This is a really special blog today, one I wasn’t sure if I’d get to write this year or not. Amy and Charlie got married on the Saturday lockdown was announced in the UK. Leading up to their wedding there had been lots of communications to make sure it was able to still go ahead; we left ordering their flowers until the very last minute, just in case. Friday lunchtime everything was ready and we just had bouquets and buttonholes left to do, and boy were they gorgeous – the colours Amy and Charlie had chosen were beautiful, not your usual Spring palette, but I think you’ll agree it all looked stunning!
Anyway, cut a long story short Saturday morning when my alarm went off at 5am (it was Mothers Day weekend too), I had voicemails and an Instagram message from a bridesmaid late the night before to say the venue had just cancelled, due to the new legislation that had been put in place. My heart sank. Amy is the 3rd of 4 sisters, who’s weddings I have had the pleasure to be part of. (We can’t wait to provide florals for Bunty and Jack next year!) Fortunately this couple have an amazing community around them and the village pub was to become the new venue! A couple of hours later my team were dressing the village hall – plans change and this couple adapted – to be honest I’m not sure how much clue Amy and Charlie had to what was going on by this point, but their families and village were working their socks off to make sure they had a special day despite the circumstances. Their numbers were much lower due to everything going on and a distinctly smaller venue, but it still looks like they had a wonderful day, full of lots of emotion, lots of laughter and I imagine a LOT of gin!
Weddings make me super emotional at the best of times, I still get butterflies in my tummy when I deliver the bridal bouquet – it must be perfect. But when I saw Amy’s post on Instagram that they were married I genuinely sobbed. Partly I think due to exhaustion and a lot due to the stress of the uncertainty of the days ahead. But they were married, Amy looked incredible and Charlie scrubbed up well too and the flowers looked gorgeous!!
It is an absolute pleasure to hand over to Amy to tell you all about their big day!
How long have you been together?
How did you meet?
We met at my sister’s wedding. Charlie was invited last minute to the evening and Eli made me aware a certain ‘single good looking man’ was coming to the Reception… I kept a look out for him and ‘accidentally’ bumped into him at the bar… and here we are!
When & how did you get engaged?
We got engaged in December 2018 in Southwold, Suffolk. I’ve been going to Southwold every year with all of my Mum’s side of the family since I was born, it holds a very special place in all of our hearts. Charlie was being particularly strange when we arrived for a long weekend in December (didn’t eat his breakfast, talking a lot of rubbish, generally just being weird) and on the first of many walks of the weekend, on the way to Walberswick, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Not before having launched me over some fencing, which was keeping the all important bridge closed to get us to Walberswick! We carried on to the pub across the river where a bottle of champagne and a very welcome fire was waiting. We’ve travelled to many places, Iceland, Singapore, Thailand et cetera but Southwold, in December, was more sentimental and special than anywhere else could have been.
Which date did you chose for your wedding day?
21st March 2020 – not necessarily any special significance, but one thing we did discuss was that the Six Nations would be finished by then, so we wouldn’t miss any of the matches! Fierce rivalry with Charlie being partly Welsh and me full blown English. We also wanted to get married fairly swiftly, with as many of our friends and important family as possible. Charlie’s 30th birthday was 10 days afterwards!
Where did you hold your ceremony & reception?
As you know, this is where things didn’t quite go to plan… Our ceremony was held at SS Peter and Paul Church in Worminghall, where I have grown up. The Church means a huge amount to us both.
Our Reception was held at the Village Hall following our original venue having to pull out at 8pm the night before our day due to coronavirus lockdown restrictions being put in place. The local pub and the community pulled together an incredible evening for us with a pop up bar, delicious food from the pub, a sound and lighting system from a family friend and all our flowers (which were of course gorgeous) /decorations/cake/wine as originally planned. I’d envisaged us all standing up eating out of paper bowls but when we arrived we were completely and utterly blown away at what had been done for us, and we wouldn’t have changed a thing – it was incredible. Albeit so different but so wonderful.
Who was involved in planning your wedding?
Charlie and I did the vast majority, along with ideas and help from family members, close friends and suppliers.
Did you both have Hen/Stag Do’s?
Charlie went to Lisbon for his stag do back in September 2019.
I went to a huge house near Nottingham in February 2020 (when the first of the set of big storms hit!) with over 20 of my best friends and special women in my life.
We both then had second hen and stags in London later in February.
How many people did you invite to share your special day?
The total was due to be 160 with evening guests included, the final number due to the dreaded Covid-19 complications, was about 65 at the Village Hall, I think. We live streamed the wedding ceremony and speeches to family who couldn’t make it and we were so grateful to have those that could make it there with us for the day.
Who were your Bridesmaids?
6 bridesmaids, sadly Gemma one of my closest friends couldn’t come as she was very unwell, but the other 5 could. Imogen and Georgie, my now sister in-laws, Bunty (chief bridesmaid) my little sister, Stephanie (cousin and maid of honour) and Hayley best friends from school and growing up together.
Who were your Best Man/Men & Usher?
2 best men – Nicky and Will
4 ushers – Tom, Alex, Ollie and Nic
All school and very close friends
What did you wear?
Dress was Kate, Blue by Enzoani.
What did Charlie wear?
Navy tails. Hired from Domino Suit Hire in Thame, who are a stockist of Cameron Ross clothing (absolutely gorgeous new range). Vic the owner of the shop is an old friend of my Dad’s and was brilliant throughout.
What did your Mum wear?
Navy tartan dress and navy hat (looked amazing as always!)
What theme/colour scheme did you chose?
We didn’t have a theme as such. I’d seen on Pinterest lovely photographs of burgundy and navy combinations, along with always wanting to keep things quite simple and with rustic/countryside elements. We had also stuck to a floral idea alongside the navy and burgundy for our invitations, table plan and favours etc.
How did you feel on the morning of your wedding?
Exhausted (haha! Got to laugh!)
I was desperate to get to the church and get married. The run up to the wedding was nothing short of horrendous and incredibly stressful, but once the day arrived I tried my best to relax and enjoy the preparations. Luckily my make up artist managed to hide a fortnight of sleepless nights and nerves were fixed with a glass or three of fizz! I was so grateful and completely overwhelmed by the support and strength of my bridal party and all of our guests.
What did you choose to eat?
We ate food that the pub had kindly put together for us. It was all delicious and we were so grateful to have so many options, including lovely puddings and our delicious wedding cake.
Mother’s Day was the day after our wedding and of course as lockdown hit all those preparations had to be cancelled, so we were incredibly lucky to have so many options of food available for our guests.
Who made speeches?
The Best Men
Stephanie and Hayley – Maid of Honour and Bridesmaid
All were absolutely brilliant, many tears, a lot of laughing and some rather interesting stories!
Which song did you choose for your ‘First Dance’?
We had a mix of Sam Smith – Lay Me Down, which then cut into Praise You by Fat Boy Slim. Everyone jumped on the dance floor as Praise You started. Both songs have been big parts of our time together and are very fitting. We couldn’t choose just the one and our band that were due to play kindly had already mixed the two songs for us some time before the day and luckily we had the file (strange hey!).
What was your favourite part of the day?
Managing to actually get married and to see each other at the altar.
Also seeing all our incredible guests at the Village Hall waiting for us, smiling and enjoying the day.
What was your one Wedding Day ‘Must Have’?
(Or a large glass of something strong before you get in the car)
Would you change anything or do you have any advice for currently engaged couples?
We wish many more of our friends and family could have joined us to share our day but we wouldn’t change anything else, it all turned out better than we ever could have imagined, albeit very different.
Keep calm, stick to your guns and remain positive!
Would you like to mention any particular wedding suppliers who assisted with your day?
YOU and your team of course!
The Clifden Arms
Megan Guard Photography
Seb Biddle Videographer
Jo Maudsley – hair stylist
Jade Farmiloe – MUA
Where are you going on your honeymoon?
We are hoping to go to Africa to tie in with one of the Lion’s rugby tests later next year alongside safari… all dependent upon what the world and travel looks like then. Foot on the brake for now, but it’ll be worth the wait we’re sure. Our minimoon to Cornwall was cancelled straight after the wedding but we have rebooked that for our 1st anniversary in March next year, a beautiful glass house in the cliffs down there – fingers crossed we get there, second time lucky!
Thank you so much Amy for sharing your very special day with us. I hope you’ve enjoyed looking at these gorgeous images courtesy of Megan Guard Photography as much as I have!
Wishing you all a safe week.