Becky Freeth, 27, married Lewis Smith, 27, at Northbrook Park in Surrey on 2nd March 2018. She says:
I had planned our day to the tiniest detail, with 'springtime' in mind. Though quietly confident the sun would come out for us on the day, I kept joking that it might snow in March... But nothing could have prepared us for the heaviest snowfall the UK has seen for years. Suddenly faced with a frozen venue – in the infamous grips of The Beast from the East - my inner control freak had no choice but to ‘let it go’!
For starters, we never expected to be delegating tasks like ordering £600-worth of last-minute pizzas or finding a string quartet available to play in the next four hours, but my bridesmaids really rose to the challenge. When our evening caterers and musicians pulled out on the morning of the wedding, we'd never even dreamed of the kind of support my bridal party gave us. Meanwhile, the groomsmen were shovelling snow from the driveway, planning a back-up playlist for our ceremony and shuttling snowed-in guests from the local station. It was at this point that we knew we’d picked the best people in our lives to have around in a crisis!
And everything fell beautifully into place. Our ivory and blush colour scheme now had the perfect backdrop: a white wedding with a subtle nod to spring. Our photographer, Philippa Sian, also captured the most spectacular photos. Two feet of snow and sub-zero temperatures didn't stop Philippa and her team getting those all-important outdoor shots. Thick snowflakes fell throughout, which saw us juggling umbrellas and coats just to stave off the chill, but thawing out over our first warm cup of tea as a married couple made it all worthwhile.
Instead of hymns and readings, we broke our ceremony up with an informal singalong. Conducted by Lewis’ musically-minded younger brother, it featured two of our favourite romantic songs: My Girl and Stand By Me. It was the first time that my nerves subsided and I looked up to see snowflakes falling outside and our guests laughing and smiling. It was such a warm and fuzzy moment.
Floor-sweeping lace and Bardot-style sleeves were my only criteria during the wedding dress hunt. I tried not to look at too much inspiration because I didn’t want an endless search for a dream dress that didn’t exist. Bit it didn’t take me long to say yes to the heavenly Pronovias Dracane gown. I fell in love with the exquisite floral lace, which I’m hoping to repurpose in the future.
My feathery Prada shoes were a very special gift to myself, while multi-roling as my 'something blue’ on the day. After seeing them featured in Condé Nast Brides, I called every store in London to track down a pair in my size! And I'll never forget the experience of buying them at Harrods with my best friend. Luckily, they didn’t have to go anywhere near the snow, because I packed a pair of green Hunter Welly Boots at the last-minute!
My genius hair and make-up artist, Ashley from Butterfly Hair & Make-Up, helped me create my dream bridal hairstyle. I’d seen a cascade of gypsophila worn in a bride’s hair online and asked her if we could do it. She quickly sussed the style, experimenting with brown thread, hair pins and individual stems ahead of the big day. It was exactly what I wanted. What’s more, the white buds mirrored the day's surprise snowfall.
Photographs by Philippa Sian Photography