Real Weddings

Justin Alexander for a Modern Vintage Wedding at The Carriage Hall – Lauren & Gregory

Sarah Symonds

We’re getting all heart-eyed today on the blog. Newlyweds Lauren and Gregory have shared their big day with us and we’re absolutely loving the fun and style brought to life in this autumnal wedding.

The evident warmth of these gorgeous photographs really makes the colour scheme pop and adds the perfect glow to an already magical celebration. Autumn is the perfect time of year for a cosy, jewel toned wedding and we love beautiful Lauren’s bold red lip, adding a touch of vintage glam and tying the beauty look into the overall palette of the day.

The art deco-esque beading of the gorgeous Justin Alexander gown adds a little 20s style, and Lauren is totally rocking it. Pair that with the modern neon lights, offering the perfect contrast to the old exposed brick and solid wooden beams, and we’re onto a winner. The original features of a venue are always what really sets it apart and The Carriage Hall in Nottingham is no exception. Let’s get all the deets…

With photography by Matthew Fox Photography


Lauren says: We got engaged at the Grand Canyon! We went to Las Vegas for a holiday in May 2016, and we booked a helicopter trip to the Grand Canyon on the 5th May. Once we arrived and were exploring the grounds, he called me over to look at a creature, which wasn’t there, instead he was on one knee with the most beautiful black diamond in his hand! I was so shocked, and of course, I cried yes!


We got married on the 12th of October 2019 at The Carriage Hall, Plumtree, Nottingham. I wanted an autumn wedding, as I love the deep colours of autumn.

I loved the look of the whole venue and grounds, it was perfect. The bare brick walls with wooden beams and giant chandeliers, with a mezzanine overlooking the main hall, clear glass, cosy sofas and fairy lights, gave it all the modern vintage vibe I was going for! The outside of the building is stunning too. Being a renovated train station, it’s certainly different to a typical wedding venue and is presented beautifully!


Modern vintage was the look I was going for. Everything I picked seemed to eventually come together in a modern vintage vibe which I loved!

Our colour scheme was jewelled toned and lots of greenery! Main colours were burgundy, deep red, burnt orange with pops of ivory/pale pink. With it being an autumn wedding and the venue being bare brick walls, I felt the colours went beautifully together! I went for a deep red lipstick to match the feel, too!


I chose a fitted, embellished dress, with a mesh plunge front, a mesh buttoned back and a train, designed by Justin Alexander, a part of the signature range. It was love at first sight for me with the dress. It wasn’t what I was expecting to wear but I went to a wedding fair called I Do in Doncaster, and they had a catwalk modelling dresses from different suppliers who had stands around the event. I saw it on the girl modelling, went up to her and asked where I could get it! She took me to the supplier’s stand which was It’s Bliss Bridal in Doncaster. I booked an appointment for literally 24 hours after, tried it on and bought it in an instant!


Greg wore a navy three-piece suit from Suit Direct, a white shirt and a mink bow tie which I had made by Matchimony on Not On The High Street. Greg had the bow tie to match our son’s bow tie too. They both wore brown leather shoes.

Our groomsmen also wore navy three-piece suits from Suit Direct which matched the groom, a white shirt and ties made by Matchimony in mink too.


My bridesmaids wore an ASOS wrap dress in rust. Beautiful and very flattering. I had seven bridesmaids, all different shapes and sizes and this dress flattered every single one of them!

My flower girl wore an ivory lace dress from River Island and ivory shoes.


Makeup was by Natasha Jane Makeup for me, my maid of honour and my mum. I had another make up artist called Sarah Louise Make-Up Artistry for the remaining six bridesmaids.

Hair was by Vicki Beall Hair Design for me, my maid of honour and my mum.

I had another hairdresser called Nadia Storey from Hair by Nadia for the remaining six bridesmaids.


My dad drove me to the venue from the hotel which I stayed in the night before in West Bridgford. He hired a car for the weekend from a company in Sheffield, the car he hired was a black Mercedes Benz.


We went with Matthew Fox Photography. I would highly recommend Matthew! We followed each other on Instagram for a few years previous which is how I knew him. We didn’t meet in person until the eve of the wedding as he lives in Cornwall so it’s a bit of a trek, but I just knew I’d made the right choice! He had the exact style and feel of photography I was after, which was relaxed! I didn’t want the photos to be structured and he enjoyed taking natural photos anyway. I barely knew he was there for most of the day/evening, he captured the moments beautifully without people even realising. He went above and beyond for us and stayed even longer than originally planned. He made us feel so relaxed, it was a pleasure having him as our photographer! One of my best friends booked him for her wedding after seeing how good he was at ours!


I carried a range of flowers in different shades and textures, including deep red roses, orange roses, quicksand roses, pink peonies, lisianthus, parva foliage, eucalyptus, and a few others but I’m not sure of the names! My florist was called Andrea O’Connell.

I had extra flowers left from my visit to the flower warehouse with Andrea, so the night before my mum and I displayed them in various glass decanters which I had collected from local car boot sales. I used these to decorate the venue and aisle. I then moved them to the tables during our wedding breakfast, together with large gold candelabras hired by Just a Little Sparkle.

I read a couple of the Brides Up North Real Wedding blogs in the run up to our wedding. They inspired certain aspects and styles I brought to my wedding, and especially influenced the style of photography. A lot of Brides Up North brides have the relaxed feel which I love!

We had a backdrop for photos, greenery with lots of autumnal, jewel toned flowers which matched my bouquet, supplied by Georgie M Designs.


I included the table settings as favours as they were geometric glass coasters personalised with each guest’s name. They got to take them home at the end of the day.


I chose a two-tier ivory cake by Pink Peppercorn Cakes, with deep red icing diamonds and ovals scattered on the front, and bronze, gold and ivory sugar pearls. It was displayed on a minimal gold cake stand in a cake hoop with greenery and fairy lights.


After the ceremony we had drinks and canapes. I then chose a three course meal for the wedding breakfast with two options, which were Perkins own smoked salmon, tiger prawn and radicchio salad, Marie Rose mayonnaise, ravigôte dressing or roast tomato and basil soup.

Mains were either roast suprême of local chicken, creamed potato, green beans, caramelised shallots and mushroom cream sauce or slow braised blade of beef fondant potato, Yorkshire pudding, koffman cabbage, green beans, red wine jus and horseradish. Dessert was sticky toffee pudding, toffee sauce, vanilla ice cream or Key Lime pie, mandarin sorbet. We had prosecco to toast and a choice between red or white house wine on the tables.

Evening food was a ‘minis buffet’ which included mini burgers with relish, mini fish and chips, mini spiced chickpea burgers with mayonnaise & tomato, mini hot dogs with fried onions and french fries.


I chose The Carriage Halls resident DJ. His name was Chris and I gave him a playlist for the night which was to our music taste. We hired a singer for the drinks and canapes part of the day, called Brad Matthews. He had played at the venue before so he knew them, which made it really easy for me. I just sent him a playlist of the songs I would like and he blew everyone away! He was amazing and exactly what I wanted! He had everyone up dancing on the mezzanine! Amazing.

Special touches

I bought some gold Ginger Ray photo frames to scatter about the venue with photos in from random special moments of our lives together, including our first photo together as school kids when we were 14, one of us just after we had got engaged at the Grand Canyon and one of us as a family after I had just given birth to our son, Thomas.

I also added some meaningful quotes and song lyrics including lyrics from my favourite song, Bon Jovi’s Always which read “I’ll be there, till the stars don’t shine, ‘Til the heavens burst and the words don’t rhyme, I know when I die you’ll be on my mind, And I’ll love you, always”. Another was from our favourite TV show, One Tree Hill. I had the quote ““Imagine a future moment in your life where all your dreams come true, you know? It’s the greatest moment of your life and you get to experience it with one person. Who’s standing next to you?”

Thanks to

Our absolutely stunning venue and attentive staff did everything possible to make our day run smoothly! In the run up to the wedding, they never once acted as if I was bothering them in any way, with my 9000 questions, phone calls and emails!

I would also highly recommend our photographer. He was just perfect and, like I said before, he made us feel so relaxed. And obviously, the pictures were absolutely stunning!

Best bit

Oh wow, that’s a hard question! Everything did literally go perfectly so it’s hard to choose a certain part. We did love the drinks and canapes part. We got to chat to all our guests, enjoy the singer, have some special newlywed moment shots of just us two. The weather was stunning so it was lovely to be so chilled outside with drinks and all our closest friends and family! Also, the speeches were a best bit! They were hilarious, my dad and our best man absolutely smashed it!


We had two! We had a ‘minimoon’, which we went on a couple of days after our wedding, just Greg and I for a few days. We went to Venice first for three nights then flew to Paris for two nights. It was lovely to spend some newlywed quality time after a hectic year of planning! We had beautiful weather in Venice and it is now our favourite city break and we will be returning! It unfortunately rained a lot in Paris but we had a lovely time regardless. Plenty of food and drink and well-deserved chill time.

Our proper honeymoon was the month after, we went to Mexico for two weeks in November. We took our little boy with us and also Greg’s mum and dad. They let us have a couple of nights off and looked after Thomas while we either went for a nice meal or on a trip etc.

We stayed at the Riu Tequila in Playa Del Carmen. The hotel was fabulous! We went all inclusive so made most of the free champagne around the pool on a daily basis, and had lots of fun with our little boy!


My biggest tip would be, go for what you want and try not to listen to others too much, it’s your day and everything should reflect the two of you and be what makes you happy. Be strong minded and don’t let others influence your choices! We did everything our way and it really reflected on our day, it was just perfect.

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