All photography by Kate Nielen at an editorial shoot: planned, concept, styling by me and Susannah Parker. Tableware by Duchess and Butler Cakes by Yevnig Stationery by Leeming Brothers Venue Cliveden House Ribbons by Pom Pom Blossom Florals by Blomster Designs Florals Shoes Emmy London The bridal dresses by Mirror Mirror Couture Hair, Makeup and Art Direction by me. Hair accessories by Dolecka | Grooms Attire by Yardsmen | Videographer by Luxe Wedding Films | Horse Tiger | Perfume by Design in Scent
Inspired by our passion for the Ralph Lauren aesthetic, our vision was to create a luxurious shoot which reflected the timeless sophistication and history of our prestigious stately home venue, Cliveden, but with a modern edge, to appeal to contemporary couples. Lord Astor had a passion for racing and his love for his horses endures today – the impressive stable block has been renovated and now houses a stylish restaurant but the circular manege where his beloved racehorses were exercised is still clearly visible beyond the impressive Parterre lawns. We focused our styled shoot on all the beautiful high attention to detail that fills this Italiante style mansion whilst still displaying a natural elegant and classic look for our couples. The French dining room designed in 18th century Rococo style with paneling contains carvings of hares, pheasants, hunting dogs and rifles, the very essence of the British countryside. With the help of Cliveden’s very own in house floral designer we brought the outdoors in using small bespoke floral trees that took center stage on the Lady Astor table dressed in the most magnificent range of flowers, foliage’s and textures to compliment the amazing gold baroque that fills this room. Our bridal bouquet featured 19 different flowers and foliages and our tablescape incorporated 25 different flowers and foliages! Crystal candelabras add light and space and break up the vintage votives and tea lights along with matt brass Ester and Erik candleholders which held old rose tapered candles helping to bounce the light around the room to add a welcoming atmosphere. A continuous arrangement of flowers ran along the centre of the table dressed around the arrangements and alongside succulent heads. Hints of gold in pretty gold etched Versailles glassware are coupled with the feminine blush pink Etoile pink and gold charger plates and Etoile white and gold side plates. We kept the table linen white to let the stunning display of flowers stand out and used pale pink napkins with gold matt cutlery for a paired back look. Our cake designer created an impressive six tier wedding cake covered in delicate butter cream which emulated the tiny flowers and delicate pearls of our Emmy London bridal shoes. With handmade large sugar paste roses and smaller delicate flowers with leaves this echoed the floral display and to add a personal touch and to tie in with the bespoke stationery, the couples monogram was added.
When styling the bride, there were two key 2019 accent trends I wanted to incorporate throughout – as seen in her gown, her veil, her hairpiece and her shoes – 3D floral embroidery mixed with foliage applique and the use of metallics in the incredibly detailed silver beading; the gown was particularly versatile offering a number of complementary layers, allowing us to create looks which reflected the wider trends of a high neck coverage for the modest bride with elegant long sleeves through to a luxuriously understated strapless gown with a full ballerina skirt of silk.
Let’s talk about the make-up and hair. To complete the look, I took inspiration from Meghan Markle – who in fact spent the night preceding her wedding at Cliveden House with her mother! – and how perfect that Meghan’s make-up look is the same as my signature style of make-up which is a natural look. I complemented the look with an elegant low chignon, keeping true to the elegant, timeless and sophisticated bridal style that I love to work with. I used a small tiara of diamonds in the first look and then switched this to a beautiful bespoke hair accessory which also displayed the same 3D petals as the bodice and cape. As a former beauty therapist I still adhere to my training and believe that the best makeup results are achieved with good skin care first and this is always my focus when working with make-up. I always cleanse, tone and moisturise and by using thin layers of product that really hydrate the skin I am able to let the skin breathe and shine through, concealing only where I need to. For the face I used Estee Lauder, The Illuminator and mixed it with a little NARS Sheer Glow foundation. This gave the skin a natural glowing look. For the eyes and to compliment my models beautiful skin tone I used warm hints of Chanel’s eyeshadow in peach and shades of brown by Dior with a subtle eye liner carefully smudged in to defuse the line in Audrey (brown) by Charlotte Tilbury. To add definition and a little drama to the eyes I finished the look with individual cluster lashes. I find these work best to achieve a natural look that isn’t overdone or too exaggerated. Soft peach and pink blushers were mixed together to add colour and the look was finished with a touch of ballet pink lipstick by Bobbi Brown.
My Favourite Details
There are so many details that I absolutely love from this shoot that it’s difficult to choose one. Each stage of this shoot was carefully and meticulously planned to perfection. I created a story board for each room inside and outside of this magnificent building taking into account what the focus should be, for example the flowers, the bride, the cake or the bride and groom and not forgetting our gorgeous race horse! Each frame had to capture our purpose and our vision for this shoot and our purpose was to bring 2019 wedding trends together, our vision was to create an elegant, sophisticated and stylish wedding that would be timeless for brides of today.
If I had to choose two of the stand out elements from this shoot, you see I can’t even pick one! I would say the amazing flowers and the bridal gown with all the accessories. We give you not one, but four different looks with one dress! The Annabelle strapless dress, by Mirror Mirror was cleverly styled with a breathtaking hand made veil with 3D petals. We then paired the dress with the Couture Rosewood Cape which had yet more hand sewn flowers and lots of detailed beading. Later in the day we switched the cape for the long sleeved Aurelia lace reverse jacket. The dress was also worn on it’s own showing off the detailed bodice all hand stitched and created by Mirror Mirror Atelier.
The flowers by Russell who really understood our brief and brought the vision to life with an abundance of flowers – I’ve never seen so many flowers in a styled shoot! The French Salon with it’s gilded interior looked stunning with all the colourful flowers and foliage’s that complimented the rooms decor so brilliantly. Clever use of crystal cut candelabras bounced the natural light around this amazing room. It looked so dreamy and so sophisticated, many of the guests stopped by to take a look and I’m not surprised. It really was a show stopping display. Take a look at the brilliant video by Aaron.
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