Gabby worked with Ross' sister in his local, but they didn't exactly start out on the right foot – Gabby says, "I always thought he was quite rude and grumpy." But when the two bumped into each other on a night out she actually found him to be funny, entertaining and very charming. So, when he asked her out on a date she accepted and explains, "I think his demeanour in the pub was just shyness as he's the most caring, kind, polite, funny person you could ever wish to meet."
By the time the couple had been together for eight years, friends and family were beginning to wonder about a proposal. Significant dates or events would come and raise expectations before rolling past with nothing. “It became an ongoing joke that it just wasn’t going to happen and the more they mentioned it, the more stubborn Ross would become,” Gabby says. Every time the pair found themselves in an airport, Gabby would ask, “Are you going to propose on this holiday?” The answer was always, “No,” and Venice was no different. Little did Gabby know that Ross began scoping out potential places to pop the question as soon as they arrived. Eventually, he chose a quiet spot on a little cobbed street outside their hotel as they were heading out for dinner. Gabby remembers, “I’m grateful for his decision not to do it in front of people as my reaction was... interesting! I flapped my arms in disbelief and even sat on his knee crying.” They celebrated that night, and for the rest of the holiday, with copious amounts of pasta and Aperol Spritz.
Read on as the bride tells us more about the big day, which went ahead on 14th August 2021 following a year’s delay due to Covid...
When Gabby and Ross started looking for venues they needed to take their huge families and friendship circles into account, viewing only venues that could accommodate such numbers. They'd settled on a summer wedding, since Gabby is a teacher this would work well with school holidays. But this did mean that they had to use some imagination when they saw Old Oak Farm in the winter. Gabby says, "The pole marquee they put up every year hadn't been erected yet and it had rained constantly the week prior, so the field was a pool of mud and the trees and plants were bare, but we still fell in love. The outside bar, the marquee, the newly-installed luxury toilets, the oak tree where you have your ceremony and space to play sports were just some of the factors that attracted us. The family who run it are just the loveliest people as well."
The couple wanted to incorporate their love of sport into elements of their venue styling and created a table plan painted in sage green and decorated with sport vectors designed by Gabby’s artist sister-in-law. With help from more talent in the family, Gabby’s other sister-in-law and graphic designer, she put the seating plans onto wooden clipboards and pinned them onto the board, headed: On your marks, get set, eat...
The place names were attached to white luggage tags, which were tied around the napkins with twine. Meanwhile, the table names were all themed around sports the couple play or love, including hockey, golf, rugby, tennis, badminton and table tennis.
Between the couple and their family they managed to save plenty of wine bottles to use as centrepieces and filled them with eucalyptus grown in Gabby's garden, along with white tapered candles.
More than 100 grey, green and white hearts on sticks lead the way to the aisle and candles in jars dotted around the venue lent the space a beautifully romantic atmosphere.
Gabby wore a Martina Liana gown. She says, “I don’t like a lot of fuss on my clothes and my wedding dress was no different – it was very simple,
The groom wore a champagne-coloured tweed suit jacket with a white shirt, braces and navy chinos. He finished his look with a sage green bow tie, while the groomsmen all wore ties with their matching suits.
The bridesmaids were dressed in full-length sage green dresses.
"All of our suppliers went above and beyond. I honestly can't speak about them highly enough. They were amazing throughout – flexible, attentive and with high standards in everything."
The bride's brother created three crazy golf games for guests to enjoy throughout the day. There were also plenty of lawn games such as skittles, giant Jenga and the families even participated in a lively game of cricket.
Live band Tritones was a huge hit with everyone. Gabby says, "They were a bit different to normal wedding bands as they use backing music as well as their own playing, so they could play some alternative songs such as Billie Eilish, Drake and, the most memorable Freed From Desire, which had the dancefloor full."
Both dads joined the newlyweds during their first dance. Guests found this highly entertaining, not least because Ross' dad was wearing a wedding dress!
Gabby remembers, "I felt a lot calmer than I thought I would, but I was quite nauseous in the morning and struggled with my breakfast. We hired a minibus to get from my parents house, where we had our hair and make-up done, to a hotel just down the road from the venue. I had to sit in the front with the driver to contemplate my feelings and the day ahead. When we got to the hotel we chilled, had a glass of fizz and put our dresses on. "
Ross felt excitement and relief that the day had finally arrived, it had taken a lot of planning and Covid caused a great deal of stress."
Unfortunately the honeymoon to St Lucia had to be cancelled just days before the wedding. Gabby tells us, “Luckily, we booked the whole thing with Leyla at Not Just Travel and she took away most of the stress and angst.” Eventually, they were able to book another honeymoon to Crete.
Groom's & groomsmen's attire