An inclusive wedding shoot in Kent with a rustic-boho theme

19 Apr 2022

Inclusivity was the underlying theme of this rustic-boho styled wedding shoot, which drew on the talents of Kent suppliers

Mercedes Gale, owner of 4YaParty Weddings and Events, shares the concept, planning and creation of this trend-led wedding shoot in Sevenoaks. 

What was the inspiration behind the shoot?

Representation matters! I love to do styled shoots that give inspiration for real couples who aren’t normally represented in the weddings industry. This includes plus size couples, black and interacial couples, LGBTQ+ couples, couples with one or more disabilities, and this shoot was no different.

My fiancé and I are getting married next year and we never see us represented us in magazines and on blogs. So after searching for weeks for a couple that were both plus size (as we really don’t see any male plus size representation in media), I ended up putting my money where my mouth was and getting on the shoot as the model myself and dragging my fiancé to be a model too.

We had even tried a modelling agency who told us their plus-sized females were a size 10-12. That was a real insight into the modelling industry and why we are still so far away from seeing more plus-size representation in the media. My fiancé and I are a plus-size interacial couple with neuro and physical disabilities and so we were actually perfect for this shoot.

A special thanks to our photographers, Sage Photography and Two Visions Photo, who had to work extra hard, as my partner and I are not modelling professionals and definitely needed a lot of co-ordination.

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

Named the 'Lost Gardens of Sevenoaks', Reuthes (pronounced ‘Rootuhs’) is truly a beautiful hidden gem in Kent. Surrounded by acres and acres of beautiful gardens, it is a stunning location for outdoor weddings wanting a breathtaking backdrop for photos. The stretch tents and festoon lights at Reuthes are perfect for a range of wedding styles including rustic, boho or festival-style weddings.

Alex the Celebrant conducted a small ceremony and sand ceremony for the shoot. Catering included cake and biscuits by Simply Irresistible Cakes London, which were simple but breathtakingly detailed and tied in beautifully with the theme. Buttercup Bus supplied an ice cream VW campervan and it was a huge hit. The flavours were out of this world and added a quirky, festival feel to the shoot.

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What did you choose for the flower arrangements?

The bouquet was made by Cacti and Wildflower and was a gorgeous mix of real, dried and artificial florals to achieve the dramatic boho and white orchid look we were going for. The floral arrangements at the aisle and for the tablescape were artificial and dried, and were provided by myself from 4YaParty Weddings and Events.

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What kind of look did you want to achieve with the make-up, hair and outfits for the bride and groom? What kind of accessories were used to create these looks and why?

We featured a handmade gold and crystal headdress and earrings by Saint Beth Official, as well as dried floral crowns provided by Bryony Mae Flowers. An embroidered black leather jacket by Niamh Designs adds warmth and a super cool edge, while the white Adidas trainers added a laid-back touch.

The multiple dresses were supplied by L'amour Curves Plus Size Bridal Boutique and make-up was by Alex Hair and Makeup. The groom wore his own suit and shoes.

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What was the thinking behind the décor for the shoot? How did you tie it all together?

I have been longing to combine my usual rustic flair with the popular boho theme that is going strong in the weddings industry right now. I achieved the boho rustic styling using deep orange and neutral tones contrasted with stark white orchids for a dramatic effect.

I incorporated lots of wooden features including the triangle arch, which I made using reclaimed wood. The wooden sailboards brought the rustic and boho themes together perfectly.

The table carried the rustic-boho theme through with the dried floral bud vases and white orchids. The white charger plates with gold cutlery and deep orange napkins were perfect, and the stationery by Majestic Styling by Natalie matched the theme amazingly and was a beautiful addition to the table.

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Get the look: 

Planning, concept, styling, dried flowers, props and decor: 4YaParty Weddings and Events
Venue: Reuthes Lost Gardens
Photography: Sage Photography and Two Visions Photo
Plus bridal dresses: L'amour Curves
Bouquet: Cacti and Wildflower 
Dried flower crowns: Bryony Mae Flowers
Embroidered jacket: Niamh Designs 
Celebrant: Alex Hilder Celebrant 
Ice cream & VW Camper: Buttercup Bus 
Cake & favours: Simply Irresistable Cakes 
Stationery: Majestic Styling by Natalie 
Hair & make-up: Alex Hair and Makeup
Gold hair crown & earrings: Saint Beth Official
Models: Gale Parr Family 

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