Whimsical & Decadent Haunted Forest Wedding

Sarah Godenzi

September 21, 2021

A children’s farm doesn’t seem like your typical wedding venue, but when you bring on the creative genius of Michael Strownix to style the whole thing up, it became the perfect place for Caitlin and Adrian’s April wedding day. “Our friend works at the farm,” the bride told us, “and it’s a place that both of us had spent a lot of happy time. The balance of stunning natural beauty, rustic appeal and just a touch of absurdity with goats and peacocks wandering round appealed to us, too.”

“While we didn’t have a particularly theme in mind,” she continued, “someone described it as ‘like an old book shop in a haunted forest’ which I think just about sums it up. We just tried to inject little bits of ourselves and own own taste into things to make it feel a bit more personal to us. It was unashamedly whimsical and a bit silly, but with just enough tradition and sincerity to give it some gravity.”

They called upon the talents of Michael to engage them creatively with the styling for a day when the Caitlin and Adrian had become to feel overwhelmed. “It was Michael’s idea to mount 50 vintage chandeliers in the barn, decorate the interior with chalk drawings, use a letterbox as a wishing well, hire a cyclo driver to help people get around, and have a giant pavlova as a wedding cake,” Caitlin continued. “We were amazed at how quickly and totally he tapped into the vibe we were going for and brought it all together in a really fun and cohesive way.”

Caitlin and Adrian bonded over a shared appreciation of bubbles early on in their relationship, and so a bubbleologist was the perfect entertainment to fit their whimsical theme. Music is also a significant part of their relationship, and they play in a band together with some other friends, so thought their reception would be a good opportunity to share some of their music with their friends and family, and spend part of the night doing something they really love. 

Their ceremony was held in the stables on the Farm, actually a last-minute decision due to the weather, but one that worked out perfectly. “It was pretty magical walking across the field arm-in-arm with our parents, carefully avoiding the goat poo and watching bubbles rise across the grey sky. A rainbow even came out as we were making our entrance!” They walked down the aisle to a rendition of The Book of Love by the Magnetic Fields, and when Caitlin reached Adrian they walked around each other three times – an adaptation of a Jewish tradition that signifies the creation of a new family circle, to honour Adrian’s faith.

“Planning our wedding was a good opportunity to really take stock of our relationship and appreciate all the wonderful things about it. I think writing our own vows made me slow down and refocus on Adrian and the love we have for each other, rather than getting swept up in questions of flower arrangements and table cloth colours. Being pregnant made the planning harder, and meant that I couldn’t drink or be up and dancing as much as I might have liked, but it was beautiful to gather everyone we loved to celebrate both our marriage and the start of our new family. So perhaps I wouldn’t have done that differently, but I would consider giving myself a bit more time to plan and more of a chance to rest during my pregnancy.”