Bride and groom outside chapel at The Simondium Country Lodge

An Enchanting, Tolkien-Inspired Wedding

When you have a real passion for something, why not embrace it and use it as the inspiration for your wedding styling? That’s exactly what Chandré and Mark did for their incredible Tolkien-inspired wedding.

I love how the couple created such enchanting wedding styling based around Tolkien’s books. A charming, eclectic mix of literature-inspired details complemented by the most spectacular flowers.

The dark red and pink flowers work tremendously well with the dark evergreen foliage, creating a wonderful depth. These styling colours are warm and luxurious, and offer such intrigue to the concept.

Bride and groom outside chapel at The Simondium Country Lodge

Chandré’s floral crown of large pink and burgundy roses, framed with foliage, is so pretty, and complements her effortlessly beautiful bridal style. Talking of bridal style, wait until you see her shoes…*swoon!*

If you love Tolkien’s work too then you will really appreciate the effort this loved-up couple went to to use these elements in their wedding styling. The details were perfect for the wonderful rustic backdrop The Simondium Country Lodge offered – a perfect setting for them to create their own love story.

Photographer Michelle Du Toit captured Mark and Chandré’s amazing Tolkien-inspired wedding beautifully, and I am delighted to share their spectacular day with you…

Fairytale Character

“Our wedding was inspired by the beautiful settings and architecture of Rivendell, the Elven city envisioned in Peter Jackson’s ‘The Lord of the Rings’ – what nerds! We both love the Tolkien stories and wanted to bring aspects from the books and films to our wedding.

“Although initially daunting, finding a venue which encapsulated the ethereal feel we were looking for turned out to be a lot easier than we thought. By chance we came across The Simondium Country Lodge, and were immediately taken by the beautiful gardens, charming chapel and exquisite reception hall. The few resident peacocks also added to the fairytale character of the venue.”

Peacock on train platform at The Simondium Country Lodge


Maroon bridal bouquet

Gold glitter wedding shoes

Maroon wedding shoes

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Bride and groom in a field with cows in background

A Rustic DIY Wedding in a Cow Shed

Well, this is the first wedding we have featured that took place in a cow shed wedding venue, and it’s amazing! It just goes to show that you don’t have to have a large wedding in a stately home or a rustic barn; if you fancy a country style wedding then, hey, go and find your local cow shed!

Sarah and Jim’s wedding was a work of love. The styling details really fitted the country, rustic vibe they hoped to achieve. An abundance of hay bales (it helps when you get married on a farm), rustic pallets and crates formed the base for their styling, and together with giant light LOVE letters, candles and fairy lights, the ambiance was set.

What do you feed your wedding guests when you get married on a farm? A hog roast of course. I love the way the table was styled complete with hog’s head centrepiece!

Andy Griffiths Photography captured Sarah and Jim’s cow shed wedding perfectly, and I hope you take away loads of inspiration for your own country wedding.

Bride and groom in a field with cows in background

“Our first encounter was actually during a student night in Leeds. We met in a club and kissed on the revolving dance floor. Sadly this beautiful, romantic act was not the start of our relationship, but it was the start of a very close friendship in which we lived out the single student life together. In our third year we finally became an ‘official’ item and our story begins from here.

Birthday Surprise

“When James proposed he’d planned a birthday surprise for me – a trip to the Lake District. We have always gone up to the Lakes hiking and cycling so I had no reason to be suspicious. When we arrived in the Great Langdale valley he handed me a larger than usual bag and told me that we would be wild camping up the mountain. So off we went up Bowfell.

“The weather was changeable with the sun peering around a rain cloud every now and then. James hadn’t quite decided the exact time when he was going to propose and the weather was playing a big part in his decision.

“Once we reached Bowfell and took the standard ‘top of the peak’ selfie we descended to Angle Tarn where we were going to camp for the night. Knowing I was at my destination I sat on a rock and dramatically ‘refused to go on’. I love hiking but the sun had come out and I had swapped to carry the BIG bag (which held my engagement ring, unbeknown to me, but to the amusement of James). James, taking advantage of the sun, grabbed both bags and began to walk off. He said we weren’t there yet, so I reluctantly followed.

“He continued upwards over a small peak, but once we got over it, to a secluded spot, the view across Langdale Valley was incredible. James quickly distracted me and asked me to look for something in one of the bags. When I turned back around he was on one knee holding the most beautiful ring!”

Bride having make-up done

Bride putting on headband

Bridesmaids helping bride with wedding dress

Bride looking at herself in mirror

Cow shed wedding venue

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Bride and groom standing in front of Lonkerfest sign at Colehayes Park wedding

A ‘Lonkerfest’ Festival Wedding at Colehayes Park

This festival wedding is totally awesome! Amy and Chris certainly know how to style a wedding and throw a party, and boy I wish I was there!

Everything about this wedding is pretty darn cool. To start with, Amy and Chris named their wedding ‘Lonkerfest’, which is a combination of their surnames with a festival twist. They even had their own logo designed, which they used on their wedding stationery.

This wedding is bold and flamboyant and features plastic flamingos, funky sunglasses, blow up cacti, pom poms, loads of balloons, personalised cake toppers and funny pictures of all their guests.

Bride and groom standing in front of Lonkerfest sign at Colehayes Park wedding

Amy’s fabulous tea length wedding dress was custom made from a second hand full length dress with train. This is just a small symbol of how much effort and customisation these guys put into their big day.

When you see the pictures of this amazing ‘Lonkerfest’ wedding, taken by Howelljones Photography, you will see by the huge grins that are on everyone’s faces just how much fun they all had. You guys rock!

Sweating About the Right Time

“We met through mutual friends in Perth, Australia. Chris was there backpacking from the UK and I grew up in Sydney. He met our mutual friends at a camp ground in Darwin, and when I went over to Perth to visit my friends (I lived in Sydney at the time) I met Chris at one of their parties. We did long distance between Perth and Sydney for seven months (no mean feat – it’s a five hour flight!) before we decided to move to London together. That was eight years ago.

“When Chris proposed we were away for a long weekend with close friends of ours. On the Sunday night the four of us were drinking champagne and playing the dice game, Yahtzee. Suddenly Chris threw the dice across the room to create a diversion. I went to pick them up, turned around and there he was standing with a ring in his hand! He’d had it all weekend, sweating about the right time to propose, when finally he couldn’t take the ring burning a hole in his pocket any longer!”

Bride having make-up done

Bride looking at wedding make-up in mirror

Groom tying shoelaces

Groom doing up tie

Flamingo cufflinks

Man holding buttonhole

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Bride and groom in Santorini

A Beautiful Elopement in Santorini

Oh how I long to visit Santorini; it has long been one of my dream places to visit (hopefully when my children are a little older I can fulfil this dream). When I saw the beautiful pictures of Katie and Brian’s elopement in Santorini I knew we had to feature it.

Brian and Katie went all the way from Florida to marry in beautiful Satorini. No guests, no bridal party, no fuss… just them, the sunshine and the beautiful scenery – perfect!

Bride and groom in Santorini

After the official ceremony they had incredible pictures taken against the fabulous backdrop of Santorini, followed by an intimate meal together overlooking the Aegean sea. The table styling was simple and elegant, with a beautiful floral arrangement, pretty floral napkins, cute personalised cutlery and gorgeous floral wreath chair adornments.

This incredible elopement in Santorini is simple, stylish and hugely romantic. It shows that you don’t necessarily need all the bells and whistles – just you, your partner and the perfect location.

I hope you enjoy these magical pictures taken by Sotiris Tsakanikas.

Intimately Celebrate Their Love

“Everything fell right into place in this chic destination elopement in Santorini. Each one of their details was effortlessly elegant, from the beautiful bride’s moments of prep (she couldn’t go wrong in monogrammed silk) to the perfect amount of intimate wedding decor. This affirmed there is so much graceful people like Katie and Brian can do with the assistance of an amazingly creative design team such as Stella and Moscha. Grandeur may be often well exhibited in amplitude, but this clean and quiet take on the couple’s organic penchant had splendour revised.

“Calling to mind all our moments together and Katie’s honest tears of joy, I can only feel overly honoured to witness how a couple decided to travel to this blessed isle to intimately celebrate their love.” – Sotiris Tsakanikas


Wedding dress hanging outside apartment in Santorini

Wedding shoes hanging on door

Wedding rings

Bride sitting with bouquet before getting dressed

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Bride and groom sitting on balcony of Centre for the Book

An Opulent Wedding at Centre for the Book, South Africa

Oh la la, I have something really special to share with you today. I love everything about Marina and Milan’s opulent Centre for the Book wedding in South Africa.

The couple chose to hold their wedding reception at the Cape Town venue due to their love of literature. This incredible Edwardian library building provided an amazing backdrop for their fabulous wedding, and the gorgeous domed atrium of the central reading room created the perfect setting.

The venue lent itself perfectly to their styling, with long banqueting tables covered with beautiful burgundy crushed velvet tablecloths adorned with candelabras, glassware and pretty flowers. I love that Marina and Milan gave each guest an old book, tied with a velvet ribbon; perfect for their concept.

Bride and groom sitting on balcony of Centre for the Book

The couple’s style influenced everything about this wedding. Marina wore beautiful embroidered floral shoes, which looked amazing with her stunning white column dress with plunging back detail from Carina Le Roux. She completed her bridal look with a marvellous over-sized bridal bouquet of burgundy blooms and loose foliage.

It’s not often you see bridesmaids in black (although I love this look) or wearing shirts, but this is exactly what Marina’s bridesmaids wore and it looks fabulous.

Our thanks go to Michelle Du Toit Photography for sharing these amazing pictures from Marina and Milan’s fabulous Centre for the Book wedding. Enjoy!

I Realised I Was In Trouble

“I had an eye on her when we acted together in our third year, but she made it clear that she wasn’t interested. The next year we were in a small class for our honours in acting. I was the only guy in the group so could pick who I wanted to act with. She was the best actress and I wanted an excuse to get her alone, so I chose her to act with.

“The play we were in had a few kissing scenes which I would usually act in just a little longer than necessary. After a lot of coffees and running lines together, she always made sure there was another person present for some irritating reason. I realised I was in trouble. I was really in love.

Bridal bouquet in a vase

Bridal shoes with colourful petal design

Wedding dress hanging in window

Bridal preparations

Bride holding bouquet in front of mirror

It Would Never Work

“One day she was coming to rehearsal in the pouring rain. I still remember she on a green jersey on with a long white dress underneath her costume. She looked up with her huge blue eyes and greeted me with a smile. I kind of cracked and told a friend who said he wouldn’t tell a soul – he told her in a matter of two days. Nothing is confidential in the Drama Department.

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