as a dessert. You could have roast turkey for your mains, as it’s Christmas - or go with something more traditional like venison or pheasant.

Make Plans for Bad Weather

Andrea and Paul’s snowy wedding in winter 2018.  Photos by RM1 Photography.

Andrea and Paul’s snowy wedding in winter 2018. Photos by RM1 Photography.

Winter weather can be unpredictable, so make plans for putting guests up in hotels should it snow. Consider your outfits too - will your bridesmaids want to walk around in strapless dresses in December? Consider adding a wrap to their outfits, or choose a high-necked dress. Remember that guests may not want to hang around in the cold, so consider investing in a marquee.

Are you looking to hold a winter wedding at The Arlington Ballroom? Have a look at what we offer for weddings on our page, and get in touch via info@thearlingtonballroom.co.uk or 01702 711 350 (10am-4pm weekdays).

What is a Humanist Wedding? A Guide for Secular Couples

Humanist+Weddings+in+Essex

Humanist weddings are increasingly popular, as non-religious or multi-faith couples wish to celebrate their wedding somewhere other than a religious building or a simple registry office. But what exactly is a humanist wedding? Simply put, humanist weddings are non-religious, or secular. There aren’t any rules per se, so couples can tailor their wedding to their exact specifications!

Are Humanist Weddings Legally Binding?

As of 2018, humanist weddings are not legally binding in England and Wales and couples require a civil ceremony as well as or alongside their humanist ceremony. Humanist weddings are legally binding in Scotland and Northern Ireland, and activists are pressing the UK government for change in England and Wales.

Are Wedding Vows Allowed? Is Music Allowed? What is Allowed at a Humanist Wedding?

Anything is allowed! You can have poetry readings, live music, a speech from a friend or loved one. You can write your own vows, incorporating your favourite music or poetry, or even incorporating something from a religious text that you do like. You can include elements of ‘traditional’ weddings - the white dress, bridesmaids, a bouquet… or not! It’s really up to you and what you want: a big appeal of humanist weddings is the bespoke element. Whether you’re an LGBT couple, a multi-faith couple or simply looking for something that isn’t ‘a church wedding’ or ‘a ceremony at a registry office’, you can tailor your wedding to you, as a couple.

What is a Celebrant?

Although popular in countries like Australia, the term ‘celebrant’ isn’t very well known in the UK. A celebrant is the person who conducts the ceremony, often writing or creating the ceremony. You can find a celebrant using Humanist.org.uk’s interactive map. You can also learn more about what celebrants are with Humanist.org.uk’s guide.

Can a Humanist Wedding Take Place Outside?

Yes! As we said, humanist weddings are not legally binding in England so you will have to have a civil ceremony as well.

Where Can I Have a Humanist Wedding in Essex?

Pretty much anywhere! Some people choose the beach, some choose their front room, some choose a traditional wedding venue. At the Arlington Ballroom, we’re always happy to host a humanist wedding! We’re also licensed for civil ceremonies, so you can always have a registrar conduct your legally-binding ceremony alongside all your preferred ‘humanist’ elements. We also host wedding receptions, so you can hold your wedding underneath one roof! You can learn about our wedding packages and what we offer on our Weddings page.

Humanist Wedding Ceremony at The Arlington Ballroom, Southend-on-Sea

Jessica and Joe's Wedding at The Arlington Ballroom

We love a wedding. Have we mentioned that? The lovely Jessica and Joe got married at The Arlington on Saturday 4th August and the entire evening was absolutely beautiful. Congratulations!

 

Wedding at The Arlington Ballroom Essex
Wedding Reception at The Arlington Ballroom Southend-on-Sea
Cutting the Cake at The Arlington Ballroom Wedding, Essex
Jessica and Joe's Wedding at The Arlington Ballroom Southend black and white

Why Hold Your Wedding at The Arlington Ballroom in Essex?

When it comes to wedding venues in the South East of England, there is a lot of choice. From country homes and hotels to barns and actual castles, it can be difficult to know where to choose. So why should you choose The Arlington Ballroom?

Jodie and Nicole Winter Wedding Reception at The Arlington Ballroom Essex

We’re in the Heart of Essex

Snug in Leigh-on-Sea (part of the borough of Southend-on-Sea) in Essex, The Arlington Ballroom is tucked along London Road. We can recommend several brilliant local hotels for you and your guests, and there's so much to do in Southend, from visiting the ancient Hadleigh Castle to taking a stroll along the promenade and down Southend Pier.

Excellent Transport Links to Essex and London

Our nearest train station is Chalkwell, on the C2C Fenchurch Street Line. It's easy for guests to arrive from London and Essex (Leigh is around 40 minutes from London!).

Elegant Art Deco Venue Licensed for Civil Ceremonies

Pink and Blue Wedding Ceremony at The Arlington Ballroom Essex

Our opulent ballroom was renovated in 2012 to include high ceilings, black granite mirrored pillars and a mezzanine level with a Grand Piano. We were even part of an Art Deco wedding photoshoot that was featured in An Essex Wedding Magazine! We are fully licensed for civil ceremonies, so you can hold both your wedding ceremony and your wedding reception with us if you'd like! 

Bespoke Themes and Menus Available

We can offer customisable coloured downlighting, a projector and various add-ons including a dance floor, sweet carts a dedicated Champagne bar and a DJ. Our menu can be entirely catered to your needs and desires; our excellent chef can whip up free-from, vegan, national cuisine... just name it. We can offer 3-course meals, 5-course meals, buffets and more. One of our weddings this year includes a barbecue!

What are you waiting for? Call 01702 711 350 or email info@thearlingtonballroom.co.uk to book a free consultation with our excellent Events Team, and see our Weddings page for more information and packages.