How We Branched out into Wedding Styling

A few weeks ago we had a brand new request... beautiful bride-to-be Rhiannon asked if we'd like to style her wedding to fiancé Nat next summer. While making decorative props to fill a wedding venue with certainly treads into styling territory very easily, and having been involved in styled photoshoots (I cannot wait to share more about that), I had not considered labelling myself a Wedding Stylist before now.

Some cautionary research later (a casual 8 hours worth) I was sure that everything involved was within our capabilities, better still, I was so excited to do it all. Imagine you've been hammering away making these props and decorations to bring some rustic and wild vibes to the biggest days of people's lives, then someone gives you the freedom to do it to a whole venue!

First things first, we went to visit the venue to get some ideas going. Le Talbooth in Dedham, a picturesque village on the border of Essex and Suffolk, sits right beside the River Stour. The river  weaves around the (perfectly manicured) lawn, a mature garden leads the way to the marquee, where the wedding reception will be held.   I was seriously blown away by it all.

We met Keighley of Le Talbooth's events team who walked us through. The marquee sits at the water's edge with a walkway leading out to a patio area and the lawn. The little boat is actually used to transport the bride and groom to the venue from the ceremony - I couldn't imagine a sweeter way to arrive to your guests as they greet you from the lawn.

Rhi and Nat already had a really good idea of the kinds of colours and atmosphere they wanted to go for - inspired by the rustic leafiness of Tuscany, they wanted to include lots of greenery, hanging lightbulbs, chunky wood furniture and wild flowers. Rhi loves everything peach so we'll work plenty in, from a soft blush to hot coral; peachy roses (with plenty of gypsophila too), perhaps some bright peonies, adorning anything from the table centres to the cake. We felt that a few key shades of  peach would give lots of freedom for choices like bridesmaids' dresses etc and play well to that laid-back Mediterranean ambience, keeping everything from looking too "themed".

Here's my first-impression mood board.

The great thing about a marquee wedding, as Rhi herself said, is that the white  walls are a blank canvas, there's no existing style to compete with so it can be all you. We're thinking of hanging greenery from corner to corner, climbing up the poles and running along long wooden tables. Table centres will be tree slices topped with mason jars and vintage milk bottles of flowers, a cute polaroid of the couple on their travels too. Our light-up "LOVE" letters will cast a romantic glow across the dance floor, marquee lights hanging as low as possible to intimately light tables. Here's some of our "Pinspiration" for these ideas!

The hanging greenery and marquee lights will continue through the marquee's walkway joining it to the patio. In the nearby car park there'll be a trailer-style photo booth, so the area will be buzzing with activity and laughter. This  was the only area we had some difficulty pinning down a cohesive look! Rhi and Nat love the idea of a gelato cart and have considered deck chairs for guests to lounge on as they enjoy their treats. Our ideas started leaning a little towards a beachy feel and we had to rein ourselves in a little before we got carried away! Keighley mentioned that the venue serve ice cream and gelato and can do so from a fitting cart or container. We discussed a vintage-look cart or bar, and when considering casual seating Keighley mentioned old barrels and we were back on track! I couldn't help imagining some decorative arrangements of apple crates at the patio's edge, perhaps containing some of the same little flower filled bottles and jars as inside the marquee. Here are just a few more grabs from Pinterest that inspired me.

Needless to say I am feeling incredibly excited and inspired at the thought of making Rhi and Nat's idillic Italian country-side retreat dreams come true next summer. They were even sweet enough to pop a bottle of fizz as we made it official. Of course I'll be showing off anything I can here after their big day. In the meantime, I'm hoping to get hold of some gorrrgeous images and video from a recent styled shoot we teamed up with some other local businesses for.  I've had a peek and I already know they're worth checking back for!

Ellie Day