Austen Inspired Georgian Serenity from Goose and Berry Weddings
I have long been an admirer of Emma at Goose & Berry Weddings’ work, and when I found out she had as much a thing for Austen as I did I just knew I had to feature this stunningly gorgeous wedding inspiration shoot. I love the subtle touches that evoke the Austen world, without being a pastiche from that era. It’s so lovely to plan a wedding using things that have perhaps influenced you as you’ve grown up and shaped the way you look at the world.
So, I’ll hand over to Emma (great name too!) to tell us more:
“I have for as long as I remember been a bit of a book geek, at school I adored reading out loud in class and would spend my weekends with my head buried in books. I love the way books capture your imagination and involve you in such a way that you become lost in the characters and story. You can feel yourself in amongst the action and I adore how evocative and emotive the words can become. My Dissertation was even based on a novel and literature (I studied Geography but any excuse to get a book in there!) and how gender and the rural idyll was represented and defined through literature. I was slightly unusual compared to most my age in the sense that I loved classic novels, be it the Bronte’s, Thomas Hardy and in particular Jane Austen. I would read them over and over again and never tire or get bored. The fact that I’m named after Jane Austen’s Emma (and resonate with the lead in many ways) perhaps is a reason why I love these novels so much. Many of my friends comment that I belong in the Georgian era, namely my sense of style; by that I don’t walk around in a bonnet or empire line gown, but I love the architecture and the sense of occasion and elegance that many (ok maybe the upper echelons of society) who lived in that era had.
My romanticism has a lot owed to the Austen novels too, I get lost in an Austen world and often long for the modern day dating scene to be like that, perhaps my view is skewed and Austen’s viewpoint is one of a very female and dreamy perspective, so it could be said that the world she wrote about wasn’t as accurate as it could be, but should we care when the novels read so well and characters get happy endings. Is it wrong to think like that and want the best and be in a happy state when being wrapped up in characters, their lives and loves?”
Working in weddings could be seen as the perfect job for me and I am so lucky to surround myself with love and happiness on a daily basis. The romantic in me so adores everything that surrounds me, the smiling faces, the looks between couples, the passion and all the pretty that comes with planning and styling wedding. Florals are very much a love of me and always play a central part in weddings I help with. I have grown up in a picturesque country garden and have been lucky enough to spend my childhood days playing on my grandparent’s farm – pretty idyllic. The rural life is another key component that has played a factor for my love of Jane Austen; the rural life features heavily and love and the countryside are synonymous with romance for me.
Now I adore writing and being creative and as much as the written word fills me with joy, there is nothing more I enjoy than bringing words and novels to life and using them as inspiration for wedding ideas, themes and styles. When the perfect opportunity arose to create some Austen inspired Georgian magic I jumped at the chance. I knew that Serenity, one of 2016’s Pantone’s colours of the year was a popular colour in the Georgian era and by chance discovering the most stunning Cotswolds properties that had THE most perfect room that I could curate a beautiful shoot.
Serenity is it a beautiful pastel tone, it works so well all year round; for cool winter weddings and soft pastel spring and summer ones. It gives you the ‘something blue’ and is incredibly calming, delicate and outrageously pretty, whilst maintaining that elegant feel. Can you tell I’m a fan of this colour! In large this is due to my love of all things Jane Austen and Georgian. The Serenity blue was a popular choice of colour for fashion and interiors in Georgian times and with this is mind, I set about creating my ideal Serenity wedding with a Georgian twist!
I happened to stumble upon the most beautiful venue whilst searching for a client. Cornwell Manor is a picturesque Cotswolds manor house near to Chipping Norton. They have just relaunched their ballroom, which is painted in a delightful Duck Egg blue, which paired with Serenity perfectly. Intricate ornings and details around the ballroom, with huge windows lifted the room and draws you in. It really is a peaceful and serene space. Surrounded by a stunning walled garden to one side and sweeping grounds and gardens, with a walk down to the church to the other, it’s the perfect setting; one that you can just imagine Jane Austen describing in one of her novels.
With this being the ideal location for the shoot, the dream team on board came together marvellously. Superstar photographer Kate Nielen captured the most breath taking images, setting the scene so well and creating a serene and romantic set of photographs. Fine art, light and dreamy!
The most romantic florals were crafted by Fiona Perry. The look she has achieved with seasonal florals; peonies, ranunculus, lisianthus, lily of the valley, delphiniums and blossom are quite heavenly, as was the scent. Used to add to the romance and create layers and texture on the bouquet, buttonholes and tablescape were the finest of ribbons from Lancaster & Cornish, paired with the wonderful muted grey runner by Kate Cullen.
The stationery suite by Paperknots added a touch of the luxury and elegance, with its pastel blues and greens and patterned paper which matched the ballroom so well and hints of fruit paired with the fruit that helped style the table.
Melissa Woodland Cakes made this absolute masterpiece of a wedding cake. The blue colour highlighted the serenity tone and the lattice work added that extra something! Finished with delicate and pretty sugar flowers and real ranunculus it highlighted the pale blush tones in the florals and added to the romantic feel of the shoot.
I had such fun creating the tablescape, alongside Kate. It needed to be elegant, refined and romantic, but with a little twist and layered look to add a point of interest. The combination of blues, greys, greens and blush tones added dimension and depth to the colour scheme. The mother of pearl cutlery was just fabulous and I have fallen a little in love with it. The colours in the pearl reflect the colours throughout and enhances the elegance of the Georgian era. I paired items from my own collection to that of Couvert Hire who have a wonderful selection and dressed with Louis chairs that hinted to the style of Georgian times it created the most heavenly of tablescapes.
The inspiring Chantal Mallett had just finished designing the perfect dress and of course I had to feature it. Stunning silks and satins in a gorgeous duck egg blue and empire line fit sat dreamily on our beautiful model Charlotte, who fits Chantal’s gowns so well. It flows and moves so calmly and elegantly. Understated, elegant, but with a beautiful detailing and finish. Worn with these amazing Emmy Shoes (I’m purchasing) and with the on-trend pom pom and a stunning sparkly headdress by Victoria Millesime and jewellery by Arabel Lebrusan, it creates the most dreamy and romantic look. Super luxe and high end. Elegant, refined and so classy. The hair and make-up by Patricia Soper and Mel Kinsman was natural, but in keeping with the look and with a nod to Georgian style, with hints of colour around the eyes and lips.
Using novels or literature for inspiration is a great way of styling or theming a wedding. It doesn’t have to overtly obvious and a but twee and tacky though. Use elements or details to bring to life for your wedding. Using the shoot as a guide, you could incorporate popular colours or building types that would appear within the literature. Think about what flowers may appear or have any been mentioned within? The same applies to food – use this to inspire a menu or create some canapes. You could name the tables after certain novels or characters and even use the books or perhaps poems as part of the décor. One of the best things I have seen is a hand written calligraphy menu within a book open on the table with place names as old fashioned style bookmarks with gorgeous silk ribbon used to tie up the cutlery. Elegant, simple but so effective with the right amount of nod to a love of literature.
The overall feel and style of this shoot is for one of romance, elegance and serenity, which is exactly what I feel the Georgian era, particularly represented by the Jane Austen novels, is and indeed what the colour Serenity should embody. Looking at the photos I get lost in a story itself and I see the Dashwood’s or the Bennetts and Mr Darcy jumping wandering through the gardens and sitting at the table. The perfect romantic escapism.
We’d love to hear from you if you have any sort of literary influences in your wedding design – a favourite book or author?
Enquire with Goose & Berry Weddings for your wedding here.
Photography: Kate Nielen Photography
Styling & Coordination: Goose & Berry Weddings
Floral Design: Fiona Perry Floral Design
Makeup Artist: Mel Kinsman Make Up Artist
Hair Stylist: Patricia Soper Make-up and Hairstyling
Bridal Wear – ‘Contessa’ Dress: Chantal Mallett Couture Bridalwear & Accessories
Bridal Shoes: Emmy London
Jewellry: Arabel Lebrusan Jewellry
Headpiece: Victoria Millesime
Cake: Melissa Woodland Cakes
Lace & Ribbons: Lancaster & Cornish
Grey Linen Table Runner: Kate Cullen
Rentals (Tableware): Couvert
Rentals (Chairs): Academy Furniture Hire
Model: Charlotte Godfrey
Venue: Cornwell Manor