It’s brilliant when loved ones come together to combine their creative talents into the planning and making of a couple’s wedding day.
Not to mention the couple themselves, too – and today’s idyllic Hampshire country wedding is a lovely example of this in action, with a dress customised by the bride and her mother, flowers grown by the bride’s stepfather, homemade stationery, cakes by the bride’s mum and cousins, and her brother as celebrant.
Jason Williams Photography + Follow
We have our amazing Little Book member Jason Williams Photography to thank for this spectacular collection of images. Jason beautifully brings together a documentary style approach with fine art composition, and the results are gorgeous.
“Jason really catches the emotions and character of the day. We would 100% recommend him, he’s such a kind guy as well. We felt very comfortable on the day. Our photos are beautiful.”
Interior Architect Kitty married Niek, who works in business innovation on the 22 June 2019 at Kingsettle Stud, which is a collection of beautifully restored Victorian buildings and a walled garden on the Cholderton Estate, fifteen minutes away from Stonehenge in the Hampshire countryside.
“The venue had a large site with a lot of flexibility for both decoration and the days you could rent it. Here we could have all parts of the wedding in different locations over a long weekend.”
Kitty’s hair was styled in soft, romantic waves by Abi Laine Hair (sadly I’m unable to find any contact details for Abi) and adorned with a flower crown by florist Sophie from With Wild Abandon. Her make-up was by her sister.
To choose her wedding dress, Kitty visited Exquisite Bridal Couture in Winchester, although they are very sadly now closed. There she discovered her elegant, impeccably structured gown by our friend and Little Book member Caroline Castigliano.
“I bought a lot of magazines and made scrap books of the designers I loved. I’m very visual as a person. I knew I wanted something simple I could dress up with my Mum, as she made wedding dresses when she was in her 20’s.”
To the graceful simplicity of her full-skirted dress, Kitty and her Mum embroidered flowers and bees on fine tulle, and then added to the bodice, shoulders, and trailing down the back as a nod to their rural venue.
“My shoes were just some simple white John Lewis pumps. You couldn’t see them and I had to do a lot of walking, so it was for the best.”
Ahead of the ceremony, Kitty and Niek met for a first look and a woodland walk. Kitty carried a meadow fresh bouquet that included roses, cow parsley, cornflowers, daisies and eucalyptus, made for her by With Wild Abandon.
“We met on Tinder while I was an intern in Amsterdam. It was an instant connection over a love of food, travel and coffee! Niek proposed on the sofa after a lovely night at home with a trinket ring so we could go ring shopping together. We were engaged for 18 months.”
Kitty enjoyed a drink with her lovely bridesmaids ahead of the ceremony, and they looked wonderful in lilac polka dot tulle dresses with colourful floral embroidery from ASOS.
To complement the colour of the bridesmaids’ dresses, the couple’s flowergirl wore a lilac tutu dress by Etsy seller BeautyNaturalDesign.
“The venue was a huge inspiration. Whimsical wilderness with flowers and a rustic feel. My stepfather is a gardener, and he did a lot of work to the venue as well as growing huge amounts of flowers, which he installed the day before.”
Kingsettle Stud’s enchanting walled garden was the setting for the ceremony, with hay bale seating arranged for guests, and the aisle lined with planters of tall foxgloves and other beautiful blooms.
“Niek and I walked in together. I have both a father and stepfather, so to avoid any difficulty, Niek and I chose to walk down the aisle together to symbolise our equal roles in our relationship.”
The couple’s entrance song was Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s version of Over The Rainbow, and their ceremony celebrant was none other than Kitty’s brother.
“We made our own vows. We had a template of questions when we got our marriage certificate, which made us think about why we were getting married. What we love about each other, what we look forward to, and why we fell in love.”
As part of the ceremony, loved ones made speeches to the happy couple, and they also exchanged rings, which they had made at Lyppens Jewellers Amsterdam.
“We walk past them often, and it was a lovely memory getting fitted for them.”
Post ceremony drinks and Dutch inspired canapés were served by caterers Square Root Events, and guests mingled in the garden whilst some tried their hand at a paint by numbers portrait of Kitty and Niek – an amazing idea!
The wedding meal was held inside the venue’s light and airy Carriage Room, with elegant tableware hired from Choices Hire. There were simple white linens, and the tables were decorated with posies of flowers and tea lights placed on sliced logs. All of the stationery, including a handmade table plan, was by Kitty.
“As we met on Tinder, Kitty designed matchbox favours, which said ‘The perfect match’ on the them in both Dutch and English.”
“Our caterers Square Root Events were very accommodating and flexible. They created a gorgeous set of Dutch canapés and a Thai banquet for dinner – our favourite foods.”
After the Thai banquet came cake, with Kitty and Niek’s main cake made by Kitty’s Mum, and then 11 other incredible bakes made by cousins. And Kitty says every crumb was eaten!
“Dinner was my favourite part of the day. My Mum made a game with horse racing and questions to keep us all entertained, and my Dad did the sweetest speech.”
In the evening there was photo booth fun, as well as live music from vintage rock ‘n’ roll band The Bandits. Rather than a traditional first dance together, Kitty and Niek went for something a little different!
“We actually chose to sing to You’re the One That I Want from Grease. We both love to sing and are not big dancers so this was the perfect tailor made idea!”
Words of Wedded Wisdom
“Our budget was £17k. This was insanely tight but we had nothing extra, so we called in every favour possible and everyone pitched in a lot. But this did mean it was a family affair, and it made it so much more fun and memorable because we had so many personal touches.”
“Planning a wedding puts your relationship to the test. It’s amazing how many things you argue about. Just remember it is only one day for the rest of your lives. It should be special but it won’t be perfect, and that’s ok because you have each other, and that’s what it is really about. Remember to focus on why you’re getting married and try to enjoy the ride!”
That was just magical wasn’t it?! Kitty and Niek, thank you so much for giving us a glimpse into your idyllic, charming day. Many thanks to photographer Jason Williams for these sublime pictures, too. Do take a look at more of his work on our pages!