Arranging to have some work done on her house led to love for Laura and Dan. 'What was supposed to be a simple one-day job turned into multiple visits over weeks with various parts of the job going wrong,' says Laura. 'Friends still can't decide if Dan messed up the job on purpose or whether I was sabotaging the work in-between visits! Either way, we got to spend a lot of time together and things developed pretty quickly from there.'
After their engagement at Haldon Belvedere, the stunning setting of their first date, the couple soon fell for the charms of another Devon beauty spot for their wedding venue. An idyllic rural backdrop for their 'bright and colourful' wedding, they decorated The Oak Barn in Hittisleigh Barton with a smattering of personal touches while showcasing its unique charm.
'Dan spent a lot of weekends spray-painting tin cans in bright colours for our table flowers,' says Laura. 'We aimed to make everything as personal as we could, so all place settings were photographs of the guests and the table plan was photos attached to flower tins on a pallet. Wedding favours were small glass bottles containing spirits that the guests had been able to select on their invitation.'
The most important thing, Laura says, 'was to create something that was as fun and relaxed as possible. It was really important to us that no one involved was anxious or worried about any part of the day, so we had no speeches, no traditional first dance or cutting of the cake: only drinking, garden games and dancing!'
A Friday evening barbecue set the relaxed mood; the next day, guests were welcomed early for drinks and garden games before the ceremony. 'The garden games were hilarious,' recalls Laura. 'We just spent most of the day laughing!'
'The ceremony was the favourite moment for us both,' reveals Laura. 'It was held in the Acorn Barn, which was just perfect. It felt really personal and we both laughed most of our way through it. It was the one moment of the day where we were totally focused on each other.'
CanapÃ©s, drinks and more games continued after the ceremony, helping guests to work up an appetite for the mouth-watering feast that followed. Starters of chicken liver parfait and crispy halloumi were followed by Elston Farm chicken breast, samphire and broad bean gnocchi. A delectable trio of desserts ' chocolate brownie, meringue with Chantilly cream and fruit compote, and Bailey's and vanilla crÃ¨me brÃ»lÃ©e ' completed the fabulous belly fill.
'There was very little structure to the day, and we were exceptionally lucky with the weather,' says Laura, reflecting on their day. 'Something that stands out to us were how utterly amazing and lovely most of our suppliers were.'
'Make the most of the help friends and family can offer,' she advises on one of the easiest ways to ensure a stress-free planning period. 'Above all else ' let things go. We wanted our wedding planning to be as fun as possible, so the moment something doesn't feel fun anymore then let it go.'