“The wedding was inspired by the beautiful settings and architecture of Rivendell, the elven city envisioned in Peter Jackson’s, “The Lord of the Rings” – What nerds! I know, but we both really love the Tolkien stories and wanted to personalise the wedding a bit by bringing in aspects from the books and films.”
“Although initially daunting, finding a venue which encapsulated the ethereal feel we were looking for turned out to be a lot easier than we thought. We by chance came across The Simondium Country Lodge and were immediately taken by the beautiful gardens, charming chapel and exquisite reception hall. The few resident peacocks also added to the fairy-tale character of the venue.
From this point, the rest of the planning just seemed to flow with very few difficulties. Our budget, being quite tight, meant we had to compromise on a few details, but we were incredibly blessed with the most wonderful and accommodating bridal party as well as fantastic family and friends. We received ample help from everyone and a lot of aspects, such as the invitations and wedding favours, were given to us as wedding gifts. The assistance we received from so many people really added an intimacy to the whole affair which was very special.”
The décor for the wedding was essentially DIY, however, the inherent charming loveliness of the venue meant that not much was needed. The chapel was lovingly adorned by our family with handmade wreaths, bringing the feel of the garden indoors. This was carried through to the reception hall which boasted high ceilings, magnificent iron beams and striking chandeliers, adding to the enchanting feel of the place. The use of various flowers ranging from maroon through pinks to white, sprigs of greenery from people’s gardens and candlelight really brought the garden inside, lending the feel of an Elven dinner outside on the city terraces. Small and somewhat quirky items also crept into the décor such as the table names, which were named for various places in the Tolkien books and the cake topper which was made to look like the white tree symbol of Gondor. Although simple, the décor, in combination with the venue, perfectly encapsulated the ethereal, Tolkien-esque feel we were looking for.
Our favourite moments
The most memorable part of the day was, of course, the ceremony. The weather was fantastic and the little chapel looked picture-perfect in the beautiful spring garden with the stately peacocks displaying their magnificent plumage. Upon entering the church and finally seeing each other from either end of the aisle, everything became easy and right and profoundly joyful. Standing together at the altar holding hands was above all the most precious and unforgettable part of our wedding. A little bit of the Tolkien influence made its way into the ceremony as well, lending humour and light-heartedness, but also representing something uniquely tailored to our personalities. The words spoken that day were both happy and thoughtful, a suitable mix for such a special occasion. The reception which followed was exactly as we hoped it would be, essentially a fun and relaxed party with our family and closest friends, many of whom commented on the genuine and intimate feel of the occasion.
In retrospect, we could not have asked for anything better, it was indeed a charmed day which turned out to be everything we were looking for. However, it seemed to be over so quickly. As many people told us, it is so important to take in as much as possible and not to be distracted by little problems. No one else knows what you had in mind, so the chances are nobody will even notice. It is so easy to lose perspective and become overwhelmed by the abundance of ideas available which are sometimes unrealistic, unnecessarily expensive and potentially impersonal. The most important part of the wedding is the part that happens in the church and is the part you will cherish most in the end. The rest is essentially a party to be enjoyed with the people you love most. Add your own personal flair to the day. Enlist the help of anyone who offers, you may be surprised at how much talent is hiding amongst your family and friends. Most importantly however, be present; marrying the person you love most is exceptionally special and should not be overshadowed with worries about anything else. Try to take in as much as possible and enjoy the company of everyone there.