A Wedding Photographer Elopement at Windermere, Lake District
I’ve been a little quiet over the past few weeks, because I can honestly say you weren’t the only one worrying about what was going to happen to your wedding. I’ve been right there with you. And even though I wasn’t planning on posting about it for at least a few months, the more I’ve thought about it, my story was something I thought maybe needed to be out in the world right now.
We’ve been planning this ‘elopement’ for around 6 months. We got engaged nearly 4 years ago in the Lake District and with how busy I’ve been with work since having Reuben it got to the point where we just thought f**k it let’s do it. I booked everything quietly and over email (we never even viewed the venue), swore our closest family to secrecy and only planned the bare minimum that we could get away with. We wanted a no fuss wedding on the lake where we got engaged with 20 of our closest family only, a meal afterwards and then a reception nearer home in April. All we cared about was getting married to each other, making that commitment and becoming a complete family.
The anxiety and stress started about 3 weeks ago when the first uk announcements were made. We made the decision to wait it out, see what would happen and if we could hopefully get away with it. But with each passing day the situation was getting worse, I was losing multiple bookings by the day and the week of my wedding, my income for the next 2 months disappeared to nothing.
Andy was amazing and he’s always the one who keeps me level headed when I need it. His words were until we hear otherwise the wedding is still happening, the work will come back and the loss isn’t really a loss, the money will come eventually. The venue and registrars also kept reassuring us but the anxiety didn’t stop. I hated my phone, every ping was sending me into an anxious mess and ill admit it now, I really wasn’t coping well.
So, what happened? Well we drove up to the venue the day before, had our wedding planning meeting around 8pm and as far as the venue were concerned everything was fine. But it wasn’t. They cancelled our wedding the next morning. Just as we were about to have breakfast, they told me the wedding was cancelled, and that none of my guests could enter the premises. Andy went into a whirlwind of phone calls and messages while I laid in a daze of nothingness, it was honestly one of the worst moments of my life. I couldn’t believe we had been that close, and that the venue had left it until the morning of my wedding to cancel. Even giving me a glimmer of hope by having the planning meeting the night before and reassuring me it was all still going ahead.
Looking back, maybe we were stupid for waiting it out. We already felt guilty for our guests coming all the way there with everything that was going on, but they all reassured us they still wanted to come no matter what and all told me not to cancel.
We were lucky the registrars were so accommodating, they said we could have the ceremony outside the venue and still legally get married. And in the moment when I was walking with my dad to Andy, I forgot about everyone else that was there, everything that had happened and what a nightmare this day had started as. I was marrying the love of my life, on the grass next to the lake with no chairs and social distancing applied. Afterwards we ate canapés and a beautiful cake made by my brother, had photos and drank beer and champagne that were wedding gifts. My family even rallied around their accommodation for glasses so we could have a drink afterwards. And when all our guests were gone, we ate room service burgers and watched game of thrones in our matching pjs. But did I care? Nope. I was the happiest I’ve been since having my son and to me my wedding day was perfect.
I’m thankful it happened, but in reality it probably wasn’t the most sensible decision. In light of the situation, we really do understand the venues reasons why, and to us, it really showed us what truly matters and what doesn’t. Because whether it was a month or 2 years from now, i would have still felt that joy and love when walking towards my husband. A wedding is about two people committing themselves and showing how much they love each other and that’s it. All the other stuff is just extra.
I’ll never forget my wedding day, to me it was perfect, and yours will be too no matter when it is ❤️
Keep yourselves and your family Safe, and I’ll see you on the other side!
Photography: Christina Michelle Photography
Editing: Sophie Atkins Photography
Videography : Axholme Media Productions
(Patrick didn’t attend in the end but we can’t wait to use him at our wedding reception!)
Flowers : Burghley Flower Centre
Dress : Rosea Bridal
Dress Alterations : The Dressworks Epworth