When it comes to planning a wedding, the starting point is always location, location, location which is why Celebration Ceremonies & Weddings are always on the hunt for exciting hidden gems to work to inspire a new generation of brides looking for something more personal and unique. Last August we came across these beautiful lavender fields on the edge of the Yorkshire Wolds, filled with an abundance of varieties and shades of English lavender; and as dusk fell the lavender took an altogether different hue which combined with the lavender essence was just heavenly.
Wolds Way Lavender was the perfect natural setting for our shoot and for a bride and groom to say their “I do’s”. The lavender is a stunning backdrop for us to create a contemporary, romantic and natural wedding shoot to showcase some new styling ideas, gowns and lavender refreshments.
We invited some of Yorkshire’s top wedding talent to collaborate with us and use their expertise to inspire a new generation of brides: renowned country photographer Annemarie King., hair stylist Emily Hawkes, makeup artist Louise Lunn, bridal gown boutique Andrea Bambridge Bridal and Queen of macarons Lynne at Medici Macarons.
Our overall vision was to create a quintessentially English country shoot, but with a twist, using natural light and vintage lace, knitted textiles, Japanese kimono silks and cut glass to a create soft, romantic style. We chose strong blues, purples and pinks to compliment and contrast with the lavender.
For the bridal bouquet, groom’s button hole, aisle, alter and table flower arrangements we handpicked blue and purple Hydrangea, pink Japanese Anemone and dried grasses to contrast and offset against English lavender. We are great supporters of the Great British Garden Revival and local flower growers of seasonal, traditional British flowers.
We like to think in words and pictures and were inspired by the song “Lavender blue” and the lyrics were incorporated into our wedding stationary collection:“Lavender’s blue, dilly dilly, lavender’s green, When you are King, dilly dilly, I’ll be your queen, Who told me so, dilly dilly, how can I know, I told myself, dilly dilly, love told me so. Wedding’s for life, dilly dilly, love is to share, And love must grow, dilly dilly, with joy and care. Lavender’s green, dilly dilly, Lavender’s blue, I’ll be your queen, dilly dilly, when I wed you’
We designed a guilt-framed order of ceremony which stood at the entrance to the ceremony area on an ornate rustic iron stand.The collection also included invitations, certificates, personalised menus, eat, drink and be merry cards for the cake and lavender refreshments and labels for the lavender confetti.
Our concept for the shoot was to create four inspirational elements within the lavender fields: a beautiful ceremony area, a table setting design, a lavender inspired cake centerpiece and refreshments and a dreamy bride and groom walk through the fields.
Our personal ceremonies are unique and always become the highlight of our couples wedding day so designing the wedding ceremony area was our natural starting point for whole shoot. The contemporary “altar” used pale blue shutters to frame the beautiful wide-knit backdrop to create texture and contrast to the brides gown. A coir mat sat at the top on the aisle with the bride and groom’s names penned in lavender sprinkles; stems of dried lavender lined the pale blue wallpaper and hessian aisle runner. Cut glass bowls surrounded with dried lavender and topped with purple candles were used to create free standing chandeliers on wooden logs on each side of the aisle.
We dressed a wooden stand with a vintage Laura Ashley lace tablecloth to display the wooden boxed wedding certificate, champagne, contemporary waterford crystal glasses, cut glass “chandelier” and basket of lavender and rice-filled confetti cones.
Walking down the aisle, making personal promises to each other and exchanging rings to seal those promises has to be one of the most memorable and emotional parts of a wedding day. There are however so many other elements and traditions that can be incorporated into a ceremony to make it even more personal and meaningful so we wanted to being a couple of them to life.
We incorporated a contemporary twist on a handfasting using the finest silks taken from a Japanese bridal kimono and “Patch” the beautiful greyhound, was our brides escort down the aisle and ring bearer who was such a graceful and elegant addition to the ceremony.
The table was set in the lavender fields dressed with a vintage lace tablecloth and napkins, contrasting textured blue mats, contemporary white tableware and crystal glasses, hydrangeas in cut glass vases, freestanding cut glass “chandeliers” and our personalised menus placed at each setting.
The Cake Centrepiece & Refreshments
Being able to use the dried lavender in the cake and our refreshments was a real inspiration. We hand baked a two tier poppy seed and lavender cake which was lightly iced for a natural, semi naked look and decorated with lavender. To complete the centrepiece it was surround by perfect melt-in-the-mouth lavender macarons that taste devine.
We also made our own iced lavender lemonade and white chocolate, lavender and almond flaked popcorn in waffle cones display in vintage Fortnum & Mason tins.
The Bride & Groom’s walk through lavender fields
The circular wooden walkway lined with lavender and the rows and rows of lavender made just the perfect natural landscape and backdrop to showcase two stunning wedding gowns selected by Andrea Bambridge Bridal, Lexi’s hair and make up by Emily Hawkes and Louise Lunn. Towards the end of the day the light was at it’s best with the lavender taking on such a beautiful hue.
Our first gown was an Andrea Bambridge Couture ‘Alexandra’, a stunning and sophisticated gown handmade in sumptuous ‘sea pearl’ coloured crepe backed satin overlaid with greige French Chantilly lace. It’s muted tones worked wonderfully with the lovely lavender hues. The style is a nod towards the romantic bygone era of the 1920’s with a timeless elegance with the Queen of all laces – French Chantilly.
Our second gown was a Jesus Peiro illusion long sleeves and neckline in tulle and covered back with a stunning beaded lace empire line bodice. The layers and layers of floaty Ivory tulle on the skirt exuded the ultimate English country romance which went hand in hand with the rows and rows of beautiful English lavender.
The Hair & Makeup
Emily created a relaxed unconventional look for our model bride Lexi. A high braid with soft loose trestles beautifully framing Lexi’s face and exposing her elegant neckline.
Louise went for a sheer romantic style of make up. There were so many beautiful colours incorporated in the styling of the shoot and the lavender itself so Louise chose to use subtle and sheer tones around the eyes and make Lexi’s beautifully shaped lips the focus by applying a bold statement colour, matte plum defined by a lip pencil. She used a combination of MAC, Laura Mercier and Nars products; muted subtle shades of champagne, peach and gold on the eyes gave an ever so slight shimmer. A matt foundation that contained soft focus powders to achieve a pure, natural and super smooth complexion was applied to Lexi’s skin. A natural flush was given to the cheeks by using mineralise peach/pink powder blush. The look was finished off with Louise’s all time favourite product, MAC highlighting powder, which was swept gently over the cheekbones and brow bone.
The Groom’s outfit
The groom was suited in a mid-tone blue single breasted suit by Reis, linen purple shirt, Reis tie and vintage English made Renoir patent blue shoes.
Celebration Ceremonies & Weddings: Wedding ceremony shoot planning and co-ordination, styling, flowers, wedding stationary collection design, prop sourcing.
About: Celebration Ceremonies & Weddings offer a boutique wedding service for a new generation of brides looking for a more personal and unique experience. They specialise in writing conducting and styling wedding ceremonies held at private homes & estates, off the beaten track venues and outdoor locations across the UK and abroad. Owner Jan Shillito was one of the first to nationally qualify as an Independent Celebrant in wedding ceremonies in the UK and a graduate of Glasgow School of Art.
Annemarie King: Photography
About: Annemarie King is a well established York-based photographer and country girl at heart specialising in shooting country weddings. Inspired by the beautiful Yorkshire countryside and the ever-changing seasons she creates light, bright and natural images. My images are light, bright and natural; they show all the important things at a wedding – the special moments with family and friends, the setting and scenery of the day … right down to the smallest details you’ve spent so much time crafting. Annemarie describes herself as; Specialising in shooting country weddings: from rustic barns, and elegant Yorkshire country house hotels, to stunning weddings on the lawn at home. I’m a country girl from York who’s influenced by the beautiful Yorkshire countryside and the ever changing colours of the seasons.
Wolds Way Lavender: Shoot Location
About: Wold Way Lavender is a family owned 12 acre working lavender farm and distillery surrounded by mature woodland on the edge of the picturesque Yorkshire Wolds. It grows over 120 different types of lavender that are harvested to create a variety of lavender products and essential oils which are available on line and in our shop.
In 2015 we are making the farm available during the peak lavender season in July & August for exclusive outdoor wedding bookings. We have an area for a Marquee, parking and facilities.
Andrea Bambridge: Bridal Boutique
About: Andrea Bambridge Bridal is a truly unique bridal boutique set in a quaint 14th century shop in the heart of historic York. We pride ourselves on providing our lovely customers unrivaled customer service and personalised attention to detail.
Our team of highly skilled designers and seamstresses are able to create personalised bespoke gowns, within our own couture label, tailored to the individuality of each bride. We also offer the very best in guest designer labels including Jesus Peiro, Maria Senvo, Eliza Jane Howell, Jim Hjelm Blush and Ti Adora and Forget Me Not Designs.
Emily Hawkes: Hair stylist
About: Based in Roundhay, Emily has over 20 years worked and trained with some of the best in the business. She travels the country styling hair for weddings and other celebrations. In addition to classic looks she creates new styles to incorporate new trends and accessories.
Louise Lunn: Make up artist
About: Louise is first and foremost a make up addict, and has been from a young age. But her career has seen her work with two of the industry’s elite David Horne and Terry Barber in some amazing fashion shows. She is an experienced MUA who has a real creative and artistic flair and an eye for creating unique and flawless make up designed specifically to suit the individual.
Medici Macarons: Lavender macarons
About: Lynne creates dramatic wedding towers as an alternative to a traditional wedding cake or to be boxed in beautiful laser cut boxes with tissue and satin ribbon to be given as wedding favours. They can be modern or vintage, dressed with flowers or placed on a traditional wedding cake base. She loves to work creatively with brides and grooms to create something truly special. Based in Hebden Bridge they deliver across Yorkshire, Lancashire and the North West.
Lexi Lee Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sam Swaine: Email email@example.com
Props & services:
Large knitted Alter back drop by Knitted Celebrations
Lavender scented candle No Goo Natural
Stationary collection digital print: Simply Digital Print