Lauren and Darren's adventure started thousands of feet in the air on a flight to Reykjavík.
The pair were both cabin crew at the time and started chatting before Lauren suggested heading for coffee when they landed. She says, "We still laugh about that moment as it's something I've never normally been brave enough to do before – I must have known we were destined to be together."
While on a stroll in The Bahamas back in 2020, Darren proposed on a beautiful beach. Lauren comments, "We've always talked about getting married, but it was a complete surprise on the day. My maid of honour, Keli-Ann, was with us at the time and acted fast to capture the whole thing on camera."
The couple was excited to bring their friends and family together to celebrate such an important day. The bride says, "We had a few hurdles during the run up to the wedding with Covid-19 regulations. We were torn whether to postpone the day or not in such uncertain times. We decided to stick to our original date, which became an intimate affair with 28 guests." She adds, "The day exceeded all our expectations! We're believers that everything happens for a reason, so maybe our wedding was destined to be this way."
Nestled in Nottinghamshire, Hazel Gap Barn is a family-run business with picture-perfect spaces. Lauren says, "We fell in love with the spectacular venue on our first visit and could envision our guests enjoying the courtyard space during our summer wedding."
The bride loved the idea of arriving at the property in a vintage car, and it was the perfect way to travel after staying in beautiful cottages the night before.
The couple sat at the top table with their parents for the wedding breakfast and had four additional round tables where loved ones sat. The pair opted for seeded paper with an aeroplane on for favours to represent their first moments together. Each one said, 'Plant this plane and watch it bloom, just like the love of the bride and groom', which was a lovely touch. Vases of flowers on top of wooden logs made up the centrepieces and matched the colour scheme perfectly.
Hazel Gap Barn created some delicious dishes on the day. The bride says. "We had the most tasty food, which everyone still talks about. We had canapés in the courtyard followed by the main meal served on large sharing plates." She adds, "We liked the idea of the more relaxed family-style dining, which worked so well. We sat around the firepits in the early evening enjoying music, cheese and biscuits."
The two-tired Victoria sponge cake was a big hit with guests, and featured a rose gold world map and beautiful blooms.
When it came to finding the perfect dress, Lauren fell in love with an ivory Art Couture gown. She says, "I loved the strapless design and the back featured buttons that went all the way down the train. I paired the gown with a cathedral-length veil with lace motifs to complement the simplicity of the dress, and I added a fitted lace bolero in the evening." She continues, "A real highlight in the morning was getting ready with my bridal party and having our hair and make-up done. When I put my dress on, I was completely overwhelmed with happiness."
Darren wore a checked three-piece suit with an ivory tie and handkerchief, while the groomsmen and page boys wore two-piece suits but with pale lilac ties. The bridesmaids wore beautiful multiway-bandeau dresses in pale lilac, while the flowergirls wore ivory dresses.
The couple had unforgettable music throughout the day, from the fantastic CoCo and the Butterfields. The bride says, "As lifelong friends, having them perform at our wedding made it extra special." She adds, "My dear and oldest friends Tom and Dulcima sang as my dad walked me down the aisle. I wanted the song to be a surprise and was taken aback when they sang an acoustic version of Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now by Starship – my mum and dad's wedding song."
The whole band then played in the courtyard after the ceremony before playing again later in the evening. A surprise rendition of Air Hostess by Busted dedicated to the pair was a real crowd-pleaser.
Lauren and Darren both felt a little nervous in the morning but excited for the day ahead. The bride comments, "Everyone who couldn't come were so supportive and understanding. Knowing they were there with us in spirit and raising a glass from one end of the country to the other was really special."
The lovebirds brilliant photographer Martin and videographer Daiga captured the day perfectly. Their amazing work allows the pair to relive the wedding over again. Lauren says, "All our suppliers went above and beyond; I'd recommend every single one."
The couple had a sparkler train in the evening, which created a magical moment and amazing photographic opportunity for the pair.
After the perfect wedding, the couple explored the beautiful island of Santorini for five days. The bride says, "It's somewhere we've always wanted to go together and planned it long before the wedding. We enjoyed all the local food and drink; a real highlight was watching the famous sunset over the caldera."
Venue and catering