Dear readers, I’d like to welcome wedding planner extraordinaire Rachel Brierley-Jones for today’s guest post, and we hope it provides inspiration for you, as you currently plan your own big day. Best of luck, and of course if you have any questions we can help with, feel free to email me: [email protected] Love Alice x

With news headlines full of economic gloom and doom we all want a touch of luxury in our lives and really every bride deserves a little decadence on her big day.  I really wanted to show brides an alternative to the shabby-chic wedding which has been so popular in recent years and so with a team of like minded experts I set about creating a luxurious 1930’s photo shoot at the beautiful Ellenborough Park. With a palette of rich plum, claret and soft pink and a wealth of details and ideas, we demonstrate that any bride can feel like an F Scott Fitzgerald heroine.

Of course, a decade such as the 1930’s warrants an utterly sexy but very romantic wedding dress and what bride could fail to feel like an heiress in this low backed creation by Cara Wagstaff of Cocoa Couture.  Hand sewn from genuine silver lamé from the period, it catches the light dramatically.  The vintage fur stole adds further texture and opulence.

Roses enhance the romantic feel and are arranged around candelabras, bowls and even a serving platter and cloche.  By varying the style and type of arrangement the look is very contemporary and also creates visual interest for guests.

The plum coloured silk napkins were inexpensive and create a great pop of colour.  Crystal table confetti is arranged in heaps around the table.  For the best look use a variety of sizes and keep it in piles with a small scattering between rather than spreading too thinly.

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Months spent scouring car boot sales and antique shops yielded great results at very little cost.  Strategically positioned by place cards on silk napkins, brooches look superbly elegant and also double as unique favours for guests.  Pages of second hand romantic novels from the period are used to create confetti cones, secured with a brooch and filled with dried petal confetti.  Strings of pearls are draped from floral arrangements and provide a bed on which the seating cards are placed.  The droplets from an old chandelier, broken beyond repair, were used to decorate the wishing tree.  The silverware can be hired however it is worth looking for interesting bargains.  The more unusual the better, it forces your florist to be creative!

The cake, designed by Xavier Pelloux of Contemporary Cake Designs, is elegant and provides a perfect foil for the crystals and roses which adorn it.  Xavier cleverly used oversized pearls in place of traditional pillars to separate the layers which echo the pearls used elsewhere in the styling.

Signature cocktails continue to be a big trend this season and these pink martinis are very much in keeping with the 1930s feel.  The dramatic pink colour ties them into the colour palette that is used throughout.  Bespoke fudge also mirrors the colour theme and here guests can serve themselves from a silver dish with a butter knife.

So, for just one day forget economic woes and enjoy being a princess in your very own country pile, surrounded by jewels, luxury and opulence!


Styling and Direction: The Cotswold Wedding Planner

Photography: Nikki Kirk Photography

Dress: Cocoa Couture

Roses: David Austin Roses:

Floral Design and silverware: Lilyfee Floral Designs     

Cake: Contemporary Cake Designs

Stationery: Montague Press

Hair: Martin at Mode

Make-up: Mspa

Confetti: The Real Flower Confetti Company

Fudge: Fudge Kitchen

Shoes: Freya Rose –

Model: Angela Spenley