Laura and Jak, who wed at Healing Manor on 20 May 2023, had a vision of ‘golden glow’ for their enchanting and magical spring wedding day. Styled by Amy of Jack Loves Jill and photographed to perfection by Chris Waud Photographer, we think you’ll love this May-time celebration as much as we do.
Lincoln couple Laura and Jak chose a colour palette of slate blue and navy with touches of warm gold for their romantic wedding day, hosted in our wedding barn. Having met on Tinder in 2014, the couple had their baby, Monty, just days before the first Covid-19 lockdown of 2020, and got engaged a couple of years later. For Laura, a visit to Healing Manor was a must.
“I’d found Healing Manor on Instagram years before I was engaged (I’m a psychopath who’s been planning her wedding for her whole life). I think I’d seen someone else visit or attend a wedding on Instagram, had a nosey and then followed your page. As soon as we were engaged, I knew we had to come and look around.”
“Jak and I were lucky enough to ‘match’ quite quickly after downloading Tinder. Nearly ten years later, here we are. We decided to have a baby before thinking about getting engaged and becoming married as that was more important for us at the time. Our son Monty arrived in 2020, three days before the first lockdown and from then on, I must have badgered Jak into proposing at least once a day. We’d just been on a family holiday in Wales and every time Jak left a meal to go to the toilet or anything, I thought that it was going to happen. I was a bit disappointed when we returned home and there was no ring.”
“A week later, I had planned a date day at our favourite restaurant in Lincoln, The Old Bakery. We arrived and I ordered a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc but instead they brought out Champagne and a plate with ‘Will you marry me’ written in chocolate. The next thing I knew, Jak was on one knee beside me and the rest is history. He had taken the day off work about five months earlier and pretended to go to work as normal but instead, drove to the Diamond Quarter in Birmingham to have a ring made.”
The bride and groom always knew they would want a civil ceremony, and the chapel in our wedding barn was a magical location in which to say their vows.
“We fell in love with the intimate feel of the barn and knew we wanted a civil ceremony in there. We wanted our day to be fun and relaxed, have great food and drink and some activities for our guests. We knew Healing Manor was award-winning for their food and drink at the Pig and Whistle, so we were confident that our wedding day would be a feast for the tastebuds.”
The bride had a lot of input into the look and feel of the wedding day, with the expert help of Jack Loves Jill and Healing Manor’s own staff.
“We had so much help planning from the staff. It started with Kirsty Leo who nearly knocked us over with the opportunities to make our day unique and special for us. And, the quote was wonderful compared to other venues we had researched. Our wedding day planning ended in the friendly, patient and wonderful hands of Hannah, who ran our wedding weekend to the finest detail. All the staff at Healing, whenever we’ve been for a meal, overnight stay or the wedding itself, have been so lovely, it made wedding planning easy.”
“For the wedding styling, we chose Jack loves Jill. We met Amy at Healing’s wedding open day way back in 2021 – the day we saw the venue for the first time. We loved her style and knew she had created beautiful weddings there before so we trusted her to make full use of the beautiful setting. She made the vision in my head come to life and there is no-one else I would have trusted to make that happen.”
“The way I envisioned our day was with a ‘golden glow’. I’d seen photos of the barn at Healing with golden fairy lights draped above the beams and I’d fallen in love with Jack Loves Jill’s ‘moongate’ décor with a golden neon light in the middle. I’d always loved lots of candlelight and a romantic feel to wedding day décor.”
“I chose a slate blue colour for the bridesmaids’ dresses and Jak had always wanted himself and the groomsmen in navy so it was soon set upon that there would be a lot of shades of blue throughout the day. When speaking to Amy, we decided on a neutral taupe colour for the indoor décor so that the focus was on the flowers and bridal party. Also, being a control freak, I didn’t want to overthink having to match the colour of the décor to the bridesmaids etc., so choosing another accent colour made this process stress-free.”
The wedding flowers were created by Sarah of Treasured Bouquets.
“I met Sarah from Treasured Bouquets at Healing Manor’s Open Day. I am not green-fingered in any way so am absolutely clueless when it comes to flowers or greenery. We went more on how she made us feel when we chose her to do our wedding flowers. Sarah is warm, friendly and so knowledgeable about all things floral. I found her on social media and fell in love with her beautiful creations. She also told us she works hand in hand with Amy from Jack loves Jill on a regular basis and together they create beautiful wedding set-ups, so this was another win for me.”
“I took my mum with me to meet Sarah to discuss what we wanted as she is my very own Monty Don. Sarah had kept an eye on all the types of bouquets I had liked on her Instagram over the year and I seemed to be drawn to a certain style of florals. She talked me through how we could create what I wanted and made the most beautiful flower displays for the day.”
“We chose to make the boys’ buttonholes more masculine by choosing a thistle instead of a big rose, and chose very large and feminine button holes and corsages for the mums and grandmas of the family. There were a mixture of peonies and blowsy roses, eucalyptus and other feathery textures as well as some thistle to tie the men and women’s together on the day. Sarah arrived with our bouquets on the morning of the wedding and, oh my goodness, the scent of them blew me away. I have received so many compliments about our flowers and I have sent my bouquet off to be preserved; I can’t wait to see what is created when I get it back.”
The bride was lucky enough to have a cousin who owns a bridal shop, Sammi Lou Bridal in Rugby, which is where she selected her blush pink ‘Nathalie’ dress by Enzoani. This princess dress featured a sweetheart neckline and soft tulle skirt.
“My cousin Leanne had recently started her own wedding dress shop so she was quick to message me reminding me that I could go to her to help choose a wedding dress. I was so nervous about the thought of having a day trying on dresses; all women have body hang-ups or insecurities so I was worried that I wouldn’t like anything and be left disappointed.”
“I went to Leanne’s shop on a day she’s not normally open so there were no time constraints and I could try on as many dresses as I liked – it was like being a child in the dressing-up box again. Eventually, I said yes to the dress and it turned out that I had screen-shot that exact dress months before knowing Leanne stocked it, so it was meant to be. Leanne used to work as a costume designer in the West End in London so she was able to completely change the sleeves which made the dress even more special. Leanne even came to the bridal suite to help me get into my dress as those little buttons were easy-peasy for her after all her experience and practice.”
“I had always envisioned a dress that was lacy, and what I loved was the unusual blush pink undertone of the dress which made the ivory lace really pop. When trying it on, I had doubts over buying a more unusually-coloured dress so tried on a very similar dress in ivory. I then knew mine was the one because I loved how much you could see the lace detail on the front. All the way home, I kept panicking that I had just bought a PINK dress and had to be reassured by my sister over and over that I hadn’t.”
“The dress originally came with drop sleeves that sat mid-upper arm. I have insecurities about my arms so wondered if I should cover them. My cousin moved the sleeves to my shoulders to create cap sleeves and said we could order extra lace to create structured sleeves and I loved this idea.”
“I chose a double layer, fingertip-length, plain veil because I wanted all the focus to be on the intricate details of the dress.”
“I wanted my shoes to be comfortable so I could wear them all day. Even though my shoes were low heels with enclosed toes and I had tried wearing them in for a few weeks before the day, I was still DESPERATE to take them off. I managed to get to just after the first dance before changing into a pair of the flip flops I had put in a basket for guests to change into for the evening.”
The bride wore her hair in an intricate up-do, styled by Robyn from Perfect Silhouette and adorned with a Sammie Lou Bridal hair-piece.
“I had seen Robyn’s work on Instagram and from styling a few of my other friends on their wedding day, and I knew I had to have her. I had myself, my five bridesmaids and two mums getting ready on the morning of the wedding. With an early 12pm ceremony, I chose to have two hair stylists and two make-up artists. Robyn created magic with my hair and three of those women. Kerry Elvin did the other four’s hair. They all looked different, individual, and beautiful. I went for a curly, textured midi bun and used some hair extensions to create shape and volume. There is no wonder Robyn is winner of wedding hair stylist of the year!”
“Robyn positioned my silver, textured hair piece to the right side of my bun. It broke up my dark hair really well.”
For jewellery, Laura wore a silver and pearl necklace and drop earring set from notonthehighstreet.
“My sister-in-law bought me them for Christmas. They had a slight pink tinge so went perfectly with my dress.”
The bride’s make-up was applied by Bec Marshall Makeup.
“I had been to Bec most often in my personal life. I feel we get on really well; going to her to be glammed-up is like chatting to a friend and I knew she would understand the look I wanted. I’d shown Bec my dress and explained I envisioned a soft, romantic, almost ‘Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk’-inspired look involving lots of pink and blush tones. I remember looking in the mirror and thinking she had made me look the best I ever had – what more can you ask for on your wedding day? We also had the lovely Thea Elizabeth MUA to do make-up for four of the wedding party. She told me ages ago she loved doing the mums of wedding parties because often they had not had lots of make-up on and it can be a bit daunting, but she loved making them feel beautiful and special, which she did.”
“He met them at a wedding fayre in Lincoln. We went over to their shop and Jak chose a dark navy suit with a checked waistcoat and tie for the twelve men who were going to be in matching suits.”
“Jak felt good in his original chosen suit but had fallen in love with a Marc Darcy suit on display in the shop. His dad had reassured him that he was only going to get married once (hopefully) so if he wanted to splash out on a more expensive suit so that he felt even better and stood out, then he should. He went to try on the suit without me and when he came home I could tell he felt even better in it than he had the first suit. We both felt the best we had ever looked on our wedding day, which was an amazing feeling.”
The couple chose to wed in a civil ceremony in the wedding barn.
“We asked for everyone to be seated at 11.30am before our 12pm ceremony. My bridesmaids walked down with our three year old son to ‘I Get To Love You’ by Ruelle. My son carried a sign that said ‘Daddy, it’s time to give Mummy our last name’, which made Jak cry. I then came down the aisle to my favourite song, ‘At Last’ by Etta James. My step-dad walked me from the bridal suite to the barn and my dad walked me down the aisle. It was important that they were both included in this element of the day.”
“We chose our three mums as witnesses – I have a mum and a step-mum and Jak has his mum. We asked our sister in law and Jak’s best friend to do a reading. We also had our twin nephews, who are almost five, as our ring bearers; we thought it was a cute touch that they could have a ring each. They took their roles very seriously and enjoyed being part of the ceremony.”
After the wedding ceremony, the newly-weds and their guests relaxed on the lawns with drinks, canapés and garden games, giving photographer Chris Waud a great opportunity to take portrait photos and more relaxed group shots too.
“We knew the style of wedding photography we wanted but weren’t sure how to describe it. When we went to Healing Manor wedding open day, we saw a stand with Chris Waud’s work on. We flipped through his portfolio and it wowed us. He describes his work by how he documents the day rather than creating posed shots – I think it is referred to as storybook photography. All weddings need an element of set-up and posed shots, but we always wanted to see a true representation of our day. Chris proves to capture that every time he shares any of his wedding images on his social media.”
“We met Chris and explained that we have a little bit of a complicated family set-up and that it was important we got the right amount of ‘necessary’ photos on the day, but then the rest was up to him. We explained we wanted our day to be relaxed and fun, with laughter, food and drink: he fitted in with everyone so well it was like he was there but wasn’t there.”
Laura and Jak also hired a videographer for the day.
“I think it’s so important to be able to see the wedding you’ve spent years planning come to light and on the actual day, you miss so much of it. I’ve always wanted to be able to have a video to look back on and see the moments we won’t have seen on the day.”
“Chloe Gelsthorpe is my sister’s friend. I looked on her social media and knew I had to have her capture the video of our day. She is one of the most loving, approachable and friendly people I’ve ever met. She made being videoed all day feel completely normal and she fitted in with Chris perfectly. She has gone beyond her job description so many times by doing little extras for us, which is so appreciated.”
To reflect Jak’s love of golf, the couple hired a mini golf course from Putterfingers for the guests to enjoy throughout the afternoon.
“We found a company that did wedding-themed mini golf and fell in love with the idea of having a course on the grass outside the wedding venue. Jak loves golf so it was a nice way to tie in his hobbies and interests. The obstacles were all white and wedding-themed such as a chapel with Mr and Mrs Ward on the roof, wedding rings, doves, love hearts etc. It was self-assembly so the bridal party enjoyed watching the groomsmen setting it up the morning of the wedding. We even made a leaderboard from our son’s playroom easel.”
“I think the moment I felt so happy with the whole day was between the ceremony and the meal where everyone was basking in the sunshine – the weather had been perfect all day with not a cloud in the sky. Everyone had drinks and canapés in their hands, and they were all sitting in groups, mingling and chatting. I thought to myself, ‘Ahh, this is it’. It was so nice seeing people meet for the first time and exchange stories and laughter. Everyone was taking selfies and playing mini golf. It was magical.”
For the couple, great food and drink was essential.
“We love socialising and going out for meals, trying new restaurants or cuisines. It’s not often that people rave about wedding food or even remember what they ate so I wasn’t too worried about ensuring the food was a bit part of the day. When we discovered Healing Manor and started coming for nights away or meals in The Pig and Whistle, this all changed.”
“We chose to have a ‘Mr and Mrs’ cocktail – the venue were so accommodating of this idea. They asked us what our choices would be and made sure to have enough of those ingredients so everyone could have some if they wanted. I chose an Aperol Spritz for my ‘Mrs’ cocktail and Jak chose an Old Fashioned.”
“We discussed canapés with Kirsty and she said this is often something couples go for. We chose to do a ‘3 courses before the 3 courses’ so chose halloumi on sourdough with chilli jam, mini fish and chips served in a scallop shell, and a strawberry profiterole. We had two gluten-free guests and the venue made sure our canapés were all gluten-free which made for a stress-free day.”
“For the meal, we were fortunate to offer our guests a choice for the starter, main and dessert. The menu tasting night that Healing puts on for their wedding couples is so lovely. They print a menu with your choices on and it makes the whole evening so special with those little details. Everyone raved about the meal and were so impressed with how perfectly the venue staff served everyone – even when one of my wedding guests fainted during the starter.”
“For evening food we chose a hog roast. I think I had one bite of a pork bun during the evening but all the evening guests said how amazing the food was.”
Rather than a traditional, sweet wedding cake, Laura and Jak chose a cheese cake.
“We had layers of different wheels of cheese that looked like a cake. The Healing Manor staff sourced a beautiful, five-tier cake made of cheeses such as brie and decorated it, including the cake topper I bought: this was the right amount of ‘cheesiness’ for the day because it referred to us meeting on Tinder and said ‘Love at first swipe’. We chose to surround the cake with platters of charcuterie-style accompaniments so that the guests had even more food to sample during the evening do. It went down a hit”
“We had a lovely surprise arranged by Charlotte at Healing. She had noticed we were both so busy on the day that she had set up a little plate each in the Bridal Suite that had all the cheeses on and crackers so we got to lay in bed at the end of the night and sample our choices. It was a lovely touch to end our perfect day.”
During the evening, there was dancing to the resident Healing Manor DJ.
“She did not disappoint. I didn’t get chance to thank her on the day but she did a great job. On our wedding invites we added a box where the guests could request a song to be played to make it more personal and we provided this list of songs to the DJ. We even gave her some songs that we didn’t want played and she honoured our preferences.”
The couple’s first dance was to ‘Just You And I’ by Tom Walker.
“We thought long and hard about what to choose as there are so many amazing first dance songs. It’s hard to choose something that hasn’t been used to death or has no meaning to the couple. We also wanted a song people would know and want to dance to. Choosing a song that wasn’t too slow and smoochy was important as we aren’t the type of couple to enjoy being watched as we dance. I think we got past the first chorus before asking everyone else to join us and then the pressure was off. We had our first dance and then requested Bruno Mars’ ‘Marry You’ to come on straight on. We also requested ‘Sweet Caroline’ to be played as the last song of the night. We really feel the DJ went out of her way to get all of our requests in. The dancefloor was never empty and it was a hit.”
Advice to other couples
“My advice is to try and enjoy the process. I know there can be stressful moments but try to remember that ultimately it is your and your partner’s day. Family feelings can be distracting and it can quickly become about keeping everyone else happy, but this day is about you two as a couple and people should know to respect that. Don’t sweat people’s opinions and disregard unsolicited advice – it’s your wedding!”
“I must have emailed the guys at Healing about 500 times asking question after question but they never let on it was annoying or too much. They show genuine compassion to your situation, thoughts and feelings and they always make time for your concerns or queries. You can never ask too many questions.”
“I found it helpful to have note upon note on my phone; whether that be who is getting ready in which order in the morning to who is sitting where for the ceremony (immediate family) so that everyone is happy and considered.”
“Healing Manor has quickly become my favourite place and I can’t wait to be able to celebrate here for years to come. They went above and beyond my expectations and made our day truly magical: from letting me email them at least once a week to making sure all the small details of the day that meant nothing to anyone else but everything to me went to plan to decorating our bridal suite with rose petals and a bottle of Prosecco; from bringing out a birthday cake and playing happy birthday to one of our guests whose birthday it was, to the beautiful breakfast brought over to the bridal suite the morning of the wedding whilst we all got ready. I could go on and on but we literally had the best day ever and we have so much gratitude to every single member of staff at Healing Manor.”
- – Photography – Chris Waud Photography
– Videographer – Chloe Gels Photo & Video
– Venue – The Wedding Barn at Healing Manor Hotel
– Styling – Jack Loves Jill
– Flowers – Treasured Bouquets
– Catering – Healing Manor Hotel
– Dress – ‘Nathalie’ by Enzoani via Sammie Lou Bridal
– Veil & hair-piece – Sammie Lou Bridal
– Shoes – Etsy
– Entertainment – Putterfingers
– Jewellery – Notonthehighstreet
– Groom – Marc Darcy via Hancocks Menswear
– Hair & MakeUp – Perfect Silhouette Hairdressing, Kerry Elvin Hair & Beauty, Bec Marshall Makeup + Thea Elizabeth MUA