Clementine and Andrew Westwood enjoyed a magical winter wedding in Wells

Their relationship started at a wedding in Cambridge, where well-meaning friends thought they would hit it off and were proved right when the evening ended with a romantic walk along the River Cam. The proposal took them back to the same bench by the river where they’d had their first proper conversation, with Andrew asking Clementine to marry him under a moonlit sky. “I was a bridesmaid at the wedding and we were placed next to each other at the breakfast, but it was so embarrassingly obvious we had been set up that we hardly talked!” elaborates Clementine. “A few hours and whiskies later, and a beautiful walk down to a bench by the river, and we were talking a lot more. When it came to the proposal, I had my suspicions Andrew was going to propose during a holiday to Italy, but sadly the holiday never happened as he fell critically ill days before we were due to leave. He spent months in hospital, and one day told me that he had planned to propose in Lucca at the top of the Guinigi Tower. A few months after Andrew was discharged from hospital we returned to the spot where we first talked and got to know each other, and he proposed there. It was incredible, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything!”

When it came to planning the wedding, Clementine and Andrew were equally involved. “One of the things I wanted was to make Andrew proud. He continuously makes me proud and I didn’t want to let him down on our wedding day,” explains Clementine. Andrew wanted a unique wedding – “for every element to be considered and personal to us, so this wasn’t just another ‘stock’ wedding.” The ceremony was also very important to both of them, as they wanted a special, intimate atmosphere with close family and friends to celebrate the moment they became husband and wife. They achieved this with two equally atmospheric venues – holding the ceremony at St Cuthbert’s Church in Wells and the reception at the Bishop’s Palace, also in Wells. “St Cuthbert’s is the largest parish church building in Somerset so I got to maximise the amazing moment of walking down the aisle!” laughs Clementine. “And when we visited the Bishop’s Palace, it all fell into place. This is where I fed the ducks as a little girl and my father married here in 2011, so it’s an immensely special place for both Andrew and me.”

As Clementine is a professional cellist and Andrew a professional singer, music was always going to play an important part in their December wedding. “We wanted there to be fantastic music from the moment the first guests arrived to the end of the night,” says Clementine. “We are hugely lucky to have talented, musical friends who made our wedding day unforgettable.” Andrew agrees. “I wanted to ‘marry’ our different musical backgrounds – the choral and string worlds – which we did in a sumptuous anthem during our ceremony, O Jesu Christ Meins Lebens Licht by Bach.”

During the planning, Clementine used to joke to Andrew that she’d picked out a fluorescent green knee-length dress, but on the day she wore a stunning strapless gown with a soft tulle skirt, which came from Swoon Bridalwear. “The shop specialises in secondhand dresses and I liked the idea of giving a pre-loved dress another chance to shine, but as it turned out, I unknowingly picked one of the very few dresses in the shop that was brand new. The shop was extremely helpful and let me return to try on the dress multiple times!” The necklace she wore was her ‘something borrowed’, as it was originally Andrew’s great-grandmother’s and was lent to her by Andrew’s parents. “They then gave it to me for Christmas, so my something borrowed became my ‘something mine’, which sums up how wonderfully kind they are.”

The couple chose Belinda McCarthy as their photographer, who they describe as “the fairy godmother” of photographers! “I emailed around 30 photographers when we started the search and she was the one that stood out by miles,” notes Clementine. “Her photography is stunning, her professional yet down-to-earth manner was so appreciated, and her good humour and understanding of our needs was totally innate.” The couple were also very pleased with the rest of their suppliers. “The Bishop’s Palace catering team could not have been more helpful. We were quite specific about what we wanted and nothing was too much trouble. The head chef even found his mother’s recipe for gingerbread biscuits at our request!” says Clementine. “Grace at Bramble and Wild florist was equally helpful. Being a wedding supplier myself, I knew exactly what I wanted and Grace never failed to smile and always said ‘yes’. A very beautiful little independent florist that was a gem of a find!” And with Andrew and his mother baking a sumptuous four-tier cake, the couple’s wedding day unfolded exactly as planned.

Clementine describes the day as “a whirlwind of happiness, joy, love and smiles. I couldn’t have wished for more and I have never felt so surrounded by love. Looking back on it still brings tears of joy to my eyes.” Andrew agrees. “It was truly magical and unforgettable – the most wonderful day of my life.”