Gavin and Michelle’s beautiful West Axnoller Farm wedding in Dorset, with Linus Moran Photography
Today’s gorgeous couple chose an outstanding venue for their wedding weekend, styling their day with help from friends and family and choosing their suppliers carefully to create an amazing wedding day. Our lovely friend and Dorset wedding photographer Linus Moran Photography was at West Axnoller Farm to capture the day from beginning to end, and his photos are just wonderful. Michelle’s dress is stunning, and her review of bridal boutique The Wedding Dress Dorset makes me want to sing their praises from the rafters! This is a fabulous, elegant and classic spring wedding and I do hope you love it as much as I do.
Wedding photographer’s website:
How did you choose your photographer?
We first met Linus at Kingston Mauward wedding fair and then researched his work on his website. We got a range of prices from small independent photographers and larger businesses, but we wanted a photographer with a less formal style who focused more on taking un-posed photos as they happened, as well as having the opportunity to film the day. We also thought his films really captured the emotions of the day and that’s what sealed the deal for us.
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!
Hell yeah! He managed to capture some truly magical moments from right from makeup and getting ready, through the ceremony and all the way into the night’s dancing. Linus brought a colleague with him and they were both so professional and understanding on the day we felt 100% at ease. The photographs are beautiful and we love looking at them and showing them off to our family and friends!
Tell us about the moment you saw your wedding photos for the first time?
Linus sent us some preview snaps whilst we were on our mini-moon and we were both very excited to look through them and immediately shared them with our closest family! After this he sent the link for the full album of roughly 400 images and we looked though them again and again, talking about the day and the moments we had missed – as the bride and groom you miss so much of your own wedding and forget even more so these images are incredibly important to us to fill in the blanks!
Contact & bookings: Linus Moran Photography, Dorset
West Axnoller Farm, Nr Beaminster, Dorset
This venue is absolutely breathtaking! Nothing was too much trouble and they handled everything with the greatest care and attention. We stayed for three nights which made the whole event extra special and 34 of our friends and family were able to stay on the site with us and enjoy the amazing facilities including indoor pools, saunas and steam rooms. If you get a chance to go along to an open day we cannot recommend it enough!
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
Memorable, personal and exactly what we wanted!
Your wedding style or theme:
We wanted our guests to arrive at the venue and get the wow factor, but we also wanted it to be personal and relaxed.
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
We used many suppliers from the local wedding fairs but also listened to recommendations from friends. I did spend hours looking through wedding magazines which was great for inspiration but not that good for finding suppliers as they are often not in your location.
What’s your top tip for saving money?
Save money on flowers! Luckily my mum is a trained florist so the bouquets were done at cost value and the flowers for the venue I bought in Lidl the day before the wedding and arranged them myself. The other thing I would say is list your priorities – where are you happy to spend money to make it perfect and what do you not care about so much. From this list look at making things yourselves and getting friends and family to donate time or items to help you. It really made a difference on the day when people felt they had helped and were therefore more involved in the wedding itself.
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
We are so glad we went big on the venue, it was worth every penny! Because it was so perfect we hardly spent anything on decorations as it was naturally beautiful already. We are also thrilled with the wedding video and truly feel it was worth the extra money as we can keep it forever. Price per watch is already going down considerably!
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
Luckily some family friends run a printing business and were able to design and print this for us. This was another area where we were able to save a few pennies and you could do this easily at home using your laptop and printer.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
I chose three dresses that I loved in the first dress shop and decided to cancel my other appointments. I loved the sales lady so much and could have happily married my husband in any of the three so it seemed madness to add more dresses to the decision! I didn’t get the fanfare, trumpets and tears so don’t go searching for it. It was only when I had bought it and went to fittings that I really fell in love with it as I could truly imagine what it would be like to get married in it, the main focus should always be on your fiance and the wedding, your dress is important but it’s not everything.
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
I bought my dress from The Wedding Dress Dorset, a small vendor in deepest darkest Dorset. http://theweddingdressdorset.co.uk/
It is run by a charming lady who immediately made me feel relaxed and special and was honest with her opinions as well. I would strongly recommend her to everyone. The best thing was she only has one of each dress so I was able to only try on dresses that already fit me. No sponges or bull dog clips required just a realistic image of what I would look like on the day.
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
I went full princess and chose a glitzy tiara and sparkly veil with pear brooch on the dress. My advice would always be you can never have too much sparkle! It’s your wedding day, you are only going to do it once!
And what did the groom wear?
A charming blue suit with contrasting dogtooth waistcoat and red tie and pocket square.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
We chose our dresses from mix bridal, an online boutique, where I gave them a colour and they chose their own design. It was important to me that they all felt comfortable on the day so letting them choose their own dresses was essential and they all looked stunning! It’s a good idea if your bridesmaids are all very different body types too!
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
I went pro and would highly recommend Spence and Oliver to anyone. In fact, one of my bridesmaids has since booked them for her wedding! I think that says it All!
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
My mum did them.
I had a traditional tear drop bouquet with red and roses and my girls had round poised with white roses. Traditional flowers done with traditional wiring and skills.
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
Nope, none at all really. We bought candles from Ikea and flowers from lidl. It needed nothing more.
Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?
We loved adding the finishing touches to our wedding day. We made pieces out of bits we found in the cupboards at home and crafted our own table plan and name labels. Our favourite thing was the name labels as we trialled through Facebook to find the funniest photos of our guests and put these photos on their place setting. It was a great icebreaker from guestss who didn’t know each other and funny for us to watch their reactions!
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
We chose a black white and red cake to match our colour scheme. We considered a Tesco budget cake but changed our minds quite last minute at Gavin hates fruit cake so we chose to avoid spending money on one as we struggled to find a cake with different layers on a budget vendor. We chose a Victoria sponge, chocolate fudge cake and red velvet as these are our favourites and it gave our guests an option of cake to choose from.
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
We loved our band, A-list, who played an acoustic set with canapes and fizz whilst the venue turned the barn around for the evening. We also highly rated the gigglebooth photo booth which the guests loved and we got to keep a copy of each set of photos. The sparklers made for some incredible photo and video opportunities and the raffle was a hit!
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
Make it personal. If you want it, do it, if you dont you shouldnt feel you have to. Have fun, its your wedding so talk to each other about what you want, your biggest dreams and also your biggest fears for the day. Build your wedding together and when the day comes relax. Nothing will be 100% what you planned but it wont matter because all your favourite people are in one place and you will be married and thats all that matters.
What’s the best thing about being married?
Comfort, trust and kindness. Oh and free things, always drop into conversation that you are newly weds!