On Christmas Eve back in 2018, Stuart proposed Claire says: “It was a surprise Christmas present, I was just expecting to enjoy a gin and tonic that evening! We were lucky enough that my niece could be the flowergirl on the day.”
The couple fell in love with South Farm as soon as they set eyes on it, and the helpful staff made the whole process much easier. Claire says: "After looking around the venue, we just had a feeling it was right for us. The farmyard, grounds and animals all added to the feel we wanted for a venue, plus they stocked our favourite gin!"
With help from a florist, the flowers on the day reflected their colour scheme, while the simple naked cake was just what the pair wanted. When their wedding day grew closer, the pair were so excited to share such an incredible and rememberable day with their friends and family. However, COVID-19 had other plans and hit the UK.
Luckily, their wedding day was early on, and the pair got to tie the knot surrounded by their immediate family by their side. Claire says: "The overwhelming support from our family, friends and suppliers including South Farm and our photographer was amazing. They had changed their plans at a day's notice and made the most of the time, which has resulted in some amazing photos and videos."
When it came to finding the perfect dress, Claire had planned to visit several bridal boutiques but that all changed after she fell in love with a dress from Wed2B. Originally, the plan was to get ready at the venue, but due to the circumstance, she had to get ready at her parent's house. She says: "It was all abit of a relief that we were getting married, given the change of plans, but I still felt special and like a bride."
Emotions were flowing through the room when her dad saw her and he even shed a tear. She was driven to the venue in her parent's car, which her dad decorated with ribbon.
The groom wore a navy blue suit from Moss Bros, with a matching waistcoat. His tie and pocket square were pink to match the bridesmaid's dress, while the groomsmen wore champagne ties and pocket squares. Claire originally had six bridesmaids, but due to the virus restrictions, she had to scale down, and asked their future sister-in-law, Emma, to step in at the last moment to be a bridesmaid.
Claire says, "The government changed the coronavirus restrictions the evening before our wedding, meaning that bars and restaurants were forced to close. We had been pressing ahead all week, but we chose to make a last-minute decision on the morning before to scale down our wedding to immediate family only. Everyone rallied around, and within a few hours, our rearranged ceremony was set."
If the couple didn't change the plans, the special day wouldn't have gone ahead. Claire adds: "Looking back, we feel really lucky to get married, although we've had a different start to married life than we had planned." In the evening, the lovebirds enjoyed a takeaway pizza and cake together.
On the day itself, there was a massive sense of relief and excitement, all the planning and last-minute worries weren't important at this stage, all that mattered was two families coming together.
There were so many moments that stood out from the day. Claire comments: "A funny moment was cutting our four-tier wedding cake, made to serve over 200 people, in front of eight other people and having pizza in my wedding dress!" Their favourite part of the day was seeing each other at the end of the aisle.
The pair had originally planned to go to Devon for a short trip, but due to the virus, this had to be postponed, and they're waiting to see what happens before booking it next year.
The newlyweds share their top tip form the day saying: "Don't be put off by an intimate ceremony, as it can be just as special and personal, regardless of the coronavirus situation! We now have our reception planned for Spring 2021, so we can have the best of both worlds!"