When fashion stylist Alex, 24, was planning her December wedding, Christmas was the natural choice for the theme. 'I wanted a festive feel, but a modern look,' she says. Wearing a cream and white chiffon dress by Elspeth Gibson, she arrived at Lawford Church, Essex, in a silver Bentley to match her Manolo Blahniks. The church was festooned with fairy lights, plus holly and ivy which she and Colum, 34, had gathered in a wood.

Mistletoe greeted guests at the reception in Dedham Assembley Rooms where mulled wine and hot canapes helped ward off the cold. A pianist playing Christmas songs added to the atmospshere as everyone sat down for dinner.

Home-made candle-and-pinecone decorations served as sparkling table centres, and guests received glass baubles as festive favours. The newlyweds floated around the Christmas tree-lined dance floor to the jazz band's rendition of Nat 'King' Cole's Orange Coloured Sky before heading off on honeymoon to Belize.