A wedding in Devon re-imagined thanks to Covid-19
26 Jan 2021
When Lauren Elmore and Sam Bishop had to postpone their wedding they re-evaluated what was important to them and planned a smaller wedding for 2021. However, feeling the important thing was to be married, they brought the legal ceremony forward to December 2020
Photography: Margo R Photography
How was your wedding affected by Covid-19?
Our wedding was originally going to be May 2, 2020. However due to the national lockdown it couldn’t go ahead. The venue then advised they only had dates available for the winter on a week day and should we wish to postpone until 2022, they would be increasing their rates. After re-arranging our wedding for August we decided to postpone once again and booked a new date for April 2021 at a different venue - Euridge Manor. As a couple we adore Italy and Euridge is a little bit of Italy in the UK. It felt like it really reflected us as a couple and felt so right. We were super excited and alongside our wedding planner at the time started to get things organised. Then there was the dreaded announcement from the Government that weddings would only be allowed for 15 guests for six months, this six month period ending the week before our wedding. At this stage we didn’t discuss anything with anyone else, we just needed to get our heads straight about what to do, as it wasn’t only our wedding being impacted. We explored the option of bringing the wedding forward to December and having just 15 guests, our parents and grandparents with closest friends for the ceremony and then switch the guests at the evening to allow siblings. However, we wouldn’t be using the venue to its full potential. I had to think of my grandparents and how much they feel the cold in December, the venue is very much an outside venue and we wanted to get married by the beautiful moat but it just wouldn’t be do-able in December.
Tell us about the venue
Sam very much wanted to just go to the registry office and get married, he said he just wanted me to be his wife now, which was really lovely but I disagreed and wanted the special day we deserved with my dad walking me down the aisle etc. However, Covid had made me re-think the guest list and I no longer wanted 120 guests nor did Sam. So, we agreed on a more intimate day.
After weeks of conversations between us we came to the decision that it’s about our love for one another and not a show, so the registry office seemed right and then we would fly the next day with our two year old son Freddie to wherever we could. We married at Larkbeare House register office followed by photographs at Lympstone Manor. Although she didn’t come to the ceremony, I arranged for my mum to bring Freddie to Lympstone for pictures after the ceremony and then take him home again.
How many guests did you have?
We decided on just having my brother and his girlfriend as witnesses – both sets of parents have split up so now we have four families, so we just decided to keep things minimal. We decided to marry in December and then hopefully have the day we’d planned (with a blessing ceremony) in 2022. We decided to keep our plans to ourselves and only told our immediate family – the majority were supportive and knew we were making the best out of a bad situation and knew more importantly it was about Sam and I, no one else.
What did you both wear?
I love fashion so I quickly got on to Pinterest to decide what we would both wear and instantly fell in love with Mick Jagger’s wife’s outfit from her wedding day back in the day and Millie Mackintosh more recently. I ordered so many suits from Net a Porter and jumpsuits but nothing was the right colour ivory or was too white. In the end I found my dream suit on Reiss and Sam a two-tone suit from Reiss also. We’ve kept my bridal dress and Sam’s suit to wear at the event in the spring.
How did you make the ceremony personal to you?
While we didn’t have readings, Sam, my dad, the best man and maid of honour all have speeches ready and want them to be saved for the wedding in 2022, so I decided to put together a reading/note for Sam that I gave him following the wedding. It was:
"A magical ending to a tough year and an emotional rollercoaster to say the least! We are so lucky to have one another and go through this life together, times as we know may not always be easy but I know we are always stronger together.
"To my husband, I wrote this to read to you in the ceremony but circumstances didn’t allow. I could wait to read this at the blessing but I think it is only right you have it now whilst we are still on cloud nine and in our own magical bubble. So here goes….
"My darling Sam, when I look back at the years we have spent together and all the memories we have made I can’t help but think that our lives together should be straight out of a film. I’m not sure if fate exists, but I like to think that night I met you was meant to be. You were everything I wanted and more from that moment.
"As a couple we have faced more obstacles in these years then many couples do. The odds of our relationship surviving from the very beginning were against us and our very young and delicate relationship grew stronger every passing day.
"We understand the long and sometimes difficult, but fun journey we have taken to get here today. This moment when we are so strong, loving, committed and perfect together to begin another phase of life in love and together. I love you truly Sam and I promise to always do so.
"We have come so far.
"You make me want to be the best version of myself and you help pick me up when life seems overwhelming also bringing me back down when the diva in me makes an appearance.
"You have amplified my life in ways I could have never dreamed and because of you I'm living a life I am so proud of.
"You are my best friend, soulmate and now my husband. I feel like the luckiest person to share the rest of my life with you. It is my promise to you that we will go forward together from today not only continuing with strength, support and respect for each other and each other's ideas, hopes, dreams and fears but also with growing and deeper love, understanding, truth, fun than ever before.
"You have given me the greatest gift on earth in Fred and as you know motherhood and parenting is the best thing I have ever been lucky enough to do.
"You are the most handsome, caring, generous man and I don’t know what I did to deserve that but I will always make you smile and frown occasionally too.
"And they say love is a journey,
"I promise that I'll never leave.
"When it's too heavy to carry,
"Remember this moment with me.
"I’m so excited to spend the rest of my life with you, I love you Mr Bishop.
Do you have any advice for other couples?
My advice would be don’t think about anyone else, its hard but it is true, this is about you two and a celebration of your love. It’s not how we planned it to be but I wouldn’t change it now, the intimacy was just magical.
Steal Their Style
Photography: Margo R Photography
Ceremony Venue: Larkbeare House
Reception Venue: Lympstone Manor
Hair: Laura Cutting Hairdressing
Make-up: House of Skincare