Lusan Mandongus for an Elegant Dorset Farmhouse Wedding

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As I was preparing this wedding, I couldn’t help but smile at the photographs of bride Louise – she just looks so happy, and I mean a genuine, beautiful happiness, the kind that catches you out smiling with your head tilted slightly when you’re watching  a really good film – a sign of some great photographs, surely?

Tom and Louise tied the knot on 14th June at Crepe Farmhouse in Symondsbury, Dorset and these lovely photographs were taken by photographer Ruth Atkinson.

“Tom grew up in Bridport, Dorset, and we try and spend as much time there as possible. We love the Dorset countryside and so we wanted to base our wedding around a Dorset country theme. From our Ukulele band ‘Mother Ukers‘ at our garden reception, barn dance in the evening, and our traditional Dorset cream tea wedding breakfast, we wanted everyone to feel like they’d come to country village fete rather than a wedding.”

Photography Copyright (c) 2014, Ruth Atkinson Photography

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“Tom and I met 10 years ago at University, I was a Fresher and Tom was in his third year. We endured a long distance relationship for three years before I moved to London after graduating at uni. We got engaged on Durdle Door beach down in Dorset in June 2013, where we had spent many evenings there during my summers living with Tom and his parents in between my university years.

Oue venue was Crepe Farmhouse in Dorset.  My family are from the Northwest so we wanted a venue that could sleep all 17 of them ☺ It was the perfect setting for our country themed wedding. We hired it for the whole week which meant we could plan onsite in those final stages, and it was perfect.”

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“My wedding dress was by Lusan Mandongus and I bought it at a local shop in Weybridge where we live; Surrey Brides.

I found the whole dress shopping experience not as fun as I thought it would be. I had no idea what sort of dress I wanted, I just knew I wanted to be comfortable, and feel like me. I shopped all over the country, and eventually found this particular boutique on my doorstep – which thankfully made up for the experience I had had up to then.

Originally, the dress had a satin belt which I had taken off, but I loved the back. It was sexy, and elegant, and seeing as 100 people were going to be staring at my back for an hour I was glad it was a feature! It was comfortable and light, and the quality of the lace really stood out from other dress’ I tried on.”

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“Our photographer was Ruth Atkinson Photography, who was everything we wanted in a photographer. Her style was perfect for our day, very relaxed and discreet. She captured the day perfectly, making everyone, including a photo shy husband, feel at ease. I couldn’t recommend her highly enough.”

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I didn’t have a veil because I didn’t want to cover the back up.  I wore LK Bennett court shoes, as comfort was important for barn dancing.  I had two white flowers in my hair that my florist made for me  and I wore a pair of studded diamond heart earring’s Tom had bought for me the previous Christmas. I don’t wear much jewellery generally so I didn’t make an exception on the day.

I also wore Marc Jacobs Daisy because Tom bought it for me for the day.”

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“My Dad walked me down the aisle – I had my Cousin who sings in the choir at Liverpool Cathedral sing throughout the service. He sang The Call, Ombra Mai Fu and Ave Maria while the guests were arriving. I walked down the aisle to Clarke’s Trumpet Voluntary. He also sang You’ll Never Walk Alone during the signing of the register. This was particularly relevant as my family are from Liverpool.”

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“My Aunty is a vicar, so we decided to have two vicars to conduct the ceremony. The Parish Vicar who married Tom’s sister also married us, and my Aunty did the Preface and The Address as that’s the most personal bit. She gave us gifts that would help us on the way to a happy marriage; Mr & Mrs mugs to always make sure you sit down and have a cup of tea with each other and share your thought and feelings, a bbq cook book, to remind us of our bbq beach engagement, and a big umbrella to protect each other.”

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My brother read The Wonders of Today. Which really struck a chord with us as we have been together for 10 years, it symbolised how we’ve grown up together, and given each other the space to grow separately.”

The Wonders of Today
by Larry Chengges
If you can always be as close
and happy as today,
Yet be secure enough to grow
and change along the way…
If you can keep for you alone
your love as man and wife.
yet find the time to share your joy,
with others in your life….
If you can be as one,
and walk through marriage
hand in hand,
yet still support the goals and dreams
that each of you have planned…
If you can dare to always go
your separate ways together
Then all the wonders of today
will stay with you forever.”

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“Our Vicar chose my religious reading, Colossians, I’d never heard of it before, I thought it was beautiful;

‘So chosen my God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline.  Be even tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offence. Forgive as quickly and completely as the master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic all-purpose garment. Never be without it. Let the peace of Christ keep you keep you in tune with each other.  None of this going off doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let every detail in your lives, words, actions whatever be done in Jesus’ name thanking God the Father every step of the way.'”

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“Music was always going to be a big part of the day. Our Ukulele band; Mother Ukers, went down a storm at our garden reception. There cover of Kung Fu Fighting was one of my favourite moments of the day.

I always wanted a barn dance to get everyone up on their feet early on, and our band Three Penny Bit certainly did that. They started with a competitive game of musical chairs, and one of my favourite photos of the evening is our best man Shaun pushing me out of the way to make sure he stays in the game!”

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Our two nieces wore white summer dresses from M&S, and white Converse pumps. Again, comfort was first and I wanted the girls to be able to run around and play.  I wanted the Bridesmaid’s to be comfortable too, and as their dresses were quite plain I went for silver metallic court shoe from M&S.  Their dresses were from Coast.”

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“Our florist was a family friend, who also made my cake. I think she was Wonder Woman as she did everything herself, dressed the marquee and the church, the bridal flowers and the cake. I also changed the colour scheme 6 weeks before. Originally I had light pinks and creams, but I really loved the peach ties, so we sat together for a few hours and tried to match different roses to the colour of the tie.”

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“Matt Cook at Fish Face Events was absolutely brilliant. He went above and beyond, to deliver the best day of my life. He was very flexible and creative too so it was great to have him to bounce ideas off.”

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“I hired all my beautiful crockery from Vintage Dorset. I found it hard finding pretty vintage tea cups and sauces for 100 people but Vintage Dorset’s collection was absolutely beautiful.  We also hired old country jugs for the flowers on the tables from Rose Tint My wedding.”

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“My wedding favours where little muslin bags of Dorset tea, that were placed in everyone’s tea cups when they sat down with a little label saying ‘do take some Dorset tea’ I wanted to reinforce the Dorset theme, and also thought it went really well with the cream tea. My crockery company Vintage Dorset made them.”

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Our first dance was ‘Gravity’ by Embrace. They were big when we first met, and I remember being an 18 year old listening to it in Tom’s bedroom!”

“The whole day really was the best day of my life. But If I had to highlight a few, the garden reception with our Ukulele band Mother Uker’s was such a great moment. And the barn dance was fantastic.”

Words of Wedded Wisdom…

“We controlled everything, however I would have delegated more if I could do it again. Planning a wedding in Dorset, when you live in London, and your parents are in Chester, and bridesmaids in Australia, was tough, but there were plenty of people wanting to help. Remember people would rather feel part of it by mucking in, and it really helps you too!”

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Huge thanks to photographer Ruth Atkinson  for sharing these very lovely photographs today and love and congratulations to you both Tom and Louise.

Do we have any readers who are planning on wearing a Lusan Mandongus gown too?

Love Annabel x


Photographer – Ruth Atkinson Photography
Venue – Crepe Farmhouse, Dorset
Wedding Dress – Lusan Mandongus via Surrey Brides
Brides’ shoes – LK Bennett
Scent worn by bride – Marc Jacobs Daisy
Groom’s Attire – Austin Reed + Zara tie
Bridesmaid’s Dresses – Coast
Flowers + Cake – Family friend
Entertainment – Three Penny Bit + Mother Ukers + Pulse Roadshow
Rings – Hatton Garden
Catering –  Fish Face Events
Hair Stylist – The Shed in Symonsdbury
Vintage china hire – Vintage Dorset + jugs hired via Rose Tint My wedding

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Annabel View all Annabel's articles

Founder of Love My Dress. Passionate Podcaster and Editor. Annabel lives in rural North Yorkshire with her husband and business partner Philip, their two daughters and menagerie of furry hounds. She loves photography, meditation, walking, being outdoors and star gazing. She is fierce when it comes to championing talent within the wedding industry and when she's not working on Love My Dress, she supports her husband Philip in the running of the family's sustainable flower farm and floral design business, Moonwind Flowers. In 2013, she became a published author.

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