The country chic wedding of Victoria Fear and Joseph Phelps
01 SEPTEMBER 2013
The story of HELLO! Online readers Victoria Fear and Joseph Phelps couldn't be more romantic. The beautiful couple had known each other since primary school, but it was only until a mutual friend's 18th birthday party that romance blossomed.
Seven and a half years down the line, marriage was on the cards for Victoria and Joseph, who now live happily in an idyllic farm cottage on Joe's parents' farm with their Jack Russell, Woody.
CLICK ON PHOTO FOR GALLERY OF WEDDING
The proposal came as a surprise to Victoria and took place when the couple went to Thailand for holiday. On their first night on the stunning island of Phuket, Joe romantically popped the question on the terrace of their hotel, overlooking the sun setting over Karon Beach.
"Joe later told me that he was planning to do it at the end of the holiday but just couldn't wait," said Victoria. "It was a complete surprise and I was desperate to tell family and friends, however we agreed to wait until we got home to tell them face to face — it was worth the wait as it was amazing seeing their reactions."
Victoria didn't have to search far to find her perfect dress, picking the first one she tried on.
"I will never forget my mum's face when I walked out of the changing room," she said. "It was wonderful. I just knew it was the one."
The radiant bride looked the picture of perfection in her Ellis ivory mermaid gown that featured lace sleeves and detailing. She accessorized the dress with a classic ivory cathedral length veil embroidered with Swarovski crystals that sparkled in the sunlight.
Given the intricate detailing of the gown, Victoria opted for simple jewellery and wore diamond pearl drop earrings that her parents had bought from the local jewellers on Wells' High Street.
"I aimed to look stylish but classy with a touch of sparkle," said Victoria. "I wanted my make-up to look very natural — I wanted to look healthy and glowing."
The bride had her hair softly pulled back from her face and curled into a tousled up-do. The hairdressers and makeup artist came to her mum's house on the morning of the wedding.
"We had so much fun getting ready together, listening to music and drinking pink champagne," she laughed.
For Victoria, choosing the church was no difficult feat. The bride chose the church of St Mary Magdalene in Wookey Hole, the village where her mother, grandmother and great grandmother had grown up in.
"I became the fifth generation to be married in the same church," said Victoria. "It is a beautiful village church and the florists filled it with beautiful flower arrangements which looked simply stunning."
The couple invited 130 of their closest friends and family to the church service that was overseen by Reverend Alastair Wheeler. The guests sang two joyful hymns, Give me joy in my lamp and One more step along the world I go during the ceremony.
"We started to giggle when exchanging rings," said Victoria. "It was a hot day and Joe's hands were rather hot so it was difficult for me to slide the ring onto his finger. The guests noticed and also found this highly amusing!"
Once married, Victoria and Joe walked down the aisle as newlyweds and released a pair of white doves in the churchyard to symbolise unity and their love for each other.
"Lots of villagers came out of their houses and stood outside the church and waited for us to come out so that they could congratulate us," added Victoria.
The bride and groom opted for a "country chic" theme to tie in with their country lifestyle.
"We wanted it to be a quintessentially English West Country wedding," said Victoria. The couple had a marquee set up in their home, Woodford Farm, and welcomed guests after the service.
"As we live on a farm, we decided to ask the florists to use milk churns and wellington boots to create some unique arrangements," said Victoria.
As guests arrived, they were treated to a four-course meal that featured roast beef, Yorkshire pudding and vegetables and ended with West Country ice cream served in cones out of an old fashioned tricycle by the lake.
The bride and groom cut the cake, followed by speeches from Joe, the best man and the father of the bride.
"We snuck off for 15 minutes just after the meal for a few photos with the photographer and a walk around the lake," said Victoria. "We went over to the island in the middle of the lake by ourselves and fed the ducks. It was lovely to spend a few minutes chatting to each other about how much we were both enjoying the day."
The celebration continued well into the evening when the party was joined by an additional 200 guests. Jack Sparrow the entertainer had guests in fits of laughter, and encouraged a lot of dancing.
"They were all very shocked when he arrived," laughed Victoria. "I think they thought we had managed somehow to convince Jonny Depp to come to our reception."
More entertainment was provided in the form of a photo booth, spectacular fireworks and another hog roast to fill guests up.
The bride and groom took to the dance floor for their first dance to Kiss From A Rose by Seal. "We have both always loved the song and it was very apt as the church and marquee were both filled with roses," said Victoria. "The dance floor was packed from start to finish — it was fantastic to see everybody having a great time and letting their hair down."
"Our day was simply magical and we enjoyed every minute," said Victoria, reflecting back on the day. "It is everything we ever dreamed of and we are more in love than ever."
The bride and groom's beautiful day was captured by Katy MacDonnell of The Perfect Day.