Meet the latest couple in The Chupi Wedding Series: Claire and Scott. Here, they tell us the story of their cinematic and contemporary Tudor-style ceremony, hosted at Leeds Castle.
Where It All Began
My now-husband and I met at Goldsmiths University of London ten years ago whilst I was studying Fine Art. He tells a great anecdote, that I won’t tell half as well, of how he remembers seeing me for the first time at the Student Union bar a whole year before we actually met. Apparently he was taken with me then but by the time he had plucked up the courage to come and say hello, I had left. Eventually, we would meet at my uni house as he played guitar for my flatmate at the time who was a singer. I told him he was only good for backup playing and, well, the rest is history.
We had been engaged for seven years. Scott proposed after two years of dating in 2015 at Lumley Castle in the North East of England where my mum's side of the family is originally from. He planned a very private champagne picnic in the castle grounds and I cried asking: “Is this real?” He also presented me with a giant white Jellycat bunny after I said yes as ‘bunny’ is my nickname.
The Big Day
As an artist who works a lot with installation and experience, I really wanted to bring my art into the wedding day. We always wanted our wedding to be intimate, botanical and cinematic; inspired by our joint love of history and nature and my fine art practice. I would describe our wedding as a ‘Contemporary Tudor’ theme. We wanted our guests to be transported and fully immersed in the moment. Some of the day's highlights included owls from the falconry team, a watercolour artist painting guest portraits, a string quartet playing the film scores from our life, and a wonderland of floral sculptures.
After meticulously planning the wedding for 2 years, I think it’s none of the details or moments you expect to carry such weight or importance that do. For me it was in the simple things; just looking at each other as we exchanged rings and said our vows, and quiet moments sneaking off in the castle gardens where we could just celebrate that we were finally one, that meant the most. My bridesmaid also took me by total surprise by writing a three part poem about our lives and friendship that they performed at the wedding breakfast – and I cried the whole way through!
A Modern Twist on a Tudor Classic
I’m very detail-oriented and wanted everything to feel unique but timeless. For my hair accessory, I wanted a twist on the Tudor French Hood instead of a tiara. I found this amazing gold embellished Czarina headband by Jennifer Behr, and then a stunning art piece bag by Mae Cassidy that tied everything together. Also I love sentiment and tradition so for my ‘something blue’ I invested in a stunning pair of baby blue Loeffler Randalls.
A Crown of Hope Wedding Band
As Scott and I had been engaged for seven years, this gives a girl a lot of time to think about what wedding band they want. I have honestly had the Crown of Hope, specifically with the twig band pinned on my wedding vision board for at least four if not five years. It was always an integral part of my wedding day vision, once I had found it I never looked at anything else. I fell in love with the ring as it felt historical yet timeless, but in a fantasy way. I loved the organic rustic nature of the twig band combined with the crown of diamonds.
I initially found Chupi online, after years of researching what type of wedding band I might want. I loved the ethos of the company and the idea of heritage and an heirloom. In subsequent years I saw a number of people whose opinions I value also fall in love with the brand, which felt like the best affirmation of my choice. About six months before the wedding I finally ordered my ring and was not disappointed. I haven’t had the opportunity yet, but I would love to visit the store in person.
For me, the ring will always capture the heart and energy of our wedding day, but more importantly the life and journey that we will share with each other. The ring also has a deep connection for me as my first piece of art that really propelled my career internationally was called ‘Hope’, so I just felt connected and drawn to the ring as a marker in time and place.
Wedding Planning Advice
My one piece of advice for other couples planning their wedding would be: don’t get caught up in what other people think or expect. Focus on why you are getting married and what you want from your wedding! It all goes by so fast, so relish it.
Hair & Makeup: @jesshawkinsmakeup
Flower Design: @louiserootsflorist
Watercolour artist: @owenmathers