Axnoller Farm looks like an incredible place to host a wedding – the perfect industrial blank canvas with stroke-able concrete block walls and far-reaching views of the Dorset countryside. Amanda and Harps lucked out with the weather too, doesn’t their day just look glorious?
Amanda fell for the designs of Rue De Seine and it’s not hard to see why – we always love their fashion-forward styles and fresh take on Bridal. She was lucky enough to find her dream dress at Leonie Claire, who stock this New Zealand based brand.
The whole Ibiza sundowner inspired wedding was captured by Alice at Babb Photo and it looked like one hell of a party…!
Amanda The Bride: We first met in September 2007 while we were both holidaying in Ibiza and we knew instantly that we’d be friends for life. A few months later he asked me out for our first date!
We were on a skiing holiday in La Tzoumaz, Switzerland with 20 of our close friends. It was our first day of skiing on the 19th January 2014 where we had gone over to Verbier for the day. We had an amazing day skiing and at the end of the day, we headed back to La Tzoumaz. We got to the top of the Savoleyres Mountain for the sunset and agreed to ski the last run home as a group together. Little did I know Harps was hatching a plan to get me by myself. He pulled me over to the other side of the mountain where the sun was setting – I waddled over with my skis and goggles still on trying to get the rest of the group to follow but no one else came with us. When we got to the edge Harps put his board down, grabbed something out of his bag and got down on one knee with my ring. I think my words were ‘are you being serious?!’ and then I began to laugh/cry and of course said yes! 🙂 He then pulled out some champers, 2 glasses and we watched the sunset over the mountains and took in the moment. We then skied the last run together smiling at each other all the way down! Then had a massive party with everyone when we got back to the chalet! It was the most amazing and unforgettable day (well until our wedding day!)
I wanted a romantic bohemian look for my wedding dress that was pretty unique. I went to a couple of shops and everything looked ok on me but I didn’t feel it was boho enough. I had been following Rue de Seine, a New Zealand based designer, on social media for a while but there were no UK stockists. I then saw that Leonie Claire, a Brighton based bridal boutique, were planning to stock the dresses and booked an appointment straight away! The dress I had wanted to try however hadn’t arrived with the first delivery. I went anyway and tried on a few different designs. My dress was actually the last one I tried on and I knew instantly that it was the one – it just felt different to anything else I had tried. I came out of the changing room beaming and my friends burst into tears – I knew it was the one especially when I didn’t want to take it off!
I wanted my hair and makeup to complement the romantic boho look of my dress. I’m lucky to have close friends that are in wedding hair and makeup so they were an obvious choice for my wedding day! I had a loose relaxed wave in my hair which I dressed in a ridiculously long plain tulle veil for the service and then replaced with a flower crown for the reception! My make up was a subtle brown smokey eye, long lashes and a soft pink lip. My jewellery was all from the amazing Laura Lee Jewellery in London who have just started a wedding service too – I wore thin big gold hoops and a gold bracelet with a delicate pearl on that was a gift from my husband on the morning of our wedding. I teamed my whole look with an amazing pair of gold gladiator Christian Louboutins – if you can’t justify buying them for your wedding day when can you!
Harps wore an amazing 3-piece light blue checked suit from Reiss with a navy bow tie and burgundy shoes. He looked amazing and I bought him a vintage gold pocket watch for his wedding present which he tucked into the waistcoat.
The wedding ceremony and reception were both held at the beautiful Axnoller which is in the middle of the Dorset countryside surrounded by beautiful views. What we loved about Axnoller is the amount of choice we had in deciding where to have our ceremony and reception and that we could really make our wedding our own. The venue has a few areas that are licensed for marriage so you really have great flexibility to create your perfect day! We had planned for an outdoor wedding which is a bit risky in April even though it was right at the end of the month! The week before our wedding we had snow so we thought we would see what the weather was like on the morning of the wedding. We had glorious sunshine thankfully but we felt it was a touch too cold for our guests to be sat outside for the ceremony so we made a call at 10 am to hold it in the beautiful barn. It was a stunning choice with the beautiful white ceiling drapes, twinkling fairy lights and the most amazing view of the rolling Dorset countryside staring in front of you as you marry the one you love.
My flowers were from Jennifer Poynter Flowers. I knew when I first met Jen that she got us as a couple and what we wanted for our wedding. For my bouquet, I wanted something huge made from mainly foliage with a sprinkling of flowers and I absolutely got that! It was mainly eucalyptus and white roses. For the bridesmaid’s bouquets, I wanted just foliage and again them to be big! They looked awesome especially when we put them all together for the photos. I wanted my bridesmaids to wear foliage crowns which looked amazing too and worked perfectly with their dresses. I also had a crown but with flowers in for after the ceremony. For the ceremony, we had clusters of foliage decorating the aisle chairs and two wild trailing foliage arrangements that were the focal point at the end of the aisle which was cleverly attached to the big glass doors. For the reception, I wanted long foliage garlands running down the long rows of trestle tables. This looked awesome and I accented this with over 100 brass candlesticks and gold animal favours.
The Wedding Party
The bridesmaids wore amazing dresses from Biba in a dovetail grey and they all looked fab! I wanted to find dresses that they each felt their best in so didn’t mind them having different styles. We found this dress in the first 15 minutes of us going shopping and it suited them all so we knew it was the one!
We had written our own vows so we had no idea what each other would say. This was definitely one of the most memorable, special and emotional parts for me and I would encourage everyone to do this – even if it’s hard it’s completely worth it! The other would be having all our favourite people in the same place together and taking a step back to see what we had pulled together.
The venue work with Gordie, The Frying Scotsman, who cooked the most amazing wedding breakfast for us. We had scallops to start, lamb for our mains which was carved by guests at the table and then cake stands filed with 3 different desserts to finish off! The food was outstanding – it definitely stood apart from other weddings in terms of quality and presentation.
Our friend Louise Holme, who runs the Dorking Deli, made our cake and it was such a big hit! It was a 3 tired grey and gold cake made up of chocolate, Victoria and lemon sponges which stood beautifully on a huge log and stacked crates. She also made our cake topper – a gold lion and lioness to tie into our animal favour theme!
Alice and Elyse at Babb Photo were fantastic! The day ran away with us so we were really happy that Alice and Elyse could be flexible and stay later and the pictures look amazing.
I spent so long on Pinterest getting together some really cool ideas for DIY decorations like the table plan and signage but not really thinking about how I was then going to make it happen. Like the wooden signage made from old wooden pallets. I loved making this but it took us forever! The same with the table plan. And once we had made all this stuff we then had to work out how we were going to transport it to Dorset! We had to hire a van in the end!
We had a few DIY touches to really bring to life our romantic boho theme – we made over 30 dream catchers which hung around the marquee during the drinks reception. Our table plan carried on the dream catcher them and was made from 3 large hula-hoops! We also made all our signage from old wooden crates – I loved spending our weekends making this with Harps!
Seeing as we met in Ibiza we wanted to ensure our reception has an Ibiza party vibe – we therefore not only had an amazing DJ, Rich S, from Stylish Entertainment, but also a bongo player, Felix. It was an amazing evening – where the guests probably spent more time on the bongos than Felix! We also had one of our close friends do a garage DJ set!
Most wedding nights end at a reasonable time with the bride and groom going off to bed – not ours! We ended up at 4 am in the outdoor hot tub with all our friends (me in a white swimsuit and my flower crown of course!) It was the perfect way to end our day!