How did you meet?
Francis and I both met whilst working together for an organisation in Tunbridge Wells in 2009. It wasn’t quite love at first sight as we both had different boyfriend/girlfriend then, so we started off as friends. After a year or so love blossomed when we both became singletons’ in 2010 and we have been and lived together ever since.
Francis proposed to me by coming to where I now work in Tunbridge Wells with a beautiful bunch of roses and the West Heath wedding brochure with prospective wedding dates already written down for the next 9 months. We always said we did not want a long engagement. It was very sweet but it did get people talking as he got on one knee in the middle of the car park!
Why West Heath?
Francis has always been an agent working for West Heath which was partly the reason, however even before Francis started working there I looked online at the West Heath website and saw that West Heath was a wedding venue and I never really looked anywhere else. I loved the venue, the building, rooms, grounds and I especially loved the history of the school where Princess Diana went to as a young girl.
Charlie’s Hen’s do I had 2 hen do’s the first one was afternoon tea at the tea rooms at Hadlow college, this one was the calm before the storm. It was attended by my mum, auntie, and all the friends & family who either couldn’t make the crazy one or didn’t want to!
It was a really lovely afternoon, we ate, played games and we all had lovely little bags made by my bridesmaids filled with little goodies including personalised tissues with the date of the wedding and our names on and little mirrors which had Charlottes Hen ‘Afternoon Tea’ written on which everyone loved especially my mum. I was also given an invite to my second hen’s do which was in a beautiful scroll made by one of my bridesmaids.
The second hen do was a more raucous event. Myself and some friends started off in the afternoon having our hair done…. essential. I was then told to meet friends at 6.30pm at a hotel in Tonbridge. When I arrived I was greeted by some of my friends and family I was promptly dress in the obligatory brides’ veil, sash and flashing badges, with a blow up male doll in tow the left in our taxi for our destination.
We had a great night, we met the rest of the friends in a bar and drank lots of Prosecco. We then went on to our final destination which was Moo Moo a club in Tunbridge Wells. We had our own VIP booth with plenty of alcohol and it was decorated with the typical hen party must haves. The best bit of the evening was defiantly the stripper! A complete surprise, however, I was hoping I was going to have one. Not everyone’s cup of tea but I loved it! The night finished slightly earlier than anticipated but only due to my alcohol consumption. The best memories with the best people.
Francis’ Stag do I have no palette for alcohol and not a drinker nor smoke so my stag-do was a very quiet affair. My close friends and family members all met in a restaurant in the City of London and we had a meal, drinks, sat and chatted which was perfect for me!
Charlie’s dress – Something old, new and blue?
I found my dress in the first shop I visited, Dress Dreams in Sevenoaks. I went to a trunk show hosted by the designer Anoushka G and fell in love with my dress. I wanted something fitted and I knew Francis would like that over a puffier one. I felt fantastic on the day which is the most important thing. My something old was a watch from my sister, my new was my jewellery and my blue was a little blue gemstone on the bottom of my shoes.
In terms of something stunning, new and blue, Francis hired his suit and all the groomsmen’s suits from Ted Baker. It was blue/navy Ted Baker 3-piece suits. Francis wanted to stand out from his groomsmen so he wore white waist coat under his blue suit with blue/tan shoes. Francis wore his 18k gold Rolex day-date watch as something old that matched his wedding ring. The groomsmen wore blue waist coats to match their suits and all the groomsmen got to keep their Ted Baker handkerchief and ties as they came free with the hire. Francis also bought all the groomsmen their matching black/navy shoes to keep after the wedding as a gift from him.
Venue décor I wanted pastel colours and so I chose for all 7 bridesmaids to wear 7 different colours. My idea was pastel and pretty and Francis just let me get on with it. My mum is very creative so she made all the bunting, decorated the cake, arranged all the flower displays and did the bridesmaid flowers I was very lucky. The beauty of West Heath is you don’t need to be extravagant with the décor as the venue says it all.
Photographer Our photographer was Yolanda Frost Photography. Francis already knew her husband Neil Frost (he was or singer/DJ on the night) but she also came recommended by a couple of friends. She was fantastic. As part of our package we also had an engagement photoshoot which we had at Haysden Park in Tonbridge. On the wedding day we had Yolanda Frost as our main photographer and a 2nd photographer called Lee Mortlock just for Francis. They were so professional and friendly. We are so lucky to have so many beautiful pictures to remind us of all the special moments during the wedding day.
First dance Francis and I both danced to Nathan Sykes song called ‘Over and over again’. We just went for the shuffle around the dance floor route.
Charlie’s favourite moment on the wedding day I loved our whole day but if I have to pick it would be the evening where I could relax and spend time with our guests. I also really loved our photobooth we hired!
Francis’ My favourite part of the wedding was the actual wedding ceremony and everyone waiting for the bride to walk down the aisle to a song and the exchanging of the wedding vows.
Charlie & Francis’ Words of Wisdom
Overall we found the organising for the wedding fun and not too stressful. We planned the whole wedding in 7 months from engagement to the wedding day. We suggest you do what you want and not what others want you do. Be firm it’s your day, not your family members or friends.