Hannah and Fraser's Bridgford Hall and Escabeche Tapas Wedding in Nottingham
Hannah and Fraser got married in September at the grand Bridgford Hall in West Bridgford, in Nottingham. Which is a huge 250 year old Georgian building with the huge Bridgford Park as its back garden. You can also stay in one of the attached apartments there the night before which is super convenient. They had their ceremony at The Garden Room which has chandeliers (giving it a "grand old house" vibe) and lovely big windows letting lots of natural light flood through. Bridgford Hall literally has Bridgford Park as its back garden. This was the perfect setting for fun photos of family and gave an opportunity for Hannah and Fraser to spend some time alone (and have some awesome photos of course) before we walked over to Escabeche, which is West Bridgford's favourite tapas bar. They chose Escabeche because the food is incredible and they were able to have the entire upstairs area, which proved to be an ideal setting for their informal, fun (and full of yummy tapas reception) The most hilarious moment of the day for me was when Hannah and Fraser romantically fed each other chorizo! Check out the photo below! (after Hannah and Frasers own words about the day) along with lots more of my favourite moments.
I often wonder how my couples got to this awesome stage in their lives, how they feel when they look back on their wedding day, what their fave moments were and what advice they would give to other engaged couples planning a wedding. So I ask them...
Hannah and Fraser, I would love to hear the story of how you met and fell in love?
Our mothers were friends who worked together so we have apparently known each other for a very long time!
The first we remember of each other was when Fraser sold me his bass guitar when I was but 14! I always kinda liked each other but the timing was never right and we were always with other people. We continued to be good friends as we grew up.
3 years ago (or just over now) we met up again at one of his gigs. We hit it off right away and haven't been apart since that day! Fraser has always been kind and gentle and the way his hand fits in mine has always won me over. If it wasn't for one drunk kiss three years ago maybe we wouldn't be here now.. but I'm so glad we are!
So from childhood friends and teenage crushes to husband and wife! It's been a long time coming...!
Tell me all about the proposal?
In November 2016 Fraser and me received notice that we would have to leave the house we had been renting as the landlord wanted to sell up. We were devastated and had to begin making plans to move right before Christmas celebrations should have started to happen! On the weekend before the big move started I came home late from working on a Sunday night. I came in and all the lights in the house were out (This was strange as usually I'd come home to find Fraser sitting in the middle of the living room floor on his bean bag playing various games on the PS4). I walked through to the kitchen as I could smell food. Fraser had covered all the mess from packing with throws and set up a little table for us in the middle of the dining room (we had thrown our proper table out in preparation for moving). So what was set up was a camping table, covered in a nice cloth, with two chairs. The room was lit with candles and there were rose petals scattered around.
Fraser had spent all evening cooking a three course dinner and asked me to sit and join him at the table. I had no idea what he was planning but I wasn't about to sit down and eat a nice meal in my Tesco uniform! So I quickly changed and came back down to join him. We ate the beautiful food he had lovingly prepared whilst a 'Love' Spotify playlist was on in the background. This is always a laughing point for me as we had to change it halfway through. Fraser had put it on believing it would be full of love songs - what actually transpired was that half the playlist was break up songs! After laughing we put on Ed Sheeran instead (king of love it now seems eh? all those romantic songs he writes) and we continued to eat. I had a feeling in the back of my head that something may be coming but as we got to the end of desert and still nothing was mentioned I figured it had just been a romantic gesture (Fraser had done this kind of thing before, he can be very romantic when he wants to be!). As we finished pudding and he cleared the plates I could see him looking nervous, so being hopeful, I stayed sat down (although I pointed out to him after I could have easily gotten up and just left to go to bed! haha).
Fraser took my hands and started to explain how much he loved me. He then produced my gorgeous engagement ring and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. This was all very sweet but he was still sat on his chair at this point! I told him, with a smile and a few tears, 'Of course! but you're not putting that ring on my finger until you get on one knee!'. So as ordered, he got up from his chair, got on one knee, and the beautiful ring took it's place on my finger.
He then told me that we had to ring our families now! I had always said when we had discussed marriage before that if he was to propose I would want him to tell my family he was going to do so, so they were ready! He had apparently told them earlier that day and they were all patiently awaiting phonecalls! As we rang round it began to sink in that we were really engaged and I don't think I stopped smiling for a week!!
Fraser later told me that he had wanted to plan something grander but with the move upcoming he decided he had to do it. He had wanted to propose before Christmas and after that weekend there would have been no good time because we would have been in the middle of moving and as I had not started my full time job after qualifying, yet we were horrifically broke.
The proposal was perfect. Low key but romantic and so very us!
What wedding venue did you choose and why?
We chose Bridgford Hall in West Bridgford as our wedding venue. We wanted something small and intimate to suit our planned intimate wedding. Most other small venues that we saw were in little rooms in hotels, or something equally as un-weddingy that just didn't feel right. Bridgford Hall seemed perfect from the moment we went to look round. The room was bright with natural light from big windows and the building was set in the middle of big park. The registrars were lovely and we could just picture ourselves getting married there.
It's like viewing a house, when you walk in, sometimes you just know.
What was the vibe of your wedding?
From the word go we had always both agreed that we wanted an intimate wedding with just family and close friends there. We both knew that tears would be shed by ourselves and some very personal words exchanged. We wanted these to be in front of only our closest friends and it felt more personal to have a small room full of atmosphere rather than a big hall where emotions could become lost.
We decided to have Tapas afterwards as we wanted to provide everybody with a meal and have a space for speeches but a big formal sit down do didn't appeal to us! Having Tapas meant we could have a meal provided but there was no awkward wait between courses and there was something for everybody! It also meant that guests interacted with each other due to the nature of 'sharing' dishes. It worked really well and everybody was joining in and talking to each other as the afternoon went on. It was really heartwarming to see all the people closest to us getting along together and enjoying themselves.
What are your favourite memories/moments that you think of when you remember your day?
Fraser: Holding Hannah after our first kiss. And going mad when having our couples photos taken - e.g. Hannah running around in her wedding dress in the park. Sharing food and drink with my new wife in the relaxed atmosphere of the Tapas restaurant afterwards.
Hannah: Walking into the room and looking up to see Fraser mouth 'Wow' at me. I had been so nervous and that comment and his smile just made me melt and want to run up the aisle to greet him! We had been apart all weekend and I just wanted to squeeze him! Also jumping off a park bench in a wedding dress...that was pretty cool. Overall, having all and both of our families together in once place with our close friends to celebrate with us. It all just seemed magical and I never wanted it to end.
What advice would you like to give to engaged couples about planning the day and any advice about the day itself?
STOP WORRYING AND JUST DO IT. Seriously, if you love each other then the details don't matter. He will think you look beautiful and she will think you look handsome whatever you wear or do. We planned our wedding spontaneously in 6 weeks and it was perfect. The day goes so quickly I genuinely think I'd be devastated if I'd spent two years planning it!
No amount of money can make the special moments that you experience on the day any better - if you love somebody and you want to be with them forever, make it happen. I promise you, you won't regret it.
What special details did you include in your wedding?
We both wrote personal promises to each other and decided to write these on postcards that we purchased from Paperchase. We have some brilliant pictures with them! The postcards reflected our personality (Hannah's mentioning cheese of course...). The personal promises were the real tear jerkers and are what we both remember fondly from the day as although we're always nice to each other, we don't always say just how much we really love each other, and that moment gave us chance to.
How much we didn't focus on specific details is probably how we focused on specific details...if that makes sense! We just couldn't wait to get married and although we did plan the day and tried to coordinate colours etc. wherever possible. As long as we and all our family were there, nothing else really mattered all that much to us.
What resources did you use to find the perfect suppliers?
We went to a few wedding shows and met lots of lovely suppliers. Had we continued to plan a bigger wedding in future years we may have used them. But as we decided in the end just to 'do it' we ended up with only two professionals involved (yourself and Nicola) with yourself coming via recommendation and Nicola coming via Google as a talented makeup artist who worked with airbrush makeup (I was determined if I was going to pay for makeup it was not going to be something I could do myself).
I love food and music! Let's talk about food and music?
Tapas! Yummy yummy tapas. Enjoyed by all and it never seemed to stop coming out! Avoiding dripping Chorizo and various other saucy items on the wedding dress as an interesting challenge.....
We picked out our wedding songs three days before! We had listened to a lot before this but we couldn't make up our minds. On an emotions running high evening before the wedding we sat down and went through a whole lot of Spotify/Youtube. All the traditional songs made us cringe a little and we didn't want anything with lyrics.
We chose Keane - Somewhere only we know played by the Vitamin String Quartet as the song Hannah would walk down the aisle to. When we played it it made us both emotional and just seemed very appropriate - it was dedicate yet climatic and also happens to be the song played at the end of the film 'He's just not that into you' which makes Hannah cry every time because it's a very sweet scene.
For signing the register Fraser had always really wanted Sigur Rós - Hoppípolla. In fact he had really wanted me to walk down the aisle to that song but I couldn't find the connection I wanted with it (I just wasn't keen on it haha) but marriage is all about compromise so we agreed that as the Vitamin String Quartet did a nice version of it we would have it as one of our signing the registry songs.
The other signing the registry song was a little in joke between us. Ages ago Fraser discovered the Vitamin String Quartet on Spotify when he stumbled upon a cool cover they did of 'Still Alive'. Which is the end song of Portal (a video game).. It started as a joke that we would include that song in our wedding and then we decided, what the hell, why not. Plus Hannah's dad and brother had played the game so it was sure to get a laugh out of them if they recognised it.
At this point I think we just decided to stick with violin music as it fit the wedding style really nicely. As a joke we began to play Michael Buble 'Can't help falling in love' - it seemed very cliche and we laughed when clicking play. Except, it then seemed to fit really nicely and we ended up keeping it as our song to walk out to. In fact, on our honeymoon pt2 in Nice we sat down to have a beer in the sunshine and a violinist started to play the very same tune as we sat together in the sunshine. What started as a joke is now a very emotional, but nice, reminder of the final moments of our wedding ceremony.
The wedding team...
We only worked with one (aside from yourself) who was the lovely Nicola Hodgkinson. She did Hannah's amazing makeup and hair and helped the bridesmaids when they struggled with their headpieces!
Escabeche, the lovely local restaurant who provided the room and beautiful Tapas for afterwards. The whole team were lovely and so accommodating.
Jamie's Favourite Moments from Hannah and Fraser's Nottingham Wedding
Ever wondered what it would be like to have me as your wedding photographer? Actually, I always wonder too. So I asked Hannah a few questions so that I could find out...
How did you find me and why did you decide to hire me as your wedding photographer?
You were recommended to us by a friend who couldn't say enough nice things about you :)
We'd seen the photos that you had taken for their wedding and loved them !
Based on those two things - and how lovely you are and super approachable! - we decided to hire you :)
How would you describe your experience of working with me?
Very professional but also friendly. Nothing was too much trouble and you were easily contacted by all means before and after the day.
You got into the spirit of the day and blended in seamlessly :) the feedback from the guests was that you were so lovely and after the first few moments nobody noticed you were taking photos (in a good way!) It was all done in a very non-imposing way.
Summed up - amazing. It was amazing.
What were your hesitations when it came to photography? What did you feel unsure about, what were you anxious of and what questions did you need answered?
How many formal pictures we could take in what time.
What pictures to plan for..
Anxious about how we would react to being photographed all day as we normally just laugh at ourselves on 'selfie' mode of a phone.
Hesitations about not being able to hire somebody we clicked with and whether they'd capture the important moments we wanted to treasure forever.
What was awesome?
Everything! Your timekeeping was spot on. Nothing was too much trouble. You blended in seamlessly for natural photos but worked the guests really well to get some lovely formal group photos too. For the couple's photos it felt like a walk in the park with a friend rather than a photo session - which made it a lot easier to be relaxed.
You are so genuine with wanting to help and enjoying yourself on the day - it really did make all the difference and us and the guests loved having you there.
Was there anything that was not so awesome or could be improved?
Nothing. Everything was perfect.
(Sorry, I know that's not helpful but truthfully the whole day was amazing and the resulting pictures are beautiful)
Would you recommend me to others and what would you say to someone who is thinking of working with me?
We would definitely recommend you Jamie!
We would say - You need to hire Jamie if you want somebody who genuinely cares about you enjoying your day, genuinely cares about getting the best photos and takes beautiful photos, captures intimate photos of moments that may otherwise be missed in the blink of an eye and is a pleasure to be around all day - seriously!
Nothing is too much trouble and he engages well with all guests to ensure the best photos for you and them !
Jamie is professional and very knowledgeable. But also very friendly and approachable. Don't hesitate, just hire him!
This was awesome feedback to hear!!! I'm blushing and also have some take aways (mmmm take away) from you letting me know the kinds of things that people worry about and need answering/solving before they hire a wedding photographer. Thank you so much Hannah x
Loved these relaxed, fun and natural photographs? Would rather spend more time having fun and enjoying your day than having to keep stopping and "saying cheese"? I might just be the perfect fit for you and your wedding day. Get in touch and let's meet up to have a chat about your day over a nice cup of tea (my treat)...