Dennis and Johanna’s Simple and Rustic Grey and White Swedish Barn Wedding by Karolina Ehrenpil Photography
Today we are heading across to Sweden for the gorgeous wedding of Johanna and Dennis. The couple...
Happy Monday everyone and how are you all this fine Monday morning? I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and are now ready for the week ahead of us. I had a lovely weekend spent with friends and family, chilling, having fun and enjoying being with the people I love! This week I am taking you all across the world for a fantastic selection of Boho inspired weddings. We are starting off today with the wedding of Jocasta and Jonas who were married in Lithuania. Even though they both live in the UK, Jonas is originally from a tiny village in Lithuania so they decided to hold their wedding there. This lead to a totally laid back DIY wedding, which took place on the family farm, filled with natural decor, spread over the Saturday and Sunday. The day was captured by regular to the blog Captured by Katrina.
Jocasta and Jonas were married on 26th-27th August 2017. ‘We got married in a Lithuanian region of Poland on the Poland/Lithuania border. Jonas is Lithuanian and was born and grew up here. Jonas’ (very large) family still live here and we visit a couple of times a year. Saturday started with a traditional leaving party for Jonas at his family farm. I then met him at the village church for the ceremony and then we partied for the rest of Saturday and Sunday in the grounds of Jonas’ uncles holiday home, just outside Punsk. The countryside is absolutely beautiful and it is a very remote and natural part of the country. Our guests from England could all stay within walking distance of the reception and it was easier to bring British traditions to Punsk than the other way round. We had 110 guest on Saturday and then about 90 came back on Sunday, it took a year to plan.’
How they met
Jonas and I met in Cambridge on a saturday night in May 2010. We had both been at the same salsa class the night before and seen each other across the room, but not spoken. Jonas approached me at the bar. I knew I really liked him immediately and I’m sure after I guessed correctly that he was Lithuanian he felt the same. I didn’t give him my number that night, but he found me online and asked me out on date. We dated for about 9 months and finally became a couple in February 2011.
Jonas proposed on Christmas day 2015. We had had a hectic year extending and renovating our first house together with two young children. It was our first Christmas in the house and our first Christmas at home with both girls. We had agreed because of all the work that we wouldn’t get each other gifts, but after the girls had unrapped their presents Jonas declared that he had bought me something after all and to close my eyes. When I opened my eyes he was on one knee with the open ring box. I really couldn’t believe it, it was very unexpected after so many years together.
How did you allocate your budget?
I spent the budget by focusing on what I perceived to be the big things first. My dress, the venue, catering, entertainment, photography and videography. Our priority was that we and all our guests would have a great time and be well fed and watered.
Where did you splurge and where did you save?
I asked lots of married friends advice and most said that they wished they had prioritised photograhy more and not worried about things that didn’t affect theirs or the guests enjoyment. So we splurged on photography and videography, paid the going rate for marquee hire and catering and then everything else was pretty DIY. This was partly down to cost and partly because where we were getting married there aren’t many options. I tried to relax my perfectionism on things that wouldn’t affect the guests enjoyment – stationary, flowers, jewellery etc. I also knew that because we were getting married in the middle of nowhere I would be doing my own hair and make up so that was a big saving.
How did you choose your photographer?
I chose our photographer after a lot of googling. Katrina’s photos were stunning, full of light and relaxed. I could see from her website that she took beautiful photos of children, which was vitally important to us and she took incredible outdoor photos. After speaking with her and later meeting her I knew we had made the right choice. We wanted the focus on just our little family and Katrina seemed to get us completely. I also really wanted someone who understood children and how it is to be a mum, as ours were 4, 3 and 11 weeks I still needed to parent them, not just be a bride.
My dress was separates from Willowby by Watters. My flower crown was made by ollieandivyfascinators.com who are local to me and my shoes were from New Look. I didn’t wear any other jewellery.
The suit and bridesmaids
Jonas’ suit was one he owned already from Reiss and he added a waistcoat, new shirt and tie found by a friend of his from various places online. The bridesmaids bought their own dresses, as there wasn’t the time for us all to get together and I wanted them to be completely comfortable in what they wore, so I just have them a white dress code. The flower girls dresses and sandals were from Monsoon.
Theme or colour scheme
Originally I had dreams of a blue and coral colour scheme, but once we started to properly plan and I found that planning a wedding abroad with two small children and a baby was hard I changed my mind to greens to reflect the nature around us and white because you can’t buy the wrong shade of white. Fortunately I also love white and green. I guess the theme was our family, we wanted it to work for all of us and include everything we like and the timings needed to work for our kids.
Our flower crowns were silk flowers and baby eucalyptus. The flowers at the reception were wild flowers picked and put into jars by Jonas’ 14 year old niece and her friends from the grass around the reception venue.
Very little. We dressed the tables with pots of local honey (that doubled as favours and place settings), wood, candles and wild flowers and that was it. Lighting was important to us to create atmosphere. We used quite a lot of fairy lights, candles, outdoor oil torches and outdoor floodlights.
We ate a wide selection of Polish and Lithuanian food, served to the tables as sharers, about every three hours, over the two days. Jonas’ mum is an award winning Lithuanian baker so she made loads of cakes and I also took over a wedding cheese cake, biscuits and chutneys.
We had a traditional Lithuanian tree cake and a simple 4 tiered wedding cake from M&S.
Who supplied the stationery?
We had very little stationary, our save the dates were postcards from the village post office bought the year before the wedding and our invites were via our own wedding blog. There was no order of service as we had no idea what the church ceremony was going to entail. We were just told it would be a ‘normal’ wedding.
Entertainment at Punskas weddings is quite different to UK weddings.
Advice for other couples
Katrina our photographer said to us during photos in the woods, only talk about things that make you smile It actually turned out to be the best advice for the whle wedding and we stuck to it for two days.
My advice would be to take time out regularly with your husband/wife to step back and observe and drink it all in.
I would also say focus on substance over style. before the event it is easy to get sucked in to spendng money on trying to make everything look perfect but you and your guests will remember more vividly how they felt rather than how the table looked for example.
Finally, do what you want, the way you want to.
The biggest surprise for me was the first dance and how much thought Jonas had put into it. Throughout the planning process I had chosen everything and Jonas just had to help make it happen, In the end he created the most romantic moment of the whole wedding. The second biggest surprise was when the ‘ex girlfriends’ gate crashed the wedding. They had put so much effort in to writing the songs and preparing what they were going to do and it was hilarious.