A Japanese Spring Inspired Bohemian Luxe Bridal Shoot

Written by Caitlin Hoare
‘Bohemian, luxe and maximalist’ was the brief that Zuza from Whole Lotta Love Weddings received from photographer, Caroline Opacic. How could she resist?

Taking inspiration from the beautiful blooming cherry blossom in Kioto gardens, Tokyo, the creative team wove subtle Japanese influences into their thoroughly modern styled shoot, set at Matara Centre in the Gloucestershire countryside. Focusing on a soft pastel colour palette this editorial is fresh, feminine and a lot of fun.

Expect beautiful blooms, a chic handmade wedding dress and a floral headdress fit for a festival! Over to Zuza…

Notes from the Planner

Zuza says…

Ah, what can I say about the beautiful venue that is the Matara Centre, nestled in the picturesque Cotswolds countryside? Couples looking to book something special and exotic should look no further – this venue offers so many different opportunities for them to make it uniquely their own.

As well as the amazing wedding reception room with the glass dome roof, the adjoining Japanese garden with carp splashing in the pond, all of the amazing photo opportunities and the grand house you can hire out, it’s the grounds that I really fell in love with. It all felt so peaceful and totally tranquil while walking around.

Inspired by the beauty of the blooming Kioto gardens from her visit to Tokyo, Caroline Opacic approached me with the desire for creating something pink, but still bohemian, luxe and maximalist. It’s not often I hear those words together so I jumped at the opportunity, what a great mix!

That is all I needed to start working on this design, and I hope we ultimately delivered something truly inspiring, proving that ‘boho’ can indeed be pink.

The styling had to be opulent and maximalist but gently feminine at the same time. It was very clear from the word go who we needed to get on board to help create our vision.

For the dress, I approached Phiney at Poppy Perspective who loved the idea of a tasselled Japanese silk embroidered bohemian dress. She sourced the most incredible vintage piano shawl and created the most stunning dress I have ever seen.

The piano shawl was the base for our colour palette. From here the mood board seamlessly came together and won over all of the suppliers I contacted to get involved! I have to say that each gave their absolute best to tie the concept together, resulting in perfection.

Nicola, our beautiful model looked incredible in Phiney’s dress and Jess at Bombini Studio‘s headdress. Styled with open-toe blue wedge heels, stunning jewellery by Victoria Bedwell Jewellery and unique make-up masterfully done by Bev at Makeupology.

Jess from Bombini Studio designed the most magnificent flower and butterfly headpiece matching the colour palette which elevated our bridal look to the next level. Bev from Makeupology gave the make-up that modern edge that I asked for using orange hues on the eyes with a hint of blue and delicate rose-coloured lips. Victoria Bedwell lent us her incredible bespoke reworked vintage pieces – we had rings, necklaces and earrings. Her exquisite jewellery completed the boho luxe feel.

The tablescape was my ultimate creation! I sourced all of the cherry blossom painted crockery myself, together with the gold cutlery, print napkins and blush glassware. For the marbled candles by Studio Dine, I used my retro blown glass candle holders.

Carly from With Bells On designed our beautiful stationery using luxe textured paper incorporating vintage Japanese floral design and adorned the name cards with tassels. Who could ask for more fitting on-the-day stationery when she even included a saki based cocktail menu?

I repurposed the furniture from the venue, using their mismatched wicker chairs and an industrial wooden bench.

The second set up was a bridal chill out area underneath the same hanging floral installation using one of my peacock chairs, a bamboo screen, a mid-century vase full of blossom branches and a boho plant stand on top of which we placed the beautiful cake made by Tanya at The Cotswold Cake Kitchen. She used her brilliant skills to create her signature sugar magnolia flowers and origami folds, resulting in something extraordinary.

The floral design was done by Ashleigh of Rooted in Rosemary. She created the most incredible hanging floral installation and arranged delicate blooms on the table in true Japanese ikebana style. Ashleigh not only created the most magnificent florals for the tablescape but also made two beautiful bouquets. Her understanding of colour and floral design is second to none.

The peachy pink room we discovered at Matara was a focal point for the shoot. The blush walls added the perfect backdrop, adding that destination feel. Caroline’s preferred style is shooting soft imagery, which went perfectly with the feel of spring and the soft pastel colour palette. She loves her prisms which she used resulting dreamy bohemian images. She said Matara had endless gorgeous spots to shoot in, making it a photographer’s dream on a wedding day!


Venue Matara Centre

Photography Caroline Opacic Photography

Concept, Design, Styling + Coordination Whole Lotta Love Weddings

Dress Poppy Perspective

Headpiece Bombini Studio

Stationery With Bells On

Floral Design Rooted in Rosemary

Cake The Cotswold Cake Kitchen

Makeup Makeupology

Jewellery Victoria Bedwell Jewellery

Candles Studio Dine

With thanks to Model Nicola

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Drawn to Asian philosophy and principles, the founder of Matara Centre wanted to create “a beautiful place that fused Asian and English architecture, a place that invited people in, created a sense of calm and gave time to reflect.”

Find out more about the research Zuza and team put into respectfully creating this shoot, making sure to understand and appreciate Japanese culture.

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