Our next wedding looks so much like a fairytale I had to resist the urge to begin this feature with the words ‘once upon a time’. It’s every little girl’s fantasy come true, complete with a horse-drawn carriage, fountains, fireworks, stunning scenery and an actual palace. Just, wow.
Looking every bit the princess bride is Ukrainian-born Daria, who has just completed a master’s degree in architecture married her handsome beau Michael, an engineer from America, on September 2013 at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire. The couple chose photographer Lisa Dawn to capture these elegant images which we hope you enjoy looking through this afternoon.
“Michael and I met in London and Michael proposed while we watched the New Year’s Eve fireworks from Primrose Hill. Since he waited until midnight, we’re not exactly sure if it was 2012 or 2013! So we were engaged for eight months before our wedding day. Michael remembered seeing Blenheim in a film. It was the first venue we visited and we didn’t have to look further; it was the perfect blend of countryside, history and romance.”
Photography Copyright (c) 2014, Lisa Dawn
“I was inspired by the look of Grace Kelly’s wedding dress! I loved the elegant look and design of my dress, the lace embroidery on the neck and sleeves, and the lightness of the fabric.”
Flowers for both venues and the bouquets were created by Joanna Carter Contemporary Flowers, after a recommendation from the team at Blenheim. The pretty arrangements in light blue and lilac – Daria’s chosen colours for the wedding – helped tie the two parts of the day together.
Photographer Lisa Dawn had the honour of capturing the day. “Lisa and her husband Scott did a wonderful job of capturing our day and exceeding our expectations, as well as being great on the actual day. They were very professional but also made us all feel at ease. We liked how they noticed every detail and recorded the atmosphere of the whole day.”
Daria was accompanied down the aisle by her father, to a slowed-down version of Unchained Melody played by Strawberry Strings. The couple chose to tweak the standard vows only slightly – “already they sounded just right”.
Michael bought Daria’s engagement ring in Minnesota and tells us: “I already loved the elegant design of the ring, but when I took it out on a snowy day to look at the diamond in better light I knew it was the right one.”
The couple’s reception was held at The Manor at Weston-on-the-Green. “
The Manor was close to Blenheim and and meant our guests could spend time outdoors, stay in a historic manor house and enjoy some great food. We had doubts at first about splitting the venues but in the end couldn’t have imagined it otherwise. We were very pleased how the two venues provided complementary settings and a nice change of pace for the day too.”
They also put their own twist on the day by incorporating some traditions from the Ukraine and America. Guests travelled across the world to be with them, and they later held a second ‘church wedding’ in Daria’s family’s Russian Orthodox Church.
“The most memorable parts of the day were the moments leading up to the ceremony and finally saying ‘I do’! “if we could do anything differently it would be to not get so stressed in the run up to the wedding – in the end we were extremely happy with the way everything turned out and the way everyone pulled together to make it such a wonderful day.”
Words of wedded wisdom…
“We really wanted a perfect warm summer’s day and were disappointed at first that it had to be in September. However, it turned out to be very warm and sunny while August had been cold! So just go with it – the most important thing is the love between bride and groom and you’ll be happy no matter what the weather or season is! It’s all about you – the rest is just details.” True wisdom indeed!
Daria and Michael, you look so beautiful and so utterly in love. Thank you for sharing your day with us and I do hope you’ve had a wonderful first year of marriage.
Love Kate xx
Photographer – Lisa Dawn
Videographer – Wedding Memories
Venue – Ceremony Blenheim Palace + Reception The Manor at Weston-on-the-Green
Dress –Manuel Mota at Pronovias, bought from Pronovias, Mayfair, London
Shoes – Harriet Wilde
Accessories – veil Elizabeth Todd + hair accessory Pronovias + earrings and bracelet Svarovski
Hair and make up – Camilla J Collins
Groom – suit + tie Pal Zileri, Milan + shoes Hugo Boss + vintage Air Force cufflinks
Rings – engagement ring Evergreene Jewelers + JB Hudson Jewelers (Minnesota, USA)
Flowers – Joanna Carter Cntemporary Flowers
Cake – Cake Sweet Cake
Stationery – Menus by The Manor at Weston-on-the-Green, place cards by the bride’s mother
Favours – Hand-wrapped truffles from Selfridge’s
Caterers – The Manor at Weston-on-the-Green
Transport – Morgan +8 hired from Bespokes + Horse-drawn carriage The Ostler + Woodstock Taxis
Entertainment – Strawberry Strings, London