THE MAID OF KENT
I’m so delighted to share today’s shoot from a very talented team of British suppliers. In fact the majority of them hail from Kent, also known as the Garden of England, the beautiful location which inspired the design for this shoot. Florist Gwenda from The Vintage Floral Design Co. and photograper Heline Bekker wanted to celebrate a some typically Kentish details with hops, apples and a rustic country vibe.
I grew up in Kent and after a bit of a nomadic time at university, came back to The Garden of England, where I am to this day. The county has some unique produce, especially in early Autumn with the drying hops, cobnuts and crab apples. I assembled a team of predominantly Kent-based vendors to bring The Maid of Kent to life. We wanted to fill the shoot with a fresh take on Autumnal colour which we combined with a stunning venue and exceptional light, captured to perfection by Heline (originally all the way from South Africa but a long-time resident of Kent!). Our venue was the exquisite Marleybrook House, the family home of Janie and Kris and fully licensed wedding venue indoor. The centrepiece of the venue is the seventeenth century ‘chocolate box’ thatched farmhouse, full of unique character, history and old world charm.
Faith Caton-Barber provided us with two bridal outfits, the first was ‘Edith’, a full-skirted French lace, tulle and satin two-piece, a spaghetti strap chemise and a circular skirt with a train. It’s a relaxed yet chic combination to wear, and surprisingly lightweight. The delicate lace adds texture without being fussy and the layering of ivory over champagne means there is a subtle colour change with every movement. The warmth of the colour is flattering for those who feel washed out in plain ivory or white. This dress is part of Faith’s new collection, available to order in petite, medium and tall fits. It was teamed with a simple long veil, further softening the silhouette and heightening the romantic feel.
The second, was ‘Emmy’. This halterneck tulle and beaded lace gown is a flowing dress with a structured bodice that strikes the balance between intricate detail and elegant simplicity. It’s a warm ivory, almost cream and it went particularly well with the warm blush pinks and reds in our palette. Hayley used rustic brown and copper tones for the make-up, along with apple red on the lips. For the hair, she chose a simple wavy down hairstyle to reflect the relaxed country feel of Kent, and then a glamorous up do, swathed in hops and flowers, which was very lady of the manor!
Vintage Rose made the most fabulous naked cake, which was set up in the oak framed barn. The rich, red velvet layers were a fantastic autumnal variation on the usual Victoria sponges decorated with summer berries. This time, the decorations included traditional Kentish fruits such as crab apples, blackberries and, of course, hops.
My floral arrangements had a suitably rustic character, with an informal over-flowing basket in place of a conventional bouquet and a tablescape of apple juice and beer bottles (Kent specialities!). All of these incorporated fruit, wheat and hops, unifying the theme further. To be officially launched next year, I have created customisable ranges of floral-inspired stationery and this suite was created specifically for this shoot, in all the key colours. We styled these on and around the vintage props by the Oak Framed Barn, which had been accumulated by Kris over the years and have now come into their own styling this wonderful venue.