Images by Story Book Films.
“Don’t be like the rest of them, Darling!”
On a bright late November day, this fabulous team of wedding suppliers set about creating an inspiration shoot to celebrate individuality and style, inspired by the life of Coco Chanel.
With a rising trend towards darker colours and the use of black at weddings, they embraced this bold choice in their design concept and included a chic colour palette of mainly black and white, with touches of gold. Set at the stylish new Botley Hill Barn in Surrey, with its feature window walls and industrial inspired interiors, they embraced the season, with its shorter daylight hours and early twilight, and created a unique, candlelit setting for our bold and moody shoot.
Notes from the Planner
Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel was very much a woman ahead of her time. She was an advocator of women’s rights and believed wholeheartedly that we, as women, should embrace our individuality – but always, of course, with style! This shoot is inspired by the woman, more so than the fashion she is so famous for, but we include in our concept, the use of black, which she believed to be the epitome of style in fashion.
‘I imposed black; it’s still going strong today, for black wipes out everything else around.’
We nod towards this in ‘touches of Coco’ black throughout the shoot, alongside the bold contrast of white, with lashings of white flowers, extravagant cakes, head crowns and modern stationery. Our couple are named Gabrielle and Arthur, after Coco herself, and the one man she said she would have married, Arthur ‘boy’ Capel. He sadly died before they had the chance to marry but she forever claimed he was the love of her life. We tell the story of what should have been. Our table names are ‘Coco’ and ‘Chanel’ and our drinks menu consists of Champagne, and two cocktails – ‘The Noir’ and ‘The No.5’.
‘I only drink champagne on two occasions. When I’m in love and when I’m not.’
Our dresses are less about the style of Chanel and more about the idea of being unique and individual. They are bold, they are distinctive, and they are beautifully stylish. All from Morgan-Davies Bridal, London, we started with the modern crepe, sheath style gown by Alon Livine, with fabulous lacey off the shoulder sleeves. For a more classic look we combined a beautiful, simple gown from Alan Hannah with a lace shrug and black satin ribbon tied around the waist. For a touch of winter sparkle our bride wore a beautiful beaded demi gown from Stephanie Allin, accessorised with a soft feather stole. Ending the day with a showstopper, our bride wore the vintage inspired ‘Bardot’ from Sottero & Midgley, featuring a beaded sheer bodice accented in Swarovski crystals and a voluminous tulle ballgown skirt.
Our Bride showcased 2 different looks from Sylwia Kunysz, with a natural, feminine makeup look and loosely pinned hair for the day, followed by a darker, moodier look of smokey eyes and cascading wavy hair for the evening.
We accessorised with modern head crowns of real preserved flowers, feathers, jewels and daring spikes, and preserved floral hooped earrings, all from Sophie & Luna, and introduced touches of black with ribbons, black shoes and of course, the perfume ‘Noir’ by Coco Chanel.
Our groom was classically chic in a black dinner suit and white shirt.
Table centres and cascading displays of white flowers, from Blue Sky Flowers included the flower of the season, Ranunculus, as well as Nerines, Lysmachia, Ohara Roses, Orchids, Carnations and Phlox, with Jasmine, Physocarpus and Pittosporum foliage.
Our tables are dressed in black tablecloths and runners, brushed gold flatware and stylish black and white Ester & Erik candles, all from The W Collection, and finished with an abundance of white florals. Our backdrop for the ceremony is a wall of glass with gentle cascading greenery and display plinths of white florals.
A lavish display of architectural icing mastery in the form of white and black cakes and macarons and chocolate pyramids was created by Anna Lewis Cakes.
A printed cotton welcome sign hung within a modern black metal frame, set the tone for our Coco concept, with a modern white and black suite of invitations, rsvp cards, menus and place names, by ERA Calligraphy, all with added personal touches and Coco quotes to enhance the design.
Venue The Barn at Botley Hill
Planning, Styling & Creative Direction The W Studio
Florals & Planning Blue Sky Flowers
Photography Story Book Films
Dresses Morgan-Davies Bridal, London
Hair & Makeup Sylwia Kunysz
Stationery ERA Calligraphy
Cakes Anna Lewis Cakes
Accessories Sophie & Luna
Bentwood Dining Chairs Wow Rental
Tableware, Props and Furniture Rentals The W Collection
Floral Assistant Vicky