Naomi and Darryl met in Guernsey in 2010. "We were working in a hospital, and our offices were a couple of doors apart," says Naomi. "When we married at Oakham School Chapel in 2011, we promised each other that we'd make our vows again when we reached our 10 year anniversary.
Little did we know what those 10 years would throw at us: trauma, loss, a miracle baby, long-distance working, two degrees, eight house moves, moving to another country and the pandemic!"
"We chose navy blue for the core colours of the day as a symbol of our transition, strength and survival," shares the bride. "We live at Woodlands Country House & Cottage, a classic Victorian rectory with a colourful history. We continue to give love and care to the restoration of this beautiful old building, and we hope that we will soon be able to have other couples enjoy their magical days in this wonderful setting. We were inspired by the era of the house and used the language of flowers throughout the day. We chose Veronica as a symbolic of fortitude, eucalyptus to show strength and healing, lilac roses as a symbol of life, snapdragons to represent inner strength, white roses for unity and fern leaves from the garden for endurance and renewal."
The couple gave their guests small boxes filled with Lindt chocolates as their favours. "We wanted the day to be informal, so we didn't have a table plan," explains Naomi. "We used roses from my bouquet as centrepieces which I designed using blooms supplied by Triangle Nursery."
"We had a three-tiered cake finished with vanilla buttercream," recalls the bride. "It was decorated with a sugar foliage hoop and fresh roses. We chose orange and passion fruit sponge, lemon sponge and a chocolate sponge for the top tier."
Naomi and Darryl decorated the space with birdcage tea stands for their champagne and cream team. "The scones were all handmade by Darryl, who is a pastry chef," reveals Naomi. "We chose plain, cherry, fruit and black forest scones with crème Chantilly and homemade jams. The tea and coffee was supplied by Carvetii Coffee."
"I wore an embroidered dress with a navy bodice, pleated chiffon skirt and satin belt from Coast," says the bride. "I wanted something to keep my arms warm and that I could wear again yet feel special on the day. I'm only 5ft, so the midi length was perfect for me. I accessorised with navy Ruby Shoo shoes with pink satin flowers."
Darryl chose a navy Jeff Banks three-piece suit. "He had a buttonhole that matched my bouquet," shares Naomi. "Our chief bride and grooms-maid wore a lace overlaid princess-line dress with a laced bodice and puddle train with large navy satin bows down the centre. She accessorised with a faux-fur collared shrug, white lace gloves, butterfly hairclips and sparkly shoes."
"We felt like newlyweds or giggling school children on the day," explains the bride. "It can be all too easy for couples to forget why they said 'I do'. We've had our fair share of ups and downs, and this moment in time allowed us to put the every day aside, stop and find each other again. To remember what we do for each other, what we love about each other and how we would be lost in the wilderness without what we have together. There were so many wonderful moments, including our daughter's reading. We stopped in the middle of re-making our commitments to each other and the vicar was wondering if he should repeat the line, but we were just locked into each other's eyes, drinking in the moment, remembering our wedding day and how much our union has strengthened us both individually and as a team."
Naomi and Darryl were unsure if their day would go ahead due to Covid restrictions. "We're used to organising things with little notice as our original wedding was planned in just 16 weeks with celebrations in both England and Guernsey," recalls Naomi. "We wondered, like many couples, if our 10 year celebration would go ahead with all the trials and tribulations of Covid, but we grasped a window of opportunity and took the chance. The pandemic meant we were unable to be joined by family and friends from Guernsey, Europe, and other parts of the UK, so we were joined by our newly-found friends who have helped us ride the storm since arriving in Cumbria – it became a celebration of strength, fortitude and thanksgiving.
Our friends pulled out the stops to help us make the day so special – last minute flower crises, a staffing crisis and the traumas of dressing yourself and the children. Michelle from Shelley Cuts And Colours took such care and attention with my hair. We met in Guernsey and were separated as we both moved homes but we found each other again in Cumbria! I have super fine hair, thanks to pregnancy and stress, so she took the time to carefully add the life it needed, perfectly matched and tamed.
As the time came around for the service, we feared that the rain would create a wash-out, but the sun smiled kindly on us at the crucial moment, just as it had on our original day. Our daughter read Seamus Heaney's poem Scaffolding, reminding us that those early years of marriage can be hard work, but it's the strength of those foundations that will hold us together for life, if only we persevere and work through the challenge to complete that build, we can let the scaffolding fall away knowing we will remain standing tall. This was followed by the words of Psalm 46 chosen by our friends in Guernsey; a reading of strength in times of need, of resilience and fortitude. We finished our celebrations with a flurry of natural confetti featuring lavender and cornflowers in our new planted wildflower meadow. All of this was beautifully documented by de la Mare Creative in photo and film, as chance would have it, another Guernsey ex-pat in Cumbria!"
Tea and coffee
Venue and catering