Lilac Renaissance at Hamswell House

Written by Emma Hla
This editorial is just sheer romance.

The lilac palette, the playful florals, the pastel stationery, oh and THAT ruffled dress – it’s all just so dreamy. As if that wasn’t enough, it’s all played out against the backdrop of Hamswell House – a 16th century venue of dreams near Bath.

I can’t think of a better way to skip into the weekend. Enjoy folks…

Notes from the Photographer

Gemma says…

A fine example of English Renaissance, this county house is surrounded by history and landscape. The grounds consist of blooming gardens, an orangery with high-arched windows, decorative stone walls and an ornamental canal. Overlooking the Hamswell Valley, the house is the perfect backdrop for a wedding. At the right time of year, wisteria takes over, adding bursts of lilac throughout the exterior of the house and through the pergola making it a pastel dream.

Hamswell House was the best venue for my shoot, as I wanted somewhere with history and natural beauty.

I want this shoot to inspire the traditional bride with a modern spin. I began my planning and main focus point around Renaissance paintings. The well known elements of these paintings are light, realism and figure composition. Taking these into account, I wanted to extract these elements and layer them on to my own passion for natural light, natural beauty and realism.

Another big focus were key 2021 wedding trends, statement fashion pieces and impressive floral displays. This shoot boasts chic, luxe and timeless details.

The colour palette for this shoot was similar to a few personal favourite paintings, with dusty blues, pinks and neutral pastels. The wisteria throughout the venue added a splash of lilac which tied in perfectly with the bouquet and Millia dress. The pastel colours gave an overall romantic and dreamy feel to the whole shoot.

The fashion throughout this shoot allowed me to create movement and bring out textures, elevating our modern bride but still tapping into the pureness portrayed in the paintings. Working with local wedding boutique Ellie Rose Bridal, the first look was one of Ti Adora by Allison Webb. This dress screams romantic free spirit, with such delicate embroidery and ribbon tie straps. I paired the dress with shoes from Diane Hassell. These were ivory satin and blush suede, with floral embellishments, pearls and diamanté detailing.

Modern trends were added including a statement veil, pearl earrings and hair pins, from Botias and Hampshire Jewels. I then had the dream team of Laura Carroll Makeup Artistry, who was awarded 2021 National Makeup Artist of the Year by The Wedding Industry Awards, working alongside Katie from Say Yes Bridal Stylist. The girls created luxe hair and makeup styles, with lots of texture and highlighting natural features.

The second look was magical. Cue a handmade, lilac and luxurious dress destined to be in a fairytale. Millia London is renowned for cascading ruffles in vibrant and muted tones of tulles, hand making each one using traditional couture techniques. The ‘Violetta Gown’ photographed beautifully, radiating femininity and an elegant silhouette. I chose this dress as is creates a balance between classic couture with a modern sophisticated layer. I opted for a lighter coloured suit for the Groom, tapping into those sandy/earthy tones used in Renaissance paintings.

Fortunately, the venue does a lot of the styling for you and we used the Orangery as our ceremony spot, with it being a licensed part of the venue. We set up an aisle outside, framed by Chiavari chairs, each with individual hand-tied small bunches of flowers. Lanterns, candles and petals decorated the aisle. Another set up achievable by the venue is on the lawn, with bench seating and the house as a backdrop.

For the tablescape, this was put together under the magnolia tree. An intimate table for 6, with a floral runner made of Gypsophila in pink, white and lilac, and crockery fit for a Queen from Whitehouse Event Crockery, including a light pink charger plate and violet glassware. The table was set and organised with menus, place cards and table numbers, provided by Jeeves & Co. Their ‘Muse’ suite features charcoal botanical sketches, and is a timeless and romantic suite, perfect for couples looking for a simple yet chic design.

Let’s also take a minute to talk about the cake… Award winning Georgiana from Posh & Cake is a magnificent baker and artist, and took my theme of Renaissance to a whole new level. A jaw-dropping 3 tiered cake, consisting of edible, hand painted wisteria, stone textured icing, a replication of the stone top of a column, sugar paste ruffles, and pearls!

My chosen florist for this shoot was Christina from Palumpon Floral. Taking the colour palette into consideration, she created the most incredible bouquet! She combined a mixture of Lovely Dolomiti, Lullaby and Miss Bombastic roses, accompanied by Mr Silver Pink Limonium. The French urns were bursting with Achillea, purple sensation alliums, St Lizzy carnations, a mixture of eucalyptus and asparagus foliage plus so much more. Her understanding of colour and floral design is second to none.

My advice to couples is to create a day that is perfect for you both. If you want a statement dress, then wear a statement dress. Bring your dreams to life and create moments which you can cherish forever.


Venue Hamswell House

Photography + Concept Gemma Randall Photography

Makeup Laura Carroll Makeup Artistry

Hair Say Yes Bridal Stylist

Florals Palumpon Floral

Planning + Styling Lauren Pedge Events

Jewellery + Veil Botias Accessories

Cake Posh & Cake

Stationery Jeeves & Co. Design

Car England’s Finest Wedding Cars

Shoes Diane Hassall

Dresses Millia London and Ellie Rose Bridal

Groom’s Suit Next

Furniture Hire + Decor Cahoots Event Design & Hire

Crockery, Cutlery + Glassware Whitehouse Event Crockery

Linen Northfields Linen

Hair Accessories Hampshire Jewels

With thanks to Model Couple Ehrin & Alfie

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