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Real Life Wedding at Lainston House

Hear from Charly and Mike about what made their wedding day so special

How did you both meet and how did the proposal occur?

We met in a pub down the road from us both called the Bourne Valley Inn. Nothing out the ordinary, but it was clearly a day that was meant to be as we had never seen one another – even having lived in the same village for 7 years.

The proposal was down in the Algarve in Portugal. We had ogne out to see her dad who lives out there completely on a whim. One morning having made her get up early and run 6km round the coast, I surprised her by saying “I have a question, and pending the answer to the first question there might be a second” she hesitantly said “okay….” I asked her:

1) Would you be able to spend the rest of your life with me? She said Yes

So overlooking an empty beach with the morning sunrise on the horizon I asked her:

2) Will you marry me?

To which she IMMEDIATELY put her head in her hands and began to cry.

Fortunately for me these were tears of joy and she eventually said yes. Charly even managed to plan the whole wedding by the time we got back to the villa which was only a 20 min walk.


What did you love most about Lainston House?

Lainston House really gives of the comfort of exclusivity and luxury all encompassed in one place and in such a modest way. The location was key, we wanted somewhere striking and countrified with the space to accommodate all 120 guests. We often went there for afternoon tea yet had never thought this would be our wedding venue, little did we know.

The key takeout of Lainston beyond the location and atmosphere delivered was the staff and organisation. The preparation couldn’t have been made any easier with frequent and thorough conversations with our Wedding Organiser offered by Lainston. There are hundreds of hidden additions to consider and without the help of the Wedding Manager Sophie, we would have been overwhelmed.

Furthermore, the staff on the day were beyond hospitable. Many weddings I have been to the staff really let the day down. Not in Lainston, everyone was warm, welcoming, and comprehensively versed in the running of the day. We had no issues and not one hiccups and everyone was attended to accordingly. We had such great feedback from all the guests on how professional the venue was in all scenarios.

Did you have a theme or a particular style for your day, and how did you make it

There were no themes but we wanted to continue the country routes on where we are from with a Scottish touch to accommodate at least the Grooms side of the family. So we organised flower arrangements with Judith Searles at Little & Bloom to summon us in the right direction and they did a superb job. They helped understand what flowers and arrangements were out there and walked us through the options. The process was effortless with the knowledge Judith has and brought them to life on the day. Lainston had also kindly accommodated us the night before with access to the venue allowing us to prepare all the necessities for the day without fail. 

Tell us all about THE dress…..

I decided that I wanted to go just wedding dress shopping with my sister, as I didn’t want too many opinions.  And my sister is my best friend as well, who is very straight talking, so I thought, who better?  We decided that we would only go to two wedding dress shops, so it was easier to make a decision.  In my head I thought I knew exactly what I wanted, lace sleaves and back.  I knew that I wanted the dress to be comfortable … there is nothing worse than being uncomfortable on one of the biggest days of your life. 

The first dress shop we went to, I thought I had found a dress I liked, but I didn’t get that overwhelming feeling of like, this is the ONE.  So I walked away thinking, maybe it isn’t like the movies you see. 

The second dress shop we went to was Mirror Mirror Couture in London.  I tried on around 8 dresses.  I put on the second from last one, I walked down, my sister burst into tears, and so did I …. It really was the one.  I absolutely loved it.  I wanted a timeless dress that wouldn’t age, that was classy and comfortable.  The fabric was stretchy.  They did all the alterations in house, and made it fit like a glove.  Mirror Mirror were absolutely amazing to work with, and made, what could have been an upsetting process as sadly my Mum passed away a few years before, a very positive and encouraging experience. 

What do you remember most about the day itself?

As you can imagine the whole day is memorable, not a moment we will forget.

The memory that we both had was sitting at the top table looking around and seeing everyone with a distinctive smile on their face. Hopefully not just for the day itself, but undeniably because they were relaxed and comfortable in the hands of an incredibly professional venue. This made us incredibly happy to see given the distance people who had traveled and organisational mayhem weddings can become.

A particular memory which will go unforgotten will be from the Master of Ceremonies. He said in his 30 years of doing weddings, he has never seen a more relaxed couple – and if we continue to be this relaxed, we will live an incredible life together. We could not have done it without the help of Lainston. 

Were there any special moments during the planning or the big day?

Nothing was made a surprise due to the Brides distinctive dislike over surprises the Groom had to tread carefully. However, the day itself was the day after the Grooms Birthday and a day before the Father of the Brides Birthday. This was celebrated also.

What advice would you give to a couple starting out on their wedding journey?

Wedding planning is stressful in its nature. Multiple decisions have to be made and a budget will always have to be taken into account. However, the key to get the ball rolling is the venue. If you’re looking at Lainston as an option then I would highly recommend you take the next step. They really do help you from the moment you arrive just to visit.

Most importantly, there are so many websites, apps, books and magazines that have a checklist of things to prepare – without these, we would not have known where to start.

We wanted to preserve the memory of the day throughout and we had Burlison Photography who came very highly recommended, and they captured it all through photographs and video. They have provided us with an outstanding array of all the photographs we need to remember the day by hopefully show our children in time to come. The videography was impeccable, we would highly advise this as it really brings the day to life again. We now have a beautiful and timeless wedding album and feel like we have our own Netflix documentary.                                                                                

We would always remind anyone asking that this is a once in a lifetime experience. You don’t want that experience to be clouded by distractions of issues on the day, nor the stress of keeping everyone accommodated for. We were so lucky to have chosen Lainston because we were able to spend the time that we had on the day to enjoy the company of our closest and best without a stress in the world.



Photographer - @burlisonphoto 
Flowers and styling - @littleandbloom
Lighting and dance floor @luminique_events
Charley's Dress - @bridal_boutique_london 
Other all-important outfits - @macgregorandmacduff 
Cake - @tartuficakes 
MUS - @barleybarnbeauty