Classic French Wedding Inspiration at Butley Priory, Suffolk

Written by Caitlin Hoare
Nestled amidst a tranquil forest of tall pines near the Suffolk coast, Butley Priory is an enchanting venue that perfectly sets the stage for this classic French Parisian chic editorial.

Although the year may be hurtling towards the festive cheer of Christmas and the promise of a new year, there’s something undeniably magical about pausing to indulge in the fresh blooms and soft hues of spring.

Against the backdrop of this fairy-tale setting with its elegant, airy interiors, soft stonework, and abundance of natural light, the muted colour palette – a subtle blend of warm nudes, delicate whites and fresh shades of green adds a touch of grace and sophistication to the venue’s versatile spaces and perfectly complements the theme of the day.

Join us as we journey through a tale of spring romance, where every detail unfolds against the backdrop of Butley Priory’s timeless charm. From the elegant interiors to the classic French Parisian touches, discover more about this utterly dreamy editorial as we hand it over to Hayley, Amae Events

Notes from the Planner

hayley says…

Butley Priory sits amongst a forest of tall pines close to the Suffolk coast. It is an incredibly unique, fairy-tale venue…there’s nowhere else quite like it. We loved it for its wild, romantic grounds, soaring vaulted ceilings, and the natural daylight pouring into every room. With access to the whole property, we could use all their bedrooms, including the wedding suite with the most impressive gothic arched window. It’s so rare to find a historic house with such light, airy interiors, and the muted, warm tones of the Great Hall complemented our theme beautifully. The setting was perfect for our chic Parisian lovers!

The overall theme is classic, French Parisian chic, featuring elegant cut glass, black tie, clean whites, delicate pale flowers and layered textures, all beautifully curated under the stone vaulted ceilings of the romantic Great Hall. The style was chic yet playful, and our couple enjoyed celebrating their nuptials with champagne towers and vibrant champagne sprays.

Butley Priory offers a whimsical, muted backdrop of warm-coloured stonework, soft arches and tall pillars, so we complemented this with a palette of clean whites and fleshy, natural tones. Delicate white florals, with their crisp green stems, were perfect for the spring season, and on the tables, we selected warm nudes and gentle blushes to complement the elegant gold rim chargers and cutlery.

Perla Nova Bridal selected three dresses for our shoot. ‘Parker’, made by Australian-based bridal company Made with Love Bridal, is made from their signature French crepe, creating an elegant and sleek look with minimalist lines and designed with a high neckline that contrasts perfectly with a deep plunging low back and spaghetti straps; we teamed it with the ‘Holly’ veil of the same brand. ‘Florence’, our second dress from Made with Love Bridal, adopts the look of a timeless ball gown in a modern, chic way. It features a structured bodice with an iconic plunging neckline and is made from a textured satin-look Mikado fabric. Florence’s dramatic full skirt has the option of a sexy, thigh-high split and hidden pockets. The satin mini dress was custom-made by Perla Nova and featured optional puff sleeves. Beautiful pearl shoes with crossover ankle straps are ‘Henri Pearl’ by Charlotte Mills.

For jewellery, SV Bridal Jewellery chose some exquisite earrings…The small crystal hoops with pearl drops are called Emily Huggies, sterling silver with a freshwater pearl. The sterling silver long waterfall drop earrings are bespoke and were designed especially for the shoot. The ‘Gerdin’ headband from Dolecka is made with a soft ruffle floral, with tiny stamen accent detail, all set on a comfortable, padded headband base, which worked perfectly with the mini-dress look.

Anthony Formal Wear selected a black shawl slim fit dinner jacket for the groom, with a Marcella evening shirt to include dress studs and a classic black bow tie.

For our elegant, French chic look, Hollie from Glow Occasion Hair decided that a sleek low bun was the perfect choice to complement the ‘Parker’ dress for the mini-dress, which had a much more energetic, carefree feel. She chose a modern-day French twist with added height and soft framing. Fresh, blushed cheeks and fluffy, full brows, with delicate individual lashes to open up the eyes, were the choice for make-up artist Emily Chantal Makeup. Essential products included Charlotte Tilbury Matte Beauty Blush Wand in ‘Pink Pop’ and Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter as a highlighter for a glass skin glow.

Abbie from Styled By Lulabelles curated a beautiful tablescape using lots of texture and subtle hues. As the Great Hall is flooded with daylight, we had to be careful not to make the table look too white and flat. By adding several different textures, gauze, linen, cut glass, and ribbed candles in a mixed palette of whites and neutral tones, we knew it would help the florals stand out without overpowering them.

Abbie chose a gold-rim charger plate with white gold-rimmed crockery, simple gold cutlery and a cut-glass champagne flute. All the candle holders were simple, clear glass to focus the attention on the shades of blush-textured taper candles. She then selected natural tone gauze and linen fabrics to create a soft, flowing appearance, retaining a delicate and romantic feel to the table setting.

Florist Charlotte Wild Floral Design was inspired by the classic weddings you see in old romance movies. She wanted to design something with a timeless aesthetic, which she achieved with a colour palette of greens and whites to keep it looking fresh using seasonal spring flowers such as ranunculus, blackthorn blossom, daffodils and even little snowdrops – all displayed in an organic way giving a delicate, ethereal look. The aim was to make an already beautiful venue feel even more romantic, working with the architecture and soft natural light and for the flowers to feel like they had always been there.

For couples opting for a classic, elegant look for their wedding, it begins with finding a venue that offers plenty of natural daylight. Beginning their search on Coco Wedding Venues is a great starting point; the website has an endless supply of hand-picked, unique venues to provide an exquisite backdrop to their day. Think boutique country house or a chic city hotel rather than a rustic barn or castle. Select shades of white and neutral, warm tones from here that complement the surroundings. Nothing beats whites, neutrals, blushes and hints of black for a classic French ‘Chanel’ inspired look.

The layering of textures is a great way to embed some decadence into the style, so we chose cut glass, ribbed candles and a mix of fabrics for table runners. Drop little hints of gold here and there to make it sing and catch the candlelight. For the groomsmen, it has to be a black tie or the clean lines of a dark suit. Use buttonholes, pocket squares and cufflinks for hints of colour.

For your photography, choose a supplier who can style and direct you for classic, timeless poses for striking images that stand the test of time. Sharon Cudworth Photography is an expert at helping couples feel at ease in front of the camera, and her pictures are simply breathtaking. Choose to have some black & white images for your final album for real old-fashioned glamour!


Venue Butley Priory

Photographer Sharon Cudworth Photography

Second Shooter Images by Anna

Planner + Co-ordinator Amae Events

Stylist Styled By Lulabelles

Flowers Charlotte Wild Floral Design

Cake RT Cakes

Stationery Lucy McSpirit Design

Makeup Emily Chantal Makeup

Hair Glow Occasion Hair

Dress + Veil Perla Nova Bridal

Dress Designer Made with Love Bridal

Headband Dolecka

Jewellery SV Bridal Jewellery

Shoes Charlotte Mills

Suit Anthony Formal Wear

Videographer Films from Lewis

With thanks to Models Jessica & Sam

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