Lauren Loves Blog

A blog for fashion, beauty, hair, cosmetics and lifestyle

16 Oct 2019

Our wedding

We got married!

In June we got married at Highcliffe Castle in Dorset. It was the most wonderful day ever and we had so much fun. I thought I'd share our wedding day story. I co-wrote a really long post on Love My Dress so a lot of it is copied from my words there! The photos are a mixture of professional ones by the amazingly talented Emma and Ian at Big Bouquet Photography, and ones from friends.

The day was so beautiful and we got really lucky with the weather. It was really windy in the morning, but that died down throughout the day until we had a lovely sunny afternoon. There was also a crazy rain shower during the ceremony but it blew over so quickly and we spent most the day outdoors.

I had my New Look shoes customised by Hetty & Dave Get Hitched with our nicknames for each other - Bez and Loz

My flowers were ranunculus (my favourite), peonies and roses in cream, with lavender for my nanny, forget me nots and nigella which matched the bridesmaids dresses perfectly. I also asked for lots of greenery and a more messy look. The flowers and all the decorations were done by Simply Flower

My family, bridesmaids and I spent the morning getting ready at The Beach House in Milford on Sea. We had fun doing our own hair and makeup and each others, and gossiping. I took great pleasure in learning how to do my wedding make-up. I went to a MAC bridal lesson and learnt techniques and which colours suited me, then did loads of practice. I wanted winged eyeliner and bright red lippie because they’re my normal look. I bought 16 different red lipsticks in my pursuit of the perfect, kiss-proof one. In the end I chose ‘Rioja Red’ from Sleek and mixed in a bit of ‘Heroine’ by Maybelline to make the perfect red. It survived the whole day and not a single bit came off when I kissed Sam.

My dress was a ballgown with a clean silhouette and bateau neckline from Essense of Australia called D2485 which I got from Anya Bridal in Hampshire. “I went to Isobel’s Bridal & Groom three weeks before the wedding and found a tiara from Linzi Jay. Because it was so last minute, they sold me the sample for a third of the price which was really kind. They gave me a bag of crystals and I spent an evening gluing missing ones back in with nail glue.”


My dress was so huge, my friend Abi could hide in it!

I chose to also wear a short veil over my face to go with the 1950s theme, my pearl stud earrings and a pearl bracelet my mum wore on her wedding day in 1986.

I really enjoyed the morning, spending time with my lovely family such as my little brother (who gets married next year!)

My beautiful bridesmaids were my best friends Sarah, Becky and Jen and my future sister-in-law Beth

I got them azure blue gowns from Vinibelle which had a lovely sheer back. 

We hired some awesome vintage cars from RK Prestige (the driver was brilliant and had a little kit of things any nervous bride would need to help them calm down!)

My lovely dad, John, walked me down the aisle to ‘Bloom’ by Rhodes. It’s a gorgeous song about love growing and has a beautiful, swelling end. We made the ceremony as personal as possible by having our favourite love songs.Music was really important to us and we made sure we had lots of quirky songs which mean a lot to us. Sam has a really eclectic music taste so it took us hours to choose them!

We had our meal in the great hall, which had a huge stained glass window. We chose to decorate it really simply, with lots of greenery as the venue was so beautiful already.

The only decoration we really provided was a personalised neon sign with our newly shared last name from Nailed It by Holly

I knitted little favours for the bridesmaids, groomsmen and our parents (mainly because I knew what they would be wearing on the day!) and our cake topper from an Alan Dart pattern

The speeches were all fabulous. I'd like to make an honourable mention to my Dad's speech in which he produced a troll which I had a paddy over as a 4 year old in an airport!

We then headed into the beautiful gardens and down to the beach for photos

I also knitted this lace shawl which was the sweet dreams shawl by Boo Knits

Our first dance was God Only Knows by The Beach Boys

We then had a Scottish Ceilidh for the dance. We asked Ceilidh Tree to perform who were really good. Ceilidh is a traditional Scottish dance which my family used to do loads of when we lived in Shetland. There's a caller who shouts the dance moves, so nobody has an excuse not to dance. It was brilliant and it all got a bit rowdy with everyone throwing themselves around the dance floor. I had so many texts the next day from people who had sprained their ankles.

We had Alex Haynes Wedding Films with us for the day filming the wedding. He was brilliant, we barely noticed him and yet the video made us so emotional when we watched it back

Lauren & Sam from Alex Haynes on Vimeo.

Our reflections on getting married and planning a wedding?
Think about how you make decisions as a couple and use this strength. I am very creative but terrible at decision-making so I would pick two or three ideas I liked with photos from Love My Dress or Pinterest and got Sam to narrow it down to one option.

Try not to sweat the small stuff. It’s really hard when you’re getting ready for a wedding and everyone is asking you to make choices about things you might not have an opinion on. Trust your suppliers; they’ve done this loads before and you picked them for a reason so let them help you make decisions.

Start a Google spreadsheet with tabs for everything – budget and payment deadlines, suppliers details, your to-do list, guest info including addresses, their RSVP response and meal choices – and share it with your partner. When you open your gifts, make a note of what you were given and by who to is make thank you cards easier.

On the day, remember you two are a team and you’re there to enjoy the day together so try and soak in every second by taking a step back every few minutes.

After the wedding, make sure you have a whole day to sit and reflect on every small detail of the wedding. Someone told me to write down your memories and reflections as close to the wedding as possible and I think that’s a great idea – so much is slipping from my mind already.

I was quite set against having anyone take photos on their phones because of the horror stories about people having them out in the official photographs. My mum convinced me to not be so strict and instead we requested they didn’t take photos during the ceremony, so people videoed and snapped away during the rest of the day. The day after the wedding, the blues were real! Having photos from friends and family really helped cheer us up.

Our suppliers: 

  • Venue - HIGHCLIFFE CASTLE, Highcliffe, Dorset
  • Wedding Dress - ESSENSE OF AUSTRALIA
  • Dress + Belt - ANYA BRIDAL
  • Shawl - knitted by the bride to a BOO KNITS pattern
  • Shoes - NEW LOOK + HETTY & DAVE GET HITCHED personalisation
  • Accessories - Her mum's pearl bracelet + pearl earrings
  • Bridesmaids - VINIBELLE gowns + PRIMARK + EBAY hair accessories
  • Florist - SIMPLY FLOWER
  • Cake - MARKS & SPENCER
  • Transport - RK PRESTIGE CAR HIRE
  • Entertainment - CEILIDH TREE
  • Rings - DOT JEWELLERY + her nan's wedding ring
  • Catering - BEALES GOURMET
  • Stationery - The bride + PALM PRINT
  • Hair Stylist - Bridesmaid Jen
  • Makeup Artist - The bride
  • Neon sign- NAILED IT BY HOLLY
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    24 May 2019

    A Unique date in Bournemouth

    I was asked recently about unique experiences which make Bournemouth special, why it's worth a visit and reasons to be googling hotels in Bournemouth ASAP for your visit. We're still exploring the area and finding out what's local, but we've found a few gems I can share with you.

    I thought I'd share some of the delights we'd go to on a perfect day out


    We LOVE a coffee shop in Boscombe called Boscanova. They do yummy coffee and their food is delicious. I love their veggie breakfast with avocado, hummus, garlic mushrooms and the most delicious, thick, buttery toast. Sam's a real coffee lover and their range is fantastic, plus you can buy beans to take home.

    Recently, a vegan restaurant called Dirty Vegans has been opened nearby. It's the next place on our list of places to go

    After this, you could go for a wander down the main street in Boscombe towards Pokesdown station. It's a really unique area and there are some amazing vintage and junk shops containing wonderful little treasures and quirky things.


    If you fancied doing something more cultural, you could walk down the seafront (get an iceceam on the way) down to the Russel-Cotes museum. This beautiful house is perched on the cliffs behind the seafront near the Sealife Centre and contains paintings, sculptures and artifacts.

    Nearby we also have the Bournemouth Natural Science Society and Museum which has our own Bournemouth mummy. We haven't been yet but it's next on our list for the next free weekend we have.

    If you're here on the weekend in the summer, you'll be lucky enough to be able to join beach yoga, or park yoga. Beach yoga is £5 and park yoga is free!

    Once you're in town, there are a few places to go. 60 Million Postcards is great for a drink in their outdoor beach huts and for some early dinner.

    Night life
    There is so much to do here in the evenings - which has been terrible for our bank balance! If you want a unique cinema experience, Viewrassic Park is a tiny microcinema in Bournemouth. We went to watch Bill and Ted!

    Or there is the Bournemouth Colosseum which is the smallest cinema in the UK.

    If you fancy a unique drink, the Duck has lovely cocktails including frozen slushie margaritas and others. If you're more of a craft cider and beer person, the Firkin Shed is a CAMRA awarded bar which sells a huge range of them from small breweries. I really recommend Rhubarb Bob which is delicious!

    I'd love to hear of your favorite places in Bournemouth. I'm still exploring and would love your recommendations please!

    Disclaimer - this is kind of a sponsored post. offered us spending money to have an amazing day out but we ended up only claiming £12! All the photos and stories are genuine and ours from the last 12 months of exploring the area. With all the wedding planning madness we've not had a chance to go out recently.
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