A mutual friend set Emily and Nathan up on a blind date bowling and they proved to be the perfect match! Their competitive nature came out during the game and Nathan was bowled over by Emily’s carefree character. Romance blossomed and when the time came to pop the question, Nathan’s plan was thwarted by bad weather and he ended up asking her to marry him looking out to sea in his hometown in Wales.
“As we’re avid walkers I was originally going to propose at the top of the Pen y Fan mountain, however when the sunshine turned to torrential rain, I had to quickly reconsidered my options,” he recalls. Emily was so shocked, that she left Nathan waiting for three minutes before giving him an answer! She said ‘yes’, of course, and they were married exactly 14 months to the day later.
They set the date for 2nd October, 2021 and opted for a rustic, autumn theme. Gorwell Farm in Abbotsbury provided the perfect setting for their big day. "We wanted to have lots of guests and to hold the ceremony and reception in one place and Gorwell Farm offered all this and more.
Nestled in picturesque Dorset countryside, driving down to it and seeing the barn peek out at us was really beautiful," enthuses Emily. "We had the option to get married outside, which we loved, although due to the Great British weather it didn't happen, plus there was plenty of space in the barn to seat all our loved ones and party afterwards!" With six holiday cottages available to rent, team bride, the groom's party and their nearest and dearest were able to stay for the whole weekend too.
When it came to the all-important dress, after trying on a few different styles Emily set her heart on finding something flowing, with lace and subtle detail to show off her back. As soon as she tried on the Rebecca Ingram for Maggie Sottero Beatrice gown, she knew it was the one.
“Incredibly talented seamstress Chantelle did the alterations so the dress fitted me perfectly, making me feel great. She made some beautiful adjustments to the delicate lace in the bodice and neckline and was incredibly helpful providing extra fittings to make sure I was happy with the end result. She also provided my beautiful veil,” adds Emily.
Nathan looked smart in a Donegal tweed jacket and waistcoat with the groomsmen in matching attire and forest green ties to complement the bridesmaids' dresses. The wonderful flowers echoed the natural autumn theme beautifully combining bold seasonal shades of red and burnt orange. Emily says, "Our florist Jessie was incredible, we were only able to meet with her a couple of weeks before the wedding due to lockdowns and schedules, but she really brought our ideas to life. She also created a beautiful floral hair comb for me, individual flowers for the bridesmaids' hair and stunning floral crowns for our three flowergirls."
Styling their wedding was a team effort involving many wonderful friends and relatives the day before and in the weeks leading up to it. "We completed the full set up and thankfully had some amazing suppliers to help realise our vision," adds Emily.
Personal touches included charity pins in aid of Cancer Research UK in memory of family members they’d lost to the disease and gold poppy pins commemorating 100 years of the British Legion’s Poppy Appeal. “Nathan’s grampy Joe continues to sell poppies in his local community and as Nathan is also ex-military, this appeal holds a special place in his heart,” Emily explains.
They had long trestle tables for the wedding breakfast with an assortment of different finds and decorative items they bought or hired for the centrepieces. "We got log slices from a local farmer, foraged for fir cones and family friends decorated recycled jars with lace which our loved ones filled with flowers and foliage from our amazing florist," adds Emily. The cakes were also a family effort, including Emily's mum's famous fruitcake and her aunty's lemon drizzle and Victoria sponge. The tables were named after mountains and places across the UK that they'd explored. "The table names were laser-cut out of wood and were highly effective and matched our rustic theme beautifully," recalls Emily. "We also had ladders strung from the roof of the barn with hanging Edison lamp bulbs decorated with ivy." As big foodies, the catering was an important part of their celebration too, with lamb shank for the wedding breakfast, a trio of desserts and stone-baked pizza forthe evening.
Even though the weather was terrible, rain didn't stop play. "Steph, our photographer, made me feel so calm, reassuring us that despite the rain we were going to have a terrific day. She kept a keen eye on the weather and made sure we had our couple photos and some group shots taken outside in the beautiful setting as soon as the rain stopped," recalls Emily. "We had a lovely acoustic duo complete a beautiful set as the rain poured and our guests sheltered in a 'just-in-case' marquee or under the covering of the bar. They were from the band The Wilders and the rest of the members joined us for the evening party. Everyone loved them and they kept the party going all night!"
"Although we had a few hiccups along the way, with some people unable to attend due to Covid, as well as a petrol crisis, closed roads, and torrential rain, we had a brilliant time and it was amazing to have so many family and friends all under one roof to celebrate with us." – Emily
Furniture and Marquee
Groom and groomsmen's suits