Your Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Wedding- February / March 2021 (Issue 25)

L auren and Darren met in a nightclub in Bath. “The bad dancing must've attracted us to one another at first!” Lauren says. “When we met up again, we just clicked straight away, had plenty to talk about, lots in common and we got on really well so we haven’t looked back since!” The couple became engaged during a holiday in Riviera Maya, Mexico. “Darren proposed to me on 8 th May 2017 one evening after dinner,” Lauren tells us. “We were on a jetty on the beach! It was a total surprise and I didn’t have a clue that he was going to do it. He had the ring inside a box in his sock! I didn’t notice because the dress code for dinner for men was smart trousers! The date wasn’t meant to be significant in any way (with neither of us taking notice of the date whilst on holiday) but we seem to have a thing for the number eight because we got together on the 8 th , engaged on the 8 th and married on the 8 th .” SETTING THE SCENE “We had visited Stanton Manor on a couple of occasions including a wedding fair when we were still in the early stages of planning our wedding and we thought the location was great, the grounds were beautiful and we liked the fact that it was a hotel which was key for us because our family members would be travelling from all over the place,” Lauren explains. “Other deciding factors were that it had a marquee, and that along with the luxury of it being a manor house, it was rustic-looking in places to fit in with our theme.” The couple seated their guests at eight round numbered tables and guests' names were presented on a table plan displayed on an easel. “We decorated this with a flower garland which looked really pretty,” Lauren tells us. “Other flower arrangements that we had were a large one for the front table in the ceremony room which was then transferred to our top table for our wedding breakfast. Each of our five bridesmaids carried a posy of pink roses and gypsophila while my bouquet consisted of peonies, roses, blue delphiniums, gypsophila and foliage,” Lauren describes. “Both of our fathers, our best man, usher and page boys all wore buttonholes that matched the bridesmaids' bouquets.” The couple's centrepieces were displayed in fishbowl vases stood on mirrored plates. Each one held a tall candle tied with blue ribbon and inside were some artificial pink and white roses mixed with crystals. “We also added a hessian table runner to complement our rustic theme and scattered wooden hearts on the tables,” Lauren tells us. The couple chose to give their guests chocolate truffles as favours packaged in laser-cut boxes. They made activity boxes for the children containing wedding-related activity books and pens, sweets and bubbles. “We gave the younger ones some white chocolate buttons, cuddly toys and finger puppets to keep them occupied during the speeches!” Lauren tells us. “The talented team at Stanton Manor provided our delicious catering,” Lauren explains. “We had tasting days at the venue ahead of our special day when we REAL WEDDINGS 33