Modern blue styling ideas with calligraphy for an alternative beach wedding (46)
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I’m not sure I can think of any UK industry where almost every business is an individual or tiny team. As you plan your wedding, you’re bound to encounter the loveliest independent business people – and I really do love this about the wedding industry. You may remember I wrote a feature for bridal accessories designer Clare Lloyd a few weeks back: this article is inspired by something Clare said.

I believe that it is so important to keep artisan and traditional hand crafting skills alive and every single piece is designed and immaculately made with love and attention to the tiniest little detail. ~ Clare Lloyd

We spend our lives buying stuff: our everyday clothes, food, home decor etc. all come from huge corporations. Hats off to you if you frequent a little veg shop or buy second hand – but in the main our spendybuttons go to high street stores with massive, faceless teams of people in ‘operations’ and shareholders raking in the profits.

Urgh.

Vibrant florals, lemons and beautiful calligraphy for a summer wedding with Ellie Lou Photography (19)
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Ahhh… I’m LOVING writing blog posts for you this week… because it’s summer on my screen and that makes me happy! Today’s feature is lush, sunny, and so captivating you can almost smell the lemon groves. A luxury Mediterranean inspired summer bridal photoshoot at the romantic Almonry Barn wedding venue in Somerset, organised by lovely Ellie Lou Photography. Our bride wears a beautiful silk wedding dress with lace detail by fabulous bespoke bridal dressmaker Ailsa Munro and a colourful citrus-infused colour palette of yellows, orange and pink tones and gold / gold leaf details.

Vibrant florals, lemons and beautiful calligraphy for a summer wedding with Ellie Lou Photography (26)
Almonry Barn is a luxury, award-winning wedding venue in Somerset. The barn has been beautifully updated with stylish interiors, perfect for a romantic Somerset wedding.

The beautiful silk design dress with lace detail (“Maymie”) is by our favourite South West dressmaker, Ailsa Munro.

Vibrant florals, lemons and beautiful calligraphy for a summer wedding with Ellie Lou Photography (11)

 

Daisy Lane Floral Design designed the floral arrangements, which included a colourful bouquet, a set of floral hoops and a beautiful moongate set amongst the trees in the orchard. The flowers included in the photoshoot were antirrhinum, asclepias, astilbe, cosmos, dahlia, hypericum, sweet peas, lysimachia, stocks, roses (Buttercup, David Austin Darcy, David Austin Julliet) and eucalyptus.

Modern blue styling ideas with calligraphy for an alternative beach wedding (6)
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Last summer I styled an editorial photoshoot very close to home – as many of you know, I live on the edge of the Lake District and within minutes’ walk of the beach. When lovely Sheryl from Oobaloos Photography suggested we do a photoshoot here, I just couldn’t say no. I’m a huge believer in letting your surroundings influence the style of your day, and my choice of suppliers to take part in the shoot was inspired by the wild beaches of south Cumbria – my favourite place in the world.

Modern blue styling ideas with calligraphy for an alternative beach wedding (42)

Previously featured on Love My Dress blog (thank you lovely Annabel!), this shoot was designed to show you how to incorporate simple touches inspired by waves and the sea into your wedding day. We styled a simple table with fabrics, foliage and calligraphy in lush blues and golds, with glassware from lovely Narrative Hire.

Modern blue styling ideas with calligraphy for an alternative beach wedding (15)

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For your wedding to be truly unique I can totally recommend shopping around to find the independent designers and creatives across the UK who – like me – don’t subscribe to mainstream ideas or bland design. I fall in love – over and over again – with the makers we find through the pages of this beautiful wedding blog. I’m a huge Etsy fan, which I think says it all! I love the wedding industry for being a melting pot of creative folks, some of whom are destined to create ever more beautiful things and who I don’t doubt will be household names in years to come. Take Ailsa Munro, for example…

unique and elegant wedding dress ideas with Ailsa Munro, image by Rachel Rose Photography (3)

Advice on trying on wedding dresses, by Ailsa Munro on the English Wedding Blog (1)
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by Ailsa Munro Dressmaker, Cornwall

Advice on trying on wedding dresses, by Ailsa Munro on the English Wedding Blog (1)

It seems like it’s fairly common knowledge that wedding dresses “run small” compared to high street shops.

If shopping for the most important dress of your life wasn’t stressful enough, a lot of brides are then also faced with the horror of being squeezed into too small samples, pinned at the back with your bra showing, and having to show your bridesmaids and Mum while trying to imagine what it’ll look like in the right size.

As a dress designer, I wanted to explain why this is so common, and what you can do to avoid getting overwhelmed by it.

Advice on trying on wedding dresses, by Ailsa Munro on the English Wedding Blog (3)

Sizes are just numbers

First of all- it’s important to remember that sizes are just numbers. They help the industry codify bodies, which come in all shapes and sizes and heights and proportions, into roughly 6 standard sizes. The system is imperfect, not least because it appeals to the side of our brain that wants to put things in boxes and say “okay so if I’m a size X I must look like Y“, or worse “I can only be happy if I’m a size X” This brings about what is often referred to as “vanity sizing”, where high street shops make their sizes fit a slightly bigger body in order to make them feel good and therefore buy the product.

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by Ailsa Munro Dressmaker

I feel like the wedding industry woke up on Monday morning and ever so slightly lost their shit. I’ve seen article after article from wedding blogs and magazines, frantically guessing what kind of dress Meghan Markle might wear when she marries Prince Harry next spring. Scanning her instagram for her general fashion sense, what she’s worn as a bridesmaid, what she’s worn when she’s with Harry. Honestly it’s coming across a little nutty, at this point, you guys.

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Instagram has the delicious power to turn us all into fans of the most incredible artisan designers – even before we dare to dream of having something made just for us. I LOVE Ailsa Munro‘s beautiful bespoke wedding gowns. There are so many talented makers and designers I follow on social media – your wedding is the perfect opportunity to discover them too! Recently I’ve discovered the incredibly talented Sarah Brown Jewellery and I was thrilled to bits when Ailsa told me she’d commissioned a bespoke engagement ring from Sarah herself.

http://www.sarahbrownjewellery.com
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Ailsa’s story is a beautiful reminder that every wedding ‘transaction’ is an experience – a personal journey which really means something. It’s also a wonderful insight into the process of having something made for you, and I hope you love reading her story.

My job is making bespoke wedding dresses, so it should come as no surprise that when my boyfriend and I decided to get engaged I had very specific ideas about what I wanted for my engagement ring.

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The palest greys are stealing my heart this year – so many of you are incorporating beautiful, barely-there greys into your colour palettes for spring and summer weddings.

Grey is beautifully versatile and works with every flower you can imagine. This means the bouquet you’ll hold will look stunning with grey fabrics or accessories; table flowers will shine against delicate linens and silks; calligraphy will pop in gold or dove grey inks on the palest grey stationery. Today’s shoot by lovely Rachel Rose Photography has the most stunning ideas for this delicious colour alongside my favourite bridal separates by the amazing designer Ailsa Munro.

Rachel wanted to put together a photoshoot around her favourite colour – grey, and to give it a fresh and modern feel. The super simple bridal separates with just a hint of sweet bridal detailing set the theme for the whole day, from the simple detail shots with the rustic baguette to the beautifully elegant stationery.

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Every once in a while I like to take a little time to tell you about my friends – the folks I’ve worked with since the beginning of the English Wedding Blog, who I’d recommend without hesitation and whose work I love to feature! (This is basically an excuse to show you something really pretty and wonderful and to brighten the blog and all of your screens on a Tuesday morning!)

Striking wedding images from an artisan bridal shoot in the Lake District by Vickerstaff Photography (5)

Jamie at Vickerstaff Photography has been a friend of the English Wedding Blog since always. He’s a great guy – his photography is creative, artistic, just a little cheeky* and has a wonderfully dark aesthetic which I personally love. We work together pretty often – I write little bits and pieces of calligraphy; we collaborate on the occasional styled shoot (our last was featured on Love My Dress in November) and of course I feature his weddings on the blog whenever I can.

*Jamie’s sense of humour is brilliant – and you’ll understand when you visit his website!

Striking wedding images from an artisan bridal shoot in the Lake District by Vickerstaff Photography (9)Striking wedding images from an artisan bridal shoot in the Lake District by Vickerstaff Photography (13)

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I first met Stef on a late spring day at Aspire – she was perched on a hilltop pretending to eat a picnic, surrounded by a dozen or so photographers. My first time at an Aspire photoshoot was all kinds of amazing: I met so many creative folks who’ve been a part of my adventures over the last couple of years.

A beautiful natural look for an artisan bride - photoshoot with Stefanie Grisdale mua and Vickerstaff Photography (8)

Since that magical day Stefanie has featured on the English Wedding Blog many times as model and make up artist. She was the cover girl of our Wedding Book in 2016; she’s modelled for some of my favourite bridal shoots and when I needed a make up artist for our ‘artisan romance’ photoshoot on Love My Dress, she was the first and only person I needed to call.

A beautiful natural look for an artisan bride - photoshoot with Stefanie Grisdale mua and Vickerstaff Photography (4)

There’s something intimate about having your wedding make up and hair done – it’s so important to choose someone who’ll be a real pleasure to have around on your wedding day morning.

Stef is absolutely lovely, calm and reassuring, always ready with a smile.

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I have had the pleasure of working with some amazing people over the last year. The shoots I’ve helped out with have been spectacularly creative days thanks to some wonderfully talented suppliers. I wanted to introduce you to some of my very favourites, and the first of those is lovely Katie from Made In Flowers.

Fabulously creative wedding flowers in the Lake District by Made in Flowers. Image credit Vickerstaff Photography (4)

Katie is as friendly and generous as she is talented in floral art. She’s styled moss-covered vintage chairs, archways and trees as well as making the most stunning floral arrangements and bouquets for every season. Her flower studio is a little gem in the Lake District: watching Katie assemble a bouquet is a dream and a delight.

Fabulously creative wedding flowers in the Lake District by Made in Flowers. Image credit Vickerstaff Photography (5)

For our artisan wedding inspiration shoot, which featured on Love My Dress in November, Katie’s flowers were full of autumnal charm. I adore the asymmetrical arrangements with those divine dahlias, chocolate cosmos and fabulous textures of berries and leaves. The statement hydrangea in the arrangement Rachel holds in the header image of the English Wedding Blog just makes my soul happy – and the little pops of colour throughout the day are thanks to Katie’s vision and incredible talent.

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Ahhhh… I breathed a genuine sigh of relief this morning that January has finally left us… spring is on its way at last! I can almost smell the grass growing. We are well into our wedding blogging year – we’ve shared some stunning shoots, wonderfully romantic real weddings and fabulous advice from our fave suppliers already. Today – we’re dimming the lights, and falling all kinds of in love with artisan-flavoured wedding inspiration.

Artisan wedding inspo at its best - a Dutch Masters inspired shoot with Vickerstaff Photography (16)

This shoot combines statement florals from Made In Flowers and stunning arrangements with breathtaking Dutch Masters-inspired lighting. The images are as dreamily dark as they are hauntingly beautiful. Our bride is an artist; a free spirit whose passion to create drives her wedding dreams.

Artisan wedding inspo at its best - a Dutch Masters inspired shoot with Vickerstaff Photography (8)

Think ethereal and beautiful bridal style; captivating calligraphy with an organic twist; florals to steal your heart and a cake to enchant your very soul. Beautiful bride Rachel wears a bespoke Ailsa Munro gown with natural, artistic make up by lovely Stefanie Grisdale. Calligraphy from By Moon & Tide sets the scene; exquisitely crafted hair accessories and a showstopper cake are both by Amy Swann.