A small and personal wedding in Berkshire
02 Dec 2020
Laura Donea and Christopher Lock married at the Royal Berkshire Hotel in Ascot under the 15 person rule for weddings
Photography: Svetlomir Tsvetanov
How was your wedding affected by Covid-19?
We postponed the date from July to October 2020. Restrictions were in place for a maximum of 15 guests at the time.
What venue did you choose and why did you choose it?
The Royal Berkshire Hotel always felt like home, every single time we were there we felt relaxed, at ease, and welcomed by the fantastic staff. I believe they have excellent quality across the board and that was even more evident on our wedding day: albeit small, they helped to make it perfect.
Tell us about the dress
Browsing through hundreds of designs, the one I chose simply made me say “this is it”. It wasn’t what I thought I’d choose. The first ones I tried were very simple, A-line gowns, of plain satin. No decorations whatsoever - at first I was going for something simple.
Who were the bridesmaids and what did they wear?
I had three wonderful bridesmaids who wore dark navy satin dresses. They were:
Emily, a former work colleague and friend for the past nine years. She is an incredibly talented Gospel singer, and amazing and kind person. I am honoured to be her friend.
Ofelia, my former employer, my friend for the past 12 years or more, we shared life changing moments together (the good, the bad and the ugly).
Andreea, my friend for more than 12 years, she was always there for me with advice, with a shoulder to cry on and someone to share some good times with.
They were essential in my life for the person I am today.
Often the aspect that makes a wedding original to the couple is the detail – tell us about the details of the day
Our favours were small bottles of blueberry gin, that we individually wrapped, tagged and to which we attached a bottle opener vintage key. (@Svetlomir Tsvetanov Photography). I also wrote by hand all the table names in cursive.
How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?
Like a feather, I don't even remember the walking, just looking at Chris and being there next to him was all I could see.
How did you make the ceremony personal to you?
The registrar gave a touching speech about marriage and its meaning, on the journey we were about to embark together.
What was your most memorable moment?
We were both trying to keep our tears at bay, after seeing each other there in front of everyone.
What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?
Planning during Covid gave us a lot of stress and uncertainty, most of the cancellations we had to do were non-refundable and I personally felt like anything could happen or our wedding could be cancelled at any point… I felt all this pressure until about two days before our wedding.
What was the most important investment for you?
The venue, outfits and the photographer.
Did you have any evening entertainment?
During the ceremony and a bit after, we were allowed to have live entertainment in the end, so we had a violin trio for all our special moments. In the evening, we had a private Mixologist to prepare magical cocktails with dry ice for us, based on a dedicated menu, in the private bar area. We also had big sparklers outside. We also had a separate space later on, arranged for our convenience and decorated by my lovely mum and dad in law, which had the vibe of a jazzy lounge.It was a great area to have mini cheese platters and more wedding cake.
Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages?
Prioritise the most important things that capture you as a couple, and you will have the perfect day.
Steal Their Style
Photography: Svetlomir Tsvetanov
Venue: Royal Berkshire Hotel
Dress: Ronald Joyce
Hair & make-up: Gemma Warburton
Bridesmaids’ dresses: Milly Bridal
Groom’s outfit: Moss Bros
Cake & Flowers: Jeni’s Cakes & Flowers
Entertainment: Bowfiddle Strings, Dry Ice Mixologist (courtesy of Royal Berkshire Hotel)