Dee and Ben met at Hartpury University in Gloucestershire. “He had come to the UK on a rugby exchange through his college in New Zealand and we were friends at first,” Dee tells us. “It wasn’t until Ben came back to the UK for the second time that our relationship began. We hung out together a few times and then, at my friend’s fancy dress party, I realised that a half-naked Samoan dressed as Wonder Woman was the man for me!”
The couple became engaged during a surprise proposal in Cornwall. “I knew that Dee’s favourite place is Cornwall because she spent many years there during her childhood, and because her lucky number is 27, I decided to propose for her 27th birthday on the 27/7/2017,” Ben tells us. “Having never visited Cornwall, I didn’t know which location I was going to choose to pop the question. After deciding on one of the region’s most beautiful beaches, Pedn Vounder, we made our way to the water’s edge only to discover that it’s an unofficial naturist beach! I changed my mind about asking her there and instead, headed back to a small but beautiful part of the coast close to where we were staying. I packed a cream tea picnic with prosecco, found a tranquil spot and asked Dee to marry me with our dog, Rodger, present.” Dee adds, “Ben isn’t the typical romantic type so just how he proposed like he did still surprises me and there’s not a single thing I would change. It was just magical and we went for one of the best meals ever afterwards in a small fishing village. The ring was incredible - Ben had remembered the design of one I had liked when a friend got married six years previously, and that was the one he proposed with. Jeweller Andrew Scott also made our wedding bands and we pop in to say ‘hi’ whenever we’re in Cheltenham.”
Our photographers, Jo and Nic, recommended Cripps Barn to the couple and they were right in thinking that it would suit them. "We both loved how rustic it was, retaining the natural beauty that old barns have whilst ensuring an idyllic setting for a wedding," Dee tells us. "I think the layout works really well and everything just flows.
The ceremony area, terrace,and views of the fields opposite were what decided it for us and I arranged to arrive at the venue in a horse and carriage."
Ben made the table plan using old floorboards. "It's a map of the world," Dee tells us. "We organised the seating plan by mixing our loved ones up and sitting them together which worked well because there were lots of different nationalities."
The couple used luggage craft tags as place name cards and for the table names. "They tied in with the travel theme of the table plan and we wrote the name of each country in a font and design relevant to that place," Dee says. "Our bold pink napkins added a burst of colour."
The couple's centrepieces were made using simple yet beautiful flower varieties. "I loved our florist's relaxed, country style," Dee tells us. "I wanted hanging flowers in the ceremony area and the final arrangements were wonderful.
We also strung photographs of ourselves around the venue and our naked cake took centre stage, decorated with fresh flowers by our florist."
Cripps Barn did the couple's catering during the day. "The food was outstanding and we also had one of our friends, Mat Gilbert who owns the Galloping Barista and Gumbie's Wood Fired Pizza, make the most incredible brownies for the evening, which also went down a treat."
"I wore a dress by the designer Caroline Castigliano and teamed it with a bolero from Sassi Holford and a veil from Sarah Elizabeth Bridal Boutique in Cheltenham," Dee tellsus. "I wanted a wedding dress that was slimline and elegant. It made me feel incredible and was the perfect dress for both me and the venue."
The couple's bridesmaids wore pastel lilac silk dresses and Ben and his groomsmen wore navy suits with pink ties and pocket squares. "Ben chose a different waistcoat and belt to stand out, and wore a hint of tweed as a nod to our country theme, while our dog, Rodger, wore a custom collar and pink bow tie to match! It made us both smile so much seeing him."
"We hired the musician John Adams who was incredible," Dee tells us. "Just having our loved ones join us from all over the world including Canada, America, New Zealand and the Maldives was enough entertainment and we circulated the tables to talk to all of our guests between the courses of the wedding breakfast which we enjoyed.
I would recommend to any couple getting married to do that because the time goes by so quickly so it's nice to relax with guests during a very busy day! Ben's parents had travelled to the UK for the first time which was very special for him and it was wonderful to spend some time with everyone after the wedding."
Engagement and wedding rings
Groom's boys' suits
Venue & Catering