posted on 4th Apr 2013
Maria and Leon held their fabulous wedding here at St Audries Park on 2nd February 2013 which was celebrated with both Russian and English wedding traditions. Maria is from Russia and Leon from England. We are privileged that Maria and Leon would like to share their day with you!
Maria and Leon tell their story…
The night before the wedding, I stayed in Holly Cottage with my bridesmaids. I had an hour long bath to relax and prepare myself for the special day.
On the morning of our wedding we had delicious fresh croissants delivered to the cottage. We were really lucky with the weather as it had been raining the whole week leading up to our wedding but on the day it was glorious sunshine.
At 9am we transferred to the Bride’s Dressing Room in the Main House where our hair and makeup preparations began.
Shortly afterwards our two photographers and videographers arrived to capture our special day. For me the photographs and videos were one of the most important parts of the day as I am a photographer myself and wanted to have every second captured.
Leon arrived at around 10am with all his best friends and started to get ready.
As I am Russian and Leon is English our wedding was half Russian and half English. We even had both flags flying high above St Audries Park which looked amazing.
I flew all the way to Russia for my wedding dress which was made a week before the wedding. It was specially made by for me by a family friend as her present to me. As I have been living in England for a long time I followed the English tradition too with something old, something new…
While Leon was waiting in the Orangery for the bridal party I was busy enjoying having lots of photographs taken and ended up being 20 minutes late – o0ps!
Our ceremony was very English in the wonderful Orangery.
A Russian tradition saw my parents meet Leon and I with Karavai- traditional bread made especially for the wedding. We both had to sprinkle salt on our side of the bread and take a bite. The tradition is that whoever takes the biggest bite is said to be the person in charge! Our bites were equal which Leon hates to admit and to this day he is telling everybody that his bite was bigger!
At 3.30pm we sat down to our meal. The top table flowers took me 50 hours to make, consisting of 40 coffee filter roses mixed with real flowers. The Banqueting Hall looked beautiful and all my worries disappeared. Our food was amazing- Leon and I love our food and we have been to Michelin Star restaurants and the food at St Audries Park was on the same level.
While we were eating, our Russian guests started shouting “Gor’ko” which means bitter (referring to the wine) and the Bride and Groom are expected to start kissing to make it sweeter! It was lovely to hear all of our English guests joining in too.
In the evening we set up a photo booth with funky costumes and hats for guests to relax and enjoy themselves before the disco started.
At 8pm our evening party started with our first dance then followed the cutting of our amazing cake. We danced the night away to some English and Russian music. Everyone danced like crazy and the English guests loved the Russian upbeat music.
Our day couldn’t have gone any better. St Audries Park, the people and the food was absolutely perfect, every second of it! I must also mention Claire, our Front of House Manager, who was absolutely amazing and nothing was too much trouble for her, she remained calm and collected at all times which was needed when I was stressing out!!
Mr and Mrs Davage
Maria’s fabulous photography can be viewed at Maria Madison Photography