Warmth, love and hygge for two brides at Holbrook Manor
Grab a cup of something cosy and spiced, and join me to gaze happily at today’s breathtaking editorial photoshoot. I’ve fallen head over heels for the warm, deep colours and the homely, hygge atmosphere of these beautiful images by Lucy Baker Photography. The creative team were led by lovely Lauren Alexander Weddings, who found a charming little run down outbuilding at Holbrook Manor and transformed it with a beautiful dessert and snack table. The team were so creative, upcycling a low hanging branch with handmade bespoke glass, playing with the sunset, the light and turning it into a perfect spot for photos.
I LOVE the little details: the cake (by Adorabella Cake Design) and stationery really make the look work so beautifully, tying all the elements together with colours, organic styling and soft, touchable design (I’m talking about Hélène from Smitten With Ink‘s wonderful choice of handmade papers!) – and the florals from Rose and May Floral Design are spectacularly autumnal and truly enchanting. So be inspired by those hidden corners around YOUR wedding venue. Use the space for outdoor dining, use candles, fairy lights and textures to give your guests something to explore, and create another element to your day. Work with a stylist, source props and or hire and create something utterly bespoke to you for your day.
I will leave you in the supremely talented hands of Lauren Alexander Weddings, who is here to explain the concepts and background to this fabulous photoshoot. There’s a full supplier list at the end of the feature too!
The key concepts behind the shoot was the feeling of emoting warmth, love and hygge with deliciously decadent food, utilising the magnificent English countryside, pulling on the wonderfully natural textures of tweed, tartan, wood, pheasant feathers and wool. The colours used, the centrepieces and the natural elements brought together to create a country-chic yet unique take on the rustic theme. Toffee dipped apples, mulled wine, a decadent sweet and snack table as well a hot chocolate station, this was a shoot for all the senses – sight, smell, sound, taste and texture. Bringing together independents, supporting one another and creating a bespoke shoot was very important to us all, as was using talented women who hand-craft their work. Lucy Baker, our photographer, captured this with utter precision, fun and truly understood the brief off the bat. Her style was perfect for our rustic, outdoor brides and she was a pleasure to work with.
Bringing in the theme throughout the day with the hairpieces, handmade by Able Mabel Designs in Bristol, to handmade knitted hand-warmers for our brides by Lauren Alexander Weddings. Chantelle Sophia Bridal’s dresses were all designed by her fair hand and made in Bristol, and handmade decorative glass from Emily Johnston in Cornwall. The wonderfully talented Helene from Smitten With Ink created bespoke hand-written signs, and stationery on handmade paper which added a rustic yet luxury element and Felicity from Rose and May Floral Design created incredible floral designs which we incorporated throughout the venue and the colours she used were perfect for the theme and concept. Laura from the wonderful The Rustic Dresser was an amazing inspiration, and she has some incredible props we were able to use and transform the space. With her keen eye we were able to elevate and add height to the tables, bringing the rustic elements such as wooden blocks, vintage books and barrels to the set.
Our brides were real women, which was very important to the shoot. We wanted brides to see these images and imagine themselves within the shots. Shelley Gordon Makeup Artist worked amazingly with the hair pieces from Able Mabel, and created beautifully chic styles, and our brides make up was dark yet illuminating. Joe Xavier our celebrant supplied his own suit, but the pop of purple gave a fun element to the day and it brought together the jewelled tones used in this shoot.
We wanted the feeling of farm to fork for our food, and so we worked with Veni & Son to create a menu that was of the season, totally British and reflected country palettes, yet more refined. Using bespoke and personalised whisky and gin bottles as favours was a fun nod to the country feel, and The Amber Dram were great in creating bespoke labels based on our theme. The centrepiece of most of the day was the magnificently crafted three tier cake from Adorabella Cake Design who hand-crafted this meticulous and stunning country inspired cake. With macarons and dipped toffee apples, it was a true feast. This was offset beautifully with the enamel plates and mugs supplied by the lovely Hannah from Enamelware Events. Her mugs were filled with hot chocolate and squirty cream, or ladelled full of spicy and aromatic mulled wine.
The little calligraphy touches have my heart. The paper feels country rustic due to its texture and rough edges but it is luxurious at the same time. Hélène’s love of anything floral inspired the botanical winter hogweed print. “Although winter is not favourable to a varied and abundant flora, I find there is much beauty in our cold landscapes and I turned to dried flowers and their seed heads. The calligraphy is of a modern style that would probably be called organic. I find it is quite a romantic style and thought it would be perfect for this stationery suite.
Overall, I wanted to create something quite muted so as not to clash with the table scape but still refined and beautiful…something of an understated beauty, just like Winter feels sometimes.”
Creative Director, planner and stylist of shoot: Lauren Alexander Weddings, Events, Design & Styling
Photographer: Lucy Baker Photography
Venue: Holbrook Manor Weddings
Stationery: Smitten With Ink
Bridal Gowns and Shoes: Chantelle Sophia Bridal
Hair and Makeup Artist: Shelley Gordon Makeup Artist
Props and Styling: The Rustic Dresser
Handmade bespoke glass for decorations: Emily Johnston Glass
Floral Design: Rose and May Floral Design
Cakes and Macarons: Adorabella Cake Design
Enamelware: Enamelware Events
Hair pieces and Accessories: Able Mabel Designs
Food & Catering: Veni & Son
Personalised Whisky & Gin Favours: The Amber Dram