Laura and Dan’s big day is the epitome of classic elegance. The beautiful detailing and soft natural light caught so wonderfully by photographer Helen Cawte is like balm to the soul.
One of my favourite details of this ‘I Do’ is Laura’s beautiful Edwardian wedding frock made from the most exquisite hand-made lace – definitely channelling the ‘Downton’ vibe that Laura so wished to emulate. I also love her beautiful Debbie Carlisle headpiece which compliments her bobbed do perfectly – certainly a bit of inspiration for you shorter haired brides right there.
Lastly I have to say that I adore Laura’s perfectly oversized peach bouquet which harmonise wonderfully with the spotty maid dresses. After all you can’t beat a bit of coral and polka dot now can you…
Laura The Bride: My dress was vintage and I bought it from Pennies Vintage in London. I only tried on three dresses, all vintage ones as I wanted to try and channel a bit of a Downton Abbey look. It doesn’t have a label but the lovely people at Pennies informed me the skirt is made of Edwardian lace. It fitted me perfectly, no alterations needed so I took it home that day.
I treated myself to some Jimmy Choos which my lovely friend Nicola helped me pick and I will wear for every party I go to from now on! I didn’t fancy a veil so chose a beautiful handmade headpiece from Debbie Carlisle. I had never had my make done before but I am sooo glad I decided to book June from Makeup Junkies to do my hair and makeup – she made me feel great.
Dan was in charge of the groomsmen’s outfits. He chose a grey three piece suit from Ted Baker for himself which he looked super dapper in and picked similar grey suits from French Connection for his best man Rich and groomsmen. I managed to persuade Dan that bow ties would look great – I finally won him over and he agrees that they did look fab!
We wanted a relaxed, countryside wedding in Dorset close to where I grew up and where my Mum and Dad live. We only visited two venues and chose Higher Melcombe Manor because of the beautiful rural setting, the striking manor building and as a dry hire venue it gave us the opportunity to do things exactly as we wanted. There was quite a lot of organisation involved in going down this route but the excellent suppliers we worked with made it so worth it and as a project manager I was in my element! Lorel who owns the venue was great at letting us do things how we wanted and it felt like our own private party.
We were super lucky with the weather on the day which meant our guests could enjoy the grounds and have a wander around. We had a beautiful light and airy marquee from a local company, Ernest G Hart, which was brilliant and just the right size for our 60 guests.
Navy and peach ended up being our colour scheme based on the bridesmaids’ dresses and me liking peach flowers. The great hall at Higher Melcombe where we had our ceremony looks stunning as it is so we just had a few candles and some flowers in mismatched vases and jugs that I had collected over the year from charity shops.
We used a local florist for bouquets and buttonholes and Lynne who did our flowers was great at translating my random pictures of flowers into something beautiful. We did the other flowers for the venue ourselves, making a trip to the supermarket the day before and pretty much going with whatever we thought looked pretty! This saved a lot of money and I think we did a pretty good job.
I had four brilliant bridesmaids, my sister Amy and close friends Abi, Claire and Liz. For bridesmaids dresses I was pretty laid back but quite keen on getting something that wasn’t too ‘bridesmaidsy’. We choose some pretty polka dot dresses from Debenhams and got some nude Mary Jane shoes from an eBay shop.
Our family friend Nicky was our registrar and this made our ceremony extra special. We had two readings – my sister Amy read ‘I’ll be there for you’ by Louise Cuddon and my friend Amie read an extract from author Robert Fulghum. We loved the line in the latter that reads – ‘after this day you shall say to the world, this is my husband, this is my wife.’
Ryan my talented brother very kindly offered (well, was persuaded!) to play guitar during the ceremony. He did a funky version of Bruce Springsteen’s Dancing in the Dark whilst we were signing the register as a surprise for Dan which was brilliant. Standing at the top of the stairs with my Dad, taking in seeing everyone below, is one of the moments of the day I remember most clearly.
We had a ceilidh in the evening which was one of the best decisions we made! It was so much fun and great to see nearly everyone dancing even those who wouldn’t normally be the first to get on the dance floor. The band were brilliant and obliged in playing one last song and staying on for a bit longer.
Provisio Catering was recommended to us and Lisa and her team were beyond fantastic, helping run the day and we felt in extremely safe hands. We had sharing local antipasti to start, cottage pie and cauliflower cheese for main, followed by lemon mousse for the ladies and sticky toffee pudding for the boys. Lisa sourced the most amazing cheeseboard for us in the evening which was devoured by our guests very quickly.
Helen our photographer was brilliant and every time I look at our beautiful photos I smile! We can’t thank her enough. She was the loveliest person to work with and her love for her job and seeing people get married is clear to see. She helped us coordinate a ‘first look’ which was a bit like mission impossible as we wanted to do it outside in the gardens but had to avoid any guests seeing me as they arrived! The ‘first look’ was brilliant – I have always thought that at weddings the bride and groom look like they are dying to speak to each other when they meet at the top of the aisle but can’t – this was why we decided to have a first look.
I was an avid RMW reader when planning the wedding and got lots of inspiration from these pages. We were keen to make lots of things ourselves and we had so much help in the run up to the wedding and on the day from our brilliant friends and family. Ryan my brother designed all our stationery and the bridesmaids helped with all sorts of things including the decorations, things for the tables, flower arranging and setting up the marquee.
My Mum and Dad were absolute stars – making over 100 metres of beautiful bunting, planting flower pots, making chalkboards, making a photoboard, sourcing oil drums to use as tables, helping us set up the marquee, treating my hens to an amazing lunch – the list is endless and we can’t thank them enough.
The hands down best thing about the day was having all our family and friends together. It sounds cheesy but we could just feel the love and support from everyone which was amazing and makes you feel very lucky. It was the BEST day ever. The cliché is so true; the day goes by in a flash so make sure you have an ace photographer.