Real Weddings

Charlotte and Joe.

Burgers for the wedding breakfast, beach huts for the photo ops and glow-in-the-dark crazy golf: Charlotte and Joe Ritchie, we like your style!

The couple met in 2004, outside the halls of residence on their first day at university, ”We were studying on the same course, and we were friends for a couple of years before we realised we liked each other romantically.

“In November 2017 we went for a break in Cornwall. It was warm, sunny and bright when we got to St Ives, so we walked into the town, had lunch, and went for a walk around the harbour. We sat down on a bench, and Joe asked me to marry him.”

A south coast proposal led to a south coast wedding. “We wanted to get married in Weymouth – we’ve spent a lot of time there with friends, and it’s always been a special place for us. We also decided we didn’t want a big, formal wedding – that’s not who we are. We wanted our day to be relaxed and fun for everyone.

“We had our ceremony at Weymouth Registry Office, and only invited immediate family and close friends; this worked out as just 25 people. Once we were married we walked down to the seafront to have our pictures taken at Greenhill Gardens, where they have the most beautiful, colourful beach huts, and then on to beach.

“From there, we walked to The Dorset Burger Company to meet the rest of our 75 guests for the reception. We chose this restaurant because we’d been here so many times before. We love the food there, the building is cosy and quirky, and they have an indoor crazy golf course upstairs that our guests loved. Emma, Ross and their team there looked after us all so well – many of our guests have gone back for the food, crazy golf and service since then!

It comes as no surprise to find that for this relaxed, warm, fun-loving couple, children were very much invited.

“Most of our friends have kids, and it was important for us that they were involved and had fun things to do. We used one of the rooms as a kids’ area with a colour-in castle, rocket ship, and lots of board games and activities. This meant their parents could relax, and we could join in with some of their fun as well!

“The fact that we had exclusive use of the restaurant for the day meant that our guests could go upstairs and enjoy a round of glow-in-the-dark crazy golf; this was a real hit with our guests. Our evening entertainment was a silent disco, with a bride vs groom playlist that we really enjoyed. We decided we wanted a tower of brownies rather than a wedding cake, and these were made by Mug & Brew in Thatcham – so good!”

This sounds like such a feelgood wedding that we were keen to hear Charlotte and Joe’s top tips.

“We have a few! Don’t feel pressured into any aspect of your wedding that you don’t like – we’re so glad we did it our way. Stay hydrated on the day – I kept putting my drink down and not being able to find it again, and really didn’t drink enough water. And this is a really stupid and embarrassing one – remember that once it’s all over, you have to take everything home again. I’m not silly, but I honestly hadn’t thought beyond the wedding, or how we’d transport everything back home again once it was all over…”

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