Our blog is where I journal about the shoots and weddings I design wedding flowers for and I am always totally honest with my behind the scenes info about each event. So this one was *deep breath* my first ever shoot! Even though I've taken part in many since and received lots of publications, this was where it all started.
I didn't want to admit to anyone that this was my first shoot as I was surrounded by such experienced and talented suppliers, but everyone was so supportive. In a borrowed car with a day of annual leave from my corporate job, I set out to Hampshire with bucket full of flowers, some big ideas and a lot of nerves.
When Valentina from The Stars Inside approached me for this shoot, I took one look at the venue and said 'Yes ,absolutely!' Three Choirs Vineyard is a fantastic wedding venue in Hampshire with acres of vines and endless natural beauty.
When I arrived on site, as has come to be the usual, I was the first (you have to be an early bird to be a florist) and so I quickly found a sunny spot to begin making the 13ft table garland for the length of the table. It was a beautiful summers morning but the sun began to get too intense and I had to find some shade as there was a lot more work to be done. As I was creating the garland, full of eucalyptus, olive and ruskus foliage, the other suppliers started to arrive and the set began to take shape. The models arrived for hair and make up and I added the finishing touches to the bouquet.
The sun began to really beat down, reaching 32 degrees centigrade at the hottest point. It became a challenge to keep the flowers and foliage from drying out and wilting in such hot conditions. I waited until the very last minute to take the greens and flowers out into the hot sun to create the flower tunnel, so they could look their absolute finest against the sunset backdrop of the vineyard.
Although the base of the tunnel already exists within the vineyard, I set about adding lots of greenery to the structure and filling it full of texture and colour with more deep red florals and foliage to create a tunnel. We used amaranthus which cascaded down perfectly in the quiet little tunnel we created, nestled in the Hamsphire countryside.
Valentina and Laura's shoot was inspired by the vineyards of Italy with little hints from Italian designers and classic styles. We chose deep reds for the colour scheme as a stand out against the endless greenery of the vineyard and the pure white of the bridal gown. Using proteas, deep plum cordylines, pink roses and a little amaranthus we created a gorgeous unique bouquet finished with hand dyed silk ribbons from Nettle Textiles - the first of many silks I've gone on to buy!
The oh-so talented Boxed Weddings had created feast boxes for the table which looked absolutely incredible. The highlight was when we all got to sit down and eat the absolute delights that they had prepared for us. The food was truly exceptional, I still remember the homemade breadsticks wrapped in parma ham! The table garland worked perfectly to tie the vineyard into the reception area without overcrowding and leaving plenty of room for the food. We also got to sample some wine from the Vineyard (which had definitely been on my mind all day) and it was divine. I rarely drove as I did not have my van at this point and forgot I shouldn't be drinking! But thankfully this was a few hours before we packed up.
We stayed a little later so we could get the Golden Hour shots. This is when the sun is low in the sky and creates a diffuse golden, glow just before sunset and is a time for some amazing shots, and a favourite light of photographers.
This was a shoot which I will always hold dear, not just because it's my first but also because I met people there who I am lucky enough to call friends now and that means the world.
This shoot was picked up by the fantastic Bride and Tonic blog who celebrate simple and stylish weddings and also support sustainability in the indusrtry - everything we believe in! Find the feature here.
The exceptionally talented team behind this shoot:
Co-Planning / Photography: Laura Martha (@lauramarthaphotography)
Co-Planning / Styling: The Stars Inside (@thestarsinside)
Assistant: Illy Elizabeth Weddings (@illyelizabethweddings)
Venue: Three Choirs Vineyard (@3choirshampshire)
Hair & Make-up: Katy Djokic (@katydjokicmakeup) Stationery: Laura Elizabeth Patrick (@lauraelizabethpatrick) Cake & dessert artist: Holly Clarke (@hollyclarkecakedesign) Bridalwear: Elie Blue Bridal (@eliebluebridal) Menswear: Tailor Made London (@tailormadelondon) Flowers: Iris & Co Floral Design (@irisandco_floraldesign)
Lighting: To Have and To Hire (@tohaveandtohire_weddings)
Catering: Boxed Weddings (@boxedweddings)
Candles: By Laura London (@bylauralondon)
Videographer: Jacob and Pauline (@jacob_and_pauline)