Winding House Wedding
Simple, minimalist, classy, fun, emotional, relaxed, unique, authentic.
Ben and Laura
A very warm welcome to WWW readers Ben and Laura and what a way to start the week! They were married on Saturday 24th August 2019 at The Winding House in Kent, which proved to be the perfect blank canvas for their minimalist wedding style. Think lots of greenery, super stylish attire, modern typography stationery and a cool neon sign backdrop.
Laura chose to wear a gorgeous slinky gown by Laure de Sagazan which looked so chic, while Ben opted for a bespoke suit complete with his initials embroidered. Didn’t they look just incredible? I have a funny feeling you are going to love the lush flowers, the cheese stack and all of the emotional moments.
Ben proposed while we were on holiday in Spain. It was Laura’s birthday and we were in Granada, and Ben had been out to buy a picnic and some prosecco. We went on a walk to the top of a hill right by the Alhambra, and sat down at the top where there were beautiful views of the whole city. We were sitting next to each other, and Ben said “what can I do to make you happier?” (something he asks a lot!). Laura said “nothing”, and his reply was “how about if I ask you to marry me?”. It was absolutely perfect as it was so relaxed and private, which is exactly what we are like as a couple – no need for a big scene or anything like that!
We wanted something very simple and minimalist, and wanted to make the most of our beautiful venue. We aren’t really into “traditions”, and just wanted our wedding to be as relaxed as possible! Laura is really into her minimalist design (which she inherited from her Mum Kristien!) and wanted to reflect that in the décor. We didn’t really have a colour scheme as such, but the flowers were centred around green and white to fit in with the simple and minimalist design.
The Planning Process
The planning process was a lot less stressful than we were expecting, and people were always saying that they couldn’t believe how relaxed we were in the build-up to the wedding. This was mainly because we had a lot of help from talented family and friends. Laura’s Mum Kristien and sister Philippine are very stylish with an incredible eye for design, and helped us out so much. Philippine, who is a fully qualified architect and works as an interior designer made our wedding invitations, the seating plan, and name cards, and even turned her hand to some floristry, making the bridesmaids’ bouquets and table decorations herself following a very early morning trip to New Covent Garden the day before the wedding with her boyfriend Sam! Kristien project managed the overall design, and liaised very closely with our florist and other suppliers to ensure that everything looked perfect.
The Readings & Music
We had a humanist ceremony which gave us the freedom to make our ceremony really personal and about us and our love, which made it very emotional.
Music played a big part in our ceremony. We both love Mumford & Sons, and so had two of their songs playing whilst our guests “warmed” our wedding rings (Wild Heart and Woman, both from their most recent album Delta). Laura’s vows even included an extract from a Mumford & Sons song! Laura is obsessed with singer Laura Marling, and she featured quite a lot throughout the ceremony, both her music and in a few anecdotes given by our celebrant Sarah.
It was really important to Laura to make her Opa (Belgian Grandpa) an important part of the day as he very sadly passed away just two months before the wedding and had been really looking forward to it. The most special part was when Laura’s Mum Kristien read a speech during the ceremony that he had started writing for us before he died (he was going to read it to us at the wedding), and Laura’s sister Philippine finished writing the speech and read the rest of it.
We used the amazing Gwenda from Bohotanical who did a great job at bringing our vision to life. There were a few statement pieces which were real highlights, including a foliage cloud, and Gwenda really made the most of the venue. Gwenda also made Laura’s bouquet which was stunning and looks amazing in the photos. Laura’s sister Philippine also did a lot of the flowers, including the bridesmaids’ bouquets and the table decorations.
We got married at the Winding House in Coldred in Kent. We wanted to get married in Kent as Ben’s Grandparents who are sadly no longer with us used to live there, and it helped that it’s an absolutely beautiful part of England. Who wouldn’t want to get married in the Garden of England?! Laura was in charge of looking for venues, and the Winding House immediately stood out as it’s a beautiful building which is so different from your usual barn/stately home.
When we first visited the venue, we absolutely loved the white walls, high ceilings, massive windows, and how all of that contrasted with the red brick Victorian exterior. We met Vicki and Paul (who are lucky enough to actually live at the Winding House!) and immediately loved them. We knew that they were the type of people we wanted to work with during the wedding planning process, and so that was a major plus. The venue was a bit of a blank canvas and allowed us to do exactly what we wanted with it, and we thought it would make for some really amazing photos (and we were right!).
We didn’t really have a budget as such, we just prioritised certain things where we knew we wanted to invest a bit more heavily (such as the videography and photography, and the food), but never spent more than we knew we could afford. The help we had from family and friends also meant that we didn’t have to pay for certain things, such as stationery and some of the floristry. We both saved really hard from the moment we got engaged, and were not left in any debt when the wedding was finished, which was really important to us.
The Details & Décor
One of the centrepieces was the amazing neon sign we hired from Bag & Bones. It said “And so it begins…” which has become a bit of a slogan for our wedding day, and features heavily in our photos and video!
We had a cake made out of cheese, accompanied with lots of bread and chutney. Laura is a bit of a cheese fiend, and it went down very well with our guests.
Your Outfits & Accessories
Laura’s dress was by French designer Laure de Sagazan and she bought it from The Mews Bridal in Notting Hill.
Laura: I actually struggled quite a lot with finding a wedding dress and didn’t particularly enjoy the process! I’d seen pictures of what I thought I liked, but when I tried them on, it didn’t really work for me. I took some time away from looking for a dress and actually wrote a list of everything I’d learned about my body and what did and didn’t work for me. I’d seen the dress I eventually chose a few times as I tried on loads of dresses by Laure de Sagazan, but had never tried it on as it didn’t really fit in with what I thought I wanted. One day I realised it actually met a lot of the criteria on my list and so finally tried it on, and knew pretty much straight away that it was the dress for me. I felt comfortable in it, and it was kind of a “weddinged-up” version of what I would normally wear. I fell more and more in love with it as I went through the fitting process, and I felt incredible in it on the day. I think it fit in perfectly with the simple and minimalist theme, but was also a bit secy. I was never going to be your typical bride in a meringue wedding dress, and I don’t think anyone expected that from me. On the day, I had so many people saying “you look like you” (in a good way), and that was the biggest compliment they could have given me, and was exactly what I had wanted to achieve.
Ben’s suit was custom made by Edit Suits on Bow Lane in London.
Ben: I had always wanted to have a suit made for me, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity! I chose something that was timeless, and that I knew I would wear again for future special occasions. I had an amazing time choosing all of the details, and it has definitely sparked a love for bespoke suits! I even had my initial sewed into the lining which was probably the most exciting part!
Hair and make up was very simple. Laura and her bridesmaids went to a local salon in Deal where they were staying on the morning of the wedding for a blow dry, and Laura just wore her hair down as she always does! In terms of make up, Laura wanted this to be as natural as possible as she doesn’t usually wear make up, and went for a dewy look.
The incredible Miki Studios did both our photography and videography. We first met Mick when he photographed one of our best man’s wedding a few years ago. We really loved their photos, and knew that when we got married, we wanted him there. Apart from the venue, he was the first supplier we booked! Ash took our photos and did an amazing job. He really made the most of the beautiful venue and amazing weather and light on the day, and gave us the natural yet striking photos that we were hoping for! Ash and Mick made us feel so comfortable, and fit in seamlessly with our friends and family on the day. We consider both of them to be our friends, and still speak regularly. We hope that they’ll be at one of our friends weddings soon!!!
Bridesmaids & Bridesman
We had three bridesmaids (and a bridesman!), who wore beautiful silk cami tops and skirts from a brand called The OWN Studio, who were absolutely amazing throughout the whole process. We cannot recommend them enough!
Mick from Miki Studios was our videographer. The 20 minute feature length film he produced for us is truly a work of art – Laura cries every time she watches it and there have been comments made by our family and friends that it is Oscar worthy! Laura wants to show it to everyone who comes to their house
We went to California. It was absolutely perfect – the ideal combination of the classic Californian road trip (in a Mustang!) and a lot of rest and relaxation. We started off in Sonoma for some wine, followed by a few days in San Francisco. We then drove down the coast, stopping in Monterey (thanks to our love of the TV programme Big Little Lies!), Santa Barbara and Palm Springs. We ended up in Laguna Beach in a stunning hotel called Hotel Joaquin, where we stayed for 10 days. The hotel was amazing and every single member of staff made us feel part of the family, and we were hoping to go back this summer, although the Coronavirus has sadly thrown a spanner in the works! Laguna Beach is a short drive away from LA, and so we made a couple of day trips to different areas there including Beverly Hills, the Griffith Observatory and Venice Beach.
We had 2 best men and 5 other groomsmen. They wore dark blue suits which were hired from Moss Bros.
The whole day was just perfect and completely exceeded our expectations. Laura walked down the aisle on her own and gave a speech after the meal in a nod to her feminist side, and the humanist ceremony allowed Laura and Ben to write their own vows which made for some very emotional moments!
Advice For Other Couples
Be yourselves, and don’t do something or choose something because you feel you have to or because it’s tradition. When it comes to your suppliers and vendors, choose people you get on with and would be friends with because you’ll spend a lot of time speaking to them.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
The Own Studio
Wow, so much style!
Ben and Laura thank you ever so much for sharing your utterly chic day with us xo Lou