As you’ll know if you follow our blog here or you follow us on Insta (or both, why not?), our entire summer season this year was cancelled due to COVID. First there was the ban on all weddings of any size. Then small wedding were allowed but no wedding receptions. Now we’re allowed weddings and wedding receptions for up to 30 people.
Having postponed all our big and MMW weddings for this summer and found everyone new dates, we have a few summer elopements booked for this month and September. Then in October we’re back to our normal service of 2 elopements a week, one on a Tuesday and one on a Thursday. October 2020 is fully booked for elopements (October 2021 is also fully booked but that’s another post for another day!)
When the big weddings were postponed, we gave our 2020 Saturday couples a free weekend here on the weekend of their original booked wedding. Some couples thought about getting married on their original date but in the end only one of our couples went ahead and did that. Some couples downsized from a bigger wedding to an elopement and you’ll be seeing some of those up here soon.
Holli & Jak
Holli & Jak wanted to go ahead and get married on their original date last month. They had already postponed their big wedding celebrations to next year. We knew Holli & Jak were going to be staying in the honeymoon cottage for their free weekend.
Holli phoned me up on Thursday evening and asked if they could get legally married on the Saturday, their original date. No guests, no elopement package, no frills. It was a tiny bit last minute – just over 24 hours notice! I had to say ‘no’ – their original wedding date had been cancelled with the Registrars and although legal weddings were now allowed, they didn’t have a reservation with the Registrars anymore.
Holli asked if she could fix it with the Registrars – would that be ok with us, could they have the ceremony at the venue. I said of course. TBH I didn’t see how she was going to fix it but if she could, that was fine with us.
Holli phoned the following day to say she had fixed it with the Registrars – they were coming at 1pm on Saturday. Fine, there was nothing for us to do so far as I knew. Holli had arranged for a photographer to come and photograph the ceremony – it was all good.
And then I got up on Saturday morning to find an email in my inbox from the Registrars asking me to complete their COVID questionnaire and asking for our COVID guidelines. Nothing like a deadline for getting stuff done quickly. I sent it all off to the Registrars and we were good to go…
It was on!
They arranged for local photographer Lauren Dillon to capture the ceremony. They didn’t invite any guests, they didn’t even tell friends and family they were getting married – Lauren the photographer and I were the two witnesses. Holli decided the day before the ceremony to get a new frock for the day rather than wear her original wedding dress which she’s keeping for next year. So a trip to Exeter shops the day before the wedding was in order. Despite the pressure to find the perfect wedding dress in just a couple of hours, Holli struck gold with this beautiful pink embellished dress off the peg. Jak already had a suit he’d bought for a friend’s wedding this year (which was also cancelled) so he wore that and Holli & he looked suitably dressed up for their micro wedding – yay!
Jak very sweetly ordered a bouquet from Holli’s wedding florist for next year Odds & Buds. So they went from getting married with no frills and just rocking up in their jeans to having gorgeous outfits and flowers. They got ready together in the honeymoon cottage and celebrated by going out for a meal that evening to Taylors, the wedding caterer who’ll cater for their big postponed wedding next summer.
This is one of my faves from the getting ready shots, I love how Lauren has captured the two of them in the mirror so you see them from the front and the back – very clever!
Such a romantic ceremony. I was there. I may have shed a tear. It was soooo moving watching the two of them get married in front of just 4 people, (2 Registrars, Lauren the photographer and me). The wedding ceremony was so important to them, this is what it was about for them – just getting married. None of their family knew they were planning to get legally married that day but they were so thrilled for them when they found out. And now they’re looking forward to next year and a biiiiiig celebration here with all their family & friends.
After the ceremony Lauren took Holli & Jak out round the garden for a few couple portraits which are so lovely – it all felt like a proper elopement wedding.
So that was it, our first post-COVID elopement. The next few elopements in August and September have guests which is a whole other thing to wrap our heads around. I’ll be posting about those soon, the first photos are in from last week’s wedding so I’m just going through them.
Are you looking to have an elopement wedding? Are you downsizing from your original pre-COVID plans? Or were you always planning a small scale wedding? If you want to know what’s included and how much it costs, you can download our elopement brochure right now by clicking here. If you want to check on dates, drop me a line, I’d love to hear from you.