Lauren and Rob chose to marry at Lower House Farm which is a gorgeous mountain wedding venue in Herefordshire. In our initial Zoom call we had chatted about our shared love of the outdoors so it was no surprise to me that this pair would have picked such an incredible venue, nestled in the Black Mountains on the English/Welsh border. It’s no secret that my heart is happiest in the mountains and the landscape felt very reminiscent of home here between the Lakes and the Dales where the hills are a little less steep and they roll a little more…

And what a setting for an outdoor ceremony, under an ancient tree, before dining on home grown and local produce, finishing the day with a little yomp in the hills for portraits. Perfection. Lauren and Rob made pretty much everything for their day and the love they poured into it really showed. Make a big brew and buckle up, this one’s a corker.

HOW DID YOU MEET?

We met around a tiny kitchen table in Lauren’s halls of residence flat on our first night at university in Leeds! It was complete luck that we were together that night. Someone in Rob’s flat and someone in Lauren’s flat had been the only ones to arrive a day early so they had agreed to bring all of their flat along for a night out on the Saturday. After the first term getting to know everyone, we spent most of our evenings together with our friend George, just the three of us.

TELL ME YOUR PROPOSAL STORY

I started by sneaking off to Dublin to get the ring. This involved three trips and progressively worse cover stories. The actual proposal was in a Japanese garden in Waterford. Lauren knew that we were going but didn’t know that I had hired the gardens for us privately. After a very nervous day, I proposed just after sunset. With Mumford & Sons and champagne for our celebrations after she said yes. We then called everyone in our family to give them the good news!

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS GORGEOUS MOUNTAIN WEDDING VENUE FOR YOUR WEDDING DAY?

Rob had researched every venue an hour North of Sheffield and an hour south of Birmingham that was licensed to hold outdoor ceremonies and none of them felt quite right. Lauren found somewhere in Hereford just through social media but unfortunately they had closed because of COVID but they recommended Lower House Farm. We just loved all of the photos, their sustainable ethos, and most importantly their incredible food! We organised a viewing over Zoom and booked it without seeing it in person. We knew it was the one when Lauren cried just watching a Youtube video of the grounds!

In the end, it was the most perfect venue for us. We loved that we could get married outside, under an ancient oak tree. It was so special that there was room for our guests to explore, play and mingle as we have so many distinct groups (most people hadn’t met each other!) Another important thing for us was being able to set up ourselves the day before and collect the day after as we did a lot of it ourselves. The staff were incredible and very flexible with what we wanted to do! Lastly, we wanted somewhere that had a large place for all of our closest family and friends to stay for the weekend as we were all travelling and so that the wedding didn’t just end at midnight!

WHAT WAS IT YOU LOVED ABOUT YOUR OUTFITS AND ACCESSORIES THAT MADE YOU CHOOSE THEM?

My mum has always wanted to buy my wedding dress, and I can remember her putting money into a jar for it when I was little. We didn’t have a big budget and I wanted to try on lots of styles so we went to Wed2Be just to have some fun. We ended up buying my dress – much to my bridesmaids’ disappointment as they hadn’t been with me! I loved my dress because in my head, I would never have pulled it off. I was trying on flow-y dresses with lots of tulle that I thought I wanted until I tried on the more fitted style. My great grandmother  was a seamstress and I’ve grown up appreciating fabric, and the lace on this dress was too beautiful to leave behind. I particularly loved the scalloped bottom which I fit in with the relaxed vibes.

One thing I did know going into the dress fitting, was that I wanted a cape and oh I am so glad I did! Wearing a cape on my wedding day was just so much fun! It felt like me.
When I was a child I was obsessed with Sandi Thom’s ‘Oh I wish I was a punk rocker’ so I had to have ‘flowers in my hair’! Someone I went to secondary school with made me the most beautiful dried flower comb to put in my hair when my veil came out – I loved them! I wore my nan’s pearl earrings – my grandad had bought them for her very early on in their relationship – and my other nan’s cross that she had worn on her wedding day (and my aunt had worn too on her’s).

I had a bracelet made so that I would have something of my own to pass on. It was very simple but inside was engraved ‘for forever forever’. When Rob and I first got together, we were young and both of us still wanted to follow our own plans for life so we never thought we would stay together that long. Rob used to measure his love in forevers – starting with ‘I love you for the short term forever’, then ‘medium forever’ and ‘long term forever’. Finally we made it to ‘forever forever’!

Rob loved his because it fit him perfectly after getting it tailored. Which was a first for him! His suit made him feel like a real country gentleman which was the aim. His bowtie and the ties of his groomsmen were made from a rejected bridesmaid dress by the best man and his fiancé. They were perfect and matched his bright orange socks.

TELL ME ABOUT THE VISION YOU HAD FOR YOUR WEDDING INCLUDING YOUR THEME/COLOUR SCHEME/STYLING/FLOWERS

It was so important that we had a relaxed day – we wanted our guests to be able to come as they were, relax, spend time with each other, eat great food and have a dance! So we didn’t really have a theme, instead picking things that we liked and mashing it all together!

We knew we didn’t want to follow a strict colour pallet and instead went for ‘colour’ as our theme, looking at wildflowers to guide us. Rob really liked the burnt orange next to his tweed suit so we chose that for the bridesmaid dresses. I then picked three other coloured ribbons I liked in Hobby Craft and we tried to stick to them as our colour scheme!

We both love to travel and our favourite trip together was to Japan in 2019. Since then, Rob has followed Japanese football, we have eaten a lot of Japanese food and we got engaged in a Japanese garden so it seemed only right to follow the tradition and make 1000 paper cranes. In the end, we folded 1013! Lauren loved using them as place settings and they looked so lovely blowing in the tree. The cranes also made a great backdrop for our home-made photo booth!

All the styling was done by us, and apart from Lauren going a bit signage made (!), we loved how it turned out. We wanted simple but impactful and chose to do most of it ourselves.

Our flowers were amazing and we were so lucky to have Faye who helped guide me to what I wanted. I didn’t have any specific flower variety wishes, I just wanted them to be British and in season. We picked out a colour scheme and Faye did the rest – we were so over the mood with them! We opted for 3 bouquets, 7 buttonholes, 2 corsages and the 1 table arrangement and then ordered a DIY bucket. We used these flowers, along with home-grown blooms and greenery to make our table arrangements. Rob’s mum’s salvaged glass bottles (which she mudlarks and digs for!) were perfect for this.

As well as doing lots ourselves, we also had help from friends who crocheted and sewed bunting for both inside and outside! And we can’t forget about all of the amazing cake everyone made!

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST DANCE AND WHY DID YOU CHOOSE IT?

We chose a cover of Edward Sharpe’s ‘Home’ for our first dance. The original is so joyful we used to sing it in the car! The lyrics are just so us we had to have it, it made me cry every time we practiced our dance. We also followed a ‘home’ theme loosely through the wedding. We had a banner painted by Darwin and Grey which features lyrics from Gabrielle Aplin’s ‘Home’ and our top table was called ‘Home’ when the others were places we’ve been travelling together. With being long distance for 5 years, moving to Ireland together, doing lots of travelling and planning to go to Australia before going back to the UK, we’re realised we are each other’s home!

WHAT WERE THE MOST WONDERFUL PARTS OF THE DAY FOR YOU?

I loved looking out at all of our favourite people during lots of the parts of the day and thinking ‘wow, they’re all here for us!’ – that was so special! And everyone was just so happy all day!

Lauren: I loved walking down the aisle with my dad – just before the music started, me and my bridesmaids realised we had no clue what we were doing! It was such a funny moment. And then seeing Rob waiting for me, I was just so happy!
Rob: Seeing Lauren walk down the aisle was one of the most memorable parts. I was so nervous but seeing her made me feel much much better.

We both really enjoyed seeing how people from all parts of our lives got on so well and were so happy to just spend time together.

Oh and dancing, dancing and more dancing!

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE HANNAH HALL PHOTOGRAPHY AS YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER, AND WHAT WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE OF YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY ON THE DAY?

We wanted a photographer who could tell the story of our day, seek out beautiful moments to share with us, capture the raw emotion of it all, be a friendly face (as we would spend a lot of time together!), someone we could trust we the most special day of our lives and someone we could laugh with. Oh how luck we were to find Hannah who was all of this and so much more!

Apart from all of that, we just loved Hannah’s editing style. We had researched a LOT of photographers and were really drawn to how natural Hannah’s photos were as we’d seen a lot with coloured filters over the top – we wanted to remember our wedding exactly as it was! Hannah’s composition was amazing and we loved that she had taken photos in beautiful outdoor locations before! But what sold us was her! We actually had narrowed it down to two photographers and had zoom calls with them both 1 day apart. We sat and chatted to Hannah for a lot longer that we thought, and not just about our wedding. We felt that Hannah really wanted to get to know us, she cared about us and what we wanted from our photographer and she was just great to talk to. Her advice through social media was also an added bonus!

On the day, Hannah was everything she had promised to be. Not only did we end up with the most wonderful photos that help us to relive our day, Hannah also gave advice, helped us get changed, stick in spare hair pins, provided sun cream and a parasol when I was burning, made our friends laugh and feel comfortable having their photos taken, climbed hills with us and braved slippery slopes just to get a good photo. We will be forever grateful!

WHAT WOULD BE YOUR BEST BIT OF ADVICE TO OTHER COUPLES PLANNING THEIR WEDDING?

I would tell them to plan early – make a plan of what you are going to do each month so that you don’t feel the pressure at the end, especially if you are DIYing.

Lean on your people, you’ve asked them to be involved and they’ve agreed! Give everyone a job to do on the day so that you don’t have to worry about anything.

The most common piece of advice I read was to do things that you want to do, not what you think you should be doing. I would extend this to include: ‘spend your day doing the things you want to do together and not just the things you think are expected of you’

And finally, make sure you have some plans for after your wedding. It was the biggest come down of my life, and I really wasn’t expecting it. Even if you don’t have time/money to go on honeymoon yet, plan a minimoon to spend some time just you and your new partner – it’s worth it!

LAUREN + ROB’S GORGEOUS MOUNTAIN WEDDING HAPPENED WITH THE HELP OF THE FOLLOWING SUPPLIERS

Hair Hair Comes The Bride / Makeup Ruth Rowberry / Bride’s Outfit Wed2Be / Florist Rural Floral

Cake Cake Tin Malvern / Transport 2CV Wedding Cars / Hair Flowers Antheia Floristry

Suppliers please drop me a line for image use!

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If you’re outdoor lovers with a sense of adventure and wild hearts, I’d love to chat some more.

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