Musicians Lauren and Tim met in the most romantic setting – a wedding – where a mutual friend did some skilful matchmaking. "We ended up talking late into the night," Lauren says. And the rest is history.
"I went on a four-week U.S. tour with Rick Astley," Lauren says. "While I was away, Tim worked on fixing up our house." His plan was to propose to Lauren in their wonderful new home when she got back, but it didn't quite pan out that way. Tim got booked for a gig in Egypt, with the flight departing an hour after Lauren arrived back in London. Not wanting to wait any longer, Tim met Lauren in Costa Coffee at Heathrow Airport's Terminal 5.
“He showed me a photo-montage of the house,” Lauren remembers. “I was a blubbering mess, I couldn’t believe what he’d achieved!” Tim explained that he’d done all the work so he could take her into the garden and pop the question, as he said this he pulled a ring from his suitcase and dropped to the floor. “I went home on Cloud 9,” Lauren says. “We never imagined we’d get engaged in a Costa Coffee, but our life is rarely predictable!”
The pair soon set the date for 12th January, 2019, at Old Finsbury Town Hall, and being behind London music agency Next Level Music, they got to work planning the ultimate party…
Initially drawn to Old Finsbury Town Hall because of its dry-hire service and extended curfew, it was the grandeur of the Great Hall that captivated the couple. "We were struck by the romanticism and history of the place," Lauren remembers. "It wasn't like any venue we had played at, which was important to us; we wanted something different."
The couple chose a mauve and burgundy palette to tie their winter wedding together, and the florals complemented the look. Lauren says, "For the bouquets, I wanted an explosion of textures, blooms and exposed stems; our florist created it perfectly. We used hydrangeas for the bridesmaids' arrangements as they were large enough to only need a couple of flowers with some eucalyptus to get the stye we wanted." Top tip: after the photos, they used the bouquets to brighten up the ladies' toilets!
Lighting was key for the couple. The table centrepieces were pretty wisteria trees entwined with twinkling lights, candles flickered and uplighters created an inviting atmosphere. "In our line of work, we've seen spaces transformed with lighting," Lauren says. "Colour-changing uplighters really set the mood, as we started with a beautiful golden glow in the day, which turned into vibrant pinks and purples for the reception."
Getting in the party spirit from the outset, the pair combined their table plan with a drinking game called Find Your Face, Find Your Place. "We printed photos of our guests and placed them on top of assorted shots," Lauren explains. "We love the photos of our guests laughing at their picture before grimacing at the shot! I especially love the photo of my grandmother downing sambuca like it was water!" Guests were also treated to eco-friendly seed favours, which grow into forget-me-nots when planted.
"We didn't want a cake as we felt that the whole cake-cutting thing was a bit awkward for us," Lauren says. "Instead we had a five-tier cheese stack and a custom topper. We also served doughnuts and sweet treats with our evening food."
Guests dined on a delicious Indian banquet, as it's Tim's favourite food. "Everyone commented on how amazing the catering was," the bride says. "La Fresh co were brilliant at meeting the dietary requirements for anyone who couldn't eat the curry."
In the evening, a 4ft grazing table was brought out for loved ones to feast on incredible fresh produce and some Greek dishes to reflect Lauren's heritage.
The bride arrived in a traditional white taxi, while a fleet of black taxis was booked for the groomsmen and bridesmaids. "We're not sure if it was because of a mix up or nerves, but the guys ended up walking to the venue!" Lauren says.
Lauren found her Anna Sorrano dress, Amore, by chance. "We were shopping for my sister's wedding dress," Lauren recalls. "I saw it on a mannequin and my heart started racing – I had to try it. I adored the fit-and-flare style and how the fabric shone in the light." On the day, the dress fit like a glove and the bride teamed it with a sparkly belt, silk veil and a white fluffy bolero for a wintry vibe. "The dress was under budget," Lauren says. "This meant I could have a second dress for the evening with a bit more pizzazz! I found a white sequinned number with a feathered bottom, which I accessorised with personalised Nike high tops."
Tim's suave burgundy velvet tux was custom-made by Swatch to Suit. Lauren says, "We chose the fabric and lining and they even added a cigar pocket and embossed our initials on the inside of the jacket." The groomsmen wore classic black tuxes and looked brilliant next to the bridesmaids' in floor length numbers. "I wanted them to choose their own styles in either pale pink or burgundy," Lauren says. "My bridesmaids are all gorgeous and I wanted them to look and feel their best. My dashing bridesman wore a fabulous pink linen suit with burgundy accessories."
Being musicians and wedding professionals themselves, it was important to the couple to fill their day with music and joy.
"Our amazing bridal party sang Ain't No Mountain, complete with a flash mob!" Lauren tells us.
"While we signed the register our bridesmaid, Kate, sang Angel of Mine. There wasn't a dry eye in the house."
Tim's granny is a professional pianist, so between dinner and dancing, she held a Christmas song sing-a-long nicknamed Gran-a-oke, with friends and family joining in and belting out tunes!
Guests had a real treat in store, as the couples put together three bespoke bands from the very best musicians they know, starting with a mix of disco, soul and Motown classics. "Our aim was to create an electric atmosphere," Lauren says. "It was fantastic seeing our friends, parents and grandparents all on the dancefloor."
The party was raging from the get-go, but it kicked up a notch when Lauren's boss, none other than Rick Astley, took to the stage for a set. "Tim and I jumped up to join him," Lauren remembers. "We did a rather drunken rendition of Rick's classic Never Gonna Give You Up – much to everyone's delight!"
What followed was an incredible line-up of bands, a full-scale dance-off and a DJ playing nostalgic garage and RnB hits. "It was more effort for us to organise our own music rather than hire a band," Lauren explains. "But we trusted in what we've built at Next Level Music and knew the show element we offer was exactly what we needed. We put on an event we'll remember forever!"
When it came to describing how they felt, the newlyweds struggled to find the words. Lauren says, "We can't believe that it happened. It was such a surreal and beautiful experience. We've never felt so loved and supported. There was a moment at dinner when we looked around at all our family and friends and we just felt so proud that we'd pulled it off." A special shout-out has to go to their photographer, Kirsty Mackenzie Photography, who went above andbeyond. "She's an absolute gem and her work speaks for itself. She's a genius – so much so my sister has booked her as well!"
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