Your Sussex Wedding - August/September 2020 (Issue 86)

REAL WEDDINGS 27  J oe’s cousin had no idea that one day, he’d be welcoming Fran into the family, when he introduced the pair. They were school age when they met and their first date involved Joe getting on the local bus to visit Fran, who says, “I knew straight away that he was a genuine and caring person, which is what drew me to him.” Four-and-a-half years later, Joe organised a surprise trip to Barcelona for Fran’s 21st birthday. “During a visit to Tibidabo – the highest point in Barcelona, overlooking the entire city – he got down on one knee and asked if I’d be his wife,” Fran recounts. “Although we’d spoken about marriage, I’d no idea he’d propose on that trip,” she explains. The venue search was plain sailing, as the couple knew they wanted to hold their traditional ceremony in a quaint local church. Their research brought them to Framfield, which was the perfect fit. They were also fortunate, in that the delightful Springfield Farm in Haywards Heath, is owned by a family friend, who offered it as the venue for their big-day celebrations. “We couldn’t have asked for anything more suited to our style, and the wedding we’d imagined,” Fran tells us. Join us as the bride shares more about the big day, 26th July, 2019… SETTING THE SCENE Venue styling, Joe admits freely, isn’t his strong point, so this side of the planning was entirely down to Fran. She explains her vision: “I’ve always loved green and natural colours, so I had this palette in mind when imagining our wedding day. I also knew with the setting, that a theme of plush greenery and eucalyptus would be subtle and complementary.” The secondary big-day theme was based around gin. Fran explains, “We both love it and I love being creative, so I decided to create my own table plan around our favourite drink.” Each table was named after a different gin, and decorated with the relevant bottle as a centrepiece. Favours were then simple to tie in, and the couple gifted each guest with a mini bottle of gin along with a handmade biscuit. Scrabble tiles featuring the guests’ initials were affixed to small cards serving as super-cute place names. Flowers were kept to eucalyptus and ivy in the main, as Fran was keen to maintain an authentic look, consistent with her theme. The bride’s bouquet contained her favourite flowers, ivory peonies, with touches of gypsophila and eucalyptus to keep it simple yet beautiful. Joe, his groomsmen and the immediate family all wore ivory roses as buttonholes, and the bridesmaids carried posies of gypsophila and eucalyptus to complement Fran’s bouquet. FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD The couple set out to achieve an informal atmosphere for the wedding breakfast, making everyone feel comfortable and relaxed. As guests arrived, they were offered a gin and tonic, made to their own tastes – anything from pink gin and lemonade, to dry gin and Mediterranean tonic.