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  • Claire Austin

How COVID-19 Affected My Wedding

Updated: Apr 6

After speaking to many of my brides who have had to postpone their wedding, I thought it may be helpful to others to hear their stories. This week I spoke to Becky who was due to get married on the 11th April 2020 to her fiance, Craig. They met seven years ago and live together in Teignmouth, Devon.


Hi Becky! Thanks for talking to me today. How did Craig propose to you? Was it a big shock or were you expecting it?


I’d always wanted to go to Bovey Castle, so for Christmas 2017 Craig bought me a present to go there for the night and have dinner. We booked it for February 11th 2018 and on arriving they told us our room wasn’t ready to check in to. This was a lie, something I later found out, Craig had arranged with them to say this to us! Whilst we waited, we went for a walk outside, it was snowing so I didn’t want to venture too far as it was so cold! Craig walked me to the end of the terrace and got me to look over and in the Boules pit where he had asked Bovey Castle to write, Will You Marry Me in the sand and when I turned around he was on one knee! I was so shocked and just cried and asked him if it was real and if he was joking!


Oh my gosh that's so romantic! And Bovey Castle is so beautiful, what a setting!

Did you already know what sort of wedding you wanted when you got engaged or did it all come to you both when you started the wedding planning process.


After being involved in so many weddings with my job, I had seen so many ideas that it made it hard to decide what I wanted….especially when we didn't have the same budget as my clients! I compiled a mood board and then shared my ideas with Craig, who I did allow to have a little bit of input – ha ha!! Then over the 2 years we have just pulled other ideas into how we wanted the day to be for us and our guests.


Mood boards are so useful! Brides often share their secret Pinterest boards with me which is a great input into their wedding inspiration. Have you had your hen party yet?


Yes, I have had two hen parties. The first one was in Valencia and for the second one we went to a spa in Cornwall. They were so amazing and I can’t thank my bridesmaid and friends enough for organising them and giving me the best time.



Becky and her friends on a yacht in Valencia


Now that your wedding is another year away does it feel weird that you’ve had your hen party? Will you have another one closer to the time?


I have tried to take the positives from this sad situation and have told the girls I will be planning another one!!


How did you feel when the news first broke about COVID-19?


Working for a global events and entertainment company I started to see the effects of COVID-19 pretty early on. We had cancellations when it started in China and then when it spread to Italy and Spain etc. Because of this I realised how serious it was getting, but I still didn’t think though that it could affect my big day!



What happened as COVID-19 got more serious?


We tried holding out for our special day to happen but with the venue having to close it was impossible. We also considered going ahead with just the ceremony, but with only being allowed 2 witnesses it made it difficult as we couldn’t choose just 1 parent from each side to be there, so we had to postpone the whole day. When we made the decision not to get married this month I definitely shed some tears but I also felt like a weight was lifted as before this I felt so on edge and apprehensive about what was going to happen.

We were very lucky that our venue and suppliers worked with us to make the process as easy as possible, especially when insurance companies were not covering brides and grooms for COVID-19.



How do you feel now a couple of weeks on?


I know we have postponed for the right reasons and safety of everyone, but it still doesn’t make the disappointment any easier. The special day you have been planning for 2 years (and planning in your head since a little girl!) has been taken away for another 12 months.

Our friends and family have been lovely though and sent us kind messages and some even sent cards and presents in the post! Social media has actually really helped me as I got to see that I wasn’t the only one in this situation and that how I was feeling was normal and not selfish.

Our new date is the 3rd April 2021. I now feel positive and have another year to plan and probably buy more things for the wedding. It also gives us time to have another hen and stag party!! The negatives are storing all our wedding purchases for another year which takes up a lot of space and also having to rebuy some items which were perishable or had the date on.



Will you celebrate on the 11th April 2020 in any way?


I know on the actual day it will probably be really hard, but we are going to have champagne and a nice dinner and our friends and family are going to video call us throughout the day for a virtual drink.



Could you tell everyone how we met and you came to the decision of having a bespoke wedding headpiece?


I met Claire at a wedding fair in Exeter and then followed her on Instagram. I loved her creations and the creativity she has. I wasn’t sure if I wanted anything in my hair for the wedding and it wasn’t until my nan offered me the tiara she wore on her wedding day over 60 years ago it got me thinking about Claire and if she could help me.

Sadly, my nan had been unwell so wouldn't of been able to attend the wedding so I knew using the tiara in some way would be very special to me. I messaged Claire on Instagram and we arranged a time for a design consultation to discuss the possibilities.

I met Claire at her studio and her welcome was so warming and positive that I felt confident already that she could help me. We went through the different options over tea and cupcakes and looked at different elements of what could be put into my bespoke headpiece along with the pearls we wanted to take from my nan’s tiara. It was so much fun and a great girly thing to do. When I left, I was so excited and just wanted to see the creations as soon as possible!




This is the bridal headpiece I created for Becky made from the pearls from her nan's tiara, Swarovski bicones, diamantes and gold leaves (don't guys, Becky said I can share these photos!)


Would you like to do a shout out to your wedding suppliers?


Yes absolutely, they were all great and I can’t thank them enough. They all were flexible and moved the date for us – luckily none of them already had a booking on our new date.

I appreciate Claire and my seamstress for holding on to key pieces for me (bespoke headpiece and dress). I feel super lucky as many other brides I have spoken to are having issues with their venues or suppliers, so I feel like the process was very simple for us.

The only thing we will need to do is give notice again and re-pay for, so in the grand scheme of things, this is nothing.



Becky and Craig's wedding suppliers


Photographer  https://www.instagram.com/samaustinphotography/

Videographer https://www.instagram.com/rowefilms/

Venue  https://www.instagram.com/paschoehouse/

Florist https://www.instagram.com/amanda.winsor/

Band  https://www.instagram.com/theedgebanduk/

Make Up Artist & Hair  https://www.instagram.com/penrosebridalhairandmakeup/

Cake https://www.instagram.com/ninascakeybakies/

Dress https://www.instagram.com/the_bridal_rooms/ 


Becky has got a fabulous Instagram account which all brides to be must follow immediately! It's called @itsfinallymyturn and features some gorgeous wedding inspiration. She tells me that after their wedding she will share everything so that other brides to be can get ideas from it.


I'm going to share the inspiration from our wedding after the big day next year, I want it to stay a surprise for some of my friends who follow the account – it may be hard for another 12 months! I set it up as something fun to do and to share fabulous suppliers with others. I didn’t realise how many other brides did the same thing.



Thank you so much for having a chat with me Becky, I can't wait for you to come into the studio to collect your headpiece!


Many wedding suppliers have been hit hard by the corona virus pandemic, please continue to support them, either by booking them for your wedding or by introducing them to someone you know who is getting married or by liking to sharing their social media posts. Every little helps! If you are interested in a bespoke wedding headpiece for your big day please get in touch with me. I am able to offer design consultations online either by FaceTime or Facebook Messenger Video or simply over email, Facebook or Instagram message or WhatsApp. I have plenty of materials and still have access to my studio at Cockington Court, Torquay so it's business as usual for me!


Thank you for reading,

Love Claire xxx

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Claire Austin England 2020