Against all odds

Bethany and Lee met in 2008 during a night out. "We met through mutual friends," says Bethany. "We dated for a few months and then parted ways. In this time I travelled the world and went to university in Sheffield while Lee stayed in Carlisle pursuing his engineering career. We reconnected in 2017 and as they say, the rest is history."

Lee popped the question on Christmas Eve in 2019. “I was downstairs sorting presents when Lee shouted down to me as if something was wrong,” shares the bride. “I rushed upstairs, and he pointed me in the direction of the bedroom. As I stepped into the room, he started playing our song, and as I turned around there was a heart made from petals on the bed, and he was down on one knee with a ring.”

Just married "We chose to get married at St. James Carlisle," explains Bethany. "It's our local church and is where my parents got married more than 30 years ago."

Ceremony

The couple decided to give their guests personalised tote bags as favours. "We wanted our friends and family to have something personal," shares the bride. "Inside each one was a bottle of prosecco, a mini wedding cake, snacks, glow sticks, balloons, decorations, name cards, a photo scavenger hunt and personalised hand sanitiser."

Bride and groom

The bride put together their table plan. "I used an old pallet, cleaned it down and decorated it, so it tied in with our rustic theme," says Bethany. "The seating plan was for our parents to socially distance in the garden as our wedding was before receptions were allowed, and we had to follow the Government's guidelines."

Bride and groom on green Lee's mum made their big-day bake. "We chose a lemon filling," shares Bethany. "To decorate it we used a cake-topper that's been in my family for four generations."

“We travelled in my dad’s classic Daimler,” reveals Bethany. “My uncle drove, and it was a wonderful experience.”

Wedding car The lovebirds decided to get creative with their flowers. "The blooms were provided by Vandella Flowers," says the bride. "I placed a Lego Princess Leia in my bouquet and Harry Potter figures in the bridesmaids' posies. I made the buttonholes for the groomsmen. They all had Lego Star Wars characters in them and looked great. We continued the theme into our centrepieces and used old jam jars and wands made from chopsticks."

Signing the register Bethany wore a gown called Brandy by Rebecca Ingram. "I purchased it from Carol's Bridal Boutique," says Bethany. "I accessorised with a matching veil and headpiece from Etsy."

Groom's nephew

Lee chose a tweed suit from Sirri, with a pale blue tie, socks, handkerchief and Boba Fett cufflinks.

Groomsmen jumping in the air

Lee chose a tweed suit from Sirri, with a pale blue tie, socks, handkerchief and Boba Fett cufflinks.

Bridesmaids "Adam Teasdale played acoustic music as we walked out of the church," shares Bethany. "He was meant to be doing our main entertainment, but as we weren't allowed a reception, he said he'd come play at our service and come back when we can have a big celebration."

At the altar "Lots of people asked if I was nervous in the run-up to the wedding," Lee shares. "I would respond with 'why would I be nervous when I know this is the woman for me?' I know everyone must say this, but my favourite part of the day was watching my beautiful bride walk down the aisle."

Bride As a result of the pandemic, the couple had to re-plan their big day three times. "We had to decide whether we wanted to wait to get married or have a small celebration," says the bride. "We wanted to get married for us but also so people like my 92-year-old grandma would definitely be there. The wedding may have been strange with everyone wearing masks in the church, but it was still magical. We live-streamed the whole thing so that everyone who couldn't be there in person could still be part of our special day. We streamed the speeches from the back garden reception, and as the best men weren't allowed to attend, they filmed theirs and sent it over to us. They used the theme of a COVID-19 wedding to bring some much needed light-hearted banter to the day. They changed Borris' quote to 'stay safe, protect the wedding, save the marriage' and every time they said this, we had to do a shot."

Couple showered with confetti Bethany and Lee have decided to host a bigger celebration at a later date. "We're looking forward to celebrating when things got back to normal," shares Bethany. "We had planned to do it in December 2020, but that wasn't possible in the current climate, so we have chosen to postpone it and use it as a one-year anniversary party. This will mean it will have been the fifth time we planned our wedding after having to change our plans so many times."

Beaming bride and groom leaving church
Bride's bouquet with couple kissing in background

Bride and groom kissing "We had a long weekend away just outside of Windermere," reveals the bride. "It was lovely to get away from everyday life and relax and reflect. When the world gets back to some normality, we will go further afield."

Bethany and Lee's contact book

Bride's dress

Carol's Bridal Boutique
www.carolsbridalcarlisle.co.uk

Bridesmaids' dresses

Catering

Entertainment

Adam Teasdale Singer
www.adamteasdalesinger.co.uk

Flowers

Vandella Flowers
www.vandellaflowers.co.uk

Groom's suit

Hair and make-up artist

Uglee Betties
www.ugleebetties.co.uk

Photographer

Venue

St. James Carlisle
www.stjamescarlisle.org.uk