love shoot #2: shabby-chic {denise & luca}

Today is our very first real wedding on Bijoux Bride, and I’m delighted to share with you this elegant celebration!  You can just feel the love these two have for each other in these images, the mood was captured beautifully by the lovely Heline Bekker.

Denise was kind enough to tell me all about how they met, and about Luca’s surprise proposal:

“Luca was new to our church and was invited by a mutual to join a bunch of us for lunch after a church service.  We headed out to Nando’s, where he sat on the far opposite side of the table from me. When he left the restaurant he asked our friend Marco about me.  A few weeks later we were each invited to a party in central London and that’s when sparks flew…in the following weeks he romanced me Italian style, with dinners and spontaneous flower deliveries.  Luca knew that if he took me away to a romantic setting I would catch on to what he was planning. So after an operation, while recuperating at home he ordered the engagement ring online, planned a romantic breakfast and opened the box….which I was NOT expecting at all!”

Denise got ready at the Kingsley Hotel in Covent Garden, doesn’t she look so beautiful and excited in these images?  Love the vintage touches to her outfit, the birdcage veil and pearls.

Denise & Luca were married in an emotional ceremony at the stunning St Peter’s Italian Church.

For the evening reception, Denise wanted to step ‘outside the norm’, so asked Tanya & Karin from RedLovesPink Events to bring her love of vintage and shabby-chic designs to life!  In the world of wedding planners and coordinators, these lovely ladies are a refreshing change, styling your wedding to perfection.

“We always start out by chatting to our clients about what ideas they have and try deduce what the main theme or focus of the wedding and the decor is going to be – once we know those basics, we create fantastic moodboards for them to give them a better idea of how to bring together all the ideas they have on colour schemes, materials, props etc

The great thing about moodboards is that it expands on a central or initial idea and enables those couples and event hosts that arent perhaps necesarrily very creative or artistically minded to try something new or play around with new ideas that we suggest.  Denise wanted her theme to be based around soft colours and a vintage/shabby-chic theme and since we specialise in that – it was easy to compile a moodboard with some great ideas and concepts for her to choose from.

The reception was held in a banquet room in Browns in Covent Garden which had warm wooden interiors with soft dusty Pink curtrains which Denise wanted to work into the overall colour scheme and mood for the day – so we opted for soft and dusty Pink, Peach and Greens which she loved; and then to not make it seem too ‘girly’ we added touches of a brighter and bolder Green and Blue on the tables.”

“Denise really wanted each table to be unique and have lots of detail on it for the guests to look at throughout the evening so we designed each table with an interesting arrangement in the centre including a bird cage filled with flowers, ribbon bound old poetry books, strings of pearls, fresh flowers, a variety of coloured glass bottles, fairy lights threaded inbetween the lace and organza surrounding the arrangement and beautiful ornate frames with pictures of Denise and Luca from their engagement shoot. The main table had a long row of individual Christmas Roses in greens and wine reds with Gyp to soften them, in a light froth of white organza threaded through with fairy lights and pearls. As an extra special treat there was one tiny open little chest facing the bridal couple with the softest flowers in it and the caption ‘Mr & Mrs’  in the lid in little wooden letters… just to underline again that they are now… ‘Mr & Mrs’!

“Denise had made a lovely Hat box for gifts to be put into and we embellished the table with miniature open suitcases spilling over with flowers and lace.  There were several areas across 3 different landings we had prepared for photo opportunities for guests with props to hand such as the Gold ‘LOVE’ letters which guests posed with to great effect. To carry the theme through across the 3 areas, we had the shabby chic lace and suitcases and antique, age-yellowed sheet music and soft flowers. The end result as we looked across the room was a lovely soft shabby-chic but elegant wedding with guests laughing and chatting, candles fluttering and a fusion of fairy lights and soft flowers.”

I asked Denise a few questions about her big day:

What was your favourite memory of the day? The smile on my husbands face! And his heartfelt speech.

What advice would you give other brides? Don’t feel like you have to do everything on your own… choose your helpers wisely and give them control over the planning process

What was your first dance, and how did you choose the song? The Thief by Brooke Fraser, Luca and I were in comfortable places in our lives, and falling in love was not in the plan… but he swooped in and stole my heart

Aww!  Thank you Denise & Luca for sharing your special day with us, I hope you will have many happy years together

(if you haven’t heard their first dance song before, go and listen to it now, so beautiful and suits these two perfectly)

Venue (Ceremony): St Peter’s Italian Church, London
Venue (Reception): Brown’s Restaurant, Covent Garden
Styling & Flowers: RedLovesPink Events
Photographer: Heline Bekker Second shooter: Liesl Cheney
Dress: Online


After a decade-long career in corporate interior design, I took a giant leap of faith, left the security of an office job, and founded B.LOVED in 2011 as a platform for romantic and beautiful wedding inspiration. Thanks to a whole lot of creativity, hard work and passion, my gamble paid off and B.LOVED became one of the leading wedding blogs in the UK.

I'm also a co-founder at The Brand Studio, where I design and curate beautiful photoshoots for wedding and lifestyle brands, as well as running wedding industry community the B.LOVED Hive where I support and nurture wedding pros building industry leading businesses. Yep, I definitely have the best job in the world.

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