"WE met on a night out in Bedford" Sabrina Lawrence remembers "in The Lounge on the High Street - which has since closed to make way for Tesco Express." Sabrina went with a mate whose boyfriend was having a drink there with thirty other guys. And one of them happened to be Mark.
Seven years later, Mark proposed. “It didn’t quite go to plan!” Sabrina laughs. Mark had originally planned to take her away to Paris in September 2009 but, unknowingly, Sabrina had booked a surprise holiday for them both to Majorca. So instead, Mark decided that, while they were away, he would pop the question to his girlfriend on the beach at sunset.
But a couple of days before, Sabrina read a text that Mark had been sent from his Mum saying that ‘the ring is ready!’. With his second plan rumbled too, Sabrina came home from work one day to find Mark down on one knee in the kitchen. "We both felt that this was the next step to show our commitment to each other. We hope to have children too and wanted to get married before we started a family" explains Sabrina.
The future Mr and Mrs Lawrence started to plan the wedding at the end of June last year. "I bought my dress first", Sabrina remembers. She scoured five local bridal boutiques until she found two dresses she liked. "It was a tie! I loved them both. Some brides say that they try their dress on and they know it’s ‘the one’ but I just couldn’t decide." After much deliberation, she ended up buying a gown from Anne Bridal in Leighton Buzzard, a beautiful beaded dress with a sweetheart neckline.
Sabrina chose her sister-in-law and best friend to be her bridesmaids. The girls wore claret, Grecian-style dresses with a small train which co-ordinated well with the colour scheme.
The big day came on the July 7, 2012. She had her make-up done by Alison Curtis, who is based in Cambridge, and her hair was styled into an elegant up-do by Nicki Woolley of NW Design from Milton Keynes. Sabrina chose her grandfather to walk her down the aisle and the pair were taken to St. Mary’s Church in Wootton in a 1975 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow. "It was sky blue in colour which offset the claret colour scheme really nicely. We hired the car from Philip Sage; my husband heard about him through word of mouth and I would really recommend him."
"I had been so nervous in the run up to the wedding," says Sabrina. “I have a fear of walking into a room of people; when we go out for dinner in a busy restaurant, I make Mark go in first! So the thought of walking down the aisle in front of all my guests was really scary. But once I got to the church all my worries melted away. People commented that I was like a ‘ray of sunshine’, I was so, so happy." And Sabrina's happiness certainly shows in the wedding photos taken by Dale Chalk of Affinity Studios.
The wedding party then proceeded on to the reception at the Sharnbrook Hotel. "At first I thought that I wanted to hold the event at a stately home but The Sharnbrook Hotel was such a good option for us. They have sliding doors inside, which meant that they were able to accommodate all our guests. The place is immaculate throughout, it was just beautiful" explains Sabrina. The one hundred and thirty guests sat down to a starter of a prawn and salmon cocktail followed by a roast beef dinner with all the trimmings. For dessert, the couple chose a trio of profiteroles, tiramisu, and cheesecake. "We wanted there to be something for everyone!" she smiles.
In the evening there was a disco followed by fireworks provided by ‘Kimbolton Fireworks'. "There were rockets - the big booming ones" says Sabrina "and the display lasted for eight minutes. It made the day feel that bit more special.
“The day went so smoothly; it was just perfect. I know all brides will say that about their wedding day but Mark and I had such a lovely day. It started to rain as my grandfather and I left for the church but by three o’clock, the weather had dried up and the sun even came out! I honestly wouldn’t have changed a thing.”
Photographer Dale Chalk
Phone: 01908 234138