A beautiful, fun-filled summer wedding

28 Oct 2021

After three months of planning, Isabella Shaw tied the knot with Joseph Land-Jones on a beautiful summer's day

Photography: Kirsty Louise Photo

How did you meet? 

Around a bonfire at a Christian festival weekend away. 

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Tell us about the proposal 

We are both morning people that love walking, getting coffee and working out together. He took me out for coffee in the morning and decided to take me on our favourite walk. It’s in the countryside with lots of flowers and a beautiful river. We always walk there as it’s quiet and peaceful.  

Spring was in full bloom and it was such a gorgeous morning. We were walking and talking and then he got down on one knee. It was such a big surprise and I had no idea our friend, who is a photographer, was hiding behind the trees taking photos.  

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How was your wedding affected by Covid-19? 

Fortunately, our wedding happened after the restrictions had been lifted in the summer. We were allowed unlimited guests and because our wedding was outside with a marquee, we were able to keep the sides up for ventilation. Of course, we had to tell people to take a test before the wedding to make sure they didn’t have the virus, but thankfully, all of our important family and friends could make it. It was a big risk and I didn’t go to any social settings for two weeks leading up to the wedding as I didn’t want to risk getting Covid.  

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What was the theme for the day, and did you have a colour scheme? 

We hired a beautiful white marquee and had the sides up to display the beautiful flowers and vibrant colours. With the wedding being at the end of the summer, there was such a golden and warm feel to the day, not to mention a magical sunset. The theme colour ranged from peach to orange, and it worked so well. 

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What venue did you choose and why did you choose it? 

When planning the wedding, we chose to have the venue in a big, beautiful garden that belonged to my husband’s family in Sussex. They were so kind to host us and created a real warmth to the wedding. I wanted my wedding to look similar to where I got engaged with plenty of flowers in full bloom. I was essentially the event manager for this whole wedding. I still cannot believe I planned this whole wedding in under three months on a budget for 120 guests staying the whole day. Taking this into consideration, I chose a marquee because it was affordable, beautiful and classy.  

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How did you know you’d found ‘the’ dress? 

My wedding dress complemented the theme perfectly. It was a fitted sheath dress that felt silky, elegant and comfortable for a marquee. I bought the dress from WED2BE; their service was amazing and the dress fitted so well, I didn’t even have to get it altered. I didn’t feel the straps suited me so I had them replaced with lace by my mum, who loves to sew. I didn’t want to overpower the look but instead wanted to bring out the most natural and beautiful features I have.  

When I visited WED2BE, I told them my vision for the wedding and how I wanted the dress to match. They got out three dresses and the first one I chose was the one.

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Who were the bridesmaids and what did they wear? 

I had nine bridesmaids in total, five of them were my sisters and sisters-in-law and four were my best friends. My bridesmaids would ruthlessly and endlessly scan the internet for affordable dresses and we managed to find all bridesmaid dresses from Depop. They were from the brand Little Mistress, and were navy with lace, which created a nice contrast with their peach and orange posies.  

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What did the mother of the bride wear?  

My mother is a fashion queen; she loves reading fashion magazines and is always sending me tons of different Instagram fashion accounts. Getting a dress for my wedding was very important to her as she wanted to look stylish and classy. She found her dress in a charity shop, second-hand – you wouldn’t have guessed when you see how wonderful she looked.  

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Where did you find your suits? 

We got the groomsmen and groom's suits from a local bespoke tailoring store. We decided the groomsmen would match the groom's trousers but have peach braces from Next instead. It looked great and tied in well with the peach theme and my bouquet. The groom had a full suit which was blue, it looked great. 

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Often the aspect that makes a wedding original to the couple is the detail – tell us about the details of the day 

The decorations in all of the photos were homemade by my sister and best friend; they created everything from start to finish. We spent months creating different decorations including the pallets which we painted on the run of the day and the table plans. It was a lot of fun doing DIY and unleashing our creativity.  

We also created our own wedding favours that were s’mores to tie in with Joe and I meeting at a bonfire. We drew inspiration from Pinterest and added a little tag on each one which said ‘room for s’more?’. 

All of the decorative flowers and bridesmaid posies were beautifully arranged by my mum and auntie-in-law. She arranged them herself the night before and, in the morning, our friend put flowers on each chair in the ceremony. It made such a beautiful touch.  

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How did you feel as you walked down the aisle? 

I was expecting to feel nervous but I was actually so excited. I was so ready to walk down the aisle and see my groom and all my guests. As soon as I saw my husband was crying, I got very emotional. I looked around as I walked down the aisle to smile at people and the majority of them were crying. It was very sentimental.  

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How did you make the ceremony personal to you? 

I am a Christian and wanted the wedding to have a full focus on God joining us both in marriage together. My song entrance was Colours by Bethel, which made everyone cry. The song brought real intimacy and made my groom burst into tears. It was such a special moment. The readings of the service were based around John:15 where Jesus tells us to love each other deeply. I felt this was a great introduction to the ceremony to lead us into saying our vows. 

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What was your most memorable moment? 

The ceremony was probably my highlight of the whole day. It was very emotional and had all the guests crying. Our pastor from our church married us; he really knew us which is probably why it felt so comfortable being at the front. Saying our vows was a big moment, declaring that we will love each other for the rest of our days is not something we took on lightly. It was full of love and intimacy and our backdrop was just flower heaven. 

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What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding? 

I got really stressed in the last week building up to the wedding. All of the last-minute details that were not foreseen added to the pressure of making everything come together. Being the point of contact for everyone was difficult as I felt like I lived on my phone for the last few weeks, which was emotionally draining because it was my own wedding. I felt so relieved after the wedding that it was a success and I didn’t have to plan it again.  

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What was the most important investment for you? 

The most important investment was having my videographer and photographer. I didn’t think I wanted a videographer at first but I soon realised how much I cherish looking back at such special moments. Both the photographer and videographer captured all of my special moments perfectly and the copies will always be there physically to look back on now.  

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What song did you choose for your first dance, and why? 

It’s called The Wedding Song by Matthew Mole. We absolutely loved the lyrics and the sentiment around choosing each other. The song sings about how God made us for one another and to us that was really special to dance to. My friend Nathan who sings and plays guitar covered the song for us. It was very beautiful having him play live.  

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Did you have any evening entertainment? 

We didn’t. The speeches were a big part of the wedding so we focused our time on that. I wanted my wedding to be really family-orientated so even the entertainment was led by family and friends. The speeches were full of tears, laughter and dancing.  

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Tell us about your wedding cake. 

My cake supplier was a friend of mine who sells cakes and gives the profit to charity. She made such a delicious two-tiered peach and ivory coloured cake. It had white roses and other small flowers around it, too.  

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If you could go back and change anything, what would it be? 

I genuinely don’t think I would change anything. It felt so right. If I really had to change something, then perhaps I would have invited more guests to join in the evening because it was so exciting greeting new evening guests and seeing new faces.  

Did anything go wrong on the day? 

Nothing went wrong that I know of. If it did then my bridesmaids and groomsmen must have done well covering it up. 

Did you have a custom hashtag for social media? 

#shawnomore 

#shawToBeALandJones 

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Was there anything you wish you’d known before? 

That weddings are actually a lot of planning. I underestimated how long and how much planning it takes, I thought it would be easy to plan it in three months but it definitely proved to be a challenge. 

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Where did you go on honeymoon? 

Because of Covid, we decided to stay in the country so we went to Cornwall. We stayed at the Scarlet Hotel in Newquay and then travelled around Cornwall to visit St Ives. We also stayed in Salcombe, Devon for the second half of our honeymoon, which was just beautiful. The weather was incredible the whole week and definitely felt like we were in a foreign country.  

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Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages? 

As I planned most of my wedding, I definitely experienced the pressure of trying to make sure everything was perfect. I had to make a conscious effort to not be the planner or organiser on the day and just let go of all the work I had done. My advice is to do the same, try as best as you can to let go and just soak in every moment. The day goes by so fast, so enjoy it. 

Steal their style:

Photographer: Kirsty Louise Photo
Dress: Wed2Be

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