Today, let me start with the dress. When it comes to wedding planning, the outfits are one of the key elements of searching and planning for. Am I right or am I right? Sometimes it takes one dress or suit and you’ve found the one. But sometimes it can take a little longer. Bride Meaghan tried on around eighty frocks until she found hers. In the end she took her groom Kristian along for the shopping trip and they both loved the lacy number she plumped for. I adore that they went shopping together and bucked tradition, it’s all about those little moments isn’t it after all? Lee Petra Grebenau‘s Liv was the one and didn’t it look stunning on her?
WWW readers Meaghan and Kristian tied the knot on the 5th July 2017 at Knighton House in Dorset. They actually changed their original wedding plans when they came across the venue, that’s how perfect it was. Being a school means that it’s only a venue in the holidays and I think that makes it all the more special. The gardens and grounds were perfect for their festival feel celebration complete with tipis and smoke bomb portraits with Sasha Weddings.
Fun, frolics, laughter and dancing, this wedding has it all.
THE PROPOSAL | Kristian and I were travelling in Sapa Vietnam when he proposed to me. We were staying in a hill tribe village in the mountains the night before he proposed and somehow he managed to sneak off and telephone my dad, mum, twin sister and my older sister for permission to marry me. Were a very close family and he didn’t want to leave anyone out!
The proposal was the day after in an empty restaurant with a beautiful view of the mountains. It felt really special having the moment just the two of us away from home.
THE VISION | We both really wanted a laid-back day without any formalities. We wanted all our guests to feel like the day was about all of us celebrating together and to achieve this we wanted to be really involved in seeing everyone and sharing the moment on the day. It was important to me that I was relaxed on the day and didn’t spend my time running around stressing about anything that wasn’t perfect. So I totally let go of the worry the night before, had some drinks on the day and enjoyed every minute.
To help us achieve our vision and stick to what we wanted we ruled out having a top table pretty early on and positioned ourselves in the middle of the room. We created a quiz for each table based on their table name and included questions that related to our special memory of that place to make it more interactive, and gave a prize/ round of shots for the winning table! We also celebrated Kristian’s brother Mark’s birthday on the day and got everyone involved in singing him happy birthday.
I didn’t have a set idea on what I wanted the day to visually look like straight away but this developed as we went along. I chose things that I loved the look of without stressing too much about everything having to tie in and match.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We first started planning our wedding when we got back from a travelling trip and we decided we wanted a really low key laid back wedding, we were starting to plan a registry office wedding with a reception at a Thai restaurant and party in a bar after.
However! these plans changed quickly when my parents moved to the village of Durweston in Blandford (Dorset) and they came across Knighton House school.
I am painfully indecisive at times so the decision making didn’t come easy! But when we walked around Knighton House for the first time it felt right. It is a very calm place and I could see myself dancing around the garden without my shoes on the evening of my wedding day so I was sold!
THE VENUE | Knighton House School in Durweston, Dorset. The venue is a beautiful Georgian house that is a boarding school during term time but you can hire it out for weddings and events during the holidays. It is surrounded by gorgeous gardens and Dorset countryside with a lovely long tree-lined driveway that leads you up to the house.
There are several areas that are registered for you to marry around the property and they are really accommodating to your requests.
We loved the period features and unpretentiousness of the venue. It is very versatile and gave us the option of creating the wedding we wanted. We could pick the caterer, supply our own alcohol and choose whichever band we wanted, which gave us the freedom to make choices personal to us.
They also have an amazing wedding planner called Lucy Hinks who was incredibly helpful during the planning stages and on the day.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Lee Petra Grebenau – Liv Dress. From Morgan Davies Bridal in Islington. I am actually selling my dress.
Earrings – Scintillare CZ Drop earrings from Liberty in Love.
Shoes – Jenny Packham.
FINDING THE DRESS | My indecisiveness came into its own when hunting for a dress! I tried on… a lot. Maybe 80… ish. I wanted to find something unique that I hadn’t seen before but I was struggling to fall in love with any. I had recently moved to Leeds and all of my family and friends live in Dorset so I was often trying on dresses alone. I told Kristian how I was feeling and he took me to London for the day and we shopped for the dress together. We both fell in love with the dress I picked straight away and I loved sharing that experience with him. He got shouted at by a few people for being there! But it felt right for us.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Kristian had his suit made by Michelsberg Tailors in Leeds. We hand picked the colour of the suit, the lining, pearl buttons and 70’s lapels! We took inspiration from Tom Ford style suits.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We wanted music playing for the duration of the day so we handpicked songs that meant something to us and would also create the perfect backdrop initially and get people dancing between the band sets.
This was a long process but was definitely worth it as it also gave us the opportunity to include songs that we have shared memories of with friends and family.
We love dance music so we picked a band that did live dance covers and they made the day for us. They had loads of energy and everyone was raving by the end of the night!
Some of our favourite songs that they covered were; Everything But The Girl – Missing, Robert Miles – Children and Darude – Sandstorm. But our highlight was when they covered Insomnia by Faithless.
Readings were by my brother in law Ben, my great Uncle Chris and my best friend Lucy. Ben read the Wear Sunscreen speech by Mary Schmich, Lucy read words she had written herself and Chris read an Apache wedding blessing.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I had my twin sister and my older sister as my bridesmaids, which I loved because we are all so supportive of each other. We like the same things, which helped but also they were the most low maintenance laid back bridesmaids I could have asked for!
Their dresses are from Ghost, I managed to find them in the sale for half price from the Ghost store and Debenhams. They were the last two I could get hold of and happened to be in the correct sizes. I saw that as a sign that they were the ones to go for!
I knew I wanted something classic and elegant for the bridesmaids and added the flower head crowns (made by the florist) to add a bohemian twist.
THE FLOWERS | I got the flowers from Bright Blooms in Shaftesbury. We had eucalyptus cinera, white peonies, blue cornflowers, memory rose, white eustoma, and blue delphiniums.
THE CAKE | We didn’t actually have an official cake, we did get some big cakes from Pamphill Farm Shop near Wimborne for the evening, which were delicious if that counts!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Sasha Weddings. I am not keen on having my photo taken and knew it would make me feel uncomfortable to have to pose for photos on the day. I find natural shots of people more interesting and think they tell a better story of the day to look back on. Sasha listened to what we wanted and I love the photos she has created for us.
I had seen colour bomb photos in a bridal magazine and thought they looked amazing. So, we bought some smoke bombs online and experimented with them on the day! We had loads of fun and were both really happy with the result.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | My colour palette was eucalyptus green, copper, blush/ nude and white.
Table decorations: copper lanterns with fine copper wire fairly lights inside and gypsophila (my mum came up with this combination and it looked really beautiful and unique on the day). We wrapped eucalyptus around the lanterns to add width/ colour and depth to the table and had copper wine coolers to tie in with the wire lights. We completed the tables with table names with map backgrounds (found on notonthehightstreet) and favours, which were personalised packets of forget me not seeds.
We had a wall of fairly lights in the main room.
Giant balloons in ivory and blush.
Instead of a guest book we asked all of our guests to fill out a bucket list with activities/ adventures for us to complete, we’ve made some head way on this already!
We decorated a tree in the gardens with photos that we had printed online via photobox (polaroid style), and had a chalk board drawn that said “our family tree”.
We hired a tipi with a festoon walkway, which we used for an aisle, and opted for the fire pit inside it to toast big American marshmallows. We also had a chalk board sign made to sit next to the fire pit saying “let’s get toasted!”
Wooden benches for extra seating in the garden with Hendricks gin bottles as decoration in the centre filled with flowers.
A blush pink hand painted M & K sign.
We dressed the fireplaces with eucalyptus cinera, green ruscus and eucalyptus parvifolia.
The table plan was a canvas of a blush colour abstract map that we pinned luggage tags to. Each table was a place that Kristian and I share our favourite memories in.
Oil lit lanterns lining the driveway.
Festival flags opposite the tipi.
THE HONEYMOON | We went to Vegas for four nights and we let our hair down! After months of stress we loved having fun together. We stayed at the Bellagio and went to pool parties, nightclubbing, casinos and went to a show call Absinthe, which was amazing.
We then travelled to a wellness retreat in Maui and on to Oahu in Hawaii. The night before Kristian proposed to me in Vietnam we met an American couple who we clicked with straight away, they happened to be on their honeymoon at the time and we said we would share ours with them too. We all stuck to our promise and met them for part of our trip in Hawaii!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | The speeches. Kristian’s best man Jason was nervous before his speech but was brilliant. Kristian and my dad are great at public speaking and they also nailed it. They were heartfelt, not too long and made everyone laugh.
Kristian’s most memorable moment was me reading my handwritten vows to him and saying I do way too early by mistake!
Seeing family and friends that we hadn’t seen for a long time.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Enjoy it. Get access to your venue as early as you can before the day to set up, it will take you longer than you think. It can be overwhelming in the run up to the wedding, support each other and take a moment on the day to look on at something you have created together with pride.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Sasha Weddings
Band | Tritts and the Numbers
Catering company | Sorrels
Flowers | Bright Blooms
Venue | Knighton House
Tipi | Coastal Tents
Bar | Southern Mobile Bar Hire
Dress | Morgan Davies Bridal
Festival Flags | Event Flag Hire
MUA | Olivia Davey
Thanks so much to Meaghan and Kristian and their photographer Sasha for sharing their beautiful wedding and imagery here at Whimsical Wonderland Weddings xo Lou