We continue to share stories of real weddings. Next in line is a very beautiful couple Laura and Jack, who managed to move Italian aesthetics to England for their celebration. Laura talked to us about all the details of the wedding planning, as well as her love story with Jack.
Tell us a little about yourselves.
Jack and I met in January 2014 at an old boxing gym in the city of Liverpool, which is where we both lived at the time. I had decided to join as I was training for the London Marathon and ended up being the only girl there! We were instantly attracted to each other, though too shy to admit it. Luckily, a year to the day later, and with a little help from a mutual friend, Jack and I went on our first date. During our first date, we spent the entire evening talking about all the things we had in common, we had such a laugh that neither of us wanted the night to end. I ended up taking Jack to my best friend’s birthday party afterward – I think we both knew that we were on to something special because it just felt so relaxed, it was like we’d known each other for years. After a year of being together, we left the city for a quieter life in the countryside, relocating to Shropshire, where Jack was originally from. Jack is a Strength and Conditioning Coach and has his own private training facility, and I work in Project Management. We are both really into our health and fitness and love to go on long, country walks with our gorgeous Golden Retriever, Winston – who we got at the start of the pandemic. We also love to travel-exploring new places, cultures, and experiences. We consider ourselves to be extremely lucky because we simply enjoy just being together; we are very content in each other’s company; wherever we are, or whatever we are doing. We are husband and wife, but best friends too.
What was the concept behind your wedding, and how did you find your inspiration?
Jack and I traveled around the Amalfi Coast during the Summer of 2019 to celebrate our engagement, and it was here that we fell in love with Italy. During one particular trip to Villa Treville where we spent the entire day and evening eating incredible food, sipping Aperol Spritz, and soaking up the most incredible view of Positano, we decided that we wanted an Italian wedding. We began creating our Italian music playlist during our trip… for a wedding, we hadn’t even booked yet! A few months later, the world went into lockdown and with so much uncertainty on when we would be able to travel again, Jack and I started to re-assess our wedding plans. As it did for all of us, COVID-19 made us value and appreciate our family and friends more than ever, and the most important thing for us was having our nearest and dearest with us on our special day. We started looking at wedding venues in the UK and, after a long time searching, came across Middleton Lodge Estate in North Yorkshire. We arranged a visit in the spring of 2021 and as soon as we were shown around the grounds, we just knew it was where we were going to get married. The Fig House and Walled Garden are like a little slice of Italy here in England – hidden behind original Georgian brick walls stand a huge orangery with floor-to-ceiling arched windows that overlooks a breathtakingly beautiful garden designed by renowned landscape architect, Tom Stuart-Smith. It boasts fragrant flower beds and botanical borders that bloom throughout the seasons, and a Kitchen Garden where fresh produce is grown and used by the Chefs on the estate. Middleton Lodge really encapsulates the ‘old-meets-new’ feel that we both love - an oasis of calm and nuptial bliss. I had always dreamt of getting married outside, and we were incredibly lucky to get to have our wedding ceremony in the walled garden. We served Aperol Spritz and played our Italian music playlist during the reception, and everyone was in such high spirits - the day was everything we could have dreamed of and more.
Prior to our wedding day, Jack and I had taken our parents back to Liverpool for our legal ceremony. There was something so special about going back to the city where our love story began and having just our parents with us. The incredibly talented, and nicest couple, Marta and Michal captured the day so perfectly for us – it was so cool roaming the streets of Liverpool and taking a trip down memory lane whilst they snapped away.
How many guests did you have?
Jack and I always knew we wanted an intimate wedding with just our immediate family and closest friends present. It was so important that we got to spend as much time together on our day and soak it all up. Keeping our guest list to 40 meant we were able to mingle with everyone but also had lots of time to share special moments just the two of us.
Tell us about your outfits.
For our legal ceremony in Liverpool, I wore a simple cream, crepe dress by Victoria Beckham paired with a silk bow hair clip from GiGi&Olive that had my new initials on, and Jack wore a linen suit from Reiss. Jack and I both love clothes and fashion, and we really wanted to go for timeless and classic looks on our wedding day. Jack wore a custom-made black Tuxedo from Sarto Luxury Tailoring. For the ultimate black-tie look, he added a cummerbund and a pair of patent leather shoes from Russell and Bromley. The guys from Sarto were amazing and added special details, such as our initials and the date of our wedding in embroidery on the inside of the suit Jacket. After trying lots of beautiful wedding dresses and still not feeling like I had found "the one", I booked an appointment with Emma Beaumont Atelier to explore designing my own dress. As soon as I visited her studio and met with her, I knew she was going to bring everything I envisaged, and more, to life. I didn’t want to get swept up in the ever-changing bridal trends and wanted the design to be super classic- a dress I’d look back on in years to come and still adore! I remember telling Emma at my first appointment that if I was lucky enough to have a daughter one day, I hoped the dress would be something she would love to wear too. Traditional Italian Brides were a huge inspiration to me - timeless lace, statement sleeves, long trains, and scallop detailing. I also wanted to add some modern features to the dress too, so we added a low back, semi-sheer fabric and a detailed bodice. The entire process from the initial sketch to the finished dress was done over the course of 10 appointments and fittings and is an experience I will cherish forever. Emma picks up on every, single detail – an example being one particular fitting where I casually mentioned that Jack loved my décolletage, and the next thing I knew she had completely altered the neckline of the dress so that “Jack could see more of what he loves”. She knows what brides want, even before they do. A true Visionary. I finished the look with a pair of Jimmy Choo Azia Heels and Gold Deco Dream Earrings from Heavenly London. Later in the evening, I changed into a contemporary and romantic dress from The OWN studio. The dress had a directional asymmetric neckline falling in soft silken folds, and a flowing sash falling at the back. It was the perfect dress to dance the night away!
What was your first dance song?
We ended up having two first dance songs. For years, Jack and I had said we were going to have "Let’s Stay Together" by Al-Green. However, whilst creating our wedding playlist, Jack stumbled across Nat King Cole’s "(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons" and said the lyrics captured how he felt about me perfectly. It’s a beautiful song and was perfect for a romantic, slow dance before having our guests join us on the dance floor for Al-Green. We had a pianist, who performed on the night we got engaged, play a collection of our favorite songs throughout the wedding breakfast and early evening, so there was plenty of dancing going on. It made us so happy to see our guests enjoying themselves and having a great time!
What flowers did you choose for the bride’s bouquet and why?
I have a love for flowers that has been passed down from my late Nanna and Grandad, so I knew exactly what I wanted when it came to picking my bouquet and floral aesthetic. Kate from Agnes & Bee is the Queen of delicate, and whimsical floral arrangements and brought all my floral dreams to life. We went for an abundance of seasonal British-grown blooms, delicate flower fillers, and Italian-style foliage. My bouquet contained blousy summer roses and delicate sweet peas (my Nanna’s favorite flowers that she and my Grandad would grow) in a color palette of the softest shades of butter, creams, and caramels. To compliment the wedding flowers, Kate also adorned her floral designs with fresh figs, Sicilian lemons, and bunches of grapes, creating a perfectly styled table space that was so in keeping with our Italian theme. One of my favorite moments of the day was looking down the long, feast-style table to a sea of floral vessels, bud vases, and seasonal fruit all nestled among my favorite scented Jo Malone candles and tall, tampered candlesticks – it was simply ethereal.
What was your wedding cake like? And where did you order it?
A year before our wedding, Jack and I spent a weekend away at Middleton Lodge and got to sample cake flavors from the incredibly talented team at Where the Ribbon Ends. We decided on a two-tiered cake consisting of apricot, orange and spiced ginger, and lemon and poppy seed. I was keen to go for something a bit different with the cake and was really drawn to modern, textural designs. The detail on the cake was amazing; covered from top to bottom in delicate wafer ruffles and rice paper sails. All our guests said they’d never seen anything like it and how incredible it tasted.
Are there any other vendors that you would like to tell us a little more about?
Our entire team was incredible. In addition to those mentioned above, we’d also like to say a huge thank you to the following vendors:
Wedding Day Videographers & Legal Ceremony Photographers: Marta and Michal who photographed our Legal Ceremony in Liverpool were also the videographers on our wedding day. Both are phenomenal at what they do and so, so wonderful to work with, putting us at ease from the moment we first met. Thanks to them, we were also invited on a trip to shoot at Villa Pizzo in Lake Como a few days after our wedding where Marta, once again, captured the most insane photographs of the two of us as the sun set over the lake. She has an incredible talent for seizing the moment in front of her eyes and camera to produce the most beautiful and relaxed imagery. Lake Como was such an experience, and it has been amazing getting to know them both this summer. Thank you so much for giving us the greatest gift of all – memories!
Photographer: I fell in love with Emmy’s work several years ago, and she was the first vendor we secured after booking Middleton Lodge. As someone who has always been interested in photography, I love that she shoots on 35 mm film as well as digital. Emmy is a storyteller, and her work is always timeless and evocative.
Celebrant: Jo told our love story so perfectly. She made our ceremony so special and unique, and everyone said how lovely she was. Having Jo as our celebrant meant that we weren’t restricted on what we could say and do during the ceremony, making us and everyone around us feel incredibly relaxed - it was personal, meaningful, and from the heart!
Music: Victoria was amazing. It was so great having her perform songs that she had played on the night of our engagement, along with other songs that are special and meaningful to our relationship. She really elevated the wedding breakfast with her incredible talent.
Makeup artist and Hair Stylist: Amy and Stay me feel so incredible and confident on the day. It was so wonderful spending the morning of the wedding getting ready with them. I could never have imagined feeling quite as relaxed as I did, and I think that is a credit to the wonderful people they are.
Stationary: The fabulous Vine in the Wild team designed and created our beautifully, minimalistic wedding invitations and all of our on-the-day-stationary. They were so helpful in ensuring everything complimented our vision.
Wedding coordinator: I decided early on that I wasn’t going to have a Wedding Planner, as I love being creative and knew I’d enjoy the planning process. I had such a clear vision of how I wanted the day to run and look, and how I wanted guests to feel that I was excited to bring everything to life. That being said, Tilly, the wedding coordinator assigned to us from the Middleton Lodge Estate Events Team, was an angel in ensuring all my planning details came to fruition and that the day ran smoothly for us. She was so incredibly helpful, and it genuinely felt like we had a friend with us doing all the coordination on the day!
Legal Ceremony Photographer @martad.weddings
Wedding Day Photographer @emmyshoots
Second shooter @patholtweddingfilms
Styling Accessories @blondearmy
Flowers & Tablescape @agnesandbee