Lainee and Rafael' | Stretton Manor Barn Wedding | Chesterfield wedding

Whew, what a belter Lainee and Raf's wedding was! From cancelled plans of a destination wedding to COVID restrictions to threats of torrential downpours on the day, this celebration was a rollercoaster of emotions from start to finish. However once the big day finally rolled around, you'd be hard pushed to judge it as anything less than perfect!

With venues nestled in the Derbyshire countryside, Lainee and Raf got ready surrounded by loved ones in a beautiful barn conversion, before heading to the stunning Stretton Manor Barn for drinks and a sensational wedding breakfast. The weather held up (and we even saw some unexpected sunshine!) and the day was spent soaking up the warmest, most loving atmosphere against a stunning rural backdrop.

A huge thank you to Lainee, Rafael and all of their friends and family for making me feel so welcome and taking such good care of me! It really was a joy to photograph this truly gorgeous day.

Read on to find out more about Lainee and Raf's love story, and hear about their wedding day in their own words.

How did you meet?

One summers eve on a night at out Revs, we were each wing-manning for our friends (our best man Matt actually engineered this)! We bonded at the bar over our love for sweet cocktails; Strawberry Daiquiris (Lainee) and Appletinis (Raf) and we've been drinking them together ever since. We’d worked at the same place for two or three years prior and had noticed each other around but had never spoken!

What’s your best memory together?

There have been countless holidays, adventures, disasters (actual car crashes…!) and we'd been engaged for a long time before getting married... but the time we spent together during lockdown was just so great. We'd moved into our house a few months before, and we spent every day planning, crafting, baking and cocktailing. We just did everything together, both going through this mad experience with our best mate. Obviously, there were stresses and upsets because of the postponed wedding, but it was nice to have this extra time with each other - a preview of married life!

What’s your favourite thing about one another?

Lainee: I love Raf's cool, calm temperament together with his attentiveness and commitment to us. We can do everything in a day, or we can do nothing at all, and he'll (so effortlessly) make sure we have the best time.

Raf: She has the biggest heart, and cares for me so naturally. Always ready with a gesture, whether I need it or not. I'll never tire of the sound of her laugh.

What are your hopes for the future?

With the experience we share together, we'd love to open our own B&B one day. Ideally abroad!

Did your day have a theme?

Ultimately, we wanted to create a day that everyone would love. In the end we were just desperate to celebrate the wedding that kept escaping us! Due to budget, we made most things ourselves, invitations, menus, name tags, order of events. Even the cake!

Why did you plan your day that way?

Originally, we were due to get married in May 2020 in Mallorca (where Raf's family live but things got messy cause of The Rona. So, we naively postponed to June 2021 and when we couldn't continue with it a second time, we took matters into our own hands and started to call on some outstanding alternatives right here in the UK. It had to be great to thank everyone for supporting us that whole time. We think we got it pretty perfect, and on the day so many people said that it felt like this had always been the plan! Our official marriage ceremony was earlier that week, a small registry do with our families; Lainee's in person and Raf's joining online!

What did you enjoy most about your day?

Being surrounded by all our favourite people and the atmosphere of having everyone together after a crazy year. In that beautiful venue, we were their first ever wedding and the team at the venue were exceptional, and so attentive. And the sun came out! Ahhh, everything. It was great.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Just another huge thank you to you Laura. you captured everything perfectly!