When today’s couple first became engaged, they never could have envisaged the way that 2020 would turn out – none of us could.
If you’re planning a wedding, if you’ve postponed or rearranged plans, every single reaction and feeling is completely valid and totally understandable. Some of you want to wait and have the day you first planned once you’re able to, and some of you have decided to go ahead and adapt what was originally planned.
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Whichever you decide is whatever is right for you, and we’re here to support you all through it. So without further ado, let’s get to the beautiful and charming, socially distanced, garden micro wedding of Janelle and Josh, who celebrated their marriage in July 2020.
Janelle is a dental student, and Josh is a doctor and surgical trainee, and they were married at the magnificent Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire; an eighteenth century country estate turned luxury hotel, where they held their ceremony in the lovely gardens.
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“With myself still being in dental school, and Josh working as a doctor, we thought we would give ourselves at least a year to plan our dream wedding. We had planned to have over 200 guests, many whom would be travelling internationally, in a large venue in the North. When Covid-19 hit, all our wedding plans had to be cancelled.”
“Whilst we were disappointed, we quickly realised that wedding celebrations would not be able to take place as we knew them for the foreseeable future. The most important part of the wedding day to us was the actual marriage, therefore we didn’t want to postpone our wedding. After so long being together, we were keen to start our married lives together.”
“We fully embraced having an intimate wedding. We loved that we could make this wedding so personal and really think about the details. We could really relax and have fun with all of our guests.”
Millie Stone UK Wedding Stationery designed and made a gorgeous suite of hand lettered stationery for Janelle and Josh, complete with copper wax seals. Background music was played using a PA system from Bespoke Events London.
Amazingly Janelle and Josh’s day – filled with sweetly personalised touches for themselves and their loved ones, was planned from scratch in two weeks. They spent a little time researching wedding planners online, and came across Hannah from Maple Rose Weddings, whose expertise was invaluable.
“Hannah was so warm, personable, and took everything in her stride. Her eye for detail and her creativity were exceptional. Our family and friends across the seas could all still join in our wedding via live stream, thanks to our lovely photographer and videographer who pulled together to make this possible for us. We had the most incredible team, working above and beyond to make this day the most special. We really felt everyone rooting for us.”
Janelle’s chosen gown was Stephanie Allin’s breathtaking ‘Monroe’; a beautiful confection of crepe, with a subtle mermaid silhouette, and delicate floral applique dancing across the skirt, bodice and over the shoulders. Janelle also wore the matching petal edged veil, and on her feet wore shoes from ASOS.
“I loved the off-the-shoulder neckline with the delicate petals.”
“My dress was from White Lace & Butterflies Boutique. They were so warm and helpful. They went above and beyond to make the process of finding a dress as enjoyable and relaxed as possible. For the dress fittings, they provided little packages containing face masks and gloves so everything felt very safe.
Janelle’s beautiful hair and make-up look was created by Claire from Mach Management, and her wedding day perfume was Chanel Chance. Jewellery, including an elegant pair of pearl drop earrings was by Tiffany & Co.
Josh wore a handsome dark blue three-piece suit with a white shirt and ivory tie and pocket square (sadly no details supplied about Josh’s outfit), and a pair of Dunhill cufflinks.
The couple’s lovely first look ahead of their ceremony was charmingly captured by Adam from ARJ Photography, who blends a contemporary documentary style with a brilliantly creative eye for colour and light.
“We loved Adam’s creative and natural approach to photography. On the day, Adam and Tom (our videographer) were so fun, easy-going, and blended in with our guests. He beautifully captured all the emotions, little moments and details. Every photo turned out incredibly and we could not be happier!”
Janelle’s bridesmaid wore a gold cowl-back dress from Oasis via John Lewis, and they both carried softly textured blush pastel bouquets of roses, lisianthus, peonies, astrantia and sprigs of greenery by Verdure Floral Design.
Janelle and Josh held their ceremony in the Four Seasons’ gardens, using the beautiful garden gates as a backdrop, with socially distanced seating arranged in front of them. Mini bottles of sanitiser with handwritten labels were thoughtfully placed on each guest’s chair.
“We wanted the ceremony to blend in with the beautiful gardens at Four Seasons Hampshire, which is why we chose to have gorgeous meadows of flowers down the aisle, and some simple decor on the gate.”
Janelle was accompanied down the aisle by her father wearing smart morning attire, and chose I Belong by Kathryn Scott as her entrance music.
The couple wanted to put their Christian faith at the heart of their day, and chose to make traditional vows, and included a Bible reading – Ephesians 5: 21-32. They chose their wedding rings at Phillip Stoner the Jeweller.
“Our families have known each other for a very long time, in fact Josh’s dad introduced my parents to each other! We would see each other every couple of years when my family would travel to India, where Josh’s family were living, or when Josh’s family would travel to the UK.”
“Around 8 years ago, when I travelled to do some work experience at a hospital in India, we met and immediately hit it off. We knew we wanted to try and make it work, despite the distance. We were in a long distance relationship for four years, before Josh graduated from medical school and moved over to the UK to start work. In July 2019 we finally got engaged on the cliffs in The Algarve, Portugal.”
For their wedding meal, one of the Four Seasons’ magnificent rooms was decorated for an intimate celebration.
Complementing the floral wallpaper and artwork in the rooms perfectly were table settings in shades of blush pink and rose gold, with gilded stemware and charger plates, cut crystal goblets, decanters and bottles containing pretty flowers, alongside antique candlesticks with long tapered candles.
“Each guest was given a salted caramel and white chocolate cakesicle on their place setting.”
“Because we had scaled the wedding right back due to the current global situation, we wanted to ensure there were plenty of personal touches that the guests would remember. We went through plenty of options with Hannah from Maple Rose. We loved the idea of creating welcome baskets in the bedrooms for each guest, which included an assortment of luxuries for them to use in the rooms as well as handmade jars of Masala Chai.”
Four Seasons Hampshire pulled out all the stops for the wedding feast, which began with creamy mushroom soup, followed by burrata with bull’s heart tomato, lamb’s lettuce and balsamic pearls, or cured Hampshire trout with cucumber and crème fraîche.
Delicious mains were dry aged rib eye with triple cooked potatoes, spinach and béarnaise sauce, or grilled aubergine with spelt and almond aioli. To finish, there were amazing sounding desserts of chocolate and hazelnut cake or summer vacherin with strawberries, yoghurt parfait and strawberry sorbet.
After all that incredible food, there was also cake, which was a spectacular three-tier naked drip cake decorated with flowers and macarons by Chelsey Cakes Brighton.
“Our favourite part of the day was watching the sunset whilst roasting marshmallows over the fire pit. We loved that we could have all our guests staying at the hotel, and we really got to spend time celebrating with them all. Although Josh’s parents couldn’t make it over from India, they were able to tune in to watch the ceremony, and had organised video messages to be shared.”
The cake was cut outside by the fire pit, and the newly married couple enjoyed a first dance together to Once in a Lifetime by Landon Austin.
Words of Wedded Wisdom
“Our wedding looked completely different to how we had planned. We really tried to be positive about the changing government guidelines, and saw it as an opportunity to think more creatively to make the day as unique and memorable as possible.”
“There was absolutely no stress because we knew we would be surrounded by close family and friends, and we knew Hannah was making sure everything ran smoothly in the background. We really had our dream wedding day, It was different to how we had envisaged a few months ago, but perfect for us.”
You certainly did that! Janelle and Josh, congratulations – how absolutely beautiful your day was, and thank you so much for sharing it with us. Many thanks to Tom Harrington for such a lovely film, and to Adam from ARJ Photography for this joyful, sun-drenched collection of images.