After years of singledom, Ellie and Sam connected on Hinge before finally meeting each other when the pubs reopened after the first Covid lockdown. Their socially distanced first date at The Devonshire in Balham led to love and a two-year anniversary proposal followed during a glamping trip near Camber Sands.
Hayne Devon was the idyllic setting for their colourful country wedding, which blended a variety of themes from The Lord of the Rings to “our love of the mountains, camping, travel and other people’s weddings we had been to!”. Vibrant displays of homegrown wildflowers were paired with handmade and secondhand décor to create a fun, personal and sustainable scene full of unique character. “This was exactly the sustainable country vibe we were after,” comments Ellie.
Sam took the corkboard from their kitchen to display the seating plan, which he printed along with the Lord of the Rings-inspired table names and place settings using sustainably sourced card. There was also an abundance of ‘something borrowed’, including the wooden centrepieces and Ellie’s friend’s 150 handmade coloured napkins. “For a fun touch we used candy necklaces as napkin rings,” says Ellie. “The guests loved this and it also made the whole room smell amazing.”
The ceremony was staged in the walled garden, where Ellie completed her aisle walk through the garden to Elvis Presley’s Can’t Help Falling in Love. “My dad died a few years ago so I asked my brother to walk with me and it was so special to share those moments with him,” she says.
A family-led affair, Sam’s mum read the first verse and chorus of Jack Johnson’s Better Together, after which the newlyweds exited to September by Earth, Wind & Fire. “It was my dad’s favourite and the wedding was in September,” says Ellie.
Walking out of the garden provided the couple with one of their favourite memories. “That first moment to ourselves as a married couple was so special,” reminisces Ellie. “We hugged, burst into tears and were just giddy with happiness.” The celebrations began with a Devon cream tea while guests supped on champagne and played garden games in the sunshine to the soundtrack of musician (and Hayne owner) Tim and his gypsy trio.
A vegetarian feast featuring flatbreads with dips, sharing platters including vegetable and feta tart, heritage tomato salad and rainbow slaw, and an array of desserts provided by guests was followed by the speeches and an evening of dancing to Tim’s band.
Looking back at their dream day, Ellie is replete with advice for other couples. “Make a decision, stick with it and move on,” she says. “You’ll send yourself mad as there are so many options. Trust your gut and if you like it, go for it and don’t worry what other people will think.”
Budget, time and plenty of chats are her other top takeaways. “Spend money on the things that matter to you and ditch the rest,” she says. “Everything takes longer than you expect to do so budget in extra time. And over-communicate with your partner!”
Photography Nova Wedding Photography novaphotography.co.uk
Venue, flowers & entertainment Hayne Devon haynedevon.co.uk
Dress E&W Couture eandwcouture.co.uk
Bridesmaids’ dresses Oasis oasisfashion.com
Suit Clifton Suits cliftonsuits.co.uk
Hair Cindy Beddard Bridal Hair cindybeddardbridalhair.co.uk
Make-up Makeup by Lisa Hannah makeupbylisahannah.com
Catering Lafafa Catering lafafacatering.co.uk