We’ve shared so many of Maria and Dan’s photos on our socials and website. Though we realised we hadn’t actually blogged them yet! They had a cute village hall wedding in Suffolk; honestly, these are often the best types of weddings.
Maria is a huge Taylor Swift fan (just like us) so it only made sense to blog about their wedding today; on the release date of Taylor’s new album Midnights.
Be prepared for 200-odd photos of awesomeness and giggles. Grab yourself a cuppa, put on midnights and enjoy! This blog includes words from Maria and Dan themselves.
Maria and Dan – thank you for doing the blog questions and for making us laugh!
We’re both from Lowestoft and apart from a 3-year stint in Lincoln while I, Maria was at University, we’ve lived here all our lives. Currently we both work for the same charity but in different roles. We spend a lot of time together watching TV shows, playing on the Xbox and planning our next holiday (usually Disney). Our very spoilt and gorgeous cat was we adopted in December 2020.
Our first meeting was while both working at the same holiday resort. Dan was a Chef and I was a Waitress so we got to know each other in that setting. There was quite a lot of flirting over a period of 7 months before Dan finally asked me out on a date!
Hats off to Maria’s Mum for these next few photos. We swapped places so I (Lisa) could do up Maria’s dress. She let me know she was into photography and I thought it would be really special to give her my camera on her Daughter’s wedding day.
We both agreed that we wanted a day that was relaxed, welcoming and fun. It was important to us that our guests to feel that they were genuinely thought of during every part of our day. We tried to be as accommodating as possible in terms of food, entertainment and the general festival vibe that we went for.
We were legally married in September 2020 so our ceremony on our ‘wedding day’ could be whatever we wanted it to be. We wrote the ceremony ourselves. One of Daniel’s brothers (and Best Men) was asked to be our officiant. He did a fantastic job on the day. The venue had a beautiful dining room/conservatory which gave us lots of natural light and plenty of space for our guests to be seated.
At the end of the ceremony, we were surprised with a recreation of the iconic ‘All You Need Is Love’ scene from Love Actually. This was organised by Maria’s best friend and maid of honour Ches and my mum. Musicians were appearing out of nowhere and two of my siblings pulled out their own instruments. It was just the absolute best and most special moment, setting the tone for the rest of the day.
We started casually planning our wedding right after getting engaged in September 2018. We were living in Lincoln at the time. We’d set a date for September 2020 but like many couples, we were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Originally we were going to have our registry office ceremony on the 1st of September 2020. That would be the most basic and cheap option. We’d follow up with our wedding day on the 5th of September. Neither of us wanted to wait another year to be married so we went ahead with the registry office as planned and postponed our celebration to September 2021.
The thing we booked first was the venue. I’d visited it as a child and had it in mind as somewhere that would be ideal. Dan agreed as soon as we visited together. An easy decision was booking Lisa & Neil as our photographers as we already knew we loved their style.
With Dan’s catering background, we were confident that we could make the food and drinks side of things a success. We approached it by thinking about what food we’d like at a wedding if we were guests. A friend agreed to cater with their team and we were able to pin down a menu. The wedding breakfast was Pieminister pies for main course. Our dessert table gave lots of choice for all dietary requirements.
It wasn’t the easiest to stay on track with planning a postponed wedding. We weren’t even not sure if we’d even be able to have it. That meant a fair amount of last-minute planning! The bulk of it was really done in the final 3 months.
Five days before the day, our catering team, unfortunately, caught COVID. Whilst we still had all the food, they weren’t able to attend themselves and cook/serve as planned.
We were luckily able to pull a small team together. We are so grateful to them for stepping in at the last minute. It was very stressful but was funny in an “of COURSE this would happen to us” kind of way! We knew that one way or another we’d be able to feed our guests.
There were a couple of moments that stand out –
1) Our youngest niece vocally yawned during the ceremony
2) Watching our guests use the photo booth and props that we’d set out for them. It was something that was just there all day and night so we ended up with hundreds of photos from it
3) The silent disco at the end of the night was hilarious. We had two music channels and our guests were really getting into it which is funny to watch.
Dan never cries, and this did not change on our wedding day – rude.
I was expecting to be emotional in the morning while getting ready but I was having too much fun with croissants, party music and my bridesmaids. I did cry throughout the ceremony starting from when Dan was saying his vows and during ‘All You Need Is Love’.
We genuinely wouldn’t change anything about how the day turned out and we and all our guests had so much fun. There were many things that didn’t go to plan but overall it really didn’t matter or spoil the day. For other couples, if you have things that are really important to you then have contingencies in place and delegate specific tasks to people to help the day run smoothly, but then just relax and enjoy the day for what it is.
Maria’s mum asked if she could plan all of the entertainment as a surprise, which we agreed to. It was amusing to have no idea what to expect in the run-up to the day and we loved finding out as things happened. We know that it’s not for everyone to relinquish control of something to that extent, but it was perfect for us. We ended up with an acapella group, a party band and a Taylor Swift tribute, with the set lists all being curated to our tastes so there was a great variety.