After countless changed wedding plans, Emily and Kirsty held a much smaller wedding over an entire weekend with their loved ones.
How did the love story begin?
E: We have technically known each other for over ten years as we were at the same University. However, we say that we truly met approximately seven years ago at a mutual friend’s leaving party. We have been together now for just over six years and have been married for four months.
Tell us about the different wedding plans that you had.
Planning a wedding during 2020 was slightly stressful, to say the least, but we got there in the end.
Plan A wedding: Our original wedding plan was to hold the ceremony and reception at this fantastic barn with over 120 guests. Everyone we invited was attending, and we had family and friends from Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Ireland all coming to the UK. It was going to be perfect. We had booked our honeymoon to Bali, which was very exciting. I love Motown, so we had booked a fantastic seven-piece band, and we love food, so we booked street food providers.
Plan B wedding: 2020, the year COVID-19, changed so many things. There were so many unknowns! With our wedding being in October, we and our family and friends were confident we would have our wedding and everything would be back to normal. How wrong were we!? We had a second provisional date for February 2021, but that got cancelled because of an update by Boris; this left us with our original date – 24th October 2020 and we had a decision to make.
Don’t get us wrong, we want the big party, but the most important thing for us was getting legally married and starting our family. The party will come and be bigger and better than initially planned. Upon reflection, we will never appreciate being together again as much as we do now. It’s been tough, as two “super-planners” to work through 2020. But we were extremely lucky. We went ahead with our wedding at our chosen venue, joined by thirteen of our direct family and bridesmaids.
A story we can look back on and laugh at (now) – our friend had offered to make a wedding cake with some lovely cupcakes too. She is a fab baker, so we were very excited and super grateful. However, three days before the wedding, she called us in a panic to explain she has tested positive for COVID! So, we were now on the hunt, with three days to find a new cake maker.
So, we reach out to a local baker who had made a birthday cake for us before. She was available, amazing! Not so simple; 48 hours before the wedding, the cake maker two rings us. Someone at her bakery has tested positive for COVID, they have to close, and she cannot make the cake! The hunt continued, and with the help of friends and family, with less than 48 hours to go, we had identified a third cake maker. She started baking at 11 pm that night to ensure we had a special cake for the day. So, on top of this, not only were we searching for a cake maker, but we also had to sort our new cake toppers. With us being at the venue the day before, the only option was next-day delivery.
We re-ordered and asked a friend if she could receive the cake decorations at her house and then take them to our cake maker. She kindly agreed and was tracking the parcel, she thought she had time to pop to the shop, but she got home to a red postal slip! They had attempted delivery, but you could collect on Monday. Which is too late as we are getting married tomorrow (Saturday). We do really have great friends, and she ended up driving around searching for her local postie. After speaking to a couple, she found the person who had made the attempted delivery; she was able to get our cake decorations just in time! It all worked out ok in the end – the cake was delicious and beautifully decorated!!
More fun and games: Our honeymoon was cancelled to Bali, so remaining optimistic, we planned a UK trip instead. A week in Devon/Cornwall and a week in Wales. A few days before the wedding, Wales announced a tighter lockdown – our second week is cancelled, damn. Alongside looking for a cake maker and final wedding prep, we were re-arranging the second week of our holiday. We managed to shift things about and extended the stay to visit other areas of Cornwall, sorted. Or not, a week into our stay-cation/adapted honeymoon, relaxing and having a great time, Boris announced a national lockdown. We headed home after ten days, but we had to laugh. Besides all the ups and downs, we had the most fantastic wedding and a fun, great week and a half-holiday!
What was the inspiration behind the theme of your wedding?
Our wedding’s theme was a real representation of us. It probably echoed the vibe we have created in our house décor, relaxed, boho featuring lots of natural woods and greenery, a homely botanical style. We bought many secondhand bits and planned to upcycle, but with downsizing, we only used a few bits in the end, plus a lot of stuff we had around our house already, such as plants and ornaments.
Did you undertake any DIY projects for the big day?
K: We were really keen to do a lot ourselves, and there were many DIY projects planned such as signage, decorations, table settings, etc. However, due to a change of plans and size reduction, many of our ideas were not required. We have ended up selling bits, giving things away to friends or family and some stuff now looks great around the house!
One of our favourite and most special DIY projects was something that our friends made. Our ceremony backdrop was a wooden square arch that was decorated with a beautiful macrame curtail and foliage. It was beautiful, really bought our theme together, and was so unique that it was handmade.
E: I guess it counts as DIY; it was a special surprise that Kirsty organised a few months before the wedding. She took me away to Manchester for the weekend and had organised a private ring-making workshop with (@_lucycharlottejewellery_). We handmade our white gold wedding rings together. It was extraordinary and so much fun!
Talk to us about the big day!
Although much “smaller” than planned in terms of the number of guests, our big day grew in a sense. We were able to celebrate with our nearest and dearests from Friday afternoon when everyone arrived at the barn until Sunday midday following breakfast together, reliving all of the funny moments and special parts of the day. It was lovely.
We all set up and decorated the venue on Friday afternoon, followed by dinner in our “bubbles” of cottages. We had nominated a family member to lead the cooking in each cottage! People loved having a role and feeling included. Saturday morning consisted of makeup and hair, a few drinks, and cooked breakfasts. Our bridal parties kept Emma and I apart, but it was lovely that everyone could mingle and help each other get ready going and back and forward between barn and cottage on site.
We had our ceremony at 1 pm in the main barn, as planned initially; it felt a little strange with only thirteen chairs and a small aisle with guests wearing masks. But the room was certainly filled with love, and the smiles could be seen in everyone’s eyes! Kirsty walked down the aisle with her sister and Emma with her dad. The meeting under the wooden arch was very emotional; after all that had happened to get there. Following the guidance for vows, we decided to create our own promises to make it more personal; we are so pleased we did that as it meant a lot saying the words out loud in front of everyone there.
We had some time between the ceremony and the bus collecting guests to go to the restaurant. It was really informal, but everyone came together for photos before heading to their colleagues. Where our brother-in-law had prepared a small buffet of homemade delights to keep us all going. Our caterers were the most amazing hosts and created a beautiful backdrop for our wedding party to have dinner in their restaurant. We had provided them with a box of decorations, and they assured us they would put them to good use. They did – it was beautiful and aligned with our theme and vibe that we wanted.
We had sharing platters when people arrived. Followed by an exquisite three-course meal that guests had pre-selected from a menu we chose. We had speeches, cake cutting, music playing, and little surprises like a video played through a projector of messages from friends and family that were unable to be there. It was perfect, and we had the most special and memorable day! We wouldn’t change it for anything! A weekend which was filled with love and laughter, we could not have planned it better.
We didn’t get our money back for our band, so our plan now is to start a family hopefully. And when life is 100% back to normal, we will throw a big party to celebrate lots of things.
How did you honor loved ones who had passed on your wedding day?
Because we have both lost a number of family members to cancer and our wedding day was a year exactly since we lost Emma’s nan, we chose for our favors to be a rainbow pin badge which we purchased via a donation to Cancer Research. Both of our speeches were very personal and filled with memories and acknowledgments to people who couldn’t have been there but were most definitely in our hearts.
Do you have advice for other couples planning a wedding?
What represents you as a couple, and how do you want your day to look and feel? That should be at the heart of your wedding plans. Everyone is different, everyone will have an opinion, but for one day only it should be just about you two, as a couple. I think the best weddings we have been to and looking back on ours, is that it represents the people getting married; the themes, the speeches, the activities and the overall feel of the day.
Also, all of the small details and things you “think” people care about, we can tell you now, they don’t! On that day, all people cared about was being together and seeing us; maybe the pandemic amplified this, but I think this will continue. People are appreciating being together more than ever. For example, large weddings and honeymoons are now luxuries; we don’t know when they will return. So it’s about making the current situation work for you and having a small, intimate wedding or, put things on hold and be prepared that it may be quite a while. They will return and if you want to wait for that, then do.
However, we promise a small wedding is just as special and memorable. We wouldn’t have thought it, and we wanted the big party with over a hundred people. But now, we wouldn’t change it for the world and believe everything happens for a reason. Don’t get me wrong, a party will come, and it will be great, but it won’t replace the intimate wedding day we had. It will be something special in its own right and be a celebration of our wedding and a celebration of being together. Something we will appreciate so much more now than we have ever done before.
Photography & Cinematography by You and Yours Films
Cake Sugar Bowl Bakes
Catering Box Fresh Street Food & The Larder
Ceremony Venue Mickleton Hills Farm
Desserts Emmas Community Cakes
Engagement Rings Emily Fermor Jewellery
Florist English Flower Farmer
Gown Boutique Serendipity Brides
Gown Designers Watters, Maggie Sottero Designs
Hair Blush Hairdressing
Makeup Elisha Elizabeth
Reception Venue The Larder
Signage Duff Doodles
Wedding Rings Lucy Charlotte Jewellery