I was over the moon when Susannah Halsey got in touch with me over the summer, to share this breathtakingly beautiful wedding inspiration. When it comes to English garden wedding styling ideas, I do love to know that this particular wedding blog shines out from the crowd. Today’s images are some of the very best – they’re from the glorious Gaddesden Estate in Hertfordshire – a relatively new wedding venue, owned by the Halsey family.
This is a wonderful space for so many reasons: the gardens are exquisite; there are stables here and The Gaddesden Estate is home to renowned tablescape designers Duchess and Butler. Event specialists Big Green Space have close ties with the estate, and Louise’s styling works beautifully in the space. The gardens themselves inspired the wedding looks we’re about to share with you. Viola Halsey has made these beautiful gardens her life’s work, and they are breathtakingly beautiful.
The rose gardens, lavender beds, and badgers garden (home to opulent parties in days gone by) are simply divine. Every detail of the wedding inspiration you’re about to see is just perfect. I really do love the calligraphy, and the images by Sally Masson are absolutely stunning!!
(Marquee and purple table photography by Sally Masson & Claire Connold Photography).
Concept, Planning & Styling https://biggreenspace.com/
Chandeliers & Ceremony Props https://www.dressityourself.co.uk/hire/
Cake Styling & Props https://www.facebook.com/littleorchardvintage/
Cake Linen https://www.miasylvia.co.uk/
Hair & MUA Guidance http://www.nikimakeup.com/
Equestrian Model https://www.instagram.com/hoovesandhoundsherts/
Production https://www.bmeav.co.uk/ and https://www.b360.tv/
Special mention https://www.stampedestuntcompany.co.uk/
The Gaddesden Estate is located in the Chilterns’ Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, yet under an hour from Central London. The grounds of the Golden Parsonage – the 18th Century house at the heart of the estate – have recently been opened up for weddings and private events, and comprise a series of formal and semi-formal areas in a stunning, secluded setting.
The Estate is family owned and run (the Halsey family celebrate 500 years of continuity in 2020) and as such all events activity has a very personal touch. They very much want any couples celebrating their wedding there to feel part of the landscape’s story, and will be planting a tree for each couple in 2021 as part of their quincentenary plantation scheme.
As a new venue the Gaddesden Estate is able to take bookings for otherwise popular dates in 2021 and 2022.
The estate works in partnership with events specialists Big Green Space, who have over 20 years’ experience delivering beautiful, bespoke celebrations while staying on budget. Louise Barcock, Big Green Space’s founder, explains: ‘Its really important to me that every event has a ‘story’. For every wedding I organise, there will be a spark, a hint of personality that begins the journey to the design. Whether it be a love of cycling, a passion for woodwork, a love of travel or even a favourite colour; the couples’ personalities can act as a starting point for finding the theme and reflecting their personalities.’
Louise styled the tablescapes in Fishponds and the marquee to be ‘real’. i.e. achievable for people working to different budgets and practical enough to replicate at a real wedding. At the Gaddesden Estate the team can work with your chosen suppliers, but where recommendations would be helpful the emphasis is on supporting the many excellent suppliers to be found in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire (many of which, while ‘local’ are national and international businesses).
Several of these are already based on site, including the tablescape designers Duchess and Butler, but the estate is also home to a more unusual business in the form of the Stampede Stunt Company, who specialise in supplying trained animals – particularly horses – for events, as well as filming and photoshoots. The area is well known for equine activity and horses have been at the heart of the estate since it was first acquired by the Halsey family; those with an equine interest would find something unique in this location…
Inspiration for the shoot came from the differing elements of the venue, which range from the formality of the Golden Parsonage gardens to the warmth and semi-wildness of the walls in the Walled Garden Meadow, where a marquee was set up, and the ‘hidden spaces’ feel of Fishponds – a now-dry sunken garden set among trees, and perfect for a secret supper party (!)
Inspiration for the marquee was English Country Garden, inspired by Viola Halsey’s love of, and talent with, roses, and other soft blooms in the gardens. The secret hiding spaces and ‘journey’ through the gardens feel very romantic. The florals were grown in British gardens.
For fishponds, the shape of the sunken garden instantly lends itself to a long table. The way the trees line the space and the branches hanging over the table feels very intimate and inspired the idea for the chandeliers hanging down from the trees. A feeling of inside/outside was created using the natural wood of the furniture and the unstructured florals contrasting with the sparkle of the crystal of the chandeliers and glassware.
The opulent table in Badgers Garden was a nod to the glamorous parties held in this house down the centuries and the classic styling reflects the history of the property. The purple tones were inspired by the lavender in the borders.
Amanda BradfordBig Green SpaceClaire Connold PhotographyDress it YourselfDuchess and ButlerFurniture 4 EventsHalo and WrenInk and Paper DesignJoseph Benjamin MarqueesJust 4 LinenLittle Orchard VintageMia SylviaNiki MakeupSally Masson PhotographyThe Gaddesden EstateWillow and Thyme