Dark & Decadent Glamour at Ashridge Great Barn

Written by Emma Hla
Images by The Unbridled.
We’re heading into Christmas with this dark, decadent and glamorous editorial at Ashridge Great Barn. Think deep forest greens, sumptuous velvet, leather jackets, delicious feasts and berry-licious cocktails.

Nikki, the wonderful stationer and stylist behind Knots & Kisses, talks us through her concept for this Devonshire wedding barn.

Notes from the Designer

Nikki says…

The inspiration for the shoot began with the idea of ‘bright young things’ from London escaping to the country to celebrate the wedding of two of their party. In Devon we have so many ‘wedding tourists’ who love to come to the South West to get married because of the beautiful locations and gorgeous venues. Many of those couples get married in the beautiful barns in the area to get that real country experience.

The idea for the shoot was to create a glamorous wedding party experience in a beautiful original rustic barn – dark and decadent against a rustic backdrop. Ashridge Great Barn was the perfect location as it is still so original and has wonderful textures of the old stone walls, plaster and wooden beams.

My design concept was to use a luxurious palette of dark greens, black and gold as a contrast to the stone of the barn. I wanted the feel of almost a 1920s decadence but with ultra modern motifs and geometric touches.

Myself, and Emma from Brompton Buds worked closely on the backdrop centrepiece, hanging swathes of green velvet and tumbling dark foliage and florals from the beams of the barn, along with a golden laser cut monogram from Merrie & Bright to create the perfect ceremony area for our young pair to get married against.

Photographer Carla from The Unbridled is a master of dark moody lighting and created the perfect atmosphere in the photos along with lots of beautiful candlelight.

The styling for the two brides was to be glamorous but contemporary so we paired sleek black dresses from Christine Trewinnard and a beautiful emerald green backless dress from Abidemaids with stunning over the ear hairpieces from The Lucky Sixpence and spilling over floral bouquets for a glamorous day time look. Beautiful handmade rings were provided by Erin Cox Jewellery and the Molten Wedding Ring Company.

For the evening party we added leather jackets, tassel earrings and hats for a more casual style.

Make-up and hairstyling by Laura le Page and Harriet Searle was kept minimal and modern but with beautiful dark colours.

A stunning display of contemporary and unique cakes was created for a full on dessert table by Kate Burt Cakes with amazing textures and more geometric styling.

The wedding breakfast was served on rustic trestle tables but with beautiful velvet runners and foliage garland and tall elegant candles. The stationery I designed was finished with gorgeous green tassels and gold clips.

Beautiful food was an intrinsic part of the styling and food designers and caterers Garnish by Thirst Choice came up with some stunning plates of dark food with smoked cloches adding to the atmosphere. They also created some amazing canapés for that luxury party feel and the perfect cocktails to start the evening with.

The party atmosphere continued with velvet seating and a decadent whisky and cigar bar.


Venue Ashridge Great Barn

Photography The Unbridled

Film Soby Films

Stationery & Styling Knots & Kisses

Cake Kate Alexandra Cakes

Florist Brompton Buds

Hair Stylist Harriet Searle

Makeup Laura le Page

Black Dresses Christine Trewinnard

Green Dress Abidemaids

Shoes Emmy Shoes London

Accessories The Lucky Sixpence

Plants Fusspots

Canapés & Cocktails Thirst Choice & Garnish

Prop Hire The Prop FactoryKeeping It Vintage and Virginias Vintage Hire

Rings Erin Cox Jewellery and Molten Wedding Ring Company

Velvet Linens Magpie Linens

Laser Cut Signage Merrie & Bright

With thank to Models Izzy and Alice, Mosaic Models Plymouth

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