Sarah + Jaron
Eight of the male guests streaked naked across the cricket pitch in my honour.
My husband and I met online. I still can't get my head around that, so I often tell people we were ice-skating outside of the Natural History Museum in Kensington, when I slipped in front of Jaron and he literally swept me off my feet. It just sounds so much more romantic than saying I liked his dating profile and he was a 98% perfect match for me. We joked in advance that you know within sixty seconds of meeting someone whether there's a physical attraction and after five minutes of meeting Jaron I had already let him kiss me.
Our first date was random but great. We met at a bar in Shoreditch that had taxidermy and good cocktails, then went to an amateur burlesque night. We met again two days later for a lunch date that lasted twelve hours. He'd made me a mix-tape of songs he thought I'd like. We drank strong coffee on the Southbank, saw the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, then poured our hearts out to each other over red wine and a cheeseboard in a cosy mews pub. I pretty much knew he was the one by the time he gave me a goodnight kiss at Charing Cross station.
We were in bed the first time we said “I love you”. I waited for him to say it first, but I knew it already. We're in our mid thirties, so we'd discussed weddings and time frames and ideas, but I'm super organized and tend to railroad things — so I was pretty wowed when he managed to pull off a surprise proposal, en route to Provence, 18 months into our relationship. We were winding our way through France in his old little MG and stopped in Lyon for the night. He dragged me up a hilltop, while I moaned about being tired and it being late. Then, as we looked down on the glittering city, he popped the question.
We wanted our wedding to be quintessentially English. The service was held at a tiny village church perched beside a stately home called Goodnestone, where Jane Austen used to visit. Eighty people squeezed into the church, which was so cosy that I actually heard them gasp when I walked in. After the service our guests walked through a Victorian walled garden, lined with peonies up to the main house. Here, a brass band played while we drank Pimms and Prosecco (Jaron plays the euphonium and serenaded me with 'I can't help falling in love with you'). Then, we had dinner and dancing in a tent strung with giant pom poms and fairy lights. It was a May day with blazing sunshine, which made people even more giddy and celebratory. It was a wild time — eight of the male guests streaked naked across the cricket pitch in my honour, half the wedding guests formed a human pyramid, and one of my bridesmaids did a pop-up shots bar and got everyone trashed by 8pm.
Our day was utter bliss. I am one of those girls who had day-dreamed about her wedding for a very long time, and it was more than I could have ever imagined. We put a lot of effort into every detail: I made sixty giant tissue-paper pom poms, ink-stamped flags for the drinks, painted blonde brides and brunette grooms on 100 tiny cupcake toppers, and chocolate favors, wrapped in handmade paper. We built our own DIY photo booth, commissioned a gigantic wall of white paper flowers, lined the church door with oversize paper roses, filled dozens of heart-shaped balloons with helium and tied them to a gate, not to mention a million other things that I have now forgotten — which made me adore it all even more. It was a day filled with creativity and love.
Pics by Maria Farrelly