We’re sharing the super sweet wedding of Tom and Roz today, who were married on 2nd July 2016. They chose to hold their gorgeous outdoor garden ceremony at Falling Foss in Yorkshire followed by a reception at Hackness Village Hall. A celebration true to them, with their close family and friends, was at the heart of their planning.
Their day really touched me for a couple of reasons. Firstly their wedding date was chosen for a really poignant reason, it would have been Roz’s late Dad’s birthday and they also made time to visit Roz’s Grandma in hospital on the day. It’s those meaningful decisions and often invisible sentiments that really make a day emotional and special. The images of the couple with Roz’s Grandma are so beautiful and treasured dearly by them both.
Tom and Roz put so much time, effort and care into crafting their perfect wedding. The village hall looked wonderful decorated in lanterns, candles, signs, tea lights and flowers. The naked cake was an utter triumph and the floral table cloths tied everything together so well. The floral theme continued into the fun print bridesmaid dresses. Roz plumped for a tea length 1950s style dress and chose to wear a Justin Alexander number adorned with lace. Tom looked dapper in a pale blue suit and superb floral waistcoat. What a loved up, happy pair of newly-weds.
Thanks so very much to Photography34 for treating us to these remarkable images.
THE PROPOSAL | Tom surprised me with a day trip on a barge, along the Leeds/Liverpool canal, for our 4 year anniversary. It was a bright, chilly November day and neither of us had ever been in control of a narrow boat before. We went sideways through our first (supposedly) simple lock, nearly crashing in to the bank, which just happened to play host to a huge glass-fronted restaurant, with many diners amusing themselves by watching us float hopelessly down the water. He said ‘let’s stop here for a minute’, to which I replied ‘are you joking?!’ I turned to gesticulate at our audience and when I looked back Tom was down on one knee, proffering a beautiful, antique diamond ring in a handmade, rustic wooden box. It turns out he’d taken one of my other rings for sizing, scoured the land for my perfect ring (which it is!) and spent hours making the little box. My sister had got married just before we went on this trip, and for months before I’d joked to Tom about when he was going to ‘engage me’, but I was genuinely taken aback and surprised by the proposal! He had put so much thought in to it, and it was so perfect – especially with the haphazard boating! I rang my Mum, but she already knew, as he’d asked her permission weeks before. We couldn’t wait to tell everybody else, but had to wait a day or so, so that I could ring my Grandma first!
THE VISION | I have quite a big family but Tom not so much, and we both have close-knit groups of school friends, so our wedding was never going to be a huge, lavish affair. We hadn’t really thought about any details to be honest! We just knew we wanted it to be true to us and a day we would look back on with fond memories.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | There wasn’t one! If we could do it again I think we might try and be a bit more organised! Neither of us are massive planners (me particularly not), we tend to be more ‘ah, it’ll be fine, we’ll decide on the day!’. Of course in wedding world, that doesn’t cut it! I started a scrapbook… and didn’t get very far. I think as I looked at a few magazines and we discussed different aspects of the day, we realised we already knew what we wanted and our visions were pretty much identical! So we did manage to secure the venue in early 2015, settle on a date for the following summer (because we wanted as much of an outdoor wedding as possible) and make a list of everything else we needed to do. Which we ignored until the following January.
BUDGET | Because of our mainly DIY wedding, we hoped not to spend too much, and I think we got good value for money on most things. We paid for the wedding ourselves, so it wasn’t an option to go ridiculous! I blew my dress budget out of the water, and we probably spent more on the honeymoon than we should have, but all in all I think we did pretty well!
THE VENUE | We went to one wedding fayre at a local hotel and looked into a couple of others, but we both knew they weren’t quite what we were looking for. We wanted to keep it local so that it meant something to us, and not pick somewhere fancy or picturesque but totally irrelevant. So when we discovered that Falling Foss held weddings we couldn’t believe it! We regularly visited and absolutely loved it – still do! It’s a gorgeous outdoor café surrounded by woodland and a waterfall and is just enchanting. It feels like a fairytale. The owners are lovely and the food is delicious so it was a no-brainer. We’re quite laid-back people, but we did have to push a bit to secure our date. We didn’t know when to go for until someone said, why didn’t we have it on what would have been my Dad’s birthday, 2nd July? He died in 2006, so obviously it would be nice to make the day a bit more poignant. It happened to be a Saturday so we thought ‘it’s fate!’. Unfortunately, another ‘do’ was being held at Foss on that day, so they originally said no… but after a bit of pleading and begging they generously said we could have a 10.30 ceremony and stay until 13.30. It was so kind of them and we are forever grateful! It was magical! All outdoors and the weather held up – for the most part – but all our guests were prepared and we’d advised them to bring suitable attire! Little birds and squirrels joined the ceremony, even hopping onto the register! Little glass jars hung from trees and flowers adorned the wooden arches; sausage sandwiches and cream scones were plentiful and the atmosphere was so full of love. That sounds awfully cheesy but it’s true! We then moved on to Hackness Village Hall, as Tom’s family are from the village. Compared to hotels and other venues, a do-it-yourself venue like this meant we could hire it from Friday night through to Sunday afternoon for only £250, and really tailor it to our style. We roped in many volunteers on the Friday night and made it a pre-wedding decorating party.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | The dress was a gorgeous, ivory Justin Alexander tea-length 50’s style frock with a beautiful lace bodice. Only after we got our professional photos back, did we notice the ‘R’ shape in the lace on the chest, which is my initial! I didn’t have a veil and just took a denim jacket in case there was a breeze! The shoes were bright orange suede with pom-poms on the front – I needed some colour somewhere!
FINDING THE DRESS | From the start I set my sights on a short dress. I love the boho, beaded, less fitted dresses and had those as an option, but due to the terrain and outdoor environment, decided on a 50s style tea-length dress. Nothing too extravagant and possibly with colour. I only went to a couple of wedding dress shops (to be honest, I found it a bit boring!); I love looking at all the dresses and if someone else was trying them on I would have been really excited, but I knew what I was looking for and most shops only stock 2 or 3 shorter styles, if any. I left it late, apparently, with only 6 months to go, and people kept telling me to get a move on! I didn’t want to spend too much, but in the end visited The Wedding Room in Scarborough. I went in one day with my mum after work to book an appointment and had a little browse. There were three shorter dresses and one jumped out at me straight away. The lady said it had only just come in an no one had tried it on yet, so she encouraged me to try it there and then and it fit perfectly! It was meant to be!
GROOM’S ATTIRE | We found lots of pictures of outdoorsy, casual grooms and tried to look for something similar. It was always going to be a suit but not too formal a one, and preferably quite a summery colour. We didn’t need to look too far and came across the light blue one and white shirt in Next. Tom was always going to have either a floral tie or floral waistcoat, but we searched high and low for a waistcoat and couldn’t find one, so in the end my mum made one. It got critical acclaim on the day and looked fabulous!
THE READINGS & MUSIC | The music was very important to us and was the finishing touch to the day. Playing whilst guests arrived was ‘Save the Last Dance For Me’ by The Drifters, ‘It Must Be Love’ by Paolo Nutini and ‘To Love Somebody’ by Michael Buble, I walked down the aisle to ‘The One’ by Kodaline; we signed the register to ‘Home’ by Phillip Phillips and we exited back up the aisle to ‘Burning Love’ by Elvis Presley feat. The Philharmonic Orchestra. We then had a playlist of our favourite songs playing in the background as guests ate, and for the reception, there was a song request space on the invitation, so we could dance to all our guests favourites. Our first dance was to ‘Grow Old with Me’ by Tom Odell – not too slow and the prefect sentiment!
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My older twin sisters, Juliette and Olivia, my cousin Florence and Tom’s sister Chloe. Their dresses were from Pretty Kitty Fashion and took ages to find the right one! I wanted either my dress or theirs to be patterned, so since mine was plain it had to be theirs! We also looked for a style they could wear again and was similar to my dress. Luckily, all standard sizes fit them with nothing needing altering. They were a steal, too, at about £35 each. We all had 3 pairs of shoes, as well! Heels, ballet pumps and plimsolls, as the terrain was so varying and we still had decorating jobs to do throughout the day. All the shoes except my orange ones were from Primark, and collectively cost about £90 for 14 pairs! Bargain! Our hair was done by Craig from Do or Dye salon in Scarborough, a fabulous hairdresser who I recommend to everyone – we asked for relaxed up-dos, which definitely got more relaxed towards the end of the night! We did our own make-up, which hairdresser Craig and photographer Tony found hilarious, as none of us knew much about contouring or highlighting and were so afraid of looking like clowns!
THE FLOWERS | By Kirsty at Minnie Bee’s Floral Design in Scarborough; my sister used her for her wedding and the flowers were just beautiful. Everybody commented on how stunning they were and we had used her for other occasions too, so it was an obvious choice. She’s so talented and easy to talk to. We didn’t have a real scheme, we just said lots of colour and quite rustic and the results were amazing.
THE CAKE | I was originally going to make my own as I do decorate cakes and made my sister’s naked wedding cake. We decided on a naked cake, decorated with fruit and flowers, as a full iced affair just wasn’t us. We had chocolate, plain and lemon sponges decorated with edible fresh flowers. I realised I wouldn’t have time to make my own, but Wendy, who I used to work for and who taught me sugarcraft and cake decorating, offered to make our cake as a gift, which was really thoughtful. She finished it on the day between the ceremony and reception and it was perfect, not to mention delicious!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | We knew what style of photographs we wanted: nothing too serious or set up, more natural, candid shots. We originally contacted a different photographer who’s work we loved, but he was busy on our day, so we asked who he could recommend – and we’re so glad we asked! Tony Wilson of Photography34 was just fantastic and we can’t thank him enough for capturing and preserving our special day forever. We basically gave him free reign to just go with it and let him do what he does best, and he was literally everywhere! The majority of our 800+ photos are of people laughing, smiling and dancing – not looking at the camera, which is just wonderful. Every guest was photographed at some point and all the photos are a true storyboard of our day. He stuck with us from 7am until 10pm, enthusiastic, friendly and professional throughout. We did have a first for him though; my 93 year old Grandmother was in hospital at the time and was determined to make the wedding, but unfortunately was too ill, so with a gap in the middle of our day, we planned on visiting her. Tony asked if we would like some photos with her, so he accompanied us to the hospital and took the most beautiful pictures, which we will treasure forever, especially as my Grandma died a few months later. We can’t recommend Tony enough, as from the very first contact right up until you get your photos back in a beautiful wooden keepsake box, his service is second to none.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | We decorated the village hall ourselves, as well as Kirsty from Minnie Bee’s doing the flowers and hanging the coloured lanterns, supplied by Homebird House in Scarborough. Tom’s Dad made Swedish candles which were outside the village hall and ‘Tom and Roz’s Wedding’ arrow signs to hang on trees on the way to the venue. We used palm leaf biodegradable plates and wooden cutlery, with supermarket bought paper tablecloths and bunting made by my mum. We also spent many an evening decorating about 80 glass jars with lace and garden string and put tea lights in them all. We had sparklers and blankets and anything else we could think of to make the night perfect! We had large garden games and ‘Advice for the Bride and Groom’ cards as well as a guest book. We ordered a mountain of food for our help yourself buffet, from The Crescent Hotel in Scarborough, which was just delicious and superbly presented. We had a local DJ who played everything we asked for and took requests and got everyone up dancing the night away. All About The Fizz brought their travelling bar with them and kept everyone topped up for very reasonable prices (the bar and staff hire was free then all the guests paid for drinks, which was another way of keeping costs down). The way everyone worked together was just incredible and we couldn’t have asked for better services.
THE HONEYMOON | We have always wanted to go to the Seychelles, partly because it looks so idyllic but also because it seemed quite mysterious and we didn’t know much about it. We’ve never been ones for luxury holidays so we planned it a bit like a backpacking trip. We went for 2 weeks and stayed on 3 of the many islands, Praslin, La Digue and Mahe. We went budget on the first two islands, which was a great experience and immersed us in local life; on Mahe we stayed in a luxury resort – there’s a first time for everything! The Seychelles is an amazing place and the food was incredible; there aren’t many activities to do (it is crying out for rock climbing) and everything is quite expensive, but the history of the islands, indigenous species, white sands, turquoise seas and giant tortoises are more than enough reasons to go.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | The whole experience! The day before, when preparation and running errands were key, the groom and one best man locked themselves out of the house and car and had to wait for us to return from our leisurely lunch! The two best men and the best lady did a terrific speech using an overhead projector with some truly horrific pictures of the bride and groom! It was hilarious, loving and we will never forget it. Florence (the best lady and my lovely cousin) included a wonderful tribute to my late Dad and to the family members who couldn’t be with us. She even mentioned in the speech how when we were little we would often share a bed at my Grandma’s house, and the night before the wedding we shared a bed once again, before the most important day of my life so far; that in itself was a memorable moment. Another highlight was being able to travel to our own wedding in our beloved ‘bus’; sadly, now in the big scrapheap in the sky, she sputtered on and got us there and back without a hitch! At the village hall, there is no phone reception, so my sister went outside on to the statue’s plinth to make a phone call, Tony was taking some shots just as a big gust of wind blew her frock up – priceless! A big limbo competition was taking place outside, with it down to about 2 contestants; never one to shy away from a challenge, I became undisputed limbo champ, even in my dress! The truly best part of the whole day, though, was seeing all our friends and family having such a good time and dancing the night away! It really was the best day ever!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | It is your day, so spend it how you want and with who you want. Relax! Don’t worry too much about anything because it is the marriage that is important, the wedding is just the start. Enjoy every minute because it will go by in a flash, but it will be the best day of your life.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Photography34
Food | The Crescent Hotel
Flowers | Minnie Bees
Decorations | Homebird House
Drinks | All About The Fizz
Cake | Kingston Cakery
Dress | The Wedding Room Scarborough
Venue | Falling Foss
DJ | Kenny Inman from Pickering
Well wasn’t that just lovely?
Thanks so much to Tom and Roz for sharing their wonderful wedding story xo Lou