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A Lavender and Linen Woodland Shoot – Westonbirt Arboretum
Did a Prince really kiss me? And did I kiss him back? Was it wrong? Am I mad? Is that all? Does he miss me? Was he suddenly getting bored with me? Wake up! Stop dreaming. Stop prancing about the woods. It’s not beseeming. What is it about the woods?
Today we have a beautiful styled shoot on the blog by Lavender and Linen, a vintage china and glassware company based in the South West. A whimsical woodland shoot, understated, earthy and elegant. It’s got a lovely soft feel to this, I just want to float along, twirling through the leaves, frolicking with the squirrels (sorry I’ve gone too far again) but see for yourself and let me know what you think. I’m going to let Kate from Lavender and Linen tell you all about it….
We are stylists, and providers of vintage china and glassware. Living close to the aboretum and frequently walking there, Westonbirt was the obvious choice for our shoot location. The stunning Great Oak Hall and Arboretum inspired us to put together the vintage winter woodland theme.
We wanted to really show off the versatility of vintage glass and china, it doesn’t have to be just tea and scones (as gorgeous as that can be!). A hot chocolate bar with vintage china was the perfect choice – what can be more warming on a winter’s day than a steaming cup of hot chocolate and all the toppings? Perfect for warming guests up at a winter wedding.
The champagne cocktail bar adds another, slightly more grown-up, dimension to a winter wedding – think cranberry or pomegranate infused champagne, garnished with a sprig of white currants all served in our sparkling vintage champagne saucers.
To finish dressing the table we placed some pretty little vintage bottles with paperwhites and a few other decorative pieces. The stag decorations reflected the woodland theme and echoed the stationery designs.
The Aboretum offered some fabulous opportunities for some relaxed woodland shots, and with the addition of some delicate Christmas decorations, a few ribbons, some cosy fur throws, and of course some glowing lanterns, we created a secluded romantic grove – simple but beautiful. The perfect setting for those post-ceremony photographs.
With the numerous huge tree stumps scattered around the wedding glade we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make one into an impromptu wedding table, complete with vintage cake plates and cutlery and decorated with natural leaves and greenery.
Getting married at the Great Oak Hall is the nearest thing possible to celebrating your special day in a woodland glade. The backdrop of the national arboretum provides a romantic and timeless setting for your photographs. You and your guests can enjoy complimentary admission to the arboretum and are encouraged to enjoy the wide open space and natural beauty of Westonbirt and this lovely corner of the Cotswolds. You can choose to hire the Great Oak Hall for just your ceremony and some photos afterwards or you are welcome to stay on for a drinks reception or for your whole wedding reception and evening party.
The floral design for the winter woodland theme was based around a frosty white and grey colour mix, with a subtle hint of the palest pink. A mass of white Akito roses and Paperwhites were blended with Sweet Avalanche roses, and then combined with a berried Eucalyptus and Silver Brunia to add texture to the design. Candelabras were used to add an element of sophistication to the champagne bar and an impressive display in a bark covered bowl helped bring the outdoors in and provided a lavish centrepiece to the styled table.
I went into the shoot expecting to use the earthy natural tones of the forest. Depending on the weather the images would either need warming up or cooling down. For the bridal shots I choose to warm it up, really bringing out the browns and creams of of the clothing which perfectly complimented the backdrop of the arboretum. For other images I edited in a vintage style adding blue tones to highlight the overall feel of the shoot.
Vintage clothing and accessories
I chose a handmade 1930s buttery cream silk dress (approximate size 10), and a supersoft 1930s Dickins & Jones mink shawl for the shoot. Dickins & Jones was a high end department store in London launched in 1835, although tracing its origins to 1790. The flagship store was based on Regent Street, and the name continues as a desirable label for vintage enthusiasts. The name is now to be seen at House of Fraser described as ‘a women’s fashion brand with a quintessentially British heritage. If you are interested in any of the items featured in this shoot, or would like help sourcing any vintage items please contact me.
Nature and antiquities play a great part in inspiring me, and are very much reflected in the style of my jewellery items. I have a fascination with memento moris, curiosities, ancient reliquaries and amulets combined with an appreciation of the intricacies of nature, organic forms, decay and growth, the tangled branches of Arthur Rackham style trees and whimsical fairytale flowers. I try to reflect the rarity and value of something which is handmade in my work, and to this end I use techniques such as patinating (chemically blackening) the silver to enhance finer detail and achieve the weathered, vintage feel of time-worn and cherished jewellery. Every item featured here is individually hand made in solid silver. The pieces worn in the shoot include my ‘crown tiara’, ‘leaf hair ornament’, ‘mini floral hair slides’, ‘leaf bangle’, and ‘flowers ring’.
As the shoot was to take place at Westonbirt Aboretum the brief conjured up all sorts of wintry woodland images. To utilise the natural beauty of Westonbirt at this time of year I opted for a clean ice white cake with a simple ivy trail with a hint of frostiness. Real birch stems provided a natural ribbon, and to finish, a sugarpaste topper of frosted delicate pink roses.
For the hot chocolate table I made delicious homemade vanilla marshmallows. These we created using hearts and star cutters. These fun marshmallow shapes where then skewered onto more natural wood to complete the woodland scene. A perfect accompaniment to either hot chocolate or champagne – and one which won’t leave your guests with sticky fingers!
The car is a gorgeous 2012 Morgan Roadster 3.7 V6, finished in Jaguar Gunmetal Pearl with Mulberry leather. Hire one of these Morgan sports car for your special day, romantic long weekend, or touring honeymoon.
Stationery and signage
The inspiration behind the Hazy Woodland stationery set is the couple who choose to wed in a woodland or forest or use the woods as a backdrop or theme for their wedding. The stationery is designed with a subtle and natural colour palette in mind, picking out the rustic hues of bark and wood, mossy greens and the soft mauves of a wintry misty skyline. The stag and doe motif echo the romance and mystique of the natural world.
Styling hair and make-up-model- Jennifer Pearson
To compliment the theme I wanted to the hair and makeup to be soft and natural looking. I added a few extensions to Jenny’s hair to add a bit more volume, curled it using a conical wand, then simply brushed it out to achieve gentle waves.
After applying foundation I used a waterproof fixing powder (Derma Colour) followed by a soft pink blusher (Shu Uemura’s M Pink 31C) on the apples of her cheeks. Using Mac’s Cream Colour Base in Pearl I highlighted her cheekbones, cupid’s bow and around the eyes, to give her a dewy, glowing look. As well as applying mascara (Max Factor’s False Lash Effect in black/brown), and a warm brown eyeshadow to the lids (NARS’ Madrague), I filled in the eyebrows with an angled brush using a cold brown eyeshadow colour (Mac’s Charcoal Brown). Finally I painted her lips with Benefit’s rose-tinted Benetint and added moisture with Malin and Goetz’s Lip Moisturizer.
This gentle look really complimented the understated vintage dress and highlighted Jenny’s natural beauty.
Thankyou so much to Lavender and Linen for sharing this beautiful shoot with us. Gorgoeus styling ideas and some perfect Winter/Autumn inspiration. If you would like to see a theme or style brought to life on the blog please get in touch and we will make those ideas a reality. Its your blog so get involved. Bye for now, Jenny.