Clare, a singer-songwriter, and, Chris, a music producer, met while working together on a song. “We just clicked and I didn’t want it to end,” says Clare. Becoming friends at first, it took them five months to get together – and a magical proposal in Amsterdam followed in December 2019. “We were walking around the canals at night and they were all lit up – it was so beautiful. Chris got down on one knee but I thought he was falling over so went to pick him up,” laughs Clare.
The picture-perfect climes of Brickhouse Vineyard made a dream location for their wedding. “It was honestly just the most stunning, secluded setting; we felt like we were in Tuscany!” says Clare. The couple drew on the venue when it came to styling their day. “We like classic designs so tried to make things as timeless as possible and not lean into trends,” she explains.
A carnival of blooms in shades of white and cream with touches of pink decorated the taletops, with a pampas grass cloud completing the striking scene. While Chris opted for a black tie ensemble, Clare dazzled in a beautiful lace Marchessa gown and Jimmy Choos heels.
Choosing to keep the ceremony as intimate as possible, the couple were joined by 30 guests in the day, before another 100 of their loved ones arrived to celebrate in the evening. “It felt like we got the best of both worlds,” she reflects. “The day itself felt like a big family Christmas and the evening was a great big party.” A relaxed ceremony set the tone for the day and made for Chris’ top moment. “I was feeling really nervous as the ceremony started, but when our niece was carried down the aisle throwing big fistfuls of confetti, it made me laugh and I felt like I could relax,” he says.
The newlyweds were then ready to celebrate, dining on scallops, salmon and pork belly, with a Krispy Kreme doughnut tower that “didn’t go quite to plan!” says Clare. “It was an absolute hit but over time got a bit wonky so everyone was taking the doughnuts off it like a game of Jenga.”
With no fewer than five different bands playing, the music brought a festival feel to the celebrations, leading to one of Clare’s favourite moments. “I asked the band to learn I Can’t Help Myself by Four Tops as a surprise for my dad. It’s an in-joke between the two of us and it led to an impromptu ‘Daddy-Daughter’ dance,” she says. “I liked that it was a surprise as there was no time for him to get nervous about having to dance with me in front of lots of people.”
As well as music, there was another entertaining highlight from the day. “Our absolute best decision of the day was the bouncy castle!” laughs Clare. Hiring a white one “so it would still look bridal” the couple initially got it to keep their nieces and nephews entertained – but it proved a hit with all the adults! “We even had all the official family photos taken on it as everyone was so relaxed, and there isn’t a single forced smile in the photos!” says Clare. “The day felt like ‘us’. Very imperfect and silly.”
The couple have some wise words for brides and grooms-to-be in the midst of organising their nuptials. “Don’t forget the bigger picture," urges Clare. "Wedding planning is stressful but it is about the two of you. Don’t get too hung up on the idea of perfection; instead, prioritise fun. You will remember laughing more than you’ll remember how perfect a table setting was.”
Photography Angel Wade-
Venue Brickhouse Vineyard brickhousevineyard.co.uk
Dress Marchesa marchesa.com
Bride's shoes Jimmy Choo jimmychoo.com
Suit DKNY dkny.com
Groom's shoes Loake loake.com
Hair EV Hair evhair.co.uk
Make-up Claire Bowring clairebowring.co.uk
Cake Celebrations Exmouth celebrations-exmouth.co.uk-
Entertainment Craig Milverton craigmilverton.co.uk Leigh Coleman instagram.com/soulmancoleman Jonah Hitchens instagram.com/jonahhitchens Adam In The Hat adaminthehat.co.uk The Big Strut bigstrutband.co.uk
Décor hire Amor Decor Events amordecorevents.co.uk-
Videography Capture Weddings captureweddings.co.uk-