We love a wedding where the bride and groom make the most of the celebrations and go to town on the food, bar and styling details, and this is just what Lauren and Matthew did for their special day, as you’ll see in these beautiful pictures by Lawes Photography.
The styling is so pretty, with beautiful tablescapes, wooden crates for the seating plan, and wait until you see the bride’s gorgeous bouquet with berries; it’s all just so perfect for a country wedding… and what country wedding would be complete without steam engines and vintage machinery, hey?
“When we started planning our wedding both Matt and I discussed what we wanted from the day and the most important aspects we wanted to focus on. With me being from New Zealand and Matt being from England it was important that both countries were represented and aspects of both came through.
“We wanted our guests to enjoy themselves, feel welcome and experience some Kiwi hospitality. We agreed it was important to get the food, bar and band right – from my experience people will remember these three aspects most from a wedding. We also had parts that were important to each of us. From my point of view I wanted to make sure we paid close attention to detail, even if I was the only one who noticed it. Matt wanted to make sure we had some stream engines and vintage machinery there, so we worked on how we were going to make it all come together.
“Pinterest was my friend during the planning process. I would have an idea about something I wanted and then just refine it by using Pinterest, or I’d see something on there that I thought would work well and then recreated it in our style.
“I also worked for years in hospitality and luxury hotels, so I had organised many weddings and events. This gave me a big advantage as I knew what I didn’t want, and what worked well. We picked the country vintage theme, which was a natural choice for us, and just went from there.
“The colour scheme I based a lot on the bridesmaids dresses – I just loved the colour and wanted to repeat it throughout the whole wedding. For our wedding flowers I wanted something soft and romantic to complement the dresses and to give a vintage look.
“Outside we had a collection of steam engines with tables and chairs scattered around, and we had rugs and gas patio heaters for the evening so people could sit outside and still enjoy the engines.
“As we had family and friends attending from all over the globe and they had not all met, we thought a photo board of moments in our life with our closest family and friends would help – it was a great focal point for people and a real conversation starter.
“Matt and his friends made the wooden bar, and our seating plan was four wooden crates with the guests’ names from each table in photo frames, along with photos of Matt and I. For our photo booth we had a canvas sign printed, and set up a iPad which had a photo booth app on it.
“To decorate the tables we used hessian and lace trim table runners, and we had hessian favour bags, tied with green ribbon to match the bridesmaid dresses, finished with a luggage tag stamped with a quote, all made by the bridal party.
“Dan and Joseph, friends from NZ who are currently over here working at the Grosvenor Hotel in Chester, agreed to do the food for the day. I was very excited as it meant I didn’t have to think about it. We left them to write the menu and entrusted them to arrange it all. The food was exceptional considering it was just the two of them and they had a limited kitchen. It completely surpassed our expectations – I am one very lucky girl to know two exceptional chefs!
“The suppliers we used were incredible! Some came from recommendations, others a lot of Google searching. I think you need to find the right people and suppliers that suit your style, and you also have to be able to have a laugh with them so you can be relaxed and natural on the day – it makes the wedding day far less stressful. We also wanted to stay local and use people and companies nearby.
“We were very lucky to have such amazing friends who helped us put everything together and who invested so much of their own time in to it – I think this made the day so much more special. We had friends doing all sorts of jobs, from collecting the food and the chefs from Chester at 6am in the morning and bringing them back to Dorset, to folding napkins and polishing cutlery. We couldn’t have got to the day without all their help.
“The day turned out far better than we ever thought possible and we loved every minute of it. There isn’t anything we would change! Well, maybe only one thing… we would slow time down. Everyone says it will go fast but until it’s your turn you just don’t realise how fast.”
Photography: Lawes Photography
Ceremony Venue: Stourpaine Holy Trinity Church
Reception Venue: Family farm near Blandford Forum, Dorset
Jacket: Lusan Mandongus, from Hannah Elizabeth Bridal
Bridal Belt: Lily Bella, from Hannah Elizabeth Bridal
Hair Comb: Sash and Co, from Hannah Elizabeth Bridal
Shoes: Rachel Simpson
Bridesmaid Dresses: Jim Hjelm, from Hannah Elizabeth Bridal
Hair and Make Up: Amazing Face
Suits: Abigail’s and Co
Flowers: Florabunda, Blandford Forum
Cake: Lisa Knotley
Catering: Daniel Reynolds and Joesph Clarke, friends of the bride and groom
Stationery: Alison C Board
Groom’s Transport: Marshall Traction Engine – Ben Lomand 1915
Bride’s Transport: MG TC 1947
Bridesmaid Transport: Pontiac Firebird
Cake Table: Ford Model T
Marquee, Tableware, Glassware, Catering Tent and Equipment: DP Marquees
Evening Food: Hog Roast by Ellis Family Butchery