Lauren and Stuart are just the cutest couple. Their couple shots are so full of warmth and affection, I’ve snuck a fair few into this post.
I’ve also included lots shots of Lauren’s bouquet – which is bursting with gorgeous coral peonies. The perfect antidote to the winter blues.
Lauren looks beautiful in her Jenny Packham gown and headpiece, and her veil, made by her Mum and Sister, is truly stunning. Are you ready for the pretty? Here it comes…
A Surprise Engagement
Lauren The Bride: In Dec 2010, Stuart dropped a dollar note in my hand and told me I would be able to spend it where we were going the following day. I looked him and screamed “are we going to New York?!”
An incredible surprise holiday and engagement ring later, we began planning our wedding.
We quickly chose the date of 2nd June 2012, as this was the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, so already a celebratory weekend, which our guests would have the bank holiday to recover from!
Home Sweet Home
Knowing that my parents had hoped one of their four children would get married at home, and our desire for a less formal, more intimate venue, we quickly decided to have our reception in their garden. We liked the fact there were no rules or boundaries and we could select everything that we wanted, plus we would have a venue unique to us.
On our search for a marquee, we were looking for something a bit different and then found Tipis4Hire. We liked the way they created their own environment inside and loved the idea of having an open fire.
We chose Lambourne Church to get married in. A historical and beautiully intimate church just five minutes from my parents house, down a long winding country lane. Which was perfect for our bus ride to the church.
Inspiration From The 20s
I was inspired by the twenties period for the wedding and this influenced much of the style of the day. Not one for heavy make up, I decided to go for a more natural look. There was only one person I trusted with this task and that was my sister Grace, who spent many months leading up to the wedding, researching the most long wearing and photogenic make up. She was also on hand throughout the day for touch ups!
Sparkling In The Sunshine
When selecting the dress, I teased myself with Vera Wang and Monique L’huiller but the dresses were far too formal / grand for our informal do. Also the thought of dragging a multi layered gown through a field did not really appeal. I then found Jenny! So booked an appointment on my birthday at their London boutique.
My mum and I quickly narrowed the selection down to two. One a slim tulle gown and the other, the beautifully embellished Eden…The sales assistant suggested I go outside to see them in natural light. Behind the shop was a secret garden with a mirror, a twirl in Eden and I was in love – the dress dazzled in the sun.
A Veil To Treasure Forever
I tried on my headpiece at the same time as the dress and it fit the twenties look just perfectly. My veil sat under my hair, made by my Mum and Sister, with silk tulle and 100’s of Swarovski crystals. It was so beautiful as it subtly shimmered when each crystal was touched by the light. It is a beautiful keepsake of the day and hopefully something I can pass down to future family brides.
My shoes were from Jimmy Choo, the wedge was great for walking around the field and kept me dancing until 2am!
Girls In Grey
I was very lucky that I had so many female relatives to ask to be my bridesmaids. My sister Grace was my Maid of Honour and I am not sure if I would have been able to have do it all without her.
For bridesmaids, I had my cousin Holly (who along with Grace, organised the most amazing hen do) my cousins, Tilly and Hannah (keeping a family tradition going, as I was their Mum’s bridesmaid, their Mum was my Mum’s bridesmaid and so on) Stuart’s cousins Luisa and Morgan (who had requested to be my bridesmaids when they first met me 8 years ago) and last but not least Molly, who is one of my closest friends Louise’s daughter.
Smart In Navy
Stuart was unable to choose between his friends from uni, so had both Geoff and Andy as Best Men and the Groomsmen were my brothers Daniel and James, Leigh (Stuart’s friend from home), Justin (who is my honoury brother) and our nephew Joshua was our page boy.
Grey With A Touch Of Coral
The theme was always going to be a touch of coral, I love coral peonies and nail polish so they kind of inspired the day. The grey came from the Ghost dresses, as we all liked them in this colour rather than nude pink I had origianally planned.
From the start, I had wanted the wedding to be as personal as possible, I enjoy being creative and so do my mum and sister, so I wanted to utilise our expertise. We made metres and metres of bunting and I made pom poms that my new in-laws hung from the tipi beams.
Tea lights were made from Joshua’s baby food jars, with wire handles. For crockery we scoured charity shops looking for vintage china and received many donations from family members. I enjoyed making the pom poms and collecting the crockery so much that I hope to sell/ rent them in a future venture!
I was so lucky my family were on hand and willing to muck in, we spruced up my parents garden and even created a mojito bar in their breeze hut, overlooking the lake.
Handpicked And Natural
I wanted the flowers to look hand picked and natural- our local florist Ildika from Passion For Flowers, perfectly understood what I was looking for. My bouquet was stunning and the coral peonies were beautiful. We had collected jam jars and vintage vases which she filled with handpicked looking arrangements.
The ceremony started with a rendition of God save the Queen, to commemorate the Jubilee weekend. Stuart’s sister gave a very sweet reading and my brother Daniel read ‘A Lovely Love Story’ by Edward Monkton about two dinosaurs in love.
It was very amusing and apt for him, as he loves his dinos! Although there were 130 people sat around us and above in the gallery, when we read our vows it felt like there was just us, it was a by special moment for both of us and truly unforgettable.
Filled With Music
The Tipis came alive when our band, The Hype began playing. They kept the dance floor full until 2am, finishing with their own rendition of Calvin Harris’ Feel So Close- they were incredible!
Food For Foodies
Stuart and I are really into our food and love trying out places, our table names were even named after restaurants we had visited.
Our caterers, That Catering Company (Jon 07917801517) compiled a simple menu with suprises and twists, including pheasant burger canapés and peanut butter crème brûlée. They also made a selection of biscuits and sweets for our favours. As my parents have a small holding, we were able to use their meat for a posh hog roast and sausages for a BBQ in the evening.
Our cake was made by my Mum, we didn’t really fancy a traditional cake, so she decided to capture the wedding party and venue on it, even including some chickens! The cake was perfect, there are really no ends to my Mum’s talents!
A Great Keepsake
I love to draw, so I designed my save the dates and hand wrote our guest’s names onto vintage placemats. We handed over the responsibility of the invites to The Wedding Tea Towels, as we thought it would be a great keepsake for our guests.
Like Meeting An Old Friend
Our day was captured exquisitely by Sarah Gawler, it was a pleasure to have her involved in our day and from our first meeting it felt like she was an old friend.
I am not one for attention, so her reportage style was just perfect and great to have so many natural shots. The photography was so important to us and I am so happy that we found Sarah!
It Brought Us All Together
For us the wedding was about sharing the experience with the people we most cared about. We loved planning ours and hope our family enjoyed being part of the preparations and the day too, we couldn’t have done it without them and have great memories of us all bringing it together.
Bride’s Gown – Eden by Jenny Packham
Headpiece – Acacia II by Jenny Packham
Shoes – Jimmy Choo
Bridesmaid’s Gowns – Ghost and Monsoon UK
Groom’s Suit – Gieves And Hawkes
Groomsmen – Marks and Spencer
Florist – Passion For Flowers
Invites – The Original Wedding Tea Towel
Band – The Hype
Catering – That Catering Company (Jon 07917801517)
Tipis – Tipis 4 Hire
Photography – Sarah Gawler
The tipi décor is achingly pretty isn’t it?
I do love a pink colour palette, especially with the rustic wooden tables.
Lauren’s eyelashes look AMAZING.
Lots of love,