Hanna and Gareth had a beautiful outdoor wedding, finishing up with a silent disco in their tipi!
The first date
Hanna and Gareth’s first date was at Bibis Italianissimo in Leeds, followed by a trip to the West Yorkshire Playhouse. “He paid for everything, and I felt thoroughly spoiled,” smiles Hanna. But their courtship had its ups and downs. “We were spending a lovely romantic weekend in Zurich, when Gareth dared to tickle me,” Hanna confesses. “I’m extremely ticklish, and instinctively kicked out – and knocked his front tooth right out! Fortunately, the tooth was repaired and I was forgiven, although Gareth doesn’t tickle me anymore!”
Hanna, who grew up in Zimbabwe, had taken Gareth back to see the country she calls home. “We went to the Victoria Falls, but because it was the rainy season, there was a huge amount of spray coming off the Falls, known as ‘uprain’,” Hanna remembers. “We walked along, getting wetter and wetter, until Gareth suddenly knelt down in a puddle and asked me to marry him. I was so excited, I just leaped up and down, and forgot to say ‘yes’!”
The bride’s outfit
Simple but stunning was the theme for Hanna’s beautiful lace wedding gown, expertly made by her mum. “I’m not a fussy person, and because we were having an outdoor wedding, I wanted something informal, that I could jump around in – a good job, as I ended up climbing rocks in it!” laughs Hanna. She accompanied her ivory chantilly lace dress with striking green Topshop shoes and two brooches – one on her veil and the other on her belt – belonging to her grandmothers. “Neither could be with us, so it was my way of feeling they were with me,” says Hanna.
The groom’s outfit
Hanna, Gareth and a couple of stylish friends joined forces to find the groom’s outfit. They eventually found Gareth’s handsomely-cut light brown three-piece suit at The Kooples outlet store in York.
With all four bridesmaids at different corners of the earth, Hanna decided to go for a mix and match approach. “Each has her own style, and I wanted them to feel comfortable on the day, so I gave them some money and a colour palette of earthy, foresty greens, and let them choose their own dresses,” explains Hanna. “They all looked amazing.”
After doing their paperwork in a civil ceremony in the town hall the day before, Hanna and Gareth were joined in marriage in the great outdoors. “We were supposed to have a woodland ceremony, but with torrential rain forecast, we had to move it nearer shelter!” laughs Hanna. “Gareth and I wrote our own ceremony, which called on our family and friends to support our marriage, and on us to be a force for good in the world. We were ‘married’ by two of our best friends.” The happy couple and their guests all joined to sing Stand By Me and All You Need Is Love.
The beautiful spring flowers were grown and arranged by Jane Corbett. “She has her own walled garden in which she grows wild flowers, and gave us an amazing deal,” says Hanna. “I was a bit worried because the weather was awful and the spring was so late, but the flowers were absolutely beautiful and better than I could have imagined.”
The 120 guests feasted on antipasto misto followed by best Yorkshire beef, served in a beautiful Papakata tipi on a hilltop overlooking the stunning Yorkshire countryside. “Afterwards, we danced to an amazing band, put together by my sister’s friend,” says Hanna. “But we had an 11pm curfew, so we then had a silent disco – it was incredible!”
Hanna made an amazing 1,000 origami cranes – said to be a symbol of honour, loyalty and longevity – to decorate the venue. “Hanging them turned out to be a complete nightmare, and we only managed to put a fraction of them up!” laughs Hanna. The creative bride also held a few ‘crafternoons’ with her friends, making table names, place cards and table runners.
The day after the wedding, Hanna booked a last-minute trip to Santorini, where the couple relaxed, dined and quad-biked around the island.