Glittering disco balls, pick-and-mix and a magical gown were just some of the key details at Fran and Tom’s celebration.
Whilst many couples crave summer weddings, Fran and Tom had their hearts set on a winter wedding. Keen to avoid Christmas-y connotations, they opted to hold their dream day in November, with the wintry sun filling their wedding with gorgeous lighting that no filter could replicate.
A winter wedding lends itself perfectly to a little bit of seasonal sparkle. Fran opted for a stunning gown studded with pearls and sequins, which subtly changed colour according to the light, flitting between white and silver.
And those disco balls! If you’re intrigued, you’ve got to see the ceiling installation in the marquee. (One word: wow…)
So without further ado: grab a cuppa and brace yourselves for a gorgeous fix of wedding inspiration. Enjoy!
With images by Katie Ingram Photography.
Fran says: Tom took me to my favourite place in the world to propose: Salcombe in Devon. I have been going there with my family since I was two years old and it holds so many special memories – it truly is my ‘special place.’
It was the weekend after my birthday and we decided to go for a walk to my favourite beach, South Sands. Once we got on the sand, we walked to the edge of the sea; it was a very wet and windy day in December but the sea looked as lovely as ever! I remember so clearly Tom saying, “I haven’t just brought you here for your birthday, there is actually another reason…”
I had actually had a feeling he was going to propose so I wasn’t totally shocked but as he got down on one knee, I remember just wanting to explode – I was so happy! He had bought a cheap ring online as he knows how fussy I am. I have always loved the idea of going to pick a ring together so this was a ‘just for the moment’ ring!
We spent a few moments hugging and kissing in the rain and then I was straight on the phone to tell my mum who was shocked – my dad had done such a good job of keeping it quiet from her. She was so happy and couldn’t stop crying! We then made a few more calls to family and friends and made our way into the South Sands Hotel to dry off and celebrate with Champagne!
Our wedding date was November 17 2018. We both love the winter and didn’t want a Christmas wedding but wanted it to be cold, so November seemed to work well.
We had the ceremony at St Mary’s Church and the reception at Iscoyd Park. We decided to go and look around Iscoyd because my brother and sister-in-law had been to a wedding there and said how lovely it was. If I’m honest, we thought it was a bit far away but the second we walked through the door, we knew it was the one!
It was outstandingly beautiful and meeting the staff for the first time was amazing. They made such a difference and made us feel so at home – we just knew Iscoyd was the perfect venue for us.
We didn’t have a theme as such: rather, I just wanted the wedding to be very simple with lots of white flowers and a stylish look overall.
I always thought I wanted a big ballgown – I’m quite figure-conscious so would never have imagined wearing something slim-fitting! However, every dress I tried on made me feel quite traditional and frumpy and I knew I definitely wanted something different that I hadn’t seen 100 times before!
I had actually already seen my dress in a local Worcestershire bridal boutique but they no longer stocked it. The only other stockist was Ghost Orchid in Hull, which was quite the journey! Katie, who works there, is wonderful.
As soon as I tried the dress on, I knew it was the one! It was designed by Odylyne the Ceremony, and absolutely covered in tiny pearls and sequins and was so heavy. I loved the way it sat on my body, was slightly obsessed with the bell sleeves and just knew it was a winner! It was very unique and I haven’t seen another UK bride wear it. I also loved that in some lights in looked white and others silver; it was super-modern yet it still felt traditional… The perfect mix in my opinion!
Tom worse a three-piece black tie suit, topped off with a dark green velvet blazer from Clements and Church in Birmingham.
The groomsmen’s outfits were hired from Armstrongs of Worcester.
As all my bridesmaids were grown-up women with very different figures, I really wanted them to feel comfortable. In the end, I decided they should wear white; as my dress was a different colour, I thought this would look really lovely.
I really struggled trying to find dresses which were white in the winter for eight people, so in the end went for a top-and-skirt combo! The top was from H&M and the skirts were from Uniqlo. I had a grey velvet belt made for each of them, which completed the look perfectly.
I used an amazing make-up artist called Amy Hickey, who is based in Gloucestershire. She is the loveliest girl and so talented – I was so happy with my make-up!
She used products from Space NK on the day, including my favourite By Terry foundation. We then used a Bobbi Brown sparkly eyeshadow to really make my eyes pop as I wanted these to be the stand-out feature.
My hair was styled by a wonderful lady called Lucy Woodhouse, who does my hair in Worcester. I wanted a really relaxed hair do that looked very natural and, in the end, opted for a half-up, half-down look. Lucy loosely curled the remaining hair and added three white roses to the top section to finish if off.
I travelled to the church with my mum, dad and brother, as we thought it would be lovely to do that final journey as a family. My brother drove in a family-owned Range Rover.
Tom, the groomsmen and bridesmaids went via mini bus!
Our photographer was Katie Ingram. She had photographed my best friend’s wedding the year before and I loved her work. I would definitely recommend her!
Sarah Mills of Mills Films was our videographer.
Mat at Red Floral Architecture was our florist. He provided a single white hydrangea for the groom, best men, ushers and dads, which looked so effective against their black-tie suits.
The bridesmaids all carried a single hydrangea with a simple grey ribbon, while I had a huge bunch of them – they looked amazing with the simplicity of everything else. Matt also provided the three white roses in my hair. We had the most stunning flower arrangement on the staircase, too. Matt at Red Floral is phenomenal and totally understood my vision from the get-go!
We also asked Red Floral to decorate the marquee. I always knew I wanted the shock-value in there but at the same time keeping it incredibly classy and fun! I have a mild obsession with disco balls so asked Matt if he could incorporate this into the ceiling fixture. He suggested adding giant (fake) white roses, which I was sceptical about at first but my goodness – the end result was breathtaking and there was an amazing photo taken of my Nan walking into the marquee and seeing it for the first time. Her face was priceless! The rest of the marquee was decorated with white and green displays, each one slightly different to the next. It was exactly how I imagined!
Our stationery – including invitations, church service, signs to the venue, table names, place names, seating plan and so on – were all created by the very talented Laura Truby. She was incredible and we are very lucky that she is a dear friend!
We gave each guest a bag of Cranch’s Sweet Shop pick-and-mix.
This is my favourite sweet shop in Salcombe and everyone who knows me well knows how much I love pick-and-mix, so this seemed like the perfect fit!
I was very lucky because my mum is an amazing cake decorator and so I roped her into making our wedding cake. It was vanilla, chocolate and lemon, with three tiers.
I wanted the cake to have a marbled effect yet still be simple in its design, and my mum pulled it off brilliantly. To make the cake look even more special, Mat added a hydrangea on the top and placed it on a clear cake stand surrounded by water, floating disco balls and rose petals! It really was spectacular.
We had the most wonderful food at Iscoyd Park. My husband is Welsh so we chose to go with the Welsh pork belly for main, which went down a treat, with ham hock or vegetarian tart for the starter and the most incredible sticky toffee pudding for dessert. We had lots of comments on the food and how delicious it was!
We had a magnificent choir perform in the church and for the evening, we booked The Distractions Band who everyone loved. They certainly did a brilliant job of keeping everyone on the dancefloor!
In the marquee, whilst food was being served, we had a playlist on in the background to keep the atmosphere and high spirits up throughout the eating and drinking.
My most memorable moments are walking in the church and seeing Tom – and hearing the choir – for the first time. Another special moment was the journey to the church; we decided to do this as a last ‘Weaver family’ drive, with my brother behind the wheel, my mum in the front and me and my dad in the back. I’ll never forget it. And finally, Tom’s speech: it was just so amazing. I can’t help but think back to that moment and smile, it was so wonderful. So many people have said it was the best groom’s speech they had ever heard. He had everyone laughing their heads off one minute and crying the next. His words blew me away and I was totally overwhelmed; I managed to only have a little cry but did well to hold it together!
The two best men had everyone in stitches with their speech (with Tom and I blushing slightly throughout!). They did an amazing job and had so many stories to tell as they have known both of us since we first met at school.
My dad surprised me so much with his speech. He is not a natural public speaker and I was so nervous he would get emotional but he held it together brilliantly and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house! His words were so sincere and lovely.
We actually decided to split our honeymoon and do a few holidays rather than one big one! It started with a tour around the Cotswolds a few days after we got married. The Cotswolds is one of our favourite places and we stayed at The Fish in Broadway; we then went onto The Painswick Hotel and finished at our all-time favourite Thyme, in Southrop.
In January, we then went to Gstadd in Switzerland for four days and stayed at the incredible Bellevue Gstaad. We are already planning our next visit to Gstaad as we both love the snow and this was one of the most incredible destinations we have ever been to – complete with the best cheese fondue ever tasted and an amazing sleigh ride through the Swiss mountains.
Last but not least we went to Santorini in May and stayed at Gold Suites Hotel. This was the holiday of a lifetime and we loved every second of it. Santorini really is stunning. The only downside: we would never go back in May as it rained the entire time!
All in all, we are very lucky and we definitely made it a year to remember!
Try and sleep the night before! I only managed to get about 10 minutes sleep as there were so many thoughts going through my mind. Try and take in as much of the day as possible – I know everyone says it but it really does fly by and there is so much going on its hard to take it all in.
Also, try not to stress too much. This is my only regret and the one thing I would do differently. I’m such a perfectionist and I found it really hard to ‘let go’ on the day and was always worried about things going right or if I was missing out on something. Try not to let these things worry you as it really is pointless!