Megan and Stu were both studying at Newcastle University when they hit it off back in 2012, enjoying their first holiday together in Venice in 2013. Fast-forward to 2020 and the couple were back in the Italian city when Stu booked a suite in the Hotel Canal Grande as a surprise. “He got down on one knee as soon as we got into our room as he was so nervous!” says Megan of the sweet proposal.
“We held off on wedding planning given the Covid lockdowns and decided to start our family instead,” says Megan, explaining that the couple went on a ‘babymoon’ to The Pig at Combe “and immediately fell in love with it. Even though we weren't actually looking for a venue at the time, we knew it would be perfect for our wedding.”
Inspired by the rustic character of the venue and the colours of autumn, the couple chose seasonal flowers with local blooms for the bouquets, buttonholes and breathtaking ceremony arch for their October wedding. The dark green shade of the suits and floral bridesmaids’ dresses completed the naturally beautiful scene perfectly.
With the help of their “amazing” planner, Phoebe of Elisabeth Shell Events, who also acted as the couple’s celebrant, their heartfelt outdoor ceremony surpassed Megan and Stu’s expectations! “We opted to write our own vows and we were both pretty nervous about it; I think we just wanted to get through the ceremony and get to the ‘fun’ of drinks and canapes! But the ceremony was so special, thanks to Phoebe. After working with her for months she knew us both well and it was so personalised, full of laughs and lots of emotional tears!” recalls Megan. “My maid of honour also wrote a poem from the perspective of our one-year-old, so it was lovely to have him be part of the ceremony in that way.”
After the drinks and canapés’, an incredible menu was served, including ‘home-grown’ cured meats, green tomato chutney and caperberries; slow-roasted pork shoulder with apple sauce; line-caught pollock with rainbow chard and shellfish sauce; wild plum and damson crumble with custard and ice cream, and buttermilk and blackberry blancmange with blackberry compote – all from The Pig’s 25-mile menu. “One of the reasons we fell in love with The Pig was its amazing food and it was definitely a standout,” says Megan. As the evening continued, speeches and the first dance were followed by a performance by live band, Weekend Ticket. “The dance floor was packed from start to finish and we all wished they could have kept playing all night! They were definitely a big highlight of the day,” says Megan.
Looking back, the couple are still awestruck at how wonderful their wedding proved to be. “We were told in the run-up to the day to be prepared that something would likely go wrong and we should just roll with it. In actual fact, the entire day was absolutely perfect, even down to the weather,” says Megan.
“This is definitely in a very large part due to our coordinator, Phoebe, who kept everything running amazingly smoothly. To anyone else planning a wedding, my top tip is that a planner is worth their weight in gold; our day would not have been what it was without Phoebe. She found us the most amazing suppliers, saving us so much time during the planning process, and kept the whole day running perfectly with her on-the-day coordination, keeping the stress on our part to an absolute minimum.” Megan adds: “We would also really recommend having a videographer as well as your photographers. Matt really captured the atmosphere of the day and having those videos really keeps the memories alive!”
Photography Nova Wedding Photography novaweddingphotography.co.uk
Venue The Pig at Combe thepighotel.com/at-combe
Planning & celebrant Elisabeth Shell Events elisabethshellevents.com
Dresses Isabella Grace Bridal isabellagracebridal.com
Evening dress Needle & Thread needleandthread.com
Suits Moss Bros. moss.co.uk
Bridesmaids’ dresses Needle & Thread needleandthread.com
Stationery Ink Flower Press inkflowerpress.co.uk
Hair Bridal Hair by Rosanne bridalhairbyrosanne.co.uk
Make-up Rachael York instagram.com/r.m.mua
Flowers Hollybee Flowers hollybeeflowers.co.uk
Entertainment Weekend Ticket entertainment-nation.co.uk/weekend-ticket
Videography Yeti Photo + Film yetiphotography.co.uk