This weeks #bowbride is the beautiful Lauren who married in November 2016 at Colwick Hall. The fabulous photos were by Darren Wingham from Real People Photography.

Tell us about your look

About a year before the wedding, I decided it was time to book in some dress trials. When I booked my appointment at BOW, I was told that it was the Chanticleer Designer Weekend.

I had an idea in my head of what I wanted and I knew it definitely had to be lace. When I went along, I was overwhelmed by the choice of beautiful styles – I was in heaven!

My initial idea for a Winter wedding was a dress with sleeves, however, after trying a few on, I felt a bit swamped in material being only 5ft tall.

With the help of my Mum and the lovely ladies at BOW, I managed to narrow it down to two dresses. I fell in love with a lace fit and flare with a shadow train and pearl buttons down the back but I also loved the keyhole back and the detailing of a blush pink dress. I was torn!


With it being the Chanticleer Designer Weekend, I was very lucky to meet the Designer of the two dresses, Tracy Salt. As I stood in the ivory dress (wondering whether it was acceptable just to buy two), Tracy started sketching a design combining the bits I loved from both dresses. So I had my very own bespoke dress with the elements I loved from both dresses. Tracy was amazing and very cleverly pinned the dress in several places with additional bits of lace to give me an idea of how the final dress would look. I put on a veil and cried. It was THE dress!

The ladies at BOW were so helpful and honest. They really help to put your mind at ease and make sure you find the perfect dress. It was the dress trying experience you dream of and I loved every second.

Tell us about your venue

Finding the wedding venue was a bit tricky because I am originally from Southampton, Adam is from Newark – but we live in London! We looked at venues in all three locations but eventually decided on Colwick Hall in Nottingham. It had everything we were looking for; a Georgian country house mansion with gorgeous grounds, a beautiful bright room for the ceremony and breakfast and the cherry on top was that we got a great deal for an “off peak” Winter wedding! We had originally wanted to get married in September – but the Winter Wedding deal really swung it for us and meant that we could afford to splash out a little elsewhere.

How did you choose your photographer?

After deciding on the venue, the next step was to find wedding suppliers in the area. Although I had been to Newark/Nottingham a few times – I had no idea where to start. So, I signed up to a few websites, one of which was www.UKBride.co.uk. They have this useful tool where you can get tailored quotes for wedding services based on budget/location/packages etc., and then the supplier emails you direct. So our photographer actually found us!

Although Darren is based in Basingstoke, he was more than happy to travel to Nottingham for the wedding. What we really loved about his work was his PhotoFilms. We had never seen anything like it before. It was a mix between slideshow and film to a music track of our choice. Darren used the best of the sound (ceremony/speeches etc) and the photographs to really sum up the fun and romance of the day.

What did the bridesmaids wear

I love black – so I knew straight away that the bridesmaids had to be in black. I used to love seeing other people’s expressions when you told them you were having black bridesmaid dresses!

After a lot of online searching, I found a shop called David’s Bridal in Westfield Stratford that specialise in formal/bridesmaid dresses. I wanted the girls to feel happy and comfortable in what they wore, so I let them pick a few styles and we had lots of fun trying them on.

They decided on a black satin A-line dress. The style suited and looked absolutely stunning on all of them (they also loved the fact that the dress had pockets). I loved the contrast between my dress and their dresses – I think it worked really well with lace/satin and ivory/black.

Those people that had doubts about the black bridesmaid dresses were very pleasantly surprised when they saw us on the day!

Wedding theme

With the bridesmaids in black and Adam and the groomsmen in black tuxedos, it just happened naturally that the wedding would have a very ‘classic with a modern twist’ feel. The venue was very elegant with large windows, chandeliers and pillars so the theme kind of just fell into place without us having to put much thought into it.

In keeping with the black, we designed and made our black invitations and Adam’s Mum very kindly made our black wedding cake. I wanted classic white flowers with a hint of black so the florist used steel berries and black anemones (which, apparently, are very dark blue) for the button holes and bouquets and when it all came together, it looked beautiful!

 

Our wedding date was 5 November so we wanted to do something that touched on Halloween, Day of the Dead and Bonfire Night. We bought lots of Halloween and Day of the Dead props for the photobooth and we made personalised “Bonfire Night Honeycomb” as favours. Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed fireworks or sparklers at the venue, so I decided to buy some extra-long Glowsticks. At about 9pm, we gave all the guests some Glowsticks and we went outside for a photoshoot and got some excellent photos! The guests all seemed to enjoy it and the photographer said he’d never done anything like that before.

 

How did you feel on the morning and walking up the aisle

The night before the wedding, my bridesmaids and I stayed at Colwick Hall. I shared a room with my maid of honour and she made sure we got an early ish night. However, I was so nervous/happy/excited that I couldn’t sleep. I was still staring at the ceiling at 3am!

When my alarm went off at 7am, although I was tired, the adrenaline was coursing through my body. My sisters came running in and we all started jumping on the bed, laughing, giggling and getting excited and from that moment on, I knew it was going to be the best day! We had a good breakfast (drank lots of water) and went back to our rooms to get ready. I had a nice long bath with a face pack and really tried to relax before the hair and makeup started. It was such a leisurely morning – there was no rushing or urgency and that really helped to keep my nerves under control. I actually think I was more relaxed than my Mum and my bridesmaids! I wasn’t getting married until 2pm and it just felt like we had loads of time to get ready, crack open the prosecco and have lots of photos.

 

It wasn’t until about 1.50pm that I started feeling the nervous butterflies. The hotel manager came up to the room and told me it was time to start making our way downstairs and I had this moment where I was like “oh my god, this is it”. I just wanted to get downstairs, see Adam and get married!

The doors to the ceremony room were closed and we lined up in our order (my bridesmaids walked down the ailse first). The doors opened to let the first two bridesmaids through (and then closed again) and I caught a glimpse of Adam at the top of the ailse and for a moment I wondered if he saw me – he had a huge smile on his face.

If I am being honest, walking down the ailse was a blur. Everyone tells you not to rush and take your time but it felt like I floated down the ailse as I don’t remember putting one foot in front of the other! I just remember beaming from ear to ear as all of our guests turned to look at me. One minute I was staring at the closed doors and the next I was in front of Adam. It was such a whirlwind feeling and instantly my nerves disappeared and I was just full of happiness.

Top Tip

I am naturally a very organised person. I had a spreadsheet setting out deposits we had paid, the balance and when it was due. I am not saying be that organised – but a little organisation does help make you feel less stressed leading up to the big day.

Your wedding advice

Stick to your guns – don’t let other people’s opinions change what you really want. It’s your special day!
Most of all, enjoy every second. It really is over in a flash!

Where did you go on honeymoon?

 

We went to Phuket, Thailand. We aren’t usually the type to lay beside a pool all day and would usually be out exploring or doing a city break – but it was so nice just to sit and do nothing for a couple of weeks. We stayed at the Mandarava Resort and Spa and it was absolutely bliss. The perfect ending to a perfect day!

Thank you so much Lauren for sharing.

Why not share your own special day! Send your snaps to mydress@bridesofwinchester.co.uk or tag us #bowbride

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