Laura and Matthew first met each other in sixth form 14 years ago, but it wasn’t until 2016 that they started dating. From that moment, the couple embarked on a journey together where they discovered more about one another and created everlasting memories. Laura says: “Matt proposed when we were on holiday in Cyprus. He didn’t know when he was going to do it but knew I had always loved my nana’s engagement ring, so several months earlier he had gone to see my mum to ask her permission to give it to me. He wrapped the ring in a pair of shorts and put them in the beach bag that I carried around for days! On the last evening, we went for a walk after a meal to our favourite spot, sat on a rock and he popped the question on the 25th September, 2018, and just shy of a year later we got married!”

The love boat: Image 1 The first step on the couple's list was finding the perfect venue in which to say 'I do'.

Laura says, "I'd always wanted to get married in a church in the village of Acklington where both of them had grown up. Not long after returning from Cyprus, we arranged to go and have a look with my auntie and uncle and fell in love with it." The couple held their reception in Acklington Village Hall.

Laura adds, "We didn't want to scrimp on our big day, but as we had plans to buy our first house together the same year, we wanted to be careful with our money and with the help of our family and friends, we knew we would be able to create something wonderful and personal."

The love boat: Image 2

The decoration and little touches were beautiful and went perfectly together. The main hall had been repainted a few weeks before the wedding and luckily matched the theme well – the ceiling had fairylights on which created the perfect atmosphere as well as ribbons and tassel bunting. Laura comments: "The festoon lighting around the garden and the fairylights in the marquee looked magical at night. The Gyzance room in the village hall was made into our bar, and chill-out area with a whiskey barrel bar ran by my auntie's best friends with sofas and chairs for our guest to relax in. Nautical lanterns rugs, the hull of an antique boat, ships wheels and flowers were used throughout the space."

The love boat: Image 3 For favours, the lovebirds had keyrings with everyone's names on a wooden key fob with reef knots on which doubled up as place names. Children had gift bags full of treats and fun activities to keep their little minds occupied during the speeches. Two sets of old oars, a fishing net, lobster boxes and brass portholes, rope and lanterns made up the table plan which made the couple's theme come to life. Each table was named after different parts of a navy ship. For example, the children's table was called the Powder Monkeys with the top table being the Bridge. Each one had beautiful calligraphy writing in a brass frame from The Crafthood. In the middle of each table were navy fabric runners, brass lanterns and rope covered beer bottles filled with white flowers all arranged by the bride's mum.

The love boat: Image 4

For flowers, the couple worked with Moira J Florist, which created a stunning bouquet with roses and thistles – a link to Laura's nan's heritage – a small photo, sixpence and her nan's wedding ring was added. The bridesmaids, Laura's sister and best friend Nicky, had bouquets of gypsophila while the flowergirls had lovely hoops with rope and gyp to tie into the theme. The company also created all the buttonholes for the groom and groomsmen.

The love boat: Image 4

When it came to catering, Laura says: "My auntie and family cooked all the food we ate during the day. Our guests were treated to a delicious homemade afternoon tea with pies, sandwiches, scones and cakes galore before then tucking into homemade vegetable soup. We has a grazing table and seven different flavoured jam jar desserts, including Bailey's chocolate brownie trifle and blueberry and lemon posset."

The love boat: Image 5 For her wedding dress Laura opted for a classic sheath gown from Anna Sorrano, which looked stunning and finished off the look with her mum's cathedral-length veil and her nan's silver necklace. As the groom's family are Scottish, Matt and the best man wore a kilt called the Grey Spirit and Laura's dad and uncle wore a Gordonstyle one. The bridesmaids all looked beautiful in navy dresses with cream lace detail around the waist while the flowergirls wore white ones with a navy ribbon sash to match the colour scheme.

The love boat: Image 6 A massive hit with guests were the outside games which kept everyone entertained throughout the day. To keep the party going, guests helped choose a playlist before the evening, which a DJ played on the night.

The love boat: Image 7 Laura and Matthew's day was full of so many memorable moments. Laura says, "I had the most relaxing morning, which started with a walk on the beach at sunrise with my mum and uncle. I was surrounded by the people who meant most to me and received beautiful sentimental gifts. It wasn't until I stepped into my dress that the nerves started." Matt was excited from the moment he woke up and before he got to the church, the nerves kicked in, with Laura's late arrival adding to them!

The love boat: Image 8 Matt says: "On the day, Laura stood out the most for me, especially when I saw her and her dad coming down the aisle."

The love boat: Image 9 For Laura, the moment that stood out was seeing her dad. She says: "His face was both emotional and memorable, he looked so proud to be wearing a kilt and I've honestly never seen the way he looked at me before. Another moment was when we turned up at our reception, walking into the garden and seeing everything set up – I'll never forget how amazing our wedding looked!"

The love boat: Image 10 A moment that took Laura by surprise was hearing her dad's speech, she was expecting it to be a funny one but was so surprised at how heartfelt it was, a beautiful moment shared with their nearest and dearest.

After such a lovely speech, it was time for Matt's, andhe didn't disappoint!

He says, "Before the poem bit of myspeech, I couldn't read it because I was that nervous. Imessed up the first parts quite a bit, but I was okay by thetime I got to the poem. Laura made the day special forme, I just felt so lucky to be there with her, and shelooked amazing."

The love boat: Image 11 Their whole wedding day was extremely personal with the help of their family and Laura's aunty who helped organise everything, from the moment the pair got engaged to the moment they said 'I do'.

The love boat: Image 12 Laura says: "Without my aunty Jane (Birdcages andDragonflies) we certainly wouldn't have had the perfect wedding. She organised everything, helped us choose our reception, dress it, and created the most personal touches to the point it looked picture perfect on the day. From the day we got engaged, she was there helping and planning it all, reassuring us and going above and beyond. The number of people who said it was the best wedding they have ever been to shows the effort she put in."

The love boat: Image 13 The pair jetted to Cyprus for 10 days to the same place where they got engaged to celebrate. Here they spent time remembering the magical day and creating more amazing memories.

Laura shares the couple's top tip from the day saying, "Speak to someone who knows what needs to be done! No matter what your budget is, they can help save you money because they know the tricks of the trade, suppliers they trust and see the quality of their work. We were lucky my auntie was able to do this for us, she kept us on target with a budget and the tasks we needed to be doing. "We suggest never overlook a venue on first impressions; sometimes a blank space allows you to create the most personal of weddings."

Laura and Matthew's contact book

Bar equipment

Barn on the Bay
www.barnonthebay.com

Bouquet ribbon

Bride's dress

Bridesmaids' dresses

Bridesmaids' dresses

Calligraphy

The Crafthood
Tel: 07790 446 473

Favours and name places

Flowers

Furniture, prop hire and catering

Birdcages and Dragonflies
www.birdcagesanddrgonflies.com

Groom's suit

Hair and make-up

Hannah Ross
Tel: 07444 088 429

Photographer,

Victoria Sponge Photography
www.victoriaspongephotography.co.uk

Stationery

Ginger Buttom Designs
www.gingerbuttondesigns.co.uk

Venue

Acklington Village Hall
Tel: 01670 761 451