Lauren and David’s beautiful Larmer Tree Gardens wedding, with Ben Goode Photography
Have you ever wondered how wedding planners and stylists get married? Me too! Today I’m thrilled to say we have all the answers, as lovely Lauren and David are sharing their stunning Wiltshire wedding on the English Wedding blog today. Lauren is the owner of Lauren Alexander Weddings – she’s also an English Wedding reader and has shared some fantastic tips with us in a brilliant interview (which carries on beneath all of the beautiful photographs). Lauren and David describe their day as, “Fun, boozy, eclectic, beautiful, happy, musical and ‘us’.” – which is, for me, everything the perfect wedding could ever need. There are stunning styling touches as well – plenty of DIY ideas and the FUNNEST and most gorgeous wedding shoes! I just know you’ll love this! Over to Lauren…
“I used English Wedding a lot for inspiration for our wedding and within my wedding planning and styling business. Our reception is set in the gorgeous Larmer Tree Gardens, a Victorian pleasure garden, and we got married in a lovely rustic and small village church in Milton on Stour. We used local suppliers to the area as we thought it was so important, but at the same time we also did a fair amount on our own too.”
Larmer Tree Gardens didn’t need much decoration: you could easily have gotten away with the beauty of the room itself, but we wanted to put our stamp on it. Also being a Wedding Planner and Stylist, I couldn’t just leave it alone! We had a gorgeous vintage bike with overflowing plants, milk churns, beautiful vintage books, gin bottles, map table plan, a handpainted globe and lots of lovely foliage to add to the vibe.
I crocheted little hearts for each place setting which I loved doing – it was a last minute decision and I was furiously crocheting the week before! We also picked our own sloe berries and made our own sloe gin as favours – given in little bottles with personalised stickers. We had lots of elements that we did ourselves, which we loved doing and really enjoyed the process!
Wedding photographer’s website:
We found Ben and really loved his style and the way he used reportage photography, rather than static shots. We were really keen on it feeling natural and capturing all the little moments and looks of our guests, and have the group photos down to a minimum. We were in talks with him and then coincidentally he was then recommended to us by Larmer Tree (our venue) as he had shot many weddings there previously.
Not only were Ben and his brother Josh on the day an excellent duo, but Ben was actually poorly on the day yet managed to stay professional and deliver excellent shots. We had a pre-wedding meeting at the venue where he took our photos, easing us into it and delivering some really fun and natural looking engagement shots too!
Seeing our photos for the first time, we opened a bottle of wine, and because we both cringe at seeing ourselves on film we were worried how it would look. Bracing ourselves though and Ben and Josh did an insanely great job! Everyone looked so happy, the weather was great on the day but they had truly captured the atmosphere and we both loved the natural images!
Larmer Tree Gardens was one of the first venues we saw and it slightly spoilt us moving forward! Everything we saw we compared to Larmer Tree and although we visited some exceptional venues, this one just felt utterly perfect. It fit with our theme, our personalities and the fact you had the space to yourself was ideal. Lots of places to explore and lots of secret hiding places, but also with gorgeous architecture and history. Gail, our wedding co-ordinator, was an absolute dream and I was so sad when the wedding was over as it meant that I no longer got to hang out with her 🙂
Your wedding style or theme:
This is a tricky one! Our style and theme evolved into a very fluid vibe. We took everything we loved as a couple, then individual elements that we loved separately and smooshed them together! We love travel and gin, so this was at the heart of the decoration and then we springboarded to using music from films we love too in the background. I love craft so was able to get nifty with a crochet hook, and he loves the sea and all things nautical so we were able to incorporate that with blue and white bunting. We mimicked the peacocks of Larmer Tree within some of the designs, but used mostly green, white and grey as the base tones.
Both very English, we embraced Pimms, lawn games and wanted the whole vibe to be relaxed with even space hoppers to bounce about on.
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
Most were found as part of my job myself as a wedding planner, knowing people from Instagram or recommended by my couples. Larmer Tree were excellent with recommendations, some of which we are so pleased about as some suppliers were already booked before our meeting and they confirmed that they were excellent!
What’s your top tip for saving money?
The best thing we did was actually creating a budget plan, then inputting everything into a spreadsheet keeping it all up to date. Even counting petrol from going back and forth! This was really helpful to see where we were, and was actually a good way of saving money as it was more part of a mindset than anything we did!
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
The venue and food! This is a huge part of the day, one of the things that most people remember about the whole process and as such we are so pleased that we invested in this!
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
We were lucky to have a very creative and arty bridesmaid and sister-in-law who created gorgeous bespoke paintings and designs for us with her friend and illustrator Jennifer Kirkham. Jenni was able to turn Hannah’s creations into gorgeous invites and Order of Service which we love to this day. These were then printed with Printed.com on gorgeous thick paper. We sourced other bits from Etsy and my other sister-in-law Naomi, who is also super creative drew our Order of the Day.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
I fell in love with a dress, then fell out of love with it. Sadly I had already bought it! I was able to sell it back at cost price to the boutique and from there bought another dress that again I wasn’t certain on! Only once I had it tailored to my shape did I feel that it was the right choice!
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
My wedding dress designer was Enzoani Blue and I bought it in a boutique in Somerset.
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
I had the best pompom Kurt Geiger shoes that I absolutely love!
When my Nana passed away she left me a ruby and diamond ring, it wasn’t something that I had ever worn and I wanted to be able to wear it and incorporate in my day. So our wedding ring designer took the rubies and created my gorgeous earrings and used the diamonds in my wedding band.
I had a hair vine that was incorporated into my updo and a flower crown in the evening when I let my hair down! I also upcycled a vintage Levi’s jacket saying Just Married on the back, which was excellent when it got a little colder.
And what did the groom wear?
He wore a beautifully tailored 3 piece Ralph Lauren suit. We invested in this as it is something he can wear time and again for weddings or business meetings. As a marine biologist, and as squids are a favourite, I found socks with squids on. A little nod to the fun personality he has, and he had a lovely light pink spotted tie to match the ushers.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
They are all so gorgeous, tall and slim so I got lucky that the first dress I found suited them all! They were beautiful navy blue Biba column dresses bought from House of Fraser.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
We brought in Shelley Gordon who is an absolute dream! I have worked with her twice since as she really listens to your brief and creates beautiful, natural and dewy looks. I would totally recommend Shelley!
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
We went for a mixture of jungle, colonial vibes with plants, and then also quite English flowers. We prefer foliage so for us that was important, and the ladies from Twig and Twine in Crewkerne created a really lovely display. We had hanging floral displays from the chandeliers, as well as beautiful milk churn. We also had garlands which we were able to wind around french ladders as well as fireplaces. We had blues, whites and greens in my bouquet, with Kate Cullen ribbons. and gypsophelia bouquets for the bridesmaids. We also had DIY flowers for our centrepieces which my Mum put together for us!
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
We aren’t huge cake people! But we know that our guests are, so we had a lemon drizzle three tier cake as out of all the cakes we love this the most!
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
We created spotify playlists for the drinks reception and had an amazing band The Royal T’s for our evening band who also did the DJing. With the outdoor lawn games in the day, we also had a tequila bar with sombreros and faux mustaches, fire pits with giant marshmallows for toasting and a photobooth.
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
I would say reduce the stress and get as much help as you can! Be that family, or a professional. You do not need to be stressed the month of your wedding (or anytime!) Remember it is your day – you as a couple 🙂
What’s the best thing about being married?
Not a huge amount has changed to be honest, but you feel more like you are part of a team!
Favourite supplier web links for other brides and grooms:
www.laurenalexanderweddings.com (have to don’t I!)
Wedding table plans · July 1, 2019 at 1:49 pm
Never have I EVER seen so much fun at a wedding! This is what weddings should be about, love, laughter, enjoying family and friends and life! Love the pompoms on the brides shoes – awesome! The bride is beautiful and clearly having the time of her life. The bridesmaids on the bouncers are just class, what a day, wish I had been invited, thanks for sharing!