Laura and Phil enjoyed a gorgeous summer wedding inspired by an English country garden
Laura and Phil met at work in February, 2006, and had their first date at London Zoo. “As we worked and often socialised together, our first date went really well and there wasn't any awkwardness,” says Laura.
Phil's festive proposal came a few years later, on Christmas Day, 2010. “It was our first Christmas as a family,” explains Laura. “He'd taped my ring to some jelly beans – which he expected me to leave until last – but I opened them first and so he dived to the floor on one knee with our eight-week-old daughter in his arms.”
Laura spent 19 months planning the wedding; here she tells us more about their day…
The venue is an Edwardian mansion with original features and beautiful grounds. Even when we visited in bleak January, it still had charm and character.
I tried on so many dresses, I lost count. My gown was delicately detailed and not too daring which is exactly what I wanted. I felt really comfortable and confident in it.
My bridesmaids Caroline and Michelle carried smaller versions of my bouquet, made up of Cezanne roses, lisianthus, hydrangea, trailing ivy, sweet william and white veronica, hand-tied with a lace ribbon.
We used real flowers to dress the cake as well as a topper and mini corsages with trailing ivy. It looked striking and tasted amazing.
I travelled from my parents' house in a classic Beauford car with my dad – the original man in my life!
My bridal look was created by hair stylist Karen Williams and Sue Hazelhurst, my make-up artist. My make-up was darker than normal, but not too extreme, and I accessorised my hair with a feather, pearl and crystal fascinator.
Phil's best man was Daryl Hewett, who he has known since university. The ushers were our brothers: Tony and Keith Hutchinson and Roger Pritchard. All the groomsmen wore the same suits but Phil had a contrasting tie and handkerchief.
I made our table plan out of trellis and silk flowers, and we had individual iced fruit cakes as favours. We personalised them by adding a daisy and pearl and named each one using an icing pen to double as place names.
In keeping with the English country garden theme, our table centrepieces had the same flowers as the bouquets in birdcages and hurricane lanterns.
Our daughter Daisy was the flowergirl and looked adorable on the day.
On the top table we had swags of trailing ivy and the guest tables were decorated with crystals, mini champagne buckets filled with jelly beans and tea lights. We also had two bay trees trimmed with ivory ribbons at the beginning of the aisle that were then placed at either end of the top table.
We would definitely recommend our photographer Christopher Ian; he made the whole process effortless. I went to school with Chris, so knew I'd be happy to work with him. Once I learnt he was an award-winning photographer, it was an easy decision to make. The pictures speak for themselves.
In the evening, the DJ had everyone dancing all night!
My friends, Caroline Dalzell and Michelle Rutherford, were bridesmaids. Michelle was pregnant at the time, which was a slight problem when looking for dresses, however, we found gorgeous Alfred Angelo designs that had a maternity style so both figures were flattered.