Natalie and Simon met on her very first day of her gap year in South Africa. She says that it took her a year to realise that she was in love with him! The first two years of their relationship was long distance – he lived in Leicester and she lived in Chichester, but they had one day in London a month and they made every moment count. Natalie says that Simon is the funniest man she has ever met! One Saturday morning, Natalie’s housemate woke her up by waving a letter in her face. It was from Simon, informing Natalie that the day would be rather different from the one she had expected…
The proposal involved a fun treasure hunt for letters with instructions that took her to a train station’s coffee shop where her favourite coffee was waiting, on the train to London, to a flower stall for a single red rose, and finally on the tube to a private London garden, where Simon was standing waiting, in the cold, bright sunshine – with the ring! Natalie and Simon are both Christians, and so for them the ceremony was the most important part of the day. Simon’s grandpa is a retired bishop, so it was an “incredible privilege” to have him marry them. Natalie recalls one of her best memories – standing at the front of the church and realising all of a sudden that she was finally Mrs Lloyd!
The evening reception had a bonfire night theme, involving a keg of ale, hot spiced cider, soup and jacket potatoes with a choice of delicious fillings. Humble and hearty food was just perfect for this wonderful day! Natalie looked gorgeous in her Maggie Sottero gown, which she had had her eye on for ages. She accessorised with a chapel-length veil and, because she is quite tall, lace pumps from Rocket Dog. Simon’s dark blue slim-fit suit was from Moss Bros, which he wore with a white shirt and a gold silk tie and pocket square, with bright yellow socks. Natalie had found a photo on Pinterest and they managed to replicate the look perfectly!
The bride had six bridesmaids and two bubble girls (instead of scattering petals, they blew bubbles!), the maids were old and dear friends of Natalie’s and Simon’s best friend from childhood, who turned up from abroad as a surprise to him! The bridesmaids chose and paid for their own dresses as their wedding gift to the couple. The only condition was that they had to be bright orange, bright pink or coral! One of Simon’s favourite moments was standing up to do his speech. Seeing the room full of the most important people to him, telling everyone how awesome Natalie is and making them cry was “incredible!”
The autumnal, rustic theme started in the church with the flowers, which the church florist did brilliantly. Most of the other decorations were made by Natalie herself, and they borrowed metres and metres of fairy lights to enhance the fairytale look. The cake table was a joint effort, with Natalie’s dad chopping up tree trunk ‘rounds’, her mum making vintage cake stands and a friend’s garden providing leaves and pine cones to decorate around the homemade cakes. Natalie loves cupcakes with a passion, but had so much to do in the lead up to her wedding that she enlisted the help of Georgina Beck to help. They were three types of cupcake, including chocolate, apple and caramel and carrot. They looked too good to eat but were heavenly, “just as cupcakes should be,” says Natalie! Natalie’s mum made over 100 tiny jars of marmalade as favours, which doubled up as place names. This lovely couple’s first dance was to Ben Howard’s Only Love and they enjoyed a wonderful honeymoon in Edinburgh.
Ceremony: St Paul’s Church, Chichester
Reception: Barnham Community Hall
Dress: Maggie Sottero
Groom: Suit from Moss Bros
Florist: Gracie from The Flower Gallery
Photographer: Natalie and Simon won their wedding photographer, Martin Pemberton,
in a Wedding Ideas competition!