Susannah & Tom - a lockdown wedding that shows ‘love wins’


Tom Cullen Photography | Bride and groom holding an umbrella kissing in the rain

I love photos of bridal couples in the rain! There’s something so magical about them, and about couples showing that not even the rain can spoil their special day.

When I received Susannah and Tom’s questionnaire, I couldn’t help but smile; they had gone into so much detail about their engagement and wedding that I almost felt like I was actually there. It was so lovely to read about what they did and see just how much it meant to them to be able to get married, especially at the moment.

Tom proposed to Susannah two days before Christmas, with a ring he had designed himself, whilst they sat on a bench near Canterbury Cathedral enjoying a moment of calm in the build up to Christmas. A few days prior to this, whilst they were out shopping, a rainbow appeared in the sky during a break in the rain. Susannah says she took a quick photo on her phone, and ‘that photo shows a rainbow arching over the studio where [Tom] designed the ring and had it made (the ring that was, at this point, in his pocket) and over the Cathedral where he’d propose to me just a couple of days later. In our Christian faith, a rainbow is a sign of promise: and what a promise that held, that I didn’t even know about!’

They obviously had to change some of their wedding plans and reduce their guest list because of COVID-19, but they were able to keep a lot of the details that they wanted, as Susannah explains; ‘We wanted something that represented us, and for each decision to be reflective of who we are. Colours - Tom loves yellow, and I love blue. Tom loves sunflowers and maps, and I love Charlie Mackesy’s work, so both were naturally incorporated into it… Tom wore cufflinks of maps of our respective home towns, and me and my bridesmaids wore ‘TOMS’ shoes, as a nod to my new husband.’

They chose to have their wedding in their church, because it is a special place for both of them, and ‘it meant a lot for [them] to be married before God’. Their wedding cake and socially distant afternoon tea were provided by Lily’s Bistro because ‘they’re a social enterprise giving experience and opportunities to people who may otherwise not be given them, and they help eradicate food waste’.

Susannah recalls so many memories from their day, but the bit that made me smile the most was when she says, ‘I remember not caring one bit about the fact it rained all day, not caring about going outside in it and embracing all that the day held - weather and all!’ This is how you end up with stunning pictures like the one Tom Cullen Photography captured above; by embracing whatever happens. Susannah also went on to say, ‘I remember just being incredibly full of thanks that we could get married. After a postponement, every single thing felt like a bonus, every single person was treasured and every moment even more rich.’ Weddings are always personal and memorable, but with everything being so unknown and restricted at the moment, every wedding that can take place, is even more special.

Thinking about other couples who are planning their wedding or are due to get married soon, Susannah says, ‘Be you. Don’t feel you have to spend all the money, don’t feel you have to impress anyone else, don’t pile the pressure on. Nothing will make it more special, and not even Covid will make it less special.’

Huge congratulations to Susannah and Tom - and thank you so much for sharing your beautiful day with Weddings in Kent!




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Venue - St Mary Bredin Church, Canterbury Photographer - Tom Cullen Photography Caterer - Lily’s Bistro Make-up Artist: The Bride Hair Stylist: The Bride Florist: The Bride, her sister and Maid of Honour. ‘We had decided to use fake flowers pre-Covid because I have hayfever, and dried sunflowers don’t have the same brightness of colour, but it turned out a great decision, as they’re all now ready for next year!’ Cake Provider - Lily’s Bistro

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