Having met and become friends at university, it wasn't until Caroline moved away from Bristol that she and Alex became a couple. 'Our friends and families were not at all surprised when we announced our relationship!' laughs Caroline.
It was a beautiful September day when Alex proposed in Ashton Court, a country oasis in the city, which was a huge surprise for Caroline. 'I did not see it coming at all,' she says. 'He got down on one knee in a quiet spot ' I was speechless and totally in shock, but of course I said yes!'
Deciding to get married in Cornwall where Caroline grew up and Alex enjoyed many a memorable family holiday, the couple were drawn to Nancarrow Farm's rural and relaxed setting. 'It fitted exactly what we wanted,' Caroline explains. 'We both love the countryside and didn't want anything bling or fussy. It's in a beautiful setting, peaceful and with a lot of rustic charm.'
Opting 'to keep things simple and rustic', bunting was used to decorate the Rusty Barn for the ceremony while they undertook the massive task of handmaking nearly 2,000 coloured origami cubes to decorate the barn for the wedding breakfast. 'It was a lot of work but we were very happy with the result!' comments Caroline.
Friends and family pitched in to help make the day a wholly personalised affair, including the creation of Caroline's wedding dress: a beautiful blush silk satin gown with a chiffon overlay and a corded lace bodice that was designed, cut and stitched by her mum on the kitchen table of the family home.
Drawing on the season as well as the setting, the floristry was another eye-catching element that helped create the gorgeous look of the day. 'We wanted to take advantage of all the beautiful flowers available in June, especially sweet peas and peonies. They all looked glorious,' says Caroline.
The ceremony was followed by drinks and canapÃ©s in the courtyard to the relaxed sounds of musician, Tom Dale, and was followed by the speeches and wedding breakfast.
'The chefs at Nancarrow sat down with us and came up with a menu based on our food experiences and the things we love to eat,' says Caroline. 'We went for a salad to start, then Nancarrow's take on beef tagliata and Italian meringue to finish. The evening food was lamb kebabs and flatbreads. It was all delicious and perfect for a June day.'
Garden games and guest mingling ensued, ahead of an evening of dancing to the unique soul and jazz-infused sounds of Evelyn and the Vipers and a sparkler send-off. 'The whole day was so special, I'm not sure we could pick one out,' says Caroline when asked to select a favourite moment. 'But we did love the dancing!'
By word of advice, she says: 'Don't sweat the small stuff. It's easy to say now but don't lose sight of why you're getting married. And make sure you get a good photographer. When the day is over the photos are a fantastic reminder of all the little details. Looking through them is like reliving the day again.'