Heather and Chris' paths initially crossed through work. Once through a course they both attended and again two years later on the refresher. It was third time lucky though when they encountered each other once more on Guernsey where they were setting up a new retail store for the company they both worked for.
During the short time Heather was there, they bantered as they strolled down to the shop, met for food and drinks in the evening and later went clubbing, where Chris treated her to his best dance moves. Heather had to leave the following day, while Chris needed to stay on another four weeks.
But during that time they continued to message and call each other. When his time on the island was up Heather picked him up from Bristol airport and they shared their first official date at a Harvester.
Chris lived in Somerset, while Heather’s home was in Cheltenham so it took time and effort to keep in touch, but a few short weeks later the couple decided to move in together. “That’s when our time together truly began, and the rest is history,” Heather says.
Chris proposed in Tunisia while on holiday with their friends. On a romantic evening stroll after dinner one night, the couple arrived at an area of the beach illuminated by candles laid out in the shape of a heart. Here, Chris got down on one knee and asked Heather to marry him. She remembers, "I immediately said, 'yes of course.'
He then told me he'd asked my dad for his blessing before we came away on holiday, which made me even more emotional as this was really important to me. I then found out that Chris and our friends had been in talks with the hotel manager the whole time, arranging this perfect proposal. They'd set up a gazebo on the beach and brought out a bottle of prosecco for us to enjoy."
He then told me he'd asked my dad for his blessing before we came away on holiday, which made me even more emotional as this was really important to me.
I then found out that Chris and our friends had been in talks with the hotel manager the whole time, arranging this perfect proposal.
They'd set up a gazebo on the beach and brought out a bottle of prosecco for us to enjoy."
Heather and Chris knew Hestercombe House and Gardens was the place they wanted to exchange their vows as soon as they laid eyes on the beautiful Orangery there. "It's breathtaking! Simple, but breathtaking," Heather explains. "The grounds at Hestercombe are stunning with so many different areas to enjoy, including the gardens, which have featured on Gardeners World," she continues.
The date was set for a gorgeous springtime wedding on 21st April, 2022. Read on as the bride tells us all about it...
The table plan consisted of one large photo frame with lots of little ones inside it. Some held the lists of guests on each table while others contained photographs from the places the pair had been on holiday together. Table names were Guernsey (where they officially met), Italy, Cuba, Morocco, Florida and of course, Tunisia. The bride folded a paper aeroplane for each of their guests to reflect their love of travel and wrote the place names on each one.
A further reflection of the travel theme appeared in the shape of a vintage suitcase used for guests to pop their cards and gifts into. They also chose a guest book that contained little envelopes and cards for each loved one to write their best wishes on. "We also bought an instant camera so people could pop their photo into the envelope as well. I'm a massive lover of photography, so it was important to me to include some other form of it as well as our professional photographer."
The couple, along with various family members, had a great time in the run up to the wedding emptying various whisky and rum bottles to use as centrepieces. These were filled with eucalyptus and topped with a blue dinner candle, each was surrounded with more eucalyptus provided by their florist.
Dusky blue table runners also adorned each table as did the wedding favours. Each guest was gifted a scratch card with handmade card overlay, which read, "for richer for poorer," and had a penny stuck to it for luck
The floral arrangements contained glorious blue, ivory and white blooms including roses, with eucalyptus to give them some volume.
Jars of flowers ran along each side of the aisle, which were then moved to the wedding breakfast tables and the remainder scattered around the room.
Chris loves VW Campervans, so as a surprise Heather hired one to arrive at the lodges they were staying at to take him and his groomsmen to the venue before returning to pick her up with her bridesmaids and her parents.
Hestercombe provided all of the food for the day and the duo opted for a carved buffet as their wedding breakfast. This was followed by a chocolate orange fondant. "Chris loves Terry's Chocolate Orange, so this was a no brainer!" Heather explains. In the evening everyone enjoyed bacon baps, which the bride is a massive fan of.
A further treat came in the shape of the newlyweds' bigday bake.
The single-tier cake was iced in buttercream and was joined by four layers of cupcakes – raspberry and white chocolate, chocolate brownie, salted caramel and chocolate orange.
The bride wore Suri, a fit-and-flare gown by Morilee with spaghetti straps and a gorgeous floral lace fabric. When Cherry Blossom Bridal closed down during the pandemic, she decided to return to another of the boutiques she'd visited while shopping for her dress, 14 and Sixpence in Taunton. "The owner was so lovely, I decided it would be amazing to get my veil from her. I chose a fingertip-length single-layer veil with some lace in a similar pattern to my dress," Heather explains.
Chris looked dapper in a blue three-piece suit. He teamed this with a crisp white shirt and an ivory gold tie and pocket square with gold leaf detail to stand out from his groomsmen. His buttonhole had a sprig of Heather in it as a symbol of his bride. The four groomsmen wore the same suit as Chris with similar ties, which were of a more simple design.
The beautiful bridesmaids wore gorgeous dusky blue floorlength dresses with floaty cap sleeves.
The couple opted for a DJ for the evening entertainment.
"He was great as we were able to submit a full playlist of songs to play that evening," Heather explains.
Chris is a huge music lover and spent the two years leading up to the wedding creating this playlist.
On the wedding invitations the couple also invited guests to suggest a song they'd like played.
The DJ was also open to any request, which went down well with the assembled nearest and dearest.
The gardens too were able to provide their own entertainment as folks could enjoy a stroll around them in the fine weather before the evening revelries kicked off in earnest.
Venue and catering