I was delighted to see my Old Masters inspired shoot featured in You & Your Wedding magazine this month. This wedding styling inspiration shoot has to be one of my favourite yet – I love the bold colours, statement stationery and the amazing cake.
I have always been inspired by art, in particular the Old Masters style of paintings – having planned and styled weddings at venues such as Dulwich Picture Gallery the two are often intertwined. I wanted to capture the essence of the paintings in this wedding styling; the rich, blousy florals coupled with sumptuous feasts and the bold, jewel like colours set against moody dark backgrounds when I designed the shoot and The George in Rye was a perfect location.
The Benson Room at the George is painted in dark Farrow & Ball grey and has an original stripped wooden floor, which was ideal for the slightly rustic yet refined feel of the shoot.
For the main tablescape, a centrepiece of bright blousy flowers including anemones, ranunculus, trailing jasmine and clematis leaves was placed to one side, and a foliage trail followed the length of the table. Single stems were placed in seashells foraged from the beach giving both a nod to the venue’s location and the paintings’ origins. Vintage brass candlesticks lined the centre, which were filled with black and burgundy candles. At each place setting a black granite plate sat atop a wooden charger and personalised menu cards were made for each guest; the hand drawn blooms adding a pop of colour to each space. Cut glass water goblets and crystal wine glasses completed the look and I used ghost chairs to both add a touch of modernity to the table and so that you could see all the detail through.
One of the predominant features of the Old Masters style is the sumptuous feasts full of fruit, breads, whole hams and a myriad of other delights. My wonderful friend and super talented food stylist Jen Middlehurst created the most amazing display of cheeses, charcuterie and fruit which would have been fit for any banquet.
For the table plan I wanted it to feel as though the cards were floating in the frames; tables were named after artists and the old frames hung on the walls, adorned with small posies of the flowers from the main table. The stationery was detailed with the most exquisite hand painted bright florals on black card with gold details and calligraphy.
One of the most impressive parts of this shoot was the stunning cake. Zoe Clarke totally nailed the brief and knew exactly what I was after as soon as I met with her. It was brave to go for a black cake, but I wanted something completely different and show stopping; it worked perfectly with the rest of the shoot and really brought everything together.
I so love designing inspiration shoots – it is a fabulous opportunity to collaborate with a bunch of super talented people, you can really let your imagination run wild and create something special. Watch this space for the next one…!
The Dream Team
Styling: Kim Balasubramaniam
Photographer: Wookie Photography
Venue: The George in Rye
Food styling: Jen Middlehurst
Crockery, glassware & candlesticks: Classic Crockery
Linen: Just 4 Linen
Cake: Zoe Clarke
Stationery: Berin Made
Flowers: Alex Ball
Chairs: Academy Furniture Hire