The couple kept their wedding a secret from friends and family, eloping at Lower Barns in Cornwall, followed by an intimate celebration on the beach.
Kayleigh always knew Zoe was the one, and that they would eventually get married. The proposal, although it was put together with so much thought, came at a spontaneous and authentic time. “I created a book of all the things I love about Kayleigh on the website Love Book Online, calling it The Story of Us. I knew I wanted to use it to propose but didn’t know when I’d do it, so would add pages to the book every day on my bus ride home from work. About 11 months and 69 pages later, I finally finished so I started thinking about the setting of my proposal.”
“I’m so bad at keeping surprises a secret from Kayleigh as I get overexcited and end up letting slip, so I knew organising something without giving anything away would be hard. I suggested a breakfast picnic at sunrise on West Wittering beach for my birthday, thinking with it being my birthday, she wouldn’t be suspicious of the extra effort. However, a few days before we were having one of our favourite evenings lounging on the sofa, eating and binge-watching Line of Duty and we were so happy and content that I realised that rather than try and create the perfect moment, this was the perfect moment.”
“Whilst Kayleigh was getting ready for bed, I put the book and ring under my pillow and waited, trying to hide my excitement and not grin like a Cheshire Cat. Once she got into bed, I told her I’d bought her something and gave her the book. When she finally got to page 67, I started manoeuvring myself onto one knee with the ring in hand. She then turned the final page to a caricature of me asking “Kayleigh, will you marry me?”. Weirdly enough, and without knowing it, I started the book on 1st May 2018 and proposed on 1st May 2019. We were in our little love bubble, curled up on the sofa and I had no idea that I would be engaged by the time I went to sleep!”.
The wedding day started with breakfast brought to the couple’s room by host Janie at Lower Barns. “Neither of us were nervous, we’d kept it a secret for 14 months and were so excited the day was finally here! Our hair stylist and makeup artist then arrived and made us feel like absolute queens. As it was an intimate ceremony, with just the two of us (aside from Paul & Suz – The Twigs witnessing), there were no outside influences which may have caused any stress and the day was very chilled. Once we were married, and after some cream scones and Champagne, the four of us went on a mini road trip around Cornwall looking for places to take photos, ending the day eating burgers and drinking shakes at Hub Box.”
The couples then arrived at Watergate Bay. “We continued to take photos, not realising it was high tide. We found a spot and started shooting but didn’t anticipate how quickly the tide would come in. For the most part we were stood on a rock so didn’t get too wet but poor Paul & Suz got soaked! As no one knew we were eloping we commissioned a Mrs & Mrs pennant and a vintage number plate saying ‘Happily Hitched’ with the idea of using a photo of them to announce our marriage to our family and friends.”
“Just do you. It’ll be one of the most special days in your lifetime, which hopefully you’ll only do once, so it should be exactly how you want it to be. When you look back at your photos you want to be reminded of how perfect it was, rather than remember the things you had to compromise on to make others happy.”
Photography: Twigs Branch Photography
Venue: Lower Barns
Flowers: Flourish Studio
Kayleigh’s Skirt: Sweet Caroline
Kayleigh’s Top, Zoe’s Trousers & Zoe’s Corset: Rose Savage Bridal
Makeup: Suzi Winter
Hair Stylist: Hair by Emma C
Rings: Baroque Jewellery
Pennant: Oxford Pennant
Number Plate: Slates Plates
with CLAIRE BOON and SARAH MACKLIN of Bouquet & Bells
This issue celebrates a variety of alternative real weddings and shoots, filled with ideas that are a little different to the norm. Find out more…
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