When you were at school was there a good-looking older boy you always had your eye on? For Larissa, that boy was James. "He was a couple of years older than me," she says. "I always fancied him but he didn't know I existed!" A few years later they bumped into each other in their local shop while Larissa was in 80s-style fancy dress. "He sent me a message on Facebook saying I looked very colourful," she says. "After texting for a few weeks we went on our first proper date."
It wasn't long before James was planning to pop the question. He bought the ring and had to hide it for months before the right opportunity arose. "We went on holiday to Majorca," Larissa remembers. "Apparently he planned to propose on the second night, but after finding the perfect spot on day one he couldn't wait any longer." As the pair stepped onto a bridge to take a photo, he got down on one knee. Larissa was totally shocked, but of course she said "yes."
Back in the UK, the loved-up couple got cracking on organising their dream day for 23rd May, 2019. Larissa continues the story…
We were originally looking for a marquee at a manor house for our venue.We viewed a few but soon realised it wasn't for us. We went to Houchins' wedding show to find some suppliers and as soon as we arrived we started falling for it. When we walked around and noticed all its lovely little details we knew it was the place for us.
We opted for a light blue and navy palette. James' mum arranged all our bouquets and florals. She's only ever done it as a hobby before but we loved the personal touch she brought and she knew exactly what we wanted.
We kept the centrepieces quite minimal so our loved ones could see each other and it didn't overpower the setting. We had mirror plates with a single white rose in a vase filled with water and a floating candle on the top. The look was finished with scattered diamond pebbles.
Splinters Catering were amazing and made everything exactly how we wanted it. So many guests complimented the food and there were no leftovers!
We were lucky enough to have one of my talented bridesmaids make our cake. It was one main tier and the rest was cupcakes. The topper said, "Always and forever," as that's how we sign off our text messages.
I wore a satin A-line Sophia Tolli gown from Serenity Brides. It wasn't what I imagined myself wearing, but I tried on four dresses before that and didn't get the feeling you hear brides talking about! I didn't like the dress on the hanger but when I put it on my whole bridal party cried! I knew it was the one.
After deciding where everyone was going to sit, we wanted to make our table plan as simple as possible.We used a multi-photo frame and finished it off with pictures of us in the empty spaces. James' dad hand-wrote the place settings on tags, which we attached to our favours.
For our disco we used a family friend's company, Wow Roadshow. It was lovely to have that personal touch as they were chatting with guests and getting involved. We also had a magic mirror photo booth, which our guests loved as they got a memento to take home.
The men looked dashing in navy slim-fit suits from Anthony Formal Wear. My eight-year-old son, Ryan, wore the same and I found a matching suit for our one-year-old son, Harry, online! My best girls looked beautiful in dusky blue strappy maxi styles.
I suffer with anxiety and thought I'd be a mess in the morning, but I was surprised at how calm I was. James was excited in the morning; I think the McDonald's breakfast helped! He started getting nervous as he got ready, but that was more to do with his speech.
One of the best men lives in Australia and didn't think he'd make the wedding. I messaged him explaining how much it'd mean to James and he managed to make the epic journey and be there. He gave the most incredible speech, as did my son, Ryan. He stood up on a chair and soon had everyone in tears.