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Marja and Alex's summer garden party wedding - Dorset in July

Summer sun, spaniels in flower crowns, and a first dance in the orchard at sunset – Marja and Alex’s rustic wedding was like an amazing English garden party!

With the pandemic restrictions in place, Marja and Alex had to postpone and re-plan their wedding many times - which for someone as organised as Marja, who is an incredible hostess and likes to have every detail finessed far in advance, was no small undertaking! It was well worth the wait, as all the thoughtful details and beautiful handcrafted touches came together to create a relaxed festival-style celebration filled with love.

The bride and her bridesmaids got ready at home, with their two spaniels, Merry and Pippin, also getting lots of love and attention. The delicate floral bouquets were hand tied by the bride and were absolutely perfect for a rustic summer wedding. The gorgeous makeup looks were brought to life by Amazing Face Dorset, and Hair by Poppy adorned their hair with pretty sprigs of gypsophila. I was on hand to help when shoe buckles needed fixing and to help sew up a small dress snag (I always carry a kit of emergency items like thread and safety pins!) as well as capture all the preparation moments. I then went ahead to St Edward’s church in Corfe Castle, to wait for the bridal party’s arrival by vintage Land Rover Defender, decorated with pastel bunting and kindly loaned by a local farmer friend!

Alex was full of pride and emotion when his beautiful bride walked up the aisle towards him. Voces 8 gave a wonderful choral performance in lieu of hymns sung by the congregation, and the traditional ceremony was simple and elegant. The newlyweds walked out of the church to the Land Rover with their dogs amidst a chorus of applause and cheers, then a fun confetti shower, and guests were transported to the next location via a classic British double-decker bus.

Beautiful rustic touches and a relaxed atmosphere was top of their priority list, so they took the opportunity to bring their dream to life with a reception at Alex’s childhood home, with a marquee from Oakleaf Marquees set up with help of Polly from Blue Bay Events. Pallets and crates were repurposed and painted to show the order of the day, and a unique table seating plan was created from pots of herbs on a wooden ladder. I also loved the hanging hoops adorned with foliage, and a wall of photo memories from the couple's time together, including some snaps from favourite holidays and university throwbacks. Displays like these are really fun for your guests to look at!

Marja and Alex wanted just a few traditional group pictures, and lots of candid moments captured to show everyone enjoying themselves. The bubbles flowed and the laughter was loud - the pure joy of people being dressed up and together again was simply wonderful to see!

Before the delicious family-style dinner service provided by The Salt Pig, I captured the moving and emotional speeches, which included words from both the groom and bride. I love how many women are bucking tradition and also taking the opportunity to speak at their weddings now! The wedding was filmed by Bristol-based videographer Matt from Hive films, who I have worked alongside again since for a personal project and can highly recommend.

The evening was relaxed and fun, with lawn games and an open bar. Marja and Alex took a stroll together to take in the end of the day as their swing band set up to play. They had their first dance in the orchard at golden hour as the sun set, in true festival style!

This wedding was very special for me as I have been friends with Marja since secondary school, so it was a real honour to have such a significant role in her milestone moment. Marja said "Our wedding wouldn't have run half as smoothly without you at the helm, saving the day repeatedly, moving people around, fixing my dress and capturing the incredible, electric atmosphere. You really do go so far above and beyond, are an asset to any wedding and I really hope you know your worth. And to the photos - Natalie they made tears of delight and happiness pour from my eyes! You are exceptionally talented at what you do and have captured the happiest day of my life in such a natural, perfect way. Alex feels just the same; you've given us a beautiful set of photos to treasure forever."


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