Have you ever seen “inspiration” shoots on wedding blogs? They aren’t quite real weddings and aren’t quite full blown editorial shoots seen on the pages of vogue. So what is the purpose of creating (the often gorgeous) images?

The best wedding professionals in the business often team up to create beautiful looks for two reasons. First, it gives us a chance to test out ideas that we have before using them on your wedding day. This saves any errors being made on what is your once-in-a-lifetime day. Second, as a wedding planner, it gives me the chance to work with new suppliers (also testing them out!) so that your wedding is not the “guinea pig.”

Over the summer, I was very lucky to be the first wedding planner to hold a wedding inspiration shoot at the Hampstead Hill Garden and Pergola, which was published on Junebug Weddings. This truly must be the most idyllic location for a wedding ceremony in London. Only twenty minutes from central London, it is surrounded by weeping wisteria, lush rhododendrons, and sweeping views of rolling hills and London skylines. It’s a secret garden dream.

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I once worked with a Brazilian bride who loved rattan chairs. I also adore them and thought of her the whole time I planned this shoot! I love the laid-back formality that they bring to an outdoor setting. In London, it is difficult to hold outdoor dinners but the same look can be achieved in a beautifully lit, clear marquee.

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Now, this venue is a stunner but it also is in the middle of the woods! So, when I said I wanted to bring in tables, chairs, and a full team of suppliers (17 in all) to create these images, a few people may have thought I was slightly crazy. However, we at Extraordinary Days don’t like to let a few logistical hassles stop us from creating a little magic so on we trotted and through the woods we carried!

The flowers are bright, cheerful, and have a slightly surprising hint of blue which I love. The florist did the most spectacular job using the loveliest peonies to create a look that was natural and organic yet still formal. These chair posies offer a variation in the way they sit to the side of the dining chair (usually seen in the middle at a table). I also just adore the mixture of open and closed peonies and the dramatic, long satin ribbon.

The stationery is all hand written by one of the most talented calligraphers I know. Calligraphy is so timeless, dresses up your stationery in an instant, and is surprisingly good value. Gold on coloured paper will always be one of my personal favourites I think!

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The bride’s dress and groom’s suit were carefully chosen to be formal but to compliment the organic and natural setting of the garden wedding venue. The groom’s tie is a slight nod to the colour in the bride’s bouquet without being overly matchy-matchy.

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Months before this shoot took place, just by happenstance, I was out for a walk and I happened upon the Hampstead Hill Gardens and Pergola. While there I noticed this beautiful brick wall covered in leaves and vines and thought to myself: “OMG – that would be an incredible cake table backdrop.” So, that is is how this came about!

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My favourite detail about this entire shoot is probably the wooden chargers. They took about a week to find and secure (!) but added so much to the table. They are hand carved in Italy and now available from a supplier in London. You can never underestimate the value of paying attention to the details of your place settings, which really makes your guests feel so special as they sit down at their tables.

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We had beautiful diamonds on this shoot created by a very talented bespoke jeweller and I think this photo not only shows the talent of the jeweller but also of our amazing photographer!

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See the full shoot published on Junebug Weddings Here.

Suppliers:

Venue – Hampstead Hill Garden and Pergola (London)

Photographer – Kate Nielen Photography

Cakes – Vanilla Orchid Bakery

Florist – Bluesky Flowers

Hair and Make-up – Tori Harris Make-up

Wedding and Engagement Rings – MBC Diamonds

Model (Bride) – Kelly Marie

Groom’s Attire – Alexandra Wood Bespoke

Wedding Dress – Luella’s Boudoir

Furniture – Farley 

Bridal Veil and Accessories – Kelly Spence

Floral Crown – Kate Hansford

Stationery – Judy Broad

Crockery – Classic Crockery Hire

Linen – Northfields

Wrapped Wedding Favours – Wrapsody