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Andrew & Camilla’s SURPRISE wedding, with Damien Vickers Photography

A treat from pre-lockdown times! I LOVE how Andrew and Camilla casually mention that they gatecrashed their own daughter’s christening… to get married! Surprise weddings are the best thing in the world… and the images from this gorgeous pair’s day tell such a lovely story. This is such a heartwarming story, and I hope in this week of turmoil for everyone, it will bring a smile. Andrew and Camilla are gorgeous – I love everything about their day. A few of my personal highlights – Camilla got changed behind the organ. Godparents found out about the wedding the day before – with a surprise stag / hen meal – where they found out they were best men & bridesmaids too! Their dog is with them every step of the way… The photos are wonderful – they bring a tear to my eye every time I see them. Huge thanks to English Wedding member and talented Cambridge wedding photographer Damien Vickers Photography for sharing his images with us. I hope you love them.“english

Andrew & Camilla's SURPRISE wedding, with Damien Vickers Photography (27)

Wedding photographer’s website

https://www.damienvickersphotography.co.uk

How did you choose your photographer?

We advertised for a wedding photographer online and had eight replies. One of these replies was from Damien. Straight away we were blown away by his natural and intimate style of photography. He seemed to be able to capture individuals’ emotions within each shot bringing special moments to life. We contacted Damien and he came to our house to chat through the process and from that first meeting we felt at ease and trusted his judgement. We only had a 5 week engagement and were so lucky that Damien was available. We married on a Sunday otherwise we would have had to wait at least a year for him!

Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!

We were thrilled with Damien’s photos. The photo album we received was a beautifully presented visual story of the day. Damien was somehow able to capture each precious moment yet on the day itself he was quietly present; we believe that’s a real skill for any wedding photographer. Our photos were the best gift we could have chosen to cherish our day.

Andrew & Camilla's SURPRISE wedding, with Damien Vickers Photography (41)

Videographer details if applicable – and any thoughts for other couples about having a wedding video?

We did not have a videographer. There is not one single thing we would have changed about our day, it was everything we had every hoped for and more, but I think we would have liked to have had a video of it alongside our photos. But perhaps the way we remembered it and our memories of it as the way it was are enough- we just wish we could do it all again!

Tell us about your venue – what made this place special for you?

We married at Camilla’s local church in the village near to where we she grew up. The reception was at the pub which was a short walk from the church. Camilla worked at the pub as a teenager and we have frequented it ever since. We had a vicar marry us and a trainee vicar who was Camilla’s neighbour at her childhood home.

Andrew & Camilla's SURPRISE wedding, with Damien Vickers Photography (40)

Did you love wearing your outfits? How was the dress / suit shopping experience?

Camilla bought her dress online from French Connection. She ordered several from their collection and fell in love with one of them but it was too big. She ordered the next size down which fitted but was very busty! So she took it to a local seamstress who took material from the bottom of the dress to make a panel across the bust. By the time this all took place the dress was ready for collection two days before the wedding. It was steamed and collected by Camilla’s mother. The first time Camilla tried it on was to wear it down the aisle and although fortunately it fitted perfectly, she had left the price tag on so felt a sharp jab whislt walking down the aisle!
Andrew was working long hours up until the day of the wedding so Camilla chose and bought his shoes, shirt, and designed and bought his cufflinks as a gift. The suit and waistcoat he already owned.

Did you hire a florist? Tell us about any floral amazingness

We used the local Florist, Fleurs Artisan, which is also a grocer’s. We had sunflowers and daisies in a jar for the tables at the pub, daisy head bands for the flower girls, sunflower on the dog’s collar, and Camilla had a small bouquet of seasonal flowers in whites and purples. They were so helpful and friendly and were taking our orders only a fortnight before the big day and dropped off the flowers at the church and pub on the morning of our day.

Andrew & Camilla's SURPRISE wedding, with Damien Vickers Photography (33)

As cake lovers here at English Wedding we’d LOVE to know who made your cake, and how delicious it was?

Camilla’s mother made a wonderful wedding cake. It was elderflower dressed with real flowers. She also made a fruit cake for our daughter as it was her christening that we decided to gatecrash and get married as a surprise for our guests!

Tell us about any special personal touches, or creative projects you made yourselves

We didn’t make anything ourselves (we didn’t have time!) but the personal aspect for us was that we had organised the day for our daughter’s christening. We were so blown away by the effort people were prepared to make to attend this (originally a church service followed by home made sandwiches in the village hall). We had family travel over from France, Spain, and relatives that were attending on route to a holiday in Portugal later that day. We decided to surprise them all with a wedding (Camilla got changed behind the organ into a wedding dress) and grabbed our two eldest nieces to be flower girls and follow behind her. We also surprised them with a change in reception venue and catering afterwards! Our parents and siblings knew beforehand. Camilla’s dad escorted her down the aisle and our brothers were witnesses. The day before the wedding we told our daughter’s godparents that we were getting married and we had respective hen/stag dos that day with a meal all together the night before. So they doubled up as godparents and best men/bridesmaids.

Did you personalise your vows or have any wedding readings? What were they?

We had a wedding reading from Camilla’s bridesmaid and our daughter’s godmother. It was Corinthians. The trainee vicar also spoke about us as a couple and family to unite the christening and wedding ceremony.

Andrew & Camilla's SURPRISE wedding, with Damien Vickers Photography (38)

 

What was your first dance song? Why did you choose it?

We didn’t have a first dance however, we chose Ultralife by Oh Wonder for the song we walked out of the church to, ‘blood running in my veins, I’ve never been here before, and I got love falling like the rain, I never could of have asked for more, I got so much inside my bones, take a look at me now, I’m young, forever in the sun, ever since you came, I’m living Ultralife’. Chorus sums it up! One of our favourite bands and song.

We chose to have Joel Grainger play in the church and reception. He is an incredibly talented musician. We first saw him busking in Cambridge two years before our wedding. We found him on Spotify and have listened to him ever since. Camilla used his music as part of hypnobirthing in preparation to have our daughter. We contacted him a month before our wedding/christening and he was able to come. It felt like all our Christmases had come at once. We could not decide on a song for Camilla to come down the aisle to and we agreed and decided two days before to have his version of Pachelbel’s canon. He plays the violin and uses looping to build his melodies.

Favourite wedding suppliers

Photographer- Damien Vickers
Florist- Fleurs Artisan
Venue and Food- The Swan Inn of Hoxne
Musician- Joel Grainger

Andrew & Camilla's SURPRISE wedding, with Damien Vickers Photography (1)
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Andrew & Camilla's SURPRISE wedding, with Damien Vickers Photography (42)

 

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at www.byMoonandTide.com. Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.

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