Today on The Journal I’m reminiscing on a beautiful Spring day spent at Somerley House.
Having previously had the pleasure of working at Somerley it was a joy to be able to return for this stunning editorial shoot which has been featured on Coco Wedding Venues.
When Louise from Louise Hayes Cake Design asked me to be involved and explained her vision for the shoot, it was impossible to turn down. Our working styles really align so I knew we could create some magic together.
The brief was to design a delicate, floral filled occasion that took inspiration from Wedgewood china, so blue and white was naturally the colour palette to base the styling on.
Although the inside spaces at Somerley are absolutely beautiful – having featured on both Bridgerton and The Crown – I wanted to really showcase the grounds for this editorial. With such a versatile venue it’s important for couples to be able to envision how they might like to use the different spaces.
The last time I’d been to Somerley, I got chatting with their lovely venue coordinator Jatta, who happened to mention that a recent couple had decided to say their vows under the old Oak tree outside the main house. It immediately got my cogs whirring and I’d decided I absolutely had to come back to set up a ceremony there one day. Fast forward a year and this was the perfect opportunity!
The Oak tree is simply stunning, its trunk sits majestically in the sunken gardens whilst its canopy reaches far and wide above. Sarah, from The Way To Bloom, and I did some brainstorming of ideas and planned to go all out on florals, creating an epic tree installation. We sent some hastily drawn images between us, but nothing could’ve prepared me for what Sarah and her team created on the day.
The florals wrapped so organically around the tree as if they’d simply grown there overnight, the result was breathtaking. Starting with a carpet of the fluffiest blue hydrangea’s and building up around the trunk to include all the best of late spring flowers, blousy peonies and the tallest of delphiniums intertwined with lots of natural foliage.
To complete the set-up, meadow flowers hugged the last row of the curved ceremony chairs, whilst foliage decorated each end, all merging perfectly with the natural setting. A frosted acrylic welcome sign sat alongside a basket of soft blankets in case of a nip in the air. And dainty daisies enclosed in acrylic plinths where guests could grab a handmade paper cone of confetti ready to shower the newlyweds with congratulations.
For dining, the table featured classic pieces to reflect the grandeur and history of Somerley House itself. Positioned at the bottom garden at the base of some stone steps which meant the house in all its glory made the perfect backdrop.
As a base, I used a paisley print linen in a beautiful pale blue hue. The cutlery was an antique gold set, which was reflected in the touches of gold in the stationery and the glassware. For a statement pop of colour, a blue water glass was included to pick out the darker blue of the florals lining the length of the table. The place settings were made up of layered white ceramic plates, draped with a paisley napkin and built upon with vellum stationery and individually boxed macaron favours, tied with silk ribbon.
The table exuded a wonderful scent, perfectly complimenting its visual appeal, all thanks to the beautiful flowers lining its full length. Sweet peas delicately dancing whilst the unmistakeable fragrance of peony filled the air. Tall tapered Ester & Erik candles in blue and white were placed amongst the floral garland, glass hurricane sleeves over them to ensure they stay lit in the soft English country breeze whilst also adding an extra element of luxury.
If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know I’m a big advocate for not putting wedding cakes in a sad, forgotten corner – they should always have their ‘moment’ and be as thoughtfully styled as the rest of the wedding day. Louise was keen to create an editorial in which her exquisite cakes took on a starring role, so whilst designing the styling plans for the day I made sure to feature the cakes and all the other lovely edible items centrally throughout.
Louise says; “I really wanted to inspire couples and show them how a wedding cake can take centre stage. Somerley House was the perfect place to achieve this – my cakes are intricate and delicate in their design, but offer a wow factor in presentation and therefore really suit country estate style venues like Somerley, which ooze grandeur and charm.”
We made sure the four-tier masterpiece Louise had created really did take centre stage by positioning it on an acrylic plinth at the top of the steps. It was perfectly framed by a meadow of flowers at the base of the fountain, whilst either side two antique stone urns were also overflowing with florals. The intricacy of the cake was juxtaposed with sharp lines and angular tiers, softened by the Wedgewood inspired pattern and its delicate sugar flowers.
As well as the main cake, an array of smaller edible items had been made which I decided to style using my gold shelving display. Individual mini cakes, macarons and beautifully decorated sugar biscuits were placed onto delicate white china plates, gold trays and glass boxes. The result was a visually stunning dessert table with a modern twist.
We were all delighted with how the day came together and hope the exquisite imagery captured by Jamie Edward Photography helps with inspiration for your own wedding day styling.
You can read the full feature of this editorial over on Coco Wedding Venues blog herehttps://cocoweddingvenues.co.uk/the-blog/inspiration/wedgwood-inspired-shoot-at-somerley-house/
This day wouldn’t have been possible without the incredible talent of these creatives:
Venue – Somerley House
Cake designs & dessert table – Louise Hayes Cake Design
Styling – By Hannah Baskett
Flowers – The Way to Bloom
Photography – Jamie Edward Photography
Stationery – Lucca Studios
Signage – Willow Rose Studio
Tableware – The Luxe Collection
Hair & Make Up – Bridal by Becky
Dress designer – Mara Marie Bridal
Grooms suit – Hugo Boss
Bridal accessories – Clare Lloyd Accessories
Harpist – Noa Harpist
Models – Couple of Wans