Real Weddings Exeter: Leanne and Tom’s beautiful classic wedding
Meticulous organisation plus two fabulous dresses added up to the perfect day for this happy couple. Our WED2B Real Weddings Exeter feature reveals more:
Leanne and Tom met at work seven years ago through mutual friends. “We had our first date three years later at a lovely local pub in the countryside and were married four years after that,” says Leanne.
The big question
Tom proposed after driving a160-mile round trip to ask Leanne’s Dad for his permission. “They had a nice chat over a bacon sandwich!” laughs Leanne. “He proposed to me in September 2016 by taking me on a day out on Dartmoor to go Letterboxing. I used to go Letterboxing with my family when I was younger and it involves hunting for boxes left by ‘Letterboxers’ and leaving messages for them. In the last box I found there was a message addressed to me. When I turned around Tom was on one knee with a beautiful ring, one I’d seen six months before and fallen in love with! We celebrated with Champagne on the top of Bellever Tor before a lovely walk back down.”
Wedding dress shopping
Leanne bought her ceremony dress from WED2B’s Exeter Store. “It only took me one visit to find it,” she says. “I wanted an outfit change so I could dance the night away with ease, so later I also bought a second, shorter dress, again from the Exeter store. The second dress was a secret and my friends and family had already joked that they were surprised I didn’t have two dresses. So there were lots of laughs when everyone realised I had indeed bought a second dress!”
Two dream dresses…
“When I first tried on Destin and the curtain was pulled back, my Mum, and Mother-in-law, gasped at how striking and beautiful it was,” says Leanne. “When I was getting ready on the morning of the wedding I felt absolutely stunning and so elegant. In store I fell in love with the buttons on a different dress that went down the full length of the train, so I asked my seamstress to add buttons and Swarovski crystals to Destin. I was blown away by how well it turned out! I also added a cathedral-length veil with a satin edge and an A-line underskirt to give the dress a lovely shape. Later, I changed into Roxy, my second dress, for the first dance and evening reception. It was short, fun and perfect for dancing in.”
A classic wedding venue
The couple married in February 2018 at Rockbeare Manor, near Exeter. “The venue is absolutely exquisite,” says Leanne. “As we arrived for our first appointment, we drove up the wooded driveway to the front of the house and just went ‘Wow’. We knew it was the one before we’d even left to drive home. It’s a beautiful manor house with plenty of indoor space in the event of bad weather, which was a bonus for our February wedding. There were also 12 huge bedrooms with features such as free-standing, roll-top baths It meant our closest friends and family could stay with us the night of our wedding and we could all enjoy a lovely breakfast together the next morning.”
The big day
Leanne’s Dad, Mike, walked her down the aisle while a harpist played ‘A Thousand Years’ by Christina Perri. “My favourite part of the ceremony (and one of my favourites of the entire day) was when I first entered the room,” says Leanne. “I loved seeing all my friends and family in the same room and Tom, my future husband, stood proudly at the front waiting for me. I was told beforehand to make sure I look around when walking in to see everyone. It was a great piece of advice! It means I can distinctly remember everyone’s smiles as I came in.”
The perfect dress… has pockets!
“Everyone laughed during the ceremony when the registrar was handing out the wedding certificate,” says Leanne. “Thinking I’d have nowhere to put it she said, ‘Brides don’t tend to have pockets so I’ll give it to your husband’. I then put my hands in my dress’s pockets and said, ‘This bride does!’. The pockets are a great feature of Destin! I was so glad I got to show them off so early in the day!”
An elegant reception
Afterwards guests celebrated with a glass of warming Winter Pimms before sitting down to a three-course meal in the ballroom. “We wanted to go for a timeless and elegantly classic wedding,” says Leanne. “I think we pulled it off as people commented that it was impeccable and the best wedding they’ve ever been to! We personalised everything we could. Our tables were named after stages of our life together, such as where we grew up, where we met, where we had our first date, etc. It was really great for sharing our story with our guests. We also had a couple of guest books, shaped in a T and L and I made all my own stationery. I loved being creative and coming up with my own ideas.”
Tiers of joy
The beautiful cake was made by an old school friend of Leanne’s. It had four tiers decorated with cake lace and sugar flowers. The biggest tier was lemon, which is Tom and Leanne’s favourite, then there was also chocolate, vanilla and chocolate orange. “It tasted incredible,” says Leanne. “We also had 20 matching cupcakes to really finish it off.”
After a quick outfit change the couple were ready for their first dance. “We had dance lessons so we could have the most memorable first dance we could,” says Leanne. “Our guests loved it and so did we! I love to dance so the most fun part for me was the evening where I got to dance with every single one of the guests at the wedding. I floated around the dance floor and I don’t think I stopped until the music stopped playing! Guests also made a sparkler tunnel for us at the end of the night. We had so many guests it meant the tunnel was super long and the sparklers had to be lit with a blow torch!”
Did your wedding have the wow factor like Leanne and Tom’s stylish classic wedding? If you would like to be a part of our real weddings feature send your favourite photo to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be in touch!