Lauren & Rob


Decor: Forget Me Not Props

Venue: Smeetham Hall Barn

Entertainment: Phil Rostance and the Marshall Band

Thank you Lauren for your Real Wedding Submission – absolutely beautiful! We love to inspire future brides.

My husband, Rob popped the question on a beautiful beach in St Ives, Cornwall on 26th February 2015 after already being together for 12 years and having a three year old daughter together! We are high school sweethearts. It took quite a lot of hinting from many family members and myself for Rob to finally go down on one knee!

Rob was very much for a traditional church ceremony, which surprised us all, but he was quite adamant it must be ‘traditional.’ So we married in St Peter’s, our local church in Sible Hedingham, Essex where we live and where our daughter, Darcey was christened. It is a beautiful church on top of hill. We hired a vintage, cream Beaufort convertible classic for transport for us, a blue vintage classic for my bridesmaids (three school friends and my niece) and I had a surprise VW camper van turn up to transport my mum and three small flower girls (one being our daughter).

Rob was also adamant that we had a string trio, The Bow Belles – they played as our guests entered the church, then they played Pachel Bells Cannon in Major D while I walked down the aisle and then two of our favorites as we signed the register, ‘thousand years’ and ‘one day like this.’ They also played Runaway by The Corr’s as we left the church. They then rushed off to set up up at a reception to play through our welcome drinks. They played many popular chart and film hits as well as classical. It was really nice having them play in the background.

We then fell in love with Smeetham Hall Barn in Bulmer, Sudbury for our reception – we arranged a bus for all of our guests to travel between the two venues. Smeetham is just beautiful, our reception was held in a converted barn next to the most stunning house set with a lake in front of it and covered with gorgeous red roses. In the evening, lanterns lit the way down the side of the lake, making most picturesque.

Our theme was cottage garden with a mixture of greens and pale pinks. We had an element of country fayre with vintage croquet and a game of horse shoes in the courtyard to keep our guests entertained and we also had an old style train theme running throughout (tickets with type writer print for place cards, a wooden train as an alternative for a postbox and a train on our cake with the three of us on!)- Rob is a Train Driver, he loves it, so it was quite important to include it.

We had flower pots filled with a little bags of old fashioned sweets as favors (we used to run a retro sweet shop, so it was personal to us) with a little brown envelope of mixed flower seeds to remember our day by.

We had watering cans, log slices, wooden crates, candles, galvanized jugs, milk churns and garden flowers everywhere! We had a girls day previously cutting and arranging flowers, which was really good fun and got everyone involved.

We had an array of hot and cold canapes including chocolate strawberries, washed down nicely with a glass of pimms or processco! After many photos, we sat down to our top table in the round (to be a bit different) and had a lovely roast beef wedding breakfast, put on by our caterers, Splinters. This was followed by the longest groom’s speech in the world, bless him, more games, snaps and our evening entertainment then started. Our band, Phil Rostance and the Marshall Band from Nottingham were amazing! Our first dance was Stand By Me by Ben E King, followed by a dad and daughter dance to My Girl by The Temptations, we encouraged all the girls to bring their Dad’s up to dance which included Rob and Darcey – She loved it.

I created my own photo booth set which included a flower photo frame, two wooden crates full of fancy dress and fun props, a photo ladder on a vintage stepladder with pegs to hang up the instant pic that was taken on a old style Polaroid camera – It was great fun!

Our wedding was full of personalization – we wanted our guests to have fun and see us through all the decor. We had a lot of little touches such as a chocolate box for the evening after our second lot of food was served including, chips in cones, bacon baps and cheese on toast! I am a massive chocoholic, so for all our guests with the same sweet tooth we built a wooden over sized chocolate box with different sections filled with retro and luxury chocs! It was something completely different and went down a treat, literally! We personalized the sign to say ‘Patterson’s Chocolates est 2016.’

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