Laura + Harry's red, white and blue leap year wedding at Oaks Farm, Croydon

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Mr + Mrs Knight
Saturday 29th February 2020 │ Oaks Farm, Croydon
Bride Laura tells us all about her 2020 leap year wedding day with a British theme of red, white and blue. Laura and Harry's wedding was full of DIY and bargains - including a £50 wedding dress!
How did Harry pop the question?
With my now-husband in the military, we wanted to get married to making moving around together more easy. We bought the ring together in October 2018, but actually, he was the one who picked it out for me to try on (based on the advice I'd given him!). We went for a platinum, slight twist band with small diamonds along the shoulder, meeting a single diamond in its centre. Fast forward to February 2019, and I booked a cottage in the Cotswolds for us to spend a night at. Harry asked if there was any posh restaurants nearby (baring in mind, it was the middle of nowhere!) so I had my suspicions and decided to paint my nails, just in case. After a meal out at a local pub, I was getting into comfies and picking a film for the evening, while Harry went to the car to grab the laptop. He came back in with flowers, chocolates and went down on one knee to ask me to marry him. Apparently I said yes before he even asked! It was all a blur and very emotional, but of course I said yes. 
How did you choose your wedding date?
We knew we wanted winter, as our birthdays and Christmas fall in this period of the year. We looked at 22nd February initially, but it clashed a little with my grandma's cruise so wasn't ideal. Then Harry saw the 29th fell on a Saturday (for the first time in our lifetime!) and really liked how unique it was, so we went with it! Our venue had another couple pencilled in for that date, but while we waited for them to confirm, luckily they said no so it was meant to be. 
Tell us about your wedding theme + colour scheme...
We didn't really want traditional, and with Harry being military, I liked the idea of a military themed wedding. He wasn't so keen so we came up with British instead. Our colours were red, white and blue, we had British bunting strung up in our venue, a red post box for cards and British vehicles as centrepieces. 
Favourite wedding planning moment?
Got to be dress shopping. I thought I'd be so so fussy and instead I found my dress first and was itching to put it on, without looking for other options! It also made my grandma cry, and in turn made the rest of us cry and I'm so grateful to have that memory forever. 

What would be your advice for future brides?
At the end of the day, you're only going to get married once so do it on your terms. People will have their opinions, but ultimately, make the decisions for you two as it's your day. 

Tell us all about the food...
We were very fortunate that our venue had a choice of caterers to choose from and the one we went with allowed a choice menu! So we had a three course sit down meal with pate, soup or crab salad to start, chicken in Parma ham, beef wellington or veggie curry for main, and either an apple crumble tart, chocolate fondant or vegan chocolate ganache for pud! And if guests still weren't full, we had a sandwich buffet with fish and chip cones in the evening, alongside slices of our wedding cheesecake. Safe to say, there was no leftovers on our day!
Did you make any wedding DIYs?
I found a love for Facebook Marketplace during wedding planning! I found confetti and repainted the post box I found on there, as well as the floral hoop which went behind the top table. I made my own bouquets and buttonholes with flowers from Amazon, designed menus and table plans myself, up-cycled a child's chalkboard into a welcome sign and even hand-sewed lace from my dress to make little bags for the bridesmaids gifts! 
Laura made all of her own wedding stationery after leaning calligraphy - check her out on Instagram @_LKdesigns!

Top money saving tip: Buy second hand/sale if you're on a budget! My decor and flowers cost less than £300 by using vouchers, Facebook and Ali Express. My dress was my best bargain at £50 though as it was in an amazing sale!
Tell us about your bride and groom squad...
Harry opted for his best friend from school as his best man. I had our three sisters as bridesmaids, along with my best friend from my old job as my chief bridesmaid. We also got my nephew all suited and booted as our page boy. Unfortunately, my maid of honour and I fell out during wedding planning and I asked her instead to just come to our day as a guest. It was the hardest decision I had to make - this was my worst wedding planning memory.
What was your first dance song?
We struggled with this as we're not slow dancers at all and love drum and bass! Plus the songs we listen to aren't that romantic. One evening while listening to music to find something, I suggested Praise You by Fatboy Slim and found a lovely piano version by Hannah Grace so we asked our DJ to mix the two, with the piano version first into the "shoulddddddddddd" of the original!
Tell us about your Honeymoon...
We were torn between South Africa and Australia for ages, but in the end South Africa won as we knew we could do what we wanted to in the two weeks that we had. It was unbelievable and I'd recommend it to anybody. We stayed in and around Cape Town for two weeks; wandering around the harbour, learning about their history, hitting the shops, sunbathing, eating. But the highlight for both of us was the one night stay we had at a game reserve, the night of Harry's birthday. We saw so many wild animals, and was the trip of a lifetime. 
Venue: Oaks Farm, Croydon, Surrey
Dress: Maggie Sottero from From This Moment Bridal, Ewell, Surrey
Suits: Moss Bros, Hove, Sussex
Photographer: Abby Grace Drewett Photography 
Ceremony: Croydon Council
Cake: Lyndsey Havell
Shoes: Schuh (via Oxfam)
Wedding Rings: Biagio Jewellers, Bicester, Oxfordshire
Bridesmaids dresses: Ever Pretty 
DJ: DJ Lyle M
Hair + Makeup: Chief Bridesmaid 

Now for Laura's amazing DIYs...
Stationery:  The Bride aka @_LKdesigns
Photobooth: DIY 
Décor: DIY - mainly Amazon, Hobbycraft, Ali Express, Facebook Marketplace 
Florist: DIY artificial bouquets, decor + buttonholes

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