A wedding at Somerley House is one thing. A garden wedding under the canopy of an ancient oak tree is another. I may be biased, considering I live merely a hop, skip and a jump from Wedgwood in Staffordshire. Still, this effortlessly elegant editorial, created and planned to perfection by cake designer Louise Hayes Cake Design, is a glorious reflection of a classic English garden wedding… with a creative twist!
Naturally (and rightly so!), Louise ensured her incredible cake creations stood front and centre, equally as beautiful and show-stopping as the stunning floral arrangements and graceful bridal fashion. I, for one, am VERY into a dessert table – a beautifully styled table heaving with post-dinner treats; what’s not to love? And as Louise says, they’re basically “an elevated English afternoon tea!”. It all sounds rather wonderful, and these stunning images by Jamie Edward Photography only cements our love for a Wedgwood-inspired shoot and this magnificent country house wedding venue.
Somerley House is a beautiful and unique Georgian country house on the border of Hampshire and Dorset. Elegant and romantic, this stunning and exclusive venue is perfect for those couples seeking a luxurious, quintessential English country garden wedding.
I was keen to organise my own styled shoot as I often see wedding cakes hidden away in the corner, and I wanted to inspire couples and show them how a wedding cake can take centre stage. Somerley House was the perfect venue to achieve this – my cakes are intricate and delicate in their design but offer a wow factor in presentation and therefore suit country estate-style venues like Somerley, which ooze grandeur and charm.
I wanted to create something delicate and floral and took inspiration from Wedgwood china, which has these characteristics in abundance. This, therefore, heavily influenced the colour palette and styling for the shoot. There’s a genuine interest from couples coming from Asia to the UK to get married, wanting that real British countryside vibe, and I wanted to show them what they could achieve at Somerley House. I was also keen to showcase how couples can present their wedding cake to have maximum impact and style a beautiful dessert table for their guests.
The inspiration of Wedgwood china heavily influenced the colour palette and styling for the shoot as it is so often associated with blue tones. Lots of pale blue and white florals were featured in the styling, tablescape, and cake designs, with dots of nude to add layer and depth. The shoot took place on a beautifully sunny day in the height of spring. I was keen for an outdoor shoot to showcase the stunning grounds at Somerley House, which would be in full bloom at this time of year.
Grace’s first gown was Mara Marie Bridal’s ‘Langham’ gown. The gown is a one-shouldered gown made from organza jacquard fabric. The fabric features a gorgeous floral design and sparkles when captured in the light because of the metallic threads laced in the material. The gown was hand draped to highlight the gorgeous nature of the organza. The second gown worn was Mara Marie Bridal’s ‘Rosebay’ gown. This gown has over 50m of champagne-coloured tulle in various layers, creating a gorgeous semi-sheer skirt. The hand-draped bodice is covered with lace appliqués and pearls that have all been applied by hand.
Clare Lloyd Accessories provided the bridal accessories for the shoot, and her aquamarine vintage headband, in particular, was a perfect fit for the concept of the shoot and the dresses. Its delicate floral design with soft blue tones was an ideal match for the day’s theme. In terms of hair and makeup, we opted for classic and timeless hair and makeup; a soft Hollywood wave turned into a glam ponytail to complement the soft and dewy makeup, which included soft blush rose tones and a glass-like highlight to the skin.
The table styling featured classic pieces to reflect the grandeur and history of Somerley House itself. As a base, paisley print linen was used in a beautiful pale blue hue. The cutlery was an antique gold set reflected in the touches of gold in the stationery and the glassware. For a statement pop of colour, a blue water glass was included to pick out the darker blue of the florals lining the length of the table. The place settings comprised layered white ceramic plates draped with a paisley napkin and built upon with vellum stationery and macaron favours, tied with silk ribbon.
The florist for this shoot was The Way To Bloom. As an American florist living in the UK, Sarah wanted to bring the style of southern East Coast weddings, styled with an English flare. The Way to Bloom’s floristry style is made of whimsical – elegant arrangements, meaning the shapes and concepts feel organic in the space, like they grew there overnight. We accomplished this by using different elements on the grounds of Somerley, like the Triton fountain, large stoned urns, and of course – the iconic tree. This fabled tree at Somerley reminded Sarah of gorgeous oak trees from home and how many weddings in the US work with the beauty of these trees to create an elaborate ceremony centrepiece. The flower choice was in theme with the Wedgwood inspiration whilst also bringing in the feel of hydrangea gardens that were frequent in the summers Sarah spent in coastal New England.
This shoot showcased a luxurious English country house wedding with beautiful details throughout. I encourage couples to speak with their florist about maximising key features in their venue and highlighting them with their florals, especially if they plan an outdoor wedding. Consider a cake design that can complement the florals in a delicate, intricate way whilst providing a real wow factor at the venue. Dessert tables also offer an excellent opportunity to pull in various styling elements such as florals, textures, colours, etc., giving your guests a perfect choice for sweet treats. It’s like an elevated English afternoon tea!
Venue Somerley House
Photography Jamie Edward Photography
Concept + Planning Louise Hayes Cake Design
Styling H B Wedding Design
Cake Designs + Dessert Table Louise Hayes Cake Design
Flowers The Way To Bloom
Stationery Lucca Studios
Signage Willow Rose Studio
Tableware The Luxe Collection UK
Hair + Makup Bridal By Becky
Bridal Designer Mara Marie Bridal
Suits Hugo Boss
Rings Lovers Rock Diamonds
Bridal Accessories Clare Lloyd Accessories
Harpist Noa Harpist
With thanks to Models Grace & Jason
Refine your wedding venue search by location, capacity, type, and style.Visit Venue Finder
Planning advice, real wedding edits, and venue showcases to inspire you.View Blog
From photographers to bridal fashion and styling, find the best wedding suppliers right here.View Suppliers