Real Weddings

Lace Details & a Bardot-Neckline for a Celestial Wedding at Willerby Barn – Sara & James

Sarah Symonds

Their journeys through life to date have taught Sara and James that it really is too short. So, when it came to getting wed, it was important to them just to go for it, tying that knot as soon as they possibly could – even if that meant reduced numbers in the midst of tier three chaos!

With the support of their amazing suppliers rallying round, today’s couple managed to rearrange their wedding over (and over!) and, in the end, have pulled off nothing short of stunning. Just look at those photos! That golden sunset is the stuff photography dreams are made of! Totally #blessed!

We love the touches of metallic and the moon and star details on the semi-naked cake, the mix and contrast of natural textures on the tablescape, and the dark green and burnt orange, peachy tones of the colour palette coming through in the beautiful floral arrangements and choice of bridesmaid dress. And we reckon the limited numbers just make everything that little bit more magical, intimate and exclusive. We caught up with the bride herself to find out how it all came together in the end…

With photography by UNVEILED Network Member Beyond the Frame Photography


Sara says: One sunny Autumn Sunday afternoon, on 21st October 2018, we took our little pug for an afternoon walk on the Beverley Westwood.

At the top of the open space, James got down on one knee and proposed! It was totally unexpected; I like to take charge of most things in our relationship and James knew if he planned something bigger I would have to be involved! This way it would be totally unexpected and be even more magical!


Originally, we planned our wedding for October 2020. Autumn is our favourite season!

This soon changed when Covid disrupted our plans. In July 2020 we postponed our special day and re-booked for February 2021.

As information regarding more lockdowns was leaked, we knew our February date could be in jeopardy again! So, we made the decision to bring the wedding forward to December – leaving us four months to plan everything again!

Then October saw us enter lockdown two! So, the plans were on hold again and we’d have to wait until November to see if we could get married and find out which tier we’d be in. The announcement was finally made that we were in tier three! However, that did mean weddings of only 15 can go ahead, and once again the race was on to plan our special day1

We had our wedding at Willerby Barn. We always imagined ourselves getting married in a barn venue. We live in the country so this suited us and our personality.


Boho, rustic, dark and moody tones. Our theme changed when we changed our wedding date. We used props like stars, crescent moons and low lighting with dark green, gold and burnt orange/brown.


I actually visited lots of wedding shops but found my dress at a local shopping park, and brought it home that day from the shop, costing £600. That was a lot less than I had budgeted, leaving me with more funds to splash out on accessories.

My veil actually cost more than my dress from Ghost Orchid Bridal, Hull. The designer is Alexandra Grecco.


The men wore rustic tweed suits from a local shop in Hull, Leonard Silver.


The bridesmaid dress was a green dress from ASOS!


Rachel Key did my makeup while UNVEILED Network Member Unity Rhodes took care of hair.


Beyond the Frame’s Aaron is the best! So chilled and makes everyone relaxed. Our families loved him!

We got so many natural shots, which is exactly what we wanted. We also love the fact that he captured the day perfectly, taking photos of our guests in masks etc. We can look back at these and really imagine the tough times we had experienced. We hope that future generations can look at these to understand what getting married in a pandemic looked like.


UNVEILED Network Member florist Bloom and Bridal are gorgeous! Loved them so much. Even the registrar at my pre-interview said, “Wait till you see the flowers! They are amazing”.

Born Boho’s Claire is brilliant. She changed our booking to suit our new date and helped with amending the colour scheme. Getting married in a pandemic is stressful but Claire was always at the end of the phone to offer us advice. I would recommend her to anyoneQ You really get that personal experience. We were lucky to find her!

Paige & Co took care of our stationery and Suzanne Oddy Design was behind the cake topper and prints.


My boss made the cake! We didn’t have the time to get a cake maker in less than four weeks so everyone came together to help us! It made everything seem that bit more special, the fact that our closest friends helped us to create our day.

Thanks to

Claire at Born Boho! Claire was so supportive! She helped amend our props, colours and quantities to suit our new date and accommodate the drastic drop in our numbers.

Unfortunately wedding fairs had been cancelled throughout our wedding planning. Therefore, I used resources that I did have to hand, which were mainly online. Brides up North’s Instagram really helped with planning and support throughout the pandemic.

Best bit

Waiting outside the venue in the car, seeing all my family inside, all dressed up and waiting for me to arrive!


Covid hasn’t allowed us to book anything yet!


Our top tip would be to try to enjoy every minute, it goes so quickly. Always remember your wedding is about you two, not the party for everyone else!

Also, make sure you get the important photos with close family and friends! One day a photo may be all we have of our memories.

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