Lauren & Joseph
This bride chose a haute couture Naama & Anat wedding dress for her dream wedding
PHOTOGRAPHY BY Hayley Bray, hayleybray.com
Imagine floating amid glistening waters in a characterful abra boat, bathed in the warmth of the sun. All the while, the Burj Al Arab – one of the most impressive views in Dubai – is your backdrop. An iconic location for an iconic moment, as Joe chose this scene to ask Lauren to marry him. “He proposed with an antique-style ring that was just perfect. We got off the abra and jumped in the pool straight afterwards to celebrate!”
It was at a Naama & Anat trunk show, held at Dress Dreams in Sevenoaks, that Lauren was united with her dream dress. “I’d been to numerous boutiques but not found any dresses that stood out.”
“My favourite dresses on Instagram were by Naama & Anat.”
“As soon as I tried mine on, I knew it was perfect. The dress fitted my figure perfectly and featured lavish lace and beading.”
With such a glamorous gown and veil, also by Naama & Anat, Lauren kept her accessories understated. The bride opted for diamond earrings, a simple diamond necklace borrowed from her mother-in-law, a bracelet purchased in Dubai and Karen Millen shoes.
“Kristina Gasperas, a specialist makeup artist, did my makeup and I was thrilled with it – it was natural and not too heavy but still looked amazing in the photographs!”
“Joe and his best men wore suits from Ted Baker, tailored for the perfect fit. I also gifted Joe an Oris watch, and he added shoes from Russel and Bromley. He looked amazing!”
Lauren chose two bridesmaids, two flower girls and one pageboy, her son, to walk down the aisle with her. “The bridesmaids wore dusky pink silk dresses from Coast to match Joe’s tie, and the flower girls wore pretty Monsoon gowns. After searching stores to find a suit that fit perfectly, the couple chose a United Colors of Benetton shirt for their son and a suit from River Island.
The couple held their ceremony and reception at Great Fosters. “Seeing the ceremony room was what set my heart on the venue,” the bride reveals. “The aisle was long enough for impact but the room still felt intimate.”
“I walked down the aisle with my father to Eva Cassidy’s ‘Songbird’.”
After the wedding breakfast, the bride’s father, husband and the best man gave speeches. The mother of the groom also surprised the newlyweds with a speech – something that the best man helped to plan.
“We opted for a wedding style that was at once modern and traditional, choosing neutral colours with white and dusty pink.”
Lauren and Joe’s florist, Lily’s Flowers, had a flair for more than just flowers, also supplying the wedding decorations and styling them on the day. “Knowing that blooms would take up a significant part of our budget, I wanted to get them just right, so we met with our florist multiple times to discuss ideas.
I chose a cascading bouquet of freesias, roses and gypsophila to carry. My mother and sister had organised for charms to be added to my bouquet, representing the family members who could not be there with us for the day, which was a kind touch that I will always remember.”
A family friend made the cake, with chocolate and vanilla tiers that went down a treat with guests. The cake was decorated in edible lace to complement Lauren’s Naama & Anat wedding dress. Another favourite with friends and family were the miniature bottles of alcohol given as favours.
And while rain may have put the garden games on hold, the ice cream tricycle, photobooth and DJ entertainment were still big hits.
“As the evening party got under way, we had a hen song and then a stag song played. It became a bit of a dance and sing off, girls versus boys, and was a great way to get everyone up and dancing!”
The charming Cornish coastline beckoned for a minimoon after the wedding. “We stayed at The Cornwall Hotel, which has a lovely spa,” Lauren smiles. “Our honeymoon is planned for next year, when we will jet off for a long break to New Zealand!”
When asked for the highlight of their wedding day, this happy couple struggled to name just one. “The moment my father saw me as a bride was amazing and a beautiful moment to have captured both in photographs and on video. Joe also really pulled it out the bag with his speech, it was fantastic! A videographer is also a must. There’s nothing better than looking back and reminiscing about the best day of your life!”
“Wedding Ideas was a great source for thinking of personal touches and special ideas to help plan the day.”
“The featured wedding suppliers lists help when it comes to finding your own. Make sure you meet as many as you can in person. It’s important that you’re on the same page to make sure the service they provide is perfect for your plans. Knowing what you want before visiting suppliers is also really helpful if you want to get the most out of the appointment, especially when it comes to hair and makeup trials,” Lauren recommends. “We married on a Thursday to reduce costs and saved as much as we could.”
VENUE Great Fosters, Surrey
DRESS Naama & Anat at Dress Dreams, Sevenoaks
BRIDESMAID DRESSES Coast and Monsoon
GROOM Ted Baker, Oris, Russell and Bromley
SHOES Karen Millen
MAKEUP Kristina Gasperas
FLOWERS Lily’s Flowers
ENTERTAINMENT Mighty Fine Entertainment
VIDEOGRAPHER John Harris
MINIMOON The Cornwall Hotel