The Swan Bride

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Such whimsical, feminine, romantic inspiration coming up today ladies!  This styled shoot from Rebecca Douglas and The Wedding Dolls is a little bit different as it’s not set in a grand mansion house or manicured gardens, but a cosy local pub {albeit a very beautiful one!}.  They wanted to show those of you planning a pub or restaurant wedding that you don’t need to sacrifice glamour, but how taking a little inspiration from your surroundings you can create a beautiful, intimate wedding.  And oh how beautiful it is!

With feathers and ruffles adding a touch of whimsy, a dusty pink and lilac palette, chalkboard details and vintage touches adding sophistication this the ultimate in pretty, understated glamour. Love.

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Emma & Joanne from the The Wedding Dolls explain how their turned their inspiration to reality ~

The Swan in West Malling is a pub that’s a wedding venue, it has private dining areas and a license for civil ceremonies. We set out to work with the venues theme and took the swan itself as inspiration adding soft feathers alongside vintage touches that gave the shoot such an elegant timeless feel. We carefully selected local Kent suppliers that could bring their own creative ideas to the shoot to show how you can create a beautiful style without lots of added extras and spending vast amounts on decorative items. We kept the styling very simple using glass and silver decorative items alongside feather motives and hints of black and purples to create warmth and drama. The natural colours, leathers and woods in the venue added to the vintage feel. Perfect for an intimate celebration with a very sophisticated twist.

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We used four differently styled brides to show that even for a small wedding you can choose a wedding dress that suits you – whether simple or more grand. It was important to have a large range of photographic opportunities to show that with a creative photographer you don’t need beautiful views or vast styled rooms to capture really stunning images.

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The Bridal Looks

An exquisite collection of delicate, feminine dresses were chosen by Isabella Grace to give the shoot a swan-like feel. Swathes of lace and silk organza added movement and a touch of vintage to the overall look which is right on trend at the moment.

The general makeup look by The Beauty Aisle was very much vintage old-school glamour and each bride was given a slightly different version of this to fit in with her hairstyle and dress. The majority of my clients opt for a very natural look, so it was great fun to have completely free rein and create my own idea of the perfect bridal make up complete with eyeliner, lashes and red lips!”

It was all about timeless elegance when it came to the hair, styled by The Crop Shop. We added modern touches to bring the look bang up-to-date. Soft styles, plaits and twists alongside vintage accessories where used to enhance the classic and delicate shape of the dresses.

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The Flowers

Katherine from Florist in the Forest wanted the focus to be on the flowers but incorporated feathers in to one of the bouquets for a soft, feminine touch. They were also included in to the small vases for added texture and interest. I also created a black and white bouquet with the black swan theme in mind and added black touches to a white spring bouquet in the form of the black centres of the anemones and black ivy berries

The Stationery

The shoot demonstrated perfectly how an idea inspired by the atmosphere and name of the venue can be developed into a beautiful theme that can be woven into your wedding day. For the stationery Prettywild Design used a simple feather motif to create a little touch of decadence to the typographic styling. The Wedding Dolls were great to work with and as professional planners they enthusiastically encourage the creative talents of their suppliers which allows us to create really different and unique ideas.

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The Cakes

Cake designer Gem from Little Gems,  was really excited to explore cake design possibilities for such a fantastic theme. I knew feathers were a must, but wanted to keep things elegant and sophisticated with a touch of romance. I used ruffles to give a hint of girliness, together with handmade sugar flowers, feathers and pretty piping to bring it all together.

The Photography

Rebecca Douglas says ~ I was really inspired by the theme, the quirky location and collaborating with such brilliant suppliers. I looked to capture really soft, elegant images that reflected the nature of swans as they glide so effortlessly across water, I am fascinated by their grace. There is a timeless and serene nature about swans and often those moments after a bride has put on her dress are ones that exude tranquility, time almost stands still for a few breaths as the reality of the day sinks in as she stares at her reflection and I wanted to capture this beauty with our shoot.

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Photographer: Rebecca Douglas //  Coordination & Styling: The Wedding Dolls // Venue: The Swan, West Malling  // Dresses: Isabella Grace Bridal Boutique // Bridal Accessories: Chez Bec // Florist: Florist in the Forest // Cakes: Little Gems // Hair Styling: The Crop Shop //  Makeup:  The Beauty Aisle // Stationery: Prettywild Design // Models: Jessica, Ria, Sarah & Jodie


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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