Danielle & Caleb had an autumnal wedding on Saturday 10th October 2020 in Bournemouth, Dorset. Danielle got ready at her family home whilst Caleb’s Groom Prep was at the Norfolk Royale Hotel where they both gave and received wedding gifrs and cards from each other. They had an intimate wedding ceremony at Lansdowne Church which reflected both their Amercian and British traditions. They then had their group photos and Bride and Groom portraits at Hurn Forest as the sun was setting before heading to The Green House Hotel for their wedding breakfast.
Scroll down to hear stories on how they met, Calebs proposal, wedding planning advice and all about their special wedding day together! … along with lots of wedding photos too!
Tell me about your love story… When and how did you meet each other?
We met on a Christian dating app called SALT on Easter 2019 – Danielle was on holiday in Cornwall with a friend and was encouraged to try the app. Caleb was in Swindon, and we matched after Danielle created a very brief profile for herself after finally deciding to give it a go. We matched, started chatting casually, and the rest is history!
Describe each other in 3 words…
Caleb about Danielle: affectionate, dependable, and focused
Danielle about Caleb: thoughtful, loyal, and hard-working.
What are your favourite things to do together?
We absolutely love spending time together outside in nature, especially walking, hiking and biking. We enjoy visiting family and friends, a night out for dinner and a movie, traveling, and exploring new places – often bringing along our cavapoo dog Winnie who loves an adventure too.
How did Caleb Propose?
Caleb proposed to Danielle at the top of British Camp hill fort in the Malvern Hills, near his hometown of Hereford. Danielle’s favourite season is autumn, so Caleb picked a moody, beautiful autumn day to propose at the top of the hill, overlooking gorgeous coloured trees in the forests down below. He even managed to capture the proposal on drone video!
What did you enjoy the most about planning your wedding?
We really enjoyed planning elements that were special and unique to us. From the colour scheme, outfits, and decor to the little touches like a Unity Candle ceremony during our church ceremony and a slideshow at the end, we wanted our wedding to be traditional but also personal to us, which made planning it together and working with each other’s wishes and ideas really fun and even more of a bonding experience as a couple.
What did you find the hardest about planning your wedding?
It’s hard to actually bring up the “C” word but unfortunately COVID had a massive effect on our wedding planning. We had to overcome many hurdles with attempting an October wedding during the height of COVID restrictions. We cut our wedding from 180 people to the maximum 15 in line with England’s restrictions, changed our venue and caterer from our intended Village Hall to a local hotel, and had to cancel many elements of our day – including Danielle only having her sister as Maid of Honour and no bridesmaids, and Caleb losing his Best Man to the restricted numbers. Danielle’s brother and grandma were also unable to attend from the USA. Despite all of these challenges and heartbreak in the process, we’re still so grateful to have been able to get married in the middle of what was a very chaotic time.
Describe your process of find ’the one’ wedding dress!
Danielle always knew she wanted a long-sleeved, lace, open back wedding dress (thanks to her Pinterest account since she was a teenager, ha!). She went shopping with her mom, sister, aunt, grandma, and USA bridesmaids when visiting Wisconsin for Christmas 2019. It was a really special experience to find “the dress” whilst with her family and closest friends!
What were you most looking forward to about your wedding day? (apart from becoming Mr & Mrs!)
We both were really looking forward just to being able to settle into life together, live together properly, and share experiences together. Because of the timing of our engagement and wedding, COVID kind of took over our lives for about a year, so we both were really eager to eventually be able to do fun things together, build a home together, and invest in our relationship!
What was your Wedding Ceremony like?
Our ceremony was a wholly Christ-centred, Christian church ceremony at Danielle’s home church – Lansdowne Church in Bournemouth – led by Danielle’s pastor at the time, Peter Baker. We wanted our church ceremony to be a reflection of both of our personal relationships with Jesus Christ, and a celebration of us coming together with God at the centre of our relationship and marriage. We had a couple worship songs, a Unity Candle ceremony, a sermon, and Danielle’s brother sang a song and played guitar over video for us. It was such a special and moving ceremony – finally coming together as one!
Did you have any DIY creations?
First of all, we made our wedding invitations from scratch! It was quite the process, but we even made our own wax seals. We also made our own wedding favours, which were tiny jars of salt – a nod to the dating app we met through, along with the Bible verse of Colossians 4:6, “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” This was a way for us to highlight our Christian faith, which is the cornerstone of our relationship as a couple and personally the most important thing to both of us as individuals. We also made our own confetti cones!
What did you enjoy the most on your wedding day?
For Danielle, I enjoyed the church ceremony the most. We put so much thought into the elements of the ceremony to make it personal to us, it really was so special. Seeing Caleb waiting for me at the end of the aisle just wiped away all of the stress, worries, and anxiety leading up to that day.
For Caleb, he enjoyed standing at the back of the church together after our wedding ceremony, watching our photo slideshow and just enjoying finally being married! He also loved the Unity Candle ceremony and found it quite special and moving.
What was the most emotional moment of the day?
For Danielle, I think it was the combined fact that my brother and grandma couldn’t be there, along with the overwhelming emotion of happiness, joy and relief that we were finally getting married! We both felt the pain of missing loved ones quite deeply on our wedding day, but also the paradox of being so overjoyed that we had finally reached our wedding day and made it through all of the initial hurdles of our relationship. We overcame them together, which was a real sense of accomplishment and celebration!
What was the funniest moment of the day?
Danielle may have interrupted the minister during him reading the marriage vows to mention that everything she would share with Caleb also included Winnie, our cavapoo puppy! Lots of laughs were shared throughout the whole day!
Describe your experience of having me as your wedding photographer!
Aimee was the perfect wedding photographer for us – starting with her photography style! From our engagement shoot with her which was just the most comfortable, fun and natural experience for us, to our actual wedding day, Aimee was such a joy to work with! She made us feel so at ease on our wedding day, and really worked with us to get creative and beautiful shots that especially highlighted the natural location we chose for our couple’s photos. We were so happy with her communication, positive attitude, and ultimately stunning photography that now decorates our home! Aimee was our dream wedding photographer!
Which photos are your favourite from your wedding day?
We love all of our photos from our wedding day, but we especially love our couples photos. Aimee has such a way of making the shots feel so intimate and deeply moving. We knew we wanted our couples photos to be outside, in nature, because we love spending time together outside on walks and exploring natural locations, so it was especially precious to have these photos together demonstrating our shared love for the outdoors, and our love for each other as newly-married husband and wife! Aimee somehow captured the exact feeling of the moment – exhilaration but at the same time, perfect peace and warmth.
What are you most looking forward to this next year?
This year, we’re really excited about traveling more now that restrictions are easing, and spending time as a couple doing things outside of our home! We didn’t get the chance to go on many dates during lockdown and the time we were engaged, so we definitely want to have some fun and adventurous experiences together in the next year!
What are you most looking forward to in the next 5 years?
In the next five years, we’re both really looking forward to settling in to life together – we’re saving to buy our first home together now, and we’re hoping to start a family in a few years’ time. We’re just so excited about doing life together – we know that if we could get through the challenges we faced in our engagement, we’re going to be able to take on anything that comes our way if we work together and support each other in love and care.
Any wedding advice for other Mr & Mrs To Be?
It’s sometimes very difficult in practice, but our wedding planning experience definitely taught us to go with the flow, and showed us the important parts of a wedding – each other, the special touches that make it your own, and the people that you choose to share your special day with. Ultimately, what it comes down to at the end of the day is you two as a couple, dedicating yourselves to each other, and sharing that joy and love with those around you. Even though things may not go to plan, it’s so important to keep perspective about your wedding day. Everything else is just extra (just don’t forget the photography)!
Who were your Wedding Suppliers?
Dress: Mon Cheri Bridals, Vera’s House of Bridals (Madison, Wisconsin, USA)
Jewellery: Emilia Rae Bridal
Shoes: Charlotte Mills
Suits: Suit Direct
Rings: Beaverbrooks (UK)
Hair/Makeup: Enchanted Beauty (Bournemouth)
Venue, Catering: The Green House Hotel (Bournemouth)
Videographer: Songbird Wedding Videos
Transport: Superwed Cars (Dorset)
Flowers: Hummingbird Flowers, formerly The Flower Place (Bournemouth)
Cake: BakeryBoxx (Bournemouth)
Confetti: Adam Apple (UK)
Decor: White Willow Weddings (Dorset)