The wedding of
Robyn & Chris
Real Life Weddings at Fanhams Hall
How did you both meet and how did the proposal occur?
We met on our first gals/lads holiday in Malia 2013. The longest one night stand you’ll ever hear about!
The proposal was on the 24th December 2022 (9 years is a long time to wait!!), at London St Pancras’ Searcy’s Champagne bar. We go there every year for my birthday, so it was super special. I’d had my make up done that morning by a make up artist who’d later become the make up artist for our wedding day too!
What did you love most about Fanhams Hall?
Fanhams Hall is magical and enchanting in all weathers.
It’s a stunning location (although I would say that growing up near Ware) and the staff are so friendly and approachable. Everyone really cares for you and it was a familiar, local venue for everyone in our families. I’d had my black tie 21st party in one of the rooms, and my Mum had had her 60th party in the pavilion too. So it was incredibly special venue for us.
Did you have a theme or particular style for your day?
We wanted our wedding day to be the epitome of ‘us’. We worked hard to make everything incredibly personal to us both. We also like to be original, so we wanted to do things that no one else had done before! This included ‘photo in a bottle’, which doubled us as table names. This initiated conversation on tables sharing where and how they knew the bride and groom. Everyone took their photo in a bottles home and commented on how personal they were.
Every year, the groom had a tradition with his Nan where she’d leave a scratch card under their place mats on Christmas Day, so we did the same but hid them under the table centre pieces. The centre pieces were Mrs Hinch ribbed vases, and I am a CRAZY hincher (I even invited her to the wedding!). We also had glow wands for everyone after the first dance, with our first dance being an acoustic version of a song that was played on repeat in Malia 2013. We had a slideshow of photos and videos of us in the library with live music and love letters. We then had beer pong tables during the room turnaround. The groom is football mad so we had our Page Boy kick a football down the aisle in our ceremony and footballs hidden in our top cake. Everything was just fun… everything was us!
Tell us all about the dress...
THE dress is a story in itself. Are you ready?I bought my first wedding dress with my Mum 4 days after we got engaged. It was basically the only bridal shop open the day after Boxing Day. It was a beautiful dress, embellished with jewels with a long train. When it arrived in my size the straps felt uncomfortable and they chaffed too! After having it altered by a really lovely seamstress, this didn’t change. So, after crying in my car wondering what to do, I drove myself to the nearest bridal shop in a little place called Weedon. I’d never heard of it before but they were so lovely on the phone. When I arrived I clocked this stunning sparkly Cinderella dress but I didn’t think I could ever wear a dress like it so I tried on 10 different dresses and was brutally honest about how I felt in them. The ladies were so reassuring and friendly!
Then, I found THE ONE. I didn’t care of the price because it was just perfect. The staff left the room so I could call my Mum to let her know I didn’t like my first dress and found the perfect one and when my Mum answered she was in a long mirror. “Mum, where are you?” I asked. “I’m in a mother of the bride shop trying on a dress because I didn’t like my first dress.” She replied. I was shocked… “You’re joking, I’m in a bridal shop because I didn’t like my dress!”. So she encouraged me to tell her where I was and guess what, she was in the sister shop opposite the road from me!!! She walked across the road, saw me in my dress and we were there for about 15 minutes screaming in excitement with champagne.
Serendipity brides, you’re all angels! Thank you for being such an important part of my wedding journey. I felt incredibly confident all day. Thank you! Due to my dress change, I changed my hair and my make up. So I basically planned my wedding outfit in 6 weeks. Brides, if you’re not comfortable in your dress, don’t be afraid to speak up! You must feel like you never want to take it off!
What do you remember most about the day itself?
Everything! How perfect the whole day was. Some things didn’t go exactly to plan due to the weather, but how they actually worked out was just so perfect!
After the guests arrived from the church ceremony, they were meant to go outside on the lawn and play garden games with a live singer outside too. Instead everyone was in the library because it was chilly and drizzly, but this was perfect because they all saw the slide show of photos, all heard the live singer, all forced to mingle as they were close me together, they were able to see and sign the guest book and displays. During the speeches, the sun begun shining and it was beautifully gorgeous all evening!
The weather is something you can’t control, but it worked out so perfect for us. I also loved our first dance with the light up dance floor on my dress, it was magical.
Were there any special moments or surprises?
When we returned to Fanhams Hall after our church ceremony, we were greeted with our chosen reception drinks and canapés. It felt really special. When we went to our room at the end of the night we had the top cake in our fridge, along with a card from Fanham’s Hall and a Polaroid of us as a couple. This was super special.
What tips or advice would you give to future couples?
Firstly, book with Fanhams Hall! You won’t regret it!
Secondly, decide what you as bride and groom actually want before asking for others opinions, or maybe don’t even ask for their opinion as remember it’s all about YOU! When other people get involved, it gets so exhausting trying to meet everyone’s needs. It’s just not possible to do either!
Thirdly, give your phone to a best friend that’s not in the wedding party for your whole wedding day. Ask them to snap throughout the day and then hand your phone to you at the end of the day. When we went to bed we stayed up looking at all the photos and videos, opening our cards, having champagne in the bath. Since then, we’ve replayed our footage over 500 times just reminiscing on the day and laughing and zooming into people’s reactions to different parts of the day. It takes 4 weeks to see our wedding photos and 4 months for our videography footage, so having this on my phone for us to see was just super special. My Dad’s even screen casted his phone to replay his speech.
The whole day was just perfection. Thank you so much, Fanhams Hall