The team have been doing collective squeals about this shoot all morning…it’s an absolute stunner and features the work of the very best people in the wedding industry. Emma and Kat the duo behind Coco & Kat have really outdone themselves, every detail of this shoot has been planned and styled to perfection. I’m not going to give away too much, as the delicious images from Rebecca Goddard and film by Jacob & Pauline will do a much better job, but I’ll set the scene for you.
We find ourselves in the Devon countryside, at elegant exclusive hire wedding venue Pynes House for a weekend-long wedding, filled with fabulous florals, frocks and frippery. The weekend begins with a calm morning of getting ready, an intimate outdoor ceremony is then followed by a stylish and decadent reception, with sore heads nursed by the most beautiful brunch on Sunday morning. Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin…
Emma at Coco Wedding Venues: When I created The Luxe Edit style category on Coco Wedding Venues I imagined unrivalled wedding decadence, pure indulgence, glamour and opulence, attentive service and nothing but the best for the pleasure-loving couple. A weekend long celebration therefore only seemed fitting, so our editorial takes you on that wedding journey. We have the getting ready scenes, the ceremony, a luxe spin on the top table, the evening do, the morning after the night before and then brunch!
When considering the right location, Katrina Otter Weddings (my Coco & Kat creative consultancy co-founder) and I both knew which venue we’d like to call home for our Luxe couple. Pynes House was such a perfect choice for this shoot, not only does it have a grand façade to rival any Country House, but the interiors are a wonderful mix of old and new that any style-savvy couple will adore. This Devon wedding venue has 12 individually decorated bedrooms spread across two floors in the house, perfect for a weekend of celebrations and revelry.
To mark the occasion Bureau Design created the most delicious stationery suites – everything was thought of. We had Save The Dates, Invites and RSVPs, Order of the Day sheets, Welcome Wallets for the guests containing their weekend itinerary, menus and place cards and even door hangers for the bedrooms! I loved the raw elegance of the stationery and the gorgeous finishing touches; the array of coloured envelopes and custom seals with the bride & groom’s initials were perfect. We opted for an unexpected Spring palette of black, biscuit, kale and pale dogwood. We wanted to show couples Spring doesn’t have to mean the obvious pastels and indeed when the darker shades of the season are mixed with the right paler shades and texture, it can unlock a more sophisticated palette. Rich burgundy cherry tree foliage, fritillary, aquilegia and ‘queen of the night’ tulips are all total black beauties and you’ll find them in abundance here.
The bridal suite at Pynes House is beautiful – an understated yet glamorous setting for getting ready. Our bride Heloise wore a delicate pale blush slip with the Maxi Robe in Opium Haze, both by Violet & Wren. A single, simple grey diamond necklace by London Rocks, a topknot and luxurious blush suede slippers completed this loungewear look. Sipping on lemon tea, this is a moment of quiet contemplation for our bride-to-be. A note from her love marking the occasion is the perfect touch.
Fragrance throughout our shoot was an important factor and the bridal perfume we chose by Tom Ford, Santal Blush, seemed rather suitable for Heloise. “Santal Blush is a mesmerising, spicy scent. A textured fusion of creamy sandalwood and exotic eastern spices is enhanced with intoxicating florals and sumptuous woods to create soft, naked glamour with a mysterious spirit of modern earthiness”. Ummm…Yes to all of that!
The Bridal Look
Halfpenny London provided us with the most glorious bridal fashion. The first look was truly romantic; Heloise wore a decadent frill skirt paired with the backless Laura Drape Top. We still wanted some statement jewellery, so to counter the high neckline we opted for the Estella back necklace by Tilly Thomas Lux. Gianvitto Rossi have created a modern-day version of the glass slipper shoe, however we also loved styling this look with barely-there strappy heels. Make up was kept fresh and dewy, with the softest of nudes.
The Flowers & Decor
Jay Archer Floral Design created an all British flower ombre bouquet for this first bridal look. The double tulips, often mistaken for peonies, create a striking focal point but because they’re multi-coloured, they blend with the other, smaller flowers without looking too blocky. Our ceremony scene was set at the front of the house and we wanted to create something bold and inspirational to compliment, without distracting too much from the architectural details. Jay says, “One of the most striking things about Pynes House is the drive up and, as you pass each tree, more of the grandeur is revealed…I wanted to create something that dressed the venue, but didn’t mask or cover, but rather enhanced it. The idea behind the ceremony installation, was to create something that could almost have looked like it grew there”. To ensure the focus remained on the house and the installation, we added simple Ghost Master Chairs from Wedhead, a new twist on the Louis ghost chairs we love.
The Wedding Breakfast
Our Wedding Breakfast scene mirrored the floral extravagance at the Ceremony with a striking ‘floating’ installation above our Top Table. “I wanted the ‘hedgerow’ to appear to be floating, yet by having that barrier of the vases, it creates a whimsy and cosiness for the people behind, without them being blocked from view from their guests” says Jay, “Traditionally, a long table would be dressed with a ‘long and low’ arrangement, so you could take this hedgerow effect and place it on the floor, to appear to be growing up the table and knocking back that empty space”. Again, Jay created an ombre effect and she used longiflorum lilies which, when placed against the soft, round-petaled British flowers created a striking and modern juxtaposition. Scent was important here too – all flowers but especially wedding flowers should smell – it creates another layer of memory for guests and the happy couple, unlocked only when they catch a similar fragrance in the future. Lilac, blossom and roses provided said fragrance here… the epitome of Spring! Our table was dressed with luxurious dinnerware by Churchill, glassware by Vera Wang for Wedgewood and cutlery by Robert Welch, all provided by Prezola. White Master Chairs from Wedhead and simple candlelight completed the tablescape.
To reflect the muted undertones of this Wedding Breakfast, our cake table was draped in a yummy hue of dove grey linen thanks to The Linen Works and atop sat an all-white ruffled cake by Edible Essence Couture Cake Co, flanked by candlelight and decorated with trailing foliage. Simple and elegant. For those wanting something a little more, why not opt for a trio of cakes, adding in a slightly more modern look like this concrete effect single tier cake on a black plinth. We definitely had fun playing with the many options, but the final look made use of the incredible installation at the front of the house. One simple cake on an acrylic plinth equals a superb and luxurious focal point! Moving into the evening celebrations, it was time for our bride to change into her second outfit and nothing says party like a trouser and leather jacket combo.
The Outfit Change
Halfpenny London’s wide Marlene Trousers and Loretta Satin Corset were worn with Chloe platforms and a buttery nude leather jacket from Whistles. Hair was loosely crimped and tied into a knot at the nape of the neck and Makeup by Jodie felt a smokey eye was essential. My absolute fave headpiece, the Celestia Headband by Tilly Thomas Lux, completed the look.
For this edgy vibe we wanted a bouquet that added something a little different whilst still maintaining maximum romance; ”The all rose bouquet was a modern take on the classic rose knot handtie” says Jay, “With a modern shape, and the rose petals manipulated to look like a completely different flower, it’s a fresh approach for contemporary brides yet remains romantic and elegant”. The flowers didn’t stop there as we highlighted one of the fireplaces in the snug. Drama and ‘big’ featured heavily throughout this shoot and this installation was no different! Although a small room, the oversized nature of the arrangement provides the perfect backdrop to guests gossiping, a spot of brandy sipping and the happy couple stealing a quiet moment or three! The scale is unexpected here and it totally works. The morning after the wedding before is a wonderful part of the celebrations; the stories shared, the realisation that you’re married and the sheer excitement and happiness of the day. It’s a great time to luxuriate in these emotions, so we wanted to share a breakfast-in-bed scene. Yummy croissants and much needed coffee served in the gorgeous wood panelled bedroom at Pynes House is as good as it gets. Heloise is wearing a sexy but totally practical loungewear set in Nightshade from Violet & Wren. The tassel earrings (also the perfect honeymoon accessory) are from Whistles.
Our sexy black candle is by SOH Melbourne and with a brand tagline “Burn Like Royalty” you kind of get the idea. The smell is incredible – Oakwood, leather, moss and patchouli filled the bedroom.
To finish the weekend of celebrations, you’re probably going to need a brunch. So, we created a second tablescape scene which could be used for a simple day-after get together or you can take inspiration from it as a stripped back version of our top table. With a crush on all things Nordic, we wanted to reflect this in the styling. Ceramic Dinner Plates by Also Home were paired with Viners Black Cutlery and Grey napkins by The Linen Works. Bud vases are generally more relaxed – smaller, single stem or small posy vases appear carefree and easy. Tealights enhance this delicate, intimate look.