Little did Caroline know that a trip to New York for a friend's wedding would be the start of her own!
Having met during fresher's week at university, Caroline and Joe's first date really did end with Love Actually. “We had a few drinks at a local wine bar and then went back to my student house to end the evening with the Hugh Grant classic,” Caroline remembers. “It went really well and we couldn't wait to see each other again, which was lucky considering we met through friends.”
The romantic proposal came nearly 10 years later during a break in the Big Apple, “We went to America for a friend's wedding and were walking through Central Park when all of a sudden Joe got down on one knee and popped the question,” Caroline recalls. “We celebrated by having a delicious meal and champagne at the Boathouse, which was a beautiful and perfect way to end an amazing trip,” she says.
The duo chose a country fair theme for their special day and celebrated close to nature in a tipi in the garden of a family friend. “The relaxed feel of our day really brought everyone together. I loved all the quirky touches we added to make it fun and informal,” Caroline remembers.
Here she tells us more about planning the perfect day.
Caroline Sweeney and Joe Griffin, both 29, tied the knot at Hatfield Heath Holy Trinity Church, followed by a countryside tipi reception on 30th August, 2014.
I knew my dress was perfect as soon as I put it on. I wanted to be able to do lots of dancing and feel relaxed, so being comfortable was really important.
My bouquet was made up from a mixture of wild flowers, tied together with lace and twine. Our florist was amazing, she made such an effort and the flowers were perfect. I wanted something very natural and not too structured to suit the style of the wedding.
After trying three different styles, my hairdresser knew just what I wanted and did a perfect job on my elegant up do. The hair clip I chose really stood out and complemented the lace of my dress perfectly.
I travelled to church with my dad in a vintage Bentley. We listened to a playlist of my favourite songs whilst drinking champagne along the way
The turquoise bridesmaids' dresses looked amazing on the three girls.
We were really pleased with our choice of photographer and felt like we could be ourselves around her, which is just what we wanted. Our photos are beautifully natural.
We made the decorations really personal by using lots of photographs of us through the years displayed in wicker hearts around the tipi.
Having our reception in a tipi was the perfect option for us. It was informal, fun and suited our theme perfectly.
My dad was very emotional when he walked me down the aisle in our stunning local church.
Joe started the day in a morning suit, but ended the night on the dancefloor wearing just trousers and a waistcoat with his tie round his head.
I'm so pleased that we hired a vintage ice cream van. It worked really well as a dessert option and the pistachio ice cream was delicious.
Our country fair theme was brought to life with a stroll around the fairground rides that were close by.
Our tables were named after our favourite places and we used milk jugs filled with wild flowers surrounded by candles and tea lights for our centrepieces.
Rather than the traditional tiered cake, we decided to have cupcakes. I loved how the tower looked and how easy it was for guests to help themselves.
After drinks and canapés in the afternoon sunshine, friends and family danced to our favourite songs around the illuminated C&J initials that lit up the dancefloor.
Everyone enjoyed how informal our wedding was. A lot of people hadn't been to a tipi wedding before, and the barbeque was an unusual touch. I think the free bar helped too!
Les Trois Soeurs
Duxford Country Kitchen
Hatfield Heath Holy Trinity Church
Shoosh weddings DJ
Groom's and groomsmen's suits
Hair and make-up
Lolly Lou Boutique
Mary's of Enfield
Beautiful World Tents
Down Hall Hotel