Meeting each other through James' sister, it wasn't long before he and Danielle fell for each other, and got engaged in July 2019. They set to work planning a wedding for 80 in a vineyard in Australia, closer to where their families lived.
Then Covid-19 hit, leaving the couple two-and-a-half months to plan a new wedding. Researching Cornish venues online, they settled on Camel Studio. 'We liked that it was dedicated to smaller weddings, so would suit our ideal of being small, intimate and modern,' explains Danielle.
Planning an autumnal wedding, the couple had to rearrange plans further when guest lists were cut from 30 to 15 just weeks before their date. 'Then a week before, we got told we had to have two metres between households and tables, so we had to change our seating arrangements from long tables to individual tables,' explains Danielle.
Of course, it all came together for the unflappable couple, who had decided 'we want to get married, so we'll make it work'.
'We had stellar weather on the day,' remembers James. The couple exchanged vows on the lawn before a bespoke arch woven with autumnal flowers, which echoed the colours of the valley beyond.
'We very much lucked out. I really didn't want to compromise on being outdoors ' it was a very 'Australian' part of the wedding, which we really wanted,' says Danielle, citing another nod to Australia being the king protea flower in her bouquet.
The couple live-streamed the ceremony for their family and friends to watch ' 'The time difference meant it was 3am, but they stayed up for it and got dressed up!' ' before canapÃ©s and an impressive lemon and elderflower cake. The couple left their guests enjoying drinks and lawn games as they went to the nearby river for photos, which was one of their favourite parts of the day. 'It gave us time to relax, let it sink in, enjoy each other,' says James. 'And the colours were amazing.'
Their wedding feast comprised starters of 'typically British cuisine' including Scotch eggs, fishcakes, and soup, mains of pan-fried chicken, pork belly and fish, and desserts of St Ives Gin cheesecake, and a Cornish take on a Guinness brownie. 'The food was phenomenal,' remembers Danielle. 'It was also beautifully presented, and the Avo Catering team were super understanding. We are foodies, and we loved it.'
The couple had asked their families to record speeches, which were shown in-between each course. 'It was an emotional roller-coaster,' says Danielle. 'We were very conscious of the fact our families couldn't be there. After every single speech, we were totally and utterly emotional, we needed a break between them!'
Following the beautifully intimate meal and speeches came an unseasonably warm evening spent outside by the firepits, where the guests enjoyed homemade pizzas from Camel Studio's renovated horsebox. A game of 'Mr & Mrs' followed, before the couple bid their guests farewell and retired to the bridal suite.
When it comes to advice for couples in the midst of planning, Danielle affirms: 'Always trust the experts. We didn't always have the capacity to make decisions quickly when guidance changed, so trust that they know what they're doing.'
'As much as we hated the fact family couldn't make it, we had an amazing day for something we hadn't originally planned,' she continues, reflecting on their autumnal celebration. 'There was no pressure on our day, we weren't rushed anywhere.'
And, as James points out: 'Being with only our closest people ' who'd all seen us going from friends, to dating, to engaged, to married ' was so special.'