With winter just around the corner, it’s time to start celebrating the magic of winter weddings. I’ve always loved weddings in the snow, and this stunning winter wonderland wedding in Finland from Lucie Watson Photography is so beautiful, it made me start singing “Walking In A Winter Wonderland” as I was writing this post.
A Winter Wonderland Wedding In Finland
We were 16 and 17 years old, too young really to be stumbling into anything too serious, but within days of knowing each other we had already said the L word! After meeting at a gathering , paired together by a friend who insisted we were each others ‘type’, we barely spent any time apart for the next few months. That first night we didn’t talk much, we were far too interested in drinking and embarrassing our friends by being overly affectionate. Typical teenagers. Things moved quickly and we were soon in each others pockets, now we’re married!
Danny has always been into ‘alternative’ holiday destinations, so it didn’t surprise me when he suggested a random town in Southern Finland as the destination we would celebrate 6 years together. We arrived geared up for the cold weather and were happily greeted by blankets of thick, white snow. We stayed in the Three Pines Cottage, found on Airbnb. Little did I know that Danny had been emailing the owners of the Airbnb, Madara and Jukka, telling them of his plans to propose, and they joined in, keen to help with the surprise! On the evening of the 11th Febraury , we went out for dinner in nearby Porvoo, but when we came back to the cottage it was alight with candles, the fire was roaring, petals were strewn across the floor and the hot tub was steaming outside… I at first thought it was just lovely gesture of the hosts for our anniversary, but when i turned around and saw Danny on one knee, it all made sense. We spent the evening sipping sparkling wine outside in hot tub,surrounded by snow and the forest.
After getting engaged in Finland, we decided we would probably wait a few years to actually get married. However, it did not work out this way at all. As the hosts has been so amazing with the proposal, we went to see them at the main house the next day. We spent hours chatting and over the next few days as we got to know them better we started talking weddings. Madara suggested having our wedding in Finland, as we had enjoyed it so much. As we thought about it, we knew this is what we wanted. Danny, being the wanderer he is, loved this idea and wanted to do it all himself. Madara told us of a Golf Club down that the property backed onto that in the winter was covered in snow so the next day we wandered over. Within a month of being back in England, we had arranged with the gold club to get married a year to the day that we got engaged! Our family and friends were a bit shocked at first that we were getting married abroad… somewhere cold… in February… but soon got excited with us!
The very first vendor we booked, even before the venue was finalised, was our photographer Lucie. I had been to school with Lucie and followed her as she started her photography career, I knew before we got engaged her style was exactly what I would want as a wedding photographer. After Lucie, we finalised the venue, who had never hosted an actual wedding ceremony before, but they were so helpful and chilled out I knew it would be just fine. Getting married in a remote location outside a town, a fair drive from Helsinki, was always going to be a bit challenging . As the venue didn’t usually host weddings we had to do everything ourselves. Luckily I found the wedding stylist ‘Hey Look’ through online research and loved their whimsical decor. Danny also knew from the moment we decided on the wedding destination that he wanted his best friend’s sister to do the flowers. She was coming to the wedding anyway, so she went freelance to dress the venue beautifully with flowers and create the most stunning bouquet. The wedding hair and makeup again was hoping that online research would pay off, I didn’t have a trial, just lots of back and forth with pictures and discussions. We found the cake maker again through this means, no cake tasting for us! We put our faith in the professionals and they did such an amazing job!
Nature and winter. We wanted lots of wood, candles and soft ribbon. We just wanted everything to accentuate the natural beauty all around us in wintry southern Finland.
Getting married outside as the snow poured down! It was freezing, but we were warm with excitement! Also sledging down the big, snowy hills in the darkness with the guests!
I would have eaten more! The food the venue prepared was out of this world! The guests all indulged having plate after plate, but I was running around trying to talk to everyone as they ate so only had one plate…. I wish I had aimed for 4 helpings of the pasta in particular!
Don’t buy into the idea that weddings are meant to be ‘stressful’. I’m generally a control freak who likes things to go well, but I honestly didn’t find planning a wedding abroad stressful . Of course, there were moments I got a bit nervous, but really I think there is a bit of a myth that brides should be pulling their hair out planning a wedding. If we managed to plan a wedding in a year, on a budget, having to source all the vendors and figure out how to make it all work without a venue that does it all for you, anyone can! Also, don’t be put off getting married abroad because of what people might think. The people that love you and want to be and can physically be there will come! It made out guests list a lot shorter of course because we couldn’t have ‘evening guests’ but we could look around the room and say we honestly love every person in this room!
We waited until July for our honeymoon to give us time to save up, and headed off to Lombok and Bali in Indonesia. It was incredible an we learnt so much! Scarily however whilst we were out there we experienced two huge earthquakes. Luckily we were far enough form the epicenter not to be hurt but we were quite shaken up. It has given me, especially, a new respect for the power of our earth. We would love to return someday and explore more of Indonesia.