Beautifully bespoke: a breathtaking wedding dress and black tie dream photoshoot
Good morning, lovelies! We have a real treat for you today, with the most beautiful bespoke designer wedding dress and fabulous florals and stationery from a team of incredibly talented London wedding creatives. The images are all on film by Alexander J Collins, and the bespoke dress and concepts for the shoot are by the amazing designer Caroline Arthur. Caroline’s vision and realisation of this photoshoot mirrors her instinctive and breathtaking wedding gowns. You’ll see final touches being made to the dress, which is a creation of real beauty, and captured in the most stunning way in this delightful collection of images.
I am thrilled to say Caroline Arthur is a member of the English Wedding blog, and I will leave you in her very capable hands as she introduces the concepts behind this look, the creation of the dress, and the enchanting images you’re about to see.
Welcome to an inspirational English black-tie wedding photoshoot at the sumptuous venue of National Trust property, Ham House in Richmond, featuring stylish real-life Italian couple Valentina and Andre.
As a designer, I love to inspire each bride with the confidence to express how they feel on their wedding day. My vision for this photoshoot was classic and elegant, whilst being relaxed and polished in equal measures. I wanted to show the journey from the original sketch of the dress, through to the joy of the wedding day itself, against a luxurious English back-drop.
These images, all taken on film, by Alexander J Collins, capture that rare secluded moment in time, late in the afternoon, when the ceremony is over and the party is just about to begin.
Relaxed seasonal flowers foraged from the formal gardens surrounding the House and venue.
The Dress is bespoke hand made in lace and silk, with a full skirt and elegant sleeves. Photos also feature the designer and bride, working together during her fittings, in a few rare moments of calm.
The groom wore his own tuxedo, looking effortlessly chic, handsome and relaxed.
Babycham glasses from a local charity shop, and cocktail menu by Just Joy Designs, create a cheeky nod to the party still to come.
The neutral colour palette flowed naturally from the colours in the dress, the venue and the September season…. gentle greens, ivory silk, soft beige tones of the loggia and dusky pink flowers. The beautiful thing about the subtlety of this colour palette is how it allows the subject to shine. What you notice is the real bride and groom, the architecture, the light, the floral design. Anything seasonal will be at its best, and also defines a moment in time, when you look back at the images in years to come.
The blooms were a mixture of delicate umbelica forms, contrasting amaranthus and strong fig leaf foliage.
Working with floral designers Leigh Chappell and Sarah Whiting was one of the greatest pleasures of the day. Their ability to take an eclectic mix of foraged flowers, picked the day before, and create something so elegant and original, was inspirational.
The bridal accessories worn by Valentina, were gold, modern and strong. Pretty daisy shapes were chosen for the hand and ears, and an ornate gold and pearl and crystal hair slide by Halo & Co completed the look.
Make up and hair was by Lawson make up –, the serendipitous weather conditions resulted in a relaxed wind-swept look we didn’t intend, but which contrasted beautifully with the formality of the groom’s suit, the elegance of the dress, and the grandeur of the venue.
Designer tip (if I may)…based on 20 years of watching my real brides’ ideas blossom as they settle their plans for their wedding:
“… Relax and open your eyes… look at your surroundings, select elements which make your heart sing, which reflect your personality, and don’t worry if some of the details don’t “match”. This is what makes a wedding so individual, and these little quirks are the things you’ll remember and are special to you…”
Photographer – Alexander J Collins https://alexanderjcollins.mypixieset.com
With thanks to the National Trust, Ham House https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ham-house-and-garden
Dress designer – Caroline Arthur Bridal https://www.carolinearthur.com
Florist – Leigh Chappell flowers https://www.leighchappellflowers.com/, and Sarah Whiting https://www.nettlewoodflowers.co.uk/
Stationery –Just Joy Designs https://www.justjoydesigns.co.uk/
HMUA –Lawson Make Up http://www.lawsonmakeup.com/
Accessories – Halo and Co https://www.haloandco.com/