Barbie & Ken’s Intimate and Ethical English Country Garden Wedding

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We’ve been saving a pretty special wedding to share with you today and it’s one I hope you will all love as much as I do. I’m beyond humbled that this couple have chosen Love My Dress to share their wedding.

I’ve been a fan of this bride since childhood – it feels like we’ve grown up together. Her ageless beauty and charming personality finally tipped her lifelong boyfriend into proposing last year, and last month, their much awaited marriage finally took place, away from the prying eyes of their millions of adoring fans all over the world, and witnessed only by their talented photographer, Sophie Oldhamstead.

Sophie Oldhamstead Photography + Follow

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Influencers, Barbie and Ken, tied the knot shortly before the country went into lockdown, in the grounds of a beautiful private estate, the location of which is a secret.

“Ken and I have longed for this day all our lives – we wanted an English country garden wedding on a private estate and we wanted it to be an intimate affair. Our photographer, Sophie, has captured our love for one another in the most timeless images we have seen – we can’t stop crying whenever we look at them!”

“Whilst we’ve known each other since we were tiny children and dated as teens, our lives drifted somewhat as we entered our early twenties. That was until Ken and I met once again, walking the catwalk at Paris fashion week. It was love at first sight and we’ve been inseparable ever since.”

“We always wanted to get married in very early Spring – it’s our favourite time of year. The whole look of our day, my bouquet, dress, even the colour of my lipstick and accessories – everything was inspired by the perfect pink blossoms of Spring.”

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The couple were huge fans of Love My Dress when planning their wedding and Barbie was a solid member of our closed Facebook group for brides.

“I can’t tell you how much I got from your Facebook group – that place is SO cool, so helpful and full of so many awesome women. My best friend, Cindy, is in the middle of postponing her wedding due to the coronavirus Pandemic, and I’ve told her to join too.”

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Ken built the floral ceremony arch himself. He’s a keen handyman and craftsman in his spare time (when he’s not washing his hands from Brylcreem) and was totally up for the challenge. Ken’s suit, by the way, was #gifted by Mattel.

“I said Ken, you’re such a creative babe – why don’t you make something for our wedding ceremony? He spent many hours at the bottom of the toy box pulling together scraps of old discarded playbits and pieces – we’re an ethical couple through and through and our wedding was always going to be a sustainable affair.  We might be plastic, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do our thing for the environment. Once the main structure was complete, Ken went out early on the morning of the wedding to gather fresh blossom to apply the finishing touches. I’m incredibly proud of my boy.”

“Ken looked so hot in his suit. We had a private ‘first look’ before exchanging vows and posing for official photographs and I wept buckets. Thank God for waterproof mascara and fixing spray. My beautiful lifelong love took my breath away in his bespoke, tailored suit. LOVE that boy.”

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“My dress, gosh, where do I even start? My gorgeous gown was also gifted by Mattel – a sought after designer who created a couture masterpiece for me over many months. The fabric is 100% ethical and was sourced from organic peace silk farms. My veil is also 100% silk and was transformed into the perfect shade of pink using a natural dyeing process.”

“The pink swirls were painstakingly handpainted by Mattel’s team of couture artist at their Parisian atelier. We’re talking lead-free, environmentally friendly paint of course.”

Both my dress and veil are now heirloom pieces that I hope to pass on to future generations as a symbol of our everlasting love – though the V&A have already enquired if they can borrow the pieces for an exhibition that explores fashion of the past 100 years. I’m so touched. We’re so #blessed.”

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On speaking about their photographer, Barbie says “We spent hours pouring through Instagram until we found a photographer whose images stopped us in our tracks. We were looking for someone who ‘spoke’ to us – who cut through all the social media noise with something heartfelt, and human. For us, it’s all about those storytelling, artful, editorial vibes and when we eventually stumbled across Sophie’s work, we knew we’d found our gal.

“We also chose Sophie for her relaxed nature. Being models, we didn’t need much guidance on how to relax in front of the camera, but she had some great ideas and really captured the essence of each of our personalities. We are beyond thrilled with the photographs. Our only regret is not having hired a videographer. Our advice to all couples everywhere is – book one if you can.”

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“My engagement ring is a conflict free diamond, flanked by a cluster of ethically sourced pearls. Ken went totally out of his way to find something he knew I’d adore and treasure for the rest of our lives. Our wedding rings are simple bands that we created ourselves at a ring making workshop in the jewellery quarter in Birmingham. It was an incredible experience.”

Readers, if you love the idea of making your own rings, we recommend our Little Book Wedding Directory member, The Quarter Workshop – who will be taking workshop bookings as soon as the UK-wide pandemic lockdown has been lifted.

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The couple are having to put their honeymoon plans on hold because of the coronavirus Pandemic but are very much looking forward to a ‘minimoon’ in the UK, and then a 12 month trip around the world.

“We’re taking our time to travel the world. We don’t want to be hopping on endless flights as we’re very mindful of our carbon footprint.”

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Words of Wedded Wisdom

“My key advice to brides is – follow your hearts and please, loves, don’t worry if you have to postpone your wedding because of the virus. Your day will come – the health of you, your family and friends is so much more important. The Love My Dress team are sharing lots of amazing support and encouraging content to help you get through this difficult time. This Instagram post yesterday really touched me – and there are some really well considered and well written resources here.

Book a videographer – this is our biggest regret.

Find the very, very best photographer that you can. In fact, just book Sophie. For transparency, I’m not earning commission here #authenticbabes.

Babes, get a professional makeover if you can on the morning of your wedding – there are some insanely talented makeup artists in the Love My Dress directory.

Don’t be afraid of visiting bridal boutiques! I went to several before darling Mattel stepped forward to offer his services. The boutiques I visited were incredible, welcoming spaces that provided me with so much confidence in myself.

Remember to book a meal for your photographer – those babes work flat out all day long capturing ART. Ask if they have any special dietary requirements but make sure you provide food and refreshments for them, please.

Be patient. I know you’ll be itching to see your photographs like, two hours after you said ‘I do’, but artists need time to refine and perfect their craft. Don’t send any nagging emails to your photographer – they will be in touch when things are ready, I promise.

Remember why you are doing this in the first place.”

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Barbie, Ken, I can’t thank you enough for so kindly sharing so much wisdom!

We wish you a lifetime of happiness together. Thank you so much for sharing your special day with us.

Love Annabel x

Credits & Thanks


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.