Real Bride and Groom Feature – Lauren & Ian


The amazing Northern Lights in Iceland, in October 2019 were the perfect setting for Lauren and Ian to get engaged. We chatted with Lauren about how they planned their perfect wedding day.

We choose to get married in February 2021 at our local church, St Nicholas Church in Guisborough as this is where I was brought up. It’s a gorgeous church, inside and out and we were fortunate that the choir would be able to perform, making our service even more special.   We decided to hold our reception at Rushpool Hall, Saltburn-by-the-Sea, a real fairy tale princess castle from the outside but inside a warm and cosy environment with exceptional views.  We both fell in love with the venue from day 1 and knew this was for us.  We attended a wedding fayre at the hall where we met local suppliers that had been recommended.

I had first heard from friends prior to even getting engaged that a new bridal shop was going to be opening in our town and I instantly said ‘If Ian ever proposes, I’d love to go have a look’. A few months later, Sophia Jo opened 50 yards away from our family business! Our town is full of local independent businesses and Sophia Jo has brought so many new people to town. I reached out to the girls at Sophia Jo after falling in love with one of their dresses on Instagram, They were happy to answer any questions I had and suggested I came to the boutique to look at all their dresses in person.

I made an appointment for a browse and attended with my mum & two close friends; little did I know I’d end up ordering something completely different to what I had envisaged. The boutique is amazing, it has a range of bridal gowns, bridesmaids and prom wear and both Sophie and Jo were extremely professional and friendly, we were all made to feel so welcome.

Prior to attending my appointment, I’d seen so many dresses that I thought I “loved” online but hadn’t wanted to try them on due to my body shape. 

I was asked to pick out three of my favourite dresses from the boutique and explain what I liked about them. All three were very different and had something unique about them however they just didn’t suit me and I knew (and everyone else agreed!) that none of the dresses I had tried on were “The One”. 

Sophie and Jo then recommended that I try “Lily” on – I instantly felt amazing and had goosebumps. I walked out of the changing room, and onto the podium to see everyone welling up and I knew this was my dress. I felt like a million dollars, this dress fitted me perfectly and catered to my body shape. Any alterations or changes would only have made “Lily” even more fabulous. If I could have gotten married the day after trying her on, I would have.

Just 4 months after getting engaged the COVID pandemic hit the UK and we were unsure, along with many other couples, whether this would affect our plans as February 2021 seemed such a long way off.  The day we found out restrictions would be in place on our wedding day Ian was actually in the airport on his way to Krakow for his stag do. This meant we had to make a quick decision – either go ahead with limited numbers and hope for the best or postpone to a later date.  We liaised with both the church and Rushpool who offered us Friday 27th May 2022 and we both instantly said yes, as we started our crazy adventure on this date albeit in 2018!  Although there were lots of tears on my behalf, mainly because my nana had been so poorly in 2020 and I wanted her to see me get married we knew postponing was the right thing to do.  Getting married at the later date also meant family from Scotland, Kent & even Switzerland could attend but most importantly my nana was still here to see us tie the knot. 

We then had some more wonderful news as I learnt I was pregnant.  I visited a seamstress recommended by Jo and Laura was amazing.  With lots of reassurance and many appointments, Laura worked her magic and altered my full dress to accommodate my new body & ever-growing bump.

Along with my Phoenix Gown wedding dress, I was able to purchase my veil, which complemented my dress perfectly and will be used for Matilda’s christening gown, along with our bridesmaid dresses from Sophia Jo. 

On the day itself, any nerves I had prior to putting my dress on soon disappeared. I felt like a million dollars, both Jo & Sydney helped me into my dress and ensured everything was perfect in the bridal suite and at church. Our Peanut spent the full day kicking, so I’m presuming I had their seal of approval too! 

At 7 months pregnant, I successfully managed to stay in my dress from 11 am all the way to 21:30 pm which I am super proud of & eventually returned to our dance floor in my Bridal PJs.

Every supplier & business involved in our making our day special were within a 30-mile radius of our home. We couldn’t have managed without them all, a big thank you to you all. We would highly recommend each and every supplier we worked alongside.

Photographer – Emma Marie Photography-UK

Bridal dress – Sophia-Jo Bridal

Bridal alterations – Laura Day’s Dress Making Studio

Bridesmaid Dresses – The Only Way Dress c/o Sophia Jo Bridal

Suits – Bakers Tailoring

Flowers – Thyme to Bloom

Make up – Leanne Cavanagh MUA

Hair – House of Hair & Beauty

Venue – Rushpool Hall

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