Faye Hughes, the Head of Oxleaze Barn wedding venue recently got married, COVID-19 style. Here is Faye’s story about her wonderful COVID-19 style wedding.
7 days – What shall we do? A bottle of Moet for two.
A wedding planner planning their own wedding – simple? Yes, until the unplannable happens. Having to re-think your wedding an uncountable amount of times the week before due to a global pandemic slowly shutting everything down around you!
We had a romantic unexpected (for me!) proposal at the confetti fields in Pershore in June 2019 (the height of wedding season – that’s how to catch a wedding planner off guard!). Plans quickly started coming together (the guest list was written that same afternoon!) and like all excited newly engaged couples they started to pay deposits and book in their suppliers, Pinterest boards and amazon ordering a plenty!
Nothing unusual until the week before our wedding in March 2020. Like something from a Craig David song it went like this:
- Honeymoon cancelled on Sunday
- International friends cancelled on Monday
- High risk family cancelled on Tuesday
- We were down to 20 by Wednesday
- Even less on Thursday and Friday were down to 5
- But we married on SATURDAY!
From 120 guests attending a church ceremony followed by a reception at Oxleaze Barn to 5 guests (including us and the vicar) how is anyone supposed to choose between parents? Having had things slowly stripped away we had numerous conversations after Boris’ 5pm briefing – do we just pull the plug?
For us, it became clear it wasn’t about the party anymore or guests lining the pathway from the church launching confetti. It was about us marrying. We had accepted by Wednesday evening that this wasn’t going to be the wedding we had planned. Any there was nobody to blame for this, it’s simply bad luck. So, at this point what felt important was taking control.
One of the biggest parts of getting married for me was having my dad give me away, for Adam’s best man, Will stepped in so he didn’t have to choose between parents. So, that was our 5.
Once you’ve accepted it and taken control you have to enjoy it! There was no point in going ahead if we were going to mope around so in comes Georgie of Georgina Rose Events to help us test lots of apps and services for live streaming the ceremony to our guests. Georgie went of a secret mission to deliver our wedding champagne to as many local people as possible and we wrote to everyone encouraging them to put their gladrags on and celebrate with us – virtually!
I’ve always worried that the professional photography aspect of our wedding would make it feel more staged, but instead – it made our marriage a wedding! Marcus made us feel like every other couple he has photographed, like nothing was different even though our couples photos were in a public park and he wasn’t allowed in the church unless the best man was out of it!
After our photos, Adam had surprised me buy hiring a Tesla to drive off to the countryside in. We had 2 peaceful days at Thyme before lockdown hit. Our wedding evening was spent video calling our family, drinking lots of champagne and refusing to take off our wedding outfits!
Our Wedding Advice to couples
Our advice to couples deciding whether to change their plans now for weddings this year… Have an honest conversation between you and your fiancé, what is important to you?
There are a number of scenarios depending on the type of ceremony and the type of venue that you were planning for. You have to accept that your wedding won’t be the same, you may have to compromise on your wedding date which in turn means your bridesmaids dresses might not be normal for that season – OH WELL! Does this really matter?
At your fingertips there are hundreds of suppliers who are itching to express their creativity and have tricks and tips on how to adapt things affordably. If you are determined to have a summer wedding, this may cost more and that’s where only you know what matters to you as a couple. If It’s worth the money, do it and enjoy it but it’s ok to decide that a cheaper February wedding would still have the same meaning for you.
Take advice from your suppliers and accept that you aren’t going to be able to cast blame on this situation, but you will have one heck of a story at the end of it!
With huge thanks to the suppliers who made us feel like a Bride and Groom:
- Flowers: corkyandprince
- Photography: Bigeyephoto
- Wedding coordination: Georgina.rose.events
- Makeup: amyhickeymakeup
- Hair: rhysjoneshair
- Church: St Mary’s Church Charlton Kings
- Couples photo location: Pittville Park, Cheltenham
Have a look at some more beautiful real weddings here:
- Our Favourite Real Weddings from the Best UK Blogs
- Alice & Brad in Bridgnorth, Shropshire (garden party + pale pink)
- Kirsty & Luke in Wales (Umbrellas + Fascinator)
- Yasmine & Matt in Berkshire (Umbrellas + Letters)
Still in the mood for some wedding-y reading? Check out some of these articles:
- 7 At-Home Date Ideas
- How to plan your wedding remotely
- Covid 19 Wedding Advice For Couples
- Beautiful Barn Wedding Venues in the UK
- Top Rustic Wedding Venues in the UK