Laura & Andrew
This Couple Threw The Ultimate Party For Their Derbyshire Wedding
Photography by Matt Brown Photography, mattbrownphotography.co.uk
New York, New York – the big apple set the scene for Laura and Andrew’s engagement, but we’ll let them tell you the full story. “Andy surprised me with a birthday trip to New York and we visited the Statue of Liberty. I was busy taking photos and didn’t notice Andy slip off to sit down under a nearby tree. I joined him and, after a few moments, he pulled out a ring and asked me to marry him.”
Back in the UK, Laura set out on her journey to find her dream dress, falling in love with two! “I wore ‘Lucia’ by Ian Stuart for the day, spotted at Ava Rose Hamilton in Yorkshire, and Maggie Sottero’s ‘Andie’ for the evening, from Nora Eve in Chesterfield. After finding out my second dress’s name, I knew it was meant to be!”
The bride’s Ian Stuart gown had a bespoke twist, with the top of one design and the bottom of another being combined by the designer especially for Laura. The design combined a French lace underlay with a silk top.
“I felt like a proper bride, the way I’d always dreamt of feeling, in my Ian Stuart gown.”
“For my evening dress I wanted a statement back, so I opted for a backless style with lace detailing. It was figure-hugging but still had a lovely train and I felt sexy and ready for the red carpet in this one.”
Accessories also complemented the bride’s two big day looks. “I wore a gold and crystal tiara and crystal studded, full-length veil in the day. In the evening, I changed to a crystal headpiece, Art Deco earrings and a cuff bracelet Andy gifted me on our wedding morning.”
The groom looked dapper in a three-piece suit from John Lewis, teamed with a TM Lewin tie. “I was so happy and excited to marry him!”
Laura asked five bridesmaids and one flower girl to join her as she walked down the aisle.
“Finding bridesmaid dresses was the biggest challenge of our Derbyshire wedding planning!”
“After a long search, we chose True Bride yellow tea-length dresses with a 1950’s style. On our first visit I actually took Andy with me and tried dresses on myself to get his opinion too. We had sleeves added to the dress I chose to make it unique and ensure my bridesmaids were comfortable. I absolutely loved them.”
Wanting everyone to feel special on the big day, Laura enlisted the help of a hairdresser and makeup artist to take care of the bridal party’s beauty looks, with a relative kindly offering to style Laura’s locks.
“We got married in a Church of England ceremony at St Michael and All Angel’s Church, Hathersage. I walked down the aisle with my father to ‘Trumpet Voluntary’, played live by John Barker, and Andy and I exited to ‘The Wedding March’. My step-father read ‘He Never Leaves The Seat Up’ and Andy’s father read from Colossians.”
After the ceremony, the newlyweds and their guests proceeded to Thornbridge Hall in Derbyshire, a family home that hosts a limited number of events each year. “We enjoyed a drinks reception on the lawns and in the main house, holding our wedding breakfast and reception in the Carriage House,” Laura explains.
A dual menu for both vegetarians and meat eaters delighted guests, with oriental sesame chicken or tofu salad, followed by a choice of steak and chips or shallot and thyme potato cake with a soft poached egg, Jerusalem artichoke, macaroni cheese, grilled aubergine, tabbouleh and pomegranate. Dessert saw all diners reunited, with a trio of passion fruit cheesecake, chocolate brownie and Champagne and elderflower jelly.
“My dad and step-father gave a joint father of the bride speech!”
“Andy also gave a speech, talking about our memorable moments together so far and saying that he couldn’t wait to one day sit together in our 80s and reminisce about all the good times we’ve shared. I hate public speaking, but I also said a few words to thank everyone for their love and support, before Andy’s best man gave the concluding speech.”
The bride created her own photobooth-inspired invitations, having the front cards printed by Bespoke Printed Stationery and adding inserts herself. “We spent months collecting jam jars and vases to use for the centre pieces at our Derbyshire wedding. Our close family pitched in putting up fairy lights, dressing the table plan and decorating ladders.
We also hired illuminated letters from Gem Stones Style and Hire, and the venue were a huge help decorating on the day. Wedding Ideas and Pinterest were home to the ideas that formed our wedding day!”
“I created my own rustic centrepieces from branches with tea lights suspended from them for our rustic Derbyshire wedding.”
A friend of the groom is a florist, so the couple’s flowers were easily arranged. “I wanted rustic and informal bouquets in white and green. Andy’s buttonhole and my bouquet also included white orchids.”
The couple’s two-tier cake was created by Cake Booth in Chesterfield, with Tailormade Toppers supplying the personalised finishing touches.
“We hired the Singing Waiters to surprise our guests at the reception!”
“They wore the same outfits as the regular waiters and served canapés to guests. Nobody suspected a thing until the dessert course was served, when they launched into song. Everybody loved them, there was a standing ovation all round and they were the best decision we made.”
Saxophonist Ellie Sax also joined the Derbyshire wedding celebrations with an Ibiza-inspired set, before Stardust Band, booked with Alive Network, had the party swinging. “We also had a DJ in the club downstairs – everyone partied all night!”
“We chose Oasis’s ‘Let There Be Love’ for our first dance. Andy loves the band and we liked that it’s not your standard first dance choice.”
With an around-the-world ticket booked, the newlyweds jetted off on an adventure for their honeymoon. “We spent four days in Tokyo, then visited Port Douglas in Australia and Auckland in New Zealand. Then came eight days in an over-water bungalow in Bora Bora, our dream destination. We flew home via LA after three weeks away!”
CEREMONY St Michael and All Angels Church, Hathersage
RECEPTION VENUE Thornbridge Hall, Derbyshire
DRESSES Ian Stuart at Ava Rose Hamilton and Maggie Sottero at Nora Eve
BRIDESMAID DRESSES True Bride
GROOM John Lewis, TM Lewin
ACCESSORIES Swarovski, Nora Eve
STATIONERY Bespoke Printed Stationery
DÉCOR Gem Stones Style and Hire
CAKE Cake Booth, Chesterfield
ENTERTAINMENT The Singing Waiters, Ellie Sax, Stardust Band via Alive Network
VIDEOGRAPHER Lara Elliott