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We know there are still plenty of you venue searching and using this time to take in all the inspiration and planning advice you can, so I’m delighted to introduce you to Barns & Yard in Worcestershire with this quintessentially English spring editorial. Here’s photographer Joanna Briggs with all the details…
I first visited Barns & Yard at Hanley Hall in the spring at their launch weekend and immediately fell in love with the venue! It had everything – sympathetically restored period barns set in a stunning landscape of beautiful trees, a large lake with waterside jetty and a backdrop of the original black and white Manor house with its parterre and cottage gardens brimming with herbaceous perennials. The enclosed Courtyard with restored stalls and stone flags added another dimension, lending itself to outdoor dining and yet more photo opportunities! Although the venue is largely a blank canvas I loved all the beautiful textures and colours of the natural materials of the original building and those used in the restoration. I wanted to use all these beautiful textures and juxtapose them with soft, translucent materials, pretty vintage China and blousy early summer flowers! The aim was to show how versatile a barn can be as a venue for nuptials!
The shoot took place late May – the trees and foliage were fresh spring green in colour and the flower borders were filled with pastel colours and foliage! The plan was to capture all the beautiful elements of the venue by styling a classic countryside wedding. I wanted to create imagery of young romantic love between two people against the stunning backdrop of the barns, lake and gardens with elements of Wind in the Willows and lazy Summer afternoons. The set ups were unashamedly pretty, delicate and very English – the resulting images impressionistic, painterly and whimsical.
The colour palette was centred around Sweet Pea colours – so typical of early summer when all the perennials in the garden are shades of lilac, blues, pinks and whites. This soft palette complimented and softened the rustic elements of the surroundings and the beautiful early summer light gave a translucency to the colours adding to the romanticism!
The bride wore bridal separates – a new range from Tulle & Blue designed to be utterly feminine and very comfortable – the pieces are made from vintage silk fabrics and lace mixed with new silk materials and can be mixed and matched with several pieces in the collection. The collection consists of bridal camisoles, skirts, feminine bridal blouses, capes, ponchos and veil capes – using couture techniques, a lot of the stitching is done by hand. There is also a range of bridal belts which feature vintage lace, handmade flowers and hand beading and bespoke, one-of-a-kind hair accessories – wired vines, hairbands and flower crowns made from upcylcled and vintage silk flowers. Make up was soft and romantic using pastel colours and a little shimmer which gave an almost no make up but polished look. Hair was softly styled in loose curls, braids and a gentle updo.
Props were carefully chosen to enhance the scene – a two tier etagere and butterfly winged table were used to display the wedding cake and dessert table. Blue vintage China – new Staffordshire transferware, Old Willow, Wedgwood and Coalport were mixed with Silverware from different eras. A table set for afternoon tea with vintage lace, blue and white transferware and jugs filled with early summer blooms contrasted beautifully with the beams and brickwork of the Threshing Barn. Delicate floral wedding paperie and willow baskets filled with Cow Parsley continued the country styling. The sweetheart table draped with a vintage lace cloth was set with silver candlesticks, Crystal glassware, Blue and white china and vintage linen napkins. An impromptu wedding picnic for two with wicker baskets, a vintage quilt and a flower filled boat added more prettiness to the scene!
Florals on the day were created by Kate at Damson & Vine. The main feature of our shoot was the amazing floral moon gate which beautifully framed the lake and provided a fantastic backdrop for a lot of the imagery. Blue-and-white china jugs overflowing with summer blooms and a stunning oversized bridal bouquet were designed to enhance the summery feel! Florals included English Roses with their heady scent, Peonies, Campanula, Sweet Peas, Scabious, Aquilegia, Orange blossom, Alliums, Delphinium, Cornflowers, Hydrangea and the last of the Tulips ! All of these beauties were set off to perfection with carefully chosen foliage of Ivy, Maidenhair fern, variegated Pittosporum and garden herbs.
The shoot was very much designed to be relatable so that brides and grooms can re-create the style for themselves. Most of the props used were vintage and antique – as was the China and glassware – these items can often be hired or better still borrowed from friends and relatives! It’s amazing what you have in your own home which can be utilised as wedding décor! My advice would be to borrow items initially then supplement with flea market finds and hiring, Don’t be afraid to go large scale – venues can be large spaces so fill them with lots of flowers and foliage. Our florist Kate grows most of her own flowers – you can upscale your florals for the day by growing your own and foraging! Add personalised details, borrow pieces of jewellery and even clothing and recycle where you can!
Venue Barns & Yard
Photography Joanna Briggs Photography
Director, Shoot Stylist, Bridalwear & Accessories Tulle & Blue
Hair & Makeup Kay Louise Make Up
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