GRIZZLY BEAR BIRTHDAY BASH N’ BRUNCH

My little boy Augustus was one last year, and I couldn’t possibly let the occasion pass by without at least a little celebration could I?! Actually what I love about first birthdays is that the smalls aren’t too bothered about lots of friends and party games at that age, so it’s just as much a gathering for the parents, friends and family who surround them with love (and a raising of glasses to “hey we made it one whole year”!).

For Augustus I decided to host a brunch party in his honour – at a local cafe Boston Tea Party – and the decor somewhat dictated the design plan and theme thereafter. Though we do nickname him Augie Bear, so it was a nod to that too!

I created a black and white grizzly woodland bear themed birthday party – complete with bespoke invites created by Hip Hip Hooray, who also made me matching place mats, mini bunting for the high chair, and signage. I asked them to create some mini wish cards too, as I completely forgot to fill them in for his time capsule at his naming day (far too much champagne and rose, oops… better as a planner than a host it seems!).

I asked the ever so lovely Marie Green to make me a birthday cake with bark inspired icing, which I then topped with a mini bear figurine, mini succulent and a single black and white candle. Marie also made me the most delicious cookies as party favours too.

Around the tables I placed succulents I picked up myself, as well as mini woodland figurines and colouring activities for the older kiddies. I also decorated the space with black & white marble effect balloons, black paper circle garlands, bark effect paper straws, and a mix of bark or black check paper napkins. I also made a mini crown out of pipe cleaners!

Both Augie and Flora’s outfits were mostly from UK store Monkey McCoy – the little black Amy & Ivor moccasins are my faves, and has only just grown out of them!

Huge thanks to Sarah Hannam for capturing all the details!

SWEET BLUSH AND BLACKBERRY COTSWOLDS GARDEN WEDDING

This has to be one of my stand out weddings from 2015, as featured on Style Me Pretty recently – a small and intimate garden wedding at Barnsley House & Spa, which I designed and planned for the sweetest couple from Hong Kong.

The inspiration for this design plan actually started with the bride’s favourite scent – Jo Malone Blackberry & Bay – from wild berries in the florals, to fresh rosemary, lavender and rose petal confetti – even the bridesmaids crowns featured fresh herbs, all created by the super talented Georgia from Westwood Design. We almost didn’t have the outdoor ceremony thanks to good old British weather and spells of rain all morning, but at the last minute it cleared in time and we put the brollies aside for a candle lit affair in the gorgeous grounds. This followed with a reception where guests were treated to sweet treats, refreshing drinks and canapés, before inviting them to watch a traditional Chinese Tea Ceremony in the late afternoon setting sun.

 

After the most delicious dinner served by the team at Barnsley House on long tables set with hundreds of rosemary & bay scented candles and flowers, the happy couple led their family and friends back into the gardens for signature cocktails, and cutting of the cake surrounded by sparklers. Faye at The Natural Cake Co creates insanely beautiful cakes whilst using all organic natural ingredients – I styled this rose flavoured cake with Westwood Design using fresh figs, flowers and herbs.

The Bride wore the most gorgeous sparkling evening dress for the first dance a little later on, before The Wedding Smashers kicked off a great night of dancing and entertainment for the newlyweds until the early hours of the morning.

A huge thank you to the cast of amazing artists and creatives involved in this wedding – all credited below.

Jessie

x

Photography: Depict Photography | Event Planning, Design + Styling: Jessie Thomson Wedding Planning | Floral Design + Styling: Westwood Design | Cinematography: Mark Brown Films | Wedding Dress: Temperley London | Cake: The Natural Cake Co. | Stationery: Gemma Milly | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Donna Morgan| Hair: Kasia Fortuna | DJ: Wedding Smashers | Celebrant: Grace The Day | String Quartet: Arioso | Transportation: Alex Cars | Venue: Barnsley House | Desserts: Contemporary Cake Designs

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SOFT GREY & FRESH WHITE WEDDING STYLE: THYME AT SOUTHROP

“Minimalism is not a style, it is an attitude, a way of being. It’s a fundamental reaction to noise, visual noise, disorder, vulgarity. Minimalism is the pursuit of the essence of things, not the appearance. Minimalism is beyond time. It is timelessness. It is the stillness of perfection” ~ Massimo Vignelli

I honestly have no idea why it’s taken me quite so long to blog this editorial shoot in full – I published little previews from it here and here but seeing it all together again has made me realise just how talented this group of vendors was (see end of this post for full credits), and it was an absolute joy to curate the shoot for Katie Julia who produces such ethereal and gorgeous images from film.

It was featured by Magnolia Rouge magazine too, and the whole thing just looks even more luxurious in print.

This is a pretty long blog post, but I wanted to put it all in one place without you having to jump all over the place with links, and take you through my design and styling process a little more than I usually would. Hopefully brides-to-be will get little more insight into how I work together with them to create and curate weddings that are personal to them, but also fitting to the setting and the mood of the day.

TABLESCAPE 1

The first tablescape I created was inside the barn at Thyme in Southrop (such a gorgeous wedding venue for intimate celebrations). I commissioned the softest silk linen in a silvery grey which perfectly blended with the grey dining chairs, and I paired it with a slightly more textured greige linen napkin for contrast at each place setting. The fresh white flowers kept the table simple and elegant, with mini grey urns that I reused throughout the shoot. All cutlery and glassware was kept simple too – anything too ornate or pattered would have distracted from the minimalist look I wanted to achieve – yet still keeping it feminine and fresh. The calligraphy grey ink on an off white textured care stock – again, nothing cutesy or themed to the stationery elements. I used my own candles along the table (they actually smelt amazing – “joy” by St Eval if you’re interested!), and brought my own grey, clear and white crystals for the place settings to add a personal touch with individual flower blooms sitting pretty alongside them.

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TABLESCAPE 2

We then moved things outside as I wanted to show my clients how they could achieve a more relaxed al fresco dining style without compromising on the luxe detail that sets their event apart from the rest. You’ll see we installed huge garlands above the tables – which in real life may have wilted in that strong Summer sun, but since we used faux flowers and foliage, no problem there! I used a slightly more relaxed style linen napkin, and switched out the mini votive candles for tall straight edged glass hurricane vases with ivory pillar candles (my pet hate is bright white candles!).

I tore off the back of the folded place name cards so that they’d lie flat on each napkin, and I used a spring of foliage at each setting to pull through the greenery in the setting.

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FASHION 1: GREY BRIDAL/BRIDESMAID DRESS

I adore it when my brides wear colour on their wedding day – whether a bold statement, or more refined in blush or champagne – I also wanted to show how beautiful soft grey can be for a bride, but also for her bridesmaids. This dress was designed by British duo Belle & Bunty and it just draped so amazingly in all the right places. We used a large hand tied bouquet of white flowers with foliage and trailing ribbons and lace. Oh and we couldn’t resist including Katie’s GORGEOUS chihuahua pups!

If you look closely you’ll see I selected natural diamond and gemstone jewellery that matched the simplicity and texture of the dress – the low back would have looked lovely with an up do, but I actually adored how different the softly curled low side pony tail looked with it

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FASHION 2: IVORY/WHITE LONG LACE SLEEVED WEDDING DRESS

Oh how I adored this wedding dress. Again, it has a beautifully low back (I have a thing about them, evidently!), a soft streamlined silhouette in silk with long face sleeve and gorgeous detail on the cuff. Perfect for a church wedding as it’s not too revealing, yet will please those brides not wanting to look too modest. I asked Heidi to create a soft and undone up do, with fresh flowers – though looking at this again it would have absolutely worked with a veil too.

Don’t you love how the lace ribbons mirror the lace in the dress, with the grey ribbons allowing a subtle contrast with all the white? Note too that we purposeful posed this dress against a solid white wall for maximum impact. Nothing detracts from the dress other than natural beauty of those amazing flowers in the bouquet.

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THE WEDDING CAKE

I commissioned this from Jennie as she’s one of my favourite cake designers locally to me in the Cotswolds – she manages to combine delicate detail with a modern touch, and she totally nailed this brief! I styled it against the softest grey painted wall with pillar candles in straight edged glass hurricane vases again. The flower on the cake is in fact made of icing…. stunning.

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THE DETAILS

From soft grey calligraphy on textured card stock, to ethereal jewellery, pretty ribbons in contrasting or tonal colours, candlelight and crystals… the success of any design plan for a wedding is to not forget the details. It’s what makes it personal, it ties it all together so the day feels coherent and the atmosphere flows from room to room. The bridal party looks perfect, and not one element looks out of place in the setting. When styling shoots I often use my own props and other vendors loan me their amazing products of course, but I also always try to work in the decor and furniture that already exists in the venue – it really helps give my clients an idea of how this will work in practice, and is the perfect example of helping couples to translate styled shoots into real weddings.

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I hope you enjoyed that little journey? I know it’s long but trust me, there were SO many more pictures I could have shared here. I think Katie just couldn’t take enough of it in on her cameras! Please do look through the list of vendors below – each and every one of them are amazing.

To see more of my real weddings and editorial shoots featured in blogs and magazines, visit jessiethomson.co.uk.

Jessie x

Photography KATIE JULIA / Styling, planning & coordination JESSIE THOMSON / Florals THE ROSE SHED / Gowns BELLE & BUNTY / Stationery GEMMA MILLY / Jewellery RUTH TOMLINSON / Linens TABLE TO DINE FOR / Hair & make-up HEIDI VINCE / Floral garlands FRIEND OF FAUX / Assistant stylist WESTWOOD DESIGN / Model AMY NEVILLE / Venue THYME AT SOUTHROP

To browse Jessie’s favourite products, visit the shop at Jessie Loves!

BEATRIX POTTER SECRET GARDEN NAMING DAY

I was delighted that this secret garden and Beatrix Potter inspired naming day celebration I created for my baby boy was featured on the beautiful and inspiring 100 Layer Cakelet blog recently – and so forever grateful to the cast of vendors who helped me make it so special {scroll down to the bottom for credits}.

The venue really was my inspiration for the design plan – the grounds and gardens are just magical, and I was so blessed to be able to host the ceremony outside by the beautiful lake with the most incredible water feature as a backdrop. I hope the set of images below show you just how important it is to have an amazing photographer not only for your wedding day, but for all the other special moments in your life. It’s worth every penny!

For more information on luxury celebrations and kids party planning, as well as styling for family portraits and newborn shoots, please visit JESSIE KIDS and contact Jessie directly for a consultation.

Photography: Katie Julia / Venue: Cowley Manor / Planning & Design: Jessie Thomson / Flowers: Georgia Westwood at Westwood Design / Stationery: Hip Hip Hooray / Cake: Curtis & Co / Celebrant: Diana at Grace The Day

See more at: http://www.100layercakelet.com/2016/02/26/english-garden-baby-naming

{visit Jessie’s shop for baby & lifestyle products}

NEWS: SHOP THINGS THAT JESSIE LOVES

“All you need is Love”

…and Wifi

…and a credit card!

Jessie Loves | Wedding & Lifestyle Blog | Shop
For a while now I’ve been wanting to create a space where I can recommend lifestyle products for my followers that I adore, or that are firmly on the birthday/Christmas/any excuse wish list. I’m so happy to finally be able to do that through my sparkling new SHOP!

I’ll be adding new items every month, but you can already find some of my favourites there now – from luxurious bath oil to beautifully scented candles and recipe books – treat yourself to something, just because.

Jessie

x

BEST WEDDING INSTAGRAM ACCOUNTS FOR BRIDES TO FOLLOW

My clients are inspired by so many things when we come to discussing design plans – from the venue setting, to fashion and interior design – most of them are on Pinterest (and you can follow me there too) but increasingly they come to me having seen gorgeous inspirational images on Instagram. It’s so easy to spend forever on there so I’ve rounded up some of my own favourites for you below – and don’t forget to follow me @Jessie_Thomson for all my behind the scenes and real wedding previews!

 

1. STYLE ME PRETTY

I have been following the ultimate wedding blog Style Me Pretty since before I got married myself six years ago. It’s full of beautiful weddings that are modern, fresh and luxe. Having been an exclusive member of their Little Black Book for brides for three years, I also happen to know they have the loveliest most helpful team behind the (now mega) brand.

 

2. BHLDN

When high street fave Anthropologie announced they were launching BHLDN I nearly died with excitement. Fast forward a couple of years and they are hugely popular in the UK too. Follow them for pretty accessories, decor and bridal wear ideas!

 

3. JOSE VILLA

The king of fine art wedding photography, this feed is FULL of the most beautiful real wedding and editorial shoot images. If you’re at all interested in booking a film photographer for your wedding, this will persuade you absolutely.

 

4. ONCE WED

This blog is everything I love about weddings – luxe, refined, timeless, elegant, beautiful – it’s the reason I’m so proud to be a #oncewedvendor listed with them. You can also tag your own wedding with #featuremeoncewed for a chance to be featured on their website.

 

5. ASHLEE TAYLOR

A huge amount of the photography you see in my portfolio was shot by this gorgeous lady – posting from Spain and around Europe, Ashlee shoots weddings and babies on film and runs workshops via @illuminatedcollective too.

 

6. WESTWOOD DESIGN

I’m biased as Georgia Westwood is my little sister, BUT seriously, if you want knock out floral inspiration from one of the most talented new artists in the UK then this is your gal. Follow the feed for lots of beautiful flower inspiration on the daily.

The moment you get sent a photo of yourself from @misskatiejulia and instantly regret dying your hair darker. Damn.

A photo posted by Westwood Design (@westwooddesign) on

 

7. THE MEWS BRIDAL

Absolutely stunning bridal wear inspiration from the UK. I can’t tell you how many of my brides find their dream dress here!

 

8. KATIE JULIA

If you’re a fan of simple, minimalist, chic wedding style – you gotta follow UK film photographer and lifestyle blogger Katie Julia. She’s also an incredible artist, so catch glimpses of her collection here for sale.

 

9. BO BOUTIQUE

Amy from Bo Boutique does modern beautiful and bold floral designs that will blow your socks off. She’s a gem of a UK florist, also dipping her toe in wedding dress design now too.

 

10. BELLE & BUNTY

It’s no secret that I adore the bridal range at Belle & Bunty in the UK, but they also happen to post so much more fashion and style inspiration on IG that I know you gals will love.

Rose lattes and @caratlondon jewels are a girls best friend #caratlondon 💎🌺💎

A photo posted by Alice & Hannah (@belleandbunty) on

 

That’s my top ten! Do you have any of your own suggestions? Share the IG love.

Jessie

x

 

 

WHITE WEDDING BOUQUET: CLASSICAL BRIDE STYLE

I adore collaborating with like minded artists to create amazing and inspiring editorial shoots for my clients and future brides, and this one with Rachel at The Rose Shed and UK film photographer Katie Julia was no exception. One of my absolute favourite details was the oversized classic all white bouquet which almost any bride could make a stunning statement with.

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Photography KATIE JULIA / Styling, planning & co-ordination JESSIE THOMSON / Florals THE ROSE SHED / Gowns BELLE & BUNTY / Stationery GEMMA MILLY / Jewellery RUTH TOMLINSON / Linens TABLE TO DINE FOR / Hair & make-up HEIDI VINCE / Floral garlands FRIEND OF FAUX / Assistant stylist WESTWOOD DESIGN / Model AMY NEVILLE / Venue THYME AT SOUTHROP – See more at: MAGNOLIA ROUGE

ENTERTAINING AL FRESCO: DINNER OR LUNCH TABLE STYLING

Some time ago I collaborated with the gorgeous Katie Julia (go see her new blog if you get a moment, it’s so gorgeous), on a styled shoot at the very beautiful Thyme Barn in the Cotswolds. There were so many amazing dining areas that I couldn’t help re-styling our props into different tablescapes and loved all of the different looks we achieved.

One of my favourites was this mini garden table outside – the perfect inspiration not only for brides looking to create a laid back minimalist vibe, but one to save for all your Summer entertainment later in the year. Just add bowls of delicious vibrant healthy organic food and you are good to go. Aren’t these florals by The Rose Shed divine?

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Jessie

x

SUPER 8 WEDDING FILM: PRETTY IN PASTELS, WOODLAND & WILDFLOWERS

If you spotted the super pretty pastel wedding on the blog recently and loved it, well this is for you!

I wish everyone would book a wedding videographer for their big day – it’s still my biggest regret from my own wedding – and there are so many different styles to choose from now. I still adore vintage film and Super 8 short and sweet films the best though.

Check out this one by Bristol based Hugh Farrow and you’ll see what I mean. So cute.

See more of my couples and their real wedding films and videos here.

Jessie

x

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BOHEMIAN WOODLAND & WILDFLOWER WEDDING

I should start by saying, this couple was one of the absolute loveliest I have ever had the pleasure of working with – they were kind, fun, lovable and so dedicated to finding artists who could fulfil their wedding dreams. And what a dream!

They got hitched in a sweet woodland location with the sound of nature and all their friends and family surrounding them, then led guests through a stunning field of wildflowers to a Sperry tent dressed with ribbon, fairy lights and giant dream catchers. The food wasn’t an afterthought, it took centre stage in terms of creative flair and guest dining experience – followed by an evening of live music as the sun set.

You can read more from the bride over on So You’re Getting Married and swoon over more photo’s by the gorgeous Binky Nixon in my online portfolio too. I truly hope you fall in love with this wedding as much as I fell in love with their sweet story.


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