Dani & Aran’s Wilderness Reserve Wedding Inspired by Dramatic Romance

Wilderness Reserve wedding Jamie Dunn

Today’s feature is an absolute dream of a wedding, featuring blowsy, romantic flowers, opulent table settings and a sunny outdoor ceremony with a bride in the most ethereal, pre-Raphaelite inspired gown from Watters.

Please meet Dani and Aran, who both work at Amazon, whose wedding on 4 September 2021 was held at Wilderness Reserve, near Sibton in Suffolk.

Inspired by an overarching theme of dramatic romance, the couple and their wedding planner, Bride and Belle Luxury Weddings, put together a floral-heavy look, with lots of texture, soft candle-light and sumptuous detail. The beautiful day was captured by one of our recommended suppliers, Jamie Dunn Photography, whose work you are going to love.

The Dress

My dress was from Watters via Erin Kelly Bridal. I really wanted something different and personal, creating the oversized bow out of tulle as an extension of the veil. The fanned-out sleeves made it feel extra-special to me. It also gave more movement to the dress, which I loved.

Sassi Holford

Erin Kelly Bridal is a local boutique that opened just as the pandemic kicked off. They have a lovely, personal, one-to-one experience and a beautiful selection of dresses. They were extremely helpful and attentive to all our needs and helped with all our fitting requests and reschedules due to Covid. I even had some custom accessories made – the sleeves and a bow for my hair – which made the look. I couldn’t recommend them enough.

Shoes, Accessories & Beauty

My bridal shoes were from Sophia Webster. They were my ‘something blue’ as they had ‘Wifey for Lifey’ written in blue on the base.

I wore pearl Yves Saint Laurent earrings and a Monica Vinader bracelet given to me as a present from my bridesmaids.

My make-up was by Cassandra Lusi and hair was by Victoria Ralph Hair My perfume was Chanel No5, a gift from my mother.

The Engagement

Unromantically, we met at work, starting out as new graduates in a tech company. We became fast friends from day one, enjoying everything London has to offer. Fast forward a year and we were in a relationship and moving to the countryside. We welcomed our daughter in August 2019 and Aran finally popped the question the December after. We were engaged for one year and eight months before the wedding.

We were very fortunate that we didn’t have to move the date of our wedding. Our wedding planner, Bride & Belle Luxury Weddings, worked with us and our venue to put a plan together should we have to change the date. We were very lucky that our wedding went ahead without any restrictions once lockdown had lifted.

The Ceremony

I walked down the aisle with my dad to ‘Wildest Dreams’ by Taylor Swift. We had an outdoor symbolic ceremony conducted by an independent celebrant, Andri Benson Ceremonies, in front of all our guests. Then a registrar came to officiate the legal wedding at 4pm (due to being fully booked and Covid) with a small group of family.

My engagement ring was custom-made from Hatton Garden in London. Our wedding bands were from a local jeweller, Robert Gatward Jewellers. We tried to pick local suppliers where possible.

The Reception, Detail & Decor

Our food was by The Estate Kitchen at Wilderness Reserve, the in-house caterer. Our evening food was provided by My Kitchen Your Place and our cocktail bar provided by Ace Bar Events. Wines were from The Suffolk Cellar. Our favours were Limoncello shots in personalised shot glasses.

We decided not to have a wedding cake and instead, asked an old school friend Hannah at Underbaked to make a selection of cakes, brownies and other delicious baked goods for everyone to enjoy.

We floated a few ideas around and landed on a very romantic feel. I didn’t want to copy a particular theme but instead have something totally personal to us, that worked with the beautiful surroundings of the venue. The florals, by Figa & Co, did most of the work! I wanted the day to feel very sensory with a lot of soft textures, candles, flowers and lighting.

We hired beautiful pieces of furniture, including Louis cane back chairs from Wedhead and luxurious velvet sofas and an incredible, mirrored table to display our cakes on from Options Great Hire. We also included a selection of cut-glass candelabras and gold-trimmed side tables for the evening reception to add to the dramatic effect that we were aiming for.

Our stationery was from Calendar Paper Co and our lighting specialist was Dreamwave Group.

Photography & Videography

Jamie Dunn Photography was recommended to us by our wedding planner. We absolutely loved his style straight away. We wanted our photos to be relaxed, un-staged, and tell a true story of the day. Jamie captured everything perfectly and we couldn’t have been happier with the photos.

Jamie Dunn Photography

It helped that Jamie is such a down to earth and nice person too. We really enjoyed having him there on the day and appreciated his calming presence. In fact, we liked him so much that our wedding planner also arranged for him to photograph Aran’s birthday at our home.

Our wedding video was by Handcraft Pictures.

Evening & Dancing

Music was fromThe Manhattans. The evening party was really great. We had a roaming band, Nomad, and they went down a storm.

Words of Wedded Wisdom

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Credits & Thanks

Eleanor Crossland

Eleanor Crossland View all Eleanor's articles

Ele lives in the Lincolnshire countryside, close to the beautiful coast. A qualified Pilates teacher, she loves fitness, yoga, Pilates and has a healthy addiction to baking, writing and travel.