A modern Edwardian wedding shoot

21 Jul 2017

A host of Cotswold wedding suppliers bring the magic of The Secret Garden to life in this contemporary shoot with Edwardian influences

Cotswold wedding blog Hanami Dream gives us behind the scenes access to this elegant shoot in Oxfordshire, captured by Squib Photography.

The concept

Based on The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (published in 1911), this modern Edwardian styled wedding shoot is a perfect harmony of traditional and contemporary elements brought together with sheer glamour and sophistication.

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The location and venue

This elegant and delicate wedding is set in the grounds of a local English Manor House in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds of the UK (also used in the filming of another 1910s drama, Downtown Abbey). The lush greenery of a walled garden is discovered behind a secret locked door and its unseen natural beauty is unearthed after being concealed for many years.

Complete with an intimate ceremony on the croquet lawn, drinks in a secluded corner of the garden, followed by a celebration in a stunning Cotswold stone barn, this wedding features modern twists on traditional wedding styles with a real sense of rejuvenation.

Cogges Manor Farm was the ideal location for this wedding with its very essence in this era. It is nestled in the lovely market town of Witney and offers two stunning 17th century barns as well as a beautiful walled garden, stunning grounds and an impressive manor house as a remarkable backdrop.

The couple got ready in the peaceful setting of the manor house, strolled romantically through the walled garden, encouraged their families to ‘choose a seat not a side’ on vintage chairs on the croquet lawn, and enjoyed the perfect blank canvas of the Barley Barn where modern, personalised details make this wedding complete.

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Thematic details and colour scheme

The shoot features clear acrylic stationery and signage with white brush lettering (where the greenery of the garden can be seen through), a hoop bouquet, a fresh take on the time-honoured wedding dessert of a croquembouche, vintage pearl details, antique keys and a friendly robin redbreast motif. The Secret Garden's Mary and Colin would be proud to attend this stylish wedding.

The colour palette is soft and understated so nothing distracts from the abundance of sumptuous cascading foliage. White is accented with hints of pink Pale Dogwood and plenty of the Colour of the Year of Greenery. There’s a definite nod to the Pantone® spring/summer 2017 colours with some subtle inclusion of blues (a navy lapis for the groom’s suit and a denim niagara of the manor house internal doors), hazelnut and more greenery in the form of kale.

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The décor 

Hanging from one of the impressive beams is a large rustic wooden cartwheel with stylish bulb cages around Edison type filaments and adorned with greenery and alliums.

The top table is awash with greenery running down the whole of the table and spilling off the ends to the floor. Plus, the fragrance of the foliage was a delight to the senses with hosta, hedera, honeysuckle, laurel and hebe. Along with gentle inclusion of white flowers in the form of campanula, astilbe, lady’s mantle, sweet william, viburnum, rambling rose, helleborus seedheads and valeriana. 

The sturdy wooden table, along with vintage chairs, is set simply with white crockery and silver cutlery, plus clear acrylic menus sit on green moss. Alongside each setting is a clear acrylic place name (with guest names paying homage to the character names from the book) attached to vintage keys, along with favours of charming wooden robins.

Guests are directed around the farm with stylish clear acrylic signage and find their places by referring to the reclaimed window pane table plan with white brush lettering, completing the stationery suite of clear acrylic invitations and clear acrylic table number tubes.

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The cake

In the garden, the couple relax and enjoy a smooth glass of brandy whilst listening to the gramophone and admiring the remarkable cake, a reintroduction of a traditional wedding dessert. This impressive croquembouche plays on the trend of wedding cake alternatives and sits on top of a plain white cake. The choux balls are decorated with edible pearl balls of varying sizes.

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Hair and make-up

The bride chicly carries a hoop bouquet leaving a beautiful scent of jasmine wherever she sashays. She has strong smoky eyes, pinched cheek blush and barely-there pale lipstick reminiscent of the times.

Her hair is ornamented with a delicate pearl hair vine and gathered up to reveal the breath-taking backless dress.

She perfectly fits the glamorous, champagne coloured bridal gown, made from Lux Charmeuse, featuring a high neckline, flutter sleeves, low back, attached silver beaded waistline and godet train by Justin Alexander. This 1910s styling is teamed with a multi-strand bracelet and necklace, made with navette set Swarovski crystal stones and pearls, in creamrose light shade.

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The groom

The suave, slicked back groom suited the era with a blue three-piece suit made from a British fabric 100% wool, cut in a traditional style but more modern in shape. 

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Get the look:

Planning & Design: Hanami Dream, www.hanamidream.co.uk
Location: Cogges Manor Farm, www.cogges.org.uk
Photography: Squib Photography, www.squibphotography.co.uk
Models: Úna and Daryl
Hair & make-up: Blushing Brides, www.blushingbrideshairandmakeup.com 
Bridal dress and accessories: Proposals of Witney, www.proposalsbridalstudio.co.uk
Groom clothing: The Cotswold Tailor, www.suitstailored.com
Jewellery: Designed to Sparkle, www.designedtosparkle.co.uk
Floristry: Lark Rise Flowers, www.larkriseflowers.com
Cake: Cotswold Baking, www.cotswoldbaking.co.uk
Stationery: The Paper Hare: www.thepaperhare.com
Lighting: Oakwood Events www.oakwoodevents.co.uk
Chairs, glasses and gramophone: Linda's Vintage Hire, www.lindasvintagehire.co.uk
Favours: Muffat Prague, www.muffatprague.com

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

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