LAURYN’S WEDDING PLANS

 

Lauryn, Learning & Interpretation Officer at Osterley Park, reveals the moment her fiance Laura proposed, and fills us in on all the exciting details of her perfect wedding…

 

 

Lauryn, Learning & Interpretation Officer. Osterley Park

Lauryn, Learning & Interpretation Officer. Osterley Park

 

Here in the office we watched her in the early stages of meeting her new love who would eventually become the one she would marry, and in turn went on a journey with her from her first date through to her proposal.

 

Now with a few bad dates behind her and a ring on her finger, it looks like all of Lauryn’s dreams are coming true.

 

 

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The pair actually met in the city in which they are to marry after a few chance encounters “we met just as the Olympics were finishing up so there was a really good buzz around East London” said Lauryn. “We figured out that a week before meeting, we had been in the same park about 10 metres away watching the Spice Girls at the closing ceremony”.

 

It seems that even after a short skirt and ping-pong incident, the 27 year old still managed to pull off the charm and on their first year anniversary Laura popped the question.

 

“In the morning she gave me a London A-Z and I found out she had planned a treasure hunt all over London, visiting places we had great memories in like ‘The Wildlife Photographer of the year’ exhibition at NHM, and also some new places like walking over the o2”.

 

Apparently Laura was willing to go that extra mile and even faced her fears for Lauryn’s proposal.

 

“She took me on the emirates cable car line” Lauryn told me. “She’s terrified of heights, so when we started our journey up in the car she threw herself on the floor and shut her eyes saying ‘just enjoy it darling, have fun please’!”

 

laura lauryn

 

The fun they must have together is extremely apparent and Laura’s imaginative surprises didn’t stop there.

 

Lauryn tells me “we commute to work together and during some escalator works at Highbury & Islington the guy who does the announcement in the station became a really familiar voice. On the day, we were walking through the station and all of a sudden the speaker boomed out ‘THIS IS A SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT, Happy anniversary Lauryn from Laura’. She continues to tell me “everyone clapped and screamed in the tunnel whilst I was standing there like a shocked fish, with my mouth wide open”.

 

It didn’t stop there as Laura finally asked her to marry her whilst they were sitting on top of a climbing frame in a park in London Fields.

 

 

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At the moment they live in their East London apartment, where they grow their own veg in the garden and enjoy spending weekends making it their home together. No longer living the ‘rock star’ lifestyle the pair enjoy weekends away recently visiting a Shepherd’s hut in Hampshire with no running water, gas or electricity. Lauryn explains “it took us two hours to make a cup of tea on the wood burning stove and we went on a 12 mile walk just for 1 pint of cider”.

 

The self-confessed history buff, ‘I am really in to museums and heritage sites so Laura gets dragged to a lot of those’, has gone from one extreme to the other with her wedding plans. ‘We were looking at a huge venue on the Thames with over a 100 guests, a boat and gourmet dinner but it was sending me slightly loopy, and I was worried it was too far from what I originally wanted so we scaled back and cancelled everything’.

 

With the couple officially becoming ‘The Carters’ on the 14th August 2015, Lauryn says she feels thankful for her friends and family and “I’m so happy my mum will see me married, I can’t imagine the persecution gay people in Russia, Uganda and all over the world face. It just makes me so happy and proud to live in the UK”.

 

The couple have finally settled on a town hall ceremony followed by a reception held at a Canal side venue in East London – “it’s much more relaxed and just ‘us” Lauryn tells me.

 

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One thing for sure is that their day will be full of unique touches, with a best friend in fashion making Lauryn’s dress and the pair plan on growing lots of pot plants and baskets themselves. However, they will have some luxuries on the day as Lauryn’s reveals “The one thing were splurging on is the music-a tribute band-but we can’t spoil the surprise!”

 

Marrying in London was an essential venue requirement for the day “I love a wedding bash but sometimes travel and hotels can be a bit exhausting, so I was keen that all of our friends would have a relaxed day and a quick-ish journey home”. Lauryn continues “I think a city wedding is just amazing and because my ceremony isn’t until 2pm I’m going to plan something fun for the morning”. Lauryn did tell me she considered Osterley Park but it’s just a bit too far from where they live!

 

I’m wishing this fun and impulsive couple a wonderful wedding day. If the wedding ceremony is anything like the proposal, it’s going to be pretty spectacular!

 

2014 wedding offer!

 

If you’re looking to get married this year then you’re in luck because here at Osterley Park and House we still have a number of possible key summer dates available. And to top this we are introducing a seasonal offer on all civil ceremonies held in the entrance hall during 2014.

 

 

THE OFFER

Up to 25% off civil ceremonies held in the Entrance Hall when holding your wedding in 2014.

 

WHEN IT STARTS

Now!

 

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A listed Georgian mansion and a party house for the high society, the entrance hall at Osterley Park is the perfect setting for your special and magical day. Marry in the elegant but minimalist striking room where visitors to the house during Tudor times were welcomed and treated to after dinner dancing and music ensembles.

 

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To find out some more information about this limited offer download our information sheet. Or to find out some more about the entrance hall including capacity download our wedding brochure.

 

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With some key dates still remaining this season, contact us today for availability!

 

 

 

 

Is this your year?

 

“When you realise you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible”

 

- Nora Ephron, When Harry met Sally

 

As we leave behind 2013 the year of ‘selfies’, photo-bombing and ‘twerking’ the New Year brings with it more fad diets, ‘dry-January’, a broke bank balance and bad weather! However, along with all these clichés and hard-to-stick-to tests, the start of the New Year also brings us an over-excited bunch (mainly brides-to-be) of newly engaged couples looking for their perfect venue.

 

Maybe it was a Christmas Eve treat to kick-start the holiday, a romantic proposal on Christmas day in front of all you’ve loved ones or a New Year surprise which came at 12 o’clock which got you planning your wedding. But whatever got him (or her) to ‘put a ring on it’ as Bey say’s, you’re January is all about finding that ideal date.  So here it starts the excessive google searches, frantic venue calling and wedding brochures becoming the new cool thing to read on your tube journey every morning.

 

At Osterley Park in January its closed season for us, no house open to visitors, no tea rooms to give of their sweet-smelling aromas (making us part with out money) and staff mainly busy working on projects and conservation work for open season on March 1. However, closed season doesn’t really happen for all us wedding coordinators. January is a busy time sending our brochures, carrying out viewings and helping couples prepare for their up-coming 2014 nuptials. 

 

We still have dates throughout the summer period that we hope to fill shortly and so far this year the Entrance Hall has been the most popular ceremony venue. So with 2014 hoping to bring us eternal happiness and make us half a stone lighter, here’s to welcoming prospective couples to Osterley Park and House in 2014 for what we hope is the best day of their life.

 

Entrance hall set up for a wedding

What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.”

 

-Karl Largerfield

 

You spend all that effort planning a wedding, thousands of pounds splurged, crying mothers, drunken uncles and endless hours (minutes really) talking to relatives you didn’t want to invite and what do you have to show you’re your wedding day…the photos!

 

At Osterley Park and House, we are lucky to have such beautiful surroundings and phenomenal backdrops for wedding photos. Couples who marry here really are spoilt for choice.

 

We keep the grounds at Osterley Park exclusive to wedding couples only allowing the few privileged ones each year the use of the 357 acre site for their own personal shots.

 

From the sweeping double staircase to the overgrown meadow, the ornate walled garden to the milieu of the small Temple, you really can capture a variety of shots to suit all style weddings and personal interest.

 

My favourite thing to do once the season is over is contact all couples who have married at Osterley Park and ask for a sneak peek at their wedding photos. Following is a collection of my favourite images from the past two years at Osterley Park.

 

Please do click on the photographer’s link to find out more about their style of photography.

 

 

Wedding: Stacy & Mark 20th July 2013

Photographer: Adam Szczepanski

 

Front Lawn view from Portico steps

Front Lawn view from Portico steps

 

 

The Temple of Pan located in the formal gardens and shot on a glorious day.

The Temple of Pan located in the formal gardens and shot on a glorious day.

 

 

Inside the Brewhouse, Stacy & Mark's reception area.

Inside the Brewhouse, Stacy & Mark’s reception area. We all love cake in the face!

 

 

Wedding: Vanessa & Tristan 21st May 2012

Photographer: Matt Penberthy

 

Bride leaving her carriage and arriving at the venue.

Bride leaving her carriage and arriving at the venue.

 

 

Bride and her bridesmaid having that last minute hug and words of encouragement.

Bride and her bridesmaid having that last minute hug and words of encouragement.

 

 

Leaving the Brewhouse reception room

Leaving the Brewhouse reception room. The brickwork in this shot really stands out and compliments the picture.

 

 

Wedding: Gail & Michael 8th September 2012

Photographer: Ian Baker

 

Guests gathered on the Portico steps for a champagne reception.

Guests gathered on the Portico steps for a champagne reception. You can really see how impressive the pillars are in size in relation to the wedding guests.

 

 

 

Picture taken facing the west steps, marquee reception in the distance.

Picture taken facing the west steps, marquee reception in the distance. The romantic landscape of the great meadow can be seen here.

 

 

 

Bride and groom arriving.

Bride and groom arriving via the portico steps which is the way guests would have entered when visiting the family.

 

 

Wedding: Kate & Tim 25th May 2013

Photographer: Joanna Brown

 

 

Bride awaiting her carraige on the portico steps.

Bride awaiting her carraige on the portico steps.

 

 

 

Bride and groom in the formal gardens

Bride and groom in the formal gardens

 

 

 

Shot in the formal gardens, you would never know you was only a short distance from Central London.

Shot in the formal gardens, you would never know you was only a short distance from Central London.

 

 

Wedding: Sindu & Peraveenan 14th July 2012

Photographer: Adam Szcsepanski

 

 

A wonderful moment of pure happiness captured on camera.

A wonderful moment of pure happiness captured on camera.

 

 

 

Bride and groom enjoying their wedding day together, a fun shot which they will have forever.

Bride and groom enjoying their wedding day together, a fun shot which they will have forever.

 

 

 

Bride on her own, immersed between the portico pillars. A wonderful shot.

Bride on her own, immersed between the portico pillars. A wonderful shot.

 

 

 

Lastly…a link to my new fave wedding photographer. Her name is Emilie and unfortunately we were unable to post any of her previous work from Osterley on the blog  however her online work can be viewed here http://www.emiliewhite.com and her style of photography is brilliant. We hope to see her a lot more at OsterleyPark!

Moving forward…

 

“ We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because were curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths”

 

Walt Disney

 

So you’ve already been introduced to “rhubarb” but what does that mean for our existing offer?

 

We will still be offering:

  • Civil ceremonies in the entrance hall
  • Civil ceremonies in the Temple of Pan 
  • Marquee receptions 
  • Asian weddings 

Now we just have a little extra help!

 

Working together with “rhubarb” (with the exclusion of Asian receptions) they are now our exclusive event caterers and manage all events at Osterley Park and House which require catering. This means that the customer is given the best quality service by an experience and thriving company within a beautiful and unique venue that is owned by the National Trust. What we hope is a winning combination, and let’s face it you have to trust us, it’s in our name.

 

 

 

Going forward we will be working very closely with the event planners at “rhubarb” to develop further opportunities of increasing our profile and engaging in joint ventures which highlights our presence within the surrounding community and is profitable and sustainable for the property. With the capacity to ‘go bigger’ than we currently do, but forever in our minds our main goal of conservation, we have to embrace the idea that hospitality and functions provide commercial viability and enable us to continue to bring places to life.

 

With 6 weddings already confirmed for next year, all taking place within the entrance hall of the house, we again see a change in pattern from this year. Reporting in earlier posts how the Temple of Pan had outshone the entrance hall in 2013 with more weddings, it seems that 2014 is looking the opposite, with the larger weddings back in full force. Of course, its early days and this could all change, so watch this space!

 

Now in the middle of the low season, it has been the perfect time to adapt to the change and embrace new marketing collateral, update our website and grow the relationship between the face of “rhubarb” and ourselves.

Click on the picture below to visit our new site.

 

weddings page

 

 

With the prospect of hosting a mixture of events in 2014 onwards, we hope to see the property open its doors to a wider range of companies and individuals, whilst still maintaining its current demeanour  in the immediate area of being the local place of historic interest with a beautiful setting for weddings. This is important for our local couples who choose to marry here for that reason. It’s all about going local – but with a wider scope in mind! 

marrying local sign 

 

Introducing “rhubarb”…

 

September sees the start of a new partnership between “rhubarb” the event and catering specialists and the National Trust. With years of high-end event management and catering services under their belt, “rhubarb” is now joining forces with a selection of properties to encourage the use of our historic houses and gardens for special occasions.

 

rhubarb catering

 

The partnership means that’s both corporations will work together on events at the selected properties in a bid to raise money for the restoration and preservation of the historic landmarks including Osterley Park and House, Petworth House, and Stowe.

 

Room view of the Long Gallery showing flowers on the mantelpiece at Osterley Park, Middlesex

 

At Osterley we hope that “rhubarb” will enhance on our already successful and commercially viable wedding business by opening up the grounds to a new clientele and delivering an exceptional service that we know their capable of.

 

large marquee

 

Our offering will very much remain the same by hosting civil marriages and partnerships in both the entrance hall and temple of pan. An event planner from “rhubarb” will then take on all the catering aspects of our offering and guide the client through their perfect menu and table settings held within their personalised marquee.

 

At Osterley Park and House we look forward to this new journey…

 

A night with the Jerseys

 

 

This month at Osterley Park and House on Saturday 17th August, The Earl and Countess of Jersey celebrated their 10th anniversary with us. Along with 35 of their closest friends they were all treated to a world-class 3 course dinner in our long gallery followed by dancing, formula one racing cars, Clay Pigeon shooting and cocktails in a marquee on the West Lawn.

Marquee on the West Lawn

The current Lord and Lady Jersey have a very close connection to the house at Osterley Park and were delighted to welcome their guests to their former family’s pied-a-terre for a night of celebration.

 

 

Portico steps entrance to the house

The flowers were courtesy of Lisa Roberts, from ‘Bella Design’ a close personal friend of the countess and created a touch of elegance and sophistication to the table dressings. These were complemented by the house flowers which are picked and arranged every Wednesday by our dedicated team of flower volunteers.

 

 

Flowers to compliment the occasion

Flowers to compliment the occasion

The food was prepared by one of our highly recommended catering suppliers ‘Party Ingredients’ who took care of everything from presentation, set-up, mood lighting and of course the 3 course dinner followed by coffee. They also set up a specialised cocktail bar within the marquee where guests were treated to Lord and Lady Jerseys favourite cocktails including Bellini’s and Margaritas.

 

Party Ingredients catering van set up for preparation before the event

Party Ingredients catering van set up for preparation before the event

 

However, the most exciting part of the night (apart from the free bar) was the array of interactive games guests were treated to before and after dinner. Stepping into the marquee guests were spoilt for choice with a real life size Formula 1 racing car where you could ‘beat your time’, a batak wall where guests could test their reactions, a roulette table complete with chips to bet with, laser clay pigeon shooting (far away from the house) and finally a caricaturist who entertained guests with cartoon drawings which they could take away. 

 

 

This was a special night as the house at Osterley Park was brought back to life for the first time in a long time where it was used as it was originally intended back in the 18th C. The entrance hall welcomed its guests up the portico steps and through the double doors. Guests were then treated to a private tour of the house by our premises and collections manager, Claire Reed and Judith Evans, ours House Steward. They concentrated on the principle floor followed by the Estate apartments. Dinner was soon served in the long gallery which was filled with laughter, good food and a very heart-felt and moving speech from Lord Jersey himself.

 

The table set for dinner in the Long Gallery

The table set for dinner in the Long Gallery

How important is food and drink at a wedding?

 

If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him… the people who give you their food give you their heart.

- Cesar Chavez

 

6 weddings in this season I’ve really started noticing the difference in importance of food and drink at weddings. It varies from each couple how high up the list it is. Everyone has a different idea of what the perfect wedding is. Some may think it’s the location, others may think it’s the entertainment but regardless the food you serve and the drinks you offer are a hot issue.

 

Food and drink is always undoubtedly one of the largest expenses of a wedding, which is why you’re forced quite early on to think about whether you want a sit-down meal or a buffet. Can you afford a free bar or do you opt for paid one? What about the before or after dinner food? Will there be a chocolate fountain for people to indulge in or an endless cheese board? Will you serve cocktails and go for the top-shelf options?

 

 

 

As a wedding guest you will also have your expectations of the perfect wedding. If you know the couple really well you can guess they will be serving only grey goose vodka because that’s all the bride likes to drink. Or maybe the groom is a big foodie. Either way perceptions are always different.

 

National Trust Images/Arnhel De Serra

National Trust Images/Arnhel De Serra

 

Entertaining your guests throughout the day and evening is always done through serving food and drink– I mean this is what we all enjoy about being a guest at a wedding isn’t it?

 

Some couples choose what they would like to eat; others try and satisfy a range of dietary requirements. It all depends what suits your day best but if asked how important would you class food and drink?

 

National Trust Images/ William Shaw

National Trust Images/ William Shaw

 

I say – if food is there is will be eaten and if drink is offered it will be drunk!

 

Would you get married in wellies?

 

So I recently met up with our registrars that hold our civil marriages at Osterley Park who enlightened us on a pervious vision that was once described to them.

 

“The bride would be given a pair of white wellies as she walks the 5 minute journey to the Temple of Pan, and in the case of rain, she would be provided with an umbrella”.

 

 

How does that sound to you? Would you be happy with this offering on your wedding day or like many of our previous brides, would you enjoy the luxury of being driven down the private drive (brides only) and escorted directly to your wedding venue without the worry of tripping up or getting your hair messed up?

 

 

I would think that for many future brides it would be the latter, considering your wedding day is only meant to happen once, do you want to spend the first half of the day in a pair of wellies, even if they are white?

 

 

 

But then it also got me thinking, well maybe there are some brides who would enjoy this? I mean they are marrying at a National Trust property and we are known for our great outdoors!

 

 

 

When doing some research for this post I came across an untold amount of pictures just by looking through Google and on different wedding blogs of brides and bridal parties all wearing wellies for the big day. I thought I would share a fab few with you!

 

 

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I think it’s a personal choice not just for the bride but for the couple. It’s a kind of glam with an eco-twist, not completely original but can make for great wedding photos!

 

 

 

At Osterley Park we will continue to offer the bride the lavishness of being escorted directly to their wedding in the luxury of a classic car, but welcome the idea of the ‘country-esque’ backdrop of spitting rain, pebble pathways and a pair of Wellington boots! 

 

10 unique National Trust properties to get married or hold your reception

As you all know I love to promote the advantages of marrying at Osterley Park but we are not the only National Trust property which can hold a wedding. There are many located throughout the country, which like us, have licensed rooms for marriages. As much as I would love to persuade you all to look no further and pick Osterley, I thought it would be nice to look at some our other properties and what they can offer.

Every one of us is unique and many of you like to pick a venue which reflects your personality. We have stately homes, towers, abbeys, castles and ruins, pubs, homes of former Prime Ministers, and even a dairy available for hire. Or how would you feel about marrying on a film set? And all of these properties are unique in themselves just like you!

 

So here it goes! A list of 10 different National Trust properties to get married or hold your reception…

 

heart2a_orange_2001. Steam yacht Gondola, Cumbria

 

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Rebuilt Victorian steam-powered yacht on Coniston water, ideal for romantic wedding receptions. Treat you guests to a private charter on the Coniston lake.

 

heart2a_orange_2002. Fountains Abbey, North Yorkshire

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Cistercian abbey, elegant Georgian water garden and medieval deer park. Immerse yourself in British history and one of the finest remaining examples of 18th-century landscaping.

 

heart2a_orange_2003. Basildon Park, West Berkshire

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Basildon Park is an impressive Georgian mansion, surrounded by glorious parkland, which was lovingly rescued from ruin by Lord and Lady Iliffe in the mid 1950s.

 

heart2a_orange_2004. The Kymin, Wales

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One of the highest points in Wales, it commands views stretching all the way to the summits of the Brecon Beacons.

 

heart2a_orange_2005. Aberdulais Tin works and Waterfall, Swansea

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What could make your wedding day more romantic and dramatic than set against the backdrop of a fabulous waterfall?

 

heart2a_orange_2006. Stowe, Buckingham

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One of the most remarkable creations of Georgian England, Stowe was created by a family once so powerful they were richer than the king. Today enjoy the scale, grandeur and beauty that Stowe still has to offer!

 

heart2a_orange_2007. Smallhythe Place, Kent

Smallythe Place

Get married on stage in the charming 17th-cenutry thatched Barn Theatre which was added to the 16th-century cottage by renowned Victorian actress Ellen Terry.

 

heart2a_orange_2008. Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire

waddesdon manor

Originally commissioned to house the 19th-cenutry Baron’s prize winning cattle, the Dairy is now a licensed room set amidst glorious gardens for your wedding.

 

heart2a_orange_2009. Scotney Castle, Kent

Scotney castle

Voted one of the most romantic gardens in England, Scotney castle allows you to marry within the medieval Old castle or outside under the white wisteria archway.

 

heart2a_orange_20010. Calke Abbey Riding School, Derbyshire

Calke Abbey

Set in the rolling hills of the Calke estate, the Riding school is now a place for celebrations and marriages.

 

I’m sure wherever you choose, your day will be just as special as the locations shown in these pics!

Osterley Park!

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