Lauren & David’s stunning sperry wedding in Surrey
I first met Lauren & David on a super dismal January morning, but they had the vision and what a vision it was. Read on for all the details of their elegant Sperry wedding. Scandi styling with a colour palette of greys and whites, gold terrariums, copper and lots of eucalyptus. All set against the golden backdrop of Hidden Valley in the 2018 heatwave. The field looked more Serengeti than British countryside but I think the photos look all the more striking, even if the grass wasn’t too happy about it.
Set up started on the Thursday. For their marquee Lauren & David had fallen in love with the light, open and sunny space of Papakata’s Sperry. Lauren & David had chosen cross back chairs, round tables and floor length light grey tablecloths, with festoons strung from the king poles down to the sides of the marquee. This was to be an intimate wedding of 80 with some evening guests.
Baylily Bell tents were on site to set up 7 bell tents in a little arc to the left of the marquee. Lauren & David had a honeymoon tent, complete with real bed and bottle of bubbly. Baylily specialise in unique coloured tents but to fit the style of the couple’s wedding, they had requested all sandstone tents.
Friday came and Lauren & David and friends and family got stuck into dressing the space, inside the marquee and out. They transported all the garden furniture they could muster and set up a stylish outdoor patio area with much needed parasols on the matting Papakata had laid outside the marquee.
Home made shepherd’s crooks were installed to hang festoons along the walkway to the marquee. Paper solar lanterns were hung from boughs of Hidden Valley’s beautiful dead tree, a great little find by Lauren in Ikea. The table plan was home made as well, a copper frame, with printed cards attached with ribbon and a little flourish of eucalyptus. Simple but so effective. Retro style peg boards displayed little messages such as the order of service and the choice of evening cocktails.
Terraniums were dotted around the tables, with copper wire fairy light strands inside. Four Gables were busy laying up the tables with matt gold cutlery, elegant crockery and glassware as well as getting their field kitchen set up in the catering tent attached to the back of the marquee. Also stashing an apron under an unsuspecting guests’ chair on each table (more on that later)
Saturday morning arrived and endless blue skies. We immediately got the sides rolled up on the marquee as it was clear these would be open all day. Rosie from Rosie Orr Flowers arrived and set to laying the long garlands of eucalyptus down the centre of each table. Peach Juliet roses were to be dotted amongst the eucalyptus but because of the high temperatures each one was placed in its’ own mini vase to help it last the day. Four silver birch trees in pots were delivered, two either side of each of the king poles which was a lovely touch. These are now happily growing in the couple’s garden.
Vanessa arrived from Forever Cakes to set up the beautiful cake of set on a log slice on a wooden barrel. Rosie added a touch of eucalyptus and roses to the barrel. The cake was limoncello and coconut on one tier and lemon and elderflower on the others.
Four Gables were busy getting everything ready. Lauren & David love their food and wanted it to be a special part of the day, so a lot of effort (and tastings) had gone into getting the menu spot on.
“We met Four Gables at a Fiesta Fields tasting evening and loved that they had catered at our venue before. They could also create a menu based on all of the food we love, rather than us having to pick from a set list of dishes. We loved their super cool, navy VW camper van bar, from where they served some of our favourite cocktails in the evening”.
Lauren and David had a relaxing morning, getting ready with their friends. For her bridesmaids Lauren had chosen long, flowing dresses of light grey, with a sheer, beaded overlay from ASOS. David and the boys were dapper in wide checked navy suits from Reiss.
Lauren & David married in St Nicholas Church in Peper Harow, a ten minute walk from Hidden Valley. Luckily the church was fine with four legged guests as the couple’s dog Gatsby was ring bearer. He trotted down the aisle with rings attached to his eucalyptus collar.
Lauren wore a stunning two piece set from Houghton NYC.
“I tried it on in a bridal shop and then came across an online bridal shop who had the dress in my size. I was nervous about buying the dress online, when I hadn’t seen it in person or tried it on, but the owners were amazing and sent me photos of every inch of the dress! It was at a much reduced cost to the one I tried in the bridal store, which was a big bonus. The dress arrived in perfect condition and after some alterations it was perfect. I’d really recommend doing your research before you go ahead and buy in-store as you never know what’s out there!
I paired my dress with a veil from the super lovely team at Miss Bush Bridal in Ripley. Their gorgeous bridal shop is in a charming old chapel and the ladies even added a tie to my train so I could pin it up for the dance floor – talk about good service! Lastly, my shoes… I had these bespoke made by the wonderful Faber Novella and they were the dream. I handpicked everything from the colour (my something blue) to the contrasting gold block heel, the toe shape and heel height. They can send you sample colours to choose from and they even post you a pair of shoes so you can check the sizing. As they don’t look like traditional bridal shoes I’ve worn them loads since the wedding”.
Guests were welcomed with Hendricks and tonic, elderflower and Birra Moretti. Four Gables set up a salmon station for guests to help themselves to and various other light canapés. Guests were then invited into the marquee to take their seats at tables named after key places in the couple’s life. The bridal party were introduced in couples with foil confetti guns to welcome each pair. Lucky guests enjoyed the following menu and the guests with aprons under their chairs were nominated carvers for the table.
Goats cheese mousse, baby beets, marinated artichokes and smoked aubergine purée on an edible garden.
Chateaubriand with a BBQ and red vino jus, or
Caramelised onion, Gorgonzola and field mushroom pathivier (V)
All served with crisp sweet potato fries, truffle mac ‘n’ cheese and a seasonal garden salad
Rhubarb and custard creme brûlée
Lemon meringue pie cornetto
Super Sticky toffee lollies
Coconut sorbet with lime caviar
All the desserts were served in boxes which Lauren & David took turns to pour dry ice over at each table. This was all washed down with espresso martinis and fudge.
After this feast, guests stepped outside to enjoy the slightly cooling temperatures while Lauren & David had these gorgeous couple pics, mixing in a little bit of practice for their first dance, which would be to Sky Full of Stars by Coldplay.
The VW bar was open, serving an awesome combination of cocktails and I may have sampled a little espresso martini to celebrate.
As I headed home the dance floor was packed, with the band’s drum kit lighting up in time with the beat. For any guest still peckish Four Gables served up beef or veggie burritos with a shot of tequila on the side and a cheese board. What a beautiful day!
FF – I absolutely loved your styling ideas. Where did you get your inspiration?
L&D – I found a lot of suppliers on Instagram. Our amazing videographers, Laura and Alex from This Modern Revelry, create the most incredible videos, capturing the fun of your day in the most epic style. Our photographer’s dreamy, candid, relaxed Australian style (Mary Parker Weddings), and her love of dogs was perfect for our day.
FF – What led you to Fiesta Fields?
L&D – We knew we wanted an outdoor reception venue so started searching for fields online. We came across Fiesta Fields and Hidden Valley couldn’t have been a more perfect venue for our wedding reception. It’s an absolutely stunning location and gave us the blank canvas we were looking for.
We really wanted to have a relaxed wedding day with everything organised so we had nothing to worry about on the day itself. We also really wanted to make the day as easy as possible for our friends and family so we chose a church and venue within walking distance of each other, so we wouldn’t lose time travelling between venues. We had bell tents in the field for guests to stay overnight, which meant the party didn’t ever really have to end.
FF – What advice would you give other brides looking for a similar style of event?
L&D – Don’t panic about the weather but do remember that if it’s going to hot there’s as much to think about as wet weather. In the days before our wedding, when we realised the heatwave was sticking around, we had to order paper hand fans, hire industrial fans and make sure we didn’t leave anything reflective outside in the sun. We also had a strict no candle rule and set up a smoking bench to contain any smokers as the fire risk was so high. We left some pens by the bench so people could leave us messages and it’s now taken pride of place at our dining table at home. It’s a nice alternative to the traditional wedding message book and we get to read it every day!
Also, remember to factor in clearing the field the next day and getting friends and family to help you. We stayed over in beautiful bell tents with our guests and some of them helped us clear down the next morning before the suppliers arrived to remove everything. I had the wedding blues seeing everything come down. There were a few sore heads, and the heatwave to contend with. It was pretty exhausting but you’re on such a high you don’t mind!
Lastly, book your band and videographer as early as you can, as when they are as incredible as ours were, they get booked up super quickly.
FF – What was your favourite memory from the day?
L&D – Everything! I know that’s a cop out. One of my favourite memories was when the wedding car broke down outside the church after the ceremony (!) so we hopped into our air conditioned car (it was 29C the day we got married so it was heaven) and got to the field before our other guests arrived. David, Gatsby and I got to see all our hard work come together and have a little moment together before our guests walked down into the valley. Seeing their reactions as they spotted the tent, in what looked like the Serengeti, with the beating sun and long yellow grass was amazing. Everyone was blown away by the venue and it was a really special moment.
Photography – Mary Parker Weddings
Sperry Tent – Papakata
Land Hire (Hidden Valley) – Fiesta Fields
Essentials package from Fiesta Fields includes land hire, posh loos, generator, security and on the day coordination.
Bell Tents – Baylily Bell Tents
Catering & Bar – Four Gables
Band – We Light it Up band
Flowers – Rosie Orr
Cake – Forever Cakes
Hair and makeup – laurem Elise Wright @bridalbeautybylauren
Dress – The Lovers Bride Houghton NYC
Veil – Miss Bush Bridal
Bride’s Shoes –Faber Novella
Equipment/lighting – Farnham Sound & Light
Stationery – Plewsy
Bridesmaid Dresses – ASOS
Groomsmen’s Suits – Reiss
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