The Secret Garden at Huntsham Court

Written by Emma Hla
Over at Huntsham Court, they’ve been working on something rather exciting… a brand new area has been under development within the grounds, and now it’s ready for all to see!

A secret garden has emerged, a magical spot that when discovered feels perfect to host a blessing, a celebrant wedding or even somewhere to just relax and lounge. We have Jennifer here with all the key details, including some gorgeous styling inspiration by a brilliant local team of suppliers.

Notes from the Venue

Jennifer says…

We got to work planning our new ‘secret garden’, found between the top lawn and the Tennis Court, and the garden landscaping was considered first; with a meadow style boarder filled with wildflowers to attract pollinators, beech and yew to add structure and mixed grasses to add texture.

Once this was established, the icing on the cake was the Tipi which was added to create a shady and protected space. Once in place, it was ready to be enjoyed through the summer months as an alternative ceremony space or simply to serve afternoon tea alongside a good-old Tennis tournament.

To celebrate the arrival of the new secret garden space, we decided to enlist the help of some trusted and well-loved local suppliers to elevate the Tipi and to demonstrate how it could be decorated and personalised for any event.

However, having such a dream-team of suppliers with us for the day we weren’t going to pass up on the opportunity to decorate a few other locations around the grounds and to demonstrate their use as well…

The Tipi

The new Tipi and garden area is the perfect blank canvas for celebration-styling.

We wanted to highlight the ability to dress this area with a variety of different props, plus how it can easily adjust throughout the wedding day, recycling the décor throughout.

The initial aim was to showcase this new area as beautiful spot for a blessing or celebrant led wedding. The space here feels enclosed, intimate with plenty of countryside charm.

The suppliers collaborated beautifully to really bring this vision to life, with seagrass lamps hanging from the inside of the Tipi, sumptuous red carpets leading up the aisle, frothing florals framing the entrance and bamboo seating for the incoming guests. The result was a feast for the eyes, with focal points throughout and picture-perfect staging for the couples’ photos.

With a few subtle changes, we were able to take the tipi from ceremony space, to cake-cutting glam and then a relaxed lounging spot for later in the day. These quick changes made use of all the props, included all the suppliers work and allowed for maximum use of this area.

We love the idea of the couple and guests heading back out here as the sun is setting, grabbing blankets and bottle of celebration fizz to toast the day gone and bring in the evening as the party continues.

The Top Lawn

The stone arch and acorns on the top lawn is a superb spot for surveying and enjoying the surrounding Devonshire countryside. You get a sweeping view across the croquet lawn, flanked by the venue itself, then looking over to rolling fields and woodlands.

We have seen the top lawn used for outdoor celebrations and blessings before, but we wanted to add some inspirational style and boho glamour to really set the scene.

Sophie from Earth Gallery Flowers created beautiful flanking floral displays, with soft pampas grasses which stood out against the deep red foliage used. Dotted between the flowers, she used earthenware vases from Virginias Vintage to add texture and depth. These warm but minimalistic colours worked perfectly with the rest of the props, adding drama while being a simplistic style to suit events throughout the year.

The view was then framed with a glorious antique door frame, repurposed as an arch (or it can be used to hold a table plan). Soft, cream coloured linen from Glas Events was draped across the arch to break up the solid lines, plus it looked beautiful as it caught in the gentle breeze.

With the final set up in place, the overall look was bold, romantic and felt in keeping with the venue with the red details being picked up by the décor in place.

The Dovecote

This is such a popular space for ceremonies in the Summer months, with its own dedicated seating space, star studded ceiling and glorious backdrop views of the house itself. We wanted to try and reimagine this space for an alternative use, demonstrating how decorations in this area can make a big impact.

A romantic trend is the sweetheart table, where the couple have an individual table for just the two of them during the Wedding Breakfast. We love this idea and chose to create our own version under the Dovecote.

We created an intimate space for a couple to enjoy private dining together. The table was decorated with a mixture of in-house pieces as well as items from Glas Event Hire, including the beautiful smoky coloured charger plates and amber glassware.

The look felt sumptuous, elegant and full of personality. Plus this look could also be recreated and simplified as a signing table for civil ceremonies.

The Bentley

Earlier in the year we announced the addition of the in-house, hireable Bentleys, consisting of a modern Bentley Continental and the well-loved Vintage 1950’s Bentley.

These beautiful cars were introduced to the venue as a helpful addition for couples wishing to hire chauffeur services to and from churches in the local area. However, the Vintage Bentley in particular lends itself to being a wedding day prop for photos as well as an excellent spot for the cake cutting! The boot pops down to offer a ledge, ideal for the cake to be placed, ready for the couple to cut (in style!)

The cake was created by the talented Nicole from Sweet Satisfaction and it looked utterly stunning as it stood out against the gun mental grey of the car. In line with the boho styling, macrame design was hand applied to the 3-tier cake, along with subtle touches of peach tones to bring in the other elements of the shoot style. The small earthenware vases were re-purposed and the flowers were scaled down and simplified.

The end result from the shoot was a selection of venue highlights and hidden spaces, reimagined, enhanced and brought to life by talented suppliers and their catalogue of carefully curated props. The day demonstrated that when a handful of suppliers are given the opportunity to work together, great things can happen.

We can’t wait till the warmer months return to see the Tipi and grounds begin to take on couples transformative styling, adding their own personal touches and unique ideas.

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