This ‘Contrary Chic’ editorial will inspire couples to play with styles, textures and contrasts and experiment with darker designs to create their own elegant yet contemporary occasion.
Wedding Planner Amie Jackson has all the details…
My vision was modern elegance. I wanted to curate a soft, chic, contemporary editorial with subtle contrasts and textures.
Taking inspiration from the clean lines, symmetry, and pared-back grandeur of the Georgian façade at Cornwell Manor, our ‘Contrary Chic’ shoot juxtaposes classic elegance with modern sophistication, contrasting light, airy spaces, fabrics and architecture with sumptuous dark velvet and subtle accents of berry tones. I needed to choose a real-life couple so we could tell an authentic love story. Our couple revels in being joyfully contrary, having relaxed, laid-back personalities whilst enjoying life’s luxuries.
I was inspired by the idea of structure and symmetry meeting an abundance of relaxed, flowing fabrics and florals to showcase the exciting theme of contrast and create a contemporary take on bridal elegance. I chose a classic colour palette of black and white but, taking a cue from the wildflowers around the manor, updated it with hints of berry and dusky pink florals by Willow & Blue Flower Studio. An exquisite, unstructured floral fireplace installation featured as the backdrop to our inside tablescape and a free-standing floral arch around the ballroom door created the perfect place for portraits. The inclusion of Eucalyptus within the floral installations meant the foliage smelt as good as it looked!
Cornwell Manor in the Cotswolds (a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) was the perfect backdrop for our contrary, modern elegance-inspired shoot. The manor plays up to the theme of contrasts, displaying both Georgian and Jacobean architectural styles, set within a 2,000-acre estate featuring formal manicured gardens alongside natural woodland, lakes and streams.
This English country manor has a notable history, with Cornwell mentioned in the Domesday Book (11th century) and the manor in the famous Hollywood film ‘The Holiday’.
I aimed to appeal to the modern couple with their hearts set on an exclusive English location yet also desires a modern twist. Cornwell Manor more than fits the brief. The estate has an immense offering, including the manor, a private church within the extensive grounds, walled gardens and even an outdoor swimming pool! In addition, there is a beautiful light-filled ballroom, complete with a stunning white minstrels gallery and floor-to-ceiling Georgian windows – all of which we took full advantage of.
Two tablescapes were set up to showcase the different dining atmospheres that can be created during a wedding weekend. Outside, nestled between the manicured hedges, I made a relaxed yet refined style with a trestle table featuring a loosely cascading chiffon runner whilst exposing the table’s wood and dark metal legs. Inside the ballroom, I created its more formal counterpart. The styling featured furniture and props from The W Collection and chic tableware from Whitehouse Crockery. Black chargers with irregularly shaped plates, monochrome napkins, textured crystal glasses, black and white tapered candles and ghost chairs created contemporary sophistication. Stationery by LouPaper completed the tables with contrasting black place names and white menus featuring a wax seal. Separately, escort cards hung from a frame with black velvet ribbon.
The idea behind the modern cake was ‘texture’; Anna Lewis Cakes delivered this and more. The exquisite, intricate work was sculpted into a fine piece of art. Black and white dappled macarons, biscuits and chocolates completed the mouth-watering dessert table.
Making the most of the light-filled ballroom, a chic lounge area was set up featuring a stylish sofa and chair with off-white upholstery and black legs, black mango wood side tables, and a midnight velvet pouffe, all provided by The W Collection. We wished to challenge the notion that black furniture has no place at a light, fine art-inspired wedding. A gold drinks trolley provided the perfect opportunity to press pause and celebrate with a sip of champagne.
The couple’s style was classically elegant with modern updates. Fabrics played a vital role in this editorial as we wished to highlight movement and texture. Two beautiful gowns provided by Morgan Davies Bridal helped us achieve our vision. The bride’s first look was a Stephanie Allin ballgown with off-the-shoulder straps and petal details that continued through the full organza skirt. The bride’s hair was expertly coaxed into soft flowing waves by Hair and Makeup artist Jennifer Hawkins and adorned with a gold and ivory beaded headband by Aureus Flos. Matching tassel earrings completed the look. Subtle makeup was used to enhance the bride’s natural beauty. The groom’s 6ft 5” frame was clothed in a traditional black and white tuxedo for the first look but given a stylish edge with the selection of velvet fabric and shoes.
A Maggie Sottero A-line gown was selected for the bride’s second look, the main idea being that the chiffon fabric would create the perfect ‘swish’ for dancing. The v-neckline, lace beaded bodice and oversized hoop earrings added to the playfully refined style. The groom’s second outfit featured a striking berry tuxedo blazer, and the bride wore berry lipstick to complement the bolder look. Bespoke gold wedding bands handcrafted by Cyrilyn Silver finalised the bride and groom’s styling.
The excellent fine art photographer Claire Graham captured the day and continually sought the best natural light! Claire’s ethereal style celebrated movement and depicted all the dreamy details.
Talented videographer Jake Burgess Films brought the story to life, expertly capturing the bond of our real-life married couple and showcasing the chic yet joyful atmosphere.
Venue Cornwell Manor
Photography Claire Graham Photography
Film Jake Burgess Films
Creative Vision and Planning Amie Jackson Weddings & Events
Florist Willow & Blue
Cake Anna Lewis
Hair + Makeup Jennifer Hawkins
Tableware Whitehouse Crockery
Furniture + Props The W Collection
Bridal Fashion Morgan Davies Bridal
Accessories Aureus Flos
Wedding Rings Cyrilyn Silver
Shoot Assistant Dheyna Scholtz
With thanks to Models Jordan & Kezia
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