When most people think of English country weddings they conjure up a picture of a traditional marquee, a warm Summer's day, perhaps a bouquet of roses and bridesmaids wearing flower crowns. But I am here to tell you, well show you, that that does NOT have to be the case. I was recently involved with organising the most stunning styled shoot - that proves you can do a country wedding, whilst also adding the glamour of the city!
The idea behind the shoot
I was brought on board by a local make up artist to help her with organising a styled shoot that she wanted to create. Sarah was keen to use rich jewel tones to give a luxurious, old school glamour feeling, but whilst also ensuring that there was plenty of warmth in the images. Chafford Park was the perfect venue as it is a rustic barn that oozes style! The oak clad walls and fairy lights added the warmth that we were looking for, and the copper bar gave that WOW factor that we instantly fell in love with! The idea of the shoot was to showcase a Bride with her bridal party, relaxing and enjoying themselves towards the end of the night. We didn't want the bridesmaids to be in a 'bridesmaid' dress as we wanted to create a more modern look - an added bonus was getting all three models into wedding dresses a la Friends!
The Final Result
How to achieve this look yourself
Start by finding your ideal venue - rustic barns come in all shapes and sizes, so find one that suits your style and key criteria (location/budget etc)
If you're looking to host an Autumn/Winter wedding, make sure that your barn can be heated - as you don't want cold guests!
Once you've sorted your venue you will need to source your photographer - have a look at their previous work to see if their style suits yours.
There are various different styles of photography to choose from - traditional, contemporary, photo-journalistic and fine art photography.
I'd highly recommend having your wedding videoed too - so that you can cherish memories of loved ones forever.
When choosing your dress, think carefully about what time of year you're getting married, your venue and your own personal style. You may prefer a sparkly dress to match the fairy lights, or something more traditional that adds contrast..
Be sure to pick your accessories after you have chosen your dress - perhaps a veil? a headpiece? or even a pearl headband? Then select the jewellery that you'd like to wear on the day - keeping it simple or perhaps going super glam - depending on your dress.
The flowers are one of the most important parts of the design - make sure that your florist understands your brief and is confident with creating your ideas.
Be clever with your use of flowers and re-purpose floral installations from the ceremony to reception.
The furniture can really change the design of your wedding - check with your venue what furniture they have or hire in furniture that suits your design. There are so many gorgeous rustic tables/chairs out there to hire, as well as the vintage lounge areas.
Choose your tableware carefully too - do you want a more rustic look? or would you prefer a glamourous feel? You could combine vintage crockery with luxurious cut crystal glasses.
You have so much more choice nowadays with candles and linens to really elevate your tabelscape design. Don't be afraid of using colour and using different tones of colour too.
For a streamlined, more modern look, combine your favours with your place names - this makes your table less cluttered. A cute iced biscuit is a perfect little gift for your guests, that also tells them where they are sitting!
Make sure that your cake reflects your personality and not only tastes delicious, but also looks amazing! Your cake is an integral part of your event design - so make sure you find a baker who is able to fulfill your brief.
Your wedding stationery needs to work together - you don't have to use the same font on your seating plan as you did on your invites, but make sure that the design is cohesive across all of your stationery. You can add pops of colour by choosing colourful envelopes, or by adding a wax seal.
Choose your bridesmaids dresses carefully - you want them to feel comfortable throughout the day, and many people now prefer something that they can re-wear. If you have 3 or more, opt for a mismatched look, which is right on trend.
Your hair and make up needs to feel right for YOU. You need to make sure that you have a trial beforehand to find the person who makes you feel like the best version of yourself - not like someone else! You don't want to feel uncomfortable on the day.
Food and drink are SO important on your wedding day - you want your guests to be fed and watered! Choose a bar team who are happy to create a drinks menu that complements your theme and personalities. It's also a lovely idea to include local suppliers in your food and drink menus too!
Entertainment is where you really can add your personality to your big day - there are lots of unique ways to keep your guests entertained. An audio guestbook is a great way to remember who was there celebrating with you - whilst also making it fun for your guests!
English country weddings are never going to go out of fashion (in my opinion!), but you can definitely update a 'classic' look by modernising certain elements. Being braver with colour, adding glamour and including personalised elements are easy ways to modernise your wedding design whilst still keeping the rustic, English country wedding feel.
Enjoy planning your dream day! x
Thank you to Emma Hall Photography for the stunning images.
Video footage of the shoot from Luxe Videography can be found on YouTube.
Venue, Chafford Park, https://chaffordparkestate.co.uk | Concept and make-up artist, Sarah Katzaros Makeup, www.instagram.com/sarahkatzaros_makeup | Concept and wedding planner, The Country Blush, www.thecountryblush.co.uk | Photographer, Emma Hall Photography, http://www.emmahallphotography.com | Videographer, Luxe Videography, https://luxevideography.co.uk | Flowers and styling, The Bloominati Florist, https://bloominatiflorals.com | Hair stylist, Emily Rose Hair, www.instagram.com/emilyrosehair_ | Dresses, Lucia Veil Bridal, www.luciaveil.com | Accessories, Lace & Favour, www.laceandfavour.com | Stationery, The Friendly Paper Co., www.thefriendlypaperco.com | Cake, Emily's Mixing Bowl, https://emilysmixingbowl.co.uk | Favours, Bite Me Bakes, www.bitemebakes.co.uk | Bar, Wild Box Bars, https://wildboxevents.co.uk | Furniture, Locate to Create, www.locatetocreate.com | Tableware, Harriet's Table, https://harrietstable.co.uk | Audio guestbook, Temptation Towers, http://www.temptationtowers.co.uk | Sparkling wine, Biddenden Vineyards, https://biddendenvineyards.com
Have a look at my blog post on how to use the Pantone colour of the year in your wedding design.
If you love the dresses from the shoot - have a look at my review of Lucia Veil - Tunbridge Wells's newest bridal boutique.