Chris popped the question to Fran on the 24th January 2018 during a trip to Warwick Castle on a lovely crisp sunny day. It was a ‘yes’ and just 11 months later, the most perfect wedding………
The first thing they booked was St Audries Park as Fran explains; “we fell in love as soon as we drove down the drive! I used to work locally and drive past the venue all the time, I just had to show Chris. It was the first venue we visited it’s just so beautiful and the setting was perfect for what we wanted, we booked there and then!
Having the beautiful church and lots of wonderful accommodation was just brilliant having everything so close. “
Fran had a wedding Pinterest board and bride book to write down all her ideas in different headed sections. This also helped her to remember what to do and when. Fran actually got a lot of inspiration from wedding fairs and also from watching and seeing other bridal blogs online as well as from watching videographer videos online.
Fran always thought she would have a summer wedding before she met Chris. They both love Christmas – their favorite time of the year together and having all the friends and family together at such a special time of year just seemed perfect.
Although getting married close to Christmas they didn’t want to go full on Christmas with their theme but add in just a few Christmas touches. St Audries Park was already going to be beautifully decorated with our amazing Christmas tree in the Great Hall and stunning Staircase.
“We live and work in the countryside and in keeping with St Audries Park we went for Rustic with a touch of Glamour for our theme. Our colours were Navy, Gold and Plum. We used pheasant feathers, antlers and wood as our rustic aspects. We had pheasant feather wreaths made by a very talented friend for the grand hall hurricane candle holders, feathers in all the flowers including my bouquet, antlers entwined into the top table flowers and used pine cones with navy labels for the place settings. For the table plan I wanted to combine our hobbies so used fishing lures and horse shoes. “
Every aspect had a touch of gold for the glamour even their cake, beautifully made by Lesley Marshall, they went for a 4 tier cake with chocolate orange, carrot cake with rum soak raisins, lemon drizzle and a gluten free red velvet layer, all four layers tasted amazing.
Fran explains; “I think wedding photography is a very personal aspect to you, we did a lot of research into the style we liked and asked for friends recommendations. It was important to us that we used someone familiar to St Audries Park as daylight was going to short for us. We chose Adam Rumble, he was professional and wonderful to have there on the day, wasn’t invasive and did a wonderful job without really knowing he was there. One recommendation would be to write a list of the photos you want, we didn’t want many formal photos as in my opinion this can drag on a bit, but we missed out on a few with the bridal party all together just because the day seemed to go so fast to fit everything in and not keep guests waiting too long!”
Fran always knew that she wanted a satin style dress but nothing was in the shops apart from lace and she was going to have to think about getting a bespoke one made until a trip to Devlin Bridal in Melksham. Luckily Fran found the perfect dress with the correct neck line and just the right amount of ‘glitz’ that she wanted, it was perfect.
Fran wanted comfortable shoes again with a bit of glitz and found a bargain in the Pink Paradox sale.
The tiara was from Ivory and Co. which was to match to her wedding dress beading, earrings from Lace and Favour. A wedding garter was made from the off cut of the dress, which was beautifully made by Abigail Westrup Bridal who did all the dress alterations.
So, how about the Groomsmen attire? Fran explains; “We agreed on Navy and wanted tweed to fit into the country theme, I found the perfect suits whilst at the West Point wedding fair, Navy, gold and burgundy tweed suits made by Marc Darcy brought from Zebel Bespoke. They were a great fit and looked amazing on the day, even with the flat cap hats. Chris brought the boys pocket watches for their presents and it really made the outfits. I had cufflinks made for all the male bridal party from gun cartridges to go with the country theme. “
….and the bridesmaids? “I had one maid of honour and one bridesmaid, two of my best friends. I sent them a parcel with some gold knot earrings with a card saying ‘I cannot tie the knot without you, will you be my bridesmaid and maid of honour. I found some amazing gold sequin dresses and we put navy accessories with them, shoes and feather boleros, they looked stunning. They wore their knot earrings and a pearl bracelet.”
The ceremony was held in the St Etheldreda’s church, both Fran and Chris agreeing; “it was stunning and the ceremony was just magical. My Dad walked me down the aisle, to Trumpet Voluntary and the wave of emotion that hits you when everyone is staring at you is so overwhelming! My sister did a reading from the Corinthians, my Cousin Sian a poem called ‘A Lovely Love Story’ and Chris’s Cousin Millie a poem called ‘The One’. The service was conducted beautifully by Rev Nicky Morgan and we had songs sang in the prelude by the Glastonbury Male Voice Choir who also did a Christmas Carol Medley during the signing of the register which was amazing.”
Being a winter wedding Fran and Chris chose two hot welcome drinks the mulled wine and cider plus sparkling wine. For their wedding breakfast they gave their guests a choice of food but their love of Venison was the must have! “It was cooked perfectly, no one had a bad word to say about the food. In the evening we had fajitas which again went down a storm with the guests and were very tasty!
The speeches were great, short and sweet but every word so heart felt and my Dad’s speech was just the best.”
Their first dance was danced to “Up where we Belong” by Jo Cocker and Jennifer Warnes from the film An Officer and a Gentlemen. They took a course of dance lessons beforehand and they danced a perfect Fox Trot!
The Chip Shop Boys, chosen by Fran’s parents then performed along with our resident DJ (Geoff) here at St Audries Park.
Fran and Chris pushed the boat out and hired a band and fireworks with sparklers and also the LED dance floor. Chris and Fran loved the disco room but it just wasn’t going to fit into the running of their day with the band, so they saved up and brought the LED dance floor which was a surprise for Chris on the day.
Fran and Chris were asked ‘What was the most memorable moment of the day?’ “ To which they both replied “We enjoyed it all!”
“Aly just did the most amazing job, nothing was too much trouble even removing bird poo from my dress…..sorry Aly!! All the staff were helpful and friendly.”
When asked “What did you enjoy the most about St Audries Park?” Fran and Chris replied;
“We just loved it all, the house is so special, we like that there was a varied amount of food choices and different things to choose from. The bridal suite is just amazing.”
Fran and Chris then enjoyed a mini moon at Boringdon Hall over Christmas. They are then really looking forward to going to Dubai, Sri Lanka and the Maldives in March for a wonderful honeymoon!
Purchase & Hire – Tell us who your suppliers were:
Photography: Adam Rumble
Wedding attire: Devlin Bridal & Zebel Bespoke
The accessories: Ivory and Co
Other outfits: The Cotswold Frock Shop
Wedding rings: Ernest Jones
Wedding cake: Lesley Marshall- Cake Art