Image by Charli Photography - Lusan Mandongus Lace Dress for a rustic wedding in barn with musical theme and pastel colour scheme.
Mix Tape
Mix Tape
Image by Charli Photography - Lusan Mandongus Lace Dress for a rustic wedding in barn with musical theme and pastel colour scheme.
Image by Charli Photography - Lusan Mandongus Lace Dress for a rustic wedding in barn with musical theme and pastel colour scheme.
Image by Charli Photography - Lusan Mandongus Lace Dress for a rustic wedding in barn with musical theme and pastel colour scheme.
Image by Charli Photography - Lusan Mandongus Lace Dress for a rustic wedding in barn with musical theme and pastel colour scheme.
Jazz Hands
Jazz Hands
Image by Charli Photography - Lusan Mandongus Lace Dress for a rustic wedding in barn with musical theme and pastel colour scheme.
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Laura & Andy

Our adorable Bride & Groom this afternoon have had me swooning, sining and literally belly laughing. Their gorgeous wedding at Gaynes Park looks like it was one hell of a fabulous pastel pretty musical do!

Laura & Andy met whilst performing Rent in the theatre, so they just had to incorporate their love of all things musical in their day. The wedding cake was decorated with sheet music from Rent, the buttonhole rosettes where made of vintage music sheets and the fabulous table plan is like their own billboard musical poster!

As well as the stunning pictures captured by Charli Photography, they have also kindly shared their snippet wedding video with us made by Love Storage and both are a true insight into their fabulous day and wonderful fun loving characters. When you view the pictures and watch the video you will see exactly what I mean about my emotional roller coaster. Get ready to have some fun, and get those jazz hands ready?

Laura The Bride: We met at a Musical Theatre club, our first show together was RENT. When the show came to an end, we met up the following day for tea and instantly felt relaxed and comfortable around each other. This was soon followed by what we call ‘super-date’ which included more tea, dinner and a romantic walk along the Thames sharing our favourite music with a headphone each. After an incredible evening, Andy went home and made a C.D of all the songs we had listened to in order as a present. 18 months later, Andy took me back to the same romantic spot by the river, listening to the same ‘mixed tape’, he went down on one knee and asked me to marry him. This was of course after he waited for the hooded youths to pass by! Just incase! It was an incredible moment and the following 12 months leading up to the wedding were just as exciting.

My favourite part of the day was the walk down the long outdoor aisle. It gave me precious time with just me & my Dad, and I loved that special moment of seeing Andy for the first time. The sun started shining at just the point time too! Andy’s was sitting at the top table during dinner, holding my (his new wife’s) hand, while looking out at all of the special people in our life having a great time together.

The Brides Fashion

The moment I tried the Lusan Mandongus dress on, I knew it was for me. It was so comfortable and just flowed beautifully. I became really emotional which was quite unexpected and could just picture me walking down the aisle in it. I purchased it that day and I was so happy.

I wore a vintage brooch from Andy’s Granny who passed away in 2013. It was a very special ‘something old’.

Andy’s Mum had offered to give him her first engagement ring (from his Dad) to propose with, but it wasn’t quite the right style. So, instead, he took the two diamonds out of the sides and had them made into some beautiful earrings, which were my present on the morning of the wedding. He said he like the idea that a part of his history was included in the day.

My Sister leant me her Jimmy Choo clutch bag that she had on her wedding day.

Boe Wright did our hair and make-up and she was incredible, so calm and very quick. Our finished looks were lovely and as soon as I had my trial with her, I knew I didn’t need to try anyone else. She was fantastic on the day & also helped me with my dress, going the extra mile.

The Grooms Attire

Custom made cufflinks (images drawn/designed by Andy), Suit from Richard James on Saville Rowe and shoes from M&S.

The Venue

Gaynes Park, Epping. We visited two other venues but they weren’t quite right for us so we decided to make an appointment at Gaynes Park. The sun was shining and we fell in love with the venue the moment we turned into the drive. From the gorgeous outdoor aisle and walled gardens to the rustic yet chic barn, we knew there and then that it was perfect for us.

Colour Scheme/Décor

We always knew that we wanted our wedding day to represent us, to have features throughout the day where our guests would say ‘that’s Laura & Andy’ The main themes were tea and music. For our favours, we made our own tea blend and tea bags with quirky little music based tea puns on the tags e.g ‘I like the way you work it, no digi-tea, I’ve got to bag it up’ and ‘lean on tea, when you’re not strong’, we had so much fun with these and came up with over 20 puns. Our table plan was also show poster based on the same fictitious musical ‘Musicali-tea’ (as you can see, we love a bad pun!)

As we have a history of pulling funny faces, we also incorporated this into our save the dates, invites and rsvps. We asked all of our guests to send us a photo pulling funny faces, which we then added, joke captions to (yes, this took a very very long time!) We used these as their place cards but also hung copies on one of the walls for people to write a message on and pop in our guest book/ photo album.

We felt that with the beauty of the décor throughout the venue, it didn’t need a lot of dressing. We just added our special touches to the already amazing space.


Shrinking Violet Florist. They were the third florist we met with and again we knew instantly that they were the ones for us. They are so creative and understood that for us, it wasn’t about the types of flowers they used, but about the colours and the overall look and style of the displays. They have a brilliant way of combining props and rustic logs within their designs, which we thought really complimented the venue. We also had an idea about some (sheet music) paper flower button holes which they made for us by hand! Most of all though, they were a pleasure to deal with and we never had a doubt that they would do anything short of spectacular.

The Bridesmaids

The Bridesmaids wore dresses from House of Fraser and nude shoes from M&S.


We chose 2 readings for our ceremony. One funny and one slightly more emotional, but tailored them both so they were more applicable to us. See below:

He Never Leaves The Seat up

He never leaves the seat up
Or wet towels upon the floor
The toothpaste has the lid put on
And he always shuts the door!

She’s very clean and tidy
Though she may sometimes delude
Leave your things out at your peril
In a second they’ll have moved!

He’s a very active person
As are all his kin
Where as she likes lazy days
He’ll still drag her for a swim!

She romances him and dines him
Home cooked dinners and the like
She even knows his favourite food
And spoils him day and night!

He says he loves her singing
And the way she moves her feet
But when old age takes over
Will she still sound as sweet?

He’s thoughtful when he looks at her
A smile upon his face
Will he look that good in 50 years
When his dentures aren’t in place?!

She says she loves his kindness
And his patience is a must
And of course she thinks he’s handsome
Which in her eyes is a plus!

He’ll be more than just her husband
He’ll also be her friend
And she’ll be more than just his wife
She’ll be his soulmate –till the end.


Maybe… we’re supposed to meet the wrong people before meeting the right one, so that, when we finally meet the right person, we will know how lucky we are.

Maybe… it is true that we don’t know what we have until we lose it, but it is also true that we don’t know what we have been missing until it arrives.

Maybe… the happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes their way.

Maybe… the best kind of love is the kind where you can sit on the sofa together watching TV with a brew, and then walk away feeling it was one of the best evenings you’ve ever had.

Maybe… you shouldn’t go for looks; they can deceive. Don’t go for wealth; even that fades away. Go for someone who makes you smile, because it only takes a smile to make a dark day seem bright.

Maybe… you should hope for enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human, and enough hope to make you happy.

Maybe… Love is not about finding the perfect person; it’s about learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.


The Black Hat Band played at my Sister’s wedding and are great to listen and dance to. They have a large set list to choose from, and are very talented.


Cakes by Cynthia – We had a 3-tiered cake with different flavours for each layers. Carrot, chocolate and gluten free Victoria sandwich (which was accommodated for with no problem). They also managed to cover the middle tier with sheet music from Rent, which linked in with our theme. We received a lot of compliments afterwards about the flavours and texture.


Our friends Hannah & Paul booked Charli for their wedding and the first thing we noticed was how non-intrusive Charli was on the day. Then, as soon as we saw the taster images on Facebook, we knew instantly that we wanted to meet with Charli to talk through our day.

Charli’s style is so beautiful and her framing of images is really amazing. Charli managed to capture all the emotions of the day beautifully.

Charli kept in touch with us on a regular basis and when we had a few questions, they were answered instantly. We received our photos very quickly after our big day (including some taster photos that we received within 24hrs) and we absolutely loved the C.D and case that the images came in.

We really felt that Charli was more of a guest at our wedding; she took so many photos of our day but was never intrusive in the slightest. Her photo-journalistic style managed to capture amazing photos of all of our guests while being so discreet. She was well organised through-out, referring back to all of the notes she’d made from discussions beforehand, which meant that we could relax fully in the knowledge that she had everything (from photos of the details, to a list of everyone in the group shots) totally under control.  The group shots were done so quickly, no one felt that they were hanging around at all. We were so happy with our final photos. Charli created such a beautiful storyboard of the whole day and we want to print them all!!! She has just captured our day perfectly, with all the trout faces too!! Amazing!! We’ve received so many nice comments from our family and friends about how lovely she is as a person and how beautiful the photos are.

Charli has also since been booked to capture my Bridesmaid’s wedding in Umbria, Italy this year.


We’re so happy with our finished highlights video from Love Storage

Special Touches/DIY

We had an idea of having a lightbulb show mirror and one of our friends kindly created this for us. As mentioned, we made the special tea bags, table plan and place cards, which were a main feature. We also sourced antique tea crates, musical note ribbon and heart shaped chalkboards. We wanted to create a logo that could be used throughout combining musical notes and our initials. This was brought to life by one of our friends.

Photography by Charli Photography
Author: Lorna Shaw
Lorna loves a new posh frock, is a hopeless romantic and is lucky enough to be living her ‘happily ever after’ with her wonderful husband, three beautiful children and pet dog.

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