A wedding celebration made it an extra special New Year’s Eve for Hayley Fletcher and Dan Smith
fter 11 years together, Dan popped the question to Hayley during a trip to Venice. “I had no idea what he was doing when he stopped on one of the little bridges after dinner,” says Hayley. “I had already walked off over the bridge when Dan called out for me to come back for a picture. When he went to take the picture he pulled out the ring and captured a look of pure shock of my face. It makes me smile every time I think about it!”
Their wedding was held on 31st December 2015 at The Great Tythe Barn in Tetbury, which they chose as they wanted somewhere that their guests wouldn’t have been to before. “As soon as we arrived at the barn we fell in love with it and the fact that we could have nearly all our guests staying on site with us made it even better,” explains Hayley. As the date for the celebration was New Year’s Eve, it was bound to be a massive occasion. “Having all of our friends and family together for NYE would never normally be possible, so by having our wedding on this day we got to have the best ever end and start to a year!”
To make it an even bigger party, Hayley and Dan decided to have the celebrations last for three days. “I’m so glad that we decided to make the wedding more than just one day!” says Hayley. “We had 80 people for dinner the night before the wedding in the Orangery of the Tythe House, and we also did breakfast on the morning after the wedding for all the guests. On the evening of 1st January we had around 50 people still staying with us onsite and a very competitive evening of games unfolded.”
Due to it being so close to Christmas, Hayley and Dan didn’t want to go with the traditional roast but still needed their guests prepared for a night of partying, so Dine with Style, award-winning caterers from Bath, cooked up a feast of pies, mash and gravy. Mini pizzas and macaroni and cheese were then served for the evening, which are the couple’s favourite dishes. Instead of the traditional wedding cake, Hayley’s mother created some homemade delights including a tower of doughnuts, flapjacks and rocky road bars.
Hayley wore a stunning Mori Lee lace dress, but it took visits to six shops before she found the one. “After walking into Windsor and Eton Brides I just knew that this was going to be the shop. The staff were amazing and the shop and dresses were just beautiful.” It seems like the choice of the dress was a match made in heaven, too. “I found out after I bought the dress that the lace was a traditional Venice lace, which was very apt based on where we got engaged!”
Opting for fun and relaxed photos, Kevin Belson Photography was able to give the couple exactly what they had in mind. “We wanted to spend the time with our guests and to capture those moments perfectly. Kevin and Carol were amazing on the day and we hardly noticed they were there. Our photos are stunning and show just how talented they are.”
As Hayley works in events, planning the wedding was fun for her – although maybe not for the wedding party. “I’m not sure whether everyone enjoyed the 10 page checklist that I issued them all on the day before the wedding!” And despite the torrential rain just before the ceremony, which meant Hayley had to walk to the ceremony covered in a tablecloth, the couple couldn’t be happier with how it all went. “It was the perfect few days – we can honestly say the best days of our lives.”