2020 hasn’t been the year we thought it would be for weddings – many couples have had to cancel their weddings due to coronavirus. We spoke to bride-to-be Sophie in the midst of lockdown easing about how she felt not knowing whether her wedding would go ahead, but we’re so excited to report it did happen!
We found out all about her wedding to Jordan which happened on 29th August at Farbridge in Sussex with the permitted 30 people in attendance.
Sophie and Jordan first met in a bar in London. The proposal took place in the car park of Gatwick Airport after Sophie returned from a work trip. Jordan originally planned to propose in the Arrivals area of Gatwick, “but thankfully he didn’t!” says Sophie.
He instead ended up proposing in the car park after panicking that Sophie had spotted the ring stashed in the boot of the car.
After eight years together, the couple were ready to tie the knot on the 29th August, 2020. As the news of the coronavirus pandemic started to ramp up, they did their best to remain positive but by May they were starting to have doubts that their dream wedding day would go ahead.
Read more: How to postpone your wedding
The Original Wedding Plans
The couple experienced a range of emotions ahead of their wedding. “We were anxious, sad, uncertain and guilty for worrying about something like a wedding when there was something much bigger going on,” Sophie explains.
Sophie and Jordan’s original wedding involved a guest list of 100 of their closest friends and family at Farbridge in Sussex, with drinks on arrival, the ceremony and then a roaming band entertaining everyone as they mingled during the drinks reception, tucking into lots of canapes. Everyone was then going to sit down for a four course meal and party the night away, with one of Sophie’s friends DJing.
Read more: How to stay calm whilst planning a wedding
What Actually Happened
Sophie and Jordan didn’t get to have the wedding they dreamed of – but at least they were allowed to marry and have some of their guests in attendance. Sophie explains what was different: “We only had 24 guests, and drinks weren’t allowed on arrival. We did have canapes, but they had to be served in individual portions. There was no roaming band or even a DJ – we could only have a playlist.”
Luckily for the couple, they had really positive experiences with lots of their suppliers. They were so helpful and stayed in touch with the (understandably!) anxious pair in the run up to the announcement that gave the green light for wedding receptions to take place.
There was a ‘Plan A’ and a ‘Plan B’ wedding, depending on what the government guidelines were at the time. The final two weeks were stressful, finalising everything, making sure nothing was forgotten and of course, hoping the advice didn’t change again.
“Having to un-invite people is never nice,” says Sophie, “But luckily we both have small families.” Jordan and Sophie did however have lots of friends who they really wanted to celebrate with, but unfortunately there just wasn’t space for them.
The couple ended up losing around £3,000 on their wedding in lost deposits and bridesmaids dresses they didn’t end up using: “Why have six of your guests all dressed the same when you only have 24 guests in total?” Sophie asks.
With the advice on hair and makeup artists returning to work changing just before the wedding, Sophie was able to squeeze in her makeup trial just five days before her wedding day. Her MUA, Kate Mitchell of Kate Mitchell Makeup Studio, fitted the bride in out-of-hours to make sure they were both happy with her look and how things would have to run.
When asked if she would change anything about her day – which had already changed completely from what she imagined – Sophie says: “Honestly, no. We had the best day. It was so intimate, there was no drama. It was basically the day we planned originally, just with less people.”
All the guests were so happy to be there to celebrate with Sophie and Jordan – and the couple point out that it was easier to spend one-on-one quality time with their guests as there were less people to mix with.
Sophie’s favourite memory of the day was seeing Jordan tear up as she walked down the aisle: “It’s so unlike him!”
The couple also loved seeing everyone smiling and enjoying themselves – especially as they weren’t sure for so long if they were going to be able to celebrate with anyone.
Sophie’s dad gave a lovely father of the bride speech – he mentioned all her close friends, who were at the wedding, and the memories he had of Sophie growing up alongside them all. Both of the best men got a lot of laughs, and Jordan gave a heartfelt groom’s speech and paid tribute to his dad, who is sadly no longer with us.
The couple were able to have a first dance – they danced together to ‘Adorn’ by Miguel and made the moment extra special by firing confetti cannons.
Advice to Other ‘Covid Couples’
When asked if they had any advice for other wedding planning couples in the same situation, Sophie had this to say: “Honestly, just do it. I’m so glad we didn’t postpone.
“Yes, we would have loved to have more people there, but it didn’t affect our day in anyway. Our wedding felt really intimate thanks to some amazing tweaks by the venue, so our small group didn’t feel lost in a big room.
“We are married and that is all that is important really – and we still had the best day!
“It’s vital to make sure you stay in contact with your suppliers – we really felt like our day was as important to them as it was to us. I don’t think anyone would regret going ahead with smaller numbers.
“I would also say don’t scrimp on stuff because you have less people. Our florist Angel Like Flowers still delivered amazing flowers, which really took people’s breath away, and we had Cocoon Bars provide a mixologist for the evening, which was a really nice touch. We also had an incredible seven-tier cake from Carol’s Cakery .
“Just because there are fewer people doesn’t mean you should have the extra touches for your guests and for your photos.”
Photography: White Stag Wedding Photography
Florist: Angel Like Flowers
Hair & Makeup: Kate Mitchell Makeup Studio
Mixologist: Cocoon Bars
Wedding Cake: Carol’s Cakery
Dress: Riki Dalal
Stationery: Emma Mattinson Design Studio
If you loved Sophie and Jordan’s wedding story, you’re going to adore Justine and Rob’s lockdown wedding story, which included a reception in their garden!