Our aim at insposa, in addition to always creating something beautiful to inspire you, is to show you how to work with the key features and tones of your wedding venue by allowing those elements to guide you. Your venue will impact on your style, so it’s important to ask yourself two questions:
Do we decide on our theme first and find a venue that complements that theme?
Do we decide on the venue first and work in a theme to suit the venue?
Answer: Whichever suits you best.
Create Your Mood Board
The Park Lane shoot by insposa is set in The Orangery at Rushton Hall Hotel & Spa, Northamptonshire. A large room, bathed in natural light from its two exterior walls of floor-to-ceiling windows which overlook the gardens. We wanted to bring the outside in, which is the very essence of an orangery, so there had to be trees and plenty of foliage. You can’t really go wrong with a white and green palette, it’s classic and works pretty much anywhere, so we opted to keep things fresh and clean whilst also complimenting the soft grey velvet dining chairs and magnificent gold chandeliers.
You have to be strict with yourself when creating your mood board – no changing this and changing that. Such whims of fancy here and there mean you’ll end up with a mish-mash of ideas that simply dilute the end result. Be strong and believe in what you’re doing and if you get stuck consult your team of professionals.
Select a venue that suits your theme
Whatever ideas you have for your wedding, it’s important to start with a venue that gives you the perfect backdrop. If you’re after a minimalist feel don’t opt for a period country house stacked with antiques. Instead look for a modern location that sets your scene. If Downtown Abbey is your muse then you need a grand country estate – a village hall won’t help you (unless you’re going for a ‘below stairs’ vibe.)
If you fancy our ‘outdoor-indoor’ feel then choose a venue with a conservatory or orangery with plenty of natural light to give you an airy space to work with. Find one that’s stocked with plants and trees and that’s half your work done for you at no extra cost.
If the 1940’s are tugging at your heart strings then revisit that period village hall we mentioned. It’ll come into its own with afternoon tea and a live band. Drape it in bunting and get the kettle on!
Not all suppliers are created equal
If creating a specific vibe is important to you, you must gather a team who are on point with your vision. Creatives have strengths but they have weaknesses too. Get the very best out of your team and give them room to play to those strengths. What does that mean? Well quite simply, give them a brief that makes their heart sing. Set aside time to do your research. Identify their niche and check it works for you.
Look for suppliers who are already producing work that fits with the look and feel you want for your day. Pick up the phone and discuss your ideas and ask them to send you examples of previous work which they think will suit your theme. This will give you an idea of whether or not they understand your vision and if they actually have the skill to do what they claim. Check, check and check again, validate their portfolios and read my article on how to spot those rare suppliers who lie.
Creative suppliers tend to team up with other specialists who work to the same standard and style so who would they recommend for your team? Does the florist work with a great cake maker? Does your stylist have a favourite florist? Shortlist a team who work best towards your brief.
Your Wedding Photographer
If you want dark and moody photos, don’t hire a photographer who specialises in light and airy. Avoid disappointment by assuming every photographer will capture those all important details too – not all of them will notice the favours on the table you painstakingly spent hours putting together. And if you want candid, fly on the wall footage, check their website for the shots you’re hoping for. Not all photographers are the same. Not all photographers have the same skill and experience either. If you find yourself asking ‘can you get shots like these guys?’ then you’re probably speaking to the wrong photographer. The proof is in the pudding and in this case you’ll find the pudding is their portfolio. If you can’t find the type of photos you want in their portfolio the chances are they can’t or won’t be able to produce them for you.
The location for this shoot, The Orangery at Rushton Hall, demanded drama and sophistication so we rushed straight over to Amanda Carter at Dottie Photography Cambridgeshire. With a keen eye for capturing the details and a penchant for telling a beautiful story through her images, Dottie was our top choice because she always ‘gets’ our vision.
Wedding Flowers & Bridal Bouquet
Most florists can adapt to any style you throw their way, but all of them have a personal style that flows naturally from their creative psyche. Find one that specialises in the look you want to achieve. We have a list of go-to florists but when it was time to invite just one of them to create the flowers for this shoot we knew that Rebecca Sayward at Florae Foray in Northamptonshire, would have the perfect eye for the floral style we’d laid out on our mood board.
When it comes to choosing your stylist I’d suggest choosing someone you really bond with and who is happy to follow your ideas. Choose a professional who really knows what they are doing and has plenty of experience because their advice will be invaluable. As with all suppliers, not all stylists are the same so go with the one who really gets your vision and can prove they know how to bring it to life.
For this shoot we went to another of our go-to team Nerissa Eve Weddings with whom we’d already worked on several creative projects. Nadine’s store room houses props, tableware and furniture from floor to ceiling and what they don’t have in stock they will often build or buy to make the magic happen. Nadine provided clear glass chargers, votives and glass candlesticks, lanterns, vases and the white runner to cover the aisle. She created a plinth for the ceremony stage and covered it with lanterns and candles. We sourced the trees which lined our aisle from the team at More Productions.
The show-stopping centre piece at every reception, the design of your wedding cake should encapsulate the style of your day. Our mind’s eye saw white on white, hints of gold and the all important personal touch so we turned to our friends at The Abigail Bloom Cake Company in London. Abigail outdid herself by creating a four tier wedding cake with gold initials and delicate frills which worked perfectly for our ‘less is more’ brief. The white on white six tier hydrangea cake sat perfectly beside the gold and grey orchid creation giving us a trio of ‘too beautiful to cut’ centre pieces that any couple would be proud to pose beside.
Who doesn’t love a wedding favour, especially one we can eat? The magnificent white, dove grey and gold macaron tower (below) was created for us by Kimm Cover, owner at Leicestershire based Maison des Macarons.
Jenna Claire Stationery and Millie Stone Stationery, both based in Leicestershire, teamed up to create two distinct stationery suites; romantic calligraphy, soft grey ribbon and a gold seal from Millie; a beautiful range of white and solid grey with crisp, clean lines and accompanying signage on frosted and clear perspex from Jenna. Millie also created the signature ‘initials’ design which Abigail used on the wedding cake and Jenna added to her table plan.
Whatever style you go for, whether simple or elaborate, choose a team who can deliver the look you’re after. And be ruthless with your mood board. If you find yourself adding ideas that are off point then create a fresh board for those images, just in case you’re starting to lean in a new direction. Most of all, have fun with it and don’t forget to add in the most important details which are elements of yourselves. You and your partner are, after all, what the day is all about.