“Juliane and me just clicked from day one, I so wanted to find her the right dress. We knew that Jesus Peiro was the designer straight away and from there we just had a blast perfecting the look. “
Tell me about the proposal?
We were in Oman, and the weather was really stormy. For the second night in a row, we couldn’t sleep (we were exploring Oman on a 4×4 with a rooftop tent). We ended up getting up before sunrise to take a walk at the beach. I should probably admit at this stage that I was in my pyjamas! J The Sultan of Oman had just died, so the country was in mourning. There was no one to be seen alongside the entire coast. We ended up sitting on an outcrop of rock, watching crabs being washed into the sea, and climbing up the rock. Suddenly, Ian got up to get down on one knee to ask me if I would marry him. I was so surprised (and admittedly half shocked!) that apparently I didn’t say anything, so the poor guy repeated his question J I eventually said ‘yes’, of course! Looking back, I love that it was such a surprise, and that I didn’t see it coming, although Ian likes to remind that a somewhat more positive response would have been more reassuring! J
Tell us about your wedding where was it set and what was the feel of the day.
Our wedding took place at Dewsall Court in Hereford. We love nature, and so we fell in love with the beautiful scenery and surroundings of Dewsall Court. On a clear day, you can see the Black Mountains from the gardens behind the main house, where we regularly go hiking. A ‘natural’ feel was very much what we were striving for in terms of the theme for our day – our stationary was designed by the incredibly talented Tan at Pigment & Paper (https://pigmentandpaper.co.uk/) using handmade paper and shades of green; our choice of flowers was very much seasonal and inspired by what grows in the garden of my family home in Germany in August, and so there was no question we would pick anyone other than the amazing Jenny Fleur (http://www.jennyfleur.co.uk/), who literally seems to live and breathe nature, and grows her own flowers. The flowers were mainly greens, with bits of white and light-blue. My sister made our wedding cake, again inspired by summer and seasonal flavours.
After not having seen most of our family and friends for 1-2 years, we were keen to spend as much time with them as possible, but also for them to just have a lovely time. We made sure that things were as easy and straight forward for them as possible, and of course Dewsall Court is the ideal setting for that, because the church is on the premises, and merely a couple hundred of metres away from the main house. This meant that everyone could arrive to the venue, and spend the day there, without having to drive around or travel between places. The reception took place in the gardens behind the main house, and the evening celebrations in the gorgeous wainhouse barn with trees all around it.
Family and closest friends were invited to stay with us at Dewsall Court from Friday to Sunday. We had a lovely, relaxing evening on the Friday with drinks and a BBQ, and the house was buzzing with people having breakfast, playing pool, and getting ready on the Saturday morning. It was also lovely to be able to have the Sunday morning together to have breakfast and catch up before everyone was leaving far too soon again.
What did you love/hate about dress shopping?
Quite simply and honestly, I really struggled to find anything I liked. I have quite a plain, simple taste, and felt that most of the shops stocked dresses with lots of lace and big skirts.
What made you pick your dress?
Its simplicity. I never thought I would go for a more fitted style of dress, but in the end, it was by far the most beautiful dress I saw and tried on (and this was only after my friend kept nagging me to give it a try! J).
How did you style your day, and yourself?
Very much natural, and including many personal touches. Ian and I wore pieces from our parents, and the flower in his buttonhole was the flower of July (the month of his Dad’s birthday). I picked my headpiece for its similarity to the one my Mum wore on her wedding day, and my jewellery was by German artist Wolfgang Skoluda (http://www.skoluda.com/), whom Ian picked for being one of my Mum’s favourites – this is where he bought my ring, and where we got my wedding ring made. We chose the Elephant Gin miniature bottles as our guest favours in memory of my Mum and her love for elephants (15% of their proceeds go to the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, an orphan rescue and rehabilitation centre), and used my grandfather’s old red cross wooden box as our collection point for cards and presents. One of our best friends, the maker of Belsazar (https://www.belsazar.com/), prepared and served the pre-dinner drinks!
What advice would you give to brides now?
Less is more! Enjoy the process! Things will work out and all will be fine! Try not to get stressed! Trust the professionals, they really know their stuff!
Because of COVID-19, none of my family or close friends were able come over to attend dress fittings with me, and so I often went by myself, or took just one friend with me. It definitely felt like I was paying attention to how I felt, and what I was thinking (rather than listening to others’ opinions). And of course Madi was absolutely brilliant, and on hand to provide reassurance, and demonstrate all the various options that were possible, while also being honest and expressing her professional opinion. She was one of the very few, if not the only one, who openly disagreed with me, which immediately made me trust her implicitly.
If your wedding was affected by Covid how do you make adjustments for this?
With the majority of our guests travelling from all over the world, many cancelled before the RSVP date due to travel restrictions. However, quarantine rules were still in place up until two weeks before our wedding, so for a while it was touch and go, and at some point we thought that family members and close friends would not be able to attend our wedding due to having to quarantine on arrival into the UK, and upon returning to their country. Thankfully, quarantine rules for the respective countries were lifted just in time, but we really cannot thank our venue, Dewsall Court, enough for having been so incredibly flexible, and allowing us to adjust our numbers until 10 days before. On the day itself, again with the majority of our guests travelling from countries where mask-wearing was mandatory, we asked people to wear a mask indoors. The weather was gorgeous, and so we spent most of the day outdoors, and were able to have the doors of the wainhouse barn open for ventilation. Thankfully, no one got ill, and it was just so lovely to be able to see everyone again after all this time!