Lucy and Josh cutting their wedding cheese cake

Lucy and Josh met online in 2012 through a group of friends who play Minecraft together. “Yes, we owe our 10-year relationship to the video game Minecraft!” says Lucy. “Josh is from Dublin and I’m from Essex, and we started dating in our teens. It was a long-distance relationship until 2016, when Josh got a job at the local pub and moved to England.”

“It was such a romantic gesture and I can’t believe Josh made that choice at only 20 years old,” says Lucy. “Our first official date was on Valentine’s Day in 2013. It was a chaperoned visit to Dublin City with my mum and her friend. I still remember how nervous we both were. It was my birthday and we went out for a lovely meal, that neither of us could eat from nerves!”

"We then saw Les Mis in the local cinema, after walking around the city centre. We were very much 'teenagers in love'. Those feelings haven't really disappeared, though they've definitely matured! We've been through a lot in 10 years - from the passing of parents to changes in careers - and it hasn't always been plain sailing but we are so very lucky to have each other.”

Josh in his wedding attire

Not one, but three proposals…

“Technically, Josh has proposed three times,” says Lucy. “The first, very unromantic proposal, was when I was looking after him when he was sick after one too many drinks in 2020. I firmly believe this one doesn’t count, but it’s definitely a funny story to tell!”

Lucy and Josh posing in front of their Lake District wedding venue

“The second proposal was in August 2021. I came back from a girls’ week away and Josh brought me breakfast in bed. We talked about our future together and he asked me to make it 'officially official'. We decided to keep it quiet while we thought about what we wanted to do for our wedding, and so that we could enjoy being engaged in secret. It was a very wholesome moment, special because it was private and unassuming.

Lucy and Josh embracing in a beautiful field at their wedding venue

“The wedding was booked, planned and the invitations sent out when the last proposal happened,” says Lucy. “This was the proposal that actually included a ring and that we plastered on social media. I arrived home to find Josh had put fairy lights up in the living room and hidden the ring in a hollowed out book. I’m a big reader and books have been a huge part of our relationship. He got down on one knee and then we ordered pizza to celebrate. It was very thoughtful, romantic and low-key. It just felt natural.”

Shopping for the dress

“I heard about WED2B when it first came to our local city, Chelmsford,” says Lucy. “I was actually really nervous to go wedding dress shopping, as I’ve never felt particularly comfortable in my body. As a size 16, I have never felt at ease trying on clothes since I don’t really fit a category. I’m too big to be considered ‘mid size’ but not big enough to fit into the ‘plus size’ category.”

Portrait image of Lucy and Josh embracing in a beautiful field at their wedding venue

A really positive experience

“I didn't feel excited about planning the wedding while I was anxious about dress shopping,” says Lucy. “I really didn't need to worry, though, because my experience in WED2B completely put me at ease. Everyone was so friendly and kind and I didn't feel rushed or pressured. I tried on about six dresses before settling on the first dress we picked out, along with accessories. It was such an easy, body-positive experience and for the first time in my life I genuinely felt beautiful. I loved that I got to take my dress home the same day. Plus, it was so much more affordable than I had expected. The whole experience made me excited about planning the wedding and gave me a new lease of life. It's amazing what a positive experience can do for your confidence.”

Lucy and Josh walkign hand in hand with Lucy's veil blowing in the wind

The perfect dress

“My mum picked out my dress,” says Lucy. “She loves glitter and glam, and the moment she pulled out the sparkly fabric of Azora I knew I’d end up trying it on. I’d seen Azora on the WED2B website and thought I couldn’t pull it off. However, I quickly fell in love with the corset-back and subtle sparkle. It felt classically beautiful, traditional in shape but with a modern twist. The Bardot-style sleeves and subtle sparkle made it feel princess-like without being over the top. We added the Solstice belt in rose gold, as well as the Willa veil and another rose gold hair clip. Altogether, the outfit was such a flattering look. I felt so comfortable and it was such good quality.”

Lucy and Josh embracing on the grounds of their chosen wedding venue

A dream Peak District wedding venue

The couple married on the 17th October 2022. “We had a Peak District wedding at The Stables at Chatsworth House,” says Lucy. “I first went to Chatsworth House with my mum for the Lunar Cinema screening of Pride & Prejudice. The house is featured in the film as ‘Mr Darcy’s House’, so it was pretty spectacular to see the film right next to the building. I don’t think there are words for the feeling you get coming along the driveway of the estate and the house comes into view. The first time I drove up I was overwhelmed and moved to tears. It’s such a special place.”

Lucy and Josh's Lake District wedding venue

“When we returned for the Chatsworth Christmas event I discovered you could get married there, and the date of our 10 year anniversary was free. It was all so easy. It was also more affordable than getting married locally. In the end, I don't think I could imagine marrying anywhere else.”

Lucy and Josh embracing while looking at their beautiful Lake District wedding venue

The big day

“My three bridesmaids, my mum and two of my ‘other mothers’ (two of my bridesmaid’s mums) all came to our suite at the Cavendish at Baslow to get ready,” says Lucy. “But, before that, Josh and I had breakfast together in the hotel’s restaurant. It was a nice and chilled way to start our day, even though we could barely eat due to nerves.”

Josh's floral button hole feature attached to his wedding jacket Lucy and Josh hugging during their wedding ceremony

“It was a very relaxed morning. The girls and I had a lovely, heartfelt and laid-back morning getting ready. Unfortunately, my mum gave her partner the wrong directions to the drop-off point for the horse and carriage, which was taking the bridesmaids to the venue before circling back to take us. So, the bridesmaids missed out on having their grand entrance. It was all fine in the end though, as I was only 10 minutes late to the venue. We laugh about it now. I can’t believe I was late to my own wedding! As for the weather, it was a gorgeous, sunny, autumnal day. Not too hot, with beautiful light. We were very lucky.”

The importance of music

“My mum walked me down the aisle to ‘Falling Slowly’ by Glen Hasard and Marketa Irglova (one of my late grandfather’s favourite songs from the film ‘Once’). We also played ‘The One You Love’ by Passenger for the signing of the register, and ‘Happy Together’ by the Turtles as our exit song. The music choices were really important to us and I think we spent more time choosing those than deciding anything else! My mum gave a reading – ‘You Are the Bubbles’ by Rachel Bright – and I am so proud that she made it through the whole thing, only wobbling a little at the very end. We also had the reading ‘All I Know About Love’ by Neil Gaiman, read by Josh’s cousin Wayne, one of the groomsmen.”

Lucy walking into her wedding ceremony with her mum

“The most special moment was probably the reading of the vows, as they were so personal. We went very untraditional in our self-written vows. Josh even called me ‘very very weird’ (which out of context maybe doesn’t sound romantic but I promise it was). We made silly promises, like Josh promising to be there ‘when I wake up screaming from cramp in my legs’ and real ones, too. I like to think we had a good mix of funny, silly and sweet.”

Celebrating in style

“After the ceremony there was Prosecco, canapés and cocktails,” says Lucy. “We let people mix and enjoy the atmosphere while we headed out into the estate’s gardens for photos. Later, after the speeches and wedding breakfast, we had our first dance to ‘Lover’ by Taylor Swift. I’m a huge Taylor Swift fan, so we agreed there would be at least one of her songs included in our day. ‘Lover’ is the perfect song for a first dance. It has always been a special song to us and now it’s even more special.”

Lucy and Josh's wedding canapes for after their wedding ceremony Lucy and Josh's wedding drinsk for after their wedding ceremony

An autumnal theme

“As it was October, we decided to lean into the autumnal theme,” says Lucy. “Our colours were golds, coppers, browns, burgundy and burnt orange and I made all of our decorations fit into that aesthetic. Place settings were personalised miniature pumpkins that doubled as favours/keepsakes, and the tables were named after fictional places. The bridesmaids’ bouquets and centrepieces were made from dried and dyed flowers and we used mini 'crackle effect' LED pumpkins instead of tea lights.”

Lucy and Josh's wedding breakfast setting in their wedding venue

Time for tea

“Josh and I sat on a separate table together rather than have a top table, which gave us more one-on-one time and avoided any blended family awkwardness. My family and I often go out for afternoon tea and we thought it would be really fun to bring this into our wedding, too. So the wedding breakfast was afternoon tea instead of the traditional three-course meal.”

Lucy and Josh's cheese board wedding cake alternative

“This also gave us the excuse to have a wedding cheese tower instead of a wedding cake. This was very popular with our guests and also made a great evening snack, alongside bags of pick ’n’ mix with our favourite childhood sweets. We used Jenga as our wedding guest book (with Posca paint markers to write on the blocks with), set up an instant film camera for people to use in the evening and take photos away, and had a separate room in the evening for people to play board games or have a bit more of a chilled time.”

Lucy and Josh holding hands near a pond with a water feature Josh kissing Lucy's cheek while out exploring the grounds of their wedding venue

The best bits…

“It really went in a blur, but our highlights were exchanging vows, my Grandma making her way onto the dance floor to do the chicken (and everyone else joining in!), falling over immediately after removing my hoop skirt in the evening (which was hilarious) and multiple games of the card game Dobble in the relaxed room.”

My top tips…

“Less is more, so we let the Peak District wedding venue speak for itself,” says Lucy. “People will remember the first dance song or the flavour of your cake more than the chair coverings or giant floral centrepieces. If you're working with a strict budget, think about areas where you can compromise. We shortened the photographer's coverage to an hour before the ceremony until after speeches for a few 'Golden Hour' shots, rather than opt for the full day. Similarly, if you're making your decorations yourself, try to make them multipurpose, such as frames for table numbers that you can give as as gifts later."

Lucy and Josh laughing during the wedding speeches
Lucy and Josh at their top table listenign to the best man's speech

“Practically speaking, wedding websites are also so useful. It’s easier to track RSVPs and provide additional info that you would otherwise have to provide to multiple people, plus it cuts down on stationary costs since you don’t even have to send out a paper invite. Lastly, things will go wrong on the day. That’s okay, nothing’s perfect! It’s almost always minor things that guests won’t notice anyway. Don’t sweat the small stuff and just enjoy your moment.”

Lucy and Josh walking through an archway with iron gates

Lucy and Josh’s Dream Team

Photographer: Chris Smith of Chris Smith Photography

Peak District wedding venue: Chatsworth House

Wedding dresses: WED2B

Bridal bouquet: Chatsworth Estate Florists

Hair & Makeup: The Hair and Makeup Studio

Transport: The Horse and Carriage Company

Cheese Cake: The Cheese Shed

Lucy and Josh walking around the grounds of Chatsworth house

If you would like us to feature your big day, like this Peak District wedding, then please click here to share your story and photos with us and we’ll be in touch. Your nearest WED2B is closer than you think, click here for more details about WED2B’s bridal shops.