Couple throw festive July wedding in France complete with Christmas trees, crackers and songs

A Christmas-loving couple from Manchester tied the knot with a Christmas-themed wedding in 30C heat in France in July – complete with Christmas trees, Christmas cracker wedding favours, and festive songs – with the bride walking down the aisle to Christmas is All Around from Love Actually.

Tania Taylor, 37, a clinical hypnotherapist, and Adam Carter, 43, a station manager, met online in 2011, and since their first date in Piccadilly Gardens Adam has adopted Tania’s two children from her previous marriage – Callum, 18, and Chloe, 19.

The couple have always loved celebrating the festive period as a family and when Tania had depression as a teenager, the countdown to Christmas helped her through the darker months.

Adam’s parents, Trevor and Sue Carter, have lived in Lot in South West France full-time for the past 12 years, and Tania knew she wanted her wedding there, featuring Christmas trees, despite the hot weather.

In her teenage years, Tania had depression and found that looking forward to Christmas helped her mood in the winter, saying: “I went through many years of being quite depressed. I found the darker months of the year the most difficult.

Tania and Adam exchanging rings on their wedding day (Neil Evans/PA Real Life)
Tania and Adam exchanging rings on their wedding day (Neil Evans/PA Real Life)

“Looking forward to things and having things in the diary really helped – like having things to talk about, celebrate and count down to.

“I never really realised that I’d started doing it but then over time, it just got easier.”

Tania matched with Adam online in June 2011 and having had their first date three months later in Manchester’s Piccadilly Gardens, they knew they were meant to be.

She said: “Initially I was a bit anxious, I was running a bit late, but it was a magical time.”

Tania, Adam and their two children have since loved celebrating Christmas as a family, saying: “Christmas is something that as a family I have always had a lot of focus and good times with so it kind of made sense to include Christmas somehow in our day.”

Children pulling crackers at Tania and Adam’s wedding (Neil Evans/PA Real Life)
Children pulling crackers at Tania and Adam’s wedding (Neil Evans/PA Real Life)

Tania proposed to Adam on October 3 2020, saying: “I woke up that day with no idea I was going to propose. I was at my seamstress’s getting fitted for a bridesmaid dress for my best friend Katie’s wedding and she said to me ‘It won’t be long until you’ll be getting married’.

“Adam and I had spoken about it a lot together, but I wasn’t expecting it anytime soon, but the seamstress said I should propose.”

So, Tania called her husband, who was working nightshifts at the time, and asked him to marry her.

She said: “I made little signs saying ‘Will you marry me?’ and showed it to him on video call, he was overjoyed and said yes.”

When the pair secured a date for April 6 2021, they decided to make their big day as personalised as possible, with Tania saying: “I mentioned to my husband about having a bit of Christmas inserted into our day.

Guests pulling the Christmas crackers wedding favours (Neil Evans/PA Real Life)
Guests pulling the Christmas crackers wedding favours (Neil Evans/PA Real Life)

“He laughed and rolled his eyes at me and said, ‘as long as you’re happy, I’m happy’.”

The couple decided to have Christmas crackers as wedding favours, four real Christmas trees and Christmas songs incorporated in their wedding day.

Tania explained: “I was looking for wedding favours and I wanted something meaningful and interesting so I was looking through Pinterest and was inspired by someone else having Christmas crackers at their wedding.

“I couldn’t find anything anywhere about how you make them so I just had to kind of work off that image and create them myself.

“One of my favourite moments from our wedding video is the children all running to get the crackers from the Christmas trees to hand out to all our guests.”

Tania and Adam at the altar with Christmas trees (Neil Evans/PA Real Life)
Tania and Adam at the altar with Christmas trees (Neil Evans/PA Real Life)

In the meantime, Adam’s green-fingered mum, Sue, sourced real Christmas trees and cared for them from December 2020, expecting to use them for Adam and Tania’s wedding in April 2021.

Tania said: “Our day was postponed to July 2022 and in December 2021 one of the trees even became my parent-in-laws Christmas tree indoors.

“She wasn’t expecting to have to see them through the hottest summer on record with temperatures in France soaring to more than 40C.

“If the sun touched the trees they immediately began to brown and lose their pines, so they had to be kept in the shade until our ceremony.”

The couple also had puzzles around their wedding arch because of Adam’s love of games, and the flower girls used petals as confetti from the tree Tania planted in memory of her late-step-mum, Laura, who passed away five years ago.

Tania and Adam’s first kiss as a married couple (Neil Evans/PA Real Life)
Tania and Adam’s first kiss as a married couple (Neil Evans/PA Real Life)

She said: “It was just really nice to still have her as part of our day because she was a very important person in all of our lives.”

On the big day, Adam and Tania got married in the local mayor’s office, which the bride described as “the equivalent of going to the registry office in England” with her two children and Adam’s parents being the only guests.

They then went to Adam’s parents’ huge garden with a pool to celebrate and walk down the aisle for all the guests to see.

Tania and Adam kept the Christmas theme a secret from her guests, she explained their reaction: “I think everyone thought that it was typical of me with Christmas.

“The music started and I noticed it was a song from Love Actually which made me smile.

Tania and Adam pulling a cracker on their wedding day (Neil Evans/PA Real Life)
Tania and Adam pulling a cracker on their wedding day (Neil Evans/PA Real Life)

“I met Adam at the Christmas trees and my Dad took his seat.

“Adam and I walked back up the aisle together to ‘I’m Dreaming Of A White Christmas’, and once we stood under our wedding arch with banana leaves from the garden shading us from the hot sunshine, Adam’s dad and the band burst into ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ which is my favourite Christmas song of all time.

“It was a wonderful surprise by my husband and the band and it is a day that summed our personalities up perfectly.

“Of course, I then just had to sing and dance as the guests sang and laughed along with us.

“They were totally unsurprised because they know how ridiculous I am when it comes to being Christmas crazy.”