A Covid-secure wedding in Buckinghamshire
22 Dec 2020
Oliva Scott and Thomas Cullen were determined to marry in 2020 as the year held special anniversaries for their parents too
Photography: Lucy Long Photography
How was (if at all) your wedding affected by Covid-19?
We postponed our full reception booked at a local hotel and instead had a smaller reception with just the guests present at the church. No more than 30 people were allowed to attend and there were the standard social distancing and face mask requirements. But we were lucky that our wedding date (our original date) was at the end of August which saw the most relaxed Covid restrictions since March. We were determined to get married this year as 2020 saw both our parents 30th wedding anniversaries.
What was the theme for the day, and did you have a colour scheme?
The invitations were done in an art deco style, neither of us are particularly fond of floral prints so we wanted an alternative. We had a key colour of light blue but nothing was heavily themed or set.
What venue did you choose and why did you choose it?
We chose the church as it was where Tom’s parents were married 30 years ago. It is a beautiful 12th century, Grade 2 listed church in the town where we live.
Tell us about the dress
I had a rough idea of the style of dress I was looking for but was open to which designer to go for. I met Sarah at a wedding event and really loved her designs and her team so booked to have a meeting at the Ivory & Co showroom. I tried on quite a few different dresses but came back to the first one I had seen. I was able to make changes to the design to suit my style and silhouette. I dropped the waistband about an inch and also added button details down the back of the dress.
Who were the bridesmaids and what did they wear?
My bridesmaids were my two best friends from school and Tom’s sister. I chose multi-way dresses for them so they could each choose how they would like to wear their dresses.
Tell us about your floral arrangements
We wanted to keep them nice and simple, a mixture of white flowers, and green foliage with a tiny pop of blue.
Often the aspect that makes a wedding original to the couple is the detail – tell us about the details of the day
We would have done more but as we were unable to have our reception this year we will do our decorations next year. We did give our family members hand-embroidered handkerchiefs at the church to remember our day.
How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?
It was a real mixture of emotions, overwhelmingly happy but a few nerves were definitely there.
How did you make the ceremony personal to you?
Tom’s sister perfectly read a passage from the book of John in the Bible and the orders of service were designed by myself.
What was your most memorable moment?
Friends and family who were unable to be in church with us due to the Covid restrictions turned up and waited outside the church to see us come out. It was completely unplanned and unexpected and eased some of the disappointment we had about them not being in there with us. Tom’s family dog also made an appearance at the family gathering following the wedding, which was fun.
What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?
Obviously the Covid restrictions were the most challenging part as this greatly reduced what we could do for the ceremony and reception. The fact that the restrictions kept changing, even the week before the wedding, caused a lot of stress running up to the day. Not knowing if our grandparents would be able to come was really tough.
What was the most important investment for you?
It was important that our guests all had a good time so we did make sure that there was plenty of food and drink. Everyone has been through a lot during the pandemic, and it was the first time that people had really been together since the spring.
What song did you choose for your first dance, and why?
We chose not to have one this year, we will have our first dance at the reception in August 2021. As of now the song is still undecided.
Did you have any evening entertainment?
No, Covid restrictions meant that numbers were limited, we postponed our singers to the reception next year.
Tell us about your wedding cake
We opted for a smaller cake due to the reduced numbers. Made by a local baker, it as a two-tiered plain white iced cake, the bottom layer being a salted-caramel sponge, and the top being a gluten-free Victoria sponge.
If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?
We don’t think we would change anything, the Covid restrictions meant that a lot was outside of our control and we did everything we could inside of those restrictions.
Where did you go on honeymoon?
We had one day between the wedding and our honeymoon. We had originally planned a three week adventure along the west coast of America. Unfortunately, due to Covid that was cancelled and instead we had a very enjoyable week in Yorkshire.
Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages?
Work out what the most important things are for your wedding and build out from that. For us it was important that we had our parents and grandparents there, so it had to be somewhere local. And even if the best laid plans come undone you can still have a magical day.
Steal Their Style
Photography: Lucy Long Photography
Venue: St Mary’s Church, Chesham
Dress: Ivory & Co
Hair: Jo Gaffney
Make-up: The bride
Bridesmaids’ dresses: The Secret Bridesmaid
Groom’s outfit: Hawes & Curtis
Stationery: The bride
Cake: Sprinkles Bakery
Flowers: Jackie Brinklow
Transport: Jason Brinklow
Videography: Andrew Collins