A winter wedding in Berkshire
23 Mar 2021
Instead of a beachside wedding in 2021 Fatimah Imran and Chris Pilling brought their wedding forward and married in December 2020 at Coworth Park, Ascot
Photography: Trilion Productions
How was (if at all) your wedding affected by Covid-19?
We actually brought our wedding forward in the end. We got engaged during the pandemic so knew how difficult it was going to be to go ahead with our original plans, which was a wedding abroad in Summer 2021. Once we realised it was too uncertain, we didn’t want to wait so we planned a small ceremony in November 2020. Unfortunately, shortly before the wedding date, lockdown 2.0 was announced, and we couldn’t go ahead so we postponed it to our actual wedding day on December 13 which thankfully went ahead!
What restrictions were in place at the time of your wedding?
We were restricted to 15 guests, including suppliers who didn’t work at the venue. Everyone had to wear masks and social distance except during the sit-down meal. No readings, dancing, or canapes either.
Did you change the theme/ethos of your day?
Yes – a sunny beachside wedding with a bohemian theme became quite a traditional winter wedding, on a rather drizzly day.
Did you still wear your planned wedding outfits?
No – I scaled up my wedding dress to a full-blown princess ballgown to fit the venue instead of a floaty light dress, and Chris wore a tux instead of linen shorts.
What venue did you choose and why did you choose it?
We chose Coworth Park because we had fond memories there, we’d been to eat at the restaurants for special occasions and knew how lovely it was. I would have to say it’s our dream wedding venue in the UK, and we were very lucky in a way because we wouldn’t have been able to afford it for our full intended guest list.
Tell us about your floral arrangements
We had lots of burgundy flowers and green leaves, Chris’ boutonniere was in the same theme and so was my hand-tied bouquet. We tried to stick to a wintery theme.
Often the aspect that makes a wedding original to the couple is the detail – tell us about the details of the day
We didn’t have much time to plan, but we had little spray hand sanitisers from Hande for all the guests because it was such a random thing to have at any normal wedding but was fitting because of the pandemic. We ordered our favourite cupcakes from Lola’s Cupcakes and we had our favourite songs on Spotify including some banging Arabian tunes which wasn’t exactly in keeping with the theme but made it unique to us.
How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?
Nervous, because my dress was way too long and relieved because it was finally happening, and I could stop stressing about it.
How did you make the ceremony personal to you?
We couldn’t do any readings unfortunately; they weren’t allowed at the time. But we did have Our House by Crosby, Stills & Nash playing while we signed the register which is one of “our” songs.
What was your most memorable moment?
Seeing Chris’ face when I walked down the aisle, there were so many emotions (all good ones as far as I could tell) and I didn’t know whether I should burst into laughter or tears. I did neither by the way, I kept it all cool and calm until the vows.
Tell us about your wedding cake
We had 24 massive cupcakes in 12 different flavours, and two big cakes, one was a chocolate fudge and the other a passionfruit and mango concoction. It was the best decision ever and we had leftovers for days.
Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages?
Split the tasks between you, and always plan for things to go over budget. But don’t stress about the details because it’s such a whirlwind on the day that you won’t even notice if things aren’t perfect. I’m sure we missed lots of stuff (I think Chris’ cufflinks went missing) but we didn’t even spare it a thought, it felt like the perfect day.
Steal Their Style
Photography: Trilion Productions
Venue: Cowarth Park
Dress: Davids Bridal UK
Hair and Make-up: Bride's best friend
Groom’s outfit: Charles Tyrwhitt
Stationery: Papier Weddings
Cake: Lola’s Cupcakes
Flowers: Add style UK