A Hampshire wedding with a handfasting ceremony
16 Oct 2019
Karla Cozens and Christopher Butt's summer wedding also featured DIY details, personal touches and delicious sweet treats
How did you meet?
Chris and I met in 2006. At the time, I was working in a salon on the same road as where he worked. Chris clocked me a few times but we where both too nervous to exchange in conversation until we bumped into each other in a club. Thirteen years and two children later, here we are today.
Tell us about the proposal.
We got engaged in September 2016 in Jersey where we were staying at St Brelades Bay Hotel. Chris had arranged a private dining experience overlooking the bay. Our daughter, Isla, was two at the time and I was pregnant with our son, Freddie.
What was the theme for the day, and did you have a colour scheme?
The theme for our wedding was simplicity. I'm not one for fuss and love white and greys, which tied in beautifully with the venue décor.
What venue did you choose and why did you choose it?
We chose Skylark Golf and Country Club in Fareham because it was a small and intimate venue where your ceremony is held in a beautiful 18th century Grade II listed barn. This is followed by the reception, which is hosted in an elegant dining room with private terrace and views across the Hampshire countryside.
When did you know when you’d found ‘the’ dress?
I chose about six dresses which I wanted to try on and the assistant, Libby, asked if she could choose me a dress to try on which I did. I tried on the dress she chose first and that was it... it was the one. My mum cried so I knew she loved it as much as I did. I then tried on the dresses which I had chose and nothing compared to the first one.
Isla said: "Mummy, you have to have this dress, it's like Elsa's from Frozen", because it had a cape. The dress was called Drimea by Pronovias in optic white which had a detachable cape.
Who were the bridesmaids?
I had two bridesmaids, Chris's sister - Steph and my best friend - Amy. We also had our children: Isla, five, who was our flowergirl, and our son, Freddie, two, who was our pageboy.
What did the mother of the bride wear?
My Mum wore a Cabotine by Gema Nicolás dress teamed with Carvela shoes and bag.
Where did you find your suits?
Chris' suit was from River Island. It was a light grey, slim fit suit teamed with a crisp white shirt and Moss Bros shoes.
Tell us about your floral arrangements.
I had always had my heart set on white flowers and foliage. My bouquet was white hydrangeas and roses bound with flowing ribbons. The bridesmaids carried white hydrangeas and our little girl had a hydrangea pomander. Chris wanted a simple buttonhole for himself, his best man and our little boy, so we chose white Akito roses.
The top table consisted of white hydrangeas, white roses, white stocks and green trailing amaranthus. The centrepieces were glass cylinder vases with white hydrangeas and green trailing amaranthus placed on top.
Often the aspect that makes a wedding original to the couple is the detail – tell us about the details of the day.
- Favours were Hotel Chocolat foiled chocolate hearts in a pillow box.
- For the children, I had bags made with their names which included personalised name crayons, colouring book, pencils, novelty glasses, Top Trumps cards and bubbles.
- I also had printed and framed photos of our parents and grandparents on their weddings which were displayed.
- My dad created our mirror table plan along with our card post box.
- I had a sweetie table which featured fishbowls tied with white ribbon and personalised paper sweetie bags which said 'Love is sweet. Chris & Karla 24.09.19.
- We gave sparklers to our guests at the end of the day for an illuminated nighttime shot.
How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?
I felt like I was in a little bubble walking down the aisle. I was two rows from the front and thought I was going to burst into tears, I was so overwhelmed. However, I managed to hold it together as i didn't want to ruin my make-up.
How did you make the ceremony personal to you?
We chose to incorporate the tradition of handfasting into our ceremony, which is symbolic of the bond we share and the tie of commitment to one another. The fastening of hands is steeped in tradition and is in fact where the saying 'tying the knot' originates from.
Isla had been learning a poem which was a surprise to everyone and had all our guests in tears, Some Things Go Together by Charlotte Zolotow:
Pairs of things that go together
Pigeons with park
Stars with dark
Sand with sea and you with me.
Hats with heads
Pillows with beds
Sky with blue
and me with you.
What was your most memorable moment?
Our most memorable moment was saying our vows to each other as we had written our own and kept them secret from one another.
What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?
Knowing if I'd done everything right.
What was the most important investment for you?
The most important investment to us was our honeymoon, as we rarely spend anytime just the two of us - we always do things as a family. It was lovely to go away and just enjoy each other's company in our little bubble. We chose the gorgeous five-star adults only Lesante Blu Exclusive Beach Resort in Zakynthos, Greece.
What song did you choose for your first dance, and why?
Our first dance song was Robin Thicke - Lost Without You. We have always loved this song and always said that it would be our song, as it has a Spanish feel and for a while we where thinking about getting married in Spain.
Did you have any evening entertainment?
Our master of ceremonies was also our DJ. He was great in getting everyone involved and dancing the night away on the dancefloor.
Tell us about your wedding cake.
Our wedding cake flavours were: rich Victoria sponge with strawberry preserve and vanilla bean buttercream, zesty lemon sponge with lemon curd and lemon buttercream, and strawberry and prosecco infused sponge with strawberry and prosecco buttercream.
We also had meringue kisses, macarons, iced biscuits and chocolate fudge cake pops for our guests.
If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?
To take everything in as the day goes so fast and before you know it, it's all over. Before I got married alot of my friends said this to me but when you're in the moment, everything goes out the window.
Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages?
Do your research. All our suppliers were either friends, friends of friends, recommended suppliers or small local businesses. We had no issues with anything and felt comfortable with everyone we had chosen.
Steal their style:
Venue: Skylark Golf and Country Club
Photography: Alisa Roberts Photography
Videography: Shot by Cannon
Celebrant: Hilary Channing
Master of ceremonies & DJ: Dean John
Wedding stationery: Daisy Dots
Floristry: Floral Design Hummingbird Creations
Wedding dress: Pronovias from Brides of Southampton
Hair: Grace Bailey bridal hair https://www.gracebaileybridalhair.com/
Cake: Cake Angel Hampshire
Hair comb and jewellery: Botias Accessories
Shoes: Steve Maden
Flowergirl dress: Gilly Gray
Flowergirl shoes: Paisley of London
Pageboy suit: Roco Clothing
Pageboy shoes: River Island
Bridesmaids' dresses: Lipsy
Rings: 77 Diamonds London
For more Hampshire wedding inspiration, browse the latest edition of Dorset, Wiltshire & Hampshire Bride magazine.