Gorgeous Sarah and Kenny brought a touch of Scottish character to their stylish yet bohemian Dorset wedding. This globe trotting pair could have married anywhere in the world, but the charms of Axnoller got under their skin and from that moment, there was no other option for them. We can totally see why, this place has a completely unique vibe and yet is the perfect blank canvas for couples to make their own.
Sarah The Bride: Since the wedding in September, we have been backpacking through Asia – our honeymoon in the Maldives was followed by Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Tibet, and now Japan. We’ll be on the road for the next six months and plan to visit China, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, and Burma. If anyone wants to follow our adventure, you can find us on Instagram – we’d love to bring you along!
In 2014, we met in Brisbane, Australia where Kenny was working hard and Sarah had just relocated from the USA to study business. Instantly after meeting we had that cliché, wonderful, love-at-first-sight whirlwind, which ultimately led to our engagement in Iceland one year later. It was the best time of our lives! Over the next eighteen months, we slowly planned our big day. We had to overcome the countless challenges that involve planning a wedding, the main one being that Sarah wanted a small, casual wedding on a tropical beach, while Kenny wanted a large, traditional wedding in Scotland. After lots of consideration, we agreed that an outdoor, mid-size ceremony in Scotland would be perfect, albeit risky (given the weather), so we began our search there.
After researching nearly every venue in Scotland, including a trip to see a venue in Inverness and getting spooked by summer midge-madness, we ended up expanding our gaze to England. We stumbled across Axnoller, Dorset online and thought it was the perfect destination for us both. It had incredibly charming outdoor areas, spacious venues with tasteful, spotless interiors, and a lovable, dedicated staff – not to mention the southern climate, which improved our chances of a warm, dry outdoor ceremony.
Axnoller ended up being a dream location and we couldn’t have asked for a better day. The Axnoller staff and founder, Alo, arranged everything flawlessly – the food, décor, organising, you name it. Suppliers turned up in style, delivering far and above our expectations. The English countryside was spectacularly showcased by the Axnoller grounds, and grabbed everyone’s attention from the moment the vintage buses trundled down the stone gravel drive. A September’s stormy sky graced the background of every photograph with, undoubtedly, the most dramatic backdrop and without releasing a drop of rain – even the horses on the neighbouring property emerged wearing a toothy smile!
Sarah’s “aunt” came from Hawaii to perform the non-religious ceremony, as she is a celebrant, marriage counsellor, spiritual guru, and overall expert on all things love, and she did a beautiful job marrying us.
Themes for the wedding were primarily Scottish and rustic-chic, with the men adorned with a perky blue thistle and Sarah in a flower crown, made by our lovely florist. (A quick tip – we used Etsy.com to order most of our decorations i.e. a personalised seating plan, signs, name cards, card box, etc, which was amazing because everything is essentially hand-made and high quality, but it’s usually cheaper. Plus, you have a chance to speak directly with the artist/creator who can ensure that you’re getting exactly what you need, and items are unique).
Friends & Family
We were incredibly fortunate, humbled, and grateful to have the endless love, help and support of our parents from day one of the engagement, all the way through to the moment we said our “I do’s”. The wedding was truly made by our guests, family and friends who traveled from all over the world (USA, Scotland, Mexico, Australia, Singapore, and Bahrain) to help us celebrate, half of whom wore kilts themselves, enthusiastically decorating the dancefloor during the ceilidh dancing with nobly knees a plenty.
We were especially grateful for our photographer, Axnoller wedding photographer Paul Underhill who went to great lengths to ensure that we captured the best moments of our special day. We first met Paul during our pre-wedding photo shoot at Durdle Door, where we immediately connected with his welcoming, laid-back personality, and fell in love with the thoughtful, candid photos he took. Our familiarity with Paul helped the wedding day go smoothly and he felt like another cherished guest attending the ceremony. Literally countless people commented on his professionalism and how stunning our photos turned out – we couldn’t have been more pleased!