What was it like having me photograph your small wedding ?
We loved working with you! You are so full of energy, and were completely in control, allowing us to leave you to it, feeling confident that you would capture the most beautiful, candid, natural shots of us and our family, which is exactly what you did – the photos are stunning! It was so much fun working with you, and I felt like we laughed, chatted and became friends
When you started wedding planning, what was the thing you were most concerned about?
Really early on it was clear that we wanted two very different events – we wanted a small, intimate ceremony with just our nearest and dearest, and a huge party, filled with fun & loads of dancing! We couldn’t work out how this would work seamlessly as one event, so we decided to separate our ceremony & reception across two different days.
What was your original wedding plan before the Coronavirus restrictions?
A small church wedding (30 people), followed by a small bring-and-share reception at home, and then a party (250 people) at Fazeley Studios, with a band, photo booth and lots of food and drink.
When did you realise you were going to have to change your wedding plans? How did that feel?
We went into lockdown on the 23rd March, and our ceremony was planned for 28th. However, for quite a few weeks before the wedding we were concerned, and were crossing everything in the hope that we could go ahead – we discussed what we would do in every eventuality. Would we go ahead if it was just the ceremony and no reception? Would we go ahead with just witnesses? It was the not knowing that was so frustrating, as we couldn’t let anyone know, and we couldn’t come up with a back up plan. In the end the decision was made for us, when the government announced that weddings were not allowed. The only thing that felt such a shame was that we were so close, and everything was already ready, which was why we decided to do a wedding shoot to capture some memories – I baked a cake, our florist delivered my bouquet (which I was so happy about because I love spring flowers, and a lot of the theme was based on this), our Hair & Make Up artist came, and Rowan shot some beautiful photos outside the church and at home (in our slippers!). We love these photos, and some feature in our wedding album, as they are part of our story.
How did you make allowances for your small wedding to take place under current covid-guidelines?
When we had to postpone our wedding to September we had initially planed to do exactly what we had originally planned, assuming that we would restricted only for a few months – oh how naive we were! But as it got closer and closer to the date we still weren’t 100% sure if we could go ahead, and if so what it could involve. Weddings of 30 people were allowed which was so fortunate as we didn’t need to un-invite anyone, but it wasn’t clear if we could have a reception or not. We knew we probably couldn’t have anything at home like we had planned, so booked the pub next to the church for a meal. But because the government kept pushing back the announcement over receptions, the pub ended up cancelling our booking. In the end we decided to cross our fingers for good weather, and head to the local park for a picnic. We asked everyone to bring blankets and their own food, and we provided drinks and cake. We were incredibly lucky, and the weather was beautiful, and the picnic was so relaxed and fun – something my 7 year old niece said to me sticks with me: “the party was so much fun – I got to climb a tree in my high heels”! We still haven’t decided what we will do about our party – we really want to go ahead, but it seems it is unlikely that 250 people will be able to (or potentially want to) be together inside even in 2021, so this remains up in the air…
How did you feel on your small wedding day given that you had to change your plans?
We truly had THE BEST DAY! We were so ecstatic to actually get married, and to see our friends and family, some of whom we hadn’t seen since earlier in the year, I don’t think we stopped smiling all day! I also feel very lucky to have had 6 months with Duncan pretty much entirely on our own, which most couples don’t get the chance to do on the lead up to their weddings. I feel like we didn’t get lost in wedding stress as everything was already planned, and on the day we were just so thankful to finally be tying the knot! I also realised that our buffet at home would have been a complete disaster, with everyone crammed into our house, and children running wild – the picnic was better than anything we could have wished for. We both agree that we wouldn’t have changed anything about our day.
How did you add your personalities and individual style to your small wedding?
A lot was handmade by me and my family – my sister made the flower girls skirts and her own dress, my mum made the flower girls bags and dried rose petals for our confetti, my Dad made Elderflower champagne and I made cupcakes. I also made ‘Just Married’ bunting to tie to the back of my car – my VW Beetle that I bought when I was 16 and have had ever since (nearly 20 years!). Earlier in the year I had also done a little workshop with my flower girls for them to make their own flower crowns from wire and silk flowers, which was also a chance for them all to meet and become friends. I also wanted colour, and didn’t wear white, and also didn’t want anything too formal, so my bridesmaids didn’t wear matching dresses – I let them choose their own, so they will hopefully want to wear them again. My brother also made us a playlist of songs to play at our picnic, which I still listen to a lot. My dress, jacket and veil were also bespoke from small businesses – I loved being able to choose exactly what I wanted, rather than choosing that seasons style.
What’s your advice to other couples planning a small wedding after rescheduling?
Although it is hard, try to see the positives – we really don’t feel we got a second-best wedding. It was perfect, and also highlighted to us what is really important – being married to one another. Also, if you can try to be flexible – even if its not exactly what you had hoped for it doesn’t have to be inferior.