Anna-Helena & Sander’s elegant boho wedding at Vääna Manor
The bride’s mother said on the wedding day: “Don’t just look at each other, look in the same direction too – there is a future!” That quote opened a new chapter in Anna-Helena and Sander’s life – marriage.
“We got engaged in Sander’s country house in Muhu in 2019 and we thought about having our wedding also in Muhu. But as we wanted a big and summery wedding, it seemed more logical to push it to 2020 summer – that plan got us a whole year to plan and prepare.
We started with choosing the wedding location. We wanted to have the party outside the city and in a place that would have some connection or meaning to us. We considered different options in Muhu, but in autumn we realized that it is time to involve a wedding planner who could easily answer our questions and would save us from inventing a bicycle. With the consultation through emails, we reached an understanding that considering our wishes, it’s unreasonable to have our wedding in Muhu. As an alternative we found Vääna manor, which is near Anna-Liisa’s home and in which newly renovated main building we had our ceremony, in the spacious garden we greeted the guests and in the big chariot shed we had our wedding party. A few years before, Anna’s mother had been the headmistress of Vääna’s school, that was operating in the manor and so the building was already familiar and dear to us.”
What was your vision for the wedding? How did you bring your ideas to life?
“When we had the first arrangements done with Vääna manor, we met our wedding planner eye to eye and from there we had a year long cooperation. In some aspects we already had certain wishes and visions: the choice of the master of ceremony and the wish to contribute to the wedding as much as we can to make it look and feel like us. For example, in 2019 we started making our wedding schnapps from berries that we picked ourselves, as place cards/gifts we smoked salt with juniper branches and packed it into little bags that were made by Anna and her mother. Also, we collected a few hundred glass jars for candles and flowers, and we spent many days filling them with sand and greenery from Vääna beach. On the midsummer day in 2020 we cut down a birch tree of which we made the wooden plates for cakes. In the beginning of the summer we delivered the wedding invitations that we made by ourselves. A day before the wedding Anna with her and Sander’s mother baked the wedding bread.
Our wish was to involve our talented friends so that the wedding would be even more personal and close to heart. Our good friend Anete wrote the names of the guests on the bottles of wedding schnapps, the table plan, the bar menu, etc. Our good friend Kaspar designed and organized the printing of the wedding invitations and place cards. Our musical friends Saari, Kristen and Madis played music at the ceremony. Late in the evening our friends Karl, Kristjan and Kaspar entertained the guests with a DJ set.
We cannot forget the efforts of the wedding planner in creating the vision and bringing it to life. Together with them we chose the photographer, videographer, catering, florist. It was a big help for us that the communication with all the service providers was done by the wedding planner.
The designer Janne created thorough 3D models based on the information we gave and also drew the sketches of the ceremony location and party hall, which helped us to create a picture of what it will look like. The wedding planner team literally thought of every little detail including the things that we couldn’t even think about – for example umbrellas which we luckily did not need. When we arrived at the venue five minutes before the guests, we were fascinated by how beautiful the result looked and how accurately it represented our vision and with how short a time the wedding planner team made the chariot shed, which in everyday life is used as a gym, look like a fancy party venue.”
Did you have to make significant concessions in your plans?
“We have to mention that the wedding planning period was at the same time that the pandemic began – spring of 2020. For a few months we put the planning on hold because we didn’t want to make any decision without knowing what was coming. During that time the wedding planner was a big support to us: they helped us to think about different scenarios and they made a plan about the last deadlines when we have to make the most important decisions. We are so grateful that we didn’t rush into changing our plans, postponing or canceling the wedding, because in the end we were able to have our wedding just as we wanted in the first place.”
What were your wishes regarding gifts and flowers from the guests? Why did you decide like that?
“The wedding planner recommended and together with the florist we decided for a solution where the guests were able to order the flowers from our florist and receive them at the wedding. In that way the florist was able to easily use the flowers in decorating the party venue.”
What would you do differently today when planning a wedding?
“If the bride and groom wish to actively participate in organizing the wedding and contribute as much as they can, then even with a professional wedding planner, it is a long and time consuming process. Either way, the year we spent organizing the wedding was a unique and positive experience and thinking back we wouldn’t change anything.”
What was the most moving moment of the wedding?
“Even though the pandemic turned the wedding organizing upside down for some time, the fact that we could have a big wedding for almost a hundred guests that were very dear to us, made us feel so grateful and made us value that day even more.”
What moments were the most memorable for you and the guests?
“We will definitely remember the moment we entered the ceremony hall, that was filled with our dear guests. From there on, we remember a line of bright, heartfelt and warm moments that caused our cheek muscles to hurt from constant smiling: passing on the bride’s name to a little nephew, the toasts of our parents, spirited moments from the dancefloor. Video and photo shoots before the ceremony at Vääna beach and during the sunset near the manor on a field gave us nice breaks from the party to reflect it all.”
What were you willing to spend the most on and what were you willing to save on if necessary?
“If it is your own wedding then it is really difficult to make concessions on something. The most important things for us were the location, the MC, photographer and videographer, catering, clothes and the wedding planner. For us, personal contribution was also very important, which can be measured in time and energy instead of money, but which at the same time allowed us to save costs in certain aspects.”
What surprises struck you on your wedding day? Did everything go exactly as planned?
“There were a few small things that were about to surprise us: before the ceremony it started to look like it’s going to rain, but it was just a little drizzle that lasted for some minutes and then it was sunny for the rest of the day. Then – the table of the bride’s family turned out to be smaller than ordered and we were worried if they could all fit there, but it was all good – we could all sit there without a problem. All in all, everything went great!”
What do you recommend for future brides and grooms? Why would you recommend using a wedding planner?
“We recommend that you involve the wedding planner already in the early stages of planning the wedding because they can answer all the questions that you would spend too much time on by yourself. Using the help of a wedding planner doesn’t mean giving away the right to make decisions and staying out of the process. In our case it helped us to focus our energy on things that were the most important and closest to us and all in all, we think our wedding was more personal thanks to the wedding planner that it would have been without – instead of communicating with the service providers we could spend time on the details that we made with our own hands.”
We couldn’t imagine our wedding day without the wedding planner, also we couldn’t imagine the wedding day with a wedding planner who is merely involved during the wedding day itself. The wedding planner who was with us during the whole year of organizing and with whom we had a trusting relationship allowed us to enjoy every moment of the wedding day without any worries and fully embrace it.”