A Zen Wedding in the Cotswolds

“The heart is like a garden. It can grow compassion or fear, resentment or love. What seeds will you plant there?” – Confucius

This shoot was inspired by the tea ceremonies of Asia during which green tea (matcha) is prepared and consumed, steeped in ancient traditions. A tea ceremony can be symbolic of many things including purity, stability and fertility. Learn more about this wonderful ancient ritual of the Japanese tea ceremony here.

This wedding shoot looks like it took place somewhere in the Far East. However, you might be surprised to learn that the venue for this shoot was the Matara Centre in the Cotswolds with its beautiful tranquil gardens and Asian-inspried spaces. Comins Tea, a local specialty tea shop, helped to recreate a traditional tea ceremony.

The Style

The ornate gown by Justin Alexander, with its delicate beading, looked stunning against the venue’s courtyard and formal gardens while the bridal look was completed with an Asian-inspired intricate hairpiece from Ophelia Ren Bridal.

The foliage-filled reception room was the perfect setting for this elegant and refined tablescape, incorporating exotic greens and neutral tones. Green tea themed elements were carried through to the table where matcha tea spoons were repurposed as unique place cards. The tiered cake, designed by Cake My Day, was embellished with orchids blended in perfect harmony with their surroundings.

The Colour Palette & Florals

With the tea ceremony being the main point of inspiration, the bright, warm green of the tea was offset with a cooler colour palette of lighter hues of green, white and neutral hues. This calm and romantic palette melded perfectly with pops of gold which were incorporated throughout the tablescape. 

Taking inspiration from the tea ceremony, the striking florals created by Jasper + Quinn were Ikebana-inspired. With a foliage-heavy background, centrepieces were kept low and vessels simple to complement the minimalist tablescape.

Key Tips

  • Use the unique features of the venue to your advantage. By using a striking venue the team had a lot of stunning features to work with. Keeping the florals and décor simple, they were able to complement the venue and not overwhelm it.
  • Incorporate thoughtful and unique details. Subtle on-theme details, such as matcha tea spoons and origami cranes, provided an inspired nod to the history of the tea ceremony without the shoot becoming overly “themed” or problematic in terms of cultural appropriation.
  • Contrast warm and bright colours with cooler ones. Whilst matcha formed the basis of the shoot’s inspiration, using this colour too heavily would have clashed with the venue. Cooler green tones were used to bridge the gap between the matcha and natural greenery at the venue.



Photographer: Maria Madison Photography // Stylist: Leah Olivia Weddings // Venue: Matara Centre // Cake Designer: Cake My Day // Menswear: Suave Owl // Speciality Tea Shop: Cumins Tea // Hair Stylist: Harmony by Juta // MUA: Elle Hitchens // Florist: Jasper and Quinn // Hair Pieces: Ophelia Ren // Shoes: Diane Hassall // Stationery: Ivy Inks Paper Co // Celebrant: The Urban Celebrant // Videographer: Adrian Tamas Photography // Models: Gingersnap Models