I’ve been talking a lot recently about redefining luxury for the modern bride and groom – those stylish couples who care about creating an intimate and memorable atmosphere for their wedding day as much as they want the florals and decor to be completely beautiful.
It’s sometimes hard to imagine how you can pair simplicity, elegance and feminine details within a more grand or traditional venue. So I was delighted to have the opportunity to do so last year as part of a styling workshop I hosted for wedding professionals at the rather spectacular Aynhoe Park.
I was originally inspired by a colour palette I’d seen in a beautiful photo of a bowl of mixed fruit and berries – the deep reds and bright pinks were hugely appealing to me in that moment, which was surprising really as usually I’m not a big fan of red in wedding design. This shoot definitely changed my mind! The venue itself was also an influence on the overall shoot brief too – Aynhoe Park is a grand and beautifully eccentric country house that just wouldn’t have suited a subtle or soft pastel palette of colours, it’s bold yet beautiful, and I wanted to show off it’s feminine side with a slightly more romantic luxe element.
I’m best known for my organic, feminine and timeless designs for weddings – and this shoot was no different. With large overflowing florals that feature lots of texture, soft flowing linen, antique tableware, beautifully tapered candles in a calm neutral colours to balance the bold pinks on a distressed white dining table – it’s meant to feel like you are dining in luxury without looking over the top or in any way forced. The bridal gowns selected were similarly soft and flowing, but with lots of gorgeous detail to reflect the tone and setting of the day.
When working with such bright and bold colours (especially bright pinks and shades of red) it’s so important to make sure the design scheme is visually balanced in some way. For me that was largely achieved by introducing lots of soft neutral colours in shades of white, beige and gold. Though also it’s just as important to balance the design with a feminine touch – if the florals are bright then also make them less structured and more organic, mirror the colours in linen but allow space for your other details to breathe with less dramatic style choices.
Both the bouquet and table flowers by Amy at Bo Boutique featured a real mix of florals in terms of shapes and sizes, all within the red/pink spectrum – from giant peonies, huge tulips, roses, and astilbe – broken up with lots of amazing smelling eucalyptus and more unusual varieties.I fell completely in love with Gemma Milly’s amazing hand painted stationery that she designed bespoke for this shoot. It’s something that so many brides overlook, but can make a huge difference to the tablescape and will be the first element your guest encounters before the big day – so lovely to give a hint of what is to come.
Official photographer Ashlee Taylor was there to capture all the details of the styled editorial shoot, but we were also lucky enough to have Xander & Thea behind the scenes – I promise to share her beautiful images of not only the workshop in action, but also a totally stunning tour of Aynhoe Park itself, any interior design addicts won’t want to miss that post!
But first, I’m so delighted to share the main shoot with you below – as featured in You & Your Wedding magazine, with full credits at the end.
Stylist: Jessie Thomson; Photography: Ashlee Taylor; Flowers: Bo Boutique; Ribbon & Silk Linen – Kate Cullen; Hair & Makeup – Heidi Vince; Props & Furniture: Vintage Style Hire; Stationery: Gemma Milly; Cake: Curtis & Co; Tableware: Helene Millot; Bridal gowns, shoes and accessories: Luella’s Boudoir; Jewellery: Monica Vinader; Venue: Aynhoe Park