A sunrise wedding for Andy & Olivia at the Roman Baths, with Damien Vickers Photography
Doing things differently will make your wedding unforgettable. I’ve been so excited to share Olivia & Andy’s day because they changed every expectation about what a wedding ‘should’ be. Their ceremony location is incredible, but not only that: they were married at sunrise. Every little bit of this wedding is just amazing, and we just know you’ll love it. We’ll share photos over the weekend on our instagram – do follow @englishweddingblog and of course the couple’s fantastic Cambridge wedding photographer @damien_vickers_photography as well!
“We recommend to any couple to consider an early morning ceremony. It allows you to have a break in the middle of your day where you can chill, chat to loved ones and bask in the day. Nothing feels too rushed and then you are ready to take on the food and parties into the evening!”
Wedding photographer’s website
How did you choose your photographer?
Damien focuses on candid, happy moments rather than structured traditional poses and that was exactly what we wanted as our whole wedding was about creating memories and celebrating our friends and loved ones. Most of our suppliers were friends!
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!
Yes Damien was so responsive and gave so much energy and time so it was great value. No photo was too much trouble and he just rolled with it. He was with us from sunrise until late into the evening always with a smile and blending with our guests at our tiny wedding. We got 5 immediate shots to share our news after, a beautiful bespoke slideshow and then a great categorised digital gallery plus discounted prints.
Tell us about your venue – what made this place special for you?
For our ceremony, we opted for The Roman Baths and it was simply magical for our ceremony as they allowed us to have the ceremony at sunrise. We met in a Museum and we love the thought of all the history on the ground beneath us where we made our vows. We were able to watch the sunrise with the flames lit and the steam coming off the Grand Bath.
After the sunrise vows, to warm all our guests up after an outdoor ceremony we took them to the beautiful independent Scandi cafe around the corner in Abbey Churchyard. Run by Chris, we were totally spoiled with delicious treats and coffees and a local busker called Merlin.
We had a whole weekend celebration so we rented an entire Manor House called The Holcombe Manor. We wanted to host something over a weekend where we had our closest people with us and the complete freedom to do whatever we wanted, so we specifically chose somewhere that there wasn’t restrictions or a wedding package we had to follow. We wanted one of our best friends catered for us and that was key to finding the right venue, and where we could all stay and everyone would be together. The Manor had a pool table, hot tub and a pool not to mention being a beautiful backdrop.
Did you love wearing your outfits? How was the dress / suit shopping experience?
We enjoyed the process of figuring out what we wanted to wear. From the beginning we wanted something a bit rustic but we both didn’t try all our outfits together until the final week!
Olivia is a jumpsuit person so was always keen on choosing a beautifully tailored trouser option. She chose a Galvan, and then changed the look throughout the day. For the sunrise ceremony, she put ostrich feathers over a wool wrap with Freya Rose Pearl heeled white cowboy boots. In the evening, our dress code was “cocktail with a touch of sparkle” as we were one week away from Christmas so wanted it to feel festive. She changed into a sequin sparkly top with the jumpsuit, and paired with amazing Sophia Webster fruity glitter heels.
Andy went to a custom tailor, not branded, and chose a 3 piece suit for its stunning tweed finish. Our wedding colours were forest green, gold, black and white so he added a green silk tie and pocket chief. As he is ex-army, he doesn’t go anywhere without a cap, so of course he was super keen to wear a hat on the day. He looked like a true gent!
Did you hire a florist? Tell us about any floral amazingness
We hired our amazing friend Camila from Forest and The Flowers. I cannot emphasise enough how wonderfully talented she is. From the day we enquired and all the way until the wedding and even beyond, we’ve been in touch! It was like we were her only wedding, her only client, she lived our wedding with us and nothing was ever too much trouble.
Her style and talent is really contemporary and sophisticated which was exactly what we wanted. We are not into traditions at weddings at all! She did all our floral and event styling and it was perfect.
As cake lovers here at English Wedding we’d LOVE to know who made your cake, and how delicious it was?
We didn’t have a cake as we’re not into traditions! We had chocolate nemesis (like a super rich torte) with gold leaf to fit the sparkle thing and then later crumpets.
Tell us about any special personal touches, or creative projects you made yourselves
We hired Lucy, the Live Event Artist. It was the best possible thing we could have done. She painted live paintings of us and all our guests in the middle of the wedding. Each of our guests were able to take away their own painting as a favour. Our painting was sooooo beautiful and had all the elements we had asked for plus more inspiration that we could have imagined. I thoroughly recommend Lucy, she came to the whole day and was pretty much a guest, she got totally involved and clearly truly loves weddings and making a wonderful experience for her couples.
Most of our wedding contributors were our friends and that was key for us as our friends are everything! We had our brother in law (a military bagpiper) to pipe Olivia in as she walked down the aisle. He learned a rendition of Ed Sheeran’s Perfect just for me to enter! We had 3 friends read at the ceremony, 2 friends bring our dog Peanut to the breakfast so she could be with us (she is our VIP!), 1 friend to cater our wedding banquet, 2 friends to do the cocktail bar, 1 friend make chocolate treats for our guests hotel rooms, and 1 friend to DJ in the evening at the Manor.
We asked guests to sign an ancient Bath map on parchment paper as a memento for us. We wrote handwritten notes to all our guests to place in their rooms when they arrived.
Did you personalise your vows or have any wedding readings? What were they?
Our readings were:
Sonnet 116 – Shakespeare
Fidelity – D.H. Lawrence
Irish Marriage Poem – Anon
Yes we personalised our vows although something unexpected happened on the day but in the end turned out perfectly. We didn’t want to have traditional speeches (father of the bride, best man etc) but we did want to have something said at dinner but never really agreed what we would do or say. Our celebrant actually got our vows wrong at the ceremony in the morning. Although we didn’t say anything as we were just happy to be getting married, we decided to say our real vows to each other at the dinner once we felt brave enough. It was a really special and powerful movement. Everyone was emotional! After that Andy surprised Olivia with a poem he wrote himself and it really was a total surprise. She cried tears of happiness!
What was your first dance song? Why did you choose it?
No first dance – not our vibe 🙂 Instead we did had a boogie to a Drum n Bass song right after we were pronounced husband and wife at The Roman Baths!
Reason – The Prototypes
How did the pandemic affect your wedding plans? Do you have any advice to share with couples planning their weddings right now?
We asked everyone to take a test before they came. With our small numbers of 30 guests, we were able to create a bubble and everyone could feel safe once they were all living with us in the Manor for the weekend. Everyone was very happy to do that. It was a bit stressful 48 hours before the wedding as omicron was just taking off but thankfully everything went to plan!
Favourite wedding suppliers
Damien Vickers – Bath wedding photographer
Lucy McLoughlin – Live Event Artist
The Roman Baths – ceremony
Mjolk cafe – breakfast
The Manor Holcombe – banquet and weekend
Forest and The Flowers – floral & design
Galvan – jumpsuit
Sophia Webster – heels
Freya Rose – bridal cowboy boots
Albi Ison Catering – food
The Thirsty Twist – cocktails & bar
Lisa Caldognetto – make up
DJ – Andrew Wheal
Meet Damien at the ECO Wedding Show at Willow Grange Farm near Cambridge on the 20th of March – tickets here