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Down by the riverside

Simple elegance shone through at Laura and Richard's gorgeous Greenwich wedding

Laura & Richard: In the beginning…

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Dating the boss isn’t always a recipe for lasting happiness, but for Laura, dating her best friend’s manager blossomed into a long-term relationship and beautiful London wedding. Richard popped the question after eight years of dating in June 2009, in NYC’s stunning Rivington Hotel (hotelonrivington.com). “We’d been out to dinner, then to the top of The Empire State Building. I think he would have proposed then, but was too scared of the height,” Laura remembers. “ I wasn’t completely surprised, everyone had expected it for a long time, but I wasn’t anticipating it in our hotel room!”

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Photography by Marianne Taylor

Laura & Richard: The venue

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Back in London, the couple drew on inspiration from weddings they’d been to together to create their dream day. “We talked over past weddings, and paid attention at those we were invited to, trying to work out what guests liked and didn’t,” Laura explains. And first on their to-do list was finding the perfect venue. “We didn’t want somewhere that felt like we were on a wedding conveyer belt, and The Trafalgar in Greenwich allowed us to tailor-make our day just the way we wanted it.”

Laura & Richard: 30 dresses

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After considering more than 30 dresses, Laura chose the very first one she’d tried on, an oyster-coloured satin La Sposa gown with a train. She teamed it with gold snakeskin Ted Baker peep-toes, a silver and pearl Tiffany & Co. bracelet (Richard’s wedding gift) and chandelier earrings by Mikey. She finished it off with an ivory cathedral-length veil by Richard Designs. “I was very pleased with my choice, it pulled my whole look together and really made me a bride – especially as the rest of my outfit was so simple.”

Laura & Richard: Suits you

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Richard wore a classic blue three-piece suit with a white shirt, both from Reiss. He teamed this with a blue and purple floral tie from Marks & Spencer and a purple pocket handkerchief from Tie Rack, which all the groomsmen wore. He finished off his dapper look with brown shoes from Nicole Farhi and Swarovski cufflinks.

Laura & Richard: Maid up

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Laura’s two bridesmaids wore silver shot-silk strapless knee-length dresses from Coast with purple pashminas from Tie Rack to match the colour of the groomsmen’s ties.

Laura & Richard: An eggcellent reception!

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Laura softened the room with a scattering of rose petals, and tables were decorated with purple and green hydrangeas…and Kinder Eggs! “We didn’t want to waste money on favours people wouldn’t use or want. The eggs were a great talking point as everyone made their toys – way more fun than just a bit of chocolate!”

Laura & Richard: A design for life

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Laura created all the invitations, table menus, place names and orders of service herself. “ I was adamant from the start I’d do my own stationery as I’m a designer and it’s something I love doing,” she says.

Laura & Richard: The flowers

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Laura carried a bouquet of purple and green hydrangeas and green roses by Karen Woolven. The centrepieces were made up of matching purple and green hydrangeas and to add extra interest, half were tall displays and half were low.

Laura and Richard: Sweet love

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The couple’s three-tier cake was created by The Sugarplum Cake Company, and was made up of a layer of truffle torte, a layer of carrot cake and was topped off by a layer of light lemon sponge.

Laura & Richard: Just gotta get a message to you…

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“We invested in a guestbook made by our photographer using pictures from the engagement shoot,” Laura says. “This was such a good idea as it got people talking and motivated them to write in it. I’ve been to so many weddings where there’s a blank 50-page book and it’s so daunting that people often don’t bother. Ours was full to the brim with messages and we even ran out of room!”

Laura & Richard: Words of wisdom

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“My motto was ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’,” Laura says. “Would you notice if someone matched the ribbon on favour boxes to the ribbon on the cake? Think about what you liked at other weddings, focus on these things, and enjoy every moment.”

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Photography by Marianne Taylor