Nothing can keep us apart

Anna and Craig began talking on a dating app. "Just after we met, Craig went away with the army to Sierra Leone," says Anna. "He forgot to tell me that he was going into the jungle and would have no means of messaging me, so after a few months of thinking he'd ghosted me, he reappeared, and we started talking again. On his return he invited me to a formal dinner at his regiment, however, he forgot to say that the dinner was being held in Norfolk, which was three hours away! Upon discovering this critical piece of information, I insisted we went on a date before the dinner and that he met my parents so I could put them at ease.

Craig got the train to London, and we spent our first date at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. We had a great time, and I managed to convince Craig to come to my family home and meet my parents for a cup of tea and a bacon sandwich. Needless to say, he charmed them, and with their blessing, we left for Norfolk. The dinner went well, and by the end of the month, I was in Portugal meeting his mum and dad for the first time. After three months of dating, Craig was deployed, and we spent six months apart. He returned in October and by the end of December, we were engaged.”

Craig popped the question on their first anniversary. “After spending Christmas apart, we planned to go to Dublin to welcome in the new year and mark our first year together,” shares the bride. “Off to a shaky start, with both of our flights being delayed we finally met in Ireland. Craig insisted that we walked through St Stephen’s Green to visit Iveagh Gardens. As it was nearly dusk, I pointed out that there was no rush as it would be open the next day, but Craig was adamant that we went. Moving quickly to the gardens, we found them chained shut with no way in. It was getting dark, and we eventually found ourselves wandering around the grounds of Trinity College Dublin, where we stumbled across a rose garden. In a quiet spot, under a large cherry tree, Craig finally asked me to marry him, and the rest is history.”

Guests in apartment "We'd booked Taylor's Farm Retreat in Dorking for our wedding," explains Anna. "It's a beautiful barn on a working farm that breeds and drives carriage horses. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, our venue had to cancel. This all happened three days before our big day. Our 120 guest list had been reduced to around 30 people, so we decided to host our reception at home. We live close to the church, so it worked out perfectly."

3 tier cake

The couple's big-day bake was made by Cake Maid by Catherine. "It was made up of lemon, elderflower, coconut, lime and carrot," shares Anna." As it was originally made for 120 people, our 25 guests were each able to take a big slice home."

Bride's bouquet

Anna and Craig chose light pink roses with lots of foliage. "Most of our flowers were imported from Holland, and due ot the lockdown the supply chain was in chaos," says the bride. "Despite this, I Do Wedding Florists provided us with some stunning arrangements."

Wedding car For their centrepieces, the couple purchased logslices and jugs that they filled with lights and placed around their home. "For our transport, we had a cream convertible from Deluxe Wedding Cars," explains Anna. "It was decorated with a flower wreath and a picnic basket filled with bottles of prosecco."

Fish and chip van The lovebirds hired The Frying Squad for their catering. "They very kindly changed the venue and time to provide food from our apartment's carpark," shares the bride. "The fish and chips were excellent, and we were very lucky to have them on board."

Bridesmaids' with the newlyweds Anna wore an Essence of Australia dress called D2639 from Aurora Bride. "I was fussy about the type of lace that I wanted," says Anna. "My gown had some on the skirt and a gorgeous deep V-neckline. As the dress was plain from a distance, I had a belt made to add some sparkle to my waist. I accessorised with a two-tier chapel length veil from Meadowsweet Bridal that was adorned with pearls. I also wore a necklace, earrings and pearl pins in my hair.

"Craig and the groomsmen opted for black morning suits with grey double-breasted waistcoats. "I made feather brooches for everyone while Craig wore a slightly more elaborate brooch with his regiment's tie," explains the bride. "The remainder of the groomsmen had green versions that looked great."

COuple "We kept everyone entertained with lots of snacks and drinks," shares Anna. "Fortunately, we were providing all the alcohol at our venue, so we had supplies for everyone. We placed our speakers around the flat and had friends arrive before us to connect their phones and play appropriate tunes. The Frying Squad and the novelty of an apartment wedding was exciting enough to keep our loved ones happy."

Guestbook

"On the morning of our nuptials, we felt a little bittersweet," Anna shares. "We were thrilled to be married but a little disappointed that we didn't have the day that we planned. We felt extremely lucky to have each other and our friends and family rallied around us and gave us a perfectly unique day."

Groom lifting bride

The couple's nearest and dearest made their nuptials perfect. "Everyone chipped in and brought us together," adds the bride. "The ceremony was beautiful and despite the chaos, when we were in the church all our worries went away and we were able to enjoy the moment. Our guests had a great view as they socially distanced around the venue."

Couple "We were supposed to go to Egypt after the wedding, but they closed the borders," reveals Anna. "Instead we enjoyed a week at the Best Log Cabin in Dorking. We were surrounded by highland cows and a small fishing lake which we enjoyed completely isolated from the chaos of lockdown."

Anna and Craig's contact book

Bride's dress

Aurora Bride
www.aurora-bride.com

Bridesmaids' dresses

Cake

Cake Maid by Catherine
www.cakemaid.uk

Catering

The Frying Squad
www.thefryingsquad.co.uk

Ceremony venue

St. John the Evangelist
www.stjohnsredhill.org.uk

Flowers

I Do Wedding Florists
www.idoweddingflorists.co.uk

Hair and make-up artist

Holly-Louise Make up Artistry
www.facebook.com/hollylouiselondon

Photographer

The Light Painters
www.thelightpainters.co.uk

Transport

Deluxe Wedding Cars
www.deluxeweddingcars.co.uk

Veil