On a sail boat in the Caribbean is where Laura and Jacks wedding story begins… and what a lovely journey it turned out to be!
13th April 2018 was a day in the newly wed Mr & Mrs Webb’s lives that they will never forget. Before we skip to the end though, let’s see where this lovely couple started their journey.
“We were on holiday in the Dominican Republic in June last year when Jack proposed. We went on a Caribbean Sea boat trip for the day and stopped off for lunch at a private beach on Saona Island when he popped the question. Very romantic and very private, just like Jack.”
No sooner had Jack popped the question, they were sorting a guest list of their nearest and dearest, so they ultimately knew where they could start looking to hold their wedding day.
“We were so excited to be engaged and decided to get married soon after rather than having a long engagement, so whilst on holiday we sat on the beach and wrote a guest list. This was just a rough guide (Jack initially listed everyone he’d ever met), but we wanted an idea of numbers as we knew this would rule out some venues with minimum and maximum restrictions.
We then sat back and enjoyed being engaged for a couple of months and decided not to look into anything else until we had a venue and a date. We looked at a few venues before Gosfield Hall which all led to disappointment and made us realise what we didn’t want more than what we did want. We wanted a relaxed wedding but wanted to be wowed by the venue, and we felt that as soon as we drove into Gosfield Hall.”
We asked Laura and Jack how they chose us for their wedding venue, and what were their must have’s and must not’s!
“We searched online for venues. Google, Instagram, bridal websites, you name it, I searched on it. We knew what we wanted and could therefore ask lots of questions before planning a visit to make sure it was worthwhile.
We have a wish list:
- Somewhere beautiful inside and out, where you could make the most of it whatever the weather. I didn’t want to hang all hopes on a sunny day or have a venue with beautiful grounds and be stuck inside on a rainy day looking out.
- Not a marquee.
- Not too far for guests to travel.
- Accommodation on site.
- The bar to be in the same area as the dance floor (otherwise you tend to have men in one room and ladies in another).
- Ceremony and reception at the same venue (we opted to not have a church wedding).
- A separate room for the ceremony and the wedding breakfast (we didn’t want people ushered into a corner whilst the room was changed around or be reliant on the weather).
As soon as we arrived and drove down the driveway, we wanted to get married at Gosfield Hall. It gave us the “wow” feeling that nowhere else had and we so badly wanted. Every room that we went into when being shown around the venue by Becky impressed us more and made us want it more. We tried not to get too excited as we just couldn’t believe that we could possibly be lucky enough to get married there, that it would be within our budget or that they would have any availability. I would have booked it there and then but Jack said lets sleep on it….but within 30 minutes of leaving we phoned and booked it.”
So, with the venue in the bag, it was on to planning! Laura and Jack had a very clear vision of what they wanted for their special day.
“I bought a lot of bridal magazines and cut out pictures of everything I liked, and used Pinterest to make mood boards to create a vision of what we wanted for the wedding. This covered everything from hairstyles and flowers to favors and gifts for the bridal party. We also asked friends a lot of questions like “What would you have done differently” and “What were you pleased you paid extra attention to.
We really wanted our wedding to be fun and represent us. We put a lot of time and effort into making it personal in as many areas as possible. Jack designed all stationary including invites, the table plan and welcome cards in all guest rooms, and I made the cake and favors as well as a lot of other personal touches. Our horse, Jersey and dog, Ray joined us on the day as they are a huge part of our lives and we really wanted to involve them. We included people in every way possible, e.g. giving readings during the ceremony, displaying photos of family weddings, and reserving seats in the ceremony for parents, grandparents and the bridal party.”
With a lot of the plans done and set in place, all that was left was to wait for time to tick on by and for the big day to arrive!
Laura arrived the night before and stayed in our Lady’s Chambers with her Bridesmaids and Mum. On the morning of the wedding it was all systems GO! Hair and Makeup was happening in the cottage, the florist was busying themselves in the Ballroom, Keeley (their Personal Wedding Manager) was setting out all their other decorations and Jersey, their beloved horse was en-route!
With the boys and Jack safely locked away in the bar, it was time for Laura and the girls to move on up to the beautiful Bridal Suite, the Rococco, for finishing touches and to put on her dress!
“I ordered personalised dressing gowns and gave them to the girls when I asked them to be my bridesmaids, it was such a lovely moment.”
“I was adamant I would go for a 1920’s style dress and searched for stores that stocked designers that specialise in that style. However after trying them on in a few stores I soon realised that the style really didn’t suit me and I was better suited to crepe style dresses.
I started to panic that I would never get the feeling that all my friends described when they found “the dress” after visiting about six stores. And then I went to Matchmaker in Brentwood who have a good range of Pronovias dresses, which I began to obsess over, and I knew I’d found my dress when I tried it on. I arranged for my mum and bridesmaids to see it that weekend and they all loved it too. I then took my mother in law with me for my fitting, both great experiences that I’ll never forget.”
“The bridesmaids were my sister Kate, Sister in Law Kelly and best friend Emma. I knew they’d all bring so much to the wedding by being helpful and fun throughout and they didn’t disappoint. They wore full length forest green dresses from David’s Bridal. We didn’t want anything too “bridesmaidy” and needed it to flatter their varying heights and shapes. They all looked so glamorous and received so many compliments.”
“Jack spoilt me and treated me to a beautiful pair of diamond earrings from a New York based designer called Ilona Rubin, and a pair of embellished Badgley Mischka shoes. I spent many an evening looking into these as I wanted a particular overall look with some very subtle and classic embellishment and love them both so much I wore them on my honeymoon as well.”
“Finding a photographer was one of the things we spent the most time on and I would direct anyone looking to Instagram! A photographer is such an important part of the day, and the pictures provide lasting memories, but the prices vary hugely. We wanted a fun photographer that would take fun photos rather all formal ones, and when I saw Nataly’s page in Instagram we contacted her right away in the hope that she was available and within budget.”
The boys were ready and raring to go downstairs whilst the girls made their finishing touches!
“Jack chose the suits from Moss Bros and knew from the start he wanted them to be three piece and grey. The groomsmen all looked so smart and the suits fitted them perfectly.”
All that was left to do was the hard part… Say the I Do’s!
Jack nervously waiting at the end of the aisle in the Queens Gallery for Laura and Dad Peter.
“Some people say this part is just a formality, or “boring”, but we wanted to start the day as we intended to go on, and set the tone for the day.
This was actually the part of the day I was most nervous about as I was so nervous about walking down the aisle. I just kept reminding myself that everyone else can do it, so so can I. When the day came though I loved every second of it.“
“My dad looked after me, told me to walk slowly and enjoy it. Walking in and seeing all your closest friends and family looking back at you is the best feeling in the world.”
“We also made personal promises which neither of us had heard until the ceremony, and they were both funny and sincere.”
“We picked upbeat and romantic songs, had two readings, one from my brother (The Art of Marriage), and another by Jack’s sisters (Union), and then my friend Amy read a poem that she wrote for us. It was very funny and told the story of how we met, our first dates, holidays, and engagement.”
“Our dog Ray was welcomed into the room to deliver the rings, and stopped to say hello to everyone as he came down the aisle.”
Whilst guests are seated;
Etta James – At last
Tony Bennett & Amy Winehouse – Body and Soul (Live)
Frank Sinatra – Blue Moon
Walking down the aisle;
Sam Smith – How Will I Know
Signing of the Register;
Aretha Franklin – You send me
Raphael Saadiq – Just one kiss
Nat King Cole – Almost like being in love
Bride & Groom Exit;
Natalie Cole, This Will Be (an Everlasting Love)
With the hard bit over and the both of them now being able to relax, it was onto get some bubbles and canapes, along with some lovely group shots of all of their guests.
“We were very lucky with the weather after it had rained constantly for weeks, so went outside into the courtyard where the band were playing, drinks and canapés were served, and Jersey was waiting for me under the archway. It was a dream vision of mine. I was so fortunate that my friends bought him to the wedding and he was well behaved which was a relief.”
“I wanted to use a florist local to us as I love to support local businesses and I loved Jack at Bloomin Jacks as soon as I met him. So relaxed yet organised, and very creative. He advised on having some candelabras in the Ballroom to emphasise the height of the room. I showed him pictures of neutral coloured flowers, centrepieces involving horseshoes, top table flowers and cascade bouquets, and left it in his capable hands. He even sourced a particular rose for me called Bonica, which is the name of an old horse of mine, and featured them in the top table decorations.”
“We had personal touches everywhere. The cards box was a suitcase lined with a map and holiday photos of us, as we’d asked for any gifts to help us towards our honeymoon. The favours matched our outfits and the ribbon had Mrs & Mrs Webb on it.”
“I made the cake. Everyone said I was mad, but it was something I really wanted to do and I knew I’d regret it if I didn’t. It was one of the first things people saw on arrival, so I wanted it to be a showstopper and made five tiers of subtle pink, marble and ruffles in different flavors. I made sure I was extra organised in the build up to the wedding so I had two full days beforehand to make the cake.”
After some time spent with Friends and Family, it was on to the Wedding Breakfast to enjoy their carefully picked mouth watering menu.
“Seeing the Ballroom, where the wedding breakfast is held, for the first time took our breath away. Seeing so much of our work and ideas finally come together was amazing. The flowers looked fantastic, the lighting, the music, all alongside our favours and table names and numbers. The table numbers were all mounted in individual horse shoes, all from my own horse, and the table names were all framed photos of us at “Places we love”, including Oia, Santorini and Parc de Princes, Paris.”
“My cousin and I made the favours, she kindly made the iced the cupcakes and I made the toppers which were a bride and groom. I love baking so wanted this to be a part of the wedding and make it personal to us rather than using suppliers for everything.”
“We opted to have speeches at the start of the wedding breakfast as we wanted those giving speeches to be able to enjoy their meal rather than being too nervous. Keeley introduced my dad to speak first, who then introduced Jack, who then introduced the best man and two of the ushers.”
Pesto Roasted Salmon
Served with Roquette Salad, Parmesan shavings and Basil oil
Mozzarella and Rocket salad with Tomato and Chilli Salsa (v)
Toasted Garlic bruschetta, topped with rocket salad and slices of creamy mozzarella, garnished with tomato, red onion and chilli salsa
Stuffed with Spinach and Pine Nuts wrapped in Parma Ham, served on Potato Soufflé with a sage cream sauce
Roasted Vegetable Wellington (v)
Seasonal vegetables, blended and encrusted in puff pastry, finished with red wine and cranberry reduction
Chocolate and Salted Caramel Brownie
With dark chocolate sauce and Vanilla ice cream
Handmade crisp butter pastry with a rich lemon filling, served with clotted cream, raspberries and caramalised lemon zest
With the food eaten, bubbles drank and speeches done, it was off back down stairs to greet the evening guests, to cut the cake and the dreaded first dance!
“Jack spent a lot of time on music, from the ceremony songs to the last dance. We had the choice of giving the DJ a playlist or free rein, and we went somewhere in the middle by asking him to cover certain genres of music, and a few songs within each genre. We wanted people to be able to request their favourite songs, and to trust the DJ to play certain music to get the dance floor going.”
“Jack surprised me, and everyone else, by organising an appearance by Leanne Brown from Sweet Female Attitude. Jack and I love garage music, and this got everyone in the real party mood and the dance floor was packed all night. “
“Our first dance was L-O-V-E by Nat King Cole. We love jazz music and this is one of our favourites, plus we knew the majority of people there would know and like the song and want to join us on the dance floor.”
We asked the happy couple, did they have any top tips for us to share with future Brides and Grooms;
- “Keep it focused on what is important to you, and give people an insight to you as a couple; your favorite things, songs, hobbies etc. Don’t get caught up in the things other people say you “must do” or you must spend money on.
- Be inclusive of other people. As well as it being about you as a couple, it’s about the people around you that make you the couple you are. Ask people to do readings, thank people during the speeches for things they have done for you and the distance they have traveled, take time to show people around the venue.
- Let people help you. They want to, so lighten your load and embrace the help, don’t try and do it all yourself.
- Make time for each other. We made a conscious effort to make sure we spent time together throughout the day, and one of my favourite parts of the day was when we went for a walk around the outside of the building in the evening. It was only ten minutes, but it was just us, the happiest we’ve ever been.”
If we could do it all again, we’d…
“Do it exactly the same!”
Five days after the wedding, the couple jetted off to Vegas for a week to spend some quality time together and look back on what a fantastic day they had!
We want to take this opportunity to wish Mr & Mrs Webb all the luck and happiness in the world for the future! May you have a long and loved filled future ahead of you.
Wedding attire: Matchmaker Bride & Moss Bros
The accessories: Badgley Mischka shoes, Ilona Rubin (Petite Delights, Etsy) earrings, Bellissima Brides hair accessory.
Bridesmaid’s dresses: David’s Bridal
Other outfits: Ray’s suit was made to measure by Arla Designs (Etsy)
Wedding cake: Me
Photographer: Nataly J Photography
Band/disco/DJ: Recommended as a friend of Bloomin’ Jacks
Wedding favours: My helpful and talented cousin and myself
Florist: Bloomin’ Jacks