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An Elegant Summer Garden Party Wedding in the English Countryside

By Shayna Seid | Photography by 

Emilie White

Laurie Annie Hayward, a Global Senior Activations & Events Manager at Charlotte Tilbury, and Lee James Hayward, an account executive at Salesforce, met more than 13 years ago at a mutual friend’s birthday party at a cricket club; however, they merely locked eyes across the room and shared small talk. “Ten years later, Lee popped up on my Instagram feed, and I plucked up the courage to message him,” Laurie says. After two years of dating, he proposed while on a trip to Barcelona. 

Lee began planning the October proposal in July, when he designed the ring with Kinvara Law, using her mother’s Tanzanite as the feature stone. Once it was ready, months later, he asked Laurie’s father’s permission and whisked her away to Spain. “He had planned to take me on a hot air balloon ride, but it was storming when we arrived, so, instead, we went for a lavish lunch and then a walk to the most beautiful park at sunset. He proposed in a hidden corner of the park by a lake, and I, of course, said, ‘Yes!!!’”

Immediately, the engaged couple knew that they wanted to host their celebration at Laurie’s parents’ home in the English countryside. The day’s aesthetic was to be a mix of “British brilliance, effortless elegance, and relaxed fun,” and the theme was “Shepherds sky”—“the moment the sun rises or falls, and you have the most beautiful array of peaches, blues, and blush hues across the sky. It is our favourite time of day and when Lee proposed to me,” the bride says. As Laurie lives and breathes events on the daily at Charlotte Tilbury, she knew she could handle planning her big day, so she only lightly relied on Kerry Poulter during the planning process and over the wedding weekend.

For her bridal look, Laurie wanted a mix of British princess and bohemian goddess, so she went the bespoke route. She found her custom, floral Suzanne Neville gown at Ellie Sanderson in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire and worked closely with Ellie to design an organza wrap with appliqués that matched the dress. “Ellie said she was going to call the wrap the ‘Laurie!’”  

Through work, Laurie met her close friend and wedding-day makeup artist, Kelly Dawn Mitchell. “She, of course, used all the Tilbury products. I went for a glowing look which featured a pink glossy lip called Dancefloor Princess!” the bride says. Prior to the day, Laurie went for regular facials at Cowshed Spa at Soho Farmhouse and had her hair cut and colored by Lilli Bridger and Harriet Muldo of Larry King in South Kensington. And on the day of, Victoria Ralph Hair styled the the bride’s waved hair in loose bun.

At Laurie’s parents’ local Church of England parish, the local vicar married the couple in an intimate ceremony. After sharing a first kiss as a married pair, guests reunited on the top lawn of the house, under two peaked tents, for a champagne welcome.  Everyone was then invited to wander through the rose gardens to the candlelit marquee supper tent, decorated with eight sunset-colored pampas floral installations created by Georgia from Studio Sorores

At one point during the meal, “Everything” by Michael Bublé came on, and spontaneously, guests began clapping to the beat, swinging napkins in the air, and singing along. “The marquee tent was filled with joy, song, and happiness; it was a moment Lee and I will never forget. I remember us both standing up and dancing with the napkins floating around and thinking this is euphoria!!” Laurie says.

After a delicious, seated, Italian-inspired wedding breakfast, the secret entrance to the dancing marquee was revealed, where the wedding cake, cocktail bar, vintage photo booth, and dance floor were waiting. The Briggs Street Players played a rousing first set, and then DJ Zulu took over the party.

The bride made a quick change into a gown from the ASOS wedding collection for her first dance to “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” by Frankie Valli. “I received so many compliments from my wedding guests! It allowed me to party till the early hours!”