Capturing the essence of an era is something to relish as a wedding stylist. The 1920s is a luxurious decade to dive into and it’s rich with inspiration and motifs to draw from. This 20s inspired shoot was a dream to put together – think vintage glamour with a contemporary edge. This is the roaring 20s brought cheering and dancing into the 21st century.
Planning and styling this shoot was a truly collaborative process, nothing was created in isolation. Conception and styling were mine, but I worked with an absolutely brilliant team to bring my vision to life.
Woodchester Mansion was the perfect venue for grandeur and character. An unfinished Gothic Revival building, it boasts carved details and architectural arches with vast unfinished spaces and soaring ceilings. The solidity of its stone walls formed a lovely contrast with our smaller delicate details and added opulence.
Samantha and Thomas from Bowtie and Belle took full advantage of the wide open spaces. There’s romance in the light, and drama in the space, and the resulting images were a beautiful blend of fine art and contemporary photography.
Brushed with Gold
For our tablescape, I worked with a palette of crisp white and grey, and used warm accents of gold and brass to up the glamour stakes. The table was positioned under a giant arch and created using a luxury linen ‘snowdrop white’ cloth contrasted against a textured grey runner, topped with delicately trailing foliage including: asparagus fern, fern, ruscus and eucalyptus. Antique balloon-back mahogany chairs, upholstered in crisp grey fabric, allowed the styling to stand out against the stone walls.
There were many layers of detail to the table. I wanted to create an immediate impact, but entice the eye to linger, picking out the different elements. Diner’s settings featured gold rimmed plates layered with hand-dyed ombre grey and white linen napkins. Grey torn-edged place names sat on top, hand written in modern calligraphy by Emma from Emerald Paper Design, and finished with a gold or rose gold leaf decorated crystal by Sarie Joynes. Sarie used the same technique to decorate the goblets and wine glasses, delicately brushing each with gold leaf around the base.
Powerful Flowers and Statement Balloons
Esther from Rebel and the Rose brought us a suite of structural foliage and white blossoms. A variety of white flowers in vintage and antique brass vases nestled amongst the foliage along the table, and the stairwells and windowsills were decked in ranunculus, freesia, tulips, anemones and green parrot tulips. I particularly loved the statement bouquet she created, which would have made Daisy Buchanan proud if she were to get married in 2018. 20s flair, 21st century style: it was perfect!
For statement decor that draws the eye upwards, look no further than The Giant Balloon Company. We included several enormous balloons, some filled with grey feathers and others with asparagus fern, in keeping with other foliage used. Every balloon harked back to nature and the 20s, and blush and white tassels added softness to the stone setting.
Cake and Cocktail Hour
It wouldn’t be a 20’s style affair without delicious morsels to eat and drink. Sophie from the Cheltenham Cakery created a stunner of a three tiered cake, including a geometric 20s style pattern on the bottom tier that she created using a lattice mould. The top two layers were hand painted for a soft grey ombre and completed with a David Austin sugar rose. The elegance of this cake comes through its simplicity.
Our glorious speakeasy bar was styled to classic Art Deco. Above a grey panel, decorated in bespoke gold laser-cut geometrics, sat a selection of fruits and herbs in copper terrariums to customise your gin tipple. Sam from Speakeasy Bar Hire created a refreshing gin and tonic in a gold leafed glass garnished with grapefruit and rosemary along with a delicious gin cocktail called English Garden in a tall glass decorated with a cucumber rose and a sprig of thyme. Chin chin!
The dress we chose is an example of modern-meets-classic. The deep V neckline was sharp and clean, while the full graduated train with a bustle loop was opulent, and a little extravagant. Our bride Sophie Organ exuded vintage glamour in her bespoke full-length crepe and silk satin gown, with Angel Wing back detail designed and created by Lisa Keating. The dress was fitted, creating a sleek silhouette that was thrown into contrast by the indulgence of the ivory tulle cape. The effect was dramatic, like our setting, yet look a little closer and you enjoy the delicate details.
Details wouldn’t be complete without the shoes. The champagne glitter and leather detailing of the Betty by Charlotte Mills was perfectly on point for the blend of art deco and contemporary we were looking for. On the bride’s finger is a bespoke platinum Art Deco diamond ring weighing 2.20cts with a platinum, channel set cut diamond wedding ring, both by Sarie Joynes Bespoke Jewellery, and she wore a delicately glimmering Akoya pearl bracelet with 18ct white gold and diamond beads.
This is not the decade for shyness. Deep red lips and defined eyes and brows by Charlotte Tillyer Hair & Make Up kept us true to the 20s. Sophie’s hair is a beautifully soft pink, and was styled into striking waves by Annie Russell from Honeystone hair. Her hair was finished with a headdress made with vintage diamanté and a silver-tipped ostrich feather plume by Gemma Sangwine Millinery and Headwear.
Our groom Liam Dunn looked Gatsby suave in a sharp blue and grey three-piece. Like the dress, it was slim fitting and was paired with a champagne tie and button hole created by Rebel and the Rose. It’s evident from the pictures that Liam and Sophie created an authentic chemistry for Bowtie and Belle to capture. The whole shoot was a delight from start to finish, and I love the drama, decadence and style of the finished images.
Styling and Concept: Hollie Freeland
Photography: Bowtie and Belle Photography
Stationery: Emerald Paper Design
Flowers: Rebel and the Rose
Balloons: The Giant Balloon Company
Cutlery: The Cutlery Commission
Cake: The Cheltenham Cakery
Dress: Lisa Keating Bespoke Bridalwear and Corsets
Shoes: Charlotte Mills
Makeup: Charlotte Tillyer Hair & Make up
Jewellery: Sarie Joynes Bespoke Jewellery
Hair Accessory: Gemma Sangwine Millinery & Headwear
Bridal Hair: Honeystone Hair by Annie Russell
Bar: Speakeasy Bar Hire
Venue: Woodchester Mansion Website
Models: Sophie Organ & Liam Dunn