Cotswold bridal blog Hanami Dream takes us behind the scenes of this charming Wind in the Willows inspired bridal shoot
Set in the beautiful Oxfordshire countryside of the Cotswolds, this Wind in the Willows styled bridal shoot is an outdoor, autumnal adventure. Complete with vintage transport alongside a picturesque river, the grand hall celebration is dressed in marsala and gold, with chalkboard and marble design features plus tactile fabrics like tweed, corduroy and suede.
It is a true celebration of the beauty of nature and encapsulates the sense of an outdoors adventure as typified by The Wind in the Willows book by Kenneth Grahame. This is a chance to get away from the hectic, crowded city to a stunning and tranquil setting. Mole, Ratty, Toad and Badger would be proud to attend this relaxed bohemian wedding.
The Old Swan and Minster Mill was a perfect location for this wedding, where the bride and groom gazed at one another during their wedding ceremony while on the love seats under the Temple Garden. This had the amazing backdrop of a splendid willow tree draping its branches in to the River Windrush, flowing on its way to join the River Thames.
The couple moored their rowing boat by a disused boat house, explored the peaceful setting with treks down the river, over bridges, carefree on a tree swing and enjoyed a sumptuous, rustic picnic sat on a blanket with their hamper on the riverbank.
Mr Toad would have approved of the vintage Humber car to experience the open road before entering the Great Hall through a paper floral archway and to feast on a mouthwatering banquet.
Once inside, the happy couple sat in pride of place at the top table, in front of an impressive fireplace with a mantelpiece adorned with forest green foliage and fairy lights. The table was luxurious and tactile, complete with a suede cream table cloth, copious amounts of marsala coloured candles in gold candlesticks and geometric copper tea light holders. Gold beaded charger plates were topped with gold vintage crockery, marsala coloured silk napkins and a chalk board design menu card, besides gold vintage cutlery.
Guests found their places by referencing the chalkboard style table plan and name cards, with guest names paying homage to the character names. The tables were named after chapters from the book and guests given an opulent, marsala marbled soap as their fragrant favour.
The top table was swathed in a striking floral table runner with a loose relaxed vibe. containing lots of greenery along with burgundy dahlias, flowing amaranthus (mirroring the weeping willow tree outside), ranunculus, hypericum berries, snow berries, skimmia and bombastic roses. These flowers featured in the remarkable bouquet that the bride cradled, as well as in her loose braided hair, her corsage and the groom's buttonhole.
These florals were beautifully replicated on the cake which also combined other on-trend themes such as marbling, metallic gold lustre, drip effects and a chalkboard tier, which was sympathetic to the stationery and a nod to the author of the book.
The bride and groom
The gorgeous bride braved the cold autumnal weather, with a beautiful smile complete with marsala coloured lipstick. Fitting perfectly into the romantic A-line wedding gown with lace sleeves, sweeping net train and floral appliqued bodice by Watters, she completed her look with a short veil (by Richard Designs) worn low below a delicate hair vine (by Miranda Templeton) and gold coloured Blake shoes (by Benjamin Adams).
Our handsome, bearded groom suited the countryside surroundings with his dapper tweed jacket and waistcoat, coupled with a checked shirt, marsala bow tie and plush red corduroy trousers.
Planning and design: Hanami Dream, www.hanamidream.co.uk
Location: Old Swan & Minster Mill, www.oldswanminstermill.co.uk
Photography: Farrow Photography, www.farrowphotography.com
Models: Jess and Henry
Hair and make-up: Lucy Beesley Bridal, www.lucybeesleybridal.co.uk
Bridal dress and accessories: Mae Bridal, http://maebridal.co.uk/
Groom's clothing: Keates of Witney, www.keatesmenswear.co.uk
Florist: Classic Flowers, www.witneyflorist.co.uk
Cake: The Pretty Cake Company, www.theprettycakecompany.com/contact.html
Stationery (including paper floral arch): Paper Tree Design, www.papertreedesign.co.uk
Cutlery and crockery: Vintage Gold China, www.vintagegoldchina.com
Copper geometric tea lights: sourced by Lark Rise Flowers, http://larkriseflowers.com/
Favours: Stones Field Soap Company, www.stonesfieldsoap.com
Transport: Angela Martin, British Classic Car Hire, www.britishclassiccarhire.co.uk