Wedding Inspiration

Our Brides #2 – Lauren

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Now this is how to rock a winter wedding! Here’s Lauren, bringing pure boho wedding chic to the Peak District, courtesy of Rembo Styling. Hunter wellies and everything!

Long-distance runner Lauren was a real pleasure to work with when she visited the boutique, and there’s something very special about a winter wedding here in the Peaks. I can’t get over how fabulous the photos are! #GirlCrush.

Congratulations Lauren and Andrew! As Brucie used to say on Strictly, you’re my favourites.

Jess x



THE LOW-DOWN

How would you sum up the style of your wedding?

Winter wedding in the Peak District.

Where and when did you tie the knot?

Upper House Hayfield, Derbyshire, on 14th December 2018. In a hunting lodge/family home turned wedding venue overlooking Kinder Reservoir. It’s just a few miles from where we live.

It is absolutely stunning, from the great hall where the ceremony took place (and later the dance floor), to the grounds, the tipi where we had the wedding breakfast, and then the house itself where we got ready the morning of the wedding and stayed that evening.

And what was your wedding dress?

Honey Bear by Rembo Styling. As soon as I tried it on it just felt perfect for me!

The lace detail was so stunning yet simple. Being a keen distance runner I don’t have the most feminine figure but this fitted perfectly.



THE LEAD-UP

How did you two first meet?

At the European Cross Country Championships in Budapest in December 2012. We were both representing Great Britain and got chatting over the weekend away.

We then had our first coffee date back in England on 14th December exactly 6 years to the day before the wedding!

What about the proposal? When, where, how?

1st January 2018, Monsal Trail, Derbyshire.

We are both very keen runners so it was of course mid-run. It was early morning on New Year’s Day so it was very quiet and we pretty much had the whole trail to ourselves.



THE DRESS

Did you have an idea of what you wanted when you first started looking for your wedding dress? And did you stick to it?

I wanted something a bit boho style, some lace yet quite simple and comfortable/lightweight. And yes I did pretty much stick to it.

With it being a winter wedding I thought I may have gone for something with sleeves which was actually an option with my chosen dress, but decided against this.

How did you find the whole experience of searching for the right dress?

We originally planned to get married in Autumn 2019, however due to a few different reasons we moved the wedding forward to December 2018. The more research we did on winter weddings the more we fell in love with the idea of a winter wedding. From booking the venue and date I then only had 4 months to pretty much plan the whole wedding and of course find the dress.

I went to 3 bridal boutiques, Alexandra Anne was the third and final one. It is such a lovely boutique shop in a quaint village on the Chatsworth Estate. The dresses were all so beautiful. I loved the experience and I was glad I got to go back a couple more times after the initial visit to see Jess and the shop.

What was it about your dress that made it ‘the one’?

As soon as I tried it on I knew it was this one or that if it wasn’t this one it would be very similar. I could see myself wearing it, and could picture it with the style of wedding I wanted. Also I was sure my husband-to-be would approve.

It also got approval off my mum and sister-in-law who were with me.

How did you feel once you’d made the big decision?

I was so happy with my decision. And I guess massively relieved as decisions aren’t something I am very good at.

Do you have any top tips for other brides out there shopping for their bridal gown?

I found looking at the shop websites and Instagram sites helped a lot. You can be a bit overwhelmed by the choice and different styles when you arrive at the shops. Also Pinterest boards are great to get an idea of all the different styles out there.

Try different styles at a few different shops: I was surprised how different styles I would have never previously considered looked and felt when I tried them on. And probably give yourself a bit more time than I did!

And when you’ve found the one, go away and give yourself a few days to think about it before confirming.



THE BIG DAY

Tell us more about your outfit on the day. How did you complete your look?

I wore a pair of nude heels from Zara, a deep red fur jacket from Sezane and a stunning floral crown made by our very talented florist Marianne Slater from Frances and Rose.

Accessories-wise I had a silver Alex Monroe bee necklace. (We are huge Alex Monroe fans and I already have the gold bee necklace amongst others, and my engagement ring and wedding bands are from there).

And your bridesmaids?

I had 4 bridesmaids and 6 flower girls (they were so adorable!!). Bridesmaid dresses were a bit more tricky than I originally anticipated. With 4 months to go I knew one bridesmaid was pregnant, one may be pregnant by the time the wedding day arrived and one lived in Florida so I just had to hope the dress fitted!

I chose a lilac/grey colour from Asos – they were in the sale so were a bargain! I had initially planned to have 2 different style dresses but due to the complications above they just all had the same style.

Flower girl dresses were from Monsoon: I needed a shop that sold the same style from age 1 to age 8.

What do you remember about the morning of the wedding?

The morning flew by. I arrived at the house just after 8am with my mum and sisters and bridesmaids. My makeup/hair stylists were already there and set up and ready to go. We just chilled out having breakfast, plenty of coffee and champagne as we took it in turns to have our hair and makeup done. It was so much fun.

My mum was busy in the other kitchen putting the wedding cake together and I would pop in and out to give her a hand. It was just so nice to have different family members arriving throughout the morning and having the use of the house to get ready in.

Who did your hair and makeup?

Amba Logan and her colleague Lyndsey.

Amba is based in her own studio in Bakewell. She did an amazing job!

Who took your wedding photos?

Mariola Zoladz. She’s absolutely incredible! You would hardly notice she was there, working away in the background.

Mariola also did a pre-wedding shoot with us which I would really recommend as it meant we got to know her really well and that the day was more relaxed from the moment she arrived.

Did you follow any traditions? Or was there anything unusual about the ceremony?

No traditions or anything unusual that I can think of.

How did your dress feel when you were walking down the aisle?

I felt amazing! It fitted perfectly and I just embraced the moment of walking down the aisle.

Of course there’s always a worry I might trip but we had made sure the dress was the perfect length and I went for comfortable heels.



THE MEMORIES

What are your favourite memories of your wedding day?

The ceremony – just standing in front of our closest family and friends and looking at each other and saying the vows was so so special.

Seeing my nieces and friends daughter as flower girls – they were adorable.

The speeches and the food!

What gave you the biggest laugh?

The speeches! The best man speech probably wins with the appearance of a life-size Jolly Tall (my husband Andrew’s childhood teddy was a giraffe called Jolly Tall). He got one of the ushers to dress up in a giraffe costume and sneak in to the tipi mid-speech.

What got the tears flowing?

I’m not one to cry so I just couldn’t stop smiling throughout the ceremony and the day.

If there was one piece of advice you could give to a new bride-to-be, what would it be?

Embrace the day. I dislike being centre of attention but realised I shouldn’t stress about it and just really enjoy it. Having that positive attitude massively helped.

Also take a step back and just take everything in at different points throughout the day.

And last but not least, where is your wedding dress now?

At my parents’ house – my mum is going to get it dry-cleaned / it’s probably been dry-cleaned and hung up waiting for me to collect!

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THE RECAP

Dress

Honey Bear by Rembo Styling

Accessories

Alex Monroe (jewellery)
Sezane (jacket)
Zara heels, Hunter wellies, New Balance trainers (a girl can never have too many shoes!)

Venue

Upper House Hayfield, Peak District

Photography

Mariola Zoladz (based in Sheffield)

Hair and makeup

Amba Logan (based in Bakewell)

Decor

DIY

Flowers

Marianne Slater, Frances and Rose

Stationery

Ben Edwards (family friend)

Table plan theme

Favourite running routes (mostly local ones in Derbyshire)

Caterers

Vanilla in Allseasons (canapes, wedding breakfast, evening food)
Hulsons (pork pie wedding cake)
Wedding cake by my Mum, Vivienne Howarth
Krispy Kreme donuts with donut board made by my Grandad

Entertainment

Spotify playlist

First dance song

Slow Show by The National


Want to get the Lauren look?


Our Brides #1 – Lauren

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One of the real joys of running a bridal boutique is getting to follow the wedding day adventures of brides after they’ve passed through Pilsley and found their dream dress. That’s why we’re starting up our very own Our Brides series to bring you wedding inspiration from Alexandra Anne brides.

And I guess Valentine’s Day isn’t a bad time to start.

And what a way to start! Lauren and hubby Sam turned their Derbyshire wedding into a woodland wonderland last autumn – with more than a hint of the unexpected. Smoke bombs! Donuts! A Daruma Doll (I had to look that one up)! Lauren looked amazing in her Rembo Bjork dress, and I love the detail that went into creating this ethereal boho wedding day.

Congratulations Lauren and Sam! (Any spaces left on your round-the-world trip?)

Jess x


THE LOW-DOWN

How would you sum up the style of your wedding?

A big wedding filled with all our family and friends, relaxed day / party at night, non-traditional, bohemian, greenery, textures (fur/velvet/wool), metallics, smoke bombs, dream-catchers, tambourines, dark, moody, autumnal flowers with pops of colour.

Where and when did you tie the knot?

At the West Mill in Darley Abbey, Derbyshire, on 23rd November 2018.

And what was your wedding dress?

Bjork by Rembo Styling.


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THE LEAD-UP

How did you two first meet?

We met in August 2006 at a college party. Sam came over as me and my friend were selecting party music. Sam said we were playing “cool tunes” and we got chatting, realising we knew some of the same people.

Both our friendship groups had arranged to go to the same festival a few weeks later and decided to pull both groups and go together... I guess the rest is history!

What about the proposal? When, where, how?

Sam proposed on 1st October 2015 in Ireland whilst motorbike touring the Wild Atlantic Way. Sam planned to propose amongst the unbelievable scenery but one evening I happened to root through his bag for shower gel, oblivious to the ring box…

Sam thought I had seen the ring so he hid it in the bed of our bell tent tipi. I then sat on the ring, and Sam had no other choice but to propose there and then!

We had a fantastic day at Skellig, Michael enjoying our engagement without telling anyone at first to soak up the future ahead!


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THE DRESS

How did you find the whole experience of searching for the right dress?

I tried on about 80 dresses, and I loved it! I didn’t want the wedding dress experience to end... but the Rembo Bjork dress caught my attention on Instagram. I fell in love with it and saw it as a sign that I needed to track it down.

Alexandra Anne stocked the dress and as soon as I tried it on, it was like it was made for me! My Mum bought my dress along with a Rembo shawl.


THE BIG DAY

Tell us more about your outfit on the day. How did you complete your look?

As well as the Rembo Bjork dress I found at Alexandra Anne, I wore a flower crown by Avant Garden and Bella Belle shoes, plus my Mum’s gold earrings and a gold crystal bracelet by Luna.

And your bridesmaids?

Handmade velvet multi-way dresses by Valendize on Etsy. It’s difficult having a bridesmaid entourage and finding a dress to suit all. I originally set out to find a variety of different styles but then came across these luscious velvet dresses to go with our textured theme.

Who took your wedding photos?

Bloom Weddings. They did us an awesome video, too:

What do you remember about the morning of the wedding?

It was the perfect morning at The Pentahotel where I hired out one of their funky conference rooms to get ready in.

Who did your hair and makeup?

My oldest friend of 28 years, Kim at The Hairworkz did an amazing job on my hair and the bridesmaids’ hair. We’ve been friends since we were 3 and she’s been doing my hair since I was 19, and of course she was always going to do my wedding hair. It was so perfect to have her part of the wedding morning! Kim you’re amazing!

Avant Garden Weddings provided eucalyptus for the bridesmaids’ hair and a beautiful flower crown for me.

For makeup, I found Frankie Noone on Instagram. She’s sooo amazing! Bubbly, always always smiling and absolutely loves what she does. I chose Frankie because when I went for a trial with a couple of my bridesmaids, we just knew, she was like us! Frankie listens to what you want and can tailor to suit whatever style you like. She asks how you would normally do your own makeup and gives you makeup tips and tricks... It was an absolute pleasure to have Frankie and Steffi be a part of the wedding morning. They were both so chilled and relaxed...

Did you have a theme in mind when putting it all together?

I wanted to create a modern bohemian theme. I had mini tambourines as favours and pheasant feathers (which everyone stuck in their hair) and guest nick-name place cards set for table settings. Table decor was a mixture of wooden cotton reels and logs with coloured gin and wine bottles I collected. I used tall charcoal candles to create a dark moody table along with eucalyptus and lavender. I gathered jars and filled them with moss and scented grey tea lights. Everyone complimented the smell of the room!

As we were heading off on our worldwide travel expedition for 20 months the following week, we also incorporated a travel theme into our day. Table names were hexagon glass mirrors with white stickers of countries we’ve visited, a giant map and travel tag seating chart with a Pop the Question Quiz on each table for guests. Although we forgot to read out the answers after the speeches, ha! You can follow our travels on Instagram.\

And the flowers?

Avant Garden Weddings by Laura who was super excited to make my floral vision a reality! I made collages, printed and laminated for her to keep. I envisaged pampas grass to create impressive centrepieces, a wild, draping boutique with pheasant feathers and ribbon and a flower crown with dark moody flowers and pops of colour.

We also purchased a flower hanging garland and props for our photo booth, where our guests could use a Polaroid camera to create our guestbook! Some cracking pics in our leather photo album.

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How about stationery?

Red Wine & Signs we called it! My maid of honour and I designed the entire signage for the wedding on a Saturday night with red wine (of course) and cheese!

I envisaged a clean, modern look which popped with greenery that represented the earthy tones I was having in my flowers. My MOH is super creative and I could rely on her to help create with her keen eye. She arranged the entire printing with her supplier from work, saving me a huge job... and that’s just one of a million reasons why she was my MOH!

Did you do anything unusual on the day?

We incorporated a few non-traditional bits into our wedding day.

My cousin (practically my brother) was my Man of Honour: there was no way I could not include him in the wedding party.

For the ring box, I had a gold pentagon glass box filled with moss and both our wedding rings in.

11 years ago, the mother-of-the-groom bought me a pot pig money box for Christmas. I decided to decorate it with four of my bridesmaids all those years ago, writing notes which we slipped into the pot pig. I promised I would smash this pig on my wedding day and see what we all wrote! And so I did, with a hammer. Turned out there was only one note in there that said ‘Sillybilly’!

We decided to go against the typical cake-cutting tradition. It’s just not us to stand there posing with a knife for a photo! Who even eats cake anyway? So we had an amazing donut wall with 100 donuts that my bridesmaid ordered. Instead of cutting a cake we had a Daruma Doll we’ve had for many years and which we hadn’t drawn eyes on, so we did this instead and shoved a donut in each other’s mouth!

How did you feel when you were walking down the aisle?

It was like I was dreaming, I felt like I floated down the aisle. It was super surreal and special with a reading from one of my bridesmaids, and we picked our own readings which the registrar read out. One in particular by Dr Seuss:

We’re all a little bit weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.
— Dr Seuss

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THE MEMORIES

What are some of your favourite memories of your wedding day?

We met through the love of music and it plays a huge part in our lives. Our friend of 12 years played Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven as the Bride Tribe walked down the aisle. It was truly magical.

We always knew we wanted a band in the evening for our wedding because we love to party! We hired Minnie and the Moochers, a soul and funk band. The lead singer had a James Brown voice and really got the evening started! There were dance-offs happening all over the Spinning Room between friends and family like they’d known each other for years! We picked all our own music for the day and everyone complimented our choices throughout.

What gave you the biggest laugh?

When we throw a party we usually have a theme, so we threw a hat party in the evening asking everyone to bring a party hat. My bridesmaid (aka Rachael from Soul Sequins) made my stunning crystal party hat! You can find her on Instagram.

If there was one piece of advice you could give to a new bride-to-be, what would it be?

I know everyone says don’t sweat the little things or things that might not go to plan, but it’s so true. You don’t want to remember the bits you were stressed about on your day so let it go over your head and just forget about it.

Make your wedding about everything you both love. You don’t have to follow any typical traditions if you don’t want to. Change it up, make it your own... go with what your gut says and don’t feel like you have to involve everyone (it gets messy) or justify why you want things the way you want them... just go with it!


THE RECAP

Dress

Bjork by Rembo Styling

Accessories

Flower crown by Avant Garden
Shoes by Bella Belle
Bracelet by Luna

Venue

West Mill, Derbyshire

Photography and videography

Bloom Weddings

Hair and makeup

The Hairworkz + Makeup by Frankie

Decor

DIY

Flowers

Avant Garden

Table plan theme

Round-the-world travels

Caterers

Jenkinsons

Entertainment

Minnie and the Moochers