Lauren & James
Fall for this autumnal barn wedding in a bountiful palette of orange, red and purple hues…
PHOTOGRAPHY BY MURRAY CLARKE PHOTOGRAPHY,
Durdle Door, the Dorset beach that held so many fond childhood memories for this couple, set the scene for their coastal engagement. “James had packed Champagne flutes in our picnic basket, but I took them out again thinking them unnecessary, so he had to slip them back in unnoticed, also secretly carrying a bottle of Champagne. Little did I know as we hiked up the hill to the beach that I was actually carrying my engagement ring! It was gloriously sunny and James got down on one knee to pull out my beach towel, which just happened to contain a little black box. He held it up to me, displaying a square set, princess cut diamond ring, and I threw my arms around him!”
After browsing countless dresses at the National Wedding Show, Lauren had a shortlist of her favourites and set about sourcing local stockists. “I found Xquisite Bridal in Leighton Buzzard and they ordered in two of the dresses I liked – I can’t recommend them highly enough, they helped me choose the right colour to avoid looking washed out and narrow down my top three designs to find the one.”
The dress of choice? Style ‘115239’, a David Tutera for Mon Cheri gown in blush.
Featuring ivory lace and tulle, a sweetheart neckline and feminine spaghetti straps over a pink satin fit and flare dress, it’s easy to see why the pretty design stole Lauren’s heart.
A scalloped hemline and chapel-length train added a final fairytale finish. “I think every girl should feel like a princess on her wedding day,” the bride smiles.
The same boutique supplied all of Lauren’s jewellery, which was gifted by her parents for her birthday beforehand. Rainbow Club lace court shoes, a John Lewis white marabou wrap and a crystal tiara headpiece completed her aisle style.
James opted for a woollen three-piece sourced from John Lewis, a white TM Lewin shirt and Loake shoes for his groomswear. “The best men’s suits were hired from Moss Bros – the Moss 1851 lounge suit – and they wore a selection of purple, red and orange satin ties.
My incredibly talented mother and mother-in-law made the six bridesmaid dresses between them! I wanted something modest, elegant and classic in bright autumnal colours, so the purple, red and orange satin dresses and bolero jackets they made were perfect!”
The couple’s simple civil ceremony began with Lauren’s father walking her down the aisle and delivering her into the arms of her husband-to-be. A close friend gave a sentimental reading from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, and a string trio, booked through Ear Candy, played harmonious classical music to punctuate the ceremony. “When my eyes met James’s for the first time it was the most exciting, amazing feeling!”
Evoking the golden leaves and bountiful harvests synonymous with the season, Lauren and James gave their wedding décor an autumnal focus.
“My mother in law made lengths of bunting from the same fabric as the bridesmaid dresses for us to hang from the rafters of the barn, creating a warm and rustic feel. Hessian backed frames formed a quirky seating plan and personalised photo board, and a wicker basket contained homemade confetti cones.
“My mum put together all of our flower arrangements using silk flowers purchased from Country Baskets.” Red, orange and purple blooms contrasted dark leafy ferns, with hollowed out pumpkins providing the ideal quirky vase alternative from which to display their floral table centres. “We sourced the pumpkins from a local farm one week before the wedding, but the beauty of using silk flowers too was that they could be prepared well in advance and colour matched exactly to our chosen fabrics and theme,” Lauren explains.
“The fantastic Jenny North made our naked cake, a simple tiered Victoria sponge with cream and jam, decorated with fresh fruit in our colour palette – orange kumquats, purple blueberries and grapes and red strawberries.”
In keeping with the edible approach to our country theme, I also made spiced plum chutney for the wedding favours, gifting miniature jars to each of our guests.”
After the busy period of wedding planning, this couple had one thing on their wishlist – a low key romantic getaway. Falmouth in Cornwall was their destination of choice, setting the scene for coastal walks and fabulously fresh seafood.
“Our rustic and relaxed wedding was perfect for us. My only regret is worrying so much on the day about the bottom of my dress getting muddy while we had our photographs taken. I wish I had just relaxed more, because the photos we got were just fantastic and I can’t recommend Murray highly enough! I also really recommend visiting the National Wedding Show, it pulls together the best suppliers in one place!”
VENUE Notley Tythe Barn, near Aylesbury
DRESS David Tutera for Mon Cheri at Xquisite Bridal, Leighton Buzzard
BRIDESMAID DRESSES Bespoke by the couple’s mothers
GROOM John Lewis, TM Lewin and Loake
ACCESSORIES Xquisite Bridal, Rainbow Club and John Lewis
MUSIC Ear Candy
FLOWERS Country Baskets
CAKE Jenny North Cakes