Danielle and Caleb's Elegant Forest Church Wedding with mauve tones

Friday, April 2, 2021

Mr + Mrs Thomas

Lansdowne Baptist Church & The Green House Hotel | 10th October 2020 | Guests:15

Instagram: @thethomaspromise2020 | Photos: Aimee Joy Photography

If you're part of the insta bridal community you'll recognise Danielle and Caleb's wedding aka @thethomaspromise2020. Their wedding journey certainly wasn't an easy one, from having to cut down their guestlist twice and change venue, as well as some of the bride's American family and friends unable to attend. However, when their wedding date 10.10.2020 arrived it was perfect and they were finally Mr and Mrs! They opted for an elegant rustic forest theme with beautiful florals at their local church, with a special appearance from their pup Winnie...

Tell us all about your wedding theme...

Our wedding theme was an enchanted forest atmosphere, with lots of candles, fairy lights, foliage, and cosy elements. I’ve always loved the idea of an autumn wedding as it’s my absolute favourite season – so we always knew we wanted an October wedding. Our colour scheme was mauve, grey, and gold, with greenery everywhere!

Tell us about the ceremony...

We had a Christian wedding ceremony at our shared church – Lansdowne Baptist Church. Our pastor Peter Baker led the service, which involved two readings from the Bible that are special to us and significant in our faith. They were Song of Songs 8:6-7 and 1 John 4:7-21. Our faith is so important to us both, so we wanted it to be a central part of our wedding day!

  • Something Old: My grandmother’s antique hand mirror
  • Something New: My gorgeous Enchanting by Mon Cheri wedding dress
  • Something Borrowed: My Charlotte Mills wedding shoes
  • Something Blue: My Charlotte Mills wedding shoes

Any surprises on the day?

We both gave each other gifts to open the morning of the wedding as we were getting ready separately. Caleb surprised me hugely by gifting me an absolutely stunning pair of pearl earrings from Tiffanys, that I’ve always had my heart set on but just couldn’t justify purchasing myself. I wear them every day now!

What was the funniest moment of the day? 

Having our nephews and niece as our pageboys and flower girl was really fun and offered some cute and funny moments throughout the day! I think the first was when Levi and Ezra were walking down the aisle with Winnie, our puppy! Ezra was also really silly and fun during our wedding reception, playing with the Lego we got him.

  • Song you walked down the aisle to: You Are In Love by Taylor Swift (piano recording by our friend Andy)
  • Ceremony Songs: Adore by Erik Neider (performed via recording by my brother Connor)
  • Song for walking back up the aisle as a married couple: Everywhere by Fleetwood Mac
  • First Dance: Lover (Shawn Mendes Remix) by Taylor Swift
  • Family Dance Song: Just Fishin’ by Trace Adkins

Did you make any Wedding DIYs?

We designed and made our own invitations, complete with gold wax seals and a sprig of dyed mauve foliage! We also made our favours and confetti cones – and my grandmother made us some gorgeous lace doilies that were a part of our centrepieces.

Did you have have anything unusual at your wedding?  

We had a Unity Candle ceremony within our wedding service – this is a typically Christian ceremony where the fathers of each family light two candles to the sides of a central pillar candle. Then the bride and groom each take their “family candle” and light the central candle together, symbolising the uniting of the two families into one.

Tell us all about the dress and dress shopping...

My wedding dress was the absolute dress of my dreams! I’ve always wanted a lace, backless wedding dress with long sleeves, so when I went dress shopping with my mom, grandma, auntie, sister, and bridesmaids, this was the exact dress I was hoping I would find. My wedding dress is a stunning chiffon A-line with a delicate lace bodice, by Enchanting by Mon Cheri. 

What was your favourite wedding purchase?

My favourite wedding purchase besides my dress was definitely my veil – it was a custom order from an incredible designer on Etsy called TARA Bridal. It was embroidered with floral lace along the cathedral edge, to complement the lace on the bodice of my wedding dress.

Tell us all about your wedding cake...

Our wedding cake was a cookies and cream Oreo cake by BakeryBoxx, in Bournemouth. It was single layer cake with mauve and cream icing, and gold flakes, with floral décor on the top from our florist. We actually didn’t even try our wedding cake until two days after our wedding, on our honeymoon!

What food did you have at your wedding?  

Our food was an incredible, mouth-watering 3-course meal from the Arbor Restaurant at The Green House Hotel. There were three options for each course, and starters too – my choices were a first course of a pork scrumpet with herb mayonnaise, a main of braised beef featherblade with confit garlic mash, and for dessert, Dorset apple cake with vanilla ice cream. It was one of the best meals I’ve ever had!

How did you choose your venue?

Initially we had planned our wedding to be at Morden Village Hall; however, due to COVID-19 restrictions by the UK government 16 days before our wedding, our guest numbers had to be cut from 30 to 15 attendees total. Therefore, we decided to cancel our booking at the Village Hall, since we felt it was simply too big and empty a space for 15 people. We then researched hotels that could provide us with a fine dining reception – and the Green House Hotel ended up having availability on 10.10.2020!

Favourite wedding supplier: Debi from White Willow Weddings worked with us to provide décor and really set the atmosphere for our wedding – we can’t thank her enough for translating our random design ideas into a cohesive, dreamy, gorgeous church and reception environment. Her décor work turned out exactly as I had always dreamt for our forest-y, glowing, warm and cosy wedding theme!

Best wedding splurge: A fun wedding splurge that we originally had thought would not fit in our budget, should we have had our full guest list, was our vintage wedding car! Caleb loves cars, so it was fun for us to be able to hire a gorgeous 1960’s chauffeured Vanden Plas Austin Princess Limousine with our saved funds.

Is there anything you wish you'd done differently?

Due to our limited guest numbers, we pushed our wedding ceremony back to 4 pm, from our original 2pm start time. Looking back, the day went so quickly and so much was packed into such a short time, that I think we both wish a little bit that we had kept our original ceremony time to allow for more space between locations and activities on the day!

What was the most emotional moment of the day?

My most emotional moment was during Caleb’s speech – he completely surprised me by finishing his speech with, “I love you, Danielle Marie Thomas.” Just hearing my new name said for the first time by Caleb was a breath-taking moment. My heart stopped in the best way – wow, I really was finally Mrs. Thomas!

What was your favourite part of the day?

My favourite part of our wedding day was our couple’s photo session, following our wedding ceremony – it was so special just to have that little bit of time to ourselves before heading to the Green House Hotel for our reception and wedding breakfast. It allowed us to just slow down and savour each other’s company in the middle of what was a very busy day!

What was your first dance song?

Taylor Swift’s album Lover came out the summer before our wedding, and we first listened to it driving home from day out at Milford on Sea – as soon as the song “Lover” came on, we just looked at each other and knew this was going to be our first dance song. I have always been such a huge fan of Taylor Swift, and the lyrics in the Shawn Mendes remix version just fit our relationship so well. We just winged the actual dance on the day!

Tell us about your Honeymoon...

Which version? Haha – just kidding. Our original, dream honeymoon was meant to be to Mauritius – this was cancelled due to COVID-19 travel restrictions as well as a catastrophic oil spill which struck the island before our wedding. Our backup honeymoon was then booked for Edinburgh and Scotland, which sadly again had to be cancelled due to Scotland going into lockdown before our wedding. We then decided to just have a small minimoon in Devon and Cornwall, which turned into a casual, carefree week and a bit of exploring small villages, staying in lovely little Airbnbs, and enjoying each other’s company and great food!

Tell us about your wedding favours...

Our wedding favours were small jars of pink Himalayan salt – a nod to the fact that we met on a Christian dating app called Salt. We tied little kraft tags to the jars along with a little piece of the same foliage from our invitations. The tags had a Bible verse on them that is meaningful to us – Colossians 4:6, which reads “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”

Top money saving tip: Making our own invitations actually ended up so much cheaper than purchasing them from a stationery business. As much as we loved the look of professional invitations, we knew we could make a similar version that we would be happy with! You can save so much money cutting and folding vellum wraps yourself!

Venue: Lansdowne Baptist Church, The Green House Hotel

Photographer: Aimee Joy Photography

Videographer: Songbird Wedding Videos

Stationery: Zazzle

Flowers: The Flower Place (Bournemouth)

Cake: BakeryBoxx

Décor: White Willow Wedding

MUA: Enchanted Beauty Bournemouth

Hair: Enchanted Beauty Bournemouth

Dress: Enchanting by Mon Cheri

Shoes: Frankie flats by Charlotte Mills

Bridesmaids dresses: ASOS

Flower girl dresses: Six Stories

Suits: Racing Green by Suit Direct

Page Boy outfits: Matalan

Wedding Rings: Beaverbrooks

Celebrant: Pastor Peter Baker 

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