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We got married on July 30th 2021 at Oliver’s hometown of Dorking in Surrey. We had a Catholic wedding at St Joseph’s Church, and we included Quaker practices to reflect the religious background of both our families. We held our reception amongst the leafy vineyards of Denbies Wine Estate.

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We’ve known each other for 16 years as we lived in the same corridor at University. Oliver proposed after a fancy dinner and a romantic walk in Venice in 2019, we were crossing a bridge and he got down on one knee. As we both work in the NHS it’s been quite a tough time, for us and for all couples hoping to get married. We booked our venue and even bought the dress in January 2020 but our planned date was ultimately postponed twice. We could have had a smaller wedding, but we have large extended families and we are grateful we did postpone until after most of the restrictions were lifted. It was such a treat to see everyone together dancing and smiling.

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We always knew we wanted a church and a big reception to accommodate our large families, and I’ve always loved the brightness and happiness of sunflowers. With sunflowers as a central feature, everything else fell into place around them!

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I had originally thought I wanted a figure-hugging dress, like those I had seen my sister and friend’s married in. I tried on a few styles, and when I tried on the Ronald Joyce Alison (style 69156) I fell in love with it’s dramatic and simple elegance.

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After 18 months of preparation everything went down without a hitch; and if there were any problems we didn’t notice them! The Church and Denbies were super organised and our families and friends and bridal party were so helpful during the planning and on the day. There was so much going on, I’m sure I’ve forgotten some of it. The beautiful Haysden String Quartet was a wonderful memory and dancing all night long with the stupendous band Empire. My favourite bit must have been the two surprise performances from my cousins who acted out a sketch and sang a reworded song from my embarrassing teenage years complete with mortifying photos!

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Although some of our friends and family weren’t able to join us due to travel restrictions it was such a treat to have so many of our loved ones together and see their beaming faces. We couldn’t have dreamed that the day would be as happy and fun as it was, and we’ll cherish these memories forever.

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Our photographer was Alex Buckland.

Written by Emily Cook