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After working away for two weeks, James returned home and the couple decided to go for dinner at their favourite pub, The Black Horse Inn, Kirkby Fleetham. “Before we left he called me into the kitchen,” Frances tells us. “He had lit tealights in a heart that said “Marry me” – badly burning his thumb in the process! It was a total surprise.”
The couple set the date for 6th July, 2019, with a church ceremony at St John’s, Sharow, and they knew exactly where they wanted to hold the reception…
"I grew up on a farm and always wanted a marquee wedding," Frances says. "What better venue is there than in the front paddock at home?" The pair opted for a blush, cream and green palette with a rustic country theme running throughout. "The florals had a relaxed vibe with lots of blush and white blooms and greenery," Frances tells us. "The centrepieces were trees with hanging glass tealight holders." For their cake, they kept the design beautifully simple and informal.
The marquee was brimming with pretty and personal touches, such as blush chair covers dressed with sprigs of eucalyptus, floral hoops, huge potted plants for outside and a fairy-lit chiffon backdrop for the top table. Fitting in with the country theme, they had their table plan hand-painted with a meadow feel. "I wanted the top table to be a wagon to represent my family's haulage business," Frances explains.
"The other tables were motocross bikes as this has been James' hobby from a young age." Each guest was given a Macmillan Cancer Support pin badge as a favour. "I lost my gran to cancer five years ago, so this was something I really wanted to do," the bride says.
Frances arrived in style at the church. "I rode in my dad's 1950s Morris Commercial Wagon," she says. "We came back from the church in it too, sitting on straw bales." A string quartet performed in the church and then returned with the party to play at the gloriously sunny drinks reception.
Friends and family were spoiled for choice when it came to food. There was a choice of crisp belly pork with Asian style noodles, arancini, Yorkshire beef with dauphinoise potatoes, roast chicken and mini cottage pies. They finished with a classic trio of desserts: Eton mess, strawberry and prosecco posset and chocolate fudge brownie.
The bride looked stunning in a simple Pronovias gown from Victoria Robson Bridal, with pretty detailing on the sides and back. "When Victoria first pulled it out, I said it wasn't for me," Frances remembers. "She convinced me to try it and I absolutely loved it! When I walked out my mum burst into tears, so I knew it was the one." She teamed it with a Swarovski Angelic necklace, bracelet and earrings.
Coordinating perfectly with the day, the men wore blue tweed suits from Humphrey and Tilly in Thirsk. James wore a gold tie and pocket square to stand out from the groomsmen who wore pink accessories to match the bridesmaids. "My best girls wowed in blush dresses with embellished necklines," Frances says.
The nerves really kicked in for Frances the night before the wedding. "I felt so sick," she says. "I was awake from 3am on the day with butterflies in my stomach." This all soon evaporated when she was surrounded by her nearest and dearest. "There were so many amazing moments," Frances remembers. "From my parents seeing mein my dress for the first time, to laying eyes on a choked-up James at the altar and the most incredible speeches."