'Nick and I met 14 years ago whilst working in our holiday jobs at Bicton Park,' says Sylvie of the couple's first encounter. 'We went to university together and have been together ever since.'
Nick picked one of their favourite places in the Lake District to pop the question. 'It was a stunning day and we seemed to have the whole view over the fells to ourselves. After finding the perfect spot to make a cup of tea, Nick got down on one knee and asked me to marry him,' says Sylvie.
Their beautiful wedding venue, Rockbeare Manor, was instrumental in reflecting the 'classic, timeless and elegant look' of their day. Taking the flowers as the primary focal point to create the colour scheme of dusky pinks, whites and a touch of lavender, Sylvie and Nick designed the rest of the wedding from there. 'We had the most beautifully scented O'Hara roses in the bouquets and wonderful pedestal arrangements that framed our outdoor ceremony beautifully,' reveals Sylvie.
Being able to wed outside was always the dream, and though they had to rearrange three times due to Covid-related postponements, the day panned out exactly as planned. 'My dad walked me down the aisle as my brother played his guitar. It was an emotional, out-of-body experience that I shall never forget. After waiting so long for the moment it was special to have our family and friends all gathered together,' reflects Sylvie.
A drinks reception with a saxophonist followed ' 'one of the best decisions we made' ' as Sylvie and Nick stole away for photos and a few moments together, 'which felt incredible', she reflects.
A variety of garden games provided further entertainment for guests, with 'the giant Jenga the favourite. It led to lots of laughter, despair and friendships made!', says Sylvie. Everyone settled down for a delectable dinner of hot smoked salmon risotto and Devon carved beef sirloin rounded off by glazed lemon tart and raspberry sorbet. 'Espresso martinis were the drink of the night, including for Nick's 90-year-old nan!' laughs Sylvie, who shares some of her fondest memories from their day.
'Our favourite moment was the speeches. It was so emotional and I don't think we have ever gone from crying to laughing so quickly,' she reveals. 'And we loved our first dance, which we moved outside so our guests could join in.'
Ultimately, the wedding was about far more than just the couple themselves, as Sylvie explains. 'We loved seeing all our family and friends together in one place after such a difficult couple of years. It meant so much more to us after all the changing plans.'
The collaborative effort also stands out in Sylvie's mind as something that she and Nick appreciated the most. 'We are so grateful to the team at Rockbeare Manor, all our suppliers, family and guests for finally making our wedding day happen!'
And as far as advice goes, it is this personal sense of community that Sylvie urges other couples to tap into. 'We made so many memories getting our families and friends involved in our wedding preparation,' she says. 'Share the moment with them ' it will also help take the pressure off you on the day.'