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Brides Up North Bride to Be: Laura

28th January 2011 | Julia Braime

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You all loved Rachel’s Bride to Be profile so much last Friday night that today I have another bride up North to introduce you to.  Meet the lovely Laura, recently a Flo & Percy giveaway winner on this very blog!

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Laura

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When did you and your husband to be meet? Tell Brides Up North your story…

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I met Tom at Hull University in 2003. We were on a four year American Studies course and I remember him walking in late for our first lecture and I thought to myself ‘he’s cute!’ So a few days later I spotted him on campus on his own looking a little bit lost so I took the opportunity to go and introduce myself. I asked him if he wanted to join me and my friend who I was due to meet for a drink and the rest is history! Tom is from Wakefield so being from Hull myself, within those first few weeks at university we seemed to hit it off as friends straight away and I introduced him to the city, my family and friends to try to make him feel like he had a home away from home.

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When did you know it was love?

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Being typical students, at University Tom and I were a bad influence on each when it came to skiving off lectures, choosing to spend time with each other instead. It was on one afternoon (when we should have been elsewhere) that we found ourselves in a pub having lunch. We somehow worked out that there was an old family connection but it wasn’t until later in the day when I spoke to my mum that we found out for sure. Tom’s dad Arthur was a professional rugby player for Hull FC back in the 60s when my grandad Wilf was also involved in the rugby world as Hull Kingston Rovers’ chairman. My grandad was also the tour manager of the 1966 Great Britain Rugby League tour in Australia in which Arthur played as part of the team. Small world! It turned out that a lot of my late grandma’s rugby memorabilia and photos were not only of my granddad but also of Arthur as he was the star player. My mum could also remember being introduced to Arthur at matches when she was a little girl. Our families, Tom and I were all amazed and quite touched by this family connection and it seemed to bring us closer together as friends, some would say inseparable.

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In 2005-6, our 3rd year of University, we spent the year abroad in the U.S. I chose to go to a University in New York State, Tom chose to go a University in Seattle – probably the furthest away from each other as possible. I knew the year was going to hard. I did however get chance to pop across to Seattle at every chance possible. I say ‘pop across’, travelling from New York to Seattle is around the same distance as travelling from the UK to New York! Tom also came over to New York at Christmas and New Year 2005 and we spent it together in NYC, watching the fireworks in Central Park on New Years Eve. It was then that I thought, I could get used to this!

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After a very long Ross Gellar and Rachel Green ‘will they, won’t they’ friendship which led to lots of speculation from our friends it was finally in 2008 that we spoke about where our friendship was going and we decided to put an official title on our relationship. We were finally a couple and it was a very happy day!

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How did he propose?  Tell Brides Up North about it…

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Tom and I share a love for music, mud and mayhem so in July 2009 we attended the very chilled out Latitude Festival down in Suffolk. It was there that we spotted a sign by the Greenpeace tent for a ‘Mass Wedding.’ Being impulsive and hoping it was a real ceremony we signed up – who else could say that they were married at a music festival in the pouring rain and wellies?! However, it turned out to be a non-legal Pagan hand tie-ing ceremony which we took part in anyway to show their love of each other, together with around fifty other hippies. We decided that this could be a temporary engagement until Tom could rustle up the money for a diamond!

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Laura

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Laura

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Not long after, on 9th August 2009 on a lovely sunny day we decided to take a Sunday trip to Whitby where, whilst taking a romantic stroll around the Abbey Tom found a secluded bench where he took one knee and proposed, much to my delight! Tom knew that Sunday trips to Whitby had always been a family tradition of ours, my dad being en ex-seaman who loves anything maritime so proposing at Whitby Abbey was very special to me. We celebrated our engagement with a visit to Trenchers for fish and chips and tea for two, just perfect!

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Laura Proposal

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Do you have a wedding date?

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We always knew that we wanted a winter wedding as winter and everything that comes with it – the weather (yes, the weather!), the wrapping up cosy and warm and the food, is our favourite time of the year. The number 1 is my lucky number so November seemed the best month and it just so happened that the first weekend in November is bonfire night so it just seemed ideal. We decided on Saturday 5th November 2011 as our big day.

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Do you have a venue yet?  If so, which and why did you choose it? 

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Our wedding is going to take place at Danby Castle (a Brides Up North Featured Supplier, none the less!) in North Yorkshire. From the start of the venue hunt we both knew that we wanted somewhere quirky and original. My mum found Danby Castle on the internet and straight away I knew it was perfect. I told Tom about it and he seemed as excited about it as I was so that weekend we took a trip up to the North Yorkshire Moors for a viewing and we fell in love with the place. It was beautiful and just what we were looking for. Carolyn seemed lovely with brilliant ideas and was just the sort of person we wanted to help with our special day. We were sold on the very first (and last) venue that we’d seen. There was no reason to look at anywhere else as Danby Castle is everything we’d dreamed of and more!

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Click here to see Brides Up North’s Dream Venue blog post about Danby Castle

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Have you found your dress yet?  If not, what sort of style do you fancy?

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I thought I had found my dream dress until I discovered the House of Mooshki team. I entered their competition to win a dream dress and became one of their top 100 runners up. I found their sketch of my dream dress in my inbox and immediately knew that I wanted a Mooshki dress for our wedding day. The original dress that I had picked went out of the window as the idea of having something bespoke, unique and just for me is so exciting! I had a consultation last week with the gorgeous Vikki and took along all my ideas for my dream dress, including a photo of the beautiful Flo and Percy Clarice headpiece that I won courtesy of Brides Up North. Together we came up with the final idea for my dress – something very vintage inspired that will not only flatter me but also match the feel of our venue beautifully and of course compliment my stunning headpiece! I cannot wait to see the final sketches!

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Any other suppliers booked?

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We have our photographer, flowers, cake and car all booked. Being a bit non conventional we have gone for a funky 1965 VW split screen camper van as our wedding car courtesy of Love Dub cars based in County Durham.

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For our flowers we have decided to go with a local florist who produces some fantastic work. We would like something more rustic/ vintage and we have come up with some brilliant ideas together with our florist so looking forward to our next meeting to finalise everything.

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Our photographer, Nick White is an old friend of my two brothers who Tom and I met on boxing day last year at a mutual family friend’s house. He’s a very friendly guy and came over to speak to Tom and I and introduced himself and his name rang a bell. I knew he was an old friend of my brother’s. I told him I was Lee and Paul’s little sister and he was so happy to hear it and to hear how my brothers were getting on. He mentioned that he is now a professional photographer so that night we looked him up on the internet and from his style of photography and his friendliness earlier in the day we knew we wanted him to be at our wedding shooting our big day.

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Our cake is being supplied by another local lady, Jill Fisher, who we discovered at a local wedding fair and have since met with to pick our design. Looking through her books her noticed a stunning traditional stacked cake. Jill later told us that the cake we loved so much is called ‘Laura’s Cascade,’ so it we had to have it, it just seemed right.

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Will you have a hen do?  If so where?  What would be your ideal way to spend it?

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Originally as soon as the words ‘hen do’ were mentioned to my best friend and bridesmaid Amy she was set on a trip to Las Vegas!  As ideal as it sounded it was not realistic so we had to come up with an alternative. I made it clear to Amy that I wanted something very chilled out and special. The idea of a night on the town with a flashing L plate is just not for me. So we thought about a spa weekend somewhere so the search began. Then the idea of Centre Parcs popped into my head. It’s somewhere that everyone loves and everybody can do as little or as much as they want to do so we have booked an exclusive lodge for 8 of my close friends and family with our own sauna and hot tub. I can just see everyone now sitting in the hot tub at midnight with a glass of wine! I cannot wait.

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What are your "must-haves" for your wedding day?

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My main must have is my mum!! She will be my saviour on the day with no doubt everything a nervous bride needs to get through those wedding morning jitters. My other must haves are good make up and some comfy shoes! As much as I’d love to wear some beautiful sky scraper heels I’m going for all things comfort on my wedding day and that includes my shoes. That’s not to say they won’t be very special comfy shoes!

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Anything else I should know about your plans?

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On our wedding night we are staying in the fabulous Gisborough Hall Hotel in Gisborough, not far from Danby Castle. We wanted somewhere quite oldy-worldy to spend our first night as Mr and Mrs Keegan and this fit the bill perfectly. We have a gorgeous four poster room over looking the grounds. When I went for my wedding dress consultation last weekend in Sunderland my parents and I popped into Gisborough Hall on the way home for a drink and I discovered that my mobile didn’t have any signal. This is perfect for the morning after our wedding, there’ll be no phone calls from anyone asking us to come and help clean up the wedding venue!

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Where are you going on your honeymoon?  Why?  If you haven’t got anything booked, where would you like to go?

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For our honeymoon we knew straight away that we wanted to go to New York. It is somewhere that I have been many times but it is one of my favourite cities, the hustle and bustle is so me! Tom has been once when he came to visit me at University and he was dying to go back so it just seemed right. We do have, however, a special twist on our trip. On November 10th we are sailing from Southampton to NYC on the Queen Mary II. The transatlantic crossing will take a week then we are staying in NYC downtown at the swanky The Hotel on Rivington for 5 nights. Then getting a train to Boston for 2 nights at and staying at the lovely Nine Zero hotel on Boston Common then it’s home time and back to the real world with our two cats and puppy!

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Laura and Tom

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What is your biggest wish for married life?

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It sounds like a cliché and every bride’s dream but my biggest wish for married life is for health and happiness in our future together and to raise a family. We both cannot wait to be married as it is the finishing touch to our relationship – we have the beautiful home and the pets, we just now need the marriage and we will be content.

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Brides to Be!  Fancy sharing your plans on the Brides Up North blog?  Contact me today!

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