Charlotte Balbier

you belong with me. mori Lee for a gatsby-inspired wedding at in the lakes – lauren & ash

June 15th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A Gatsby Inspired Wedding in The Lakes (c) Kelly Cotter Photography (45)

Merewood Country House Hotel won Lauren and Ash over as soon as they visited, and its luxurious interiors, quirky library and spellbinding views became the inspiration behind their glamorous wedding day.

Except this couple’s celebration was more than just a day, with their lucky guests heading to the Lake District for a whole weekend of celebrations. They hosted a Friday night party with a Gatsby-esque 1920s dress code, organised a champagne lake cruise, a classic crooner, a mind-reading magician and much, much more.

Of course, a weekend wedding requires more than one outfit too, and Lauren swapped her Friday night feathery flapper frock for a customised fishtail Mori Lee gown on Saturday – please do yourself a favour, readers, and check out that killer back detail. You can thank us later!

With images by Kelly Cotter Photography

A Gatsby Inspired Wedding in The Lakes (c) Kelly Cotter Photography (20)

lauren says: We got engaged in Edinburgh at Carlton Hill. We’d been together over five years, but Ash had wanted to become a PE teacher and be able to purchase a ring himself before he proposed. He took me up to Edinburgh the first weekend after he had been teaching for a year. We arrived at the Radisson Blu on the Royal Mile, where we were instantly upgraded to a suite (alarm bells, but I kept quiet!) We walked up Carlton Hill, and while I was looking over the city, I turned around to find him on one knee!

Our wedding was on 8th April 2017. It was the middle weekend of Ash’s Easter holiday. Turns out it was the hottest day of the year so far!

A Gatsby Inspired Wedding in The Lakes (c) Kelly Cotter Photography (57)

We got married at St Martin’s Church Bowness, had a drinks reception on a Windermere Lake Cruise and our wedding breakfast and evening reception at Merewood Country House Hotel.

We both have fond childhood memories of the Lake District and have family breaks away very regularly – we‘d already discussed prior to getting engaged that we would marry up there. We walked into the entrance hall at Merewood with its wingback chairs and a roaring fire, looked at each other and knew it was the one!

We completely took over the venue for the weekend off the wedding. The house felt like our home from Friday at 11am till Sunday lunch time.

A Gatsby Inspired Wedding in The Lakes (c) Kelly Cotter Photography (30)

Before we were engaged I had, like many girls, a Pinterest board of that wedding that might happen one day. Mine was full of rustic burlap, lavender pots and bunting. However, when we walked into Merewood, that was all forgotten. The art deco conservatory bar and eclectic library just screamed 1920s/1930s Gatsby Glamour and our (subtle) theme was born!

Our floor-length gold sequin bridesmaid dresses added glamour and the flowers were elegant and timeless handtied bouquets of anemones, roses, ranunculus, succulents, eucalyptus and freesias. The venue flowers followed the same suit with a eucalyptus top table runner, a staircase garland of sweet smelling neutral coloured flowers and cut-glass vases which we filled ourselves with flowers from the florist, Made in Flowers.

A Gatsby Inspired Wedding in The Lakes (c) Kelly Cotter Photography (63)

I didn’t want to ‘put’ a colour into Merewood. The venue was already full of golds, rich greens and reds and dark wood and I didn’t feel that adding a bright colour would work. So, I took the gold and creams of the main Lonsdale suite and carried it through the whole wedding. As the wedding planning progressed, blue seemed to pop up a little – as it’s the Lakes, I wasn’t surprised. The men were in navy suits, which was where the blue started to naturally appear. Our colour scheme evolved organically over time, which I loved.

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