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Real Life Weddings at Lainston House

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

We met nine years ago at university where we were both training on the same post-graduate course to become English teachers. After teaching in UK secondary schools, we lived in South Korea for two years and did long distance for another two years, before finally moving to Switzerland together.

Ben proposed on a camping trip a few months after I joined him in Zürich- there was a beautiful sunset and I was cooking sausages on the campfire when he asked me to marry him. Very romantic!

What did you love most about Lainston House?

When my father and stepmother had their wedding reception at Lainston House, I was a bridesmaid at 10 years old and remembered it to be the most amazing place.

After our engagement, Ben and I both visited and immediately felt at home. The house and grounds were beautiful, and we found every member of staff to be genuinely warm and welcoming. We really loved sitting with our coffees in the Cedar Bar lined with books, and the views of the sweeping lawns. Lainston House just seemed effortlessly luxurious; the perfect place whatever the weather.

Living abroad, it was also reassuring to know that the wedding would be in capable hands- the team were calm, and professional from the start. They made the whole process stress-free and it was lovely to see everyone again on the day.

Did you have a theme or a particular style for your day?

We hoped to have a simple Sunday wedding and a timeless, elegant day. We opted for classic white and ivory flowers with lots of green foliage, some of which had been collected from my grandmother’s garden.

 As I planned on wearing a pleated veil, we replicated the vertical pleat texture in some of the small details, e.g., the icing on the cake, menus and the candle holders.

Tell us all about THE dress…..

I actually purchased my veil first! I had seen it online and thought it was a bit different. It had vertical pleats and I just loved the texture.

I had no idea about the dress though, so decided to just have a bit of fun. My best friend and I visited an Oxfam Bridal shop in Chippenham and had the best time trying on lots of different styles.

After this, I knew I would prefer to buy a pre-owned dress. I found ‘Still White’, a website where people sell their unwanted wedding dresses online. There was one I kept an eye on; a simple, off-the-shoulder dress by British designer Kate Halfpenny. I made an appointment with my friend to visit their flagship store, Halfpenny London, to try on a few styles which were similar to the one I had seen online.

Ultimately, I took a gamble and bought the dress without ever trying it.  As it had never been worn by the previous owner and still had the original tags- it felt as good as new. Luckily, I really liked it and only needed to have the hem taken up slightly.

What do you remember most about the day itself?

It went so quickly! We both remember looking around at all our seated guests clinking glasses and chatting. It meant so much to have everyone together in one place. There was a great atmosphere, and as the sun came out, we were able to have the barn doors wide open which meant the space was flooded with natural light. We also rented some real trees which had a few fairy lights in the branches. The barn looked beautiful!

It was also lovely at the end of the evening when we retired with a small group of remaining guests to the Cedar Bar in the main house. Ben and I were able to say goodnight to the guests staying at the hotel, and to wave off our last guest in his taxi, before heading off upstairs to our room. The following morning, we had an intimate breakfast with everyone who had stayed over. It was a very comfortable and relaxed way to finish the celebrations.

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

I managed to find a Jaguar car for hire, which was the same model my late grandfather drove. It meant a lot to see it pull up in my grandmother’s driveway and then travel to Lainston House with both my grandmother and father with me.

We also wanted to incorporate our link with Switzerland. Rather than giving out favours, we purchased lots of different flavored Lindt chocolates and a variety of glass bowls from charity shops. All the kids (and adults!) loved the chocolate buffet table and were able to take small bags home.

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

If you can, have a coffee with your florist, talk with the team at your menu-tasting and arrange a trial with your make-up artist. Getting to know the suppliers before the day meant we were surrounded by familiar faces and people that really cared. It was lovely when our photographer, Joshua, arrived, as it felt like another friend at the door. Our florist, Gemma, after delivering the bouquets and buttonholes, stayed for a chat as we were all getting ready. Everyone just went above and beyond and we are so grateful to all of the suppliers and staff at Lainston House who made the day so memorable.

We also felt much better about wedding planning when we realised we didn’t need to include everything associated with weddings. We didn’t bother with a guest book, a photo-booth or even a first dance. Instead of a DJ we had a Spotify playlist which was absolutely fine.  Our remaining budget went on extra money behind the bar, a large stack of cheese, and a pianist for the ceremony/drinks reception.  We were so glad to do things in our own way and not to include things just for the sake of it. So, I guess the best advice would be to just make the day as enjoyable and personal to you as possible.

Suppliers & products

Photographer @joshuawoodlandphoto
Flowers @figandbramble_
Decor @whitestemhire
Decor @candle_flair
Decor @gaiavessels
Lucy's Dress @stillwhite
Lucy's Veil @tempetebrand
Lucy's Accessories - Offord & Sons
Make Up @madeupweddingmakeup
Hair Stylist @karenclarkeweddinghairandmua
Ben's Suit @mossbros
Cake @hayleyelizabethcakedesign
Car Hire @premiercarriage_wedding_cars
Pianist @simongrandpiano
Confetti @petalsroses