It’s time for the Millbridge Court wedding of Shanna and Dominic today and what a spectacular celebration they had! They were hitched on the 15th August 2019 in Surrey with an picturesque outdoor ceremony and a light, bright barn reception.
Their theme was botanical with lots of home-grown fresh flowers all round, complete with copper and acrylic elements. Acrylic signs featured throughout and didn’t Shanna do an amazing job with the calligraphy? The barns looked really beautiful thanks to their fantastic DIY touches.
I must also mention just how much I love their outfits. Shanna wore an Enzoani gown with flower crown, Dominic opted for a blazer and chinos combo, while the bridesmaids wore pretty grey frocks.
I cannot thank Surrey Wedding Photographer Kirsty Mackenzie enough for sharing with us these fabulous images today. Enjoy folks!
Dom and I met at school when his best friend and mine got together. At our local pub, our friend Tom bought me and my friend some sambuca shots and asked Dom to carry them over. They ended up all over my lap, and Dom messaged the next day to apologise. We’ve been together ever since and Dom proposed eight years later.
He had the ring for months before he proposed. He planned to do it on a spontaneous trip to Brugge we booked (I had planned to go the the garden centre that morning, we somehow ended up in Brugge). However, I then invited some of our best friends and it didn’t happen, much to Dom’s disappointment as he had been carrying the ring wrapped up in a pair of pants in his back pack the whole time!
A few months later we went to Oia, Santorini. We found a spot to watch the sunset on a travel blog which hardly anyone knew about, (probably because you had to climb through a water treatment plant and along a cliff to get there – so romantic!) so we used to go and sit there before dinner each night. Dom finally proposed one night and it was lovely!
My main vision for the wedding was that it was just casual, relaxed and fun, the alcohol flowed and everyone had a good time. As long as that happened I wasn’t so bothered about anything else. Not many of our friends are married, so we haven’t been to a huge amount of weddings but I knew I wanted a good Mumford style band and interesting looking food (which we definitely got with Kalm Kitchen – they’re amazing!!).
The Planning Process
I find planning tricky, I am the most indecisive person you’ll ever meet. Luckily, I had a lot of support from friends and family who all wanted to get involved. My mum was amazing, she grew our wedding flowers herself and we collected all of the vases together from charity shops. I phoned her constantly to ask for advice! A family friend made our amazing cake, a friend of a friend made our invites, my dad helped with lots of copper pieces like the table plan stand, and Dom’s mum helped out with the children’s outfits and made some signs too! I tried to do quite a lot myself, so made all of the menus and signs myself on Perspex/Acrylic which we had cut. We had just under a year to plan the wedding, it came together right at the end but we do now advise our friends to give themselves a little more time!
We went to see quite a few venues, but just got such a lovely feeling walking into Millbridge Court. It’s intimate and cosy, but very beautiful, and I also wanted somewhere really light, which was one of the main reasons we picked it. Unlike other barns, it has huge windows all around, and makes for beautiful photographs. Millbridge Court is paired with Kalm Kitchen which was another plus, it has rooms onsite for family, an amazing lodge for the couple, and a best man’s lodge which is very cool. I love that part of Millbridge feels like a home inside (a very nice one), and it also smells amazing!! The put on date nights and tasting nights for their couples, so you really get to know it before the wedding day.
Your Outfits & Accessories
Dress shopping was by far my favourite part of wedding planning!! Everyone thought it would take weeks and weeks of trying on a million dresses as I’m so indecisive. I took my mum, auntie and Dom’s mum along to help me decide. We first went to a shop called Go Bridal in Tunbridge Wells, where we had the full on wedding dress shopping experience, including champagne! The staff were so so lovely and helpful, and I really got a feel for what suited me. I knew that I wanted something a little more boho/hippie, so went to Heart Aflutter in Hackney which has such beautiful, unique dresses. I found something I really liked, but finally found my dress in The Wedding Dress Shop in Wimbledon (third time lucky). I had it custom fit with a split up the front to make it a little more casual and different. I loved it so much!
Dom went for a casual look as we didn’t really think a full suit with tails would go with the relaxed theme of the wedding. It took a few attempts to get the right balance of smart casual but he eventually opted for grey blazer and navy trousers from Reiss paired with a white shirt and navy shoes.
The Readings & Music
We didn’t have any readings as we wanted the ceremony to be short and sweet. I came down the aisle to Skinny Love, Bon Ivor. We signed the registers to instrumental versions of Here Comes the Sun, Riptide and Ho Hey. We then walked back down together to You’ve Got The Love, Florence and the Machine.
We had been to a wedding a few months before where there was a wandering band, and it was the most fun! I knew I wanted something similar, so we asked our band to start straight after the ceremony and play outside, which was lovely. For our first dance we wanted something a little different. We asked the band to start with a slow, acoustic version of Hey ya (Outkast), so our family could see the slow dance part, we then asked them to speed up so that everyone could come onto the dance floor and ‘shake it like a polaroid picture’! We had never heard this version of the song before the night, but it was so much fun, the band did amazingly. People still ask us about who they are now!
I wanted a very natural look. I found Jessica Short Hair & Make Up and loved some of the styles she had done. She was so calm and professional, despite there being 6 children under 6 getting ready with us. My make-up and hair lasted all day!
I found choosing bridesmaid dresses one of the hardest parts, I just wanted everyone to be happy, but also didn’t have a huge budget. My bridesmaids aren’t very pink girls, but I ended up finding some dresses in a beautiful grey colour from Oasis, they looked amazing!
The flower girls looked adorable in some dresses I found on Not On The Highstreet, from a shop near us called Matchimony. They were such amazing quality and fit perfectly!
To once again keep the theme relaxed and casual we just opted to have the groomsmen wear navy trousers and shoes to match Dom but instead of a blazer they wore navy braces. We got all of the groomsmen outfits and accessories from Next/M&S.
Flowers were an important part for me, I wanted a very botanical, green, foliage kind of look. My mum is a keen gardener, and she grew most of our flowers for us, and decorated the whole breakfast room which looked absolutely stunning! It was lovely to be able to go home and see the flowers growing in the garden each week. I then found Francesca Sharp, who did our bouquets, flower crowns, buttonholes, some flowers for the aisle, two large milk churns and our confetti. I showed her some example pictures and what she created was more than I ever would have imagined (and for a very reasonable price!). She even stayed during the day, and moved the flowers around to different areas of the venue so it seemed like we had so many, I couldn’t recommend her more.
I knew I wanted very bright, colourful but casual and candid photographs. I found Kirsty Mackenzie on Instagram and she is just amazingly cool. I didn’t really look around too much after I had found her as I knew she was just what I was looking for. She was great on the wedding day, like part of the family, putting up with drunk cousins and a lot of young children who she was amazing with! She was great the whole way through the process, she sent an amazing book of tips which helped soo much on the day, and has also sent little bits through the post since which is so personal and makes us so happy each time!
We very reluctantly decided that a videographer was not in our budget towards the end of our planning. However, one of my university friends knew this, and turned up in the girls dressing room on the morning of the wedding to film it as a surprise wedding gift for us and I am so glad he did! Not only is he the nicest person, he is hilarious and all of the guests adored him. He made us the most amazing wedding video that we do not stop watching, and are so, so grateful for.
The Details & Décor
I got a lot of inspiration from Pinterest and Instagram, I wish I had found a website like this! I made a lot myself, I went for an acrylic and copper theme. I ordered lots of acrylic and white pens, and wrote my own menus, table signs, signs around the venue and even wrote the table plan myself! My dad made copper stands for all of the signs. I also did things like paint dinosaurs for the children’s place names, and put out flip flops and sparklers. We added a few other bits, such as a pimp your prosecco stand, and balloons from Bubblegum Balloons. Luckily, Millbridge Court is a venue that you can add a lot of your own décor too, but also looks beautiful left as it is.
The cake was made by a lovely family friend of mine and decorated with flowers by my mum. It was delicious!
We spontaneously booked 4 nights along the French Riviera right after our wedding as a minimoon, and I’m so glad we did. It was so lovely to stay in the happy wedding bubble for a little longer. We are going to Kenya on safari (Kicheche Camp) and to Zanzibar (Zuri Zanzibar) for some beach time this summer, and will spend our anniversary there!
Dom: Seeing Shan walking down the aisle for the first time and being surrounded by all of our friends and family.
Shanna: I loved walking down the aisle, getting ready in the morning, speeches and (very surprisingly) the first dance, and of course the party. I loved all of it!
Advice For Other Couples
Keep calm and don’t sweat the small stuff (much easier said than done!). Have fun, don’t get stressed if things have to change plan. I would also probably say give yourself enough time to plan, we had under a year and although totally doable, it may have been nice to have a little longer. Ask for help, everyone likes to get involved and it makes it so personal.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Kirsty Mackenzie Photography
Ben Thomas BT Filming
Mother of the Bride & Francesca Sharp
Hair & Make Up
Oh so gorgeous!
Shanna and Dominic thank you ever so much for sharing your boho beautiful wedding story with us xo Lou