So, we eloped...
I guess you could say it's been a long time coming...
With all sorts of life bindings connecting us, tying the knot was a natural progression... and we were pretty frickin excited about it!
There's been so much going on though, new business ventures, house moves, career steps, and of course remaining adventure ready with Apollo and Aura. We figured it would really push us to our limits if we stuck to the rules.
So, we didn't.
We told our parents, siblings, and those who we see daily and love dearly. Arrangements were loose, we wanted a spiritual humanist ceremony abroad and a big family getaway, but a legal ceremony was required.
The day before our first ceremony, we met on the south coast in Bridport where my family and colourful heritage partly harks from.
We played on the beach with our nephews earlier, and pottered around the town, sipping coffee and green juices at the Soulshine Cafe on South Street.
We arranged to meet at the Stables on East Street.
As our friends and family arrived and entered the old Stable House, we threw our arms around them in hugs and tears of gratitude. They came from so far and wide and feeling the reverberations of love and laughter in the room was so special.
We sipped cider and nibbled pizza until late into the night as the staff cleared around us and finally, it was time to leave.
Clambering into our hotels for the night in a cider state, we giggled into the early hours. My cousin Katie Alice and I roared with laughter as we sipped our bottles of water and fell asleep.
With our room facing out onto the highstreet, I was woken early by delivery trucks. The sun was touching the horizon about to peek out and all of a sudden my heart was racing. Tossing and turning with utter excitement I didn't want to wake Katie, so I grabbed my shoes and tiptoed out onto the street.
I left, walking up East Street with the intention of making it to the cemetery on East Road to say hi to my grandparents. But, in the early morning shadows, things felt creepy and uncomfortable.
So, at 6am, I called Andrew I'm standing outside your hotel - let me in!
Tired and sluggish he opened the side door to the Bull Hotel. There after a coffee and wedding day kisses we paced restlessly. We were due to pick up the dogs from the Hillcrest Kennels where they were having a great break, from the Kennels we were to drop them at Kitti's Doggy Day Care in the beautiful Symondsbury village.
I couldn't wait to see the dogs, take them for a quick run through the fields and throw Apollo's favourite ball.
We packed up, raced to the car and drove through the early sea mist.
That started a busy morning ahead, we raced around packing the cars and making sure we had all of the documents required. That night we were going to drive to a nearby ferry port to cross the channel to the continent where we would then call a beautiful Chateau in the Loire valley our home for a garden ceremony, and awesome break away.
The alarm on my phone pinged, uh oh.
We had an hour to get ready, source the best hat in the TSnooks Hatters and make our way to the beach to meet Richard Austin a pretty fantastic photographer.
Time flew by and before we knew it we were reunited on the beach.
Informal, chilled, and utterly delighted...
Our Sisters and their families met up with us on the beach and we couldn't resist an overenthusiastic leap and air punch.
With bright blue skies we laughed and smiled with relentless happiness.
Then our families parted their ways and we made our way back to Bridport. The next time we'd see one another would be in the Mountfield Registry Office.
My father, having returned from Kashmir just a few days earlier, walked me through town and down the isle. Tradition wasn't a key driver of any element of the ceremony, but spending those few moments with him, laughing and smiling, were pretty special.
... and the laughter continued through the ceremony...
I have the worst Poker Face...
We said our vows...
Handed over our rings that Noah our nephew had been looking after...
Then looked back into the room at the faces of those we love and adore...
...and felt so grateful for their hatted presence in this special moment!
We raced out of the doors, thrilled to call one another Husband and Wife.
It was a fantastic moment and we were utterly thrilled to have had the luxury of precious moments and time with our party. The wedding was a surprise and those who were not present were dearly missed. We would have loved to have included every person in our lives but to be honest, with so much going on in our lives right now, I would have broken under pressure. However, we simply couldn't keep this secret from those who we see daily and with a loose informal iMessage invite and lines of emojis instead of text they really made the days on the coast so utterly special!
The guys looked fantastic...
...and the girls frickin gorgeous!
Although Lucille and Josephine were feeling rather pooped from their late night at the stables and took a moment to catch up on much needed sleep!
...while the adults played on the lawns...
With the gorgeous backdrop of the gardens, we stopped for a moment with our parents to say huge thanks for all that they have done for the two of us!
Then, filled with energy and relentless smiles, we clambered around the trees in the gardens!
Before leaving to walk the short hundred meters to the Bull on East Street.
Bridport is a small seaside town, with four main high streets, West Street (where you'll find TSnooks), South Street, East Street and... you got it - North Street!
When we got to the Bull, we sipped cocktails from the Venner Bar made by the fantastic Lloyd Brown
We spilled out into the courtyard, filling it with clinks of cheer and happy smiles...
We couldn't resist the cake, layered with flowers from Lavender Blue a neighbour to the hatters.
Now, lets talk about the rings...
Oh my gosh...
The rings... my precious...
These beauties were from our favourite scandanavian twins. The wedding bands came from Cat's shop in Windsor and the engagement ring was created by her sister Annika rutlin. Annika sourced a beautiful conflict free raw diamond and encased it in a claw setting.
Cat and Pete slipped a little diamond into the inside of our bands as a precious gift which is life a perfect little secret that it's there... Thank you guys!
And a huge thank you for all the beautiful messages and cards. We arrived home to a post box filled with messages of joy. I've been unable to resist filling mine and the dogs instagram accounts with lots of moments over the past two weeks and truly, we are thrilled to be legally united as Husband and Wife and utterly grateful for all the love!