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Real Life Winter Wedding

The Trout in Buckland, Oxfordshire, late afternoon on a clear crisp winter’s night...not a wedding magazine in sight

Does something count as borrowed if I still have it hanging in my wardrobe?

The Christmas tree twinkled in the corner and the room was lit by candles and the beaming smiles of nearest and dearest.

Something old

The wedding dress I wore I’d found on a surfing holiday in Ilfracombe, in a tiny shop called Beautiful Vintage which the Daughters and I chanced across whilst looking for Devonshire fudge to take home for the hamster-sitter. It was the first I’d tried, fitted like a glove, and after a ten second deliberation I carried it back to the beach hidden in a plastic bag. The hamster-sitter never got her fudge.


Something new

I’d planned to team the dress with simple pearls borrowed from a close friend. However as my sister-in-law opened her make-up case and brandished the brushes just hours before, a pretty necklace glinting amongst the hues caught my magpie eye. And so with a last minute change of plan and bedecked by Claire’s finest (yes, that’s Claire’s accessories – don’t tell anyone) I wore a new necklace and earring set, every bit as sparkly as the Swarovski on my Jimmy Choos.

Something borrowed

As wedding dresses don’t come in thermal fabric and a winter’s evening can be chilly, a furry shrug was a warm and glamorous necessity. It now poses a moral dilemma. I did plan to return it but does something count as borrowed if I still have it hanging in my wardrobe?

Something blue

When Mr Lafferty and I browsed for an engagement ring we saw plenty of striking alternatives, but each seemed totally arbitrary. Then suddenly it was love at first sight: the most unusual blue butterfly around which a bespoke wedding ring was hand-crafted.

The ceremony was small and intimate, a family affair with our boys (aged 9 and 11) proud to be Best Men in natty suits and oversized ties. With a head count of just seventeen, we ate afterwards around one large table. We’d envisaged an open fire but that would have slow-roasted the older generation seated on that side so we contented ourselves with the flaming logs on the opposite side of the bar.

And while The Trout in Buckland is a highly-acclaimed gastropub with good reason,

it was The Youngest Daughter (aged 13) who provided the icing on the cake, literally, having made the towering wedding cake bedecked with white roses.

And although a rose is a rose by any other name, on that day I was proud to become Esther Lafferty.

- Esther Lafferty

Top Image - The Trout Inn at Tadpole Bridge


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