Lauren Bird-Newell and Robert Windebank: A Hampshire wedding with a Marbella twist
21 Jan 2019
Lauren and Robert's elegant wedding theme was given a Marbella makeover come the evening, complete with atmospheric purple lighting, a mirror photo booth and bottles of Moët
How did you meet?
At the gym. Rob's cousin used to bring him at the weekends on a guest pass and I worked there, we were 18 at the time. We started talking when we were both 22 while I was travelling in Australia and I came back early to go on our first date.
Tell us about the proposal.
It was our three-year anniversary so Rob booked a trip to London. He took me to Radio Rooftop Bar at the ME Hotel where he got down on one knee on the roof terrace and proposed.
What was the theme for the day, and did you have a colour scheme?
The theme was elegant and sparkle and the colour scheme was mainly nudes and whites. The evening theme was Marbella style; purple lighting and white furniture with Moët on every table.
What venue did you choose and why did you choose it?
The Elvetham in Hook, Hampshire, as it is set within stunning grounds and we both knew we had to have our wedding reception there following our church ceremony.
When did you know when you’d found ‘the’ dress?
I tried on about seven dresses and only really liked two but the dress I chose was selected for me at Proposals in Chichester. I didn’t think it was very me as it was a pinky colour but I loved the design, so they ordered it in ivory and the moment I looked in the mirror I was in love. Rob's nan unfortunately passed away that day and the lights flickered when I tried it on so we just knew it was the one. The dress was called Marianne (Rob's nan was called Mary and his mum is called Anne), so I thought it was meant to be.
What did the bridesmaids wear?
They wore dresses from Southampton Brides in a nude/pink colour with an embroided top. They were called Amelie. My bridesmaids were Jasmine (my best friend and maid of honour), Paige (my sister), Louise (my cousin), Kate (my best friend), and Florence (Rob's niece and flower girl).
Where did you find your suits?
Astairs – Rob chose a tuxedo.
Tell us about your floral arrangements.
We had fresh flowers at the church and for our bouquets and buttonholes. The reception flowers were artificial.
Often the aspect that makes a wedding original to the couple is the detail – tell us about the details of the day.
- Our wedding favours were boxes that doubled up as name cards; they had a little sparkle and contained chocolates inside.
- We had a magician (Matt Parato); he was amazing while performing during the drinks reception.
- We had a mirror photo booth for the evening.
How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?
I felt so happy that in a few minutes I would be marrying my best friend; it’s the most magical feeling and I wish I could do it all over again.
How did you make the ceremony personal to you?
We selected all our songs and my mum did a reading.
What was your most memorable moment?
After we got married and arrived at the venue we went into the grounds to have some photos taken and both felt on cloud nine that we were finally husband and wife. We took a moment to ourselves to let that feeling sink in.
What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?
Having a vision and booking and choosing everything individually not knowing how it would all look when pieced toghether. On the day, however, our dreams became reality and everything was perfect.
What was the most important investment for you?
I would say the venue; we had it exclusively and on the day, we couldn’t have been happier with the food, the service and efficiency of all the staff.
What song did you choose for your first dance, and why?
John Legend - All of Me. We both love the song and it means something to us.
Tell us about your wedding cake.
The cake was three tiered, made by the Cake Fairy in Reading, and was on a crystal chandelier-style stand which looked incredible. The cake was a traditional fruit cake and vanilla sponge.
If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?
We wouldn’t change a thing; it was perfect, the weather was glorious, we were surrounded by the people we loved and everything went to plan.
Did anything go wrong on the day?
We held the speeches before the wedding breakfast and they overran as my dad decided to do a slideshow, although it was an amazing and funny speech so I wouldn’t have changed it. We just waited a bit longer for our food.
Where did you go on honeymoon?
We went two days after the wedding to Las Vegas, staying at The Wynn for five nights then onto Miami where we stayed at Fontaine Bleu. We were meant to stay in Miami for 10 nights however we had to leave after six due to Hurricane Urma. It was a shame that it was cut short but we had the most amazing time.
Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages?
Our advice would be not to get overwhelmed with the planning, you can get really caught up in it all so we crossed one thing off at a time. We found one supplier who could do multiple things to make life easier when it came to the décor, invites etc.
Steal their style:
Venue and catering: The Elvetham, elvethamhotel.co.uk
Photography: Martin Bell, martinbell-photography.co.uk
Cake: The Cake Fairy, thecakefairy.com
Invitations, centrepieces, favours, table plan: Wedding Mai Design, weddingmaidesign.co.uk
Magician: Matt Parro
Photo mirror: Snapattax
Videography: D&T Video Services, dtvideoservices.co.uk/contact
Bouquet flowers: Tracey Buckley, Brentford Florist
For more Hampshire wedding inspiration, pick up the latest edition of Dorset, Wiltshire & Hampshire Bride magazine.