Gemma & Luke’s Intimate Wedding in Kent

Six weeks prior to September 11th 2020, while we were in a Global Pandemic & weddings had all sorts of restrictions, Gemma & Luke decided to plan their wedding in Kent! While most were cancelling their plans, they decided to just go for it and as I write this post on 4th November 2020, 1 day before we are going into lockdown, I can imagine that they are more pleased than ever that they did.

I was really surprised…and not to mention excited…when I received Gemma & Luke’s enquiry. Having had the majority of my 2020 weddings postpone, I was so happy at the prospect of getting to capture their day for them. I adore The Beacon as a venue and I just loved their whole outlook on everything.

The day was utterly amazing and The Beacon in Tunbridge Wells had changed so much since I was last there. The ceremony took place in their Amphitheatre which is surrounded by woodland and as it’s such a big space, there was no problem when it came to social distancing for any of us working or for the guests, making it such an ideal venue right now.

I did a little interview with Gemma as I love to hear the love story behind the wedding day and I wanted to find out what she thought about having an intimate wedding too. With so many weddings having to be postponed and the future still so uncertain, I’ve had so many couples contact me and say that they would now be grateful for the original number of 30 people and so, I thought it would be good to hear from some of my 2020 brides to hear how their day went. I hope it offers some reassurance to my 2021 brides who are still looking to go ahead with a more intimate wedding day. Over to Gemma….

How We Met
In a pub…..I was on my work xmas do dressed as father xmas (not the sexy kind either!) and Luke was visiting his sister. Me and my work friends just ended up chatting to them all, we obviously caught each others eye! He left and I was saying I thought he was nice to my friends then I looked out the window and he was outside and he had come back. I went out and he said he couldn’t stop thinking about me and could he have my number?

The Proposal
I thought we were going to Cardiff for the weekend, the night before he came home and said we aren’t going to Cardiff we are going to Florence, he wanted to thank me for everything id done for him and his son Zac and I’d always wanted to go to Italy with him. the first night we were there we went to the look out point over Florence and we had champagne and he got down on one knee and asked me!

The VisionWe just wanted to get married, we always wanted a small intimate wedding, discussed going abroad and also just running away the two of us.

The Planning Process
We decided 6 weeks before we were just going to do it! as we wanted a small wedding so covid wouldn’t affect us. Also wanted to do it on what would have been my mum and dads 44th wedding anniversary. We just made quick decisions and Luke said he would rather I was stressed and didn’t sleep for 6 weeks than a year! It wasn’t actually stressful because it was a small wedding.

The Venue
I went to The Beacon the night I met Luke for my work xmas do (before going to the pub where I met him) I always loved it there and I’d been a few times and always thought how lovely it would be for a wedding. When we decided we wanted to get married I said lets see The Beacon…. Luke liked it and we just booked it!

Outfits & Accessories
We got Zac’s suit first (a lovely blue, quite bright) then Luke chose his around that. Luke’s favourite colour is orange so that was the colour scheme. I went to Emma Tindleys in East Grinstead, she is a dress designer and I was hoping to find one I liked as she said she wouldn’t have time to make one. I liked the top of one dress and the bottom of another and she very kindly said she would squeeze it in so I got my dream dress.

Mum found lovely burnt orange dresses on ASOS and loved them and they looked lovely. I didn’t have a veil. I wore mums pearl earrings (something borrowed) and my grandmas wedding ring and my great grandmas engagement ring (something old) Emma sewed a blue crystal inside my dress so I had my new and blue. The boys had lovely burnt orange ties and floral handkerchiefs and pageboys had floral bow ties.

Hair & Makeup
Mine and my two bridesmaids hair was done by my school friend and regular hairdresser Hayley Pratt, I wanted a classic look which i think we achieved. Make up was Rachel Shram recommended to me by Hayley, I don’t wear a lot of make up so I wanted it very subtle and not over the to. Luke said in his speech I looked amazing but he knew it would be the peak! Ha ha

Sue Carter. Knew of her from her daughters. She was brilliant and we were so happy with the flowers, they were all amazing. The oranges went so well together, loved the table decorations too. She decorated the sweet and cheese cake with flowers for us too and did a great job of covering the collapsing sweet cake!

HoneymoonWe have been advised by a travel agent to wait if we can due to covid there are a lot of boarders closed and if we got somewhere we are unlikely to be able to leave the hotel and we want it to be the best time so we are happy to wait. We had a weekend away in a hotel with a voucher that we got as a wedding present and we took Zac away to a caravan last week just to do something while we wait.

Memorable Moments
All of it! ….apart from the evening as I got too drunk! I just loved marrying Luke, walking down the aisle with Zac. We are committed foodies so it was all about the food! Being a small wedding meant we could go all out on the food and drink which is what we love. Mum and Luke’s speeches were amazing. Big highlight pretending to throw my bouquet and turning to give it to my bridesmaid then turning her round to find her boyfriend on one knee proposing 😊😊

Just having all the closest people to us all together eating and drinking and dancing and having fun, just a magical day all round and I want to do it again!

Advice for other couples
o many people said to me take a moment to take it all in and don’t get too drunk and I didn’t listen and I really regret it and wish I had……. so that would definitely be my advice to all couples getting married. Its just goes so quickly and is a bit of a blur, just take it all in and seriously don’t drink too much! Have a honeymoon booked to stop the ani climax. I wish I was more prepared for how I was going to feel after but I think a honeymoon would have helped.

How did you find having a small and intimate wedding?
ust loved it, not too hard to plan, you have time to talk to everyone, you can focus on the things YOU want rather than being about 100 other guests. Relaxed and easy. Would highly recommend it. Speaking to everyone as we were planning it, they all said the small intimate ones are the best and people that had already got married and had the big weddings all said they wished they had done what we were doing

the beacon tunbridge wells wedding ceremony
bridal party the beacon tunbridge wells
bridal party the beacon tunbridge wells
bridal party the beacon tunbridge wells
bridal party the beacon tunbridge wells
bridal party the beacon tunbridge wells

I love to hear about how couples meet and how the proposals happen. Gemma & Luke’s story is so romantic and just like something from a movie! It really made me smile. 

If you are thinking about having a smaller wedding (when restrictions lift and hopefully life begins to return to normal) it can be quite reassuring to hear that it can be just as lovely.