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Lauren and Joe’s Wedding at Botleys Mansion

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A Lavish Surrey Wedding Celebration

Lauren and Joe met by chance when they both attended a pub-crawl for a mutual friend’s birthday back in November 2009.

Lauren, who was dressed in a home-made Spice Girl outfit, stood out like a sore thumb, as she’d originally been on her way to a fancy dress party. Joe instantly made Lauren feel comfortable and the couple just clicked. Joe was Lauren’s first ever boyfriend, so Lauren puts their relationship down to beginner’s luck!

After having dated for 5 years, Joe proposed to Lauren whilst on a huge family tour of Australia. The couple had been travelling around the country, hopping on and off internal flights to see as much as they possibly could in the time they had. The romantic proposal took place at a Bush BBQ at Ayres Rock in the middle of Australia. Joe chose to propose in a very carefully selected location; a place where the sky was open and clear and the stars felt close. It was magical!

Lauren and Joe returned from their incredible adventure to spend the next 18 months planning their dream wedding at Botleys Mansion.

Choosing the Perfect Wedding Venue

Lauren and Joe did a lot of research when they came to finding ‘the right’ wedding venue to host their lavish celebration. They were looking for grandeur, light and space and most importantly, a Surrey location. They were also looking for an exclusive wedding venue with accommodation and a late license as they knew they’d want to party on late in to the night with friends and family.

The bride-to-be admitted to crying when the couple drove down the winding approach to Botleys Mansion on the day of their venue visit. The over-sized chandeliers, huge windows and pristine look of the building made Lauren and Joe fall even more in love with Botleys Mansion – they knew they’d found ‘the one’.

Lauren was a super organised bride and spent many hours communicating with their dedicated wedding planner at Bijou, Ann. Ann helped Lauren and her family plan the order of the day perfectly, but during the evenings, they also had 24/7 access to communicate their thoughts and ideas via Bijou’s proprietary online wedding planner. The couple found the catering communication and table planning elements of Bijou’s online wedding planner extra helpful.

Finding a Dream Wedding Dress

In Lauren’s mind, a typical wedding dress is a strapless, princess style cut - but being 4ft11 and fairly petite, she instantly knew that she wanted nothing like that, but something truly unique.

She wanted something that would be true to her day-to-day style; form-fitting, feminine, and a timeless gown that she could look back on and still love in years to come. Whilst pinning madly on Pinterest, it became clear that Lauren was also looking for a wedding dress with an illusion neckline.

Lauren tried on around 15 different dress styles, but fell in love with lucky number 5. Her chosen Mira Zwillinger wedding gown ticked all of the boxes; timeless, feminine and elegant with a touch of drama.

Lauren teamed her glamorous wedding dress up with a pair of Rachel Simpson wedding shoes, but had them customised by bespoke shoe designer, Baboucha. Her wedding day hair was styled (after three trials) by Rosie Vincent from Michael Van Clarke and her make-up was done by Laura from Laura Dexter Make-up Artist. On her third hair trial, Lauren decided to go for an up-do, having previously thought she’d wear her hair down, as normal. Her up-do was fairly loose and feminine, but had an un-done look and lots of volume; it worked perfectly with the rest of her bridal style.

The Bridal Party

The bride chose 7 bridesmaids and a flower girl to support her throughout her wedding planning journey. Lauren had ordered made-to-measure bridesmaids dresses online and was determined to stick to her budget in at least one area of her wedding plans. However, just two weeks before the big day, Lauren changed her mind and realised that the dresses she’d ordered just weren’t as polished as the rest of her day, so at the last minute, she ordered the dresses that she’d had her heart set on from the very beginning. Everyone was delighted with the new silver, floor-length gowns from Ghost.

The groom, Joe, and his grooms party hired suits from Hire5, a company that had branches in Leeds and Surrey, making it much easier for the grooms party to communicate when it came to styles and designs, seeing as they were spread around the country.

The Big Day

Lauren and her bridal party got ready in the bridal suite at Botleys Mansion, and were picked up by vintage cars, who took them over to St. Peters Church in Chertsey where Lauren married Joe in the early afternoon.

Lauren and Joe were moved to tears when they saw Lauren’s grandfather at the entrance to the church. He’d been in hospital for the past 5 weeks, so to have him witness the wedding was a very special moment for everyone. The bride walked down the aisle on the arm of her father to Pachelbel’s Canon in D – a song that she’d cried to after hearing it played at a wedding exhibition. During the ceremony, Lauren’s mother read ‘I Carry Your Heart’ by EE Cummings; friends of the couple, Tash and Ben, read the famous ‘Love is the Greatest’ reading from 1 Corinthians 13; Lauren’s cousin Lillia read a personalised prayer and Joe’s sister, Jess, had written a tribute poem to the couple detailing their relationship. This came as a lovely surprise as the couple didn’t hear it until the ceremony itself. After their exchange of vows and rings, the couple were announced husband and wife and the wedding party headed back to Botleys Mansion in Chertsey where the fun was about to commence.

Luxurious canapés were offered to Lauren and Joe’s 205 day guests throughout the drinks reception, which was followed by an extravagant 5-course wedding banquet, served in the grand, glass-roofed Atrium.

Every floral element of Lauren and Joe’s wedding day, from the church to the wedding venue and all of the bouquets had been created and designed by Amie Bone Flowers. The reception tables featured over-sized arrangements sat on top of tall, silver trumpet vases along with smaller bud vases filled with delicate flowers. The floral colour scheme featured hues of green, ivory, white and a subtle hint of peach and the arrangements featured berried eucalyptus, David Austin roses, cream avalanche roses, white peonies, hydrangea and silver leaf foliage. The stone staircase leading up to the Hall at Botleys Mansion had been decorated beautifully with flowers for the occasion and the Atrium looked truly divine as guests walked down to dinner.

wedding reception Surrey

Wedding reception tables were named after places that Lauren and Joe had travelled together in the past and the couple hired the sweety cart from Botleys Mansion which turned out to be a huge hit with all of their guests. Monogramed sweety bags and signs had been created to add a personal touch. A personalised shot glass filled with sugared almonds wrapped up in the style of a traditional Bomboniere were given to each guest as a wedding favour and whilst the couple were getting ready to cut their cake, a 10-piece band, Xtatic, were setting up in the Fountain wing.

Lauren had chosen and booked a specific wedding cake design, but after having later seen her dream wedding cake on a wedding blog, she decided to change her mind and commissioned Ann’s Designer Cakes to create the ultimate, four tier wedding cake, just in time for the big day. The four tiers consisted of different flavours; fruit, toffee, Victoria sponge and chocolate. The top tier featured Lauren and Joe’s wedding monogram, which added the perfect finishing touch.

Lauren tossed her bridal bouquet off the top of the stone stair case leading up to Botleys Mansion. The videographer, Andrew Collin, captured the whole moment and this is now a wonderful memory for the newlywed couple.

A further 40 guests joined the newlywed couple to celebrate their wedding late in to the evening. During their first dance, to ‘Save the Last Dance for Me’ by Michael Buble, Strictly Come Dancing’s Giovanni Pernice and Joanne Clifton stormed on to the dance floor by surprise and started dancing with the bride and groom. It was a very special and memorable moment for the couple and their guests.

The couple had put together a wedding gift list online with John Lewis, and, after lots of research, Lauren and Joe decided to book a month-long honeymoon to Indonesia and the Maldives in order to celebrate their love and marriage.

5-Course Banquet Menu

Beetroot-cured salmon gravlax with micro herbs and edible flowers
Wine – Sancerre Blanc le Pierrier Domaine Thomas, Loire 2014
Pumpkin and Ricotta ravioli with sage and butter sauce
Wine – The Spee’wah Houseboat Chardonnay, Murray Darling, Australia 2015
Amuse-Bouche – Champagne and elderflower
Canon of Lamb on Golden Pommes Anna with rolled confit of lamb belly, morel tapenade, potato and chestnut stuffing and samphire, or Roast Mediterranean Vegetables with garlic and thyme glazed goats cheese and new potatoes
Wine – La Croix Grenache/Merlot Vin de Pays de l’Herault, Languedoc, France 2015 (red) or Citta del Ponti Pinot Grigio della Venezie IGT, Friuli, Italy 2015 (white)
Sticky orange and almond cake with macerated blueberries and vanilla mascarpone
Wine – Sauternes Château du Levant 2011

Wedding Advice

From the Bride:

“I am a Monica Geller type freak with organisation” says Lauren. She said that during the run up to her wedding, organisation is key. She also mentioned that research is very important. “Every single aspect of our wedding had been researched really thoroughly as I wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing out on something better and I wanted to make sure things were good value for money.”

“I think it is so important to have a good working relationship with the people who are helping create your special day, as they will then understand exactly where you are coming from.” Every single person who helped Lauren and Joe pull off their incredible wedding was someone they had built a strong relationship with and whose work they were impressed and inspired by.

Lauren also saved time during her wedding planning by delegating jobs prior to the wedding. She wrote out schedules and tasks for all of their bridesmaids and groomsmen, and whilst they were all small jobs it was really useful to have someone assigned to each task so that the couple didn’t have to worry about it on the day.


Wedding Suppliers

Wedding Venue: Botleys Mansion
Wedding Photographer: Barker Evans
Wedding Dress Designer: Mira Zwillinger
Wedding Hair: Michael Van Clarke
Bridal Beauty: Laura Dexter Make-up Artist
Bridesmaids Dresses: Ghost
Groomswear: Hire5
Wedding Florist: Amie Bone Flowers
Wedding Cake Designer: Ann’s Designer Cakes
Wedding Band: Xtatic
Wedding Gift List: John Lewis
Wedding Videographer: Andrew Collin

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