A romantic marquee woodland wedding shoot in the heart of Sussex

16 Jul 2019

If you go down to the woods today... this marquee wedding set-up will blow you away

Emma Turner, business owner of Raise the Roof Marquees, showcases how a marquee can be used as a blank canvas to create a magical wedding set-up. 

What was the inspiration behind the shoot?

My inspiration and brief to all the suppliers involved was that I wanted to create a relaxed, yet romantic and elegant, outdoor woodland wedding... all without hay bales and bunting. I wanted to showcase how you can bring a marquee to life by bringing the outdoors in, and create a real wow factor.

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

I chose the idyllic rural farm location of Horstedpond Farm, set in the heart of Sussex on the outskirts of Uckfield. The location greets its guests with unspoilt scenery, acres of land, including a dedicated events field, and its very own woodland chapel that has been naturally formed by Mother Nature herself. I fell in love with the location when I first visited last November and I knew I had to showcase it to the world.

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What did you choose for the flower arrangements?

With the guidance of our wonderful florist, I decided to use a combination of silk and real flowers. The decision to use high quality silk flowers means that we were able to show that couples can absolutely use high quality silk flowers to create beautiful arrangements, with the added bonus that they can be kept afterwards and used in alternative arrangements as a lasting reminder of their big day.

Together with the natural foliage gathered from the shoot location, we used hydrangeas, peonies, orchids and roses in deep burgundies and dusky pinks to form the foundation colours of the shoot.

We took advantage of the high clear ceiling of the marquee and suspended an overflowing rustic floral installation that helped bring the beautiful natural surroundings to life, as well as incorporating all the foliage and flowers from the other displays.

To help inspire couples of all budgets, we also created a selection of high and low table arrangements, to give a different feel and theme to each table. We wanted to show that not all table arrangements need to be full with flowers and that you can create a simple and beautiful display with foliage, fruit and props like candles and lanterns.

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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?

Being in the countryside, I was looking to create a relaxed but glamorous look for our groom. We went for an on-trend, grey and navy suit with checked detail, paired with a dusk pink tie to give that rural but city feel to our groom. But also matching the colour combinations in the floral and table designs.

Our bride wore an ivory Wendy Makin dress, with beautiful beading, soft flowing tulle and an elegant halter neck. To compliment this, a soft nude look was used for her eye makeup, with a bold lip to bring out the burgundy flowers in the bouquet. We combined this with a floaty hair do, just clipped off the face giving her a soft and relaxed finish.

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What was the thinking behind the décor for the shoot? What kind of accessories were used to create these looks and why?

I wanted to focus on the flowers and bringing the outside in, while creating shape, textured and height.

To complete the look we hired some finishing touches from a local prop hire company. Height was created on the table settings with gold mix-and-match candle holders, geometric copper lanterns and matte white candle holders. We went with gold flower place mats, rose gold cutlery and dusky pink napkins on white plates. These elements, all set against the dark wood tables and white tulle runners, offered a combination to die for.

The colours complemented each other beautifully, looked rich and boasted elegance everywhere you looked. The sophisticated gold waxed stamped place settings added a luxe aspect, while the top table chairs were draped in matching white tulle with florals to match the centrepieces. All this was created in the clear end of the marquee to make you feel like you were dining outside in the fresh country air.

The woodland chapel area was the simplest part of the shoot, because it is already such a perfect setting. We only added white folding chairs for the guests, a flower moon gate for the bride and groom to say their vows beneath, a coconut aisle runner, a few copper lanterns and our simple woodland look was complete. The chapel looked stunning.

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Get the look:

Vision, concept, styling, marquee and planning: Raise the Roof Marquees and Events
Photography: Robotic Clouds Photography
Venue: Horstedpond Farm 
Catering hire: Co-ordination Hire 
Floristry: Bella June Flowers
Grazing table: Bay Tree Foods
Cake: Bonney's Cakery
Groom's suit: Suits to Suit
Bride's dress: Bella May Bridal
Hair & make-up: Makeup By Suzannah
Bell tents: Beneath The Canopy
Prop hire: The Elysian Styling Company
Stationery: Lynda Loves
Luxury toilets: Time In Lieu
Models: Jason Woods and Bethany Newman

For more Sussex wedding inspiration, browse the latest edition of Surrey & Sussex Bride magazine

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