Lauren's blush pink 'Ballet' gown by Suzanne Neville is just dreamy and perfect for a pretty pastel wedding filled with metallic details. We love that Lauren started out with a purely pink theme, but the 'allure of sparkly things' got to her and she couldn't help but throw in a sprinkling of gold. I mean, let's face it, we've all been there ;) I'm also loving the idea of guests putting notes into bottles for Lauren and James to open on future wedding anniversaries. They could chose between a few years away, or as far as 25 years down the line! What a great idea and how wonderful will it be for the couple to open these and reminisce over their wonderful day? Images come from the lovely Julia at Julia & You.
Our WeddingLauren the Bride: We have been together for 10 years, since we were teenagers, and wanted a celebration that reflected that. It was really important to us that the day was fairly casual and laid back, which is what we are like as a couple.
The BrideMy choice of dress came as a total shock to me, I decided I was going for a very relaxed look, I hated strapless and fitted, uncomfortable looking gowns so I tried on endless boho style, loose, floaty dresses and liked them all but didn’t fall in love with any. Then when visiting The Bespoke Wardrobe, I made a joke about trying on ‘Ballet’, a blush Suzanne Neville dress with a strapless fitted bodice and lots of layers of tulle, and my mum told me to do it as it was so different to anything else I'd tried on. I was so shocked that I didn't want to take it off, I truly felt like a bride - instantly falling in love and I knew that was the one. I added a beautifully simple diamond pendant necklace that was a gift from my groom on the day, and amazing Valentino Rockstud heels which I will wear again and again. Something old – I had old mini photos of people that are no longer here sewn into my bouquet Something new – My dress and shoes Something borrowed – I had my grandmother’s very old wedding band sewn into my dress Something blue – A blue garter that my mum gave me
The GroomJames wore a blue suit from William Hunt on Saville Row, with a very vibrant interior, a Thomas Pink shirt, a cornflower blue raw silk bow tie from Mrs Bow Tie and brown brogues from Russell and Bromley. He also wore a silver pocket watch that his parents had engraved and gave him as a wedding gift.
The VenueWe looked at a number of barns around Essex as we wanted our wedding to be easily accessible to our family and friends, and for everything to be in one place. I fell in love with Blake Hall and how relaxed and unassuming the venue and staff were. It had a true family run feel about it and the gardens around Blake Hall (a big old country house), were beautiful. I loved the mix of the recently refurbished modern barn that we got married in, and then the old 18th century barn that we had our reception in. The barns were directly opposite each other with gardens in between where we had our drinks reception. Each time I visited I felt relaxed and not remotely stressed about the impending wedding, it will forever remain a special place for us. We actually booked the venue before James has seen it, because both mums and I loved it so much!
The TransportWe had a lovely offer from our friend Joe and his grandparents – he learned to drive their vintage Rolls Royce and drove James to the ceremony in it on the morning of our wedding. It was a lovely personal touch.
The DecorOur colour scheme changed throughout the two year planning process- we started with 'English country garden' as the basis of our theme and looked to include nothing but pastels, jam jars, lots of lavender and rustic ladders, but the allure of sparkly things got to me and I added some gold sequin runners on the tables, sprayed a few things gold and added gold glass tea-light holders and cream crystal candelabras to tables. Overall I was pleased with the effect as it added another dimension to the decor and made it slightly different to what you'd expect for a barn wedding. I'd say we did a fair bit of DIY which I enjoyed each weekend with my mum and bridesmaids- we made the favours (lavender candles), hand decorated all the jam jars used on tables, a tulle backdrop to the guest table which I'd seen on Pinterest, and my mum spent endless hours hand stitching metres of bunting which looked so beautiful and will be a great keepsake for any future events. I had lots of help from my amazing bridesmaids and family, but I honestly couldn't have done it all without my mum - she was incredible and I think she actually enjoyed it more than me!
The FlowersOur florist, Karen from The Flower Mill, did such an amazing job. She totally got what I wanted for the country garden theme. I had an oversized bouquet of ivory, and pale pink roses with lilac and lavender. My bridesmaids held bouquets of dried lavender hand tied with ivory ribbon. We then filled our hand decorated jam jars with flowers for the table centrepieces and Karen sourced two huge milk churns that sat either side of the aisle during the ceremony and a flower heart that sat above our ceremony table and behind the top table.
The Wedding PartyMy bridesmaids looked stunning in dresses by Wtoo, which we bought from NABBD in Wimbledon. They were the perfect lilac colour that went so well with my blush gown, and pastel theme. The groomsmen and both our Dads wore blue Ted Baker suits and we gifted them all silk paisley blue ties and pocket squares from Moss Bros.
The CeremonyOur ceremony was very relaxed and full of laughter. We really didn’t want a long, serious ceremony. We had two light hearted readings, one from James’s niece Megan and one from my Bridesmaid Scarlett and the overall feel was a perfect mix of love and humour. The best moment was when an overly excited James said ‘yeah’ instead of ‘I Do’...I will never forget the sound of everyone we love fall into fits of laughter behind us.
The EntertainmentWe had a string quartet, Occasional Strings, perform lots of our favourite songs during our ceremony and during the reception drinks and then our friend Billy Wyatt sang and played guitar between the meal and evening dancing which was perfect as he got so many of our friends and family on their feet for a sing and dance. We then had Dreamwave Events DJ for us in the evening. They were all amazing!
The FoodI am a fussy eater so I largely left the food up to the groom! We dined on a chicken and bacon salad for starter, roast lamb for our main and profiteroles for dessert. Our cake was a three tiered semi naked cake, with lemon drizzle, red velvet, and vanilla with strawberry buttercream.
The PhotographyPhotography was so important to me and one of the first things I booked after the venue. When I saw the work of Julia & You I fell in love. Julia and Michelle were both incredible and kept us both so calm on the day. We didn’t want too many posed photos and wanted a photographer that captured special moments throughout the day and that’s exactly what we got. It was so hard choosing a handful of the best for our album!
The VideographyWe were let down at the last minute by our videographer and Purple Ribbon Weddings (now Moon & Back Films) came to our rescue and captured the day perfectly. I am so glad we have the most memorable moments on film and it makes us so emotional watching the day back - I see a new little detail each time I watch it and it brings it all back to us.
AdviceMy main piece of advice is to have a videographer, I feel like it’s one of the first things that gets knocked off the list of must haves and watching our wedding video brings it all back to us like it was yesterday.
Film : Moon & Back | Bride: Ballet in Blush by Suzanne Neville | Boutique: The Bespoke Wardrobe | Shoes: Valentino | Flowers: The Flower Mill | Venue: Blake Hall | Bridesmaids: Wtoo by Watters | Groom: William Hunt | Groomsmen: Moss Bros. | Stationery: Quirks & Prints | Entertainment: Occasional Strings | Dream Wave DJs