Wedding of the Week: Francesca Montaut and Jack Hayward
03 Dec 2018
Escaping the hustle and bustle of London life, Francesca Montaut and Jack Hayward's wedding day in the Cotswolds was a relaxed and idyllic affair
How did you meet?
We met through mutual friends when we were at college.
Tell us about the proposal.
Jack's proposal to me took place in our first home on the evening of my birthday. I was out at work and I returned home to a ceiling filled with fairy lights, with more than 50 snapshot Polaroids of our journey together over our 10 years together. Candles and the finest flowers were bursting out of our tiny countryside flat. Jack was waiting for me and got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. The following day, we booked out one of my favourite brunch spots and invited our nearest family members to share the celebration.
What was the theme for the day, and did you have a colour scheme?
The theme was wild and free.... I love flowers, so this was my focus. Our colour scheme was navy and blush pink.
What venue did you choose and why did you choose it?
We chose Hyde House in the heart of the Cotswolds. We love the outdoor space and visited the Cotswolds and fell in love. I am a London-based event planner and I wanted to have my day in complete contrast to what I do every day. This venue took the girl out of the city for sure and from the landscape and setting in all our pictures, you can see why.
When did you know when you’d found ‘the’ dress?
It took me forever to find the right dress, as I am very fussy and often referred to as the fashionista of the family. I went to more than six boutiques and tried on all styles with various pricetags from £1k to £12k. I was looking for something unusual and that gave me the best of both – a traditional princess train yet a slinky and embellished evening gown without having to change.
And I found just that when I went to a local bridal store near our town in Sevenoaks – Dress Dreams. My dress was by designer Viero and gave me the romance of the wedding dress I always envisioned as a young girl, but with an inner delicate and sexy dress which became my evening gown. The dress was a two in one (with an overskirt).
What did the bridesmaids wear?
I had six bridesmaids: my elder sister, Danielle; younger sister, Pascalle; best friend, Jemma; best friend, Hannah; Jack's sister, Carys; and my childhood best friend, Hannah.
The dresses were from Jessica Wright's range, Sistaglam Loves Jessica for Next. They were navy and fitted with a romantic draping bottom hem, the neckline was scooped at the shoulder.
I also had two page boys and a flower girl.
What did the mother of the bride wear?
My mum wore Marks & Spencer and she looked sensational. Her over jacket was Reiss and her hat was from Beverley Edmondson.
Where did you find your suits?
The boys' suits were from Marks & Spencer – Savile Row collection.
Tell us about your floral arrangements.
Our flowers were beautiful, wild and bursting. We went for wild and romantic – flowers included green, white and pinks. My now-husband requested trees and our florist did just that. We had a floral archway at the entrance of our ceremony (Grange Barn) and then the two largest urn arrangements imaginable bursting with the freshest blooms. Our dinning room showcased 6ft birch trees with hanging tea lights, while our top table was draped in the flowers and foliage with a natural and loose floral backdrop.
Often the aspect that makes a wedding original to the couple is the detail – tell us about the details of the day.
- We had bespoke newspapers designed and put on every seat in the ceremony, as well as individual tissues on every seat 'for your happy tears'.
- We also have a bespoke cornhole garden game made for the drinks reception.
- A basket of cashmere blankets were offered to keep guests warm.
- Personalised calligraphy gold name shells.
- We also had a ‘designated drinks host’ for each dining table who had a badge on their place setting to wear throughout the day.
How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?
I was bursting – I could not stop smiling. I looked at everyone around me and felt the most amount of love I have every felt…. And then I saw Jack and I just knew this was the greatest moment of my life and one that I would never ever forget.
How did you make the ceremony personal to you?
Jack's mum wrote the most amazing poem, entitled 'Perfect', which described mine and Jack's journey as childhood sweethearts and growing up together stronger and stronger. The song Perfect by Ed Sheeran is a song we can relate to, so we chose to have this as the aisle song as a violin edition. We had framed pictures of both of our grandparents who are no longer with us today but were there with us in spirit.
What was your most memorable moment?
When my father saw me for the first time; he is the most emotional human I know. And he crumbled, as I knew he would, but his words and love towards me in that moment will never be forgotten.
What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?
Liaising with new suppliers; the nature and workplace in the Cotswold is much more relaxed than in London. I can understand why and almost envy, however with my background in events and working with London suppliers on a daily basis, it was a culture shock when dealing with more relaxed suppliers. You put all your faith in them and worry, but they delivered above and beyond.
What was the most important investment for you?
The food and drink was important for us, as we wanted to ensure our guests were treated and no-one had to put their hands in their pockets at any point. We delivered on that throughout the whole wedding weekend.
What song did you choose for your first dance, and why?
We chose Apple Tree Hill by Keywest. We chose this song as a very close friend of ours played this song not long after our engagement on a holiday and the moment we heard it, we fell in love. We then discovered our close friend was also close friends to one of the band members who we later met at a gig and have since seen post-wedding and we have had a few shout-outs.
Did you have any entertainment?
We had a saxophonist during the day and a four-piece band for the evening.
Tell us about your wedding cake.
Our wedding cake was made by Vanilla Pod and consisted of three tiers. The bottom tier was a semi-naked lemon and raspberry flavour. The middle tier was a deep navy iced fondant cake with an Oreo centre. Our top tier was marble iced with a passionfruit centre.
If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?
I would have taken a moment to enjoy some evening food, coffee and cake-pops. The day went so quickly and I remember feeling hungry around midnight, at which point I had missed all the evening food as I was on the dance floor.
Did anything go wrong on the day?
We forgot to pack the sparklers. We were sad as this would have been a fantastic picture moment for us and our guests – however, the sun did not set until 9.30pm and at that point it was probably a blessing that we didn’t have sparklers.
Was there anything you wish you’d known before?
We were pretty well organised due to my background and slightly controlling nature. And we were lucky enough to not have any surprises, so the answer to this one is 'no'.
Where did you go on honeymoon?
We went on a mini-moon three days after the wedding to Jamaica for one week. We are in the process of now buying our family home, so we are looking to do our dream honeymoon early 2019 and we would love to travel to Bora Bora or the Maldives, somewhere of pure luxury and tranquillity.
Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages?
Everyone told us to take it all in and to find moments to take yourselves away. It is so overwhelming and goes so quickly. We were also advised to have a beer barrow for the reception… this belonged to Jack's friend.
Get the look:
Photography: White Stag Weddings
Floristry: All For Love London
Videography: Pete Cox videography
Stationery: Pretty Please Weddings & Made by Wood and Wood
Bands: Life in Stero (Bands For Hire)
Saxophonist: Karlo (Bands for Hire)
Décor: Every Event Hire (Fairy-light Canopy)
Tableware: Well Dressed Tables
Balloons: Bubblegum Balloons
Make-up: Millicent Make-Up
For more Cotswold wedding inspiration, pick up the latest edition of Cotswold Bride magazine.