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  • Writer's pictureLisa Flahant

Real life wedding: Polly and Tom

Updated: Oct 12, 2022

Polly and Tom’s rustic wedding ceremony was held at Polly’s family home on the Somerset border near Dulverton on Saturday 18 September 2021…

…. And it was one of those ceremonies where everything just comes together quite perfectly, and rather magically!

Polly and Tom were one of those couples who truly gladdened my heart. Who made me smile more broadly, who gave me a few more crinkles around the eyes than usual, who made me feel simply delighted to be a celebrant.

Quiet and resourceful, kind and creative, generous and thoughtful, I could see these two were meant to be. Yet their journey through life together had not been quite so obvious or straightforward, reminding me of a classic love story I could not easily put my finger on. Tom, very patient and loyal in nature, fell in love with Polly, a spirited and rather determined beauty of a girl. But towards the end of their teenage years, Polly decided it was time to leave the countryside behind and move away for new adventures. Yet eventually the pull of home was too great; her friendship with Tom was dramatically reawakened, and by their second date they were making plans for the beautiful barn Tom was in the process of converting, and which they would go on to build together.

Alongside creating a home with Tom, Polly decided she would rather like to work with him too! They now spend their days side by side in the family business, crafting real wood flooring in their commercial sawmill – and the theme of timber, trees and nature was never far from their ceremony.

Having got to know my couple a little better, I eventually realised that they (and their story) reminded me of feisty Bathsheba and calm Gabriel Oak in Far From the Madding Crowd, one of my favourite novels. On revisiting it, I did a little dance around the office on finding a particular excerpt summarising the plot of the true loves meeting, parting and reuniting. It was with a little trepidation I sent it, along with the draft ceremony, to the couple and here was the response:

Thank you for finding such a perfect reading! Tom has since listened to the audiobook of the novel, and we both watched the film the other day as well. We love it!

Phew! It did make me rather happy to find such a perfect match for them.

On the big day, I arrived at Polly’s family home to be welcomed by Tom, his brothers Joe and Sam, and a surprise guest - Sugar! This gorgeous young golden lab was Tom and Polly’s newest family addition, and originally not expected to attend the ceremony, so after a quick cuddle (or three), an amendment to the ceremony script ensured we included her! And then it was not long before the guests were seated in the open sided barn, enjoying the stunning views over the countryside and listening to the gentle song of the birds, before friend Hannah took up her guitar and Polly’s sister Lucy and her six year old niece Cassie walked down the aisle, announcing the entrance of Polly with her father.

As you can see, Polly looked totally spellbinding in her wedding gown, and as she met Tom, they confirmed to me (and everyone else!) what a handsome and well-suited couple they really are! Framed in the beautiful oak arch, with the willow moving in the breeze, this boho vibe suited the ceremony flawlessly.

Tom’s sister Cherry entertained everyone with the Hardy reading and I shared with guests the wonderfully romantic proposal from Tom on the cliff’s edge at Tintagel. And then we arrived at the point at which Tom and Polly would exchange wedding vows, the promises which they had written themselves. Keen to recite them from memory, this was rather a magical moment, and I stood quietly in the background only providing a subtle prompt when needed. The final reading could not have been more perfect: Acorn, from The Lost Words by Robert Macfaralane and Jackie Morris, and it was read superbly by friend Emily: As flake is to blizzard Curve is to sphere, knot is to net, as One is to many, as coin is to money, as bird is to flock, as Rock is to mountain, as drop is to fountain, as spring is to river, as glint is to glitter, as Near is to far, as wind is to weather, as feather is to flight, as light is to star, as kindness is to good, so acorn is to wood.

That, I think, is the perfect place to leave this ceremony. Other than to say how much I truly enjoyed Polly and Tom’s Hardyesque day – and to show you the most amazing space Tom and Polly created for their reception – how incredibly talented they both are!

If you’d like to, you can read Polly and Tom’s review in full here – and a big thank you to Katie White for her truly wonderful photographs – a pleasure to work with!

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