Roll Up, Roll Up!
A true tale of romance, Laura and Giles married in the local village church with a reception in the grounds of their parents house. A truly English affair literally bursting with creativity and quintessential charm.
Here, Laura tells us all about her funfair inspired wedding day:
"We were married in my local village church, which sits alongside Coleorton Hall. It’s really special to me because it’s where I was christened and remember being a bridesmaid at my godmother's wedding there when I was younger. I love the walk up to the church in particular, which is at the top of a small hill – although on the wedding day it was quite interesting to negotiate with heels!
The church is tiny, which made it really intimate. It was wonderful to have all my best friends from school sitting in the choir stalls, so they were in our line of sight and meant Giles and I didn’t feel completely alone up at the altar!
Our reception was held in the grounds of my parents’ house. This was brilliant as it gave us a blank canvas to create exactly what we wanted! An added bonus was that I could get dressed in my childhood bedroom where I grew up. It also gave us the freedom to do as we wanted in the morning and were able to fit in a session of yoga in the garden."
"An English country fair, fairground and all ..."
We decided to style the day as an English country fair, fairground and all – complete with swingboats, a strong man striker, ice cream stall and coconut shy! I also love bunting so we put up over 1km of it around the garden and marquee…. All made by my mother in law and her team of bunters! We also asked our guests to send personalised pieces of bunting to wish us good luck. This was hung all around the marquee and was a great talking point for everyone.
I also took inspiration from an episode of Larkrise to Candleford (a guilty pleasure) where the bride and groom walked under an archway of flowers carried by friends. I loved the idea and had eight best friends carry four beautiful arches of flowers for us!
I first saw my wedding dress the day after I got engaged, in a shop in Paris, I knew then that it was love at first sight; but being with my HTB at the time, I couldn’t draw attention to it! However, being a typical girl, I tried on about 25 others dresses before returning to the original! I loved the fact that Alan Hannah is a British designer and I loved the corsetry.
Our Amazing Suppliers
Finding the perfect photographer was crucial to us both. We asked Rachael Connerton to take our photos and can’t recommend her highly enough! From the word go, we got on really well with Rachael and her husband Ian, which was so important in helping us feel at ease in front of the camera. As well as being lovely people, they took exactly the type of wedding photos we wanted: natural and never posed. She also had some great ideas for getting the best out of our photos. This included using Queensbury to create our beautiful album as well as a fantastic alternative to a guest book – Rachael brought a huge photo from our engagement shoot to the wedding, around which our guests could sign messages of best wishes on the day. This now hangs in our home and is one of our favourite mementos from the day.
We used the wonderful Hummingbird Stationers, and their amazing personalised stationery. Sally-Anne spent time with Giles and I so we could create a beautiful laser cut invitation with personalised designs that illustrated our lives together in Paris and London. I am in the extremely lucky position to have one of the most talented mothers in England. I left the cake design completely up to her and she produced a masterpiece. We used Blossom Tree Flowers based in Melbourne. I loved the idea of flowers that looked like they had just come from the garden and Kerry really understood the style of wedding we were going for. She was brilliant on the day and even gave my mum and mother in law seeds of the flowers used in my bouquet so that they could grow their own in their gardens – a really thoughtful touch.
We used Simon Bond marquees, but he does so much more than just marquees! He had the perfect old fashioned pole marquee in keeping with our country fair theme and knew just how to add the finishing touches. We cannot praise him, his wife and his brilliant team enough!
After a disaster and our original band pulling out with six weeks to go, we happened upon the superb Coverups! They truly were testament to the saying: everything happens for a reason! Not only did they prepare for every eventuality to ensure that the entertainment went smoothly in the run up to the day they also had an amazing playlist which got everyone on the dance floor. They even learnt to play “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” as our first dance especially for us.
As well as having a very talented mother, I also have an equally talented mother in law who designed and made my younger bridesmaids dresses! The two older bridesmaid’s dresses were made by a local dress maker and the material was from a fabric shop in Nottingham- again, I didn’t want them to wear dresses that they didn’t feel comfortable in and I hate the identical dress look- maybe this comes from being dressed in identical clothes to my sister for too many years!
My aunt made a ton of strawberry and champagne jam for favours and the gents were given my dad’s famous piccalilli!
Red Olive were simply amazing. The food was impeccable and Charlie really did look after us on the day. I have been to so many weddings where the Bride and Groom missed out on the canapés and fizz… this was definitely not the case with Red Olive. I am still not sure how they cooked rare beef for 140 people but my meat eating husband said it was amazing- praise indeed! All their little touches, the Eiffel Tower chocolates were a particular highlight!
A few pearls of wisdom from the bride herself
I have a serious shoe addiction and fell in love with Harriet Wildes shoes instantly! Her studios in Islington were amazing and they were so comfortable (although I did resort to flip flops for the evening)
A top tip for tired feet- we bought 30 pairs of Asda flip-flops- they all went!
My bridesmaid Karen and I love yoga and one of my best friends is a yoga instructor. She wrote and created a yoga practice especially for us to do on the morning of the wedding and made a podcast of it so we could do it in the back garden: an excellent way to focus our minds and stretch it all out!
My grandma said that on your wedding day you should try to “look like yourself on a really good day,” that’s what I would advise any other bride, there is nothing worse than a bride who looks like a totally different person, they only end up feeling uncomfortable. That and don’t forget your flip-flops!”