I’d have to describe today’s real wedding as delightfully graceful and utterly stylish, for a number of reasons. Let me tell you why.
Georgie and Lawrence were hitched on Saturday 29th April 2017 at Belmount Hall in the Lake District. The couple chose the area to hold their wedding as they met in Cumbria on a night out and it’s where Lawrence grew up before moving to London with Georgie. I always think it’s lovely to ‘go home’ to get married, it gives such a special and personal vibe from the get go. Georgie and Lawrence envisioned a jolly good celebration and settled on the Spring for their nuptials, with pretty pastels and wild seasonal blooms.
Talking of the flowers they really were a dream. The pink peony and blue thistle bridal bouquet was truly gorgeous and must have smelt divine. Their florist really worked her magic on the flowers and the venue was transformed with greenery hanging from hoops and bottles of stems. The perfect spot to say I do indeed.
Then there was the outfit choices. Georgie looked so stunning in her lace Pronovias gown and sparkling veil, it fit her like a glove. Lawrence went down the bespoke suit and chose every element including the colour of the thread, how dapper! Their bridesmaids wore delicate beaded pale blue dresses and the flower girls classic white frocks. How blooming lovely.
Jamie Dunn Photography, thank you ever so much for sharing these gorgeous shots with us.
THE PROPOSAL | Lawrence always said when he proposed it wouldn’t be somewhere obvious or when I would expect, and we both wanted to buy a home before we got married. Back in September 2015. We had just bought our first place, and money at that time was tight. So to me, it wasn’t on my radar that he could propose on our holiday in Sicily.
We were on our way to dinner and had left a little early because it was on top of a cliff side with spectacular views over the bay and the town, so we wanted time to enjoy them. It was dusk and I was happily taking in the view, completely oblivious to how nervous Lawrence apparently was! It took me a moment to take in what was actually happening, as he was trying to tell me that while I was away visiting friends one weekend, he had been to see my parents. That is the moment it hit me and happy tears were now streaming. He got down on one knee and popped the question, with the most amazing ring!
Through our emotions, he began to tell me about the ring. Sadly earlier that year, 2 weeks before I was due to meet Lawrence’s grandparents, his nanna (Irene) past away suddenly. It was Irene’s ring that he had given me, that his grandpa and mum (who it had been passed down to) very kindly agreed Lawrence could give to me. It was the most emotional and special moment, and I knew then, more than ever, how much we meant to each other.
THE VISION | In all honesty we didn’t have a vision for a while, all we wanted was a celebration with our nearest and dearest family and friends. So the venue and time of year would determine how our day would look and feel.
We met through friends on a random night out in a small town called Penrith, in Cumbria. He lived and grew up there and I was living in London. After 9 months of long distance, he made the move to the city. And so when the time came, we both knew The Lake District would be the perfect, most meaningful place for us to get married, plus the rolling hills and amazing lakes made the decision all that more easier.
When we decided on April as the time we would like to marry, it felt right to use pretty pastels and lots of wild spring flowers. It complimented our venue and the stunning hill views.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | Firstly, our venue was the most important, initially we wanted a venue close by to Lawrence’s mum’s home because it looked beautiful and had accommodation for all our guests. We were thinking tipi’s in the gardens after the ceremony in the venue. However, it became apparent very quickly, how much it would have cost and that actually only 30 people would have been able to attend the ceremony as the room was so small. We both have large families, so it just wasn’t an option.
Once we found our venue everything started coming together, and I became addicted to Pinterest! It has the best inspiration, but it can be quite overwhelming and too many ideas can really confuse things, so I tried to keep realistic and stick to things I felt were important. I made a scrapbook which I loved doing throughout the process. I also relied on checklists, advise from friends, family and my wedding planner book to help guide me on timelines, and what I needed to think about.
THE VENUE | Belmount Hall, Hawkshead in the Lake District. A stunning Georgian mansion, sat neatly on a hill overlooking Hawkshead town and Lake Esthwaite. It was the first venue we saw in December 2015, and we both loved it, it has the most amazing views, and a beautiful drive into the grounds.
Although we wanted tipis initially, with unpredictable weather in the UK, particularly the north, having the option of rooms inside were ideal.
It has an old converted barn extension, which was used for the ceremony and the dance floor, and at the time of the viewing were creating a separate room for a bar. The venue capacity was 84 people, so cutting down our guest list was not easy, however, it did mean parents could enjoy their day without the kids :)
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Pronovias dress, Ted Baker shoes, Debbie Carlisle crystal hair vine and earrings, necklace and crystal bracelet by Ivory & Co. My dad bought me a beautiful silver bracelet with a blue stone, from Tiffany as a gift on the morning, which I wore as my something blue.
FINDING THE DRESS | I found my wedding dress in a gorgeous bridal shop called Windsor and Eton Brides, in Eton, Surrey.
Most women, have had the idea of what dress they want from a young age, however, I have never thought about because I never felt that I was in the position too. The idea of looking for the one white dress among a sea of them terrified me, and I was so nervous when the day in April 2016 came for me to start looking for a dress. Once I started trying them on I really enjoyed it! Even the ones I didn’t like, and I thought I would want something A-line – going by my pinterest board, but I kept open minded to shapes and details so that It was easier to find the right one.
I found a Pronovias dress that I thought was the one on that first visit, by the last shop that day, however I wanted to make quite a few tweaks to it so I wasn’t 100%. Eva, the wedding stylist was fantastic, she advised me that the new Spring 2017 range was due to there stores in a couple of months, and there was a dress that I described that she thought I would love. I am so glad I waited a couple of months to go back, because the dress I described to Eva had come in and was the one! I did make a change to the back from a wide scoop into a lace V, that was more flattering for my shape. I was so happy and still love it! My veil was also from the same shop, it was as long as the dress and had pretty pearls spread across it.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Lawrence loves to look stylish, (he has me to thank for that, coming from a fashion background). He wanted a bespoke made suit and after researching a lot, he decided he would visit Hackett and Suit Supply, a tailors he has used a few times.
Suit Supply had the best options for him, and he picked everything from the style of the lapels, pockets, buttons, lining down to the colour of thread. I was kept completely in the dark about what he was wearing, which I must say made it special, and nice for me to have a surprise on the day,
He did an amazing job, it fit him perfectly and he looked so handsome! I loved the shade of cobalt blue and even his crazy lining!
His shoes were a deep burgundy patent monk strap, from Russell and Bromley and looked gorgeous with his blue suit. His tie and pocket square are from Hackett, cuff links were Hugo Boss and his tie pin was Lanvin, a gift from me on the morning.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We chose two of our best friends for our readings, Lauren read The One, which was a beautiful short summary of finding your one. And Threlk read, I will be here, which felt so fitting as we made our promises to each other. I found the readings on Pinterest, and wanted them to relate to us without being too soppy!
We found the music for the ceremony and first dance the most difficult, we didn’t have one particular song, but both love classic upbeat music, especially Motown so that narrowed down our choices. Then we chose songs we loved through our relationship, that brought back happy and fun memories. I loved that process!
Lawrence has a friend who is a fantastic drummer, and plays with different bands for gigs and weddings around the country. Fortunately, he agreed to get his best musicians and vocalist involved, and wow did they impress! James Bradshaw has the most amazing vocal, and also sang effortlessly while playing the piano during our reception, it was beautiful!
In the evening, the party really got started! On our RSVP’s we had asked our guests to request a floor filler for the party, so we had a great playlist and additional songs ready to go which was so easy! The band sent us a few demo’s they had been practising for us on the lead up to the day, and we were so excited to hear them play! They were amazing on the day and the floor was full all night!
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I’m very close to my sister, so it was only right that she was my maid of honour. It was a really hard decision for the rest of my bridesmaids, part of me wanted my best friends but I knew it would cause upset with others as I have different friendship groups. Lawrence has 3 sisters, and they would become mine from that day, so it made sense to ask them to join my bridal party. I involved my best friends in other ways, and they really are the best, and understood my dilemma.
It wasn’t easy finding dresses for the girls, all different heights, hair colours, shapes and ages, but patience paid off. We found the perfect dresses from Monsoon, the girls looked stunning, and I love them all dearly!
THE FLOWERS | This is one area that totally overwhelmed me and I had no idea where to start. All I knew is I wanted wild spring flowers in pretty pastels and that the florist would need to be fairly local to the venue. Vicki Johnston came to my rescue! She is the best friend of Lawrence’s mum and I couldn’t have asked for a better, more patient florist!
I told her my vision before we met and she suggested I add her to my pinterest board. I probably drove her mad with constant pinning, but she totally understood what I wanted but also guided me with the best options. She shared all the options with me that were in season from my pinterest boards, and helped me stay as close to my budget without losing the vision.
The hoops and hanging flowers really looked stunning, I’d collected lots of glass bottles, jars and bought regular hula hoops as main features. My favourite was the hoop above Lawrence and I in the ceremony and the ribbons with hanging flowers along the beams in the wedding breakfast room, they really brought my wild spring garden vision to life.
She created the most beautiful arrangements and bouquets too, it was amazing to see it all come together and she made it far better than I expected! She wowed our guests and us!
THE CAKE | I loved the style of semi-naked cakes and we decided we would have a 3 tier cake with three of our favourite flavours. We found our cake maker by looking online in the areas nearby the venue, and up popped The Little Kendal Cakery by Kelly Nattrass. She is an independent cake maker, who works from her home in The Lakes. She made up 4 different flavoured cake slices for a tasting appointment, and they were all fantastic! Some so good that it changed one our flavour choices! After much thought, we decided the cake wasn’t one of the most important parts of the day although we love it and in our experience, not everyone will want cake on the day. Our final choice was to have a two tier semi naked cake and it was looked and tasted fabulous!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Lawrence and I wanted photos of us and our day as natural as possible, we didn’t want any set up shots and also loved the idea of having another photographer, to capture the morning the boys were having on the day too, as it’s something the bride never gets to see. We looked around local to our venue at first, but couldn’t find the style that suited us or price that worked for us.
Then one day, Lawrence and I went to a wedding fair at the Excel Centre in London, and it was here by chance we found Jamie Dunn. His style captured us straight away, he caught moments of wedding days that were so natural and beautiful, it was one photo he had displayed that really made him memorable to us, and summed up exactly what we were looking for.
After meeting Jamie for a drink and chat about the ideas we had, we knew we had made the right decision. He was very open and honest about our ideas and what he could achieve for us, he took time to get to know us so he understood what we wanted to capture. Lucky for us he was happy to travel up north for us and was excited to visit and explore our venue and location. We had an engagement shoot, which to us was not our thing and thought it would be awkward and cheesy, however, I’m so glad we did it as it gave us a chance to work with Jamie before the day, him to get to know what we like and dislike, and for us to feel more comfortable in front of the camera.
Jamie has great links with other photographers and brought the most amazing assistant (Louise Jacob) to photograph the boys and she stayed until just before the first dance. They both did such an amazing job! The photos captured so much of the emotion, the moments of our day, and just how amazing it was for us. We couldn’t have asked for more personable and professional photographers to join our day!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Many of our friends and family were having to travel a few hours to join our day, and so we wanted to take some of the stress and worry away from them. We booked a vintage double decker bus, to pick up our guests from Penrith and Ambleside, and take them to the venue. They decorated it with flowers of our colour choice, and printed personalised bus tickets for our guests as they jumped on board, which made for a cute touch.
It really is a beautiful journey through the mountains, so it was lovely to share that with our family and friends, as well as a great way for guests to get to know each other and get excited together.
We started collecting jars and glass bottles, friends and family also helped collecting spirit bottles too, as I didn’t want anything tall for the table centrepieces so it was nice for the guests to see everything, and I wanted flowers spread out throughout the venue.
I wanted the place to twinkle especially in the evening, so I searched eBay for battery powered string lights and a light curtain for the back wall in the ceremony and when the band were performing. I filled copper lanterns and glass jars with smaller string lights or candles.
I loved the idea of a pimp your prosecco station, so we we created one with bowls of fruit, bottles of elderflower cordial, cassis and a punch to make cocktails. The venue had a croquet set, which was set up on the front lawn for guests to enjoy. Our family photos featured pegged to string lights, that we had wrapped around a large tree.
I wrote the order if the day on a glass panel that used to be part of an old TV stand, by tracing over the letters with a white art pen. Lawrence had the hard task of cutting the wood for the large sign and we wrote the themes and places that meant something to us, with gold paint.
Each table centre piece had a gold terrariums filled with gypsophila, silver tea lights and bottles of flower arrangements, with a copper heart stand from Etsy, holding each table number.
To display the table plan, we wanted it suspended with flowers hanging down, but we had nowhere to hang it from. So Lawrence painted an easel in a soft grey, and we mounted our beautiful table cards with a clear border so it gave the idea of it suspended in the frame, while our florist decorated the frame itself.
THE HONEYMOON | It’s with huge thanks to all our wonderful family and friends, even those that sadly couldn’t be there on the day, that we were lucky enough to go to our dream destination, the Maldives. We wanted somewhere relaxing but entertaining, hot, with good food and to be pampered in luxury. Velassaru gave us all of that and more, we found the island paradise through Kuoni, and knowing they also do a honeymoon gift list and package, it was ideal.
We had the most amazing time! I encourage everyone to visit the Maldives if they ever get the chance. Not only is it a stunning tropical island, but the staff and the food were second to none! Everything was perfect and they couldn’t do enough for you!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | The whole day was the most amazing, memorable and special time of our lives. We honestly had the best time together, and with our favourite people!
Some moments that stick out to us are, when we saw each other for the first time at the end of the aisle. The emotions we felt during the speeches, and the dancing and dance off’s throughout the night!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Do what you want to do, it’s your day.
The most important thing to remember is you’re there for each other, and all your friends and family are there for you both. The little things that don’t happen or go to plan are not going to be noticed by anyone but you, so don’t worry about insignificant things.
Take your time to take everything in because it goes so fast, especially in the ceremony. I took my time and enjoyed it so much!
I really cherish the time me and Lawrence took after the ceremony on our own, it was special for us to just take it that we were husband and wife and really get excited about what was to come, and check out how we looked in our wedding attire :)
And enjoy the day!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Florist | Vicki Johnston
Cake Maker | Kelly Nattrass, The Little Kendal Cakery
Makeup Artist | Leonie Ruddick & Bekah Bain, Heart and Soul Penrith
Hair | Dani MacSymones & Leah Howe, Timeless Hairdressing and Beauty
Accessories | Debbie Carlisle
The Band | The Lowdown Band
Pianist/Vocalist | James Bradshaw
Bus company | Cumbria Classic Coaches
So many emotive shots there, the speeches really looked so special.
Huge thanks to Georgie and Lawrence for sharing with us their marvellous wedding xo Lou