Our wedding was a gift from our guests

Three smiling bridesmaids in blue under rainbow umbrellas

“We always wanted to get our family and friends involved in our wedding”, said Caroline, who married Charlie at St Anne’s and All Saints’ Church in Lambeth, London.

In fact, the help and support of the couple’s guests turned out to be their greatest wedding gift.

“We couldn’t spend thousands on the wedding, so family and friends helped us prepare by doing things like making balloon trees for the reception and making the wedding invitations,” said Caroline.

As the couple’s flat was so close to the church, they decided to walk. Caroline’s family walked with her, along with a hired steel band. The slight drizzle on the day meant they had to use umbrellas, but they chose rainbow-bright colours for a truly jazzed up ‘Lambeth walk’.

“My late granddad loved lively music, so this walk to church was a way we could include his memory,” said Caroline.

Charlie and Caroline love their local church and have been going for many years. Unusually for a wedding, they took communion as part of the service, (this is called a full nuptial mass).

Many of their friends and family had a special role in the wedding, either in the ceremony or in the reception and planning – even the wedding cake was made by Caroline’s mother.

Their reception was a barbeque at a nearby school catered by a local chef – another friend. The local pub, Nolan’s, brought along a portable bar for them until the celebrations went on late into the night with karaoke in the pub itself.

Caroline added: “We love this part of London, we know so many people here and we’d got to know many people through the church as well. To have so many of them giving their time and energy in all sorts of ways made our wedding day so special and unforgettable.”