As you guys know, I’m an absolute sucker for the wild textured look, packing stacks of garden flowers and wispy elements into my designs… When Max & Tessa got in touch regarding their home wedding in deepest darkest Dorset, I was a happy little florist… I remember my site visit, the rain was horizontal and we got soaked taking a tour of the still to be refurbished barn, grounds of the farm and the pretty little village church… despite the cold and rain, I knew it was going to be something special!
So Tessa, why did you choose Max’s parents house as your wedding venue… Max’s parents own a small non working farm in Dorset. The grounds, little barns and village are just so pretty in the summer months… They had this rather large dishevelled barn that was pilled full of junk… in fact it had this sad little glitter ball hanging from one of the beams as the previous owners used to use it as a party barn. So that was it, Max and I were sold and decided to hold our wedding at his family home in Dorset… His parents were so kind to allow us to do this, renovating the barn, having brand new concrete floors laid, and basically letting us bombard their home with so many family friends. They both worked tirelessly behind the scenes making sure everything was ready and looking perfect. They are the most wonderful family.
Had you always planned to have a country style wedding?… Yes, whilst we live and work in London we spend most of our time dreaming of escaping, trying to spend most of our weekends in the country. Dorset is such a special place, the countryside is idyllic and I wanted my wedding to reflect our passion…
How important where the flowers, colours and style to you?… Being surrounded by beautiful flowers and foliage on the day was super important in making the day that bit more special! Clair’s suggestions after I described the relaxed ethereal country style were absolutely spot on and the design process really was one of my favourite parts of the wedding planning, perhaps as it was the one area no one else was involved!! I still can’t believe how beautiful the flowers were and how smooth the entire process was from start to finish.
Tell me about your dress buying journey?… I’d heard you can go down a rabbit hole with dress buying so I spent just one day visiting four carefully selected places determined to make a decision that day. The last visit was to Louise Selby in Kew. It instantly felt right meeting Louise as you meet the designer herself rather than shop assistants (who in my albeit limited experience told me everything looked wonderful when I’m certain that was not the case). Louise was honest and direct but most importantly had the most beautiful dress collection so it was an easy decision. I chose a version of her Foxglove dress but with longer lace sleeves and more button detail, together with a long rose veil.
Tell me why you chose a statement cake?… I found Hayley Elizabeth by googling wedding cakes in the area (I don’t have Instagram!) and was blown away by her designs. It was so lovely meeting at her studio, trying her delicious flavours and chatting through design ideas. Although for our budget it was pretty extravagant to spend that much on a cake, I have absolutely no regrets and for those that doubted me they were silenced when it arrived! It was the most amazing creation I’d ever seen and I still can’t believe how happy a cake could make me! Max and I decided we would cut the cake before the sit down evening meal, so it made sense to make a statement of it… we had a separate marquee out on the lawn next to house… It framed an ancient old stone well in the centre of the marquee, it was a no brainier to place it here… both you and Hayley made it look so special surrounded by real flowers and cascading foliage… although guests were stunned when I said the cake flowers weren’t real but made of sugar! It was the perfect centrepiece for our drinks reception, making it even more wow cutting it with a sword!
What was the best part of the day?… Driving off with Max in his father’s old series 1 land rover after the reception and having 10 minutes to ourselves to take stock. I know it doesn’t sound much but you’re being watched (or at least feeling watched) constantly so this time alone albeit brief was so special and made the rest of it even more fun! I totally recommend taking some time for yourself during your wedding day, it goes by so fast!
How did Max propose?… Ah, it was really special actually…We go ice skating at the Natural History Museum just before Christmas each year and then for dinner and drinks, so he weaved it into this night and proposed at dinner, I wasn’t expecting it, and he didn’t go over the top and embarrass me, we had a very secluded table so it was low key and very personal.
Photographer – Helen Abraham
Cake – Hayley Elizabeth Cake Design
Hair & Makeup – Amazing Face