It Was All a Dream

Nov 6, 2018

Unconventional & whimsical styled shoot with high-fashion designs and surrealist photography at the opulent Aynhoe Park in Northamptonshire, England

Inside its grand and imposing walls, an unusual English country house full of surprises and curiosity provided the idyllic canvas for this imaginative styled shoot. The estate venue’s historic opulence combined with the elements of modern whimsy created an elegant yet surreal atmosphere.

“9:00 AM... the gates open, the gravel crackles beneath our laden cars, and buckets of feathers flutter through our fingers,” said the planner.

Every little detail, beginning with the invitation suite, was unconventional - balancing playful, elegant and moody accents for the perfect aesthetic. For the wedding stationery, that was a collection of vellum and acrylic materials, paired with charcoal, ivory and metallic gold tones.

“The design concept was dramatic and edgy, but also deeply romantic,” said the planner, “taking our cue from high fashion and surrealist, conceptual photography.”

With the concept of high fashion comes haute couture looks, and the bridal model was nothing short of exquisite. She wore an A-line gown with illusion sleeves, a sweetheart neckline and sheer overlay beaded with pearls. It also featured a detachable skirt, dripping with delicate feathers.

She wore a glamorous, embellished headpiece in her long, silky blonde waves, smokey eyeshadow and a nude lip. Naturally, her groom looked equally sophisticated in an all-black ensemble, paired with an off-white tie and dinner jacket.

The ceremony was set in the estate’s orangery, where sunlight flooded in from massive windows and reflected off disco balls for an effervescent effect. Adding to the space’s quirkiness, a giraffe floated in the corner from a cluster of balloons.

“The unifying narrative was the concept of transparency, air, and wings,” said the event planner, “echoing through a palette of light and dark.”

They used acrylic ghost chairs for modern seating and incorporated an abundance of candlelight at the foot of the altar. Florals and dried grasses were the focal point of the ceremony decor, using mostly earthy tones to complement the space’s neutral color palette, with a pop of merlot. Ivory orchids, pampas grasses, blush garden roses and wine-colored dried blooms cascaded from tall acrylic stands.

After capturing the bride in her feathered angel wings, the couple changed into their looks for the reception. For the bride, this was an ivory, satin ballgown with a sweetheart neckline, paired with a floor-length feathered shawl and silk butterfly headband in her sleek high pony. Her groom kept it classic in a dapper black and white tuxedo.

“We played in the majestic halls of the house, with unicorns and Herculean statues for company,” said the planner, “all coming together to create something striking for the modern, style-conscious millennial couple.”

Amidst a gallery of classical sculptures, the most magical and unusual dinner party commenced. The acrylic table and chairs were set right next to a regal unicorn, surrounded by a bounty of florals and dried grasses. Guests’ names were calligraphed on the backs of the chair, and the table centerpieces were kept simple with two taper candles.

Each place setting showcased a floral-print napkin, black-rimmed glass plate, brushed black flatware and black textured goblets. The edgy and moody design created a striking contrast against the surrounding sculptures’ muted color scheme.

Before their next wardrobe change, the bride traded in her angel wings for a set of neutral peacock feathers for a dramatic photo moment. She reemerged in a silky champagne, fit-to-flare gown with embellished straps and an open cowl back. Of course, the look included a statement headpiece crafted from long white feathers.

The cake stood as tall as the bride, perched on an acrylic stand engraved with, “For the ones who dream of stranger worlds.” It boasted four tiers, with white feathers waterfalling from the top and a white chiffon fabric draped down the side like a veil.

“Then, as the disco balls twinkled by the last rays of the setting sun, our bride and groom transformed for the afterparty,” said the planner, “the night, their sparkling runway.”

Black, white and marbled metallic silver balloons spilled down the grand staircase to where the couple stood in their first looks of the night. The groom returned to his original, off-white satin dinner jacket ensemble, and the bride wore a vintage, ivory fringed gown with cap sleeves and metallic accents.

Her next look was a black trumpet gown with a sweetheart neckline and petal-like skirt, worn with a black feathered headpiece and embellished collar necklace. The groom donned a black suit and ivory dress shirt, rounding out the duo’s dark ensemble.

They closed out the night in the study, both outfitted in jacquard-print suits and posing amongst antique gold framed portraits and taxidermy. 

“And so, it was that a team of creatives made some magic on a grey November's day,” said the planner.

The couple descended the grand staircase at the end of the night, fiercely showing off their final looks: the groom in his colorful, koi-printed dinner jacket, and the bride in a jumpsuit and a plush leopard-print faux fur coat.

Looking for a high-fashion gown to wear on your big day? Check out our list of vetted vendors HERE!

Creative Team

Emma-Jane Photography

Aynhoe Park

S J Soane London
Thom Sweeney
Eliza Jane Howell
Suzanne Neville
Beverley Edmondson Millinery

Edible Essence

Jenn Edwards & Co

Loulabel Floral Design

Paper Goods + Calligraphy
Sophie Jackson Studios

Rentals & Decor
Duchess & Butler
Flutter Designs
Cfleurs Design

Handcraft Pictures

The Stars Inside

Bubblegum Balloons

Halo & Co

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