Hey there lovelies :-) Firstly a huge congratulations to those of you that are newly engaged and are about to embark on a wedding planning adventure. I will be here with you every step of the way. To start with a bang I have a totally gorgeous and unusual wedding to share with you today.
Zoe and Steven married on their own in Santorini and headed back to the UK for a big party on the 19th July 2014. They chose to hold their reception at Knepp Castle Estate, which was the perfect spot for their majestic tipis.
They had a vibrant orange colour scheme, with pom poms, fun florals and bold graphic stationery.
Zoe donned an enchanting Gwendolynne Burkin dress while Steven went for a blue Ted Baker suit. So much goodness.
Thanks goes to Kate Gray Photography for providing the sensational images today.
THE PROPOSAL | On New Year’s Eve 2012 we were skiing in France and whilst sitting alone on a quiet chair lift floating above the snow, Steve pulled a ring from his pocket. I didn’t have the slightest idea it was going to happen, so just managed to ski off the lift with legs like jelly!
THE VISION |We both love to travel, so decided to include this as an element of our marriage. We chose to have a small ceremony (for just us!) in Santorini first, and for the main celebrations afterwards to plan a party that was informal and a little unusual. Having fun with all our family and friends with great food and music was what mattered – ideally at an outdoor setting…
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We knew once a venue was chosen everything else would fall in to place. I’ve project managed for a living, so enjoyed sourcing the various suppliers and seeing the plans come together for both the Greece and UK parts. Steve was the creative contributor – designing our invites, table plan and a website containing all the info our guests needed. He also spent weeks curating our music playlist for the day!
THE VENUE | We visited various small and simple locations whilst searching for the perfect outdoor venue. After attending an open day that Beautiful World Tents were holding and seeing their tipi’s set up – we were sold on the spot! You could customize the tent layout, furniture, lighting and accessories – making it feel really personal.
Knepp Castle Estate in West Sussex (where BWT are based), was the perfect location – we loved the lake and woods, and that animals roamed on the land. As a bonus we could camp onsite after the party – meaning we could celebrate on into the night!
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | I was searching for something simple – a short dress I could wear at both events. However, whilst trawling the web, I discovered a Gwndolynne Burkin dress (which was certainly not short or simple), but from that point nothing else would do! I ordered the dress (Jana) having only seen photos, from Australia where the designer has her only studio. I loved it from the moment it arrived and feel so lucky I got to wear it twice!
My good friend Gina did and excellent job of my hair and make-up and made getting ready fun.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Steve chose a smart/casual navy suit from Ted Baker, that worked well in the relaxed location and he can now enjoy wearing again.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | At the ceremony we recited traditional Greek vows and added our own too. For background music we chose an acoustic version of Elbow’s One Day Like This – which now brings back great memories of the sunset :)
For the party back home we hired a live band – The Bright Sparks, who played our favourite indie-pop-rock tunes and had everyone dancing all evening. We couldn’t recommend them highly enough.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I had three bridesmaids – my two sisters and best friend Helen. It took me a while to settle on a theme colour but found they all looked stunning in my favourite orange. My two young nephews were dressed in orange and blue too – they looked so cute in the photos.
THE FLOWERS | I carried a beautiful sunflower bouquet in Greece – which I brought back home with us, but it sadly didn’t last for the party! We kept the table décor simple with orange Gerbera stems in glass bottles.
THE CAKE | We served cupcakes as a desert, but the main cake we cut was three tiers of cheese! Our guests enjoyed the cheese and cracker feast while they had a pause from dancing during the band’s break.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Our Photographers were Katie and John from Kate Gray Photography. I know Kate from school and love her style.
Steve and I are not naturals in front of the camera, so were nervous about posing for photos. K+J made us feel very relaxed – we actually had so much fun! They didn’t stop shooting until the band played their last song and we couldn’t be happier with the results – they captured the mood of the day through to the end of the night perfectly.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | We designed the initial layout of the tents incorporating dining, dancing and drinking areas! We put a fire pit in the chill-out area to light later in the evening , but we didn’t end up using it on the July heatwave weekend! We set tables and benches in long rows and had the food served on bamboo plates with wooden cutlery – all to fit the informal festival feel. We chose a Mediterranean BBQ buffet to bring a little bit of Greece to the party too.
I enjoyed adding a few details – paper pom-poms, bunting, lanterns and we hung up photos from our time in Greece so our guests could see where we made our vows.
We really wanted the location to glow after dark – so lighting was key. We wrapped fairy lights around the tent poles and along the front brim, added a glitter ball above the dance floor and paper lanterns were lit around the tents as the sun went down.
THE HONEYMOON | You could say our honeymoon was in Greece before the wedding party! We spent a week there (actually getting wed in the middle) and it really was the most beautiful place to relax together.
Though, the travellers we are – we’re off to Morocco soon to hike to the summit of Mt Toubkal as our ‘proper Honeymoon’ (really just an excuse for another holiday :)
MEMORABLE MOMENTS |The sun breaking through the clouds just as guests arrived to form a beautiful day (after the severe weather warnings!)
Dancing with Steve inside a circle of all our guests and seeing them cheer for us.
And finally, having photos taken from the far side of the lake. I remember looking back at the tents and not believing just how lucky we were to have all our loved ones enjoying themselves together and celebrating with us on a beautiful day.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Go with your hearts. It was a bold decision to have the ceremony on our own, but we enjoyed separating the two events – first having time for ourselves and then partying with everyone else. I don’t think my nerves would have handled it all on one day!
Enjoy every moment – time really never went so quick in all our lives.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photos | Kate Gray Photography
Tents & Interior décor | Beautiful World Tents
Location | Knepp Castle Estate
Catering & Bar | Total Hospitality
Band | The Bright Sparks
Cheese cake | The West Country Cheese Co.
Hair & Make-up | Gina Brown
Dress | Gwendolynne Burkin
Generator | Sparks Power
Greek Wedding Planning | Stella and Moscha
Utterly beautiful. I love a wedding when a couple does things in their own perfect style.
Thanks so very much to Zoe and Steven for sharing their brilliant wedding story today XOXO Lou