If you don’t believe In love at first sight; read on. This story starts, as many do these days, with a dating app; Bumble. After many well below par dates, some hilarious, yet most shocking, Alex was left doubtful of the universe’s matchmaking skills, however, all hope was not lost. While away in Kent, England for a business trip (some 85 miles from home), Alex happened upon Marc Dorsett, who was not in fact searching for love, yet instead joking around with a friend in a race to see who could find a serious date through the app first. Low and behold the lucky Londoner won the race a week later, realizing his serendipity at first glance. It was two strangers staring at a series of photos on an app and knowing they were looking at the ‘one’. The connection was immediate, one day of texting followed; then an hour of voice notes led to an evening on the phone and on day three, they met.
Fast forward, and three years pass before the happy couple settle into their interwoven lives ready to tie the knot. However, keen to cement their common ground just eight months after meeting, they took a trip to the romantic city of Bath, where the kindred souls enjoyed dining in two Michelin-star restaurants and, while in their cosy hotel room, poetically exchanged innermost feelings and, importantly, engagement rings that would bind them for eternity. Romantic weekends away together were added to their monthly schedule, as for two years they were to live 85 miles apart.
A pandemic is a strange time to decide to wed some may think, however in late February 2020 Marc was rushed into hospital with meningitis; this was the second time in his life he was faced with fighting this disease. His near death experience left the couple much closer and seeing life as short; and so, in between lockdowns, Marc moved to Cambridge to live with Alex and her three grown children, while commuting the 85 miles to work each day.
A born planner, Alex was keen for them to organise their wedding together. Many months passed and everything was ready to roll: the dress, the groom’s bespoke Ted Baker suit, their five children’s outfits, 13 ties and cufflinks for the men in the family, the flowers, cakes, disco playlist, butterfly and bee seed packet favours, and handmade table settings, all in place for the wedding. However, the universe had other plans. The bride and groom were left devastated to hear most of Alex’s family tested positive three days before the ceremony, and a PCR test concluded Alex too, was to be quarantined. On the day of the wedding, Alex reflects, “We both stayed in bed and watched the clock tick. It was a deeply sad time and yet the shared sadness deepened our connection and brought us even closer.”
A firm believer in everything happens for a reason. The postponed November wedding was due to be held during the worst weather of the year; high winds and rain and many guests could not make the trip to the UK for the event. However, the new date, which landed on the UK’s Mother’s Day and Alex’s son’s 16th birthday, presented blue skies, sunshine, a warmth in the air and daffodils at their feet. Springtime had arrived and nature was waking up all around them.
At 2pm, with the wedding party seated and listening to Spring by Vivaldi, the couple, with Alex arriving first, found themselves face to face, holding hands, overlooking the scintillating surface of the lake at Minstrel Court, Cambridgeshire, where they would convey their everlasting love simply through the looks they gave each other before a word was uttered. “Although everyone was looking at us, and that can be unnerving, for a moment it felt as though we were alone, as we only had eyes for each other,” reminisces the bride. As the sun’s rays bounced off the lake, vows were made, cheers bellowed, with hugs for all as the couple greeted guests as they vacated the summerhouse to the uplifting chords of Mozart.
Proceeding to their wedding breakfast, Alex notes, “Since Marc is a sensational home cook and has elevated my cooking to new spheres and dimensions, we admit, we were worried that the food may let us down. We wanted everyone to enjoy a hearty, hot and tasty meal, yet the number of guests meant the food could easily come out cold; I’m sure we watch too many Gordon Ramsey Kitchen Nightmares,” she giggles. “Refreshingly, we were served piping hot pulled pork and seasonal vegetables packed full of flavour and masses of it. We ate like royalty and everyone was more than satisfied.”
Tantalizing food was followed by a series of 10 heartfelt speeches leaving the room tearing up, amid smiles and howls of laughter.
As guests shifted to the dancefloor, Marc’s playlist, blending motown, disco, funk, hip hop and R&B meant the floor was never empty. And just when things seemed to have peaked around 10pm, guests were held witness to an awe-inspiring firework display, as a final surprise to end a perfect day.
Since the wedding was moved from winter to spring, the newlyweds had already enjoyed a honeymoon weekend in one of the world’s most romantic cities. A multicultural eclectic, warm and inspiring destination, the bride confirms, “For an interracial couple, I cannot hype up Barcelona enough. We were welcomed everywhere we went, we were showered in big smiles, amazing food, incredible views and warmth. It’s a very harmonious place and culturally so diverse and fascinating. It’s without doubt now our favourite place to visit. We experienced no issues, people were kind, generous and hospitable. We can’t wait to get back there.”
Wedding venue: @minstrelcourt
Photos & video: @candyapplegrove
Groom: @tedbaker made by @mossbros
Nails: Designed by @olena_oezman
Nails: Styled by @jennienails
Hair & make-up: @alexfoxcambridge
Xavier Fox, born in Cambridge, UK, spent the first 10 years of his life in Doha, Qatar after his father took the role of senior weather presenter at Al Jazeera English. Returning to the UK at age 11, he spent his school years in a south Cambridgeshire village, taking his first part-time job at his grandfather’s zoo, www.sheprethwildlifepark.co.uk. Xavier plays the drums in his spare time and enjoys long country walks. Having recently left secondary school, his next academic move is to 6th form in Fall 2022, to study A Levels in preparation for a career as a journalist.