"I can't imagine enjoying working with any photographer as much as we enjoyed working with Phil. Neither of us are 'photo people,' (and actually only took one picture of the 2 of us when we were on honeymoon) so we weren't sure what to expect at first. However, it was clear from the pre-wedding/engagement shoot that we'd chosen our photographer well. Phil just made everything so easy, understanding that we're not formal people and that we wanted to keep the day as relaxed as possible.
Aside from taking brilliant photos which we love, he's just a great bloke and great fun to be around. Our whole family said the same!"
I've been looking forward to sharing a blog of Lauren and Freddie's spring wedding since the day itself.
It all started at Lauren's family home, where she and her bridesmaids readied themselves with the help of Millie from The Style Lounge. I was under strict orders not to allow the family cat into the bridal preparation room for risk of a clawed wedding dress. Their pet dog presided over us instead from her spot on top of the sofa. This was all before moving on to Moor Hall Hotel in Sutton Coldfield where Lauren and Freddie exchanged their vows during a wonderful ceremony witnessed by their family and friends, and beautifully accompanied by music from Rebecca Kelly Music.
In Lauren's own words, here's their story.
How did you meet?
"Freddie and I had been friends for about 4 years before we actually got together. We met in the cafeteria during the first week of uni, and I became the person Freddie would borrow notes off, as he didn't attend many lectures that first year!"
"After we got together our friends joked about Freddie's '4 year plan' to woo me. I have to say... it worked in the end! We had been together about a year and a half before we got engaged, and the engagement lasted about a year."
What made you choose Moor Hall Hotel?
"We really liked Moor Hall as soon as we visited. We wanted somewhere that could cater for over 120 people (we have a large extended family) and somewhere where we could spend the whole day - the ceremony, meal and reception. We also really appreciated that our families could all stay over, as we had people travelling from all over the world.
We have to say, Moor Hall and the staff there were so great and thought of everything - we'd recommend them to anyone."
What made you choose your outfits? What did you love about them?
"I actually got my wedding dress from the same bridal shop that my Mom bought her's from about 26 years ago! Apparently we're the first mother-daughter customers! Like many brides I ended up picking something the complete opposite of what I thought I wanted. I imagined a Kate Middleton-esque dress, but, being so short, all the extra fabric ended up drowning me - so I went for a slim dress instead and I loved it."
"Freddie looks great in a suit, and picked a dark grey one with a navy waistcoat. We didn't have a specific colour theme, so he just chose pocket squares and ties for himself and the Ushers that he liked and hoped would be worn again."
Tell me about your ceremony?
"We had a civil ceremony, and decided to go for one sentimental reading and one that was a bit more out there. We both love the children's stories 'Just William' so picked an extract from them where the character William learns what 'courting' is all about. Everyone had a laugh which is exactly what we wanted."
What was your favourite part of your wedding day?
"The whole day was brilliant, just brilliant fun. If we had to pick some stand-out moments, we'd probably say the ceremony and the speeches. All the guys did a great speech and they were all hilarious in their own way. As the best man said: 'never let the truth get in the way of telling a good story'!"
What was your first dance song?
"Friday I'm in Love' by The Cure. We didn't want a traditional slow dance, so we chose something that everyone could have a dance too and got everyone to join us on the floor. Phil got some great photos of this!"
If you could impart any words of wisdom to a couple planning their marriage and wedding day, what would they be?
"Just chill - if at the end of the day you're married to each other, it's been a success. Yay!"
Venue: Moor Hall Hotel and Spa - www.moorhallhotel.co.uk
Florist - Vanilla Blue - www.vanillablueflowers.com
Dress - Singular Sensation - www.singularsensation.co.uk
Musician during the ceremony - www.rebeccakellymusic.co.uk
Band - Empire - www.empiretheband.co.uk
Bridesmaids dresses - ASOS
Groom's Suit - M&S
Makeup artist and hair stylist - Millie at Style Lounge - www.mobilehairdresserbirmingham.co.uk
Caricaturist - www.wittypics.co.uk
We have the lovely Auntie Rosey to thank for our cake, my brother's Connor and Ethan to thank for the video, Freddie's cousin Harry to thank for driving me in his Bentley and the decor and stationary was done DIY style by the two of us.