I spent a lot of time last year working in a gorgeous tipi venue and I just love how, even though I was going back to the same place pretty much every week, it was so different each time. The one thing almost all of the couples did have in common, however, was that they chose to have a lakeside ceremony (I mean, when your venue is able to offer such stunning views, why not make the most of them?!). But I’m going to let you in on a little secret and tell you I actually have a soft spot for their little woodland clearing.
When Jzuee and Dosh told me they had chosen to hold their wedding in the woods, I was delighted. Every time I’ve seen ceremonies in there it has been cosy and intimate, almost other-worldly. I had visions in my head of what their day might look like, but nothing prepared me for what awaited me that day…
I’d spoken with the couple just a few times in the run up to the wedding, and I knew they would be having a traditional Hindu ceremony. This meant putting up a mandap, adorning the space with flowers, and sending me a very long list of timings and important elements of the day! It would begin with breakfast, welcoming the families and then the groom making his entrance. There would be blessings and prayers, followed by the arrival of the bride, and a ceremony which would include the exchange of garlands, lighting of the fire, exchanging of the wedding bands and a series of traditions and rituals which would take no less than three hours to complete!
When I arrived at the venue to see where this would all be taking place, I was honestly blown away. The setting could not have been more perfect. Tranquil, but bright and full of character. It was a scorching hot day (my Factor 50 was passed around A LOT that day!), but the trees provided shade so that everyone could sit and enjoy the occasion. They’d chosen an amazing team of suppliers, including Floral Roundabout who put together the most beautiful displays on the mandap and the gorgeous floating flowers which made everything look so dreamy! It could not have been more beautiful.
I can only imagine how much there was to do to prep and get ready that morning! Both sides of the family were down in the cottages and the place was absolutely buzzing with life.
When Dosh arrived up at the venue, he certainly made an entrance. Driving up in his car, roof down and music playing, it set an amazing tone for the day and his family were behind walking, dancing and cheering him on all the way. It was just such a happy occasion! And Dosh looked incredible in his finery. I’ve never seen a wedding with so much colour; you just couldn’t help but get swept up in it all.
Jzuee arrived a little later in the morning with her bridesmaids, and looked absolutely stunning in a golden gown. She walked down the aisle with both parents by her side and, as per tradition, Dosh didn’t look at his bride until she met him under the mandap.
The ceremony was stunning, with so much music, love and joy. Honestly these two (and their families & friends) are just the absolute sweetest, and were so happy, supportive and lovely from beginning to end. What a treat to get to be an onlooker on a day like this!
Ceremony complete, it was over to the terrace for food (with a little help from some gallant groomsmen who shifted A LOT of furniture with us!).
The sunshine was so intense everyone scrambled for shade and there was such a lovely relaxed atmosphere as everyone sat crossed-legged under the trees by the lake. There were pillows and blankets laid out for everyone to use, and there was such a calm but cheerful feel to everything.
I tagged along with Jzuee & Dosh as they went for their photos and it was so lovely walking in the woodland with them and getting to know them both a little better. They just seemed like two people in their absolute element, and I’m so pleased everything went so perfectly for them!
There was a break in the day for everyone to head back to their hotels, have a little breather (and probably cool off!) before they came back in the evening for the reception. I vividly remember checking on the cake in the heat (it spent most of the day in the fridge trailer - tip: always make sure you have/rent a fridge trailer!), moving the flowers from the ceremony over onto the top table to really get the most out of them, and I remember all of the beautiful little handmade touches around the venue that looked so pretty in the tipis!
There were cocktails and mocktails for everyone to enjoy when they came back, and once everyone was in their seats our bride and groom made a brilliant entrance into the tipis to the sound of You Got The Love, and lots of cheering from their guests! They’d had time for a costume change, so Dosh was in a more casual suit and Jzuee was looking positively princess-like in emerald green. Could they be any cuter?!
There was yet more food (it literally didn’t stop all day - and, as a side note, it looked and tasted DIVINE), and there was time for some speeches before the ceremonious cake cutting and first dance.
Possibly my favourite part of the evening, though, was the moment they did the sparklers. I ALWAYS think these make amazing photos (another side note: please organise this VERY carefully and don’t just let people run loose with little sticks of fire), but this was something else… Not only did Jzuee & Dosh have their moment but they included both sets of parents too, which I thought was such a lovely touch. And honestly, the photos are incredible!
Speaking of photography, a huge shout out to Janina & co at Reportage Studios who stepped in quite last minute when the original photographer had an emergency. Also, kudos to Jzuee for staying so calm when this happened just days before the wedding and for pulling it all together again so quickly! I personally love these photos so much, and I had the best day with the guys as they were shooting - I hope our paths cross again soon!
I don’t think I will ever forget this wedding, and all of the lovely people who made it what it was. It’s the kind of wedding I’d love to relive over and over again. Have I ever mentioned how lucky I am to do what I do?!
If you want to have a little look at some info on what I offer for on-the-day coordination, and maybe even download a little document which tells you everything you need to know, you can head over to the WEDDINGS page. Have a read and then pop your details in the box at the bottom, and I'll be in touch!