On September 18th we celebrated co-founder Milly's wedding at Parnham Park in Dorset and what a wedding it was. We couldn’t have imagined a more magical location to celebrate Milly & Alex's union with their loved ones.
Parnham House is one of the oldest stately homes in Dorset dating back to the 1400s. The house is now owned by James and Sophie Perkins and is currently being restored. When James and Sophie agreed for Milly & Alex (the architect on the project) to get married at Parnham they couldn’t have been more delighted; it was incredibly special to be the first wedding at the estate since being under new ownership.
The weekend kicked off on the Friday with friends and family coming together to enjoy drinks at The Potting Shed, an intimate 'pub' location at Parnham Park. A local fish & chip van parked up and served guests amongst the fairy lights, hanging bud vases and trailing ribbons that we had adorned The Potting Shed outdoor area with. Later that night, Robin from The Rusty Pig instructed the groom and Alex's brother, Chris, to season the lamb for the wedding breakfast, which was subsequently buried in the ground and cooked overnight.
Whilst we stole moments in the marquee to lay finishing touches, the morning of the wedding was naturally reserved for having our hair styled, make-up applied and getting the bride ready! Milly’s vintage inspired dress is by Yolancris.
With an afternoon ceremony by the lake, the wonderful Boho Parasol Company arranged for a fringed canopy to be delivered which complemented the elegant backdrop beautifully.
Styling an event for 130 people takes months to thoughtfully mood board, source, design and plan for but it really is wonderful to finally see a space come together. To us, it is all about working with, and enhancing, our natural surroundings. Ambiance is key, making sure that the environment we are in is a calm and beautiful space to relax within; enjoying good food, wine and company!
As the venue is so raw and wild we wanted to extenuate the natural surrounding beauty by keeping the styling in and around the marquee, and on the tables very rustic. With long vintage trestle tables, which were made with reclaimed floor boards from a restaurant on Old Street, we opted not to use linen tablecloths but instead embrace the natural texture of the wood. Enamel crockery, farm style napkins tied with raffia, and eclectic silver flatware kept the dining informal and mirrored the relaxed mood enjoyed by all that day. Rusty Pig served Hangi lamb, sumptuous salads with seasonal vegetables and homemade onion seed flat breads.
We paired our brass candlesticks with our nude twist candles (coming soon) and meandered hurricane vases, as well as tea lights, down the length of the tables. The flickering candlelight reflected beautifully off the Forget Me Not Vintage wine glasses and our pinch pots, detailed with gold lustre, which we used as salt cellars! Stones, collected from the beach that Alex & Milly got engaged on, were hand painted by Milly's sister, Jo, and were used for name places which added a personal touch to the special tables.
Florist Kate Hamilton picked flowers from her farm, to bride Milly's specifications, which we then arranged in bud vases along the tables. Cut Flowers by Kate also prepared Milly’s bouquet, the flower girls’ posies and the button holes.
We foraged at Parnham, in the days leading up to the wedding, for foliage, adorning the tent with greenery and dried hops for a wild yet ethereal look.
With festoon lights, gold gilt frames and a huge glitter ball installed, the marquee came to life.
We set up an exclusive area, separate to the marquee, for the children to safely play, enjoying arts & crafts under the watchful eyes of a host of nannies.
Using bright colours and playful patterns, we laid a circus theme tablescape using Meri Meri products: Circus Stallion plates, multi-coloured diamond napkins and rainbow cups sat atop a pretty starry tablecloth. We used floral crackers in varying blush pinks, chosen by Olive, pom pom party hats and filled gold fringed party bags to complete the look. Final touches included streamers, balloon arches and unicorn friends!
The wonderful Lilium Bakery provides delicious vegan cupcakes topped with crystallised petals in complementary shades.
With dancing continuing on well into the early hours of the morning, Sunday was a welcome late start! Back at The Potting Shed guests drank Bloody Mary's and enjoyed bacon baps served with a very special barbecue sauce! And, just like that the whirlwind wedding weekend was over, with Milly and Alex making there way to Sicily for their honey moon...more about that soon!