Dorset

How to style a Hygge wedding

14 Feb 2018

A host of Dorset suppliers came together to style this hygge-inspired wedding shoot, exuding warmth, homeliness and comfort

Bekki Pierce at The Sweet Suite Artisan Cakery in Poole, takes us behind the scenes of this hygge wedding shoot - brimming with ideas for an autumn or winter wedding. 

What was the inspiration behind the shoot?

In 2014 Richard, the shoot photographer, travelled to Copenhagen and fell in love with the people and their incredible taste in design. Hygge is a very Danish way of living - the art of cosiness. It's something that surrounds you. Coffee shops filled with baked treats, gorgeous lighting - both the design of lamps and the level of light - fabrics, the use of texture, simple colour palettes, the way people gather in restaurants. This was the main inspiration behind this shoot: Richard’s own wedding, the time of year and his favourite trips with his husband. It's about eating the food you love, incorporating items you love from your very own home, wearing what you want, being you, and most importantly, being surrounded by those you love.

Rachel, the venue decorator, wanted to style a Hygge inspired wedding as a twist on a traditional rustic wedding, to encourage more couples getting married in autumn and winter to try something different for their wedding day. We wanted to show you that planning an autumnal wedding doesn't mean that it has to be done in the same way as all the other pre-conceived notions out there. Hygge typically means comfort, cosiness and celebrating a feeling of warmth, love, and intimacy. Simple activities such as lighting candles, reading a favourite book or snuggling up under a blanket to eat popcorn and watch a film are all very much part of the Hygge lifestyle.

As wedding suppliers, we think that a hygge wedding sounds divine. It is about creating a day full of wonderful moments, happiness and love. You can bring items from home, make your own decorations, and have more than one cake. Include herbs in the floral arrangements, table decorations, place settings etc. Do it your way, make it cosy and make it gorgeous.

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Tell us a little bit about the venue and why it was chosen.

East Cliff Cottage Hotel in Bournemouth is an historical building full of charm and character, and formerly the home of the Hollywood actor, Stuart Granger. It is small and ntimate, with exposed wooden floorboards, panelled walls and open fires. We knew it would make the perfect “hygge” backdrop to our styled photoshoot. We are also very keen to help support and promote other local small businesses.

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What did you choose for the flower arrangements?

Natasha, our florist on the shoot, always loves walking in the woods so she foraged around and picked natural organic materials. She made a moss ring around a hurricane vase, with many textures including velvety leaves, shiny laurel, woody fir cones, variegated ivy, and holly. The foliage complemented the candle light, wooden floors and homely decor that bought the whole ' hygge' experience together. Warm gold tones also made up a standing vase arrangement which included willow and proteas. With a beautiful fireplace as the focal point, Natasha created an arrangement of linear flowers which is used widely in Europe. To finish off the fireplace, she made an 8ft garland full of natural foliage which smelt of pine and firs and brought the outside in.

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What did you choose for the wedding cake?

When researching a little into the hygge way of life, it was clear that although indulgence was key, keeping it simple was going to be a must so we all decided upon a dessert table. I made a range of cakes. For the focal cake, slices of dried fruit and cinnamon sticks were used to tie it in with the rest of the decor. Lots of little sweet treats were included, macarons, brownies and mini cakes; all alongside an indulgent chocolate cake and a cinnamon swirl cake.

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What was the thinking behind the décor for the shoot?

Rachel, the venue stylist, felt that the décor had to evoke a sense of comfort, warmth and simplicity with lots of natural textures such as wood, wool and foliage. She wanted to create a space that would make the guests feel at home and wrapped up in a bubble of love and friendship. Lots of candles created a wonderfully relaxing and cosy environment. Fairy lights and lanterns were used throughout rather than big bright modern lights.

Comfort food is a must at a hygge wedding, so pears and rustic bread with rosemary were used as place settings. Bowls of popcorn were placed around the venue, as hygge is about making time to enjoy those little things which will make a wedding day day even more special. To encourage guests to warm up, mulled wine was chosen over champagne.

She used chunky knits, faux furs and cushions to decorate the lounge area and make them inviting and comfortable. Leather books were stacked up and tied with twine.

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How did you tie it all together?

The key to a successful themed wedding is picking out key elements and repeating them within the décor, the cake and the flowers. We used pine cones, dried fruits, cinnamon sticks and wood. The dessert display was decorated with items that matched those elsewhere in the room. The gold tones of the flowers matched the warm yellow tones of the blankets.

Clear communication between suppliers was essential and we held planning meetings to come up with a clear brief and all knew how we wanted the shoot to look.

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What kind of accessories were used and why?

A rustic wooden ladder was used to create a table plan, as a hygge wedding usually encompasses a vintage element or a family hand-me-down. We used wooden crates to create additional displays of candles and add more warmth. But most importantly, all of the accessories came from our own homes. We wanted to show couples that a beautiful wedding can be created from everyday items without breaking the bank.

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Get the look:

Styling: Rachel at Love by Design Weddings, www.lovebydesignweddings.co.uk
Photography: Richard at RGW Photos, www.rgw-photos.com
Cake: Bekki at The Sweet Suite Artisan Cakery, www.thesweetsuitedorset.co.uk
Floristry: Natasha at With Love From Floristry -www.with-love-from.co.uk
Venue: Eastcliffe Cottage Hotel, http://www.eastcliffcottage.com/

For more wedding inspiration, pick up the latest edition of Bride magazine