Laura and Tony's dads were school friends and ended up running a judo club together in East London. While there were plenty of photos of Laura and Tony together as children, it wasn't until a judo club reunion when they were adults that something started to blossom. "We saw each other a couple of times after that, one of which was Tony's dad's surprise birthday party," Laura says. "I nearly didn't go because my hair wouldn't go right, but after a stern talking to from my dad I got ready and went. Tony and I talked for most of the evening, and three weeks later I had practically moved in with him!"
Tony had planned to pop the question in Las Vegas, but sadly Laura’s dad was very ill so the holiday got cancelled. Instead, he hatched a plan to do it on a day out in London, convincing Laura that a break from hospital visits would do her good. “After a drink in Covent Garden, we walked to the restaurant he had booked, Clos Maggiore,” Laura remembers. “We were sat in a corner upstairs without much space – not the grand room he had imagined we’d be sitting in. Tony started fidgeting in his seat, fumbled in his back pocket, pulled out a ring and asked me to marry him. This was quickly followed by him saying, ‘I can’t get on one knee, there’s not enough room!’ to which I cracked up laughing, and of course, said ‘Yes.’”
A couple of weeks later, the happy couple went to Hatton Garden where they had Laura’s ring made, as Tony had proposed with a back-up ring. “After picking it up, we went to The Shard to celebrate and he dropped to one knee and proposed again!” Laura smiles. We caught up with the bride to find out how they planned their dream day at Old Brook Barn on 24th August, 2019.
Laura and Tony tied the knot at St James and St John, Havering-atte-Bower, before heading to the beautiful Old Brook Barn for their post-vow celebrations. "We wanted somewhere with history," Laura tells us. "We loved the vintage, rustic feel." They chose a quintessentially English theme to bring their wedding to life, a vintage fun fair, and they accented it all with a navy and blush palette.
"Being avid DIYers and with my previous career being a prop and set-builder, we knew that a lot of our day would be bespoke and handmade by us," Laura explains. The day was brimming with personal touches. They placed a fishing box by the river with a light shining in the water in memory of Laura's dad, as well as using dried flowers from his funeral as confetti. The floral arrangements were made from gorgeous faux blooms, while the rustic vibe was seen through the log slices, the vintage suitcase table plan and the cake. The pair travelled in style in a white Beauford, while guests enjoyed being transported in a vintage bus.
Laura looked stunning in her timeless gown. "I don't do lace, and I knew I wanted a simple, classic dress," she says. "I accessorised it with a belt, hairslide and simple jewellery, while my hair and make-up artist made me feel like a model!" The bride treated herself to four pairs of shoeson the day: aisle shoes, day shoes, flip flops and trainers!
The men and the bridesmaids complemented the theme perfectly. "The boys wore navy suits and navy ties, while Tony stood out with pink accessories," Laura says. "They looked great alongside my best girls in blush pink dresses with lace sleeves."
For the reception, the couple pulled out all the stops by building their very own vintage fun fair. "We had lots of games, from a coconut shy and hook-the-duck to a ring toss and tug-of-war," Laura says.
"We had lots of games, from a coconut shy and hook-the-duck to a ring toss and tug-of-war," Laura says. "It worked brilliantly, with everyone competing, mingling and having a great time." The party got started in the evening with singer Fil Straughan, which was followed by a DJ and bongo player in the evening to get the crowd on the dancefloor.
So how did the loved-up newlyweds feel on the day? "We felt amazing and so very lucky," Laura says. "We have some incredible memories, including my brother walking me down the aisle and seeing Tony with tears in his eyes. The balloon release we did for my dad was a moment of stillness, which was lovely. We also had lots of amazing speeches from our nearest and dearest."
There were also tales of the tug-of-war rope being used as a skipping rope. "My sister-in-law thought she was 14 again and tried skipping – she broke her ankle!" Laura laughs.
Hair and make-up