Decorating the Christmas tree is serious business for festive fan Rebecca, and partner Ross usually knows to stay out of the way. But sometimes the simplest rituals become the most extraordinary, and he chose this precious moment to change her life forever.
The seasonal songs are in full swing, the smell of mulled wine wafts through the air and crisp chilled glasses of champagne are bubbling on the kitchen counter. There’s a distinctive heartwarming feeling that comes in the run up to Christmas, and in Ross and Rebecca’s household, preparations are well and truly underway. Ross is keeping his cool, topping up the glasses, choosing the playlist and watching his girlfriend doing what she loves the most – decorating the tree. He stays at a distance, waiting for the moment that feels right – he wouldn’t want to lay a bauble out of place…
Chris Rea’s Driving home For Christmas begins, their all time favourite, and the chorus is the perfect cue. Ross casually paces towards the tree, with a very special bauble glinting in his pocket. Not only does it meticulously match the colour scheme that Rebecca has selected this year, but it symbolises their love story, that’s about to reach its next chapter.
‘Oh I bought us a decoration for the tree earlier’ remarks Ross as he positions it on an empty branch in front of her at eye level. She leans in to inspect this exquisite new addition, and soon her eyes turn as glassy as the bauble when she reads its personalised caption: ‘will you marry me?’ She bursts into happy tears and looks to Ross whose down on one knee with a spectacular ring in hand. From that moment on, they knew that winter would be the most sentimental time of year to tie the knot.
Photos courtesy of Jay Rowden Photography, a London based documentary photographer with an eye for capturing the natural beauty of every wedding day.
Ceremony in The Benjamin Franklin Room
RSA House’s exclusive hire comfortably accommodated Rebecca and Ross black tie themed wedding for 130 guests, and the versatility of the rooms offered their wedding party a unique experience throughout the day. Luckily, RSA House has three licensed spaces so there is a lot of choice for event flow, and Rebecca and Ross chose the light-filled Benjamin Franklin room on the ground floor for their ceremony. The original fireplace, laden with white rose and hydrangea garlands by Mary Jane Vaughn, formed the backdrop to their vows, and behind them, rows of lime wash chiavari chairs completed the natural winter woodland look. Candles lit up the aisle as Rebecca and her bridesmaids made a stunning entrance, and the striking glass chandelier reflected a kaleidoscope of soft light onto the ceiling. It was an unforgettable moment that filled RSA House with an air of romance.
Wedding Breakfast in the Great Room
Following the candlelit ceremony, guests were led up the immaculately preserved mosaic staircase, past cascades of festive foliage and the glittering Christmas tree. As they entered the Great Room, the wraparound mural made a mesmerising first impression. Painted by celebrated Irish artist, James Barry, the remarkable ‘Progress of Human Knowledge and Culture’ took him an astounding 24 years to complete. Rebecca and Ross made the most of this unique space, with table rounds, chiavari chairs and further floral centrepieces by Mary Jane Vaughn. Even the small details made a difference, like the little table settings illustrated with the phrase ‘lucky in love’ – a characterful nod to the couple’s chance first meeting on a train four years ago.
Evening Reception in The Vaults
Most, of all, Rebecca and Ross just couldn’t wait to show the guests what was waiting for them in the evening… an atmospheric party scene in the underground vaults! ‘The main thing we wanted was for everyone to just let go and feel like they were on a night out in the best club in town, we wanted a DJ, a singer, a black jack table, great lighting, great sound and RSA ticked all the boxes’. The venue’s advanced PA system, inbuilt technology and effective acoustics made this all possible, and created a winter wedding to remember.