Real Wedding: A Magical Yurt Celebration
Florence and Simon Rose, from Somersham, celebrated their nuptials over two days, culminating with a fabulous reception in a fairy-light festooned yurt in the family garden
Our wedding and reception were actually on two different days. We held our official wedding at The Old Bridge Hotel in Huntingdon. This was an intimate day, with our immediate families and Florence’s grandparents. We have often eaten at The Old Bridge and knew their dining room would be perfect to host our ceremony and a sit-down lunch. Readings were given by Florence’s Grandad and Simon’s Dad and it was a really special day when both families were able to relax, unwind and enjoy.
Two days later the reception took place in Florence’s parents’ garden in Godmanchester. We had a tepee for the celebrant-led ceremony, given by Simon’s mother Christine, followed by the reception, held in the yurt, where everyone ate, drank and danced. The garden looked magical covered in fairy lights, with archways leading from the tepee to the yurt. Flowers by Hattie and Flora Ltd decorated ceiling wreaths, arches and table décor. It was very special to Simon, Florence and her family that the reception was able to be celebrated and hosted in the garden.
Simon: I had the proposal in the pipeline for a few months; I had wanted it to be both a time for me and Florence to have together and one we could share with our families. So, when it came to the annual Christmas celebration for Florence’s family, I couldn’t think of a better time. I had already asked Florence’s Dad, Matthew, for her hand in marriage, so after pre-warning him the date had been chosen, the planning began.
We went for Christmas lunch and with Matthew distracting Florence’s family, I rushed her back to the house we had recently renovated, saying we needed to get it ready to show Florence’s family around. After pulling Florence away from cleaning, I got down on one knee and asked her to marry me. She said yes! Which is when both Matthew arrived with Florence’s family and my family ran down the street to share in the celebration. Matthew cracked open some bubbly he had packaged up in cool boxes, wrapped up inside Amazon cardboard boxes (sneaky) for everyone to raise a glass.
Florence: I wore a Jenny Packham wedding dress from The Bride boutique in St Albans. It was fully beaded, and I absolutely loved the organic design of the beading, cascading down the dress like branches. For my something old and borrowed I wore a nearly 100-year-old veil, belonging to my great grandmother and for my something new and blue, I wore blue velvet L. K. Bennet shoes with a jewelled bow on them.
We created a cosy, magical and boutique-style atmosphere in the yurt, with the top table placed in the centre of the room, with plenty of drink and food on sharing platters.
The tables were themed on places in the Devon seaside town of Salcombe, where Florence’s family and grandparents had holidayed for years. Each table was named after a place Simon and Florence had visited in Salcombe, with each guest being given a Salcombe Gin favour and the children having Simon and Florence’s favourite sweets from the Salcombe Original Cranch’s Sweet shop.
Our favourite moment was the speeches, given by Simon, Florence’s father Matthew and the two best men, Will and Matt. The best men brought the laughter, Florence’s father the thoroughly thought-through metaphor of the meeting of the Red Kite (Simon) and the Little Owl (Florence) and Simon the heartfelt emotion.
When Simon and I looked around the yurt, during the speeches, to a room full of our nearest and dearest we felt very lucky to see them all laughing, crying, cheering for more and even whipping napkins round their heads!
We tried to think of little things here and there that would make the wedding extra special for the guests and an amazing experience for Simon and I. Most of the surprises were when it came to the music; the band Charlie and the Funk Factory, played the ‘Salcombe song’ otherwise known as ‘At the River’ by Groove Armada, for Florence and her father’s entrance, in a flash mob style, with the band popping up from the guest seating and Florence’s friend, Millie, singing the vocals. To close the ceremony, the band, bridesmaids and groomsmen also all encouraged a sing along to ‘All You Need Is Love’ by the Beatles. Our first dance was then, to our surprise, performed by Millie again.
Photography by Lina and Tom, at linaandtom.com
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More by this authorLouise Cummings