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REAL BRIDE: Inside Graphic Designer Stephanie Lane & Hubby Chris's Somerley House Wedding

Photography by: Blaise Bell


  1. Wedding date: 23/03/23

  2. Spouses name: Chris Dorney

  3. If you could sum up your day in 3 words with no explanation: Rainy, magical, romantic, fun (sorry, needed all 4!)

Okay now for the juicy stuff…

A little about you?

I am 32yo, a freelance graphic designer and have been with my now husband for over 8 years! Aside from my beautiful hubs, I love all things design, especially fashion & interiors and in my spare time you’ll find me playing tennis, travelling, eating or hitting the dancefloor.

Our approach to planning the wedding was…

We decided to lock in our date only 6 months after being engaged, so our approach to planning was basically get s*** done as quick as possible haha! After our engagement, we made a fairly quick decision on venue and I decided I would plan most of the wedding myself 😐. The next thing on the list was my dress as I knew that would be tricky and most important. I found this after visiting about 4 stores, and it ended up being off the rack so only a few alterations were required 😉. The remainder of our vendors were booked about 3-4 months out from the wedding… it sounds insane but as our wedding date was a Thursday, we had a bit of wriggle room and many of our preferred vendors were still available which was awesome! In conclusion, can you plan a wedding yourself in under 6 months? Absolutely. Would I recommend doing so? It’s stressful but can definitely be done!

Photography by: Blaise Bell

Looking back on the day we are so glad that we…

Got a wedding coordinator for the weeks leading up and the day-of. This meant I could leave all the random last minute jobs/changes in the capable hands of our co-ordinator Rhianna (@rhiannasmithevents). It made the day of way less stressful and meant I could relax with my bridesmaids the morning of.

Interestingly, I’m also glad we planned it in such a short timeframe. Yes, it was stressful at times, but it meant making fast decisions and we had to no time to overthink or change our minds. Being a spontaneous person, I feel like I would keep changing my mind if we’d had a really long engagement. It was also exciting as it crept up so fast!

Finally, I am SO glad I made the very last minute decision to buy a second dress for the reception/dancefloor from Aston Bridal. It wasn’t always in my plan, but I was so happy I did so and the dress was absolutely perfect for that moment.

The most unexpected part of the day was..

It was pouring with rain the whole morning and week before. This meant we had to change locations of the ceremony and canape hour from outside to indoors. As I hadn’t considered the wet weather plan in great detail, I was hesitant, but the ceremony ended up being so romantic and beautiful inside. There was a gorgeous fireplace and candles everywhere. It ended up being way more intimate, and I wouldn’t change a thing! By some miracle, the rain stopped after the ceremony and we got to enjoy the outdoors for reception!

My inspiration for my hair and make up…

For my hair I just wanted simple Hollywood-style waves, and decided I would wear a plain white headband, as my dress was quite minimalist. It felt so timeless and had a nod to the 60s, which is a look I have always loved. For makeup, I wanted elevated natural, with not too much shimmer/glitz. We went with a matte, light peach eye and a subtle wing which I adored!

Analog Photography by: Other Wedding Stories

When I look back on the day now I feel…

Happy and emotional! As all married couples warned me, it goes so fast, but what a magical day it was.

A word of advice to new brides would be…

Some things won’t go to plan! Embrace change and be ready to accept it won’t be 100% perfect in every way.

Make sure you take moments with your partner throughout the day to be alone and take it all in. The day is such a whirlwind, you really need to pull yourself out of it a couple of times and be present in the moment and remember why you’re there 😊. Lastly just have fun! We had so much not go to plan on the day but I made sure I was enjoying myself regardless. At some point, there’s nothing more you can do so you may as well have a laugh and party on!

Photography by: Blaise Bell

My ASTON Bridal moment was special because…

I never had plans to wear a second dress for the wedding as I‘d not fallen in love with any other styles that would level my actual wedding dress. Then, a few months before our big day, I stumbled across Aston Bridal and that changed everything! I fell head over heels with the Miranda Mini BUT there was no stock available at that time, so I resigned myself to thinking it wasn’t possible. Literally 1 week before the wedding I saw AB post they had 1 dress available in my size. I went to try it on, it fit like a glove – it was fate! Once secured, I decided I’d wear it as my dancefloor dress and ended up getting so many great photos in it – a particular fav is me chowing down on a cheeseburger toward the end of the night!

The dress itself was so beautifully made and so unique, I could not have designed it better myself! My favourite aspect of the dress was the fact that you could change up the look with the detachable puff sleeves and pearl gloves. Absolutely obsessed! Best decision I ever made 😊

Vendors / credits:

PHOTOGRAPHER: Blaise Bell @Blaisebell

VENUE: Somerley House, Sutton Forest

RECEPTION DRESS: Miranda Mini by Aston Bridal @astonbridal

CEREMONY GOWN: Grace Loves Lace @graceloveslace

VIDEO: Other Wedding Stories

CELEBRANT: Victoria Pearson @ceremony.vp

FLORIST: Ffoliar @ffoliar

CATERING: Chef & I Catering Camden

COORDINATOR: Rhianna Smith Events


MAKEUP Zoe Martin Makeup

HAIR: Lisa Minnett Hair

MUSIC: Tillee Music, The White Tree


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