Hannah Connor met Todd Davies while both working as New Look managers. "Having gone across to help her at a shop she was covering I attempted to worm my way in but to no avail," shares Todd. "My attempts to start up some kind of conversation via text message were met with silence. A few months later we were at an area meeting whereby I made sure I was sat by her. After a day of flirting I gave the text messages another ago and asked her out on a date, this time I got a response. A few weeks later we met up for what should have been a drink, it turned into a nine-hour conversation-filled date. The rest, so they say, is history!"
Popping the question was a spontaneous decision for Todd after he'd put off the idea due to career uncertainty, "Spur of the moment I decided I wasn't going to put my life on hold any longer. I walked straight across to the jewellers opposite my shop and purchased a ring, then rang my parents and then her parents for their blessing. I rushed home straight from work to put my hastily decided plan into action. In our bedroom we had a lightbox whereby you can change the letters, so I dug out the relevant ones, changing the message to will you marry me? The plan was to wait till we were both in bed and then to turn it on, illuminating my proposal. Of all the nights Hannah decided to stay up till 11:30, my insistence of a good night's sleep falling on deaf ears. Eventually, my phone full of messages asking if I'd done it yet, we went to bed and I lit up the words in the dark. Hannah's response was a mixture of disbelief and tears of joy, the answer thankfully being a resounding yes."
The happy couple set the big date for 31st October, 2019, tying the knot at St Teresa of the Child Jesus, Trent Vale, Stoke on Trent followed by celebrations at Alton Castle, Alton.
All harmonious relationships are about compromise and that's what Hannah and Todd found when planning their wedding. "Hannah, a practicing Catholic, wanted the traditional church wedding. I however am not religious and have a love of horror films and Halloween. As often in our relationship we sat down and came up with something that would capture both of our personalities and dreams for the day," shares Todd. "We choose October the 31st and decided that we would have a Catholic wedding ceremony, choosing our local parish, the beautiful St Teresa of the Child Jesus.
The ceremony was to be respectful and so we decided that no element of Halloween would be present at that point of the day, instead introduced after at the castle." Alton Castle was the perfect choice, Hannah and both her parents had worked there so it had both sentimental value as well as being practical in terms of logistics; inclusive in hiring the castle was having access to almost every room in there which meant we could theme different areas; the castle fitted well with the spooky Halloween atmosphere and décor, and lastly accommodation for all the guests was included (ideal as the majority of Hannah's guests were to travel from Birmingham).
The theme of the day embodied the spirit of Halloween by having 'trick or treat' goodies on various tables, pumpkins and plastic cauldrons, names and table numbers were written on card and presented either sticking out of a miniature tree trunk or on top of a set of plastic vampire teeth. The flowers were displays incorporating pumpkins but also featuring autumnal-coloured blooms and foliage sprouting from them.
For the big-day bake, the cake consisted of five tiers which contained a mixture of Madeira and chocolate covered in a smooth white icing. To dress this, an array of different autumn-linked items were individually crafted out of icing, including dusted mushrooms, leaves of different colours, ivy, berries, twigs and many other additions. Lining the outside of each tier was a range of Day of the Dead skulls linked together by the ivy up the side of the cake.
A common factor throughout the castle was spiderwebs, both light-up electric webs and normal, also arange of various devices which were designed to animate as guests walked past them one room had mirrored talking heads and a skeletal bride and groom.
Hannah looked stunning in a blush-coloured fishtail, strapless style dress Lucille by Viva Bride. "It fitted mybody type perfectly," shares Hannah. "My wedding dress fitter Jane Cronin was amazing and did a brilliant job of making it the perfect length as I am quite short."
Todd looked dapper in a navy-checked tweed suit with pink accessories to tie in with the bouquets and bridesmaids' dresses. The groom accessorised withskull cufflinks, a nod to his love of horror films. The groomsmen were in the same but each wore individual cufflinks that represented their interests – fish, guitars and tattoos!
On the day, excitement took over for the pair both just ecstatic the day had arrived. "Getting ready the morning of the wedding was magical," recalls Hannah. "The mother-of-the-bride and bridesmaids were doing their best to make sure that I was happy and had everything ready.
The excitement intensified on the journey there, the realisation that this is the moment that we had been building towards for so long and it was finally here!" Emotion and happiness completely took over at the beginning of the ceremony, both were so glad to finally become husband and wife.
For Todd, the most memorable part was seeing Hannah for the first time walking down the aisle. "I'm getting goosebumps just thinking about it. I was overcome with emotion, shedding more tears than a grown man should." Hannah adds, "Saying our vows, the power of our words in that moment made time feel like it had come to complete stand-still. Emotion meant that I choked a little on my words but looking into his eyes knowing that this was so wonderfuland so right made me feel somehow at home."
Bride's dress fitting