Dawn & Frankie
12th October 2018
Upton Barn & Walled Garden
I chatted with the lovely Dawn & Frankie on their Cotton Anniversary and asked them about getting married during Storm Callum in October 2018 and all things wedding!
Why did they choose their wedding venue?
We got engaged in July 2013 and we visited Upton in the December when it was only just finished and the Stable Barn wasn’t even built at the time,
yet we just knew from standing in the garden with the winter sun beaming and a personal song to us playing that it was potentially a done deal.
However just to be sure, we still visited a couple of other venues in the South West but none of them could match Upton for our needs and imagination and when we went back to book in 2016 and saw the Stable Barn we couldn’t believe our eyes at how incredible it looked and knew we had made the right choice all those years prior.
Dawn - I went to Bristol with my cousin Jackie
and best friend Mel on the train to Wed2be so we could make a girls day of it, which we did by trying on several dresses and drinking several G&Ts - but I actually stuck with the first dress I tried on!
I can’t explain it but you just get this feeling of it being ‘the one’ and apparently I couldn’t stop smiling so it had to be!
Frankie - I loved experience of finding my perfect wedding dress, perhaps a little too much as I ended up trying on too many and confused myself!
I was lucky enough to have an amazing experience at a well-known bridal designers’ boutique (something I had dreamt of from a young age) and fell in love with two dresses there.
I still couldn’t decide on which dress was the one for me, one day I saw that a different store that I had previously visited had a sample sale on with up to 90% off all dresses. Having a nose for a good deal I asked my best friend to come along with me not expecting to find anything.
On arrival I picked up a Stella York dress along with a few others, I tried the first dress on and that was it, sold. The dress had everything I wanted but had a corset back, something I always said I did not want, however, after trying the dress on I fell in love. I really wanted a Bardot style, off shoulder dress and the one I had chosen was strapless. Thankfully our amazing seamstress (Alterations by Alicia) was able to source lace that was almost identical to my dress and created the perfect off shoulder look for me. After buying my dress my best friend and I ended up having a bottle of fizz in Spoons!
Hair & Make Up
We have had our hair cut by Yvette at R&G Barbers in Crediton for some time, so it only seemed right that she was part of our day.
We both asked Yvette to create looks for us, Frankie tends to wear her hair half up, half down and Yvette created an amazing look with Frankie’s hair gathered in what looked like roses at the back.
Dawn isn’t a fan of wearing her hair down so Yvette created a relaxed hair up look for Dawn on the day, we couldn’t have found anyone more perfect.
When it comes to make up, Frankie in her words “wouldn’t let anyone else touch her face” so did her own makeup, she has always had a passion for makeup, having previously done bridal party make up for friends and family, and being rather particular was more than happy to DIY on the day!
Dawn doesn’t wear make up day to day and thankfully her sister in law to be is also a dab hand with makeup so did Dawn’s make up as well as her own. If you have a friend or family member who can help with make up on the day it is such an easy way to save a considerable amount of money!
It was important that with such an age range
within our bridal party that they all wore different styles that they were comfortable with, but we wanted them all in the same colour and it worked out really well and everyone was happy which was the main thing.
It’s a long day if you’re uncomfortable! There was never any question with who would be by our side on the day, they are our family and we wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Did you have a theme or colour scheme?
We didn’t have a theme as such but Navy Blue along with neutral tones was our colour scheme, as it was an autumnal wedding we thought it was very fitting.
We had a few meetings with Amanda at Winsor Flower Studio and she was so lovely and easy to get along with.
We left it to her to decide what flowers and she didn’t disappoint; we had mostly neutral colours with some pale blues in there and with Dawn’s bouquet being slightly larger than Frankie’s.
We used most of our bridesmaid’s bouquets to fill the tables after the ceremony, it was a way of saving money but also making the most of the lovely flowers we already had rather than getting more than needed.
A bit about me...!
We loved Elisabeth Shell Events from the moment
we met her, she listened to our every word and replicated exactly what we had dreamt of on our perfect day.
We consider ourselves laid back perfectionists and Elisabeth Shell Events was exactly the same.
Everything on the day from how the tables were laid out to something as minor as the number of candles that had been laid out as we walked down the aisle was nothing short of perfection, all thanks to Phoebe.
Initially the day wasn’t exactly how we had hoped as a storm had hit so the weather couldn’t have been worse and that added to our stress, however, Elisabeth Shell Events was so reassuring and calm that we didn’t care about the weather in the end because we were still about to create our perfect day.
Elisabeth Shell Events helped to calm our nerves, her laid back nature paired with her amazing organisational skills helped to put our mind at ease to help us enjoy our day as we should.
Frankie recalls a moment after the ceremony when we were waiting to head into the wedding breakfast, we had both changed our shoes to head outside to have some photos taken during a brief break in the stormy weather. We went to look for them to get changed again and there was Phoebe with them already in her hands!
On the Day:
After the ceremony we went almost immediately into the drink’s reception, Dawn had arranged for a local musician Karl Zumar to play as a surprise.
We had really hoped for a dry day so we could head outside for our drinks reception but as the weather had other ideas all of our wedding party were inside.
The size and layout of Upton thankfully allowed for this without feeling cramped, having the wood burner on made it really cosy, looking back we are actually thankful that everyone was forced to be in that space together as it encouraged people to talk to each other and get to know one another better.
Yeti Photography and Tristan Adams Videography documented the day perfectly for us. We gave strict instruction that we didn’t want a lot of ‘posed photos’ and wanted the majority of images to be natural and candid and that’s exactly what they gave us.
The photos that Vince captured were stunning and such a perfect reflection of the emotion and joy of the day. At one point when outside having some photos taken Frankie’s veil blew off due to the high winds, thinking that was the last we would see of the veil... next thing we knew Vince was sprinting across the soaking wet lawn to rescue the veil from rose bush that it had become tangled in – what a hero!
Tristan’s video was beautiful, initially we had never thought about having a wedding video but after seeing a friend’s wedding video highlights we agreed it was something that we wanted. Tristan was so laid back and blended into the day seamlessly. If you spend money on anything we would say a video is a must, even now when we put it on we are transported back to the day and it is something that we will treasure forever.
The speeches were amazing.
Dawn’s cousin Jackie did a speech on behalf of both of the bride’s father’s: neither of our Dad’s are comfortable with public speaking but both wanted to write something. After seeing someone on a wedding blog who did the same it worked out perfectly. Both of our Dad’s wrote their own speeches and Jackie tied them together and delivered them beautifully, we think it made it more special someone else reading our their words.
Our best person Mel also did a speech as well as Dawn, Dawn’s speech was highly emotive with not a dry eye in the house.
Frankie is well known for being a ‘feeder’ and loves to host and cook for loved ones, Dawn’s speech ended by saying “thank you for loving me, putting up with me and most importantly for feeling me"... she meant to say “feeding me”!
Although a faux pas and completely not intended it brought the house down and was a perfect way to round off the speeches!
The day and night food was amazing, we wanted a hearty, traditional sit down meal for our wedding breakfast and both the day and night caterers had links to us. Ashley from Cottage Caterers did our day food and the cake, all of which was stunning.
Keepers Cottage Pub in Kentisbere where Ashley is based was frequented by Dawn in her younger years when she played for Cullompton ladies Rugby Club.
We never really had to think about our evening food it just happened; in the lead up to Christmas 2016 we were in Exeter doing some Christmas shopping, Dawn was in the Guildhall waiting for Frankie and heard someone call her name.
It was Dan from Dan’s American Kitchen at his street food stall, Dawn and Dan used to work together when they were about 18! After a brief catch up and sampling some of his food for lunch that day it was a done deal.
Given that we knew both our day and evening caterers already by chance it was a pretty easy decision for us thankfully. All of the food was delicious and something our friends and family still comment on now.
We both love to dance (although we dance for ourselves as neither of us have much rhythm!)
so we knew that in the evening we just wanted a good party and a dance.
We saw Mark from Retrodisco advertised online as a recommended supplier, we reached out and new he was perfect for us as he basically he said he will play whatever music we want!
As we made the invitations ourselves we asked people to include a song that always gets them on the dance floor on the RSVPs,
we thought it would be a good way to encourage people to get on the dance floor and it certainly worked.
The look on one friend's face when her request of ‘I am the one and only’ by Chesney Hawkes came on was a picture!
‘Our song’ has always been ‘The Story’ by Brandi Carlile
so there was never any question on that.
We did however end up choosing a different version of the song as it had been covered by LeAnn Rimes in 2016
as we preferred the way the song ended in her version.
As terrible dancers, both with two left feet, we just went for it, having a few espresso martinis beforehand helped the nerves haha!
We went to Paris; life was so busy for us that year
and in the year after so we didn’t want to go anywhere too far or for too long.
We both love France and had never been to Paris together, being only a short flight from our local airport it made sense.
We flew a few days after the wedding and went for six nights, it was honestly the most beautiful trip and we wouldn’t change it for the world.
The weather was stunning, and we loved every second; one night we took a boat trip down the Seine which included dinner, seeing Paris at night from the river was an experience we will never forget.
And finally... An 'I wish I'd known' quote from the Bride & Bride for any future couples getting married:
Just how quickly the day was going to go! When people say ‘it will go so quickly’ you don’t really understand what people mean until on the day when time escapes you.
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY (and one day!) YOU AWESOME LADIES... #HappilyAvery-ScottAfter !!
Love Phoebe xx