Opulent, colourful florals and a dip dye wedding dress at Hedingham Castle

Published by Claire Gould on

Featuring English Wedding members Candice at So Blooming Beautiful and bridal designer Felicity Westmacott, this inspirational shoot is absolutely stunning. The florals are out of this world; the dip dye wedding dress so fabulously colourful and unique! I was chatting on email to Candice about this shoot, and she told me “I love working with Felicity, we are like two mad creatives together… she is such a talent! I am glad she has joined English Wedding.” And honestly, this super talented pair are a dream team – I hope you adore this shoot as much as I do! I’ll let them tell you all about it!“english

Concept, Organiser, Styling & Floristry – So Blooming Beautiful Designs
Dress – Felicity Westmacott
Photographer – Andrew Wilkinson Photography
Helping hands / Planner and Organiser – Your Wedding Friend
Cake – Willow Tree Cakes
Hair & make-up – Jemma’s Hair and Make-up
Hair accessories – Vintage Adornments
Stationery – Polka Dot Creations
Prop Hire and Styling Consultant – Dolly’s Vintage Tea Party
Ribbons – Silk and Purl
Videography – The Creative Strides
Model – Rohiny Belani

When I first visited Hedingham Castle, I immediately had an idea for a styled shoot with a Medieval mood but showing a modern strong woman. Walking inside the castle, I felt transported back to that age when life was so intense, and I imagined deep jewel tones, dark corners and magical light through the windows.The inspiration is aimed at couples who love historical venues with stunning outdoors, but would also like to feel cosy and intimate when indoors for the ceremony and feel all the incredible surroundings around them at the reception when celebrating with friends and family.

Bridal designer: Felicity Westmacott

I designed our fairytale wedding dress in layers of blush organza and pale ivory tulle with a subtle, sequin sparkle layer between. The mixed metallic lace detail on the bodice is echoed on the statement balloon sleeves. Finally the deep crimson dip-dye hem makes this the dress of dreams! To recreate this look choose any dress with an illusion neckline and have the seamstress create some off the shoulder balloon sleeves to blend with the dress. The dip-dye colour I use works best on dresses with tulle or lace skirts. You can use two, three (or more) colours, blending from pale to deep at the hem. Then echo the highlight colour in your attendants bouquets or groom’s buttonhole. But make sure you stand out in the bridal party, too much matchy-matchy and you won’t be the focus anymore!


Flowers and Styling: Candice Westgate

For the top table, a centrepiece that would bring all the other elements together, framed by scattered fruits and buttercup roses to contrast with the luscious deep red satin runner. No greenery, just elegant orchids, calla lily, roses and nerines with fillers. Another way to achieve this is to mix flowers and fruit in the centrepiece instead of around the table. For the cake table I created a flower cloud framed like a painting with an element I love to use in my floristry and styling that is a draping, or something flying or escaping from the shape but still elegant and creative. The fireplace needed something glamorous and wild looking achieved by two columns of red, green and golden leaves topped up with dried elements and red roses coming through the gaps as if they have grown there. For the bouquet I used just a few eucalyptus as a frame and a jewel colours composition with the same flowers.

Photography: Andrew Wilkinson

As photographer it was incumbent upon me to preserve and portray the ambience, intimacy and mood of the overall theme that the suppliers had brought together, while providing a modern look.
The Castle was a wonderful historical environment in which to work, but like all locations, it was not without challenges in need of consideration as how best to approach the scene from a photographic point of view.
In spite of it being a bright day, the small windows of the Norman structure provided little natural lighting, and the absence of low ceilings and reflective walls precluded the ‘easy’ convenience of bouncing light. From my experience I opted for a ‘simple’ lighting set-up for the interior shots; indeed, one that could be replicable on a ‘real’ Wedding Day. This enabled me to capture low-key elements to the images that retained the deep, rich, Autumn colours of flowers and fruit, the warm glow of candle light, while ensuring the Bride, dress and bouquet were well-lit.
Outside, the wind was blowing strong gusts and the direct sun provided for strong backlit images. With the right amount of light fill I was able to capture images that showed detail, yet with a sense of movement.

Cake: Willowtree Cakes

To create the cake, each of the four tiers were covered in rich burgundy fondant icing, adorned with 24ct gold leaf and decorated with edible wafer paper sails.  The sails were dusted in sumptuous edible antique gold shimmer dust and draped around the cake to create a dramatic effect.

Hair and Make Up: Jemma

The common denominators for a perfect Bridal look are amazing skin and effortless curls. This look, although modern with a edgy twist, is still classic enough to stand the test of time. Nothing helps natural beauty to shine through more than elegant glowing skin, beautiful brows and a nude lip. The darker pop of colour on the eyes, compliments the models skin tone and stunning bottom of the dress, whilst the warm gentle highlight and half up hair style with soft curls and delicate glistening headband enhances the fairytale princess vibe, perfect for this castle setting.

Accessories: Vintage Adornments

The hair accessories in this shoot are all one-off creations, handmade by Vintage Adornments from genuine pieces of antique and vintage jewellery. Brides can make their own wedding look as bold and original as this by selecting one-of-a-kind accessories that can’t be found on the high street. To bring to life the rich, jewel-toned theme of this shoot, the accessories incorporate pieces from the 1940s for an opulent pop of real Old Hollywood glamour.

Videographer: The Creative Strides

The skill with wedding videography is to be aware of the emotion and story you are trying to portray. This may mean manipulating the physical space, choosing certain angles or lenses and continuously reminding yourself to film with the bride and grooms’ first viewing in mind. Here, I asked myself, if I were them and I was watching this, would I care about this shot? Does this add anything to the video? Which is exactly what I did on the day of the shoot, positioning myself and the camera from this viewpoint. It was also key for me to shoot the finer details, choosing to focus on the cutlery, jewellery, the beautiful space to encourage the audience to appreciate the smaller components of wedding craftsmanship. Across the day, I continued to follow our wonderful model and team, helping to assist with the creative portrayal of the products and people in the best possible light.

Wedding Planner: Vikki Richman

When Candice mentioned that she wanted to do a styled shoot in a castle, I jumped on the opportunity right away. Helping research and approach suppliers we thought would be the perfect fit for the style and theme. I think the pictures speak for themselves. It was an absolute pleasure to help this amazing group of suppliers bring Candice’s vision to life.

Stationery: Polka Dot Creations

I knew I wanted to produce stationery in a deep green colour with burgundy and gold accent colours. Apart from the invitation, wrapped in a burgundy double faced satin ribbon, I also created a menu, table number and place cards in the same design. The place cards contained brass eyelets which really gives them that luxurious feel. All items were printed on a thick 350gsm uncoated card, fully recyclable and FSC certified.




Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at www.byMoonandTide.com. Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.


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