August 23rd, 2017 | Julia Braime
As far as group efforts go, today’s real wedding is going to take some serious beating. Amazingly, with the help of their incredible family and friends, Hettie & Tabz, planned and pulled off a wedding for 450 guests! That’s right 4-5-0!
Marrying at Hettie’s home church, everyone packed in to see this super-popular couple tie the knot before moving onto an activity centre and marquees in Burrs County Park, for a fun reception with cool festival wedding vibes.
With everyone keen to offer their services, skills and talents, family and friends helped to take care of everything from the attire, transport, food and cake, right through to the evening entertainment. Now that’s how you call in a favour – or two, or three….
With images by Paul & Nanda
hettie says: We got engaged exactly eight months after we got together. I went on a treasure hunt type adventure with my mum to various places that were special to Tabz and I (including our first date location) where different friends were situated with the next clue. The final clue led us to a church building where many of my friends and family were. They were lined up outside and around the corridors that I followed until I reached the top of the staircase to see Tabz stood at the bottom. As I approached him, he got on one knee and asked me to marry him! I obviously said yes (why wouldn’t I? He’s wonderful!) and a band consisting of our friends began to play ‘our song’ (For Once In My Life) and we partied the night away with our friends and family. It was brilliant!
We set the date for 27th May 2017. Logic told us that a Bank Holiday before half-term school holidays would be easier for us and others, especially family who live further afield.
Our ceremony was at Life Church Lancashire in Burnley, which is my home church. The building is incredible, I have many great memories there, and I couldn’t imagine getting married anywhere else. Also, with more than 450 people attending, it was the only church building big enough anyway!
The reception was at Burrs Country Park, in Bury. We used the Activity Centre and field to create a summer festival as there was plenty of space to do so. The venue was very different to traditional weddings, which meant we did everything ourselves, with much help from great friends and family.
Our theme was ‘Be a blessing’. Those who attended our wedding have been such a blessing to us individually and as a couple that we wanted to bless them as much as we could throughout the day. We also wanted this to reflect our faith and encourage others to bless one another too.
Our base colours were black, white and grey, with pops of yellow, light pink, bright pink, orange and green. We wanted our colours to reflect our personalities and the fun, festival party.
I struggled with the idea of going dress shopping and having a stranger help you decide such an important outfit (whilst you’re practically naked!). A friend suggested that I looked at the wedding dress that one of my bridesmaids, Sue, wore. She looked gorgeous and it seemed like the kind of dress that could suit me. I tried it on and loved it! Sue gave me the dress to do whatever I wanted with (I told you people are such a blessing to us) and it was an honour to wear the wedding dress of such an amazing lady.
July 10th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s wild and windy engagement shoot photos of Hettie and Tabz braving the elements on Lancashire’s Pendle Hill are a heart-warming reminder that love endures all weathers, all climates and all, err, topographical features. The views, the palette, the bobble hat (seriously, that is one fine bobble hat) are simply breath-taking.
Tabz popped the question after a whirlwind eight months together, and knock me down with a blade of Pendle Hill grass if this isn’t the sweetest, most elaborate engagement story you’ll come across this season!
Hettie tells us more…
With photography Paul & Nanda.
hettie says: On our eight ‘monthiversary’, Tabz said he’d pick me up from work and we’d go out to celebrate. When my mum came to pick me up, I knew something was going on. He’s so adorable about celebrating every month that we’ve been together; I had a feeling that this was it!
So I went on a tour that contained clues in videos to go to special places and get the next clue from significant people in my life. The answer to each clue was a word – and yeah, you’ve guessed it, the words were ‘will’, ‘you’, ‘marry’… which then took us to a church building where loads of my friends and family were waiting. They lined the driveway, corridors and stairs with signs clapping me as I walked through them. In the main room was a band and Tabz at the bottom of the stairs.
I walked down the stairs, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I said “yes” then the band played For Once In My Life (our song) and we had a party with food, drinks and lots of celebratory hugs! It was absolutely brilliant!
We first met at conferences through The Pais Project, an organisation for Christian gap years (although we now call it ‘The Pairs Project’) At one conference we totally hit it off after I climbed through a window instead of using the door. Apparently, it got his attention…
Tabz was really busy with work so I ended up planning our first date. I wanted to do a fun, active day – but being pretty sporty, I didn’t want to beat him on the first date, either. We went to a driving range and he hit the ball further than me – phew! We then went to a lovely bistro and wine bar and chatted for hours. We very quickly established that we wanted to be together.
Pretty soon into the relationship we realised how perfect we are for each other and that our paths had crossed for a reason.
He loves me just as I am and that gives me so much confidence in myself. His love for people and passion for seeing the lives of others filled with love, joy, hope and peace inspires me so much.
We hope that in our marriage we can be a blessing to other people and to show the young people that we work with a positive example of a loving relationship.
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