Meeting on their first day at Exeter University, Lizzie and Jack lived in the same corridor and studied English Literature. Years later, Jack (whose surname is D'Arcy) gave Lizzie a vintage copy of the book 'Pride and Prejudice', with the pages hollowed out and a pouch resting inside.
"Taking the pouch, Jack got on one knee, revealing the diamond and asked me to marry him," remembers Lizzie. "It was shortly after that I realised I would be becoming Elizabeth D'Arcy!"
Setting the tone for their literary-themed wedding, the happy couple set about searching for their perfect venue. "We both knew we would love to get married in Devon as it's such a special place for us, Exeter being the city where we met and made so many amazing memories in the early days of our relationship," says Lizzie. The Oak Barn, a wedding venue nestled on the edge of Dartmoor, offered the perfect canvas for them to create the wedding day they had dreamed of. Aside from its rustic charm, it gave the opportunity to accommodate family and friends for the whole weekend.
"We hired bell tents, and decorated them with bunting, fairy lights and name signs," says Lizzie. When it came to the decor, a subtle colour scheme of blush and navy blue complemented the 'Pride and Prejudice' theme of the day. "We handcrafted the save the dates and wedding invitations from the pages of the book Jack proposed with, table confetti was little heart shapes from the pages, and the
book itself held the wedding rings," says Lizzie.
The venue was decorated with lights, candles, organza and foliage, with little tin buckets filled with gypsophila and pale pink roses that hung from the chairs during the ceremony. Lizzie coordinated her bridesmaids' dresses in a blush pink that matched her bespoke silk chiffon gown, while Jack wore a navy blue suit, complete with skull cufflinks made from an old sixpence piece.
After the ceremony, the sun came out, allowing guests to stroll around the grounds while enjoying canapes made by the mother-of-the-groom, Monica. "Jack's mum is Italian and a lover of good food, and she offered to cater for our wedding," says Lizzie. "She spent the best part of a year designing a menu that included handmade canapes, followed by antipasti platters of cold meats, smoked fish and cheese to start. The main course was a delicious porchetta-style hog roast, served with salads and Italian breads."
The piï¿½ce de resistance was "Nonna's tiramisu", made by Jack's grandmother, while a cake extravaganza and midnight feast of homemade lasagne kept guests going into the small hours, and soaked up all the tequila shots that were doing the rounds!
"We loved every single moment of the day," says Lizzie, who has some sage advice for those planning a wedding. "I remember agonising over the font size on our invitations and being unable to decide the exact colour shades we wanted for our confetti. But it's only after the wedding that you realise that all that really matters is having the people you love in one place, great food and (lots of!) drink."
Photography Nova Wedding Photography novaweddingphotography.co.uk
Venue The Oak Barn theoakbarn.co.uk
Dress Naomi Neoh naomineoh.com
Hair Brigitte Fisher brigittefisher.co.uk
Make-up Eve Ashby eveashby.co.uk
Groom's outfit Hackett hackett.com
Bridesmaids' dress Maids to Measure maidstomeasure.com
Flowers Peamore Flora peamoreflora.co.uk
Hog roast Snout & Trotter snoutandtrotter.co.uk
Cake Claire Makes Cakes clairemakescakes.co.uk
Bell tents Bears & Butterflies bearsandbutterflies.co.uk
Tables & chairs Virginias Vintage Hire virginiasvintagehire.co.uk
Cutlery & china South West Event Hire southwesteventhire.co.uk