Charlotte & Kieran’s boho dream weeding at Burley Manor – New forest

Charlotte & Kieran got married at the super cosy Burely Manor, in the new forest… This beautiful venue with authentic woodland setting, rustic barn, deer on the door step, and real fires are to die for… They chose to marry in the autumn, embracing all the season has to offer, combining this with super cool boho styling… After their honeymoon, I got in touch so they could spill the beans on wedding planning, proposals, and top tips…

How did Kieran propose?… At Disneyland Paris! We’ve both been numerous times over the years, both with our families growing up and just together. One of our favourite spots is the Piano Bar inside the Disneyland Hotel. On the very last day of a five day trip in December 2016, he proposed over tea and cookies in the bar. We went back for our honeymoon over the very same dates in 2019, and going back there as his wife was super special.

What inspired you for the theme of your wedding?… It’s very typical to say but… Pinterest! I’ve always loved 70s and bohemian styling, and we both love being outdoors, we both work together in the New forest, so it was a no brainer for us to choose a woodland location for the big day… Autumn is also our favourite time of year and we loved the thought of getting married in October. Bringing all of these things together just formed a very natural basis for the theme and styling of our wedding.

Why did you choose Burley Manor?… Over the years, Kieran and I have spent a lot of time exploring the New Forest, with our Scottie dogs in tow. One of our favourite spots in the New Forest is Burley. It’s just somewhere that has an air of magic… with its witchcraft history that makes sense really! It also helps that the hotel is incredibly beautiful, and the staff are just absolutely wonderful and made everything a breeze.

Tell me about your dress buying journey?… It was actually surprisingly simple for someone who is usually incredibly indecisive! I knew I wanted a dress that was elegant yet easy enough to run around a forest in, if needed! In my head, I envisaged something fitted, with a sweetheart neckline, thin straps and a low back. I ended up trying on a few variations of this style in about three shops before spotting the Inez by American based designer Willowby by Watters on Pinterest, and decided to try and hunt it down in the UK. Luckily Ava Louise Bridal in Southampton was having a Willowby trunk show. I asked if the Inez would be included, and they very kindly ordered it in especially to try with the current collection. I also had some extra length added to the train for a little more drama. I also purchased a lace and tasselled kimono from Bibi Luxe as an evening cover up, which was a thing of Stevie Nicks dreams!

How important was styling and flowers to you?… Massively! During our consultation with Clair, we said the flowers were probably the most important styling element… We wanted to embrace the forest, use lots of greenery and plants, bringing the outdoors inside and creating a woodland setting was the ultimate target… Knowing Clair was so on board with our ideas just made us even more excited and certain that she was absolutely perfect to bring our wedding vision to life. The result was beyond anything we could have imagined, I still get emotional looking back at the photos! Winterborne Vintage supplied our super cool boho furniture and beautiful rugs for the ceremony and reception finishing… we made our own birch wood tipi and welcome sign, which you added foliage and flowers… Fundoo Wedding stylists set up our beautiful fairy lights in the barn ceiling, adding that extra element of autumnal cosiness. 

What was the best part of the day?… Absolutely the ceremony!! I know it’s a bit cliche, but you can’t prepare for how wonderful it will be. I was so incredibly nervous beforehand, not because I was getting married, but because there was a barn full of people waiting for me to arrive! As soon as I walked in with my Dad, all of my worries faded, and I was just in awe of the styling, stunning flowers, and glowing candlelight. I then saw Kieran waiting for me in front of the beautiful macrame arch. Our registrar was so lovely, and having Kieran’s cousin Carmen read a poem that she wrote especially for us, based on our memories and favourite things about each other, is something I’ll never forget.

Do you have any top tips for brides planning their wedding?… Enjoy every moment, plan a wedding that is true to you both and take time to savour the day together whenever you can. It’s advice we were given in the run up to our wedding and it’s true when people say the day will fly by!

Furniture hire… Winterborne Vintage

Venue… Burley Manor

Dress… Willowby by Watters

Photographer.. Mary Parker

Sam & Alex’s enchanted woodland wedding at Herrison Hall…

From the moment I met Sam and Alex I knew this wedding flower journey was going to be special… Sam’s brief was… ‘think Lord of the Rings Clair!’… Well of course I was instantly in love! From proposal to saying I do, this entire wedding has been super Romantic with a capital R!…

So Sam, did Alex propose?… At home! I knew it was coming but thought he’d do it in Italy, as we were getting ready for a trip there. But he knew I would be expecting that, so instead he did it two days before we left. I came home from a meeting to find the house full of roses and a box sitting on the table. I walked up to it to look closer, and Alex came up behind me and whispered his proposal in my ear. It was super personal, intimate and romantic.

Talk me through your dress buying journey… I was planning to buy my dress overseas from a certain shop I liked, but my mother in law convinced me to go shopping locally ahead of time to get a better idea of the styles I liked. I ended up finding the most gorgeous sample dress in my size on sale, so I bought it! I couldn’t believe how quick and simple it was! However, choosing my Bridesmaids and their dresses turned out to be a bit more tricky… I had a couple of friends back home in the States I had to choose between to walk with my sisters and best friend here in the UK. In the end the decision was made for me, as one of them was helping me a lot with wedding plans, and the other simply couldn’t make the date!

Tell the readers about your flower choices and wedding styling journey?… I knew exactly what I wanted before I spoke with anyone, I’m such a huge fan of Lord of the Rings, it turned out to be a huge inspiration for the day,  I knew I wanted a forest theme, so foliage was always going to be hugely important for making that vision a reality. I was lucky to meet you, the foliage queen, and Sam from Linen and Lace! you were the first people I got in touch with and you both understood my vision entirely. I was able to put together the enchanted forest wedding of my dreams because I had the right suppliers who just got what I wanted. I never quite realised how important that would be until I started planning, I just let you guys roll with it and do your job!

 What was the best part of the day?… Alex’s vows for sure. I can’t watch or read them without crying… I loved my family from overseas being together with us along with close friends… and I loved my enchanted woodland you created for me!

Wedding stylists… Linen and Lace

Venue… Herrison Hall

Photographer…  Benni Carol wedding photography

Whitney & Charles… Parley Manor… Dorset

I met this lovely couple over a year ago… Their brief was simple… Clair ‘do your thing’! I was so excited to embrace my love of all things natural and woodlandy… creating wild foliage arrangements packed full of dried seed heads, pampas grass and succulents… This wedding was all about south African influences, foliage and plants… After the wedding I asked Whitney to share some intimate details about how Charles proposed, and the planning of their big day…

Charles proposed to me at a beach bar in Croatia, one of favourite places on earth! We were having sun downers when he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! I was wearing the same white dress I had on the first time we met. Charles had said to me that first night, after a couple of beers and a lot of flirting, ‘You’re the one and I am going to marry you one day.’ Six years later, on a beach in Croatia, wearing that same white dress, I said yes!!

Charles and I are both originally from South Africa so deciding where to get married was tough! Although the vast majority of both our family are in SA, England is our home now, and so we decided to it here! Our families where so excited to make a holiday of it. The pressure was on to find the perfect venue… We booked lots of viewings determined to make sure we got the right venue. Parley Manor was our first appointment but as soon as we saw the gardens we knew it was for us. We booked it there and then, cancelling the rest of our appointments! We loved the grounds, relaxed atmosphere and how easy it would be to make our own – a blank canvas with a gorgeous backdrop!

After securing our venue and wedding date I then became addicted Instagram using it for inspiration, its how we found most of our suppliers including photographer, stylist and you! I started following you (stalked really) and read your blogs. Every bouquet, centrepiece and buttonhole was unique. We wanted someone who had a definite style to their floristry and wasn’t just doing ‘wedding flowers’ so I popped you an email with all fingers and toes crossed hoping you were free. And you were! Phew! We felt very lucky to have you as a part of our day. 

Flowers were very important to me… My gran is a whizz with flowers and some of my favourite memories are of us arranging flowers together so I actually asked her for her advice. I sent her ideas and she would say, that bouquet is lovely but going to be very heavy all day (never would have thought about that!) or those flowers might not be in season, etc. so she was definitely a huge help! I come from a part of South Africa that is hot, humid and green all year so we chose foliage with that in mind. The proteas and succulents incorporated throughout our flowers were a nod to home too which made our flowers feel very personal and special. 

My dress buying was my next big mission…Oh wow, the first time I tried on dresses was with a very close friend who had also just got engaged! We booked an appointment at a stunning boutique in Wimborne and were excited to try on dresses together for the first time! Well, it didn’t go so well. The first dress I tried on I managed to get foundation all over the cream silk of the bodice! Quick tip: Step in to the wedding dress and try not to get make up all over an extremely expensive French design! The owner of the store was understandably annoyed with me and I still cringe when I think about it! The rest of the process was thankfully less embarrassing. I tried on a couple of dresses that were the ‘look’  I wanted to achieve but quickly realised it’s better to chose what suits me rather than what looked good on Pinterest! I also felt that once I knew what I was going to wear it made things such as flowers and decor easier to make a decision on.

What was my best part of the day… Oh, definitely the moment at the top of the aisle seeing Charles for the first time! I got told by a couple of people to stop at the top and take a moment to breath it in. I thought I would feel nervous and just want to hurry down so asked my dad to please make sure I took that time. I am so glad I listened to that advice as its a moment I’ll never forget. 

My top tip for planning your wedding is… I found wedding planning quire stressful at times… the best advice I got was not to fret about everything being perfect on the day as everyone attending were there because they loved us and wanted the best for us. It really changed my perspective! I chipped my manicure the morning of the wedding, my nephew and page boy sat in a puddle a few minutes before we were about to walk down the aisle so he had a wet bum and it was raining up until a half hour before our ceremony started. Not everything is going to go perfectly to plan, so that’s when your bridal party and your suppliers will step in step up. After all the planning and hard work leading up to it, try be as present as possible on the day and just enjoy it!

Wedding Venue – Parley Manor

Wedding photographer – Peppermint love

Wedding stylist – Linen & Lace

Rosalind & Ravi… Axnoller… Dorset

This weeks wedding blog is all about a fusion wedding… East meets West with Shakespeare’s Rosalind, and the true romantic Ravi… Roz talks about their journey, planning a two wedding weekend, with a Christian wedding on Saturday, followed by a Hindu wedding on the Sunday…

We met Ten years ago on the second day of our graduate scheme. There were seventy graduates who joined our department at work that September,and as Ravi and I have surnames starting with the same letter,we were in the same training classes. We developed a strong friendship and love blossomed over the years… Ravi proposed in Capri as the sun was setting. He had wanted to go to a particular spot to watch the sunset, but I railroaded his plans and made us go to another part of the island! When we were alone in the pine trees looking out to sea he proposed. We celebrated with pizza.

Once engaged I knew planning two weddings was going to be full on… as The Christian Ceremony was on the first day of our celebrations, I started looking for this dress first, and I ended up buying the first I tried on. Some brides have a strong idea of what they want in a dress but all I knew was that I wanted something plain-ish. I visited a number of other shops to try on different styles but I was drawn back to the Cymberline dress I had originally tried on. It had a plain top but magical 3D flowers on the over skirt which danced as I walked along, and gathered around my feet in a circle.

My outfit for the Hindu wedding came from a shop in Ealing Road in Wembley. Ravi’s mum and sisters came with me and my family, we really needed their guidance as this was a whole new experience for us, we had such an amazing day looking at all these amazing fabrics, so bright and colourful. I knew I wanted something quite traditional and I found the perfect one from Rangoli, they were so helpful and made me feel amazing. The outfit was made for me in Mumbai and was a complete contrast to my Christian wedding dress, I looked and felt so different in both…

We Fell in love with the tree-lined drive towards Axnoller, it’s enchanting and wonderfully secluded, but offers big, wide, open Dorset skies. When we thought about what atmosphere we wanted to create at our wedding, Axnoller was perfect as you can stay for the whole weekend, which meant we could have our two weddings on one site and so it acted as a way of unifying the two very different celebrations. There was also opportunities across the barn, marquee and outside space to allow us to have different parts of the wedding in different spots. Axnoller had the added bonus of allowing our families to stay on site which made it very relaxed for us all. Nadia and Sheryl at Axnoller were wonderful to work with too, the icing on the cake!

Having two weddings gave us lots of opportunities for flowers. To give a contrast we chose a very natural white and green theme for the Christian wedding, filing the church with beautiful garden flowers…then vibrant pinks and oranges for the Hindu ceremony.
The Hindu wedding ceremony takes place in a Mandap and one of the reasons we chose Clair as our florist was that she was so excited about creating one for us. Together with the silk I had bought from travels with my parents in Rajastan, Clair decorated the Mandap beautifully with flowers garlands and vibrant floral arrangements. It was a big task but she took our brief and did such a wonderful job. It cleverly combined vibrant India with wild Dorset and wowed us all.
We were really pleased with the table decor at our reception. We made giant table runners using more of the Indian fabric, which Clair adorned with gold jars packed full of flowers. Lots of gold and silver candlesticks and tea lights were added, creating a super cosy atmosphere while we dined from huge sharing bowls of curry and breads…

At times during the planning I questioned why we had decided to have two weddings, however, looking back I was so pleased we did. It was essential for us that the Christian and Hindu weddings were on equal footing and that all guests were invited to both. Our families and friends loved learning about the different cultures and we were so impressed with how both sides embraced it all.
Looking back there are so many wonderful memories, from the happiness we felt walking out of the church after the Christian ceremony… to Ravi and my Dad’s speeches. What was also wonderful was seeing all our friends and family making such an effort to wear India clothes for our Hindu ceremony. They went to such a lot of trouble and it really showed how much they cared. Our hearts just felt full the whole weekend.

Tackling a two day wedding isn’t for the faint hearted, and we couldn’t have achieved it all with out our team of helpers. From our families to the staff at Axnoller, the photographers and videographers, hair and make up, and of course Clair and her team. We put our trust in them to create our vision and were thrilled with how they brought it to life. Thank you for everything.

Venue – Axnoller Weddings

London Wedding Photographer – Weddings by Nicola and Glen

Emma & Simon… Cain Manor… Hampshire…

I met Emma & Simon last winter… They described themselves as outdoorsy, with a passion for horse riding and dog walks in the woods… so obviously this had a massive influence on the their venue and flowers choices… 

We knew we wanted a church ceremony… our lovely local church is set in a beautiful location in the woods, it was perfect for us. The only challenge was the venue… we wanted something close to the church that fulfilled our brief for a country wedding… I ordered brochure upon brochure of local venues, but didn’t feel anywhere quite right for us. My mum mentioned Cain Manor, and as soon as we saw the images online, we knew we had to visit. This was the only venue we visited in person and we booked our date there and then. The venue offered us exclusive hire and bedrooms onsite for family, which was important to us, we also loved the country feel of the venue and the gorgeous grounds and views. 

Flowers were the next big thing and very important to us… We knew that choosing the right look and feel would really help enhance our venue, and look amazing in our photographs. We had picked a very neutral colour scheme… I had a vision of our bridesmaids in nude and had already fallen in love with some personalised floral stationary and table settings in white and nude pinks, so the flowers  had to follow this theme… We also knew we wanted to bring the outdoors in using lots of fresh greenery… We wanted to find a florist that loved foliage just as much as us, and really matched our vision for the day. We met with a couple of florists but didn’t feel they really understood our vision for the venues. When we came across Clair’s Instagram page with images of natural garden flowers and lots of foliage, we knew straight away she was perfect. After discussing our ideas in depth over the phone, we were so excited to have Clair producing our flowers. She was also very helpful in maximising our  budget, suggesting we reuse flowers from the church at Cain Manor, which she took care of on our behalf, we didn’t need to think about a thing on the day.

My dress buying journey was pleasantly straight forward and enjoyable. I was slightly filled with dread at the thought of finding a dress, or in my case not finding a dress! I had watched many wedding programmes on the tv, and scrolled Instagram looking aimlessly at wedding dresses, so I knew what I didn’t want in a dress, but was no closer to knowing what I did want! I took my whole bridal party, seven of us, to my first dress shop with no intention of buying a dress – how could I get all of us to agree on one dress? After trying on a couple of dresses my sister pointed out a dress on display and told me to try it on. The minute I tried the dress I knew it was the one, I loved the fitted shape and the detailed lace design on the body of the dress, I felt elegant and confident walking around the shop. When I went to collect the dress 6 months later, I had an extra surprise that it came with a lace cape giving me a gorgeous long train, I love looking back at the images, seeing it cascading down the aisle!

This is question everyone has asked me since the wedding, and I am not sure its possible to pick a single moment from such a magical day. However, I think the ceremony will hold a special memory for me. This was the one part I was most nervous about and wanted to get it out of the way so I could relax and enjoy the rest of the day. As soon as I arrived at the church with my dad and bridesmaids, my heart started pounding and my legs turned to jelly… but once the doors opened and I saw everyone’s beaming faces, I immediately relaxed. The church looked absolutely beautiful with foliage wrapped round the pillars. floral jars lined the aisle with bright flowers, and there was fresh green foliage on every window ledge… Standing at the altar next to Simon was  the perfect moment, he calmed my nerves and the service was full of laughter throughout. The wedding breakfast was also magical seeing all our family and friends enjoying the day and of course eating all the extremely tasty food. The speeches from Simon, my dad, and the best man were a great part of the day too. It was during the meal that I released how lucky we are to have so many wonderful friends and family who came to celebrate with us. We must say a huge thank you to Clair for creating such a beautiful wedding for us, we couldn’t have imagined it better, and it really was a pleasure to have you with us on the day! Also a huge thank you to the wonderful Linen and Lace who, alongside Clair, dressed Cain Manor for us and brought the whole look together! 

Hampshire Photographer – DM Photography

Venue – Cain Manor – Hampshire

Venue stylists – Linen & Lace

We met Clair and clicked immediately

We met Clair and just clicked immediately with her. She had prepared ideas based on our description of the wedding and she was one of the few suppliers we met who genuinely tailored her approach as soon as she got the brief.

An excellent creator of floral masterpieces

Clair instinctively knew what flowers to use based upon my brief... She is calm, relaxed, professional and discrete... An excellent creator of floral masterpieces which brought tears of joy to my eyes.

Exactly what every bride needs

Clair is knowledgeable & friendly which is exactly what every bride needs. Her work looks like it's out of an East London photoshoot with oodles of style... All of my bridesmaids want Clair to be there florist. She is exceptional!