March 1st, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s real wedding is a contemporary affair with just a touch of vintage. Laura and Matt decided on a mix of modern and classic styling when bride Laura found her dream dress: a beautiful ivory lace gown by Mori Lee.
Stunning views, a vintage ride and possibly the most photogenic tree North of Watford – this wedding really has it all!
With photography by Cris Lowis Photography
laura says: We got engaged during a surprise trip to Prague. Matt presented me with the tickets as my birthday present. On the evening of my birthday, Matt and I went for walk down a pier in Prague which overlooked a river. Then he got down on one knee and proposed!
Our wedding was on the 6th May 2016. We felt that May would be a nice time of year to get married and we were lucky to get warm, dry weather on our wedding day.
Our venue was Heaton House Farm at Rushton Spencer. We wanted to get married in a modern barn conversion and looked at several venues but Heaton House Farm blew us away with their professional team, beautiful venue and stunning grounds.
We didn’t have a specific theme in mind at the beginning – however, after choosing a lace gown, we kept to a contemporary style but added some vintage touches.
We selected a lilac/lavender colour scheme simply as a warm colour. We’d originally planned to place lavender on the tables to complement the vintage touch, although we actually decided against this in the end.
I wore a beautiful ivory lace full-length A-line gown by Mori Lee with a sweetheart neckline (style 2674). I purchased my gown from Brides of Bakewell. It was only the fourth dress I had tried on but I knew instantly it was for me. The dress was exactly what I had pictured wearing on my big day and I felt it suited my personality perfectly.
Matt wore a grey tuxedo, an ivory waistcoat and cravat and grey tails by Best Man.
My bridesmaids wore lilac satin/chiffon one shoulder full gowns with a satin sash which I purchased online and had altered by a family friend.
The groomsmen wore a grey tuxedo, a light grey waistcoat with a lilac cravat and grey tails, again by Best Man.
We hired the Imperial wedding car from Rollers Wedding Cars to transport Matt and the groomsmen from home to the venue on the big day. I stayed in Heaton House Farm’s accommodation the night before the wedding with my mother and sister (my maid of honour). We then had a drive out in the wedding car together after the ceremony with the photographer in the local village and had some pictures taken.
Cris Lowis was our wedding photographer. We originally selected Cris because his stunning and original wedding shots had stood out while we were doing our research. Cris also happened to be a recommended supplier by Heaton House Farm and so he knew the venue well which worked out perfectly. We would absolutely recommend Cris; he’s a very talented photographer, was a pleasure to have at our wedding and our final wedding photographs have exceeded all of our expectations.
Hazel Grove Flowers provided my bridesmaids and I with stunning bouquets, my mother and mother-in-law to-be with corsages and the men with buttonholes. My bouquet was a hand-tied, compact design of ivory roses and germini with lilac and purple lisianthus bound with ivory ribbon.
Hazel Grove Flowers also supplied a beautiful long and low arrangement for the top table and centrepieces for the guest tables. The beautiful centre pieces were in the form of a fish bowl design with purple steel grass encircling the bowl, purple dyed water and three floating ivory gerberas in each bowl.
I decorated the guest tables the night before the wedding with hand-made name cards and wedding favours. Heaton House Farm supplied the mirrored plates for the centrepieces, lilac napkins and a hanging sash and light design for the top table.
Heaton House Farm dressed the remainder of the tables and room and Supreme Venue Dressers dressed the chairs with ivory covers and a lilac organza bow.
For the favours, I designed individual jars of mixed sweets with a card saying “Love is Sweet, Laura and Matt 06.05.2016.” They went down a treat!
We had a four-tier iced sponge cake made and delivered by Lisa at The Cake Box with ivory icing, lilac ribbon and diamantes encircling each tier and edible lilac and ivory flowers and butterflies trailing down the four tiers. Two tiers were made with chocolate sponge and two with vanilla.
Andrea at Beech Tree Catering supplied our wedding breakfast, evening buffet and a selection of hot and cold canapes served after the ceremony. The wedding breakfast consisted of a choice of homemade soup or traditional prawn cocktail for starter, a choice of roasted topside of beef or roast turkey with all the trimmings for main course and the wedding cake served for dessert with ice cream or cream finished with tea or coffee. We chose Andrea out of the choice of caterers as she understood our wishes for traditional, homemade dishes the best.
Heaton House Farm supplied red and white wine for the guest tables during the wedding breakfast and Kir Royale or bottled beers for the reception drinks.
We had Heaton House Farm’s own DJ for the evening music who did an outstanding job of keeping everyone up on the dance floor and playing requested songs.
We arranged a chocolate fountain for the guests in the evening which was supplied and managed by Supreme Venue Dressers. As another little extra touch, I had organised a flipflop basket which kept all the girls up on the dance floor.
We used Chapelford Films for the wedding videography who we chose based on their video demos which reflected our wishes and their excellent package deal. Karen and Alan were a pleasure to have at our wedding; they’re a lovely couple with a genuine passion for their work. They were excellent at capturing all the precious moments of our day while managing to be discreet. We were truly blown away by the quality of our wedding video.
I used Sarah Meredith for the bridal hair and makeup for myself and my four bridesmaids. She is fantastic at her work and was extremely professional, patient and accommodating with my wishes for my big day. I was overwhelmed with my natural bridal look once finished and at how beautiful my bridesmaids looked ready for the ceremony.
We would definitely recommend Heaton House Farm to other couples as they did a wonderful job of helping us to achieve our dream wedding with their wedding-planning service, helping us to prepare the venue and organise the suppliers, being present throughout the day to ensure its fluidity and generally making the experience so magical and stress-free for us. Thank you, Heaton House Farm!
Although the ceremony was the most treasured part of the day, we were both overwhelmed with emotions and so getting some precious alone time in the wedding car immediately after the ceremony was the most enjoyable part of the day. It gave us a chance to come back down to earth!
We travelled to Mauritius for our honeymoon and stayed in the five-star Maritim Resort and Spa in Turtle Bay with an all-inclusive package for ten nights. This trip was truly made for honeymooners and was the most magical and romantic trip we‘ve ever had. The resort, staff and beach were perfect; it was everything we had hoped for and more.
My advice to other Brides Up North is to be very organised and give yourself plenty of time (in excess of a year if possible) and a flexible budget if you want the day to be everything you ever dreamed of. We also recommend a venue with a wedding-planning service as this made things a lot easier for us!
To add to the fairy-tale, Matt and I are now expecting our first baby who is due on 2nd May 2017 – almost a year to the day of our wedding!
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Laura is a true Northophile: she married Adam in Durham in 2011 accompanied by 200 Northumbrian lamb shanks and a Mackem 1950s tribute band who did a rockabilly cover version of Celine Dion's My Heart Will Go On. They honeymooned in Northumberland in a 1972 MG convertible, went surfing in Alnmouth and made it to the Edinburgh Fringe (let's ignore the fact that it rained all week). Her big mantra is 'no regrets'...but if she could travel back in time and wear a wedding dress with a Peter Pan collar and pockets, she'd pretty much die happy.
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